Firecracker speeds Blackfin designs

MUNICH, Germany — Avnet subsidiary Silica has introduced a versatile development platform around Analog Devices's Blackfin processor family. The platform, dubbed Firecracker, functions as a universal tool for Blackfin developers of all flavors. Fully verified functional modules eliminate the need to design in detail common embedded subsystems.

The Firecracker uses reusable core modules from Bluetechnix which contain the Blackfin processor from Analog Devices. Blackfin comprises a unified DSP and control processor architecture that can handle compute-intensive tasks as well operating systems and application software at the same time. In addition, the Bluetechnix core modules contain SDRAM and flash memory and power management functions. A number of different Blackfin processors and configurations are available.

The universal applicability of the platform is based on the wide variety of interfaces and connectors it is equipped with. Among others, it supports 10/100 MBit Ethernet, Zigbee, and, via a connectBlue module, wireless LAN. In addition, it is equipped with a connector for a 2 MPixel CMOS camera, connectors for analog audio and Composite Video, and an SD card socket. A 3,5″ touch screen TFT display including controller helps programming GUIs and display routines.

Additional features are a USB to UART bridge, a CAN driver and an SD card socket. Optionally, designers can obtain a Blackfin Debug Agent. The platoform ships with a number of demonstration and evaluation software modules that support recording, file transfer, and the playback of audio and video files. Thus, the platform takes in account that even industrial applications increasingly require support of media-rich content.

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