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Design Contest for new ARM Coretex M3 controllers

Circuit Cellar, Luminary Micro, and Keil are running a design competition with $10,000 in prizes. Entering the contest will get you a free ARM microcontroller development kit and your entry may be published in the Circuit Cellar hobby electronics magazine. The kit includes a limited version of the Keil embedded software development tool. You can read the contest rules and find the entry forms here.

Update: Ohair commented that the free kits are gone. The contest was announced about a week ago so they must not have set aside very many kits. The kit is a great deal at $49. Read the full article to get the details.

The ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller development board is available from Mouser Electronics for $49 and is a great deal at that price. If you are an electronics or microcontroller hobbyist you may want this kit even if you don’t enter the competition. I could not wait for my entry to get approved so I went ahead and purchased one. ekk-lm3s811 schematic

The board is powered over USB and includes an LED, Pot (A/D), push button and a very nice 96×16 pixel OLED graphics display. It is very small, the connector is a mini USB, the board is about the same size as an IPod Nano.

A nice extra you don’t normally see in a development kit. This board serves as a JTAG emulator for another board. Yes, you can use it as the JTAG interface to do development on your target hardware. The idea is that you play with the eval board then use it with your final hardware. Considering that a low cost JTAG unit cost more then $50, this is a great deal.

The USB interface also provides a serial port connected to the UART of the device. This makes it very nice for debugging during development. Bring up a terminal through the same interface your debugging with! You can do source level debugging and have the serial port running at the same time.

Several of my coworkers and I plan to do entries into the competition. We are having trouble deciding what projects to do. Any suggestions?

Posted in Contest, Microcontroller, Parts.

9 Responses

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  1. listofoptions says

    deffinetly need to get one of these

  2. Ben Jackson says

    This was a great contest. I got to see some of the winning projects at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose. I’m definitely loving this board (after I worked out the bugs, I think it has more than proved its worth). The folks at Circuit Cellar say the projects will be posted on their site. Cool. Maybe I’ll do better with their next contest. I hear that’s PIC.

  3. dfowler says

    Hey Russell, thanks for stopping buy. Ohair mentioned your work on the Cording keyboard so I had looked at your site. Great work. I liked your Obi-Wan the Cursor and reusing a floppy stepper motor articles too.

    What about combining the Cording keyboard and a inertial mouse? That way you can do both the keyboard and mouse functions with one hand. I bet this would be a good entry for the Luminary contest. Not that a Cording Keyboard alone wouldn’t be.

  4. Russell Nelson says

    Hey, Dave, look at this chording keyboard:

  5. dfowler says

    I have not even figured out what I’m going to do. I was thinking about a graphics LCD controller but there is not enough on chip RAM for the graphics LCD I have. Maybe a network streaming audio player but that would require adding an Ethernet controller. Maybe a data logger if a SD card interface was added. We have until February to submit the entries so there is some time left.

  6. Dave says

    “We are having trouble deciding what projects to do. Any suggestions?”

    A chording keyboard! One of those things I’ll probably never get around to building…

  7. dfowler says

    Thanks ohair. I updated the text. It is clearer about where to enter the contest now. I also included a note about the free units being taken.
    The board is available from Mouser and is a great deal at $49.

  8. ohair says

    Too little, too late…
    Found the link to the contest on the Luminary Micro site. ALL FREE KITS ARE GONE. If you want to enter, you must buy a kit.

  9. ohair says

    I don’t get it.

    > Entering the contest will get you a free ARM microcontroller development kit and …

    > The ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller development board is available from Mouser
    > Electronics for $49 and …

    It it free or is it $49?
    How do I enter?