Microcontroller In The Middle
I've written about Open Source hardware before, such as the beagleboard and Arduino. Those are both great options for folks needing to get moving on embedded microcontroller development. The Arduino is pretty low-end and the Beagleboard is pretty high-end. I think I've run across a good step right in the middle.
A while back at the ESC show, we spoke with a gentleman from ARM about a project that would include an online IDE, and now, here it is. It's not exactly the same as open source, but it solves many of the same problems that open source solves. Mainly, it's a quick and easy way to get up and running with an ARM processor. Well, it looks easy, anyway. I haven't tried it yet. I think I'll see if I can get one and give it a shot.
By the way, we did not build this board. We have built some Beagleboards, but not this particular product. It certainly wouldn't be a problem for us, but that's not why I'm writing about it. It just looks like a great half-way point between something like the Atmel-based Arduino (or the PIC microcontrollers that I use) and the Beaglboard which uses the super-speedy ARM Cortex-A8.
If I can run one down and find the time to fiddle with it, I'll let you know what I think of it in actual use.
Stay tuned. Bulletins as event warrant.