Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Embedded System Kit

My new embedded development kit arrived 2 weeks ago. It is based on ColdFire V2 5213 microcontroller made by Freescale. The development kit is made by Netburner ( The reason I chose this uC was because it is 32-bit microcontroller and it was cheap ($99+tax+s/h) from NetBurner.

The package came with IDE software, debugger, loader, DB9 RS232 cable and adapter. The card is quite small compare to Rabbit RCM3000 I have been using. Amazingly, the core itself is made into 40 DIP so fits into regular 40 DIP. When we are ready for mass produce, just use the same module and insert it into the socket.

I was thinking to get the higher end (MOD52??) which has ethernet connection, but the price was too high for my pocket so I decided just go ahead with MOD5213. I was thinking that I may put an ethernet module (from somewhere) later once I get familiar with the system.

The software is based on GNU GCC, so it is free and opensource. The module even comes with RTOS. Loading the software is easy. Just run the software "serialload", select the proper COM port and baudrate, select the S19-format file to load, click OK and ..that's it. The software works on Win95 as well as Win2000 or WinXP. Because my other newer laptops don't have RS232 port, I use my old Toshiba laptop (it is really old, it's only Pentium 100 MHz with 16 MB RAM and 1.5 GB hard disk). The software works perfectly, well, except it it so slow. It took many seconds just to compile a few lines of code.

There are many examples that come in the CD, but only a few for MOD5123. The rest are for higher end MOD5xxx modules (the ones that have ethernet port). Many of these I-cannot-run softwares use TCP/IP for communication (e.g., making an embedded-system web server, SMTP client, TFTP etc.)

The uC itself is really cool. Features such as 12-bit 8 channel ADC, General Purpose I/O (GPIO), I2C connection, CAN connection, UART/QSPI, DMA, one 32-bit timer and three 16-bit timers are included in the chip.

A few days ago I ordered some components from They have some very good deal stuff, such as 100 resistors with various resistance for $2.95, 50 linear ICs for $4.95, 50 various transistors for $4.95, and 16x4 LCD for $12.9 and so on. I ordered many of these and perhaps in the next few weeks will come so I can start doing my projects. I've not decided what project I should do first, but very likely to connect the LCD display, connect some sensors to the ADC inputs and do some measurements.

I will post again once there is some progress.


  1. Unfortunately, these Motorola processors only 3.3 volt and not 5V compliants.

  2. hi,

    good post but i would like to have the circuit diagram you have....