u-blox, ARM Join Forces on Location-Aware Prototyping Kit

October 28, 2013  - By
Photo: u-blox

Photo: u-blox

u‑blox and ARM, a semiconductor IP company, have joined forces to create a prototyping kit for designing wirelessly connected, location-aware Internet devices: the ARM mbed-enabled u‑blox C027 “Internet of Things (IoT) Starter Kit.”

“The Internet is reaching into every aspect of our lives, connecting everything from smartphones and tablets to devices for security, safety, surveillance, navigation, healthcare, convenience, and fun,” said Michael Amman, vice president of Platform Partnerships at u-blox. “To help engineers jump start their design of these types of Internet-connected devices, the C027 delivers out-of-the-box wireless Internet connectivity based on a compact u-blox 2G, 3G or CDMA cellular modem plus global positioning module. Together with the ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit processor and access to all the resources of the ARM mbed project, this is an extremely powerful and flexible prototyping tool.”

“This new kit will enable developers to join the ARM ecosystem and quickly move prototypes of intelligent ARM-based technology into production-ready designs,” said Charlene Marini, Vice President, Embedded Segment, ARM. “It brings together u-blox’s embedded cellular wireless and global positioning modules with the energy-efficient, high-performance ARM Cortex-M3 processor and the ARM mbed development platform. This exciting combination can drastically reduce the time required by manufacturers to build carrier-certified gateways, which will help to accelerate the Internet of Things.”

The compact C027 kit, measuring 54 x 98 millimeters, contains a u-blox “SARA” GSM or “LISA” UMTS/CDMA cellular modem, “MAX” GPS/GNSS positioning module, and an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M3 microcontroller with 512k of Flash Memory and 64kB RAM, user programmable via USB. CAN bus and Ethernet interfaces are provided. The board also provides direct connector with 22 GPIOs to access components via I2C, SPI, UART, and I2S digital audio. The C027 is an mbed-enabled board with Arduino-compatible connectors which can be easily stacked with additional expansion boards. A complete circuit diagram is provided with the kit.

To make development easier, the hardware is supported by the powerful and flexible open-source ARM mbed development platform, which provides free software libraries, hardware designs and online tools for professional and rapid prototyping of ARM-based designs. The platform gives access to a high-level standards-based C/C++ SDK for developing applications on the u-blox C027, a large component database of drivers for peripheral components that can be connected to it, and online compiler and developer tools for efficient reuse and collaboration on designs to create products quickly.

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