Meet the PX-Hero, an ARM Cortex-M0+ Based Development Board for Embedded Systems Education

Meet the PX-Hero, an ARM Cortex-M0+ Based Development Board for Embedded Systems Education

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Piconomix, the South-Africa based Embedded systems development company, has launched a campaign on Crowdsupply for a new board called; PX-Hero.

The PX-Her0 is a low-power ARM Cortex MO+ based development board that was developed for use in embedded education applications. The board comes with an ecosystem of tools including an open-source C library, and detailed documentation that is designed to serve as a hands-on guide to help users learn embedded system development at their own pace.

The board is based on the  STM32L072RB ultra-low-power, ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller with 128kb of FLASH and 4Mbit of serial flash memory using the Adesto AT25SF041 chip, in addition to a spring-loaded microSD card slot which can be used for storage. Showing clear considerations of the need of most beginners, the board comes with a Low-power 128 x 64 monochrome graphic LCD which could be used in teaching how to display data on LCDs, and a LiPo battery charger which makes prototyping battery-based projects easy.

Some specifications and features of the board are provided below:

  • Microcontroller: STM32L072RB ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M0+
    • 128k FLASH
    • 20k SRAM
    • 6k EEPROM
  • Memory: Adesto AT25SF041 4 Mbit serial flash memory
  • Storage: Spring-loaded push-push MicroSD card slot
  • Serial communication: Rock-solid FTDI FT230XS USB-serial bridge
  • Rich user interface:
    • Low-power 128 x 64 monochrome graphic LCD with LED backlight
    • User LED and battery charger LED
    • Piezo buzzer
    • 6 LARGE finger-friendly user buttons
    • Reset button
  • Peripheral connectors:
    • PWR (+3.6 V to +5 V power bus)
    • ADC x 4
    • DAC x 1
    • GPIO x 8 / PWM x 4
    • UART x 2
    • I²C x 3 (single I²C bus)
    • SPI x 1
  • Power:
    • Li-Po battery charger
    • A zero-burden voltage monitoring circuit
    • Efficient power-path management
    • True power on/off circuit
    • 95% efficient TI LM3670 step-down DC-DC regulator
  • Dimensions:
    • Board: 100 x 80 mm (3.94 x 3.15″)
    • Display active pixel area: 48.6 x 24.9 mm (1.91 x 0.98″) / 54.6 mm (2.15″) diagonal

 

For easy programming, the PX-HERO ecosystem includes a CLI Explorer App (Command Line Interpreter) that creates a “Un*x Shell”-like environment running on the PX-HER0 board so that you can easily experiment with GPIO, PWM, ADC, DAC, I²C, SPI, and 1-Wire using only ANSI/VT100 terminal software. For a more familiar and friendly interface, the PX-HERO is also compatible with the Arduino IDE and native support for it has been added in ArduinoCoreSTM32 version 1.8.0. with the setup process fully documented.

The only downside to the PX-HERO, howbeit, understandable, is the lack of an onboard debugger which according to Piconomix, will increase the board’s power consumption. As such, to provide the fine resolution and insightful view into your firmware, you will need a good in-circuit debugger. To make acquiring the debugger easy and seamless, Piconomix, will be giving backers the opportunity to acquire the STLINK-V3MINI low cost, high-performance in-circuit debugger and programmer for STM32 along with the PX-HERO board.

STLINK-V3MINI Debugger and Programmer

The campaign has raised over $600 so far with close to 36 days to go. It might be a good time to explore it and decide if it’s a good project to back.

More information on the board along with the price and perks can be found on the project’s Crowdsupply page.

About Emmanuel Odunlade
Email : emmaodunlade@gmail.com Website :

Hardware Design Engineer | #IoT Consultant |All things #ML | Entrepreneur | Serial Writer | Passionate about Innovation and technology as tools for solving problems in developing countries. Spare time is spent around writing and advocacy for the growth of the Maker/DIY Culture in Africa.

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