Electronics & Computers

Microchip and Digilent Announce Motor Control Dev Kit

October 18, 2011

The embedded motor control Cerebot MC7 Development Kit is ideal for academic and hobbyist embedded motor-control applications.

CHANDLER, AZ [NASDAQ: MCHP] -- Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, and Digilent, Inc., announced the availability of a Microchip dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controller (DSC)-based development kit. The Digilent Cerebot MC7 Development Kit addresses the growing interest in embedded motor control from the academic and hobbyist markets, and is ideal for learning about microcontrollers and solving real problems. The kit includes a demonstration board that provides four half-bridge circuits, eight RC servo motor connectors, the ability to use Digilent Pmod peripheral modules, and an integrated programming/debugging circuit that is compatible with the free MPLAB IDE. Example applications include university embedded-systems and communications classes, senior capstone projects, and numerous other academic and hobbyist projects.

A video demo of the kit can be viewed on YouTube.

The Cerebot MC7 board features four half-bridge circuits that are rated for 24 V at up to 5 A. These half bridges can be used to control two brushed DC motors, two bi-polar stepper motors, one brushless DC motor, and one uni-polar stepper motor. An onboard 5 V, 4 A switching regulator with an input voltage up to 24 V simplifies operation of the board, enabling it to operate from a single power supply in embedded applications such as robotics. The onboard dsPIC33 DSC features 128 KB internal Flash program memory and 16 KB internal SRAM, as well as numerous on-chip peripherals, including an advanced 8-channel motor-control PWM unit, an enhanced CAN controller, two Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPIs), timer/counters, serial-interface controllers, an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC), and more. The Cerebot MC7 board combines two push buttons and four LEDs for user I/O, as well as connections for two I2C busses, one of which contains an integrated serial EEPROM device. "The Cerebot MC7 board is an ideal embedded motor control and general-purpose microcontroller experimentation platform for academics and hobbyists," said Clint Cole, president of Digilent Inc. "It's our latest entry in the engineering education market."

"We continue to see an interest in advanced robotic applications in the academic and hobbyist markets," said Cheri Keller, Sr. Manager of Microchip's Worldwide Academic Program. "The Cerebot MC7 board is ideal for these types of applications, among many others requiring the advanced motor-control peripherals found on Microchip's industry-leading dsPIC33 DSCs."

Microchip Development Tool Support
The free version of Microchip's MPLAB IDE can be downloaded from www.microchip.com/get/XD44. The MPLAB C Compiler for dsPIC DSCs can be downloaded from www.microchip.com/get/U0DH.

Development Kit Pricing & Availability
The Cerebot MC7 Development Kit is available for $119. It can be purchased from Digilent or from microchipDIRECT (part # TDGL007)]. To learn more about Microchip's Academic Program, visit the Web site or, to request a free evaluation sample, email Microchip's academic team at academic@microchip.com.

About Digilent
Digilent Inc. is a leader in providing academic and research solutions in high end electronics fields. Their headquarters are in Pullman Washington, with offices in Taiwan, China, and Romania. Currently, over 1000 universities, training centers and research laboratories in more than 70 countries use Digilent products and services.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, AZ, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

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