[fpc-pascal] FPC embedded ?

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Thu Mar 5 11:42:35 CET 2015

In our previous episode, Adriaan van Os said:
> Curious to know hands-on experience of list-members with FreePascal
> embedded.  Arduino <http://arduino.cc/> looks quite attractive to me, but
> it's not Pascal.  Any recommendations ?

I'm more from the microchip side of the fence, but some truths I've learned
from designing several generations of our own I/O board:

- Avoid 8-bits, and maybe even 16-bits. Segmentation is simply annoying. 
  Yes, you can make do, but the first time you enlarge your shift register
  array in an hurry and hit some bound, it is annoying.
- use periphals on your MCU instead of bitbanging. 
- try to do main communication interrupt driven (or even DMA).
- Have at least moderate amounts of memory (32,64 or better 128k+)  
- If you need it for automation in factories: get something with hardware
  quadrature encoder and motor control support. It saves having to do
  something custom again the first time you have to do something linked
  to a conveyer belt.
- If you want something versatile, get something that has the periphals
  (like e.g. uart, SPI) on a crossbar switch instead of hardwired.
  This allows you to reroute such peripheral at will to headers where you
  use to collect unused pins.
- pins,pins. MORE PINS!    
- You probably will start small, but immediately design something medium to
  high speed to link boards. (e.g. CAN).

We currently use the 144pin dsPIC33EP512mu814, mostly serial, but the next
generation will have TCP/IP (using wiznet w5500).

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