Palo Alto, Calif.Behold the radiant simplicity of USB (Universal Serial Bus). In this case in the form of the iARM-2103 SBC (single-board computer) from ImageCraft Creations, Inc.
This $89 product is the first in a series of RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) SBCs from ImageCraft.
NOTE: The iARM-2103 will be available for $69 until August 31st 2006.
The USB Connection
Based on a Philips LPC2103 ARM7 microcontroller, the SBC also uses a USB interface. It draws power from the USB port, supporting plug-and-go immediate developmentwithout any additional hardware investment.
The iARM-2103 can also follow-through to production as a reliable SBC. Indeed, it's manufactured in the USA at a production house meeting military and NASA standards. The iARM-2103 measures 2.6 x 1.9-in. and can either be used as a plug-in module or a standalone SBC.
The iARM-2103 also includes features not found in comparable priced boards. Features include lead-free RoHS-compliant components, DIP switch configuration instead of jumpers, a JTAG header, and a 64-kbit I2C EEPROM. The SBC also includes brown-out protection, and lets you perform firmware upgrades via USB.
Click to view simpified block diagram
You also get free USB drivers, a realtime clock with 32.768-kHz clock and battery backup support, and an A/D (analog-to-digital) converter. A 14.7456-MHz crystal oscillator is included as the system's main clock source. It ensures accurate baud rates.
All I/O signals are also brought out to headers on the board. Although the iARM-2103 has two headers, only a minimum of one cable connection is required for using the board with cable connectors; each connector has power, ground, reset, and USB control signals. This eliminates cabling.
In its standalone configuration, the iARM-2103 can be mounted with standoffs, with its header pins plugging directly into standard 100-mil cable connectors.
C Development Support
The iARM-2103 is supported by ImageCraft's $199 ICCARM C compiler. An ICCARM demo is fully functional for 45 days, and becomes 10K code-limited for non-commercial use after 45 days. Flash programming can be done using a free Philips-provided serial downloader over the unit's USB port.
The iARM-2103 product also comes with example programs, including Windows applications demonstrating communications between a PC and the iARM-2103 over USB.
With all of that, the iARM-2103 should work well as a USB I/O controller, a USB datalogger, or perhaps a USB communication bridge/protocol converter, converting from USB to a UART, or perhaps USB to I2C.
It can also serve as a USB PC peripheral, or it can be used in conjunction with other USB-controlled equipment.
Click here for a datasheet (in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format).
For more details contact ImageCraft Creations, Inc., 706 Colorado Ave. #10-88, Palo Alto, Calif. 94303. Phone: 650-493-9326. FAX: 650-493-9329.
ImageCraft Creations, 650-493-9326, www.imagecraft.com