It's been ten years since MIKROE invented the 16-pin mikroBUS standard for sockets on a development board and the compact Click boards that use the standard.
According to CEO Nebojsa Matic while all development boards are substantially similar - they all integrate a microcontroller, power supply, tact switches, LEDs, pins - the features that differentiate them are the peripherals - the UART, displays, RTC, relay, ADC, EPROM. Click boards were developed to enable design engineers to change peripherals easily, cutting months off development time.
MIKROE has released a new Click board nearly every day, and many leading microcontroller companies including Microchip, NXP, Infineon, Dialog, STM, Analog Devices, Renesas and Toshiba, plus distributors such as Future Electronics and Avnet now include the mikroBUS socket on their development boards.
Commenting Matic said, “Engineers must learn to value their time. They should be focused on increasing the quality of the whole project rather than just seeing a small piece of it. Why spend two months in development when you could pay under $50 for a ready-made solution which will enable you to develop your code and prove the concept?”
The company's new EtherCAT Click features the LAN9252, a 2-port EtherCAT device controller with dual integrated Ethernet PHYs from Microchip. Each PHY contains a full-duplex 100BASE-TX transceiver and supports 100Mbps operation.
It communicates with an MCU via a synchronous SPI/SQI interface and can operate in digital I/O mode, allowing signals to be controlled or monitored by the EtherCAT Master. This Click board is suitable for industrial control, process/factory automation, hydraulic and pneumatic valve systems and power, among many other applications.