Development Tools

The EFM32 Development Kit – Gecko, G890F128

EFM32 Development Kit

The EFM32 Development Kit features the EFM32G890F128 MCU (128 kB flash + 16 kB RAM) and is one of the best kits designed for low power device development.

The Advanced Energy Monitoring (AEM) system is practically a very good power monitor and logger, embedded in the Development Kit. Some other kits are doing this in the IDE, but to have it with a display onboard is awesome.

A large spectrum of techniques, from using different low power modes to switch-off peripherals can be tested directly and all with one kit.

The on-board Segger J-Link enables debugging.

The OOB configuration enables that the EFM32 can be programmed with many demo programs selected with the 320×240 TFT Display GUI and the power consumption can be monitored on the same TFT after programming.

Some features:

  • Single ended and differential ADC inputs on BNC connectors
  • Line-in and Line-out stereo audio amplifier with 3.5 jacks
  • IrDA, RS232
  • MicroSD card reader
  • 4MB 70ns PSRAM+ 16MB 90ns NOR Flash + 2Kb I2C EEPROM
  • Accelerometer and LDR

Links:

Product page: https://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/32-bit/Pages/efm32g-dk3550.aspx

Simplicity Studio Download: https://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/Pages/simplicity-studio.aspx

User Guide: https://www.silabs.com/Support%20Documents/TechnicalDocs/efm32g-dk3550-ug.pdf

 

A Silabs video on YouTube:

 

Microchip PICkit 3 Debug Express Deal – July

40% Off for PICkit 3 Debug Express bundle with Coupon Code: TP1429 

PICkit 3 Debug Express

PICkit 3 Debug Express

The July Microchip Promo brings also other 4 Development Tools with attractive discounts:

 http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

PIC18F97J94 Plug in Module
Save Over 30% – Use Coupon Code: TP1427

 

 

chipKIT Pi

chipKIT Pi

chipKIT Pi Development Board by element14
Now 15% Off – Use Coupon Code: TP1428

It’s a Arduino compatible board with a SPDIP PIC32 MCU(PIC32MX250F128B). The board is supported by the free MPIDE that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi.   3v3

Element14 page: http://www.element14.com/community/community/raspberry-pi/raspberry-pi-accessories/chipkit_pi

 

PCAP Touch Pad Development Kit with Gestures
Save $30 – Use Coupon Code: TP143

– Projected capacitive board with modified MTCH6301 (base touch controller with display code integrated)
PICkit Serial Analyzer with custom firmware

Multimedia Expansion Board
$75 in Savngs – Use Coupon Code: TP1431

 

Sabre Lite Board

Element 14 - Embest Sabre Lite Board

Element 14 – Embest Sabre Lite Board

Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (SABRE) board built by Embest Technology Co. Ltd, a Premier Farnell – Element 14 Company

The board runs a Timesys Linux very good distribution on a powerful i.MX6 Quad Application Processor and is designed following the Freescale’s SABRE specification.

Hardware quality is excellent.

I’ve noticed some heating problems at 3D rendering but the quality is very good.

Still under evaluation!

 

Some Start-Up Links:

Element 14 SABRE Lite: http://www.element14.com/iMX6

Embest Tech: http://www.embest-tech.com/shop/product/sabre-lite-development-board.html

Boundary Devices Sabre Lite and Accesories: http://boundarydevices.com/products/sabre-lite-imx6-sbc/

Freescale i.MX6 Quad: http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX6Q

Timesys Linux: http://www.timesys.com/

TLDP Timesys Howto by Trevor Harmon – 2005: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/html_single/TimeSys-Linux-Install-HOWTO/

Freescale’s App Note AN4581 Secure Boot on i.MX50, i.MX53, and i.MX 6 Series using HABv4

Sabre Lite - embest

Sabre Lite by Embest – Element 14

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

Sometimes the Mighty BeagleBone may ask for a new, unknown driver named SUBARCTIC. His VID is 0451 and PID is 6141, at least in the case of a A6a board.

A simple search about this can lead to a bunch of different opinions but the truth seems to be that is appears only in Sitara’s bootloader mode, when he waits for some other debugging options, maybe something on the non-soldered P7 JTAG Connector.

The BeagleBone Subarctic QuickFix

So, BeagleBone is built to boot something from the SD Card… Inserting the Linux SD Card all works fine, the board get into linux boot sequence, the right devices (USB Serial Port, RNDIS Gadget… ) are showing up and the drivers are loading.

