I’ve been increasingly intrigued by the plummeting price of ARM cortex-M3 devices, both the chips themselves, and also some of the development boards. With ST’s newest, the low power STM32L Discovery board, I thought I’d take the plunge, see what could be done. For a few dollars more than the STM32VL Discovery board, you get:
- Twice the RAM
- Lower power consumption
- A touch slider interface
- A nice glass LCD
I only got it today, and given that I run linux at home, it’s a bit of a minefield of toolchains, especially if I want to use neat things like hardware debugging. (One of the sexy things you get when you move up to a “real” CPU) I’m sure I’ll write more as this unfolds slowly, but here’s some first impressions.
The touch slider is neat! The preloaded demo code cycles through a few different modes showing off lower power consumption, but that sort of stuff you could read off the spec sheet. A nice responsive touch slider and a good clear LCD, with a couple of user LEDs and another hard button (The slider can also be used as 4 buttons) makes this a pretty kick arse basic platform!
The screen printing is a bit messy and cluttered, with lots of different sizes. I really don’t know why they felt they need to print the numbers of every resistor and capacitor? It’s a little hard to find which jumper is which. Continuing on cosmetics, why are some jumpers labelled JP, and some labelled CN? Why are some of them on the bottom of the board, and some on top? Odd. Anyway, let’s see if we can get some code on it!