Preorder TI’s ARM Cortex-M4 Launchpad for $5 delivered

Texas Instruments just open preorders for the new Stellaris LaunchPad. The boards won’t ship until the end of September, but if you don’t mind the wait you can get one for $4.99 including delivery (we’d wager non-U.S. addresses have to pay for delivery, but leave a comment if you know for sure several readers have reported that international shipping is free).

We routinely pay more in shipping for parts orders so we already jumped at the opportunity and put in our own order. Earlier in the month we heard the first murmurs about the device. We’re glad to see they hit the $4.99 target price, but the TI website mentions that this is a promotional price that will be available for a limited time only. The board boasts an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, the Stellaris LM4F120H5QR. It includes 256 KB of flash memory, 32 KB of SRAM, and more peripherals than you can shake a stick at. To get you up and running quickly they’ve included two user buttons and an RGB LED. As with the 16-bit Launchpad, the board acts as its own programmer. It has a microUSB jack, but they’ve included a micro B to USB A cable in the kit to make sure you don’t need to also put in a cable order.

We’ll give a follow-up post once we finally get our hands on the board. We hope this will be easy to get working with a Linux box!

[Thanks Chris]

189 thoughts on “Preorder TI’s ARM Cortex-M4 Launchpad for $5 delivered

    1. When the laser diode started to become available for development ($80 each), the rule of thumb was, “Buy 3, the first two you’ll burn up by just hooking up power, after that, you’ll read the directions on building a current limiter”.

    1. They are probably really excited right now, thinking every company on earth has plans for their chip…too bad most of the people ordering these things will not use them for much more than what they could have used an Arduino for, and will never actually make a board and order the chips themselves.

      All well…I don’t feel too guilty, with all the TI chips I’ve bought over the years I figure they can afford to send me a cheap dev board once in a while.

  1. Ordered two, got the promised free shipping to Finland too. Price is definitely right, browsed around that webshop and found nothing else that my wallet could support.

  2. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may I desire to counsel you some attention-grabbing issues or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I want to learn more things approximately it!

  3. I ordered my 2-unit limit to test out here in California. OK, now my questions is, where is a GCC header file for this chip? I want to use the gnuarm toolchain with it and not buy another IDE. Anyone know about this?

    1. That’s a pretty bold accusation!

      Since you’re reading the datasheet, maybe you could elaborate on what features supposedly have hidden registers? Can you find ANY feature of this chip without extensive register-level documentation?

      I’ve looked the datasheet over briefly (not all 1227 pages) and my initial impression is the hardware and registers seem to be very well documented. For example, the flash memory (which NXP sometimes keeps secret and provides ROM-based routines) appears to be well documented starting on page 525. Likewise, every other peripheral seems to have complete lists of registers with every bit well documented.

      1. I am not trying to accuse any company. Rather, I am speculating based on how e.g. Renesas (former NEC) implements e.g. flash programming.

    2. Will you prefer they not offering those crypto functions? The ROM is needed for the chip to load and run your code. Those cryptos are given for free in case you need them.

    3. The ROM implementation should correspond to what’s in the Stellarisware software packages; AFAIK there aren’t any hidden bits in it. You can always write a little program to dump the memory contents if you’re really curious.

      My impression is that it’s simply there as a convenience and cost-saver, because ROM is cheaper than flash.

  4. Just order from singapore, shipping free!! I wished i can order 20 of them thou, based on my history I am bound to destroy lots of these.

  5. Just ordered mine. Free shipping to Mexico, that’s rather unusual. Don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet. This is the first MCU I buy.

  6. ** Your order has been cancelled or invalidated.
    Cancelled ECCN

    I will never again buy anything from Texas Instruments. They have opened their lab at my university, now I have to study/use their DSPs everywhere. And as a result I can’t buy some shitty mcu evaluation board! I promise I’d buy their chips in Europe just to make a radar and to sell it to Iran or DPRK. Xilinx have already tried to f**k me with FPGA board. So what? Digilent Romania sold me Nexys 3.

