Good Micrprocessor EVB design

I'm supposed to come up with a evaluation board for a 8bit processor. Over the years I have used many EVBs, including some of the classics (68000 ed. board), 6800 EVB, etc... I have also designed some myself. I know what I like; however, I'm curious to find out what others find as good elements of a useful EVB.

Thanks, -ingo

/* Ingo Cyliax,, Tel: 812-391-0895 */
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Ingo Cyliax
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-Breakouts for any i/o port pins.

-A series of pushbuttons which can be connected to any input port with jumper wires.

-A series of LEDs which can be connected to any output port with jumper wires.

-If the uC features an A/D converter - a couple of pots so that you can verify that you've figured it out properly.

-Perhaps a small LCD display?

-Onboard voltage regulator, so that accidentally applying 5V instead of

3.3V won't kill it. Most convenient. :)

-CMOSRS-232 interfacing (Or perhaps rather CMOSUSB, as newer computers often lack serial ports)

Oh, and a reset switch, of course.

And a lot more, I guess - but then again, less is more.

73 de LB1LF

	Odd Erling, ARK
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Odd Erling N. Eriksen

Breadboard space, schematic and cheap compilation/assembly tools

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Serial port, IO, LED's, switches, buttons, LCD,

Some that where missed. C compiler, ethernet??? onboard ram chip to work with?

I have been quite happy with my zilog board. comes with a very complete C compiler and I/O

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Motorola has an interesting evaluation setup for their 16-bit S12E128 MCU. The main board has the MCU, LEDs, RS232 & RS485 drivers, the voltage regulator and a BDM port for debug/programming. The breakout every pin on the micro using 2 large headers, one on either side of the board. They also supply addon cards (which you can plug onto the headers) for:

  1. Prototyping space
  2. Ethernet connectivity
  3. Lots of buttons and LEDs
  4. Addon external RAM

You can plug in what you want to test and use the other pins for GPIO. If you don't need the external RAM (the MCU has 4k of internal RAM), then you can use those pins for other stuff.

Other people can create add-on boards to meet a specific target audience. Which is great for you if all you're trying to do it spread awareness of the MCU.

If you ruin one prototyping board, you just need to go out and get yourself (or make one yourself). No need to spend a stiff sum on the entire board. I feel this would promote creativity :).

For my applications, I would rather communicate with the board using an addon RS232 card (with necessary isolation) than use the built in USB port. This way if I made a mistake grounding the different parts of my system, I do not end up with paper-weight for a computer.

I am not so sure that the RS232 port will go away entirely except on the really low cost PCs. Even MS, who removed RS232 support in .NET 1.x has reinstated it in .NET 2.0.

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-- Arya

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Yes. I hate in when you get a board and the manufacturers are so cheap that they can't be bothered to put on something essential like a voltage regulator.


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Somewhere to clip a scope probe ground lead.

A header with all the (logic) signals on it, so you can make up a cable to plug into a logic analyzer, instead of having to connect lots of fiddly individual test clips.

Mounting holes.

Reply to
Matthew Kendall

A power reverse protection. I never understand that some companies deliver development kits that don't include a cheap scotcky diode in the power path....

I also like the Silicon Labs (ex Cygnal) dev kits. They include a (expensive)high-density edge connector with all signals. Nice for building prototypes that connects to it.


Reply to
Jon S.


the design must be tested and verified, so it really becomes a reference design. You can then copy the circuit & layout to your own application.



"Ingo Cyliax" skrev i en meddelelse news:cvt4nr$fjj$

Reply to
Jens Gydesen

I blew out a WLAN access point because there were two power supplies on the table next to it, both labelled with the same manufacturer's name, and both with the same sized plug, and yet they supplied different voltages... Maybe leaving out the power regulator was their way of boosting sales?

Darin Johnson
    "You used to be big."
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Darin Johnson

Hello Ingo,

You have received some good suggestions already. I'd like to add one:

Keep in mind that most "modern" laptops will neither feature RS232 nor a parallel port. Just USB, that's it. Converters to re-create these "legacy ports" from USB often don't work in a realtime programming scheme so you almost have to provide a path to program your EVB from USB.

The only other ports newer laptops offer are Ethernet, a modem and maybe wireless. But these may not be so suitable for programming. Although a wireless download scheme would be kind of cool.

Regards, Joerg

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And gerbers or DXF files that work. ie import into the majority of PCB cad systems


"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" Gandhi

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martin griffith

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