The quick fix: don’t search for a driver instead put the SD Card with software in the connector and cycle power.

Here is a USBView capture of the SUBARCTIC issue:

SUBARCTIC in USBView

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC in USBView

Some TI Sitara debuggers:

XDS100 – http://www.ti.com/tool/xds100
XDS560 –  http://www.ti.com/tool/XDS560
Blackhawk XDS560v2 System Trace USB Emulator, Spectrum Digital XDS560v2 PRO TRACE Receiver, Spectrum Digital XDS560v2 System Trace USB & Ethernet.

Some TI Sitara JTAG advices:

http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/XDS_Target_Connection_Guide#Target_Connection_Design

http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/XDS_Connector_Design_Checklist

 

 

Bus Pirate v.3

A great product: The Bus Pirate v.3

Bus Pirate v3b

Bus Pirate v3b

The Bus Pirate v.3  is a great piece of open source hardware and software bundle, built by Ian Lesnet & Co. @dangerousprototypes that can easy substitute some quick-build interfacing adapter for I2C, UART, 1-Wire, SPI, MIDI and many other serial protocols.

One important thing is that is 5.5v tolerant and supports some scriptable binary bitbang. In other words you can test at bit level various things that supports syncronous and asyncronous serial protocols.

Is built around a FT232RL converter, a PIC24 and a smart power supply (5v and 3v3 supplied to the target as software option).

Some features here: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Features_overview

Unfortunately… somehow I managed to burn his first 3v3 Micrel LDO (VR2 on the schematic/pcb). A short circuit on the cable connector and the LDO is gone.

To use the BusPirate again I had to switch the 3v3 LDO’s, the first one powers the board and the second one is for the “power to target” mode. Now the board is without the 3v3 supply option.

A v3 vs. v4 comparison: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate_v4_vs_v3_comparison

The 3b hardware overview: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate_v3b

Some places to buy:

Seeed: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/bus-pirate-v3-assembled-p-609.html?cPath=61_68

Watterott: http://www.watterott.com/de/Dangerous-Prototypes?x76825=eb8db1605207013dc33987d199f09e3d

Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/237

Other Bus Pirate resources:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_Pirate

A very good Italian article about 1-wire communications and Bus Pirate: http://www.settorezero.com/wordpress/il-bus-pirate-cosa-e-come-funziona-esempio-di-comunicazione-con-bus-1-wire/

A very good I2C article: http://www.maartendamen.com/2011/04/bus-pirate-talking-to-chips-bmp085-used-as-sample/

3-wire protocol article: http://bobdasquirrel.blogspot.it/2013/01/bus-pirate-meets-93lc46b.html

 

 

The amazing small board – NXP LPC800 by NGX

The amazing small board - NXP LPC800

The amazing small board – NXP LPC800

LPC800 series develeopment tool

I just get my hands on this board courtesy of Element14.

It’s amazing.  Simple and efficient.

The small pin number is compensated in a great way: The Switch Matrix – it connects 6 pins to any available internal module.

Of course, programming can be done in bootloader mode, where every pin is reassigned according to the original layout.

LPC810 features:

  • ARM Cortex-M0+
  • Switch matrix for flexible configuration of each I/O pin function
  • 2 USART interfaces, 1 SPI controller and 1  I²C-bus, with pin functions assigned through the switch matrix
  • Self Wake-up Timer (WKT) clocked from either the IRC or a low-power, low-frequency internal oscillator
  • CRC engine
  • Boot ROM API support: boot loader, USART and I²C drivers in ROM, power profiles, Flash In-Application Programming (IAP) and In-System Programming (ISP)

The debugging options supported are SWD (10 pin connector), JTAG boundary scan and Micro Trace Buffer (MTB).

The quickest/cheapest programming method is via spi*ISP (6 pin connector) with a USB/Serial cable.

