pyroelectro.com just started an online course, An Introduction To FPGA And CPLD, through uReddit.com.
This course is meant to create a pathway into learning about FPGA and CPLD electronics, for people who are scared of the code, tools and general trickery that usually comes with it. A hands-on approach is taken in this course through a combination of lecture and experimentation to teach you about the different features of both the development tools and languages used in the world of FPGA. Additionally, visuals are used throughout lectures like step-by-step schematic building and line-by-line code explanations so that everything gets explained.
An Introduction To FPGA And CPLD - [Link]
I recently stumbled across an interesting fact in the datasheet for the ATMEGA32u4, the microcontroller I am using for my Einstepper Project. I was surprised to find that Atmel had included a temperature sensor in the core of the device that you can read using the internal ADC. As it turns out, there are many megaAVR devices contain an internal temperature sensor. According to Atmel’s product finder, these devices are:
ATMEGA Core Temperature Sensor - [Link]
An ATTiny84 based computer designed and built by Jack Eisenmann.
DUO Decimal – a Single Board Computer - [Link]
At the end of this month, I’ll be leaving my current job. I therefore thought it’d be a nice occasion to build a new business card for my future interviews.
AVR business card v2 - [Link]
Neven Boyanov @ open-electronics.org writes:
The Tinusaur is a small board with a ATtiny85 micro-controller on it. The board has the minimum required components for the micro-controller to work properly. It also has few headers to connect external components and connector for ISP programmer. The board could work with any of those DIP-8 chips such as ATtiny25/ATtiny45/ATtiny85, ATtiny13 as well as their variations.
The goal of the Tinusaur project is to have a simple, cheap and quick-start platform for everyone interested in learning and creating things.
The Tinusaur Project - [Link]
By Jon Gabay:
To do something useful, a microcontroller (MCU) must be connected to other devices. This connection is made through input/output (I/O) pins. More times than not, these days pins are multifunctional and can connect to A/Ds, D/As, linear functions (such as op amps and comparators), voltage references, and more. So for the design engineer, protecting these I/Os against potentially damaging static charges and other similar threats is of high importance.
In establishing proper protection for an MCU, engineers are finding that characteristics they have depended on for years have suddenly become less effective and they are forced to revisit problems of the past. Why? Principally, as a result of market pressure to reduce the cost of their products, semiconductor manufacturers have combined a higher level of integration with continued shrinking of process geometry, making die sizes smaller. As a result, implementing the necessary transient immunity protection to prevent malfunction due to transients on power and signal lines has become increasingly difficult.
Protecting MCU I/O Lines from ESD and Other Transients - [Link]
Cypress Semiconductor are offering the CY8CKIT-049-41XX development board which contains a 32-bit CORTEX-M3 48 MHz ARM processor for just $4.00 (£2.62 in the UK). The board is quite basic but offers a full-speed USB to serial bridge controller chip on a snap-off portion of the PCB to allow for bootloading the target PSoC device and communication with the board via a computer’s USB port. Software tools for the kit include the PSoC Creator and EZ-USB Software Development Kit (SDK).
The kit supports either a 3.3 or 5 V supply voltage and the device can be programmed using the bootloader or the Cypress MiniProg3 programmer. Cypress Semiconductor are marketing these ready-to-run kits as an alternative to supplying device samples.
Low-cost ARM Development Platform - [Link]
by vishalapr @ instructables.com
The first time I saw a POV (Persistence Of Vision) display was on a show called FAQ on TV. The POV display consisted of an oscillating shaft with 6 LED’s mounted on the end of the shaft.
Since then I have always wanted to make one myself, I tried making one about 2 months ago with an oscillating shaft myself but I was not successful as the speed of the shaft was too low for the POV display to work. Now I decided to make the POV display with just a DC Motor instead of an oscillating shaft as they are much cheaper and easily available compared to the shafts.
ATtiny85 POV Display - [Link]
by Benabadji Noureddine:
This Design Idea demonstrates a new method of driving six LEDs with only two I/O lines from a microcontroller, and so is particularly suitable for any pin-limited chip. It uses a pair of I/O lines combined with a pair of complementary bipolar transistors. More than one LED can appear to be lit by multiplexing.
Two PIC pins drive six LEDs - [Link]