Future Launches Development Board At Exhibition

Future Electronics has introduced the Connectnet Micro-Blox development board at the Embedded World exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. It is the latest addition to Future Electronics' Future-Blox series of stackable proof-of-concept development boards. The Connectnet Micro-Blox helps developers using Microchip's PIC32MX5, MX6 and MX7 ranges of 32-bit microcontrollers to accelerate the development process by providing a realistic system-level blueprint for a range of end products.

Developers can freely use or modify in their own designs the Connectnet Micro-Blox implementations of common functions such as power management, display-driving, memory control and communications interfaces. The board features the PIC32MX795F512L microcontroller, alongside an A3P250-1FGG256 ProASIC3 FPGA from Actel. Many 32-bit microcontroller-based designs use programmable logic and, in the Connectnet Micro-Blox, Future Electronics has used the ProASIC3 as a programmable LCD controller and memory interface, as well as to perform data-flow management.

By implementing LCD control in an FPGA, designers avoid the obsolescence problems common with dedicated display driver ASICs. The code for all the ProASIC3 implementations is freely available. In standalone mode, the Connectnet Micro-Blox provides essential system-level functions such as power conversion for 3.3 and 1.5V rails from a 5V supply, 256Mb of SDRAM, two discrete ADCs, a USB port and an interface for a Zero-G wireless module. The PIC32MX795F512L includes on-chip controller capability for USB on the go and CAN2.0B.

Future Electronics also provides a full board-support package, including a port of the FreeRTOS operating system along with drivers, TCP/IP and USB Device/Host stacks, example code and tools. The package includes libraries for encryption (AES128/196/256); framebuffer and graphics; CAN; audio; DSP; FATfs file sytem; 16-bit file system; and 32-bit file system. The Connectnet Micro-Blox forms part of the stackable Future-Blox series of rapid-development platforms and includes a header for direct connection to the Longbow baseboard. This gives access to an additional array of features and I/Os.

When the Connectnet Micro-Blox is hosted on a Longbow baseboard, the developer has access to: RS-232, RS-485 and CAN2.0B interfaces; interfaces to Bluetooth, Zigbee and WiLAN modules; additional USB2.0 ports; 10/100 Ethernet port I2S audio codec and Class-D audio amplifier; direct interface to a selection of TFT LCDs from 3.5in QVGA up to 12.1in XGA LM8300 LCD touch-screen controller from National Semiconductor; Status LEDs and power LEDs; and Buzzer 160-pin header for connection to other Future-Blox boards.

The Connectnet Micro-Blox is configured with circuitry to enable programming and debugging using Microchip's suite of free development tools (MPLAB IDE version 8.0 or higher). With MPLAB IDE installed on a user's PC, the complete design flow, including hardware programming to the target device, can be completed with a single USB connection to the Micro-Blox board.


Popular posts from this blog

What is Class I Division 2?


7/8 16UN Connectors that Provide 600 Volts and 15 Amps