Links:

NXP LPC800 mini: http://lpcware.com/lpc800-mini-kit

Schematic: http://lpcware.com/system/files/LPC800%20mini%20board%20Rev%20AR2_0.pdf

NGX Tech: http://ngxtech.com/

Some NGX JTAG Probes: http://shop.ngxtechnologies.com/index.php?currency=EUR&cPath=26&sort=2a

Element14 Community: http://www.element14.com

Recorded Elektor Academy Webinar: http://www.element14.com/community/videos/8356/l/elektor-academy–lpc800-arm-simplicity–twist-your-arm

LPCXpresso Community: http://knowledgebase.nxp.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4

Code Red (actually owned by NXP): http://www.code-red-tech.com/

IAR EW for ARM: http://www.iar.com/en/Products/IAR-Embedded-Workbench/ARM/

KEIL MDK ARM: http://www.keil.com/arm/mdk.asp

Some MBED resources: http://ioclk.com/mbed-arm-rapid-prototyping-tool/

Switch Matrix Tool (Java): http://www.lpcnow.com/articles/84558/lpc800-switch-matrix-making-life-easier-one-pin-at/

a note by user mio @ MBED.org: http://mbed.org/users/mio/notebook/lpc800-mini-boards-p1-to-p44/ 

arm.com blog page: http://blogs.arm.com/embedded/868-the-un%E2%80%99nxp%E2%80%99ected-lpc800/

article about the LPC800 with some Switch Matrix work: http://www.microcontrollercentral.com/author.asp?section_id=1758&doc_id=255764

*error corrected! thanks to nathael

Microchip Development Tools Deals – June 2013

June Development Tools Deals http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

Amazing MP3 Player! $80 Off – Coupon Code: TP1328

Development Tools Deals  - PIC32MX1/MX2 Starter Kit

Development Tools Deals – PIC32MX1/MX2 Starter Kit

Product page: http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en555947

Features include:

  • 24Bit Audio playback
  • Integrated Programmer Debugger
  • 2” Color TFT Display – 220 x 176 pixel
  • mTouchTM slider and buttons
  • PIC32MX250F128 with 128KB of Flash, 32KB RAM
  • Micro SD Flash Card

Other Development Tools Deals for June:

4/30 for MSP430

TI announces some limited quantity MSP430 development kits in the TI eStore, the deal lasts 430 minutes and starts at 10AM UTC (4/30 2013).

eZ430-Chronos – $50     $58.00

MSP-FET430U128 – $150     $175.00

MSP-FET430U100B – $130     $175.00

MSP-FET430U100C – $130     $175.00

International shipping included.

TI’s marketing hits again!

The new Tiva Launchpad EK-TM4C123GXL

The new Tiva Launchpad

The new Tiva Launchpad

TI announces a new Launchpad: The Tiva C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad Evaluation Kit.

Now is on pre-order status with a 10-12 weeks delivery time.

This is a evaluation platform for ARM® Cortex™-M4F-based microcontrollers featuring the newest  TM4C123GH6PM with a USB 2.0 device interface and hibernation module.

Some TM4C123GH6PM Specifications:

  • 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4 80-MHz processor core with System Timer (SysTick)
  • integrated Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC)
  • Wake-Up Interrupt Controller (WIC) with clock gating
  • Thumb-2 instruction set
  • On-chip memory, featuring 256 KB single-cycle Flash up to 40 MHz, 32 KB single-cycle SRAM;
  • internal ROM loaded with TivaWare™ for C Series software; 2KB EEPROM
  • 2 CAN modules
  • USB controller with USB 2.0 full-speed (12 Mbps) and low-speed (1.5 Mbps) operation, 32 endpoints
  • USB OTG/Host/Device mode
  • 8 UARTs with IrDA, 9-bit, and ISO 7816 support
  • four Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI) modules, supporting operation for Freescale SPI, MICROWIRE, or Texas Instruments synchronous serial interfaces;
  • 4 I2C modules
  • 2 12-bit ADCs
  • Advanced motion control, featuring: 8 PWM generator blocks, each with one 16-bit counter, 2 PWM comparators, a PWM signal generator, a dead-band generator, and an interrupt/ADC-trigger selector; 2 PWM fault inputs to promote low-latency shutdown; 2 Quadrature Encoder Interface (QEI) modules
  • Timers: 2 ARM FiRM-compliant watchdog timers; six 32-bit general-purpose timers (up to twelve 16-bit); six wide 64-bit general-purpose timers (up to twelve 32-bit); 12 16/32-bit and 12 32/64-bit Capture Compare PWM (CCP) pins
  • Up to 43 GPIOs (depending on configuration), with programmable control for GPIO interrupts and pad configuration, and highly flexible pin muxing
  • Lower-power battery-backed Hibernation module with Real-Time Clock

