Different Microcontroller Boards And Its Applications

To get started with an embedded development, we need two major things that are development board and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). A microcontroller development board is a printed circuit board (PCB) with circuitry and hardware designed to facilitate experimentation with a certain microcontroller boards features. The Development boards are combined with a processor, memory, chipset and on-board peripherals like LCD, Keypad, USB, serial port, ADC, RTC, Motor Driver ICs, SD card slot, Ethernet, etc. with debugging features. This will save us from messing with the connections with jumper wires and the board.

The Specifications of Microcontroller Boards are bus type, processor type, memory, number of ports, port type, and operating system. These are used to evaluate programs for embedded devices such as different controllers, home appliances, robots, point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, kiosks and information appliances. Here, we will discuss on the characteristic between different development boards around the world. Each one of these has their own features as well as some drawbacks, and some development platforms are prominent for certain projects than others.

A Microcontroller Board
A Microcontroller Board

The microcontroller development board also known as Single board microcontroller. Nowadays it is very simple and cheap to develop a single board microcontroller development kit. So many open source softwares (IDEs) available to develop a microcontroller boards in order to develop a real time application. Here we discuss Different Microcontroller Boards as available in the market which includes

DIY based Microcontroller Boards

DIY (Do It Yourself) based microcontroller boards can be made at home by yourself for that, you need all individual electronic and electrical components like microcontroller (Atmel, ARM, MSP etc.), component base and external peripherals such as RTC, serial ports, LCD module, keyboard, touchpad etc. Now all these components should be carefully soldered on the PCB. After completing the hardware setup, we have to choose a suitable IDE for programming the microcontroller to develop a required application.

Microcontroller based DIY Board
Microcontroller based DIY Board

Applications of Microcontroller Boards

Here, we are giving some 8051 family based DIY applications. 8051 microcontroller is a general purpose controller, which is used to develop basic level applications. Such as Data acquisition systems, automatic light intensity control system, industrial temperature control systems etc.

Arduino UNO

Arduino is the most popular open-source electronics prototyping platform to create interactive electronic applications. The Arduino UNO board contains everything needed to support the microcontroller. The Arduino UNO microcontroller board is very familiar to absolute beginners and experts. It should consider to be one of the first microcontroller based development boards. The Arduino UNO R3 is simplest and the most powerful prototyping environment based on the ATmega328P microcontroller.

ArduinoUNO Board
ArduinoUNO Board

Features

  • Microcontroller: ATmega328P
  • 32 KB of Flash memory
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V
  • Input Voltage (limits): 6-20V
  • Digital I/O Pins: 14 (6 pins provide PWM output)
  • Analog Input Pins: 6
  • DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
  • DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA.

The reason for its popularity is, it has an open source IDE to develop sketches, with a simple syntax based on ‘C’ language, the code is easy to learn. Apart from Arduino UNO we have different types of Arduino boards shown below

Arduino Boards
Arduino Boards

Applications of Arduino UNO Board

One of the best feature of Arduino UNO, it has analog I/O pins. It uses atmega328 and it is very simple to program by using predefined libraries and functions of ArduinoIDE which is open sourced. Here, some of applications developed by using ARDUINO UNO

Raspberry Pi Development Board

The raspberry pi Development Board is small (like a size of a credit card computer. The raspberry pi can be easily plugged in to monitor, computer or your TV. Also, it uses standard keyboard and mouse. Even non-technical users depend on it for configuring their digital media systems and surveillance cameras. Raspberry Pi 3 is certainly the most affordable and powerful computing platform. The recently launched Raspberry Pi 3 included

  • Processor: 1.2GHz, 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
  •  802.11n Wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • videoCore IV 3D graphics core
Raspberry Pi Development Board
Raspberry Pi Development Board

Software Capability

Raspberry Pi runs on customized Debian Linux called Raspbian, to install different packages including Node.js, Java, the LAMP stack, Python and much more.

Applications of raspberry pi development board

By using the raspberry pi board, we can develop a mini computer. It is very useful for students. We can able to launch weight wed server, because it can support all programming languages like HTML, JAVA. It can even handle WordPress, so you can manage your own blogs/website. The raspberry pi board based robotics are huge amount of applications in automation industries. it is very easy to develop IOT applications using raspberry pi.

The BeagleBone Black Development Board

The BeagleBone Black is one of the popular open source computer,. Now it comes with built-in wireless networking capability. Leveraging a partnership with Octavo Systems and designed in CadSoft Eagle, BeagleBone Black Wireless is the easiest to use and modify credit-card sized IoT Linux computer available. BeagleBone Black is a low-cost, community-supported development platform for embedded application developers. Booting time to install Linux takes 10 seconds and get started on development in less than 5 minutes with just a single USB cable.

BeagleBone Black Development Board
BeagleBone Black Development Board

Features

  • Processor: AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 2GB 8-bit eMMC on-board flash storage
  • NEON floating-point accelerator
  • 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers
  • 3Dgraphics accelerator

Connectivity

  • USB client for power & communications
  • USB host and Ethernet adapter
  • HDMI and 2x 46 pin headers

Software Compatibility

  • Linux
  • Android
  • Ubuntu
  • Cloud9 IDE on Node.jsw/ Bone Script library

AdaFruit Flora Development Board

The main aim of the Adafruit Flora development board is to develop a wearable electronic appliances. It’s a disk shape, sewable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller designed to develop amazing wearable projects. The latest version of Adafruit Flora comes with a micro-USB and Neopixel LEDs for easy programmability and testing.

AdaFruit Flora Development Board
AdaFruit Flora Development Board

Features

  • Atmega32u4 microcontroller, which powers Arduino Mega and Leonardo
  • On-board polarized 2 JST battery
  • Simulation using Arduino IDE
  • 14 sewing tap pads for attachment and electrical connections
  • The on-board regulator

Applications of AdaFruit Board

Electromagnetic Field Detecting Dress, it is very to to detect EMF signals to save ourselves from radiation. Wearable thermometer which is very essential to patients.

From the above information, finally we can conclude that the different types of microcontroller boards are used to build various applications like electronic projects, electronic home appliances, etc. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any doubts regarding this concept, please give your valuable suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, What is the difference between Arduino board and Arduino Nano board?

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