ARM-based demonstrator board for embedded software evaluation

November 24, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
The emPower evaluation board from Segger (Hilden, Germany) aims to provide a comprehensive vehicle to explore the company's embedded software offerings and accelerate the start of an embedded project. emPower is, Segger says, an affordable platform for customers to enhance software evaluation, prototyping and proof of concept.

“We have seen increasing demand from customers for hardware which permits them to explore our software's full potential”, says Alex Gruener, Chief Technology Officer at Segger. “With emPower, we now have a powerful platform to demonstrate the broad range of our products.”

Segger's embOS real-time operating system is at the heart of the evaluation; trial versions of the emFile file system, emWin graphics library, emUSB Host & Device, and embOS/IP TCP/IP stack (including web server demo) enable full use of the available emPower peripherals.

emPower also features a J-Link OB, an on-board version of Segger's J-Link debug probe, which includes drag & drop programming and COM-Port support.

There are three expansion interfaces to connect additional modules. Each connector provides I ²C, SPI, UART, GPIO/timer, analogue input and power. A display adapter connector enables the connection of small TFT displays.

The emPower board is based on a Freescale Kinetis K66 MCU with 256 kB SRAM and 2 MB flash memory. This MCU is built on the ARM Cortex-M4F core and is optimised for applications requiring large memory densities and low-power processing efficiency.

“We are pleased to be a part of this new development platform with our Kinetis K66 MCU and see the integration of Segger tools as a great step forward in seamless prototyping,” says Michael Norman, Microcontroller Software and Tools Technical Marketing Manager at Freescale.

Non-volatile storage capability of the board is provided by means of a 1 Gbit SLC NAND Flash from Macronix; the flash memory has a built-in ECC controller in order to be ECC-free to the MCU.