The Tiva-C (aka TM4C) LaunchPads are inexpensive self-contained, single-board microcontrollers, about the size of a credit card, featuring an ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit CPU operating at 80 to 120 MHz, manufactured by Texas Instruments. The TM4C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad is an upgrade from TI's Stellaris LaunchPad adding support options for Motion Control PWMs and USB Host functionality. The more recently released TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad is the first cloud-connected offering in TI's LaunchPad ecosystem and provides a solid foundation for beginning and evaluating embedded IoT designs.
There are many I/O pins (40 to 80 depending upon version) that have multi-personality, this means that they can be easily configured as digital inputs or outputs, analog inputs and outputs or other functions, allowing a great variety of applications, are just the multiple serial ports have the ability to interface with more items such as test cards or other communication modules, etc. Among those pins there are included the GND and POWER (3.3 V) pins.
The clock is 80 or 120 MHz (vers based), which makes them 5 to over 7 times faster than the Arduino UNO's 16 MHz ATMEGA328P microcontroller. As with any Cortex M4, the CPU has some DSP (Digital signal Processor) instructions, with some limitations, one can do signal processing for example sampling human voice with a good quality, able to be processed in Matlab. The CPU contains the optional floating-point unit with Single-Precision Floating Point operations supported.
They have an additional USB port which can act as USB host, allowing the connection of multiple devices and the "Connected" one has an integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC+PHY for internet connectivity. They also have a temperature sensor and on-board LED(s) and RGB LED(s), which allows you to generate various colors by combining the three basic colors (Red, Blue and Green) of the additive color synthesis.
The Tiva/TM4C LaunchPads come preloaded with software to demonstrate many of the capabilities of the ARM microcontroller and with a quickstart application to get up & running within minutes.
CPU and speed
The LaunchPad's TM4C123GXL CPU (ARM Cortex M4F 32-bit CPU) is capable of speeds up to 80 MHz. The CPU can be run at lower speeds to reduce energy consumption.
- Tiva TM4C123GH6PMI ARM Cortex M4F 32-bit microcontroller
- 32 Kbyte of RAM memory for data storage
- 2 Kbytes of EEPROM for non-volatile data storage
- 256-Kbytes of flash memory for non-volatile code storage
- One RGB user LED
- Two user switches (application/wake)
- Available I/O brought out to headers on a 0.1-in (2.54-mm) grid
- On-board ICDI
- Reset switch
- Possibility to use booster packs
- Two sets of connectors: 40 I/O ports, ISP, USI, JTAG
- Two CAN modules
- SPI/UART/I2C (Cable and connector provided by end user)
- Motion control PWM
- USB Micro-AB connector:
- Device mode default configuration
- Host/OTG modes supportable
- 5 V battery connector
- Switch-selectable power sources:
- USB device
Tiva TM4C1294NCPDTI ARM Cortex M4F 32-bit microcontroller
- CPU supports speeds up to 120 MHz
- 1024 Kbyte of flash memory for non-volatile code storage
- 256 Kbyte of RAM for data storage
- 6 Kbyte of EEPROM for non-volatile data storage
- Ethernet connectivity with fully integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC and PHY
- Motion Control PWM
- USB 2.0 Micro A/B connector
- Device/Host/OTG modes supportable
- USB 2.0 High-Speed (480Mbps) possible with external PHY
- 4 user LEDs
- 2 user buttons
- 1 independent hibernate wake switch
- 1 independent microcontroller reset switch
- Jumper for selecting power source:
- ICDI USB
- USB Device
- Preloaded Internet-of-Things Exosite quickstart application
- I/O brought to board edge for breadboard expansion
- Two independent BoosterPack XL standard connectors featuring stackable headers to maximize expansion through BoosterPack ecosystem
Both Tiva C Series LaunchPads conform to a standard for BoosterPack layout defined by Texas Instruments.
TI has a Sensor Hub BoosterPack designed exclusively to fit the TM4C123GXL LaunchPad.
Internet of Things
The LaunchPad comes preloaded with a RGB quickstart application
Supported by TivaWare for C Series software including the USB library and the peripheral driver library
Tiva C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad BoosterPack XL Interface, which features stackable headers to expand the capabilities of the Tiva C Series LaunchPad development platform
Support for the ARM Cortex-M4 DSP instructions is provided via ARM's CMSIS-DSP software package
The LaunchPad LM4F120 and TM3C123G can also be programmed using Energia, an Arduino-like IDE based on the Wiring framework. Energia includes the libraries for the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 BoosterPack.
Software may be written for the LaunchPad using the assembly language or GCC (GNU Cprogramming language) with Energia, a free variant of the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE). A pre-installed bootloader program allows the board to be re-programmed with a standard USB 2.0 port (requiring no special hardware). The board also has ISP and JTAG ports for in-circuit programming and debugging.
The LaunchPad it's becoming popular among the hobbyists for its low price of about $13 USD, its flexibility, the availability of free development software and the ability to reprogram it without using special hardware.
Many fully usable projects have been built using the LaunchPad as a base platform, often with few or no additional parts. There's an award-winning Pluviometer based around the LaunchPad called the Ibanyez-Jardi Pluviometer. There are free plans to convert the LaunchPad into a portable ARM-ISP device for programming a whole family of ARM devices. Several plans available on the web to convert a LaunchPad into an MP3 player. There are also available lessons and popular books for learning how to program ARMs using C language, after which the LaunchPad was designed.
- TI LaunchPad Product Description
- EK-TM4C123GXL LaunchPad Evaluation Kit
- EK-TM4C1294XL Connected LaunchPad Evaluation Kit
- Joseph Yiu (6 October 2013). The Definitive Guide to ARM® Cortex®-M3 and Cortex®-M4 Processors. Newnes. pp. 562–. ISBN 978-0-12-407918-2.
- Tiva™ C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad Evaluation Board User's Guide
- Tiva™ TM4C123GH6PM Microcontroller Data Sheet
- TivaWare™ Peripheral Driver Library User's Guide
- ARM Optimizing C/C++ Compiler v5.1 User's Guide
- ARM Assembly Language Tools v5.1 User's Guide
- Cortex™-M4 Devices Generic User Guide
- ARM® Cortex™-M4 Processor Technical Reference Manual
- ARMv7-M Architecture Reference Manual
- Energia programming environment for TI processors
- Tiva™ C Series TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad Evaluation Board User's Guide
- Tiva™ TM4C1294NCPDT Microcontroller Data Sheet
- Detailed review and working examples about a course of Tiva™ C TM4C123GLX LaunchPad done by edX