Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPython de

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alpierce
 
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Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPython de

Post by alpierce »

Using the newest versions of CP and the latest Library bundle causes memory resources problems on a Feather M0 Express.
Any code intended to run on the M0 Express (SAMD21) seems to be limited to very simple tasks. Adding I2C devices like thermocouple amplifiers and
7 segment backpacks starts causing problems.

I would advise using only M4(SAMD51) or better devices for any serious code applications.

I'm currently just putting I2C bus scanner software or other simple dedicated code on my SAMD21 boards and not even trying to use them for CP development anymore.

Still fine for Arduino stuff though.

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alpierce
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by alpierce »

That should have been "CircuitPython developement use" in the title. It will let you put more text than will actually display.

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danhalbert
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by danhalbert »

Hi, we mention the Feather M0's limitations on the product page and in the Learn Guide:

https://www.adafruit.com/product/3403
in boldface: Please note that while this board was our first for CircuitPython usage, better and bigger chips have come out since then! We recommend the Feather M4 for a roomy, speedy, experience.

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-fea ... cuitpython
in a blue information box: The Feather M0's SAMD21 is a very minimal chip for CircuitPython, at the time it was the first board we designed that could use it but chips have gotten better since then. To really have a good experience we recommend a Feather M4

Are there other places you think we should point out the M0's limitations?

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alpierce
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by alpierce »

Maybe the Circuitpython.org downloads page? To be clear, I wasn’t implying that there wasn’t information available. It was more of a warning for novices that projects that are currently working on a SAMD21 might fail if upgraded. Adding new hardware or a new driver version could necessitate upgrading and that could cause a problem. I’m totally aware of the reality, but some folks aren’t and I cringe a bit when someone posts about a problem and are informed that they need to buy a more capable board. If I run into the issue I just grab a different board from my stash and continue on, but a few years ago that would not have been the case. Sorry if I came across as too critical, that wasn’t my intention.

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danhalbert
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by danhalbert »

Ah, I understand, no problem. I thought you had perhaps recently purchased the Feather M0 Express and followed some path to that purchase that didn't make its limitations clear. We'll think about adding further caveats on circuitpython.org -- thanks.

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westfw
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by westfw »

Hmm. Feather and Itsy Bitsy all have processor upgraded versions available.
But will there be a Circuit Playground with a newer processor?

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danhalbert
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by danhalbert »

There is already the Circuit Playground Bluefruit. The processor doesn't have a DAC (so no easy higher-quality audio), and doesn't have IR capability (traded off for Bluetooth). Price is the same.

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Disciple
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by Disciple »

danhalbert wrote:Are there other places you think we should point out the M0's limitations?
What about the other Feather M0's and Trinkeys and HalloWings, Circuit Playground Express, ItsyBitsy M0 Express, METRO M0 Express, GEMMA M0 and Trinket M0, even the CircuitPython category page? All are presented as CircuitPython platforms. I have two, but haven't CircuitPython'd much with them. Are they getting left behind, or is there a "CircuitPython Lite" edition that they can still accommodate? Thank you.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

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danhalbert
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by danhalbert »

The space available for the firmware on the M0 Express boards is limited, and is even more limited on the non-Express boards such as the Gemma M0 and Trinket M0, because 64kB of the 256kB internal flash is reserved for CIRCUITPY.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of smaller programs that are quite suitable for these boards. We are not leaving these behind, but there is very little room to add new features. We continue to find ways to squeeze 5 pounds into a 4-pound sack by figuring out to how save a few hundred bytes here and there.

People do a lot with the Circuit Playground Express, which is an M0 Express board, for instance.

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alpierce
 
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Re: Feather M0 Express should be deprecated for CircuitPytho

Post by alpierce »

Those boards do run a form of CP Lite. If you look at the feature list of the supported version in the downloads section it’s a very short list compared to newer boards. I tend to use them for simple tasks, like turning a relay on and off based on a time schedule, keeping one handy with the I2C scanner loaded for quickly checking new I2C devices or problems, or one with a DAC to output known voltage values to test ADCs, and they are good for generating or detection of pulses from
sensors or simulation of same. Hey, it’s built in feature creep avoidance!

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