Site icon Pallav Aggarwal

CircuitBrains Deluxe: An MCU based Computer Module

Null Byte labs LLC a US based company has recently launched a crowdsupply campaign for their Microcontroller based computer module. It’s an easy to use, PCB solderable board has all the circuitry which is required for an MCU to operate, so that you focus on application level design.

A tiny powerful microcontroller module almost the size of an inch square. Compatible with CircuitPython, a python-based programming language intended to make programming a microcontroller easy. Made for low-cost microcontroller boards, CircuitBrains Deluxe efficiently utilizes the simplicity of CircuitPython, ideal for hobbyists and DIYers. 

Computer Module Concept

Computer module concept is widely used with microprocessor as it helps reduce the complexity, user need not to design complex MPU interfaces with DDR, Flash Chips but they can focus on the application level design.

It also helps in supply chain issues which comes into the picture once you start building such designs on your own from scratch.

There are more than 200 companies who are involved in design and manufacturing of such modules. Check the list of System on module manufacturers.

Open Source

The principal designer of this microcontroller board is Kevin Neubauer. He has made the design completely open source, one can access design files on GitHUB: https://github.com/neubauek/CircuitBrains

He has a personal blog, where he puts up various tutorials and walk-throughs: https://kevinneubauer.com/portfolio/circuitbrains-deluxe/

Features

There is no shortage of pins in the CircuitBrains Deluxe microcontroller board, which means it is suitable for enterprise-grade projects as well.

A design that is convenient to solder on a printed circuit board and comes along with schematic symbol and footprint which makes it easier to incorporate it into the application boards. In spite of a small footprint, it is in no way less in performance. 

Based on ARM cortex M4 clocked at 120 MHz makes sure it does not lack power for embedded projects. Powered by 5v ensures that your laptop’s USB port, or any regular smartphone charger would be able to power it.

Microcontroller: Atmel ATSAMD51J19 32 bit ARM Cortex A4

CircuitBrains Delux Board Pin Out

Firmware

You can find Circuit-Python Firmware available here: https://circuitpython.org/board/circuitbrains_deluxe_m4/

If you are new to Circuit-Python go through this Getting started guide

Availability and price information

The project is currently at the crowdfunding stage on CrowdSupply. It can be accessed via the aforementioned link. At the time of writing this article, the project has secured 106% of the intended funding.

The microcontroller board is available for pre-order at 29$ for a board. 55$ for a 2 of them and 80$ for three.

Shipping is free in The States and 10$ elsewhere.

The microcontroller board would be manufactured by a contract manufacturing company based out of the USA and will be shipped by CrowdSupply logistics. The company aims to ship by 20th July 2020.

I am excited to see what developers across the globe will build using this tiny little MCU board. Even I have some ideas in mind, let’s whats your idea in the comment box below.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and found information useful.


You can read my other blogs or interesting embedded system articles here where I share some of the practical tips for embedded system design.


I help embedded engineers and start ups build reliable and successful embedded products and providing professional services as embedded system design consultant. If you need any help please let me know here.

Happy Learning to you!

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