Microchip Technology introduced the chipKIT open-source development platform. The chipKIT platform is compatible with Arduino hardware and software. The 32-bit-microcontroller-based platform enables hobbyists and academics to easily and inexpensively, integrate electronics into projects, even if they do not have a background in electronics engineering. The platform consists of the chipKIT Uno32 development board (clone of the Arduino Uno board) and the chipKIT Max32 (clone of the Arduino Mega board). chipKIT platform was designed and manufactured by Digilent.
Texas Instruments introduced three digital power development kits for the TMS320C2000 microcontroller. The TI kits enable and simplify complex power supply functions for bridgeless design and Peak Current Mode Control (PCMC) with Slope Compensation. The three new kits are: (1) High Efficiency Bridgeless PFC AC/DC Developer’s Kit ($450), (2) Phase Shifted Isolated Full Bridge DC/DC Developer’s Kit ($550), and (3) Resonant LLC Isolated Half Bridge DC/DC Developer’s Kit ($400). The Piccolo-based development kits are now available for order.
Microchip Technology introduced the MPLAB X IDE for the development of embedded applications using their PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers. With MPLAB X IDE, engineers can manage multiple projects and tools with simultaneous debugging, an advanced editor, visual call graphs and code completion. The open-source integrated development environment supports Linux, Mac OS and Windows operating systems. MPLAB X IDE beta is available now for free download.
Texas Instruments launched their free Grace software platform for enabling and configuring MSP430 microcontroller peripherals. The TI Grace software is a visual plug-in that enables developers to interact with buttons, pull-down menus and helpful pop-ups to generate easy-to-understand C code that automatically configures the low-level register settings of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), operational amplifiers (op amps), timers, serial communication modules, clocks and other peripherals.
Renesas Electronics recently announced their RX Design Contest. The Renesas RX Design Contest is an opportunity for embedded engineers to showcase their skills in any type of design using an RX MCU. One thousand RX62N Renesas Demonstration Kits (RDKs) will be available to contestants for free. The use of the RDK is encouraged, but not required. The top prize is $5000 and there are over $110,000 in cash and prizes. The deadline to enter the Renesas RX Design Contest is March 4, 2011.
Microchip Technology introduced the Microstick for dsPIC33F and PIC24H development board, which is a low-cost solution for designing with Microchip’s 16-bit PIC24H microcontrollers and dsPIC33F Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs). Microstick features an integrated USB programmer/debugger that shortens learning curves. Microstick can be used stand-alone or plugged into a prototyping board. The Microstick for dsPIC33F and PIC24H (part # DM330013) is available now for $24.99 each. Educators are eligible for a 25% discount.
Microchip Technology and Cymbet teamed to create the customizable XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit. The energy harvesting kit includes a modular development board with the PIC24F16KA102 microcontroller. The included Cymbet EnerChip EH Eval-08 Energy Harvesting Board harvests solar energy that is then stored in the EnerChip solid-state, rechargeable energy-storage devices. PICtail daughter boards can be added for the rapid evaluation of a wide variety of system functions, including ZigBee and proprietary wireless connectivity, and SD memory cards. The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Kit (part # DV164133) is available today for $195.
Texas Instruments (TI) launched their open source MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad development kit. The LaunchPad kit includes the hardware and software needed to create designs based on TI’s MSP430 Value Line MCUs. LaunchPad supports rapid prototyping and development by enabling developers to quickly drop-in MSP430 Value Line MCUs to evaluate, program or debug devices. The new MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad development kit (MSP-EXP430G2) is priced at $4.30. TI’s MSP430 Value Line MCUs start at 25 cents and offer up to 10X performance and 10X battery life over 8-bit MCUs.
Energy Micro announced the energyAware Profiler energy debugging tool for their 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontroller kits. The energyAware Profiler tool reads the kits’ Advanced Energy Monitoring (AEM) system data and enables simple graphical visualization and optimization of application energy consumption and code. The energyAware Profiler Windows software is available as a free download.
Microchip Technology introduced three development kits for the rapid design of accessories for iPod and iPhone using Microchip’s PIC microcontrollers. The kits provide examples of the hardware and software required to implement applications, such as digital-audio sound systems, docking stations and a multitude of new accessories that can leverage the infrastructure for iPod and iPhone.