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Microchip gives 16-, 32bit development platform hardware boost

Posted: 11 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32bit 16bit? daughter boards PiCtail? platform development?

Microchip Technology Inc. has announced 10 new application-specific PICtail Plus daughter boards for the Explorer 16 Development Board platform. The Explorer 16 development board (part # DM240001, $129.99) supports Microchip's 16bit PIC24 MCUs and dsPIC33 digital signal controllers (DSCs), and the 32bit PIC32 MCUs, through numerous processor-specific plug-in modules. According to Microchip, PICtail Plus daughter cards can be used to adapt the board for specific applications, reducing prototype development time while providing additional reference design insight for the final design.

"Even before the application-specific boards became available, the Explorer 16 was our most popular 16/32-bit development platform, because it supports all 16- and 32bit MCUs plus the dsPIC33 DSCs," stated Derek Carlson, Microchip's VP of development tools. "With the PICtail Plus daughter boards, developers can adapt the features of the Explorer 16 to a variety of applications, making it the centerpiece of a very flexible development platform."

Ten PICtail Plus daughter boards are currently available for the Explorer 16. They provide a wide range of functionality, and may be used in combination with each other:

  • USB PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164131, $60.00)!A USB demonstration board for evaluating Microchip's 16- and 32-bit USB MCUs using the Explorer 16. Features include example circuits for USB implementation, and Microchip's free USB 2.0 Embedded Host and On-The-Go (OTG) stacks.

  • Ethernet PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164123, $39.99)!Provides a cost-effective method for evaluating and developing embedded Ethernet applications. The development board is populated with Microchip's 28-pin ENC28J60 MAC/PHY Ethernet controller, which interfaces to the SPI bus of the MCU. Also included is the RJ-45 connector, to make the Ethernet connection to the network.

  • Motor control interface PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164128, $125.00)!Interfaces with the Explorer 16 and Microchip's High-Voltage or Low-Voltage Power Module (part # DM300021 or DM300022, respectively). It has hardware support for sensor and sensorless applications, such as hall sensors, optical encoders, back EMF and current sensing. Included is a dsPIC33FJ256MC70 Motor Control Plug-in Module for the Explorer 16.

  • Graphics PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164127, $135.00)!Demonstrates Microchip's graphic LCD display solution, including Microchip's Graphics Library for 16- and 32bit processors. The Graphics PICtail Plus contains a color QVGA display with resistive touchscreen capability.

  • Speech playback PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164125, $45.00)! Implements a fourth-order low-pass filter, speaker amplifier, speaker and 1Mbit SPI serial EEPROM for playback-only applications. Speech playback is accomplished by using the integrated PWM module on the Explorer 16 processor, and is filtered into a voice waveform using the low-pass filter.

  • Audio PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164129, $80.00)!Features microphone or line inputs, plus line output and speaker output, for audio applications. The audio input signals are routed to the ADC peripheral on the Explorer 16 processor. Output signals can be generated by the Explorer 16 processor using the Output Compare/PWM module as a PWM digital waveform; or, some dsPIC33 DSCs are equipped with a 16bit DAC module, which can generate a pair of differential signals.

    PWM-generated signals are converted to analog signals by a low-pass filter on the Audio PICtail Plus daughter board. DAC-generated signals are converted to a single-ended analog signal by a differential amplifier on the Audio PICtail Plus. The output signals from the Audio PICtail Plus are then amplified for the selected output type (line or speaker).

  • PICtail daughter board for SD and MMC cards (part # AC164122, $37.99)!A universal board that interfaces SD and MMC memory cards to the SPI bus of the Explorer 16 processor.

  • Prototype PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164126, $20.00)!An expansion breadboard card for the Explorer 16, using any of Microchip's16- or 32bit controllers. This 8cm x 8cm board provides access to all of the processor's pins and contains a general-purpose prototyping area. Each purchase includes three blank Prototype PICtail Plus daughter boards.

  • ECAN/LIN PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164130, $45.00)!Used with the Explorer 16 to facilitate rapid implementation and evaluation of applications that use CAN and LIN interfaces that are implemented on selected dsPIC33 DSCs and PIC24H 16bit MCUs. Features include two ECAN nodes with MCP2551 transceivers, two LIN nodes with MCP2021-330 transceivers, a LIN Master or Slave selectable option, and an external power-supply input.

  • IrDA PICtail Plus daughter board (part # AC164124, $25.00)!Expands the functionality of the Explorer 16 to include IrDA communications. This card features a TFDU100 infrared optical sensor module from Vishay Semiconductor. The PIC24 and dsPIC33 UART modules implement the 3/16 encoder and decoder necessary to interface directly with the TFDU100.

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