Thursday, March 1, 2012

MCU Development Board Benchmark - The Winners

The February issue of Elektor contained an article on the MCU Development Board Benchmark that I introduced in an earlier post. In the article the benchmark was developed slightly further and it ended with a request for comments from the readers. The article also promised to give away the TI TMS570 USB kit that started it all.

A few readers actually responded so we have to keep our promise to give away the kit. But before we do that, let me first resume the comments that came in. Some remarks were rather vague and can not easily be converted into parameters, but several readers proposed a multiplication factor related to the number of operating systems the dev kit will work on: if it runs on Windows, MAC & Linux the factor is 1, if not it will be lower.

Other suggestions concerned more generic criteria like documentation, examples, usability, user friendliness and ease of programming the controller. In my opinion these criteria are actually well covered by the LED blinking test. If you cannot get an LED to blink within a reasonable amount of time and effort, then the kit has a problem. The resulting figure does not indicate where exactly the problem is (IDE, programmer, licenses, etc.), but that's why the test should be accompanied by a detailed article.

OK, that's enough about the benchmark for now. I would like to thank all the people that took the time and effort to participate in this, ehm, project. The winner of the TI TMS570 USB kit is Alexander Steiger. I decided to throw in a Freescale Kinetis KwikStik too and that one is going to Jorgen Sandberg.

Congratulations! to the winners and also a request: if you manage to do something interesting with these kits, please let me know.

P.S. I used the services from to select the winners as randomly as possible.