Hi, Jim. Cypress takes the plug-in approach with its PSoC products and Microchip offers PICtail plug-in modules for its dev boards. Other MCU and even uP vendors have similar modular approaches. Like you, I remember the days of the expensive boards. Companies with big budgets might not balk at costly dev kits, but entrepreneurs who have cool ideas can't afford them just to test a concept. --Jon
This is a nice step in the right direction; first, with respect to the modular approach for design flexibility, and second, the low, low prices! It wasn’t long a go (circa 2002) that evaluation boards for the popular OMAP processors from Texas Instruments ran into multiple thousands of dollars for only a single Eval-Kit. (OK, so, granted the OMAP is a uP, and we’re talking sensors here, but the cost difference is remarkable!) And the modular approach is a great help for development engineers also. Final product layout always risks last-minute revisions, due to performance degradation from shields and other variables not considered on the bench-boards. Kudos to Freescale for addressing these two points.
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