Embedded design specialist Stratford Digital has put together a development platform based on the PIC24 16-bit microcontroller that is targeted at educational users. It includes two boards – the MX PIC24 Module and the MX Educational Target Board – and the Educator’s Lab Manual, which can be downloaded free of charge. The lab manual includes ten labs designed to introduce students and other novice users to microcontrollers, including timers, pulse-width modulators, analogue to digital converters, and power management.
The MX PIC24 Module is built around a Microchip PIC24FJ256GB110 16-bit microcontroller with 256 KB of flash program memory and 16 KB of RAM. The module also includes 32 KB of on-chip EEPROM and an onboard debugger/programmer. The MX Educational Target Board accepts MX plug-in modules and includes a breadboard area as well as SPI, I²C, RS-232, CAN and JTAG ports, along with four LEDs. General tools needed for the lab manual, such as Microchip’s MPLAB IDE v.8.63, are also included.
The MX Module series of embedded controller modules provides a robust platform for embedded products. Measuring just 65 x 50 mm, the compact, interchangeable modules conform to the MX Interface Specification, allowing processing power and module cost to scale to product needs.
Users can start firmware development immediately using the example firmware projects, which include royalty-free USB and TCP/IP stacks for modules with corresponding ports. Each MX module provides the core system resources for modern embedded products, as well as high-speed communication (Ethernet and USB) and core memory resources. Specific targets can often be implemented using inexpensive two-layer PCBs to match the mechanical and low-speed I/O requirements of a particular application.
Image: Stratford Digital