I recently received the TI Stellaris launchpad. It’s a sub $10 ARM compliant board, and TI is looking to use it to enter into the low-end embedded game. I wanted to see how many pins they made available for use. and it look like they have 40 pins available for GPIO purposes. This is awesome!
What stinks is the need to use Stellerware to program this chip. StellerWare is PC only, and I run a Mac. I wonder if it’ll work in WINE? That would be great! I doubt it — it has device drivers, and WINE/device drivers don’t work well together. The embedded world is about to go through the next revolution — ARM based, cheap MCU boards. And this is going to radically change 3d printers, CNC mills, etc…
The cost of electronics will come down. We’re getting closer and closer to the holy grail — an easy to use driver board that is plug and play, speaks USB without software drivers, and doesn’t need hand-made cables.
Though, I think the Stellaris is not it. The need for drivers and the Windows only programmer are problems. But this is so close to Arduino, that I think someone will make a variation that is like the Due, except based on this chip and a USB interface chip. When that happens, we will be very close indeed! Exciting times!