I wouldn't bother with 32-bit microcontrollers. There's a lot of power in an 8-bit chip, and I don't think most high-school students would be able to complete projects that needed the power of a 32-bit chip.
The trouble with most microcontroller comparisons is they don't focus on what high school or even undergrad college students can reasonably accomplish starting from zero experience and working with non-ideal equipment and resources, and on a tight time-table within just one of many classes pulling for their attention.
Sure, a high-end Cortex chip can to wonderful things in the hands of an experienced engineer armed with expensive proprietary software and hardware tools and a well-funded prototyping lab, spending dedicating full-time effort 40+ hours/week effort on the project. Or a team of such experts....
it *is* probably best to stick with 8-bits for now.
Juan21 wrote:(Is this a good idea?)
There seem to be thousands of options: PICs, AVR32, 68HC11, 8052, etc. I've tried to search for microcontroller comparisons, but they seem to be either inconclusive or just commercial hype.
paulstoffregen wrote:Many of the "advanced" chips have little or no software available for free, other than a "demo" version of extremely expensive software which expires in 30 days or comes with a very limited code size. Even those tools tend to have a steep learning curve, because they're designed for professional engineers who will use then 40+ hours/week. Often the available open source software involves a lot of cumbersome setup. That's fine for experts.
schlomo42 wrote:What MCUs are popular (with hobbyists and companies alike), useful, and powerful yet approachable to beginners?
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