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Adafruit's Open-source Wearable Platform, Flora

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the replace-all-your-clothes dept.

Open Source 62

ptorrone writes "Limor 'Ladyada' Fried's NYC based Open-source electronics studio, Adafruit, today announced their new open wearable platform called the FLORA (blog post & video). The FLORA is Arduino compatible as well as supporting a variety of sensors and add-on devices including: Bluetooth, GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, compass module, flex sensor, piezo, IR LED, push button, embroidered + capacitive keypad, OLED and more. The first round of hardware is in the hands of testers to create wearable projects."

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Hands of testers.. (3, Funny)

vencs (1937504) | about 2 years ago | (#38769486)

Or you mean all over the testers.. :)

Re:Hands of testers.. (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772634)

Doesn't anyone remember Verner Vinge's "Rainbows End" where everyone has "smart" clothes and retinal implants, and use body motion to control the interface?

Assimilation (2)

omganton (2554342) | about 2 years ago | (#38769590)

Resistance is futile.

Re:Assimilation (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38769640)

The question is simply whether I know the hardware on me or whether the hardware owns me.

In a nutshell, the former is truer for this one than any cellphone I know.

Re:Assimilation (1)

dak664 (1992350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38769918)

TFA says no "headers of any kind sticking out can grab and tear fabric" but also says it has USB support.
So how do you dock? Do the headers stick in?

Re:Assimilation (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771724)

From the picture in the article, it's pretty clear that it's got standard-looking ports for USB and power.

ptorrone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38769696)

Something wrong with your email address as linked above. Just sayin'

Or (2)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38769728)

Or you could just buy a Raspberry Pi and a glue gun :)

Why Atmel? (4, Interesting)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770104)

Seems like a strange decision to use an Atmel chip when everyone is moving to Cortex M-3.

Re:Why Atmel? (2, Informative)

ZeroLogic (11697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770146)

Because it is Arduino compatible. Arduinos are all Atmel chips. ARM is way more complicated than people need for these sorts of projects.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770252)

ARM is no more complicated than Atmel... To be honest I think it is easier...

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770936)

With the Arduino, I can get a LCD + DS18S20 up and running in 20 minutes from unwrapping to code compiled and measuring temps. Part of it may just be where I'm at on the learning curve or maybe it is that easy.

Can you do this on the ARM platform? Not intending to troll, I'm flat out curious about the libraries and ease of use.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772364)

If ease of use is your concern, there's the Maple, which is basically an Arduino with a Cortex-M3 instead of an AVR: http://leaflabs.com/ [leaflabs.com]

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772560)

wow that is a fuckton of power to blink a led

Re:Why Atmel? (4, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771280)

He is not talking about how easy it is to program on an ARM toolset vs Atmel, hes talking about the complexity of the processor itself.

The Atmel AVR is an 8-bit microcontroller, the ARM Cortex-M is a 16/32 bit device, with far more transistors than an ATMEGA.

For the sort of thing that Adafruit are needing to do, an ATMEGA is more than adequate.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772948)

I'm pretty sure that Arduino has ARM support now, actually, and some of the ARM chips aren't any more expensive than the higher-end USB AVRs these days.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38770590)

Simple, the tool chain for most ARM chips is proprietary and hard to work with, any idiot can program an arduino. I have both an arduino and an stm discovery board with a cortex m4, and I have found the arduino to be a ton more useful. I can write a functional program for arduino in a fraction of the time it takes me to get a program to even compile and run on the m4. Sure that says more about my abilities than the boards, but the point of an arduino is that anyone can do it.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38792407)

Simple, the tool chain for most ARM chips is proprietary and hard to work with

Yeah, I know GCC is just too damn proprietary with its fascist GPL [gnu.org] , and definitely hard to work with, I mean you have to use the command line.

Too bad no one uses GCC at all.

(And yes, if you want, there's also LLVM, also open-source and "proprietary").

Re:Why Atmel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38772570)

Seems like a strange decision to use an Atmel chip when everyone is moving to Cortex M-3.

As mentioned by many people above: programming for the Atmel chip with Arduino libraries is much easier than programming for a Cortex M processor. Additionally, the tools for Arduino are free (as in beer and in speech), while most (good) tools for ARM are proprietary and usually not free (as in beer). This can be a serious advantage for hobbyists.

However, I think there is another reason: Atmel AVR are available in DIP packages. DIP and through hole components require much less skills and less expensive tools to design and solder your own PCB. This encourages people to make their own boards, which will lead to more people using the platform and thus more people contributing back bug fixes, libraries and board designs. Most (all?) ARM chips are only available in SMD package.

