The mbed microcontroller is an ARM processor, a comprehensive set of peripherals and a USB programming and communication interface provided in a small and practical DIP package. The mbed is a super-easy-to-use rapid prototyping tool built on industry standard technology.
The mbed Microcontroller is made for prototyping, and comes in a 40-pin 0.1" pitch DIP form-factor so it's ideal for experimenting on breadboards, stripboards and PCBs. It supports lots of interfaces including USB, SPI, I2C CAN, ethernet, and serial. And downloading programs is as simple as using a USB Flash Drive. Plug it in, drop on your program binary, and you're up and running!
The compiler is web-based, so it works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it allows you to write programs in C++. You'll also have access to the mbed libraries, which give you an API-driven approach to using the many functions of the microcontroller.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels
Based on 7 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
Mbed has a great support community and well documented devices.its reliable and easy to use. Would definitely recommend!
2 of 4 found this helpful:
The online IDE is frustrating, and programming for the device outside the IDE and uploading it is a chore. It's also extremely difficult to get the C support working; all of the headers are provided for C++, and you're left to your own devices to figure out how to interface with the device in C.
I built the sample blinking LED test program with their web-based compiler, and it was running in no time! I also got the LSM9DS1 IMU breakout board from SF. I got the two boards talking over I2C after borrowing some library I found on the mbed web site (in their repository). I'm sure this board has a lot of potential in terms of working on fun embedded projects. Also, it is recommended to update the bootloader on the board to the latest. I'm going to do that eventually, but for now, the stock bootloader is working just fine. BTW, I'm running Windows 7, and the USB driver mbed provides for printing to the serial console using printf statements works great. I'm not sure, however, if it will work under Windows 10. I've seen questions about it on mbed forums, but no definitive answers. That's something I'd like to see addressed in other reviews here.
For quick and dirty prototypes this is fantastic and supported well on Windows Mac and Gnu-Linux. Online IDE is pretty cool, but you can also build the code locally if you've got a poor internet connection. Love the mbed drag and drop programming and plastic pin-out reference guide. Nice prototyping board for this chip series with reasonable peripheral access.
Simple to program and quick to change.
I love this mbed! I built an alarm clock and it works really great! Thanks Sparkfun!