Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Max32 + Mega2560 = Superpin!

The main bottleneck at this moment is the RAM, as I said earlier. With the Mega2560 I got 8KB of RAM, which gives me around 1 display buffer with 8 colors (´a 4096 bytes). Sure, I could do some voodoo magic to get it working, but it will be very slow to perform any writing to the buffer. With all this extra overhead the 16MHz will running at 100% just to keep up. In order to fully support doublebuffering I would like to have three buffers. One buffer that is sent with SPI to the display straight away, and two that are alternated and built "behind the scenes".

I will be using BOTH boards, actually.

The Max32 will take care of the visuals (lights and display) and the Mega2560 will do solenoids, switches and game logic. Using all the available memory, this would give me around 800 KB to store data (ruleset and logic excluded) for animation - I could easily fit all the game animations there to eliminate the need for an external SD card.

The Max32 is also of more than 4x the MHz, 2x the flash and 16x the RAM!
With this extra card I've more than doubled the performance and the number of I/O pins, which will really come in handy!

1) Poor Man's Motherboard!

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