I know FLORA uses SMD, probably to save board space, but they still rely on the Arduino platform and thus benefit from the large community that contributes code.

By the way: not everyone is moving to Cortex M-3: the M-3 is a very nice and powerful design, but for a lot of products it is overkill. At the company where I work, we use much more Cortex M-0 in our designs, since it is often powerful enough and is usually also quite a bit cheaper (can be less than 1 euro in volume pricing). And besides ARM microcontrollers, we also often use Atmel AVR, Microchip PIC and TI C6000 DSP. Each platform has its own strength and weaknesses.

Re:Why Atmel? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773650)

ARM devices tend to be more limited than AVRs, for example being 3.3V only and available only in surface mount packages that are difficult to solder. Everything about the AVR and the Arduino platform is designed to be easy and versatile, and performance is rarely an issue.

Even today far more 8 bit cores are being shipping them ARM or any 16 bit+ design. You just can't beat them for being cheap, low power, having lots of peripherals and coming in every flavour imaginable. I write code for them for a living and as a hobby.

Re:Why Atmel? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38774328)

The Atmega platform has a few key advantages over the Cortex, at least in this context. Yes, Cortex is heaps more powerful, as it should be, being heaps more modern.

1. Price. 8bit Atmegas start around 1-3 bucks, and depending on your project, they will probably already have enough ability for what you want to do. I, at least, didn't encounter more than a handful projects so far that I couldn't sensibly implement using dirt cheap ATMegas.

2. Ease of use. AVR assembler is, despite being ASM, very easy yet a lot of very powerful features. Even in C, it's easier to handle an ATMega. They lend themselves well to people who just started into microcontroller projects yet are, as stated above, quite powerful and usually more than enough for most projects you'll have in your first year or so, unless you're shooting for projects that are well outside the reach of a beginner.

3. DIP vs. TSSOP. Most (low performance) Atmel chips are available in through-hole mount versions, I haven't seen a single implementation of a Cortex in THM, all of them are SMDs. For hobbyists, it's usually a bit of a hassle to solder SMDs, not to mention that you have a hard time putting them on breadboards.

In a nutshell, Atmegas are great to start into the world of microcontrollers (yes, yes, PICs are great too, don't start a religious war), and my guess is that they wanted to address as many potential users as they could. Certainly, Cortex offers a lot more power and generally more versatility, and frankly, some of the projects I did would not have been possible with the limited power of Atmel's MCs, be it due to their architecture or simply their speed. 66MHz ain't the world anymore and 32bit registers are quite handy. No doubt about that.

But "old" ATMegas are simply better for beginners. Cheaper, much more robust (seriously, you can hardly kill them unless doing it intentionally) and they handle far easier than the more powerful M3s.

ENUF OF THE GAY MARRIAGE JUNK @@ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38770208)

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but come on !! How gay is slashdot now a days ??

Re:ENUF OF THE GAY MARRIAGE JUNK @@ (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773426)

Not gay enough to drive off Bible Thumpers and others not secure in their masculinity, apparently.

Re:ENUF OF THE GAY MARRIAGE JUNK @@ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776751)

The more gay guys there is, the more women are available.

The more lesbian women there is, well, I hope they got a webcam.

Does anyone care about "wearable" platforms? (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770236)

They've been hammering at this for years, and we have yet to see anything more than a jacket with buttons for your MP3 player enter the market.

What's the obsession?

Re:Does anyone care about "wearable" platforms? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770702)

outside of adafruit and instructables adding blinky things .... um ... there are a couple goofy overpriced shirts on think geek

Re:Does anyone care about "wearable" platforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38773110)

Who wouldn't like a computer built into the jacket and shoes and jeans and ... where shouldn't a computer be embedded would be a more sensible question.

Of course, computers not being gratis, one must prioritise where to put them, but in my case a jacket would come relatively high on the list.

Re:Does anyone care about "wearable" platforms? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38774364)

I do. I still dream of a fully integrated computer in my clothing that offers visual output in a HMD. The advantages are quite numerous, it's just that I'm not the majority so a mass produced item is unlikely to enter the market any time soon.

Think of all the things your cellphone can do today, now imagine you could do them without having your hands tied up with fiddling with it. I could easily see a few very interesting applications for it, and it's not blinking lights or flashy gimmicks on your clothing.

nig6A (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38770366)

to the transmiision states that there

Careful now. (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770494)

This is your first step towards becoming an aug. Soon you'll be forced to save the human race from the very man who inveted this technology (and eat a lot of candy bars along the way.)

Re:Careful now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38800551)

Woman. Adafruit is run by a woman.