Some links:

https://estore.ti.com/Tiva-C-LaunchPad.aspx

http://www.ti.com/tool/ek-tm4c123gxl

http://www.ti.com/product/tm4c123gh6pm

http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/microcontroller/tiva_arm_cortex/c_series/tm4c_arm_cortex-m4/overview.page?DCMP=tivac-series&HQS=tiva-cseries-pr-lp Tiva™ C Series MCUs Overview

 http://newscenter.ti.com/2013-04-15-TI-introduces-new-Tiva-C-Series-ARM-Cortex-M4-microcontrollers-MCUs-for-connected-applications TI’s Press Release about Tiva C Series

2.7 inch E-Paper Display Module by EmbeddedArtists

Embedded Artists brings a compact E-Paper Display module based on the 2.7″ and 264 x 176 (117 dpi) resolution  Pervasive Dispalys Inc. panel

Intended as a development tool, the module can easily be used in many projects due to his low price (29€).

Some Specs:

  • a-Si, active matrix TFT, Electronic Paper Display (EPD) panel
  • 264×176 pixels @ 117dpi resolution
  • Ultra low power consumption – due to its bi-stable nature, the EPD panel requires very little power to update the display and needs no power to maintain an image
  • near 180°  viewing angle
  • No backlight – display useful in daylight applications
  • SPI interface + control signals, incl a PWM signal
  • Module supply voltage: 3.3V, the display is supplied with 3.0V via on-board LDO
  • View area: 57.3 × 38.2 mm
  • Operating temperature: 0 to +50 degrees Celsius
  • No of colors: 2 – B&W
  • Standard 14 pos serial expansion connector interface (2×7 shrouded pin header, 50/100 mil spacing)
  • 60 x 74 mm module size
  • 3.2 mm mounting holes in 52 x 66.3 mm pattern

And some E-Paper Links:

http://www.pervasivedisplays.com/products/panels

http://www.embeddedartists.com/products/displays/lcd_27_epaper.php  the  29€ board

http://repaper.org/tools.html   Arduino, Launchpad, aLaMode compatible

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/eink-display-shield-p-1374.html?cPath=132_134 a $49.90 Arduino Shield

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10150   E-Paper 10×2 Character Display

http://wyolum.com/re-paper-experiments/ aLaMode producer experiments with E-Paper modules

http://www.eink.com/modules.html some e-ink/e-paper info

http://www.renesasinteractive.com/file.php/1/CoursePDFs/DevCon_On-the-Road/DevCon_OnSite/HMI/Driving%20E%20Ink%20Displays.pdf    Renesas – Driving E Ink Dispalys PDF – download link

Microchip Development Tools Deals – March 2013

Microchip Develepment Tools Deals Link:   http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

 

MRF24J40MC PICtail/PICtail Plus Daughter Board – Save $17 – Use Coupon Code: TP1310

Zena™ Wireless Adapter – 868 MHz MRF89XA – $25 in Savings – Use Coupon Code: TP1311

Utility-Band BPSK 6.0 kbps PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board – Get Over $100 Off – Use Coupon Code: TP1312

BOOK:  Beginner`s Guide to Embedded C Programming – Volume 3 by Chuck Hellebuyck – 20% in Savings – Use Coupon Code: TP1313

Energia, something between TI Launchpad series and Arduino/Wiring

Energia, something between TI Launchpad series and Arduino/Wiring

http://energia.nu/ is awebsite that bring Energia, a Wiring/Arduino IDE fork designed to ease the Ti Launchpad series integration into the maker/hobbyist world.

In conjuction with the low price of the Launchpads and the growing number of the Boosterpacks I think that TI hits it big!

Energia, between TI Launchpad and Arduino

Energia, between TI Launchpad and Arduino

Right now it supports the following LaunchPads: LaunchPad MSP430G (MSP430G2231, MSP430G2452 and MSP430G2553), FRAM Launchpad aka. FraunchPad (MSP-EXP430FR5739), Stellaris LaunchPad (EK-LM4F120XL ).

No C2000 for now.

