I couldn't agree more - development kits are a great way to gain familiarity with a specific product or product family. I have utilized microchip kits in the past and using their online tools and their MPLab IDE for some design work and it really gave me a great jumpstart since I was not familiar with their specific microcontrollers at that time. This promises to be a great series!
I agree with you Nancy, develop kits are a great way to become familiar with specific technology. I have a couple and really enjoy them. Several designers I know would use them as their somewhat prototype before selecting the final microprocessor or FPGA.
Thanks Richard for this blog I would love to attend the live online class but due to a schedule conflict I will have to get it as an archive. It comes at a good time because I'm in the process of selecting a development kit for one of my new designs.
Kind of off subject but maybe someone will blog about Field-programmable analog arrays (FPAAs). I read about them many years ago when I worked for a major corporation but couldn't get much interest from my co-workers. Maybe because most were digital designers however I like and do design both analog and digital circuits so I was/am very interested in this technology. Now that I'm working for myself and developing new products I've decided to incorporate one in my new design idea and maybe as a part of the research I will do to get my PhD.
You make an excellent point, gsmith120 - they are a great way to narrow down your design choices and make a final selection! Much better than blindly picking one according to spec sheets without having any real world experience. Thanks for pointing that out!
I use them all the time, they're cheap and most times have enough breadboard area to get a circuit into to. Sometimes I don't even reuse them, just wire them up for a prototype and leave them in the cabinet if the design ever needs to be revisited.
The development-kit seminars in the Digi-Key Continuing Education program remain archived for anyone to view any time. You can download the PowerPoint slides and listen to the audio. Many interesting questions and answers for each session, too.
I teach a Microprocessor class at ITT Tech and have explained to my class the benefit behind these Development kits for rapid prototyping new product concepts and features. I continued to use them in my engineerng design projects to prove technical feasibility and to demonstrate the lastest in microcontroller and semiconductor technologies to Product Managers.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.