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[DPRG] Robot CPUs

Subject: [DPRG] Robot CPUs
From: David P. Anderson dpa at io.isem.smu.edu
Date: Mon Oct 2 14:23:29 CDT 2000


James Andrew Smith wrote:

>William Harold Newman wrote:
>> What about PowerPCs?
>> And reasonably small, reasonably priced PowerPC microcontroller
>> boards (e.g. the little PowerPC board from Axiom Manufacturing here,
>> http://www.axman.com/) run at 40 MHz, while 68K microcontrollers seem
>> to have slower clock speeds.
>I've got the Axiom Man. PB0555 board.  It's an embedded PowerPC with a
>whole whack of cool features.  It's more advanced than the '332, runs
>faster, has built-in hardware floating point, two of the Time Processor
>Units, A/D, dedicated PWM channels, etc.

Cool!  Please keep us apprised of your progress, opinions, frustrations,
attaboys, whatever!  How much money is involved?  Eric's reported $95 for
a built MRM 68332 board is pretty hard to beat.

>I've also played with the 68332 board from New Micros.  My friends have
>gotten the '332 to work with gcc.  They're now going to get the Axiom
>PowerPC board to run under GCC.  Axiom and Motorola have a deal for the
>PowerPC board with Codewarrior.  The package deal is relatively cheap and
>is distributed by Newark.

You might like to check out:


I'm also looking for a hardware environment that will allow me to
use the gcc software development tools, and get into that stream.
Hardware, especially robot hardware, seems to come and go.  The
software is much longer lived, and moves from platform to platform.

I'd like to be able to update my robot hardware environment with the
same ease that I can update my workstation hardware, rather than
having to re-write tons of assembly each time I want to change
processors.  This might be just wishful thinking?

>> I don't know how different the 68332 programming model is from other
>> members of the 68k family. 
>>It's VERY close.

I've only looked through the manual(s) at this point, but the MPU
instruction set seems to be the same.  The TPU unit is where all
the differences appear to lay.  This is something like a scaled-up
version of the timing functions included in the HC6811, but more of
them and more regular ("orthogonal") in design.  

In general the 68xxx architecture is more regular in it's register
structure, expression, and syntax than it's Intel brethren. Not that
it really makes much difference. I'd really like to work in C.  

I remember about 15 years ago saying, "Well, we will never have to
work in assembly again."  Somehow it didn't happen. ;-)


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