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Comparing ChipworkX Development System with EMX and FEZ series


#1

Hello folks, I am totally newbie to hardware procurement. I am a C# developer and need to get a development kit for .Net MF. searching on the web for hours, read about a few brands but don’t know what product to buy.

My requirement it to have a development kit that support .NETMF (4.0+) and some basic IO, like LCD, SD card, analog signal interface (COM) and Ethernet connection (RJ-45 is fine). Most importantly, I need the MCU to be Cortex M3 or higher, because I am targeting that platform. It is even better if the system support GPRS/3G connection (SIM).

Both ChipworkX and EMX development system are ARM7, are they the same? are they M3?
what is the difference between two system?

How about FEZ? are they only board without MCU and interface?

Thank you for your time.


#2

FEZ is just branding of development boards that are based on GHI’s NETMF module/chipset.

There are 3 main NETMF products from GHI, USBizi + EMX + ChipworkX. Where USBizi and EMX are ARM7 72Mhz but ChipworkX is ARM9 200Mhz
All FEZ boards use USBizi chipset except FEZ Cobra uses EMX.

If you are going for GPRS/3G then you need PPP stack which only GHI NETMF devices support. You will need EMX DevSys ( and FEZ Cobra) or ChipworkX DevSys


#3

I didn’t understand why you said this:

With netmf you aren’t targetting a platform, you’re targetting the .Net micro framework. You don’t really need to care what the device is, you are abstracted from that.


#4

I am still reading my first NETMF book, so I am not sure.
NetMF abstract the physical layer with HAL and PAL.
But if something physical which is specific to the device, One needs to implement the driver for that on the HAL.

I am concerned about M3 because my application is mainly on Analog signal. M3 support channels.
I don’t if there is a different developing application on MCU w or w/o ADC.

If that is not the case, I will just go for an ARM7/9 Development kit right the way.
(according to freescale block diagram, the Cortex architecture have nothing to do with ADC…)


#5

[quote]NetMF abstract the physical layer with HAL and PAL.
But if something physical which is specific to the device, One needs to implement the driver for that on the HAL.[/quote]

And this is what GHI does. Port PAL/HAL and add tons of additional functionality that is not part of NETMF.

What processor GHI uses is not very important as you will programing C# and NETMF…all is abstracted.

Now, if you are porting NETMF yourself to a new hardware then that is different.


#6

That’s great. I am not trying to design new hardware.

Do you have any NetMF Development kit that have hardware support 12 or 16bit ADC (as many as possible).


#7

Those ADC chips usually run on I2C or SPI and all our boards support both. You can get any ADC you like, even 24bit, and wire it up using SPI or I2C.


#8

No Build-in support for ADC?
So, I better get EMX kit and extend it with some ADC module (GHI driver support?)?
FEZ Cobra has 7 Analog, but the resolution is not specified.

I am doing experiment, SD card storage, analog input, digital input/output, LCD display, connectivity are essential. even better if GPRS and Zigbee are supported.

Budget around USD400. Please advice what should I purchase. (multiple choices allowed)
EMX dev. kit
FEZ cobra OEM box
Internet of things kit
Ultimate Kit
Other :


#9

EMX is a perfect starting place and it has built in 10-bit ADC. Now, selecting EMX DevSys vs FEZ Cobra is up to you. They are the same thign software/hardware.

Cobra is in a box …
EMX DevSys gives easier access for prototyping…

This is what I usually suggest, if you are a hardware engineer then use DevSys but if you are a software engineer then FEZ Cobra (or if you need to make an in-a-box-prototype)

Wither way, you will not be disappointed :slight_smile:


#10

Thank you for walking me through this.
I will go for FEZ Cobra and Internet of things kit.


#11

The kit will not entirely work with cobra. It is made for panda.


#12

I am aware that the kit is for Panda.
But I think having those physical I/O module will be nice, IR receiver, button, thermometer, variable resistor, etc.

To what extend does the kit match Cobra?


#13

eblovks will work and they are great but the “FEZ Connect shield” will only plug on FEZ Panda (or domino)