sábado, 22 de junho de 2013

Maple from LeafLabs (an STM32 ARM board in an Arduino footprint).


I'm here to talk about the Maple from LeafLabs.com, since some of my latest work has been on this board and processor.

The Maple

As you probably know Arduino launched Arduino Due with an ARM processor a couple of months ago and since then it's been the talk of the interwebs, however, the Maple beat the Due to market by quite a long time.

The big difference is that the chip used in the Maple is from ST whilst the one in the Due is from ATMEL. So the tools to use on them are different and therefor the Arduino IDE can't be used with the Maple.

This being said, the Maple does have its own IDE which is based off of the Arduino's, so it's not like you need to learn a completely new environment to work with it.

Starting with the Maple can be a bit daunting. The amount of peripherals and configuration possibilities is almost endless (in comparison with a normal AVR arduino at least), but there's examples to get you started.
One thing to have in mind is voltages, the Maple works with 3,3V and not all the pins support 5V.

There's also a Maple Mini...

Maple Mini
And a pretty good clone from Olimex.


I personally use the Olimexino (mainly for the RTC crystal and SD card slot), but my code libraries work on all the boards shown here.

The downside of the Maple is that some of the Arduino shields (the latest Ethernet shields, for example) aren't compatible because the Maple doesn't have the AVR ICSP connector through which shields that use SPI are connected. But, don't despair... the pluses of the board make up for this little problem. 

So far I created the RTC support for the Maple with the help of some forum members and also an encoder interface so you can use the Maple's counters as an incremental encoder interface. :) 

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