Development kits

Development Kits

AVR Butterfly – ATMEGA169V Development Kit

 Programmers, debuggers, tools and development kits

The quickest way to learn and deploy a new microcontroller or PLD is a starter kit. A standard starter kit includes:

  • the hardware – usually a small board
  • a programming adapter (the cheap ones are embedded in the hardware board)
  • programming software, compiler and maybe an IDE
  • some reference designs and software examples and datasheets

Some chip manufacturers are offering a large palette of boards bundled with software with different names as Evaluation Boards, Starter Kits, Demo Kits, Rapid Prototyping Kits, Development Kits. The main difference between those kits can be seen in the Development Software licensing option as the Starter Kit usually has a code-size or time limited demo version and the Development Kit may include a full “per seat” license or something more useful in production work.

Open-source software can be also bundled in the cheap kits but is not a cheap solution, if you don’t need hard optimisation, if you have enough space and if you know exactly what you need to do, it can turn to be a very cost-effective business option.

Compiler differences can be observed in the code optimisation, one example can be found at http://www.ghs.com/products/compiler.html.

Companies like IAR SYSTEMS (http://www.iar.com) and Keil(http://www.keil.com/) are providing some of the best integrated kits for architectures like ARM, 8051, ColdFire, Renesas R8C / RX / RL78 and AVR / AVR32.

Here we are trying to bring you some hints in choosing “the right kit” or maybe only a small review.

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