The Energia Support Forum is hosted on 43oh.comhttp://forum.43oh.com/forum/28-energia/

Hardware support page: https://github.com/energia/Energia/wiki/Hardware

Microchip Development Tools Deals

Microchip shows a “up to 50% off” label for development tools:

http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

January list is:

 

  1. M2M PICtail Daughter Boards >>> Get $60 Off – Use Coupon Code: TPAC320011 >>> Normal price: 199.00 USD
  2. Utility-Band BPSK 6.0 kbps PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board >>> Save $75 – Use Coupon Code: TPAC164145 >>> Normal price: 225.00 USD
  3. Graphics Display Truly 5.7 640×480 Board >>> $90 Off – Use Coupon Code: TPAC164127 >>> Normal price: 269.99 USD
  4. Motor Control Starter Kit with mTouch Sensing >>> Save $30 – Use Coupon Code: TPDM330015 >>> Normal price: 89.99 USD
  5. Multimedia Expansion Board >>> Save $100 Now – Use Coupon Code: TPDM320005 >>> Normal price: 249.99 USD

Great! But I’m still waiting for the new tideals site…

 

 

TI TMDSHVMPPTKIT – Isolated Solar MPPT Development Kit

TI MPPT High Voltage Isolated Solar Development Kit

TI MPPT High Voltage Isolated Solar Development Kit

Some features:

  • 200-300VDC Input up to 500Watts
  • 400VDC Output
  • 2 Phase DC/DC Boost for Maximum Power Point Tracking
  • 1:1 Resonant LLC for isolation
  • Onboard USB JTAG Emulation
  • Single phase current mode inverter
  • Supports 120-220V AC with grid-tie capabilities and anti-islanding

TI estore page: https://estore.ti.com/TMDSHVMPPTKIT-High-Voltage-Isolated-Solar-MPPT-Development-Kit-P2886.aspx

product page: http://www.ti.com/tool/tmdshvmpptkit

Development Tools: TI Control Suite which comes with all software examples needed.

A short excerpt from HV_Solar_DC_DC-Main.C  about the included libraries …

/----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
//  FILE:           Solar_DC_DC-Main.C
//
//  Description:    Solar MPPT DC-DC Stage
//                  The file drives duty on PWM1A and PWM2A for DC-DC boost stage on the HV Solar
//                  MPPT board. It also generates 50% duty with dead-band on PWM3A & PWM3B for
//                  the LLC stage on the same board.
//                  C28x ISR is triggered by the PWM 1 interrupt
//
//  Version:        1.0
//
//  Target:         TMS320F2803x(PiccoloB),
//
//----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
//  Copyright Texas Instruments © 2004-2010

//...............................................some code.........................................

// Following is the implementation using the solar lib function
    if(Run_MPPT==1)
    {
        // MPPT routine
        mppt_incc1.Ipv = IL_avg;//IpvRead_EMAVG; //IpvRead;
        mppt_incc1.Vpv = Vp_fb_Avg;//VpvRead_EMAVG; //VpvRead;

        mppt_incc_MACRO(mppt_incc1);

        VpvRef_MPPT = mppt_incc1.VmppOut;

        mppt_pno1.Ipv = IL_avg;//IpvRead_EMAVG; //IpvRead;
        mppt_pno1.Vpv = Vp_fb_Avg;//VpvRead_EMAVG; //VpvRead;

        mppt_pno_MACRO(mppt_pno1);

        //VpvRef_MPPT = mppt_pno1.VmppOut;

        if(VpvRef_MPPT<_IQ24(0.0))
        {
            VpvRef_MPPT=_IQ24(0.0);
        }
        else if(VpvRef_MPPT>_IQ24(0.9))
        {
            VpvRef_MPPT=_IQ24(0.9);
        }

        VpvRef=VpvRef_MPPT;

        Run_MPPT=0;
    }

TI C2000 Piccolo Launchpad

TI C2000 Launchpad

TI C2000 Launchpad

 C2000@Launchpad

  • A great evaluation tool for the electronic enthusiast, the hobbyist and the hardware/software developer who seeks a quick path to the TI’s 32bit C2000 microcontroller line wich is designed for real-time control applications.

https://estore.ti.com/LAUNCHXL-F28027-C2000-Piccolo-LaunchPad-P3088.aspx … and the price is fabulous too.

  • integrated isolated XDS100 JTAG emulator
  • TMS320F28027
  • 8 PWM channels, eCAP, 12bit ADC, I2C, SPI, UART

 

https://estore.ti.com/LAUNCHXL-F28027-C2000-Piccolo-LaunchPad-P3088.aspx

… and the price is fabulous too.

 

Info: http://www.ti.com/tool/launchxl-f28027

Piccolo MCU Datasheet: http://www.ti.com/litv/pdf/sprs523h

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