Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Low Cost CPLD Development Kit

The Lattice ispMACH 4000ZE Pico Dev Kit is on sale today for $36 at the Lattice store. Some example applications for the CPLD include adding GPIO and 5V input capability to your microcontroller. See this video for more info on consumer applications.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Altera Starter Kit Available For New Low Cost FPGA Family

Altera Cyclone IV FPGAs are now shipping in volume and are claimed to be lowest in cost and power. The Cyclone IV starter kit can be purchased at the Altera online store for $395. It includes a Gigabit Ethernet and SMA connectors. You can find more specifications and ordering information here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Virtual USB Analyzer

The Virtual USB Analyzer is a useful tool created by Micah Dowty and Scott Perry hosted on It's free to use and listed as a fling in vmware LABS, a diverse collection of free tools created by VMware engineers.

You have to run the analyzer in Linux but you can take the traces with any guest OS running on recent versions of VMware products. At the moment the Windows version of VMware Player is not supported, but you can use VMware Workstation, Fusion or the Player that runs on Linux. You can also load captures taken from the Linux usbmon utility and the Ellisys USB Explorer 200 hardware analyzer.

I'm using this to see how Linux configures a keyboard to diagnose a problem with an embedded USB host. I think it will also be very useful when working on a new USB device that you need to test with multiple operating systems.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Fritzing is an unique project that allows hobbyists to design and produce electronic prototypes. Started as a University research project, it continues with the support of users with the purchase of the Fritzing starter kit. Included in the kit is an Arduino Deumilonove 328 microcontroller board. You can also download the design application without purchasing a kit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Embedded Linux Conference 2010

The CELF Embedded Linux Conference is coming up on April 12th-14th, 2010 in San Francisco. Topics include Android, security, debug and real-time development. Here are a few titles:

Android: A Case Study of an Embedded Linux Project

Using a JTAG to Debug Linux Device Drivers

Creating a Secure Router Using SELinux

Effective Use of Scripting in Embedded Devices

FSCE: Reducing Context Switching Time on ARM

Understanding Threat Models for Embedded Devices

Experiences in Android Porting, Lessons Learned, Tips and Tricks

Case Study - Embedded linux in a Digital Television STB

Understanding and Developing Applications for Maemo Platform

PIO: Talking to the Outside World

Linux Without a Boot Loader?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lantronix Embedd Linux Networking Contest

To promote the XPort Pro, a tiny self contained network server, Lantronix will give up to $6000US for the winning design. You will need to purchase an evaluation kit for $99 to enter.