Cool... (1, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38770776)

I love anything that Limor Fried does. This may sound creepy, but she is like the perfect woman. I mean Christ, she names her cat MOSFET! [flickr.com] How could you not admire that?

Re:Cool... (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771738)

I love anything that Limor Fried does. This may sound creepy, but she is like the perfect woman. I mean Christ, she names her cat MOSFET! [flickr.com] How could you not admire that?

Well, I guess some people find it cool. On the other hand, I'm not an EE or circuit-bending guy and had to look it up. So I wasn't terribly impressed by that. The rest of her entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is plenty to admire of anyone. As for the "perfect woman"... to each his own. I googled some photos, and she's not the first person I'd notice from the other side of the room.

Re:Cool... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38772616)

That you'd even make an unsolicited comment like that about a woman's looks is pretty creepy.
YOU are the reason why nerds can't have nice things.

Re:Cool... (1)

Samizdata (1093963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773942)

I love anything that Limor Fried does. This may sound creepy, but she is like the perfect woman. I mean Christ, she names her cat MOSFET! [flickr.com] How could you not admire that?

Well, I guess some people find it cool. On the other hand, I'm not an EE or circuit-bending guy and had to look it up. So I wasn't terribly impressed by that. The rest of her entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is plenty to admire of anyone. As for the "perfect woman"... to each his own. I googled some photos, and she's not the first person I'd notice from the other side of the room.

I'd hack it...

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38771824)

I love anything that Limor Fried does. This may sound creepy, but she is like the perfect woman. I mean Christ, she names her cat MOSFET! [flickr.com] How could you not admire that?

I guess we don't all masturbate to circuit designs...

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38772636)

The perfect woman ought to be in the kitchen, with the kids, or in the church. Also, what would she call your dick, a pin connector?

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38772728)

This may sound creepy

This is why women don't like IT and Engineering. Yes, this was creepy of you. You know what makes it worse? You're probably not the first, maybe not even the hundredth person to say this. I've seen this type of thing in the workplace: every guy talks about how hot or "perfect" the new chick is behind her back. Not how good she is at her job, not how admirable a human she is, but how much they want to fuck her because she's geeky. You don't think that would get to a person after a while? Maybe it wouldn't get to you, but you're in the privileged gender, and you probably don't get this shit all the damn time.

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38773904)

It's not so bad. She could have married Hans Reiser!

Re:Cool... (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776073)

I've seen this type of thing in the workplace: every guy talks about how hot or "perfect" the new chick is behind her back.

wbr1 never said anything about Lady Ada being "hot," and did not use a demeaning word like "chick" to describe to her. wbr1's comment was also posted high in a thread discussing a blog post by her, on a site she likely visits, while logged in (not AC like you).

That's far from talking about her "behind her back."

Not how good she is at her job, not how admirable a human she is, but how much they want to fuck her because she's geeky.

wbr1 said "I love anything that Limor Fried does" which sounds a lot to me like admiration for her work. You're the one who brought up fucking.

Maybe it wouldn't get to you, but you're in the privileged gender, and you probably don't get this shit all the damn time.

How do you know what wbr1's gender is? Do you automatically make assumptions about people like that all the time? Or do women not express admiration for other women in that misogynistic workplace of yours?

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38789153)

I don't hear women often saying "this may sound creepy, but she really is the perfect woman".

Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (2, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771004)

I will qualify this. If you are a programmer used to an IDE, Arduino sucks. It wes made to allow painters, breadmakers and other artists to make embedded elements, and maybe for a non-programmer, it may be the only (and best) thing out there.

I tried this and dropped it fast. Instead I ended up using Code Composer Studio. It works like a charm for all TI's boards. Try out the 430 development system on sale for $4.30. Great IDE with in circuit debugging and all the other features you are used to, and you are up and running in no time.

Android is also a good choice, powerful, but a little different if you are used to C/C++ insted of Java. Not only for phones but a lot of other embedded devices as well.

BTW, You can get used Samsung Galaxy with a new battery for $100. It is an incredible embedded device, and if you want buy an Arduino device with even a small part of the features, you will pay many times this.
!GHz ARM, 16BG flash, dilsplay,WiFi, Cameras, Graphics engine, xyz accelerometers, maybe gyros. If you need USB master you have to get android 4.0 based device.

They each have their respective niche (2)

puddles (147314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771166)

Saying that there's one solution that's clearly superior to others show a profound lack of understanding. The MSP430 LaunchPad you speak of may cost only $4.30, but there is a price --- very small amount of RAM (512 bytes) for the Valueline.

