BeagleBoard. BeagleBoard is a low-power, open-source hardware, single-board computer produced by Texas Instruments in association with DigiKey and Newark element14. It was also designed with open source software development in mind, and as a way of demonstrating Texas Instruments’ OMAP3530 SoC.

Fig. 6: PandaBoard
Fig. 6: PandaBoard

OMAP3530 includes an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, a TMS320C64x+ DSP for accelerated video and audio decoding, and an Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX530 GPU to provide accelerated 2D and 3D rendering that supports OpenGL ES 2.0. Video-out is provided through separate S-Video and HDMI connections. A single SD/MMC card slot supporting SDIO, a USB On-The-Go port, an RS232 serial connection, a JTAG connection, and two stereo 3.5 mm jacks for audio in/out are also provided.


Atmel STK600. It is a complete starter kit and development system for 8-bit and 32-bit AVR microcontrollers that gives designers a quick start to develop code on the AVR with advanced features for prototyping and testing new designs. The AVR device connects to STK600 using an innovative routing and socket card sandwich system, which routes signals from the device to the appropriate hardware.

Fig. 7: BeagleBoard
Fig. 7: BeagleBoard

The system consists of a generic socket card, on which the AVR device is inserted, and a device-specific signal routing card, which routes signals from socket pins to different functions on the STK600 main board dependent on the device. The kit offers access to all device pins, and several useful hardware functions such as pushbuttons, LEDs and data Flash to create a complete system for prototyping and testing new designs.

Fig. 8: Atmel STK600
Fig. 8: Atmel STK600

Microchip’s PIC18 Explorer board. This low-cost demo board is used for evaluation of Microchip’s PIC18 MCU families. PIC18 is the highest-performing 8-bit architecture and has three different families: standard PIC18, PIC18 J-series and PIC18 K-series. This single development board supports dozens of general-purpose PIC18 families using various processor plug-in modules. PICtail daughter boards enable many different accessory boards to connect to PIC18 Explorer board for a flexible and complete development environment. It conveniently connects to MPLAB PICkit 3, ICD 3 or REAL ICE for in-circuit programming and debugging. Other features include alphanumeric LCD display, USB interface for USB to RS232 communication, 25LC256 SPI EEPROM, crystal oscillator, potentiometer (connected to 10-bit A/D, analogue input channel), analogue-output temperature sensor, LEDs and RS-232 port.

Fig. 9: PIC18 Explorer board
Fig. 9: PIC18 Explorer board
Fig. 10: Renesas’ YRDKRX63N board
Fig. 10: Renesas’ YRDKRX63N board

93B_BoxRenesas’ RDK for RX63N (Part No. YRDKRX63N). The Renesas demonstration kit (RDK) for RX63N (32-bit MCU) is an evaluation and demonstration tool for Renesas RX63N microcontrollers. The goal is to provide the user with a powerful debug and demonstration platform targeted at common applications. The board also provides a useful platform for evaluating the Renesas suite of development tools for coding and debugging, using the High-performance Embedded Workshop (HEW) IDE as well as programming the device using the on-board SEGGER J-Link JTAG debugger. The features are as follows:
1. 32-bit, 100Mhz RX63N MCU @ 165 DMIPS
2. 10/100 Ethernet
3. USB host and device ports
4. 3-axis accelerometer from Analog Devices
5. 128MB PCM serial Flash from Micron
6. Stereo audio output and on-board speaker
7. Analog Devices silicon microphone input
8. Temperature sensor from Analog Devices
9. User pot and three switches
10. Micro SD card slot
11. 96×64 graphics LCD from Okaya
12. Expansion headers
13. Dual Pmod connectors
14. LED simulated motor phases
15. USB or externally powered
16. Total Phase Beagle I2C/SPI debug interface
17. Built-in SEGGER J-Link debugger
18. Myriad of software, code examples, and demos

The Renesas demonstration kit for RX63N is also the hardware platform that is included in a special RX63N-specific edition of Micrium’s book on the µC/OS-III Real Time Kernel. The book and board combo targets serious programmers and college students who need to understand and create programs based on the time-saving features of a real-time kernel.

The author is a technical editor at EFY


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