I mention this because it reminds me of how most 32-bit MCU vendors promote their development tools. Designers are often forced to pay thousands of dollars up front, for evaluation tools, before they can explore features first hand, on the bench. They're made to pay a lot of money before they can play, and that's pretty much the same as making me buy a book before I can read it.
Take a fully-featured test drive
For most designers, it's usually not enough to compare data sheets, review benchmarks, and attend a sales presentation. A device may look good on paper, but how does it perform in a real-world application? Most often, the best way to figure that out is by giving the device a test drive using some sort of design tool. NXP has found a way, with its low-cost LPCXpresso development platform, to let designers evaluate, explore, and even develop, on the ARM® Cortex™-M processor family without an upfront spend. It's an end-to-end solution that enables complete application development, from initial evaluation to final production, for -- get this -- less than $30 dollars.
And what do you get for $30? More than you might think. The LPCXpresso comes with a design board and a simplified Eclipse-based IDE, powered by Code Red Technologies, providing software engineers with a quick, easy way to develop a complete application. The LPCXpresso also includes a target board, jointly developed by Embedded Artists, Code Red and NXP, and is equipped with a JTAG debugger.
Designers new to NXP's Cortex-M series processor-based microcontrollers now have an inexpensive tool that lets them evaluate, explore, and even develop multiple Cortex-M series-based products quickly and easily.
Adaption and uses of LPCXpresso
Since its launch, the LPCXpresso has already shipped more than 40,000 units. Popular in colleges and universities, there are a growing number of professors and students using it for in-class training and senior projects, helping create a new generation of Cortex-M series designers. Plus, existing designers continue to use latest version of the LPCXpresso platform because it's easy to adapt and quick for sharing internally or with the community on new designs.
In a recently held ARM Cortex-M0 processor design competition, using LPCXpresso as the starting point for development, NXP received hundreds of compelling user stories and design submissions. It showed us that people really can -- and do -- design with LPCXpresso.
Admittedly, LPCXpresso is an entry-level tool. It doesn't provide the same level of sophistication as more expensive products from leading tool vendors. The compiler may produce code that isn't as dense as that produced by compliers from Keil or IAR Systems. The platform also limits the free programmable flash size to 128 KB. It's not the right choice for every design. But it has lowered the barrier of entry for anyone who wants to quickly and easily learn and design with Cortex-M-based microcontrollers, and it serves as a gateway to high-volume designs. LPCXpresso has essentially taken the shrinkwrap off development tools, giving designers a way to really play before they pay.
To find out more, visit NXP's site www.nxp.com/lpcxpresso
Guest Partner Blogger:
ARM welcomes its wealth of Partners in the ARM Connected Community (CC) to submit guest blogs to be published on our multiple community blogs. If interested in participating please submit email inquiries to Tell.Us@arm.com.
The ARM Connected Community (CC) is an extensive ecosystem covering all aspects of ARM processor-based design, from chip implementation through to system and device design. The CC provides a platform for collaborative innovation, with multiple types of forums for members to work with one another, and with customers, to solve industry challenges, all with the purpose of enabling designers to focus on differentiating features and an accelerated time-to-market for ARM powered solutions.
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