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Whats a good uC family for DSP and analysis?

  1. Oct 17, 2009 #1
    In the not to distant future I'm going to require a microprocessor that can handle a good amount of signal processing and a lot of mathematical operations. Currently, all the development tools I have used are low end beginner stuff and are no where near capable of doing these things I need. So I figured I'd start from square one by learning an entirely new chip thats more than advanced enough for what I need so I'll have room to grow into it in the future.

    I mostly have been looking at PICs since they are so well supported and I have programmed the 12Fs years ago. uChip also has a 25% discount for students. I'm thinking some of the higher end dS pics with USB or maybe even the PIC32s. I've also been looking at the ARMs but a lot of them use 3.3v which really bugs the crap out of me.

    Can anyone give me some suggestions on what family I should go with or look into?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2009 #2
  4. Oct 17, 2009 #3


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    Another option might be to look at some FPGA development boards. I recently started using a NI DAQ that has an on-board Xilinx FGPA and I must say I was surprised at how powerful it is; even when programmed using Labview...
    So something like the Spartan starter kit might also be worth a look.
  5. Oct 17, 2009 #4
    I guess I should have specified that I'm looking for more of a microcontroller and not a microprocessor. I think something like BlueFin would be a little overkill for my applications anyway.

    The CE/EE department at school love these things. I think to really take advantage of an FPGA though you need to be able to program in VHDL which I really know nothing about.

    I've been looking at maybe using some of Atmels 32-bit processors and having a second look at the ARMs. I've used Cordiumcorp's ARMmite before and it seems like might be what I'm looking for once I get rid of the Basic compiler even though the chip is only sort of 5v tolerant.

    I like the fact that Atmel provides their development studio and GCC compiler absolutely free while MicroChip and others do not ($900 for MicroChips C32 Compiler :eek:).
  6. Oct 18, 2009 #5
    I think I found my next chip to learn. Atmel's AVR32 seems like it fits the bill pretty well. It includes a DSP library, all the development tools are free, plus its really powerful and has lot of cool features like being able to be programmed directly from USB. It can even support operating systems so it can support a linux kernal. The chips are very well priced too.
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