Weeks ago I attended ST’s one day seminar at Mexico City, and I was given a STM32F0-Discovery kit. So far, I can say everything was ok. However, tool-chains recomended by ST were so conditioned that they weren’t attractive because they are ridiculous expensive.
Let me say, here between you my friends, that I’m fan of NXP 32 bits microcontrollers (ARM7 and Cortex). But the STM32F051R8 was the microcontroller I’ve ever dreamt. That’s way I started this project.
What’s wrong with IAR and Keil? They both are too expensive, and 16KB and 32KB flash code limits are not large enough, even for personal projects. So, if your compiled code exceeds those limits, then you would need to get few thousand dollars in order to buy a license. Not always an option.
Although there are several open source tool-chains, not always they are easy to set-up. Specifically, it’s hard to debug (for those like me that are use to debug, e.g. with GDB). Fortunately, I found CooCox, that is an Eclipse based IDE, that seamlessly integrates with ARM GCC. What is more fascinating is that I can debug using ST-Link debugger from ST. And all this, for free! No code size limits, and not only allowed to compile in C but in C++ too.
After several hours trying and failing, I got to compile, upload and debug code for the STM32F051 chip. Even more, I was able to integrate the latest FreeRTOS release, 7.2.0. CooCox has its own RTOS, however, I feel more comfortable using FreeRTOS.
In my next post I’ll show you how to set-up CooCox for STM32F0 microcontrollers. Meanwhile, feel free to post your comments.