Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I have also tried TI's Launcpad with the Capacitive Touch Boosterpack and also with the CC110L RF Module BoosterPack. Both of these boosterpacks can be used with the FR5739 board as well.
What were the biggest problems encountered?:
This is a perfectly designed board. It containes TI's "standard" USB programming / debugging interface which can be disconnected from the chip. The chips is sorrounded with the most basic parts (decoupling, POR cicuitry, pads to be used for installing the provided watch crystal) and the pin headers. It also has pin headres isntalled to use with TI's RF boards, but I did not test them.
I do not like the IAR IDE, so I used TI's CCS. Both the v4.1 and preliminary v5.1 were working perfrectly. The datasheet and the TRM are written clearly and contains all the necessary information to successfully implement any application. There are also sample C codes available for the chip which helps to understand how the things work.
The preinstalled demo application focuses on the speed of the FRAM memory access. It was interesting to try and play a little.
I have put together a simple application which was controlling an FM Tuner module via the I2C interface. A GLCD is attached to the SPI interface and a joystic connected to the same I2C builds up the UI. I have used the UART connected to the PC through the on-board debugger for debugging purposes.
In an other simple project I have used a timer for generating an approximately 500Hz PWM signal with 50% duty cycle and and ADC channel with some signal conditioning parts to measure the conductivity of the earth in plants pot and and flash a led when watering is required.
Both project were easy to implement with the software tool and using the handy and easy tu use peripherals incuded in the chip.
Yes, I agree that none of the above mentioned projects make any use of the extra features provided by the FRAM technology.
Altough, I just have received the the CC110L RF module booster pack which I would like to try with the FR5739 as well. (Unfortunately the protocol stack and the exaples are provided for the IAR compiler only. So I ether have to port them to the CCS or (more likly) I will use TI's SimpliciTI stack.)
In this RF project I would like to collect data from different sensors, store tham in the FRAM and transfer them once or twice a day to the HUB node. This way the sensore nodes can be battery powered. Using the low power modes of the FR5739 and being able to store larger amount of data and switch on the radio wery rarely should give me really long battery life.
As a summary: I really happy with this board. It is easy to use and easy to develop projects with. Can be combined with TI's other evaluation products, like the Launch pad and the boosterpacks.
All this stuff is available for a really low price. With the simple ans "standard" pin headers it is easy to connect to bread-boards. No additional expences are required to start using the board.
So well done and thank You TIers.
PS: Is there any chance to see an FRAM based MCU in the Stellaris family as well?