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DPRG: Re: Question for Experts

Subject: DPRG: Re: Question for Experts
From: Robert Posey robert.posey at worldnet.att.net
Date: Tue Nov 2 21:31:08 CST 1999

- -----Original Message-----
>From: owner-dprglist at dprg.org [mailto:owner-dprglist at dprg.org]On Behalf
Of Dan Miner
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 8:35 PM
To: 'dprglist at dprg.org'
Subject: RE: DPRG: Re: Question for Experts

> From: Charlie W Youngblood [mailto:chaz128 at juno.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 6:44 PM
> What is the fastest CPU available to the hobbie roboticist, 
> not lap top but in kit form or idividually? 

Yikes!  This is a tough question to answer.  

Sort of like asking "What's the fastest motor vehicle?"  
Before you answer, you should ask further questions like: 
Air, land, or water?  If land, 2 wheels, 4 wheels or other?  
And so on...

Since there are LOTS of processors in the world that are 
generally useful and affordable for the hobby roboticist(sp?)
this is also tough to answer.  Perhaps one of the Atmel AVR
CPU's, the Motorola MPC555 or 68K families, etc.  Other things
to consider are price, ease of programming (both software and
how do you get the program into the chip), development tools
availability and cost, etc.

What is most important here to consider is what is your 
experience level and *NEED* for processing power.  If you've
never written a program in your life, then a BasicStamp or
BASIC for other CPU (68HC11, others) is a good choice.
You will NOT however, get top performance and will not be able
to do complicated things such as video image processing.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are attempting to do 
full frame video processing at 30 frames per second, you will 
need something with more speed.  (DSP chip or high end 16 or 32
bit CPU.)  To get the full performance from the chip it is 
often required to write at least a small portion of the code
in assembler.

WIth a DSP it is always necessary to write code in assembler, if
you are willing to deal with as DSP. TI makes the C6X series that
is extremely fast if you hand code.  IT can do 1600 MIPS if you
stand on 1 leg and jump up and down. It can sustain at least 400-600
for tight loops.  It is a interesting chip to program however.  They
also make a motor control DSP that has some very cool versions, and
should out perform most micro-controllers for robot type taskes.  


				- Dan Miner


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