Ordered one of these to evaluate and play with it. Haoyu provides some (what I've heard, pathetic) development support with code and tools, but I'd like to try Espruino on it:
I'm guess the display will be completely dead on Espruino without porting the driver (it seems this display is a full 24-bit device with 8 R, G, and B data lines to send/receive pixel data -- quite different than the FSMC interface to the MiniSTM32 3.2" resistive touch display I've been playing with, and has Espruino support).
While fairly new to the MCU world and Espruino, I'm no slouch when it comes to software development, so I'm not shy about taking on porting Espruino to this system. It has some very attractive features in addition to the display:
Processor: ST STM32F429IGT6, ARM Cortex-M4 Microcontroller, working at 180MHz
In addition, the host IO board has a lot of built-in standard connectors, so it would be simple to put this in a project as a very nice human interface.
I know little about the internals of Espruino; not sure if there is support already for all that RAM and secondary storage. If not, is it pretty simple to support it (i.e., change some configuration parameters for the build, rebuild, voila! -- or, have to rewrite all sorts of code all over the place to support the larger address sizes, larger buffers, etc.).
Anyway, just looking for some feedback from the experts. Would any of the M4 versions of Espruino have a good chance of "just working" with a console over the USB or serial connections? I doubt it, but worth asking...
Well, as far as I know the F429discovery board worked over serial, but I don't think it had working USB. I have totally rewritten USB since then so it may go - either way that'd be a good start.
With SRAM/ROM - usually it's just calling the right commands to set it up, then it gets mapped into the memory space... but actually the RAM probably isn't that important - with the 256kB on chip you can do a lot. Only thing I seem to remember is it wasn't in one contiguous block - which means you could only have max 128kB of JS vars.
For graphics, you could use the existing Graphics library and point it at a big area of spare memory using a Native String, then updating the screen is probably just a matter of pushing the data out byte by byte in a 'flip' command - at least initially
I should point out though that ST themselves make some pretty awesome dev boards with touchscreens now - they're actually likely to be cheaper and much easier to get ahold of.
Thanks for the quick feedback, Gordon.
When it arrives, which board version of the current build should I try to flash, and see if it works?
Re: STM dev boards -- thanks for the pointer, I'll check it out. I ended up throwing this in the cart on a whim while I was grabbing a basket of different sensors to play around with. I suppose I could change the order, but at this point I think I'll just go ahead with product. As much as I've become an Espruino fan, it't not the only way to develop for that device, so I have other avenues if it turns out to be too big an effort.
Plenty of other Espruino work going on in my secret project room somewhere down in the basement :-)
I remember lusting over a TRS-80 back in the 70s as a teen. Didn't actually have my own real computer until college, when I saved and saved and saved and then bought a Commodore 64. Programming in Basic.
Man, those were different days.
Now, look what's out there. I wonder what wonders my own son, now 20, will be marveling at 30 years from now that make this sort of thing look like a Commodore 64 :-)
Yeah, there's so much - although IMO perhaps too much choice. Thousands of bits of hardware but it's often a real art to be able to google for the code to get them working properly.
For the builds, I think you'll have to build yourself... But there is an F429 target for the build that's worth a try.
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