Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I support European products

I live in Europe/Romania and... there are a lot of changes around the world, Every country tries to get the most from their commerce, as the wars now are happening almost exclusively in the economic plane. Europe lost recently a lot of technology, bought by foreign companies and this is very bad for the future.

My interest is in microcontroller components and I started to find European alternatives to the AVR/PIC/ARM U.S. microcontrollers - and this means also a free, full development tool chain.

For 32bit microcontrollers it was easy, the ST Microelectronics, a swiss company makes great ARM microcontrollers. It produces also software that makes easy the adoption and firmware development. The gnu gcc C compiler offers full support for ARM and I use this for development

But for 8bit microcontrollers, the Americans (U.S.) have the best offer and this wasn't easy. ST Microelectronics come with STM8 8bit microcontrollers in cases somehow hard to solder for hobbyists but you can get nice development boards at great prices. As for C compilers, there are Raisonance, Cosmic, IAR and SDCC tool chains, some free and unlimited, some commercial or limited. Up until 3.6.0 version, SDCC scored the worst performances from them, but starting with the revision #9652 in the repository, SDCC compiler beats them all. This means that developing professional grade applications for STM8 microcontrollers using a free development tool chain under Linux is now possible.