About a month ago a friend of mine showed my his latest microcontroller. It was a mbed. I was amazed at the specification of the little board. In the past I have only played around with arduino‘s. Although it is a great platform and board, some times it just does not have the speed and flash for some of my more ambitious project ideas. Hack a Day call the mbed “the Arduino on steroids”. Wanting to know more my friend gave me a copy of September Circuit Cellar. In this issue there was a great story on the mbed. After reading the piece I really wanted to go out and buy a mbed, but having recently left my job to start back at college there was no money for toys.
The NXP mbed Design Challenge is a competition to develop an innovative hardware- or software-based application using the mbed. As part of the Design Challenge there was a limited amount of free NXP sponsored contest kits. So I though why not apply for a contest kit. I had to come up with a project idea to fill out on the application form. After a bit of though I came up with the idea of a Charlieplexing library for the mbed. Charlieplexing is a method of driving a lot of LEDs using relatively few I/O pins. I submitted my application and hearing noting, I gave up on getting a mbed. To my amazement I found a package from Circuit Cellar last Tuesday in the post. On opening it up I found a brand new mbed just for me. I am delighted they gave me one. I big thank you goes out to NXP for sponsoring the kit. I will blog again with details of my first mbed project.
For a hardware review check out the piece on hack a day.