Adafruit Industries, Essential service and business: NYC – Executive Order 202.6 - Read more. Accepting essential orders - here's how.
0

Want to purchase stuff
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Want to purchase stuff

by the_french_guy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:02 pm

Hi,
I'm a french student passionated by computer science. I have good knowledge on low-level programming (direct hexadecimal programming for home-made boot-loaders viruses by exemple, im currently writing my own assembly language for personal use). But the problem is that I have never practice to build my own circuits. Therefore I am ready to purchase aroud 100 $ stuff to make my own circuits and I'm really interested by adafruit offers. because price seems to be low and I like the philosophy of adafruit. So I'm asking an engineer to help me to choose the correct equipment to do what I projected to do.
But what do I want to do and what do I need?

1) several scientific processor ( I mean with some mathematical instructions like the 8087, but i don't know the current scientific processor (I'm maybe really outdated) )
2) several programmable memory with a card to plug into and with a board to interface with my own computer in order to I can use an hex-editor to modify the content of the memory.
3) The needed accessories to connect the processor pins and memory, like empty boars and wires
4) A screen, a little key-word, leds, speaker with no driver but fully documented
5) An adapted power-supply

As you can see, I don't want any kit, but I want to assemble on my own the different component and I want to program myself in assembly the software and drivers. Of course once I purchased I will not annoy the technical support. So, Do you have something to propose me ? I'm expecting links for products or documentation or information. It will then be easier for me to choose and i can manage alone the compatibility between components but I stay open for any peace of advice of your counterpart. Thank you.

Je pense donc je suis. Descartes.
the_french_guy
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by adafruit_support_rick on Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:24 am

The AVR processor architecture used on the Arduino boards is very straightforward for assembly-language programming and hardware control. However, it does not include a floating-point unit. I don't know if that is necessary for you.

Alternately, you can go with an embedded linux computer based on the ARM architecture, such as the Raspberry Pi or the BeagleBone Black. These are much more powerful processors, but they are also more difficult to work with at the assembly-language level, and have the additional complication of running a linux OS.

I guess the real determining factor is what you mean by a "scientific processor".

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 35095
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by the_french_guy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:11 pm

By a scientific processor, I mean a processor with special instruction :
-floating point functions
-trigonometric functions
-power functions
-arithmetic functions like pgcd, ppcm
-statistical functions
-probability functions
-complex numbers functions
-log and e functions...
-factorial function
-high quantity of registers, and in-cpu fast memory
-and if possible low prices and possibility to couple processors...

Note: I really don't know if it exists a processor with all these functions, but i know that some cpu like 8087 and 387 and motorolla fpu 68881 and some nvidia gpus got plenty of these functions.

And the problem with arduino is that I am not sure I would experience to do my self the pins association, and I will be maybe forced to work with a special API and for my special project I would like to experience something really difficult. Thus, I would prefer have an usb eeprom programmer, then I can put the memory in the memory socket of my protoboard for a cpu with no ram inside. Oh, and I really don't want to have a linux.

Nevertheless if you don't have a scientific processor, I'm still interested by buying a classical single cpu. But I would prefer the ones with no ram inside, so If I recapituate, I would like to buy :

1) a scientifical processor++ OR a classical cpu OR cpu with memory rom inside--
2) a large protoboard with wires and diodes and capacitors

3) an usb memory programmer
4) rom
5) rom socket
6) quartz if the memory or cpu or peripherals need it.

or cpu with memory programer

6) various peripherals : tiny screen, keypad, keyborad, sensors, LEDs

Thanks again.
the_french_guy
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:14 am

the_french_guy wrote:By a scientific processor, I mean a processor with special instruction :
-floating point functions
-trigonometric functions
-power functions
-arithmetic functions like pgcd, ppcm
-statistical functions
-probability functions
-complex numbers functions
-log and e functions...
-factorial function
-high quantity of registers, and in-cpu fast memory
-and if possible low prices and possibility to couple processors...


You won't find that in any mainstream microcontroller. Virtually all of them are RISC architectures, which means that they will have relatively low-level but highly optimized native operations in hardware, and will rely on software to execute virtually all of those functions (in many cases, however, floating point will be in hardware). DSPs will be similar, with the addition of instructions to support digital FFT and filter functions, such as a multiply and accumulate instruction.

