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Adaptor board adds peripherals to ARM mbed fast prototyping system

Adaptor board adds peripherals to ARM's mbed fast prototyping system

Future Electronics has released a series of new mezzanine carrier cards, the mbed adapter board, which connects ARM's mbed fast prototyping system to its CrossBow development board.

According to Future, the mbed prototyping system has already become popular as a standalone prototyping development system, featuring development boards with ARM Cortex-M0 and ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers from NXP Semiconductors. MBED is both powerful and cheap, since ARM provides its compiler as an online service at no cost to the developer. ARM also supplies mbed users with a library of free of charge code. This IP includes drivers for popular interfaces such as UART and USB, and complete applications such as an rfid suite.

The newest carrier card from Future's System Design Centre, the mbed Adaptor Board, is designed to provide an instant connection to all the peripherals and features of the CrossBow baseboard, a Future Blox development board.
The mbed Adaptor Board plugs into the 160 way header on the CrossBow baseboard. CrossBow provides a wide range of interfaces such as USB, CAN 2.0, RS-232 and RS-485 ports, power supplies and a 16x2 character display, as well as sockets for optional ZigBee and Bluetooth modules.

The mbed Adaptor Board, which is supplied with drivers for the CrossBow peripherals and code examples showing their use is said to provide a means for users of mbed to quickly build a realistic proof of concept or prototype of their end product and to write application software targeting the chosen ARM Cortex microcontroller on the mbed board. Developers can freely use and modify Future Electronics' design files for the mbed Adaptor Board and the CrossBow baseboard in order to accelerate proof of concept development.

Future Electronics' technology director, Colin Weaving, said: "The mbed system is a marvellous tool for embedded system developers, because it offers a powerful, fast compiler and a vast library of IP, all absolutely free of charge. Now with the mbed Adaptor Board, Future Electronics has made mbed even more valuable, because you can quickly and easily connect your mbed microcontroller to useful peripherals such as a display, wireless modules and communications interfaces, and quickly see how your system performs in the real world."

The system consists of three elements: the CrossBow baseboard, the mbed Adaptor Board, a carrier card that plugs into the CrossBow board; and ARM's mbed development board, which plugs into the mbed Adaptor Board.

CrossBow baseboards, mbed Adaptor Boards and mbed development boards are available free to qualifying customers of Future Electronics, while existing users of Future-Blox CrossBow baseboards may apply for mbed Adaptor Boards.

Chris Shaw

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