Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breakout Boards for Electronics Debug and Prototypes

If you need to wire up a prototype, create a custom debug cable, or connect a logic analyzer to communications link, breakout boards are a real time saver. I have used SchmartBoards' JTAG board in the past, another supplier I came across is Winford Engineering.  They have breakout boards for USB, modular jacks, 0.1" headers and DB connectors.

Using boards like these, you can quickly build almost any prototype for development or debug purposes. For the processor and memory, you can use a development board from the processor manufacturer.  There are hundreds of development boards available for various processors.  For some examples, here is a list of low cost demo boards from Microchip, here are boards from Cypress, a list of Blackfin boards from Analog Devices and development kits and boards from Texas Instruments. I used a PICkit 2 28-Pin demo board with an RF module for a recent project.

If you can't find a development board configured correctly, SchmartBoards will support hand soldering many common chip formats, including SMT devices, and even BGAs.  If you aren't confident you can hand solder a component yourself, SchmartBoards will solder your IC for you for a $3.00 charge.

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