Saturday, June 30, 2012

Google Reimagines the Development Board

The ADK 2012 platform is packed with innovation and usable code for Android accessory development.

They advertise that all of the code is open source and with a less restrictive license like BSD so you can include it in your products. Here are the main libraries:
  • Bluetooth stack (BSD license) with libraries for RFCOMM, A2DP,L2CAP, SDP
  • Multimedia library including an ogg player
  • MicroSD SD/SDHC driver with FAT12/RAT16/FAT32
  • USB Host stack with Android open accessory protocol implementation

All of this runs on the Atmel SAM3X ARM Cortex-M3 processor with 512kB flash, 100kB RAM, and bluetooth is provide by a Texas Instruments CC2564. There are also sensors for light, proximity, acceleration, magnetism, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and other toys like a capacitive slider and buttons, RGB LEDs including the 7 segment display, a transducer speaker, and an NFC tag.

For more info, here is the developer's guide from google Accesory Development Kit 2012 Guide. A little more info about the Arduino IDE (for an ARM processor) it uses on the Arduino blog.

The surprise at the end of the video is that an ADK 2012 was given to each attendee of this talk, and the device is not for sale (yet). If you really want one, try e-bay, currently the best price is an auction at $400 US. If are lucky enough to have one here is the Android app from google play.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Development Board Community Sites is a new community site for a Xilinx-ARM development board.  User-supported development boards have become very popular. TI has over a dozen listed at including which supports beagleboard and beaglebone.  Here are a few more popular sites. - Zync-7000 processor features Dual ARM Cortex-A9 at 667MHz, FPU, GigE, HDMI, stereo CODEC - Open-source FPGA project with Spartan 3E FPGA. Ever-popular open-source electronics platform you can build yourself. Modular stackable multi-architecture development kits and peripheral modules. Rapid prototyping boards and software tools.


Blackfin Koop Open-source software and hardware projects including uClinux and support for the Blackfin STAMP board. Projects support a number of STM32 development boards including the EvoPrimer platform. Arduino format, but with an ARM Cortex-M3 processor. Many boards such as beaglebone, beagleboard, msp430, craneboard, pandaboard

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NXP Android Device Design Contest

Microcontroller Central is giving away ten NXP Android Open Accessory Applications kits in a micro-design contest.  Entrants submit design proposals for an Android controlled MCU based device.  The contest theme is 'changing the world with android' and ends on July 4, 2012. To learn more about the prize, see my blog post on the NXP ADK.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two New NXP ARM Evaluation Boards

NXP design partner NGX Technologies has just released the LPC4330-Xplorer and LPC1830-Xplorer.  These almost identical evaluation boards use pin compatible ARM processors.  One features the LPC4330FET100 dual-core with ARM Cortex-M4 with floating point unit and Cortex-M0 coprocessor, both running at up to 204MHz with 264kB SRAM.  The other has the LPC1830FET100 running up to 180 MHz with 200kB SRAM and is an ARM Cortex-M3.  Both provide two high-speed USB 2.0 interfaces, Ethernet, CAN, and SPI flash interface.  For more comparisons between these two processor families, see the video below from NXP.

The NGX Xplorer boards add many useful connectors and support chips, including 32Mb flash, Ethernet PHY and connector, Micro SD card slot, two USB ports, headers for unused I/O, debug header, LEDs and switches.  The boards can be purchased from the NGX Technologies online store or from distributors; in the US you can currently find them at mcpros.

I plan on evaluating both boards in more detail in the coming weeks.  In the near future NGX will offer the boards shipped with a ulink-me debugger (at an additional cost).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eagle Design Competition

The CadSoft EAGLE Design Competition is underway, you can already view multiple entries at element14. The top prize is an Alienware laptop and EAGLE 6 Pro version, other prizes include CadSoft EAGLE and Microchip development boards.  The design must include a Microchip processor and a screenshot of the EAGLE 6 layout.  You have until August 31 to post your blog entry using the format of this sample post.  The full terms and conditions of the competition are posted at element14.

CadSoft Online