Lately we were busy in developing something special!
We will be running a Kickstarter campaign to help our idea come true.
We wanted something more than a microcontroller. Something that could be easily programmed, and that allowed to make compact designs or prototypes, reducing the component count and cost. We wanted also something that could be easily reused in case we needed it in new projects. Ideally something you can plug in an IC socket.
Yes, there are many small developer boards, however somewhere they all lack of something.
- Some of them use very limited microcontrollers, with very limited memory (especially RAM) and “horsepower” (they usually have an 8-bit AVR).
- Some of them do not have a decently sized built-in DC-DC converter, so you must put it externally, increasing space and component count and cost.
- Other, while packing a very powerful beast (see Teensy), they are still huge, or they are not solderless (you must at least solder the headers). Moreover while they are breadboard compatible (once you solder the headers), they still take a lot of space on the breadboard, leaving very few space for the connections!
In other words, we wanted something more than the usual USB based dev board!
Yes, we wanted something similar to a DIP package, but as powerful as a Cortex M0+.
The result is uChip!
uChip is a tiny dev board, in a 16-pin DIP narrow package (the length is similar to a 20 narrow-body DIP package due to the USB connector), which includes a powerful 48 MHz ATSAMD21 Cortex M0+, with 256kB of Flash and 32 kB of RAM.
uChip has built in high efficiency power supplies, which allow:
- To power an external USB device, when uChip is powered externally and operates as USB host. Thanks to the boost converter, the minimum external voltage is 3.3V, which will be boosted to 5V at up to 500 mA.
- To power uChip, and the external circuitry, when connected to an USB port. The output voltage can be selected to be either 3.3V or 5V. The output current is 1A.
The Kickstarter link is in preview here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1186620431/2078355655?ref=749984&token=7dfa566d.
The campaign will launch on March, 10th!
Feel free to share the link! Help us to bring uChip to life!
uChip will be open source. As always, schematics, gerbers, firwmare, etc. will be released to the community!
Stay tuned for further developments!