While the Android phones are good platform if you need all the fancy hardware and touch screen, they are lousy if you have to deploy more than one or two, price-wise. On the other hand, if you need some of the features that are already available on Android (or, STM32, for example) for much lower price, it would make little sense to add those features (Ethernet or wifi, for example) to Arduino unless you have legitimate reasons.

It all depends on what your target applications, man.

Re:They each have their respective niche (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772296)

also on the 430's dont forget current output, what is it like 6ma? thats fine for a lot of applications, but then again 40ma per pin on the avr (250 total for package) makes it easier when you need a little more than high impedence logic, without adding extra hardware

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (3, Informative)

introcept (1381101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772008)

There's always the AVR GNU toolchain for programming Arduino boards in C. It comes with the (free) WinAVR IDE/Debugger and works with any IDE that can handle GCC et al.
Personally, I can't stand the way TI have tied their products to Code Composer Studio. It's free for some of the cheaper devices but if you want to use it on anything with a bit of muscle you'll be shelling out $500+ just to be able to program/debug the hardware you own.

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772234)

hm I have TI stuff, its kind of a pain in the ass, and I get called once a month to trade in my wimpy code limited compiler for a fully featured one for a low low price (for a fucking company not a hobby guy)

The support is terrible, and I have gone around in circles with them on more than one occasion where their examples refer to something and its just not fucking there, yea thats great spend a week on a forum with some douche to FINALLY be redirected to a extra 100 megs of software they didnt include nor can you find on their website.

nevermind none of their shit works on anything besides windows ... and some of it is grumpy on 7 x64 to boot

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38772686)

Does your random mobile phone has 54 general purpose input/outputs to control motors and LEDS, 16 ADC to read sensors, outputs for I2C to control digital potentiometers and SPI to control more sophisticated devices? That's what my Arduino Mega has.

You can use a mobile phone to do more intensive calculations, still you need a control board (like Arduino or someting else) to interact with the hardware part of your project.

Which is why there a board names Arduino Android Development Kit, which easily communicates with Android phones and interact with physical devices.

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38772980)

TI's stuff is annoyingly non-compatible with anything except Windows and the development tools are also all crippled versions of really expensive commercial, proprietary ones.

Also, since Arduino boards use gcc and work with standard open-source firmware upload software like avrdude, you don't actually have to use the Arduino software. You can develop code for them using makefiles and the command line just fine. There's even a version of the Arduino standard libraries that you can incorporate into your project if you want to use existing Arduino code. (Not that there's necessarily any reason why you'd have to; since it's uses the full avr-gcc toolchain you can dive right in, bypass the Arduino stuff and access the registers directly if you need to.)

Oh, and if you want to interface your Samsung Galaxy to stuff like motors and other external hardware you'll probably need... *drumroll* an Arduino! A particularly expensive, complex, USB-host-capable Arduino in fact that'll cost you nearly as much as the phone itself.

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773074)

I will qualify this. If you are a programmer used to an IDE, Arduino sucks. It wes made to allow painters, breadmakers and other artists to make embedded elements, and maybe for a non-programmer, it may be the only (and best) thing out there.

You can use any IDE/editor out there to write c/c++ code, compile it with avr-gcc and upload it to the arduino-compatible board. It's as closest to the metal as it gets. No need to use the arduino style loop() or its libraries.

Arduino IDE is nothing more than a lousy editor, couple of C++ libraries and a simple source preprocessor.

Re:Arduino has been left in the dust long time ago (1)

clifwlkr (614327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38774048)

Or, you can ditch the Arduino IDE entirely, and utilize eclipse. There are a few tutorials out there showing how to do this. This gives you everything standard eclipse C/C++ development has, plus the ability to right click and deploy to the arduino with AVRDude. I actually compile the arduino libraries as a seperate project, and only use them if I want something they offer for the project. The arduinos themselves do not require the use of these libraries. I am developing a project where I currently am creating embedded control devices for a large number of things at my house ( thermostat, power meter, pellet smoker, etc. ). The entire server/front end is written in Java on a J2EE stack communicating with an XBee network with JSF/Primefaces as the front end. The embedded devices running the end devices are programmed in C/C++ right alongside the standard eclipse JBoss stuff. All of it is resource controlled with GIT. Doesn't sound like the Arduino is holding back my development environment at all.... The Arduino IDE is to get people started. Nothing about the Arduiono hardware devices require you to use it, or be held back by it. They are a great prototyping environment that is easy to build to.

not a new idea (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771506)

gee, i wonder where they got the idea? http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/135 [sparkfun.com]

Re:not a new idea - but it is different (2)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38771664)

You obviously didn't RTFM or blog because she mentioned that LilyPad preceded her Flora design. FYI, the Flora design is different than the LilyPad so who cares if LilyPad came first if Flora has the features you'd want?

