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I'm looking for a simple but reliable microcontroller platform (chip plus API) for modules that will be integrated in a product that we are developing for a customer (in this case a 8 channels RS232 current sensor based on ACS714 but this question is meant to have a broader scope).

In a previous thread someone mentioned the MBED platforms, and after some research I found the Cortex M0 (LPC1114) and the MBED libraries were a good match.

It sounds like the MBED libraries are more "professional" than the Arduino, but I do not know its story and I can't spot any flaws in the code. What is your experience and knowledge of the MBED platform when it comes to integrating it into commercial products?

P.S. I think here is more appropriate than stack overflow as it is related to hardware level programming.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ 'I can't spot any flaws in the code.' Well, that is changed. They have updated the software and there are huge problems. The online compiler doesn't work, error 230" issue with the online compiler and Mbed OS 2 targets, for example the NRF51. The cli-version is a beast to install and to use, exports doesn't work, compile errors in the source code, etc. Thanks to Arduino, sandeepmistry.github.io and adafruit, I have now working code for the NRF51288. So yeah, dunno. Think the adaptation of Arduino is wider and there are many developers around. I think NXP overcomplicated several things. \$\endgroup\$ – Codebeat Oct 2 '18 at 19:31
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(2) All the following said, the Arduino platform would very probably do what you want easily and well. Just don't let Olin know I said that :-).

(1) But:

The MBED O/S is free for commercial use under the Apache 2 licence.

This MBED information page addresses your main questions. It says

  • The mbed platform provides free software libraries, hardware designs and online tools for professional rapid prototyping of products based on ARM microcontrollers.

  • The platform includes a standards-based C/C++ SDK, a microcontroller HDK and supported development boards, an online compiler and online developer collaboration tools

  • The SDK is licensed under the permissive Apache 2.0 licence, so you can use it in both commercial and personal projects with confidence.

and

  • Worldwide Developer Community: Using mbed means a huge shared context with other developers, and that means when you have a question, there is less pre-amble, less explanation and less time reproducing issues, and more time getting answers. We're proud that this has helped us grow an active and friendly community of skilled developers that are collectively helping get prototypes made even faster.

For a good hands-on feel of how it really works in practice you can get an idea of developer issues and experiences, pro & con, from this developer forum page


Their partner list from the main MBED home page should give you reasonable confidence in the bona fides of the system, and the rest of the claims of that page are reasonably convincing, if you feel you can trust the general level of competence of the partners involved.

enter image description here

I seem to have heard of a few of these :-) :

Alcatel Lucent Atmel CSR Ericsson Farnell Freescale Semiconductor IBM KDDI Marvell MegaChips Multi-Tech NXP Nordic Semiconductor, Renesas ST Salesforce See Control, Semtech Silicon Labs, Stream Telefonica Telenor Connexion, Thundersoft u-blox WoT.io, Zebra Technologies


Home page
Developer site
Overview
Available hardware platforms - Wow!
Wikipedia
They note:

  • Applications may be only developed for the mbed platform using the mbed online IDE, a free online code editor and compiler. Code is written and compiled within a web browser, and compiled on the cloud using the ARMCC C/C++ compiler. The mbed IDE provides a private workspace with ability to import and share code with distributed version control, and code documentation generation.

MBED IOT
ARM IOT starter kit
IBM MBED IOT offering

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot, that answers the legal aspect of things and increases my confidence level - still, we don't really know how those partners of them have been involved right ;) ? I'd be interested to know how many times have their MBED-based systems have failed since those partners have been listed. Very nice answer though, I'll wait a bit to see if anyone else has experience with those. \$\endgroup\$ – Mister Mystère Apr 8 '15 at 10:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ A look through the user comments I cited will give you some clues. Range of compatible cards on page I cited gives some clue as to manufacturer buy in. Many of those names are very real indeed. I'd be more scared of it being too real than not real enough :-). \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Apr 8 '15 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you look into the mbed library in details, there actually use the standard peripheral libraries from the manufacturers. You can find it in mbed->libraries->mbed->targets->cmsis. I have been using mbed for over 2 years on the EFM32 and STM32, and created my own port for my custom board. My STM32 application have been running for over 6 months without reset using the I2C, GPIO, USART but I also had to create my own drivers. \$\endgroup\$ – user468662 May 5 '16 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Update. It's not an online IDE only anymore. They have an offline version as well via CLI that seems to work well. I tried it on Linux just tonight and got the blink code going on a Nucleo F103. \$\endgroup\$ – Gabriel Staples Mar 14 '18 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ 'I can't spot any flaws in the code.' Well, that is changed. They have updated the software and there are huge problems. The online compiler doesn't work, error 230" issue with the online compiler and Mbed OS 2 targets, for example the NRF51. The cli-version is a beast to install and to use, exports doesn't work, compile errors in the source code, etc. Thanks to Arduino, sandeepmistry.github.io and adafruit, I have now working code for the NRF51288. So yeah, dunno. Think the adaptation of Arduino is wider and there are many developers around. I think NXP overcomplicate several things. \$\endgroup\$ – Codebeat Oct 2 '18 at 19:29

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