Broadline technical distributor Future Electronics recently announced that it intended to expand the scope of the scheme it call its “Board Club”. Under Board Club (at www.my-boardclub.com), Future itself funds the a stock of development boards relating to microcontrollers, and other products, that it stocks as silicon. Those boards are then available to be issued free of charge to engineers who can make a case that the project they have in development is likely to have a certain on-going value (to Future, in subsequent orders). Board Club was initially available to established customers of Future – the company recently announced that it would accept applications, on the same basis, from engineers from the wider design community.
The first board that the company has added to its offering, available free via its FTM Board Club website, is the new range of STM32 Nucleo prototyping boards from STMicroelectronics; users of STM32 ARM-based microcontrollers thus gain free access to the latest prototyping boards.
STM32 Nucleo boards are compatible with ARM’s mbed application development platform. They also include ST Morpho extension headers to allow access to all of the microcontroller’s on-chip peripherals, and Arduino headers which accept shields from the extensive Arduino ecosystem, allowing developers to add specialised functionality quickly and easily.
In addition, ST will offer its own dedicated shields supporting functions such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS satellite positioning, audio recording, proximity sensing and wireless control. Any shield can be re-used with any STM32 Nucleo board and across various projects.
Stephen Carr, Vice President Technical and Vertical of Future Electronics, said: ‘The STM32 Nucleo boards are a fantastic resource for designers because they can use the familiar mbed tools to design for any STM32 microcontroller, and also connect the boards to Arduino peripherals. We expect the industry to be very interested in STM32 Nucleo, and that is why we are happy to make the boards available free via