A good place for you to start would be with an Arduino Due. This is an integrated microcontroller development board, with peripheral devices already available. It is inexpensive, and you can use is to evaluate the ARM-based Atmel SAM3 microcontroller architecture. There is no operating system, but an extensive runtime library is available. If you are satisfied with it, you can take the next step of building your own target boards.
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1076

For programming, you would download a copy of Atmel Studio 6 IDE (a free download). This includes the runtime libraries, and is a complete IDE, supporting editing, compilation/assembly, and debugging.
You will also need a SAM-ICE JTAG pod, and an adapter cable. I have programmed the Due using these tools, and they are excellent.
http://www.atmel.com/microsite/atmel_studio6/

http://store.atmel.com/PartDetail.aspx? ... escription

https://estore.ti.com/MDL-ADA2-10-pin-t ... P1913.aspx

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 35095
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by michaelmeissner on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:52 pm

Few processors these days have native trig, log, etc. instructions. The x86 has them, but it generally is recognized that these routines aren't as accurate or as fast as doing the functions via library routines tuned for the machine you are running on.

I would suggest using the embedded Linux boards like Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone Black (if you can get one), or pcDunio rather than the AVR or ARM processors used for controlling LEDs, motors, servos, etc. These boards have floating point instructions, run a lot faster than the microprocessors, have plenty of memory, and a fully functional library including all of the trig, log, etc. routines.

Or I'm sure my employer (IBM) would happy to sell you a large cluster of power7+ processors, if you need much more computing power than a single embedded processor or even a small cluster of x86's. It all depends on how many calculations you need to do, and what you are willing to pay for it.

michaelmeissner
 
Posts: 1414
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:40 am

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by the_french_guy on Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:25 pm

to michaelmeissner : the x86 isn't a processor but I think you meant that i486 and later got a part of these special instructions. Moreover I am not sure that ibm will give me a power7 for 100$ :). EDIT: operating system will only make my calculations slower if the target processor is a tradionnal one core one.

to rick : I would prefer buying components separately and then assemble it myself because I will need this experience for my main project ( I can maybe tell you more about this main project and you will understand the need of a scientific processor, In fact I hate use 3d API for plenty of reasons and the final project is to build a pci-card that I will use as external processor or plenty of processor together that my 3d personal engine will use for the calculations btw with plenty of processors I could easily cut the scene for each processors and dispatch the work...).

Assembly books has given to me a simplist vision of a processor. Thus, after seeing all the unexpected required components for making a single 8086 working, I decided to buy instead, a processor with rom inside, I think you call it a PIC. And if possible that PIC would have in priority trig and square root instructions.

So let's recapitulate, I need to buy :

1) a good PIC, high frequency, high memory, if possible with fpu and trig and square root instruction
2) a large protoboard with a lot of wires and diodes and capacitors
3) an usb PIC memory programmer, (a board that i can put the PIC and then modify the memory via my win 7)
4) various peripherals : tiny screen, keypad, keyboard, sensors, LEDs...
5) quartz if the memory or cpu or peripherals need it.
6) a socket for the power_supply
7) and a PIC socket if the PIC is too small

Do I forget something ? I remember you that this project will give me an experience to the main project, even if you think that my main project is completely crazy and useless and impossible...

Thank you.
the_french_guy
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by adafruit_support_rick on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:46 am

We can help you out with some of that. We have large breadboards, some components, and some sensors. You can browse the store for what you need.

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 35095
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by the_french_guy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:59 am

Ok, I am interested in buying your usb tiny isp programmer and barebone AVR dev. board. But I have a question about these products:

Admit I have made a file which content binary that complies with the instruction set of the ATMEL in the AVR board. Then can I use the isp usb tiny to transfer the binary into the memory of ATMEL processor ?
the_french_guy
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by adafruit_support_rick on Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:06 am

Yes. That will work.

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 35095
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by the_french_guy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:44 am

Perfect !
the_french_guy
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Re: Want to purchase stuff

by michaelmeissner on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:14 am

Just to clarify, by x86, I meant anything that runs variants of the Intel instruction set (both traditional 32-bit, the newer 64-bit, and having the $#!% 80387 disgusting hack, that does add trig instructions), but as I said modern compilers rarely use those instructions, because they are slow and have accuracy problems.

And yes, I was having fun mentioning supercomputers that sell for millions of dollars and need special rooms with air conditioning and special power.

michaelmeissner
 
Posts: 1414
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:40 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.