LoB

Re:not a new idea - but it is different (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775458)

But it really just looks like an updated lilypad and not a new product. Which is allowed, of course, because the lilypad is open. But "designed from scratch" and then being based on the lilypad is sending mixed messages.

Re:not a new idea - but it is different (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776697)

not a mixed message really because when you take something as simple as the Arduino and decide to make it into a "wearable" platform, you're going to come up with things similar to someone else with a similar goal. And having followed Lady Ada for a while, I would trust her to do her best to think about the solution without lots of influence from previous products. ie the solution based on the goal and not just ways to extend someone elses product.

None of that stuff is really technical and just marketing fluff so if someone gets bent out of shape over it, I doubt they are going to be a customer of either platform.

LoB

In other news..from Cali..of course.. (0)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773578)

California Strip Clubs now required to post signs warning "staring at G-Strings can cause Epileptic Seizures..

Where are the hackers? (2)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38773912)

Everyone is just bitching about how much better their favorite chip is than AVR. This isn't even an article about that. Save it for an article about different microcontrollers.

As for the "WTF would I do with a 'wearable platform'" questions - what happened to all the hackers on Slashdot? You know, the people who were actually interesting? Jesus, I don't know what you'd do with it. I don't know what I would do with it, to be honest, but whatever happened to that inventive spirit? Just because you can't think of anything doesn't mean it's useless.

Now allow me a minute of hypocrisy to discuss why I like AVR. When I want to prototype a microcontroller-based device, I don't need some $55 "Maple" device, or even an Arduino. I bought a tube of five ATmega328s from eBay for $7. I toss one on a breadboard with a 16 MHz crystal, a couple of capacitors and a pullup resistor for the reset pin and wire it up to a 5V power supply. When I make the final circuit, I throw a DIP socket on the board, and into that socket goes the programmed chip. Again, with just a crystal, two capacitors and a resistor (maybe with a decoupling cap, depending on the rest of the circuit). Total cost? Maybe $5.

No need to even use the Arduino "IDE" or anything else, if you don't want to. And why would you? It's crap, anyway. I edit the file in vim, and generally stay away from their slow helper functions like digitalWrite() in favor of direct register access. But sometimes, it's nice to throw an Arduino library in the project. They might not be fast, but hey, you're using a 16 MHz microcontroller! It's really easy to just #include and be ready to use an LCD.

Re:Where are the hackers? (1)

Imbrondir (2367812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775040)

Any reason why you couldn't replace your ATmega with something like this Cortex M0 [nxp.com] and have the same cheap DIP setup? With codesourcery lite [mentor.com] you also have a compatible gcc version for free

Also did you benchmark the digitalWrite function? I don't really see any reason why digitalwrite won't compile to direct register access.

Re:Where are the hackers? (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775186)

Any reason why you couldn't replace your ATmega with something like this Cortex M0 and have the same cheap DIP setup?

Actually, no. That's the first time I've seen a nice DIP ARM chip, and I'll have to look into it. Thank you! But I'm still not going to do that immediately, since I still have a bunch of AVRs sitting around, and quite a bit of time invested in learning the ins and outs of programming them. I also suspect that chip is a good bit more expensive than a simple ATmega, though I haven't actually looked, so I could be dead wrong.

Also did you benchmark the digitalWrite function?

No proper benchmarking, but in my experience it is much slower. I did read the source code. It compiles to a rather complex C++ function involving multiple table lookups and branches - repeated for every single digitalWrite(). Not nice at all for bit-banging protocols and such. When you call digitalWrite(12, 1);, it actually has to look up which register "pin 12" is in, and which bit that is. Then it checks to verify that you actually called pinMode(12, OUTPUT) - every damn time. And it does this with function calls, not just OR-ing the PORTB/C/D register with the right bit.

Re:Where are the hackers? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776847)

what happened to all the hackers on Slashdot? You know, the people who were actually interesting?

They are busy designing their own circuits on FPGAs, instead of programming other people's designs.

Re:Where are the hackers? (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776879)

So, in your opinion, is there no intersection between "hackers" and "computer programmers"? Because I'm pretty sure there is one, and it's quite large.

Re:Where are the hackers? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779913)

Of course there is. This is just something from a personal experience, something that has made life interesting again. I also think that FPGA design has improved my understanding of programming, for example because it forces you to think about parallelism much more. The low-level aspects of doing more with less logic are also intriguing.
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