- on Microcontrollers
- Published in issue 2/2006 on page 0
A 16-bit Tom Thumb
Our R8C starter kit is available — now you can get going!
The low-profile PCB with pre-assembled SMD components is supplied with two pin headers that you must fit and solder yourself. That yields a complete processor module in the format of a 32-pin DIL IC. There is also space reserved on the board for a 14-way pin header, but it does not have to fitted right away because it is only needed for the E8 debugger.
The actual microcontroller (the R8C/13) is contained in the 32-pin LQPF SMD package. The marking ‘R5F21134FP#U0’ reveals that it is an R8C/13 with 16 KB of flash ROM. We selected the R8C/13 because it has the same characteristics as its ‘siblings’ (R8C/10, R8C/11 and R8C/12). The board also comes fitted with a 20-MHz crystal and the necessary capacitors, as well as several other capacitors and resistors. Altogether, this amounts to a complete microcontroller system. Once a program has been loaded, all you have to do is connect a 3.3-V or 5-V supply voltage and you’ve got a working system.
Program code can be loaded using a serial interface; no special programming hardware is necessary. That’s because the microcontroller has a debug interface and a corresponding boot program that can be used to copy the software into the flash ROM.
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CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor Members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their Membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service. Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.