Introducing the ProtoDev – 64

ProtoDev 64: TQFP 64

The ProtoDev – 64 is a project that I have been working on for some time. The objective was to design a PCB that could handle an RTOS (Real Time Operating System), which is still in the offing but I suppose a device with more power would be a better choice.

For the time being, the ProtoDev – 64 is one of the first full SMD systems that I have worked on. A full SMD project is not really a biggy, but considering the project scope that larger devices offer it has the full potential of enabling more extensible and powerful applications.

ProtoDev - 64 PIC Development Platform

ProtoDev – 64 PIC Development Platform

This article is intended more as a discussion, so for more technical details feel free to contact us on design@zardynamix.com.

Device Choice

When choosing a device, I have always aimed at devices that provide a balance between performance and features. Considering the features below the device is ideal for applications the include monitoring, system control and one of my favorites: distributed control and intelligence.

Device Parameter  Value
Program Memory Type Flash
Program Memory (KB) 16
CPU Speed (MIPS) 10
RAM Bytes 768
Digital Communication Peripherals 2-UART, 2-A/E/USART, 1-SPI, 1-I2C1-MSSP(SPI/I2C)
Capture/Compare/PWM Peripherals 3 CCP
Timers 1 x 8-bit, 3 x 16-bit
ADC 12 ch, 10-bit
Comparators 2
Temperature Range (C) -40 to 125
Operating Voltage Range (V) 2 to 5.5
Pin Count 64

PCB Features

The PCB has been designed to make the most of the features that the PIC has to offer.

Dual DC Regulators:Although the PCB has been fitted with a PIC16F6410, the PCB can cater to the more powerful 3V J types for example the PIC18F97J60. This is the reason for the two DC regulators one at 5VDC or 3 VDC.

NOTE: The 3 VDC is required for the SD CARD which operates at 3 Volts.

Dual Com Ports: Legacy equipment can be a problem to communicate with especially if it’s an older box with a serial D-TYPE 9 PIN on the chassis. The PCB has a SP3232 driver on board so the PCB will operate at both supply voltages.

The secondary comport is provided by the MCP2200 enables USB to RS232 bridge.

Basic I/O:  To facilitate basic human to system interaction, two push buttons and LEDs have been added to the PCB. All I/O have been tracked to the header you can see at the base of the PCB.

Advanced Features : The PCB has the following advanced features:

  • SDCARD Holder: The SDCARD, which uses the SPI interface is a great addition to any project especially when / if data logging is required. The FAT file system can be implemented to store data in a PC compatible format. This would allow the user to capture data at an embedded level, and then later review or import the data into a PC based system.
  • I2C IC Holder: Time stamping the data logging can be essential for accurate logs. Include an I2C device to facilitate this.

Programming the Device: The system includes the ICSP interface which allows the PIC to be programmed quite easily. The PCB also includes an ICD RJ11 header which allows the user to perform on device debugging.

Summary

The ProtoDev- 64 is an ideal platform for expanding your PIC project adventures if you have been working on 40 PIN devices. If you have been using anything else, ie smaller devices they are a good starting point for you to expand your horizons from.

If you are interested to have one of your very own, sign up for the project development adventure by supporting the fundraiser for the ProtoDev – 64 at Tindie.

Our project development is open to suggestion, so if you want to tell us about your ideal PIC 64 device please let us know.

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