Friday, August 27, 2010

Add USB Host Support To Your MCU Design

The Maxim MAX3421E allows you to add a USB Host port to any microprocessor with an SPI interface.  This IC has recently returned to active production after being listed as not recommended for new designs.  It is offered as an Arduino shield (daughter board) from Circuits@Home and the code library for the USB Host Shield is on github.  You can find many articles on the design and use of the USB shield on the Circuits@Home blog.  The design is open hardware and you can order it from Batch-PCB as well.

For commercial projects, the MAX3421E is supported by USB Stacks from HCC-Embedded and Micro Digital.  HCC-Embedded also has an SD card module to add a USB Host to any board with an SPI capable SD card socket.  The schematics and layout are a free download from the website.

The MAX3421EVKIT-1 from Maxim can also be used for developing a USB stack for individual devices.  It can be ordered directly from Maxim ($57) or from Digikey ($62).  You can start with the MAX3421E EVKIT-1 Software and User Guide to develop your own driver for targeted devices.  I have been working with the MAX3421E with an ARM processor board and have added support for a mouse, keyboard, and hub to the design.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My New DSP Blog

See a short review of the new features on the Beagleboard-xM on my new blog, Discourse on Embedded Signal Processing.

From the About page:
Discourse on Embedded Signal Processing is a blog about applying signal processing algorithms in embedded systems. The focus will be on implementing signal processing on general purpose DSPs, FPGAs, and microcontrollers. Topics include new processors and architectures, development tools, design flows, design techniques, and new applications.

I don't plan on any changes to, I will still cover some DSP topics here as well.  I will post less frequently to Discourse on Embedded Signal Processing, but I plan on having more in-depth articles.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NXP Microcontroller Design Challenge Winners

The NXP Cortex-M0 LPC1100 Design Challenge results are in.  The grand-prize winner is a flight logger that used text to speech to communicate commands over a walkie talkie.

See for details on the winning designs.  Over 10,000 LPCXpresso boards were shipped, and the contest encouraged NXP to port Linux to the platform.  Linux support will be available in time for a launch at ESC Boston 2010 in September.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Consumer Devices Use Adobe Flash With Open Screen Project Technology

The Open Screen Project was created by Adobe to increase design-in of the Adobe Flash Player on consumer devices like cell phones.  Many companies are partners in the project including ARM, Cisco, Intel, Google, and Texas Instruments.  Microsoft and Apple are not on the list probably because they have competing technologies. Intel subsidiary Wind River recently joined the initiative.  Benefits to membership include a royalty-free license to use flash device run-times, and permission to use the Open Screen Project and Flash logo.

This video shows a Flash player running on an Android phone.

There is an Open Screen Project Fund sponsored by Adobe and Nokia.  It awards grants to develop Flash  applications that run on Nokia devices.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Renesas Offers Free Evaluation Kit For High-Performance MCU

For a limited time you can get the Renesas RX610 Stick Renesas Demo Kit (RDK) for free. Register to become eligible for the RX-Stick and you will also be registered for the RX62N RDK to be released later this year.
The RX610 Stick includes some unique features like a 14x10 LED array, a slide volume potentiometer, and a 4-direction joystick.  It has an on-board debugger and you can download demo projects for audio, DSP, FPU, and benchmarking. Renesas has also created the online community with a developer's forum and more information about  the RX610 Stick.  You can see the kit in action in the RX-Stick Demo Youtube Video below.

The RX600 series is at the high-end of the RX family which is the successor to the H8SX, R32C and 32-bit Renesas MCUs.