Review: ADSP-BF592 EZ Lite Kit

in dev boards by the machinegeek | 10 comments

ADSP-BF592_EZ_Lite-300x225
Sebastian writes, “Here’s my review of the ADSP-BF592 EZ Lite Kit. Quite an interesting board for people trying to get into DSPs.”

Via the contact form.

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Comments

  1. Alan says:

    Let me get this straight: The software they provide doesn’t program the board? You had to write a batch file? Yet this is a recommended introduction to DSP programming?
    I shudder to think what’s required at the advanced level.

    • JanneMM says:

      Well, he says in the very beginning of the review that “…this is a professional development tool, not your common Arduino or other AVR microcontroller toy”… :)

    • Jan says:

      That has nothing to do with DSP programming. Embedded work is often like that, if you cannot write a script or a Makefile to get your work done without some sort of GUI/IDE, you should probably try a different occupation than embedded development.

    • Garrett says:

      Actually, Analog Devices does have their own IDE that does program their boards. Analog Devices releases the full IDE with some of their more expensive dev boards, otherwise you get some half implementation or no software. Their full IDE is actually quite nice and they have software libraries to do anything you want. The only issue is it is rather expensive, on the order of a few grand (USD). It isn’t something your average dude off the street will drop on a hobby project just to use an Analog Devices chip.

      It is hard to find a signals processing (audio, etc.) that doesn’t include an Analog Devices IC, be it the DSP or ADC/DAC. They are truly high quality processing. I’ve done a few projects where I had to get my hands dirty with Analog Devices.

      But yes, embedded does often require a a little ingenuity to make your workflow smooth.

      • Drone says:

        ADI’s DSP dev software is way too expensive to use productively in non-commercial or small-business environments. This is a big mistake on ADI’s part in my opinion.

      • Jan says:

        I don’t like overpriced dev tools neither, but:

        – DSP programming/development is not something an average hobbyist is ever going to touch, because it requires a very specialized skill set (really math-heavy stuff). So if the dev kit costs megabucks, it is not really relevant.

        – Small business – if you are building a product for sale using one of the AD BlackFin DSPs, I guess you should be able to afford the tools as well. The cost of a competent engineer able to use them is much higher. The cost of the tools in the overall total of the R&D expenses for a DSP-based product is likely going to be negligible.

        – Non-com – I am sure AD has special prices for universities and such.

  2. Drone says:

    @Jan, Case in-point…

    I wanted to start with a Blackfin board and develop some VoIP devices based mostly on open and in-the-wild code (Blackfins are popular with the VoIP crowd). Once I looked at what the tools cost, I just dropped it. Who knows, if my designs had taken-off, a new business may have been created. But nope. So the steep price of the development tools resulted in nothing, for me or ADI.

    • Jan says:

      Sure, but that may pretty well happen with anything. As always, there is a trade-off between the initial investment and the benefit you might have from that to make.

      AFAIK, there is even a free toolchain and uLinux support for Blackfin. Not sure about the exact feature set & device support, but it does exist.

      • Garrett says:

        The free tool chain does not support any of the devices made in the past 3 or 4 years. It is possible to hack together support as not a whole lot has changed, but the main project for the GCC support is retired/in hibernation.

      • Jan says:

        Well, that’s what I have kinda expected – supporting a heavily proprietary stuff from “outside” is hard and only the vendor can meaningfully do it. If they don’t care (e.g. because they care more about selling their own expensive tools), it will die.

        It was only to react to @Drone’s post about the lack of cheap tools.

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