While Arduino gets the lions share of attention in the hobby community there are some limitations to 8-bit microcontrollers which have been recognized by the Arduino project with their recent announcement of plans to make ARM based development boards, as well at the Maple project (STM32 based). ARM microprocessors often offer significantly more RAM/Flash and peripherals at similar prices to traditional 8-bit microcontrollers, however they have a reputation for being harder to use.
In the maker community LPC and STM32 ARM based boards seem the norm, however in my experience LM3S (LM = Luminary Micro which is now owned by Ti) chips are far easier to work with. This is largely due to StellarisWare, which makes peripheral configuration uniform across devices. (See my comparison of UART configuration on many platforms here).
When I realized there were no inexpensive LM3S based boards available (now there are few on eBay as well) I decided to make some. I made a simple breakout style board called Cygni that was as inexpensive as possible so that people could try out ARM and find out that it wasn’t scary after all. And I made two more advanced boards one that could be a USB host (called Eridani) and one that was suitable for tasks requiring a lot of memory, internet access, USB hosting or all of the above (called Procyon).
teho Labs – inexpensive LM3S based boards - [Link]
Few month ago I wanted to try to write software for Microchip PIC16F883 microcontroller and I couldn’t find simple development board for it. And so I made my own.
It took me a couple of hours to design the board in Eagle and a couple more hours to make it with toner transfer method and solder it.
This development board is as simple as it gets. Just PIC16F883 controller in SO28W package, linear regulator with two selectable voltages 3.3V and 5V. Bunch of pinheaders connected straight to the MCU I/O pins, pinheaders for VCC and GND, and programming port.
PIC16F883 Development Board - [Link]
An embedded development board for Altera FPGAs: [via]
CoreCommander development board is unique in the industry. It features the Altera Cyclone III FPGA that provides more than enough room for almost any embedded design.
This flexible board comes with a suite of SLS IP Cores, drivers, and application software. Delivered as a complete package, the board and soft content ensures quick and easy implementation of industry leading cores with reduced risk AND at a very low cost.
CoreCommander development board – [Link]
Homemade QFP50 dangerous proto board test CNC precision:
I’m using the QFP50 dangerous proto board as a reference design to test the precision of a proxxon mf-70 retrofitted micro CNC. I’m quite happy with the results!
Homemade QFP50 dangerous proto board – [Link]
I make a lot of breakout boards that I usually use in my hobby projects. Most are input/output devices but some are microcontroller breakout boards.
Breakout Board Collection - [Link]
We released the 28 Pin AVR Development Board back in 2008 and since then it has gone through many iterations. This week we release version 1.6 which adds 4 improvements. These improvements were based on customer feedback and we are very grateful for the feedback. Please keep it coming.
28 Pin AVR Development Board – Version 1.6 – [Link]