Just reviewing processor specs on Freescale's <$2 JM16
and Atmel's Arduino/FTDO chipset
- Three Serial Ports (2 com + USB) (full duplex telemetry plus GPS) vs. 1 com/USB on Atmel.
- 12 bit ADC vs Atmel's 10 bit. (4 times better resolution).
- Included USB (faster everything, more reliable, and save $ on FTDI)
- Matrix divider (Both have fast multiply, but Freescale includes Fast divider as well)
- Freescale runs at 48Mhz vs 20 Mhz
- Both have 6 PWM
- USB bootloaders vs. Serial Botloader
My question is have I overlooked some awesome flaw or feature which would undermine the general conclusion that the Freescale is twice the processor (or better) at 1/5 the price? Is it not thrice the com ports, 4 times the ADC resolution, twice the speed, (up to twice the program space on its larger brother jm60 with 60Kb Flash), infinitely more USB ports for much less cost, complexity, points of failure, board space, and weight than a 2-chip solution with half duplex compromises?
So the bigger question is really to the heart of Open Hardware and Arduino - is it worth paying 5 times the price for weak hardware, and a weak IDE just because some components of the tool chain are more open than Freescale's free IDE (which is arguably less "light" than then infinitely light Arduino IDE). Is the Atmel's proprietary chip really "Open Source" if one tool chain component is "open Source" - and is the premium worth it. I have lots of Arduino's and I like them, but I can't help feeling they are a closeted serial device in a USB world, and overpriced (a Freescale Arduino-Clone would probably cost $6 vs. Arduino's $32 because the USB is built-in.)