A Teensy Distraction

A project log for Setting up Linux AVR and ARM toolchains

Documenting the steps taken to build a new, clean, Linux development environment.

tmTM 03/14/2014 at 18:420 Comments

So, looking to revive my enthusiasm for playing with ARM MCUs, I picked up a Teensy 3.1 last weekend. I'd been vaguely aware of the Teensy for some time, and had seen Paul Stoffregen described on hackaday, amongst other place, as 'brilliant'. I'd thought 'meh, another arduino clone'. I couldn't have been more wrong. Stoffregen is brilliant, and the Teensy 3.1 is an amazing piece of engineering: 72MHz (overclockable to 96MHz), 32 bit ARM cortex-M4 CPU, breadboard friendly and compatible with most Arduino libraries.

I was tipped over the edge into buying the Teensy when I read that it could be programmed via gcc & makefile, rather than purely through the Teensyduino IDE. I thought that playing with the makefiles would give me some insight into getting the LPC810 and FRDM-KL86Z working without Nexpresso and Codewarrior. It will, but not until I'm done having fun with the Teensy with the huge array of compatible Arduino libraries.

Up to now, I've struggled a bit to see much use (for a hobbyist tinkerer like me) for bare metal 32-bit MCUs. To be honest, an ATmega328P has been fast enough, and had enough memory, for all of my low-level hardware projects, and the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black have been cheap enough to throw at the upper end (and fast enough to program in Python under Linux).

Like all really great hacker products, the Teensy seems to open up a whole new range of possibilities somewhere in the middle ground.