[Ovmsdev] OVMS v3 - Microcontroller

Arthur Hebert ahebert at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 01:30:43 HKT 2016

The Particle Electron has recently caught my attention:
https://www.particle.io/cellular. Actual performance and usability are
unknown, since the first units don't ship until later this month, but it
has some attractive features:

   - low-cost M2M-oriented international SMS/data plans ($3/mo. for 20k
   - STM32F205 MCU with *1MB flash*, 128k RAM and *2 CAN buses*
   - free development IDE: https://www.particle.io/dev
   - also a free web-based dev environment at https://build.particle.io (I
   assume/hope this will support the Electron cellular board when it comes out)

I know it doesn't come close to meeting the RAM requirements, but the
cellular plan is a pretty big draw IMO. Perhaps worth using this module in
conjunction with another board with a better MCU?


On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 5:35 AM, Mark Webb-Johnson <mark at webb-johnson.net>

> Well, the new year is here and OVMS v3 is on the front burner now.
> As you know, I’ve been waiting for the MBED system to settle down and the
> news is … it hasn’t. Sure, they’ve finally released some open beta code,
> but only really 1 board supported. No more online compiler. Complicated
> tools. RTOS worse than the old MBED. And worse is a proprietary
> closed-source server platform for their Internet-of-things MBED O/S.
> Luckily, the one board they support is the NXP FRDM-K64F that I love. I’ve
> tried it, and it sucks. Maybe in a year’s time…
> I’ve been waiting and waiting for this. Can’t say how disappointed I am
> with the whole direction of the MBED project and closed development,
> closed, source approach.
> Anyway, OVMS v2 is end of life. We can’t get the SIM908 GSM modules any
> more. Even if we could, 2G really doesn’t have that much longer. There are
> a lot of M2M devices out there, but the frequency space is just too
> valuable. Over the next year or two, more and more 2G capable cell towers
> are going to be turned off.
> So, time to take the plunge and get on with it. I’m guessing an open
> source development environment, some free RTOS, and an adapted boot loader
> to allow us to flash from SC-CARD, USB, or something like that.
> From an overall system architecture point of view, I think we know what we
> want. A board with a fast micro controller, lots of ram and flash, several
> CAN buses, and easy development environment, easy firmware upload for the
> novice, SD card, USB, ethernet, wifi, bluetooth, and some digital I/O.
> Then, expansion slots to plug in 3G/4G connectivity and whatever else we
> want.
> We’ve now got lots of options on the wifi+bluetooth front. Within the next
> couple of months, the ESP32 is going to be out, and that looks really nice.
> Same story with 3G/4G modules. I don’t see this as an issue.
> So let’s discuss the micro controller.
> Let’s say we want at least 1MB flash, and at least 256KB RAM. At least.
> Now, we need multiple CAN ports. 2 at a minimum, but 3 or 4 would be much
> better. A lot of the newer cars split their stuff over multiple CAN buses,
> and having that support would be great. Remember that we want one system
> that can be used as a logger, development environment, and final production
> system. That puts us in ‘automotive’ territory, which is not a bad place to
> be.
>    - ST have some brutal micro controllers, like the STM32F769. M7 core.
>    Up to 2MB flash, 512KB SRAM, and 3x CAN buses. All the older stuff is 2 CAN
>    bus max, but availability of the new 3xCAN bus stuff is summer 2016. A
>    couple supposedly available now, but I can’t find them.
>    - NXP have a nice automotive range in the MPC micro controllers (in
>    particular MPC56 has lots of choice, and 10 year product life time), but a
>    strange e200z0 core that I’ve never seen/used. Again, brutal on the flash
>    and RAM, and up to 6 CAN buses. These are their SPC5 32bit automotive MCUs.
>    They have a ‘free’ GCC based development environment.
>    - The NXP S32K looks good, but seems not available yet.
> My preference is the NXP range, but I am concerned about that e200z0 core.
> Really never heard of it. Anyone got any experience with this?
> The ST stuff also looks good, but availability is tight.
> Thoughts? Anybody have a good contact with NXP for some advice?
> Regards, Mark.
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