Channels ▼

Al Williams

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

More on the STM32 Discovery Value Board

October 12, 2010

In my last blog, I mentioned a $10 32-bit development kit from STM. I've asked them about using them in the classroom but I haven't got a reply yet. I also haven't got a board myself yet although its en route (rather then beg ST's PR for a $10 a board I just bought one from a distributor).

Of course, I use Linux and usually these kinds of boards are totally geared towards Windows. Apparently this board is not the exception to this rule. I did find an interesting blog chronicling one user's experience with working with the board under Linux.

A few tidbits from that blog:

  • The pins at the bottom need to come off so you can plug into a breadboard (I'll probably desolder them and reinstall them so they point up).
  • For Linux use, the author enables the chip's bootloader mode. This requires soldering a resistor on the board. (In all fairness, the STM documentation suggests you just remove a solder bridge and that looks to be adequate for it to work).
  • Of course, for the bootloader, you need a serial port. The author constructed a level converter with a MAX3232 -- I just keep a bunch of these around (they are 5V, but the 3.3V chip fits in the same socket).

So apparently not painless with Linux, but then that's part of the fun of buying a $10 development kit is making it work


I will say, however, that it is one of the things I dislike about using the Arm chips. Granted, I can go buy a nice toolchain. But with the free tools, every time I gear up to do any Arm development (I do a good bit with the Mini2440 boards and some LPC2119 devices) I have to go fiddle with the toolchain and remember how to get it all working nicely.

Admittedly the Atmel AVR is a less powerful 8 bit controller, but when I use the GNU tools for AVR it just seems to work out of the box with much less fiddling. But, of course, the execution environment isn't nearly what you get with the ARM.

Do you have an STM32 Discovery board? How's it working for you? What do you plan to do with it? Leave a comment and let me know what you are up to.

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.