  7. Ordered 2 pieces and have also had the ordered cancelled; same as Dumb Penguin above.

    I’m based in Hong Kong, is this the reason?

    Thanks

    1. They have export restrictions for all non-Wassenaar Arrangement countries with some exceptions. And even if your country have already signed this agreement (like Ukraine or Russia) they can invalidate your order. Then you have to contact your local representative and acquire some type of license.

      Iran, Cuba, and Syria – Embargo

      Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Belarus, Yemen, Sudan, North Korea, Myanmar, Liberia, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Balkans, and the Cote D’Ivoire – Targeted Sanctions

      Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Cyprus, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Libya, N. Korea, Syria, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Democratic Republic of the Congo – ITAR Prohibited Countries

      China, Canada, Germany, Iran, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Lebanon, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom – Countries with restricted entities

      Strange to see Germany, Canada and the UK in the list but I’m sure this is not their case. In general, if you do not live in North America , Japan or the European Union, each purchase is like a lottery. :(

        1. As far as I understand ARM only provides a Verilog core. The final IC – LM4F – is a product of Texas Instruments. DigiKey didn’t sell me Terasic’s board, even though they are from Taiwan (Cyclon IV was prohibited for export). They use some Automated Export System, and if your country is blacklisted, they can not export an item, even if they wish. Even a non-US product. I have to buy everything in the EU. It’s unclear, against whom can such a system protect?

  8. Thanks for the info. I really hadn’t thought about any restrictions for Hong Kong. Now we are part of China again I suppose it is to be expected.

  9. Ok, this is just NUTS. I ordered 2 x MSP430 and 1 x C2000 Piccolo LaunchPads, shipping was FREE, and when I got those from Fedex this week, they paid custom taxes!!!!!! That’s just INSANE!!! So in the end, I got those nearly for free, if you count the custom taxes paid by them. :-o TI really want to get more market or what?!…

    1. Oh boy, the stuff you need to download in order to use those things are just insane! :-o But, heck, I will eventually get everything… I think I got things too easy with the Arduino. ;-) Oh well….

      1. Some of us are working on bringing that Arduino ease to 32 bit ARM……

        (my own kickstarter has been mentioned enough here on HaD lately, so no shameless link here)

  10. awww no operation for me TI’s website show me status : E C C N or Restricted S K U

    I would like to test these new gadget -_-

    Im from Venezuela any solution for this?

  11. Looks like my order got pushed back as well. New estimated ship date 16 November.

    I guess it’s a good thing I’m not ready for this little toy yet, anyway!

  12. Be aware that you *CANNOT* add memory (RAM/Flash) to this…it has no external memory controller.
    The STMF4 does which is why it can run big stuff like uclinux.

    I don’t see how useful this will be…for a powerful processor (relatively), you’d want to run more complicated stuff…

      1. once you buy yours the price rises up to 12.99$, if you are logged in. Otherwise it’s 4.99$. Btw free shipping to Italy as well (order confirmed for the end of November).

  13. It’ll be interesting to see if we will be able to debug/program this chip with OpenOCD. I don’t think that the latest OpenOCD supports the onboard debugger (ICDI) just yet.

    I will probably end up having to use my JLINK EDU (The JTAG pins are made available via pads) until OpenOCD provides support for the board

  14. Is it possible to run linux on this Cortex M? I know you need an A series MMU type of processor but just a broken down version of Linux maybe on a flash drive etc? Is that Possible? Maybe a RTOS?

  15. FedEx delivered the pair I ordered yesterday 10/5! I have a couple of ideas I want to play with but, what to do hmmmm…

  16. I just unboxed my TI LaunchPad. Does someone have a cross compiled gcc for this board? I’m looking for an Ubuntu solution for programming the board. The RGB LED cycling on bootup is cute.

    1. I recommend you download Sourcery Codebench, as it compiles the USB examples properly. When I compile them with the Summon Arm toolchain they don’t enumerate correctly.

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