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.
Digital healthcare devices and wearable electronic products need to be thoroughly tested, lest they live short, ignominious lives, an expert will tell attendees at UBM’s upcoming Designers of Things conference in San Jose, Calif.
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