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Best programmer for ARM?
Carl B. Apr 11, 2016 at 10:45 AM (10:45 hours)
Staff: Takao Y.

  • I'm looking for the best production/standalone programmer for ARM Cortex MCUs. Ideally, it would have a SDHC slot for expansion (not required right away but I'd rather spend more now than have to justify purchasing a new $1000 programmer if we "outgrow" the unit in a year). The main concern is that it has to support the widest range of ARM Cortex MCUs. Currently we use some Kinetis (MK60DN512ZVLQ10, not directly listed but the K60DN512ZM10 listed most likely works), some TM4C123GH6 (ok, supported) but my main concern is Atmel's  ATSAMR21E16A which does not seem supported in the ATSAM page. It's not certain what other Cortex M parts we might have to program so again so wide support is the main criteria.

    What's our best option? Does the Cyclone universal support all these devices?


  • Greetings,

    If having the expansion port is a feature you want in the future, then the Cyclone Universal FX is your solution. We are currently in discussion of whether to have the expansion port on the cyclone universal at all in the next revision.

    Concerning the support for the SAMR21, right now it is not supported and we had no idea it even existed until you mentioned it. We have taken a look at the reference manual for this device and I will let you know soon if we plan on supporting this device soon.

    My suggestion is if you need a cyclone immediately (because the cyclone universal FX was sold out immediately after release), then you may need to look into getting the Cyclone ARM or Cyclone Universal. If you can wait until end of April/early May then the FX version may be the best option. The FX will be much faster and we will be introducing more and more firmware/software features into it very often.

    Takao Yamada

  • Greetings,

    Good news! We now support the SAMR21!

    If you purchase the Cyclones, then the software that comes with it will include the support for this device. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    Takao Yamada

  • Hello, I have a start up IOT company and we have developed IOT solutions based on linux / C++ / php / bash etc on Beaglebones etc . The problem is that when we want to port the code to production chips, they have to be re-engineered if not rewritten. My question is that if we upgrade to a developer environment using say Cyclone ARM FX with C++, can we port the software directly to a production chip such as a nucleo STM32. Secondly, if this is the case, can we produce small runs of such chips / devices.

    • Greetings,

      The cyclone ARM FX will simply program the chip using the ELF or S19 file the C/C++ compiler generated. I am not sure what you mean when you say port the software directly. You will still need to compile your code and make sure it will work on the STM32 device. If you code things well so that it is generic and not device specific, you should not have to recompile or rewrite the code. But not every chip is going to have the same IO ports, same peripherals, or same flash memory. Am I understanding your question right?

      Takao Yamada

  • Thanks, Takao. Yes, you understood my question correctly. After designing and compiling my software and transferring to the STM32 chip, I want to take this chip and deploy it directly onto my own IOT solution ( i.e.straight from prototype to production model). I assume from what you have said that this is possible. 

    Many thanks, Seamus Kane

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