Past week, I received a sample of the new Element14 MEMs Sensor evaluation board and the results of my evaluation are pretty positive.
Kit is composed of a triple MEMs sensor module (accelerometer MMA8491 + magnetometer MAG3110 + altimeter MPL3115) and a Freescale FRDM-KL25Z evaluation board (microcontroller MKL25Z128VLK4, ARM Cortex-M0+ 128KB Flash and an USB controller) with Arduino headers.
Out of the box experience was a complete success.
The sample board I received, came already preprogrammed with the demo loaded in the flash of the Kinetis-L MCU.
As I previously plugged-in a Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board on my computer, kit was automatically recognized with no additional driver required.
Otherwise, as for any Freescale Freedom board, when you plug it for the first time the board to your computer (via the OpenSDA USB port), a new drive "FRDM-KLxxZ" containing missing drivers will automatically appear in Microsoft Explorer.
So I just connected an USB cable to the OpenSDA USB port of the E14 MEMs Sensor EVK and launched an hyperterminal session.
If your computer is running with Windows XP, this tool is available in the Accessories folder from the start menu.
If your computer is running with Windows Seven or later, this tool is not anymore available but there is many freeware downloadable like Tera Term Pro.
As recommended in the user manual of the kit, I simply selected in the Hyperterminal tool a Serial Connection with a baudrate of 115200bps.
COM port corresponding to the USB to Serial Converter (COM14 in my case) is available in Windows Device Manager
I press the RESET button of the FRDM board and I got a menu message displayed on the Hyperterminal tool.
Entering "S0" I could start display temperature (in Celcius degree) and altitude (in meter) measured by the MPL3115 (unfortunately my USB cable is just 1m long so it was hard to play with this last parameter)
To change the sensor evaluated, I simply pressed the RESET button of the FRDM board to restart the program.
Entering "S1" I could start display magnetic field (in µT) on the three axis measured by the MAG3110
I pressed the RESET button of the FRDM board to restart the program and I entered "S2" to evaluate the MMA8491 displaying acceleration (in mg) measured on the three axis
Kit is really complete, even including a low-power microcontroller and a battery holder to evaluate standalone sensing applications.
This is like a six in one solution : one 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ mcu + two accelerometers + one magnetometer + one altimeter + one temperature sensor
Demo code provided by Element14 is a good entry point.
It should be easily modified to generate new community projects thanks to the tools of the Freescale FRDM platform (free compiler like Coocox, embedded OpenSDA hardware debugger, embedded OpenSDA flash programmer ...).
Then the DIP package of the module will be very usefull for fast prototyping breaking the barrier of sensor LGA packages.
To conclude, I definitly recommend this bundle to any customer looking for an easy and cheap solution to quickly evaluate and integrate motion sensors to their applications.