Olimex Ltd., a Bulgarian electronic design and PCB fabrication company, has just raised the bar on powerful microcontroller development platforms, to the joy of DIYers around the world. Two new PCBs, cryptically named LPC-2478STK and PIC-LCD3310, are ready to rock your next embedded project.
Sporting a tastefully restrained stainless steel bezel and a sandwiched LCD, these two boards pack enough punch into their compact size that dazzling, feature-rich, commercial-grade projects are now within the reach of every builder, experimenter, and dreamer. Just imagine the types of projects you could design with these onboard features:
Oh, and did I mention that the LPC-2478STK is preloaded with U-Boot and bundled with a uClinux CD. You will need a dedicated Linux PC for compiling your uClinux apps. Now isn't that a great excuse to wish for a new Linux-powered netbook PC, like the ASUS Eee PC, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Lenovo IdeaPad S10, or MSI Wind for Christmas?
Speaking for myself, while I have been somewhat negligent on delving into microchip PIC-based PopSci projects in the past, developing with the PIC-LCD3310 could result in some future PIC projects. Likewise, not since I converted a ZipIt into a Linux Busy Box (by following these instructions) have I been so inspired to tackle an embedded Linux project. Stay tuned.
Now I know what you're probably thinking, “Sure, these platforms have some great features, but at what cost?” Well, that's the best part: the LPC-2478STK costs $203.95 (interesting exchange rate; why not just make it $204 or $200?) and the PIC-LCD3310 costs $50.95. Both boards are available now and can be purchased from SparkFun Electronics.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.