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I'm currently using Atmel SAM series. The choice was easy: IDE is Atmel Studio which is very good, free and I used it for developing AVR before. The debugger I have is the Atmel ICE which I also used for AVRs and it supports the ARM series as well.

What makes the STM32 series interesting is the very low cost for the chips and the development boards. However, what IDEs people use for developing? I am interested in something that is completely free as mainstream as possible so it will be easy to find help when needed and also to make sure the tools stay up to date. I could find a definitive answer on Google or on ST's website so if someone is already involved with developing on this platform I would appreciate if you share the data and your opinions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Right now I am 'taming' and STM discovery (stm32f051r8), half an hour a go the LED blinked. I use gcc with my own makefile, linkerscript an C++ HAL-like layer. Who needs an IDE? (I know lots of people do, but I prefer to travel light.). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10, 2015 at 10:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WoutervanOoijen - Personally, I find that using an IDE helps me work faster. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34920
    Jan 10, 2015 at 11:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ www.coocox.org - eclipse-based, sadly, but outstanding value for money (i.e. it's free, functional and quite easy to use). Windows only afaik, for those that think a PC OS is a matter of life and death. I wouldn't call the STM32F4's "low cost" btw, but the Discovery boards are excellent value. \$\endgroup\$
    – markt
    Jan 10, 2015 at 11:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Btw, the new coocox beta doesn't support stm32 I think. Get the older version. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mike
    Jan 10, 2015 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I use a generic text editor and a command line. \$\endgroup\$
    – old_timer
    Feb 10, 2015 at 3:36

2 Answers 2

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Definitely mbed.org

Mbed is a free ARM-supported online IDE with open libraries, revision control & online community.

The IDE runs in your web browser, so you can work from any PC and collaborate with people around the world.

The STM32L152RE (Cortex M3, 512k Flash/80k RAM) is supported with the $10 Nucleo-L152 board.

I had my first STM32L1 up and running "Mbed Blinky" (a simple LED flasher) in 10 minutes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain more about embed? It looks like arduino. Is it online only? Does it support debugging? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mike
    Jan 10, 2015 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like Arduino for a good reason, it is the same idea. Personally, I find the idea of an online IDE off-putting and the idea that these free tools are closed source even more off-putting. You have the one editor they give you and the libraries they give you, if you don't like it too bad. If they start charging a fee too bad. If they take the service down too bad. This is nice for prototyping and schools I guess, not when you need this for work. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34920
    Jan 10, 2015 at 23:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, it's not like Arduino at all. First, the libraries are open source (see the first link) and have a liberal license. Second, the source and the libraries can be downloaded as a project ready to compile on several popular compilers. Third, you can import the source version of any/all libraries and fiddle them to your heart's content. \$\endgroup\$
    – neonzeon
    Jan 15, 2015 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Neonzeon's point about being able to download the whole project is the key one. The claim that it is fundamentally different from Arduino is a weak one - of the reasons given only the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses is actually true. A difference not mentioned though is that the mbed project model is much more like and much more compatible with traditional embedded development - compared to the "Arduino way" it has fewer quirks and less initial encouragement of odd practices that can cause ongoing trouble to a serious project. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2016 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Almost no developer I know uses mbed. I'd check out openstm32.org/HomePage, the eclipse IDE with ac6 tools (gcc compiler). \$\endgroup\$
    – tarabyte
    Nov 2, 2018 at 22:03
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If you are looking for free but professional IDE, I recommend you to follow this link.

It will lead you to the ARM page to get access to the free version of µvision for all STM32 based on M0 and M0+

Free MDK-ARM licenses can be activated for both STM32F0 and STM32L0 series using the following Product Serial Number (PSN): U1E21-CM9GY-L3G4L

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this really full functioning, or is it limited in executable size? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2016 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman The free 'MDK-Lite' version has a code limit of 32kB. www2.keil.com/mdk5/selector \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2016 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BruceAbbott - how about licensing? Can you use it for reals, or just hobby/education? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2016 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ "The MDK for STMicroelectonics STM32F0 and STM32L0 is a license paid by STMicroelectronics. It is free-to-use for software developers working with STM32 devices based on the ARM Cortex-M0 and ARM Cortex-M0+ cores." \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2016 at 20:54

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