Maple prototype

The Maple prototype looks very interesting

This is the Maple prototype, our first version of an Arduino-compatible board with an STM32 ARM Cortex-M3 processor. We’re chomping at the bits to release it as soon as we tie up a couple loose ends to make it what we think it should be. We’ve ported all the Arduino language and are modifying the Arduino environment so that everything works how it should. Notice that Maple does not have an FTDI chip, so serial communication works through a USB Virtual COM Port that’s implemented on the STM32, so it may even be slightly easier to setup than Arduino boards because FTDI drivers aren’t required, and the drivers for the Virtual COM Port are probably already on your Mac or Linux machine; for Windows, you’ll just use the driver that we include with the software download.

We’re also extending the Arduino language to allow users to do things with the STM32 that the Atmega chips cannot do such as easy setting up of different types of USB devices (HID for crazy mouses, mass storage, or full speed USB 2.0 data transfer)  and other communication protocols (USART, SPI, I2C, I2S, CAN), providing higher bandwidth capabilities.

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  1. Two questions:

    (1) What is the purpose of the cross-hatched polygons on the top layer? Do they serve a functional purpose? [I’ve noticed that option in Eagle before].

    (2) How does this compare to the other ARM dev boards available on the market (say, the Olimex SAM7 series)?

  2. TRavis – at a guess I’d suspect the grid layer is ground plane, and it’s either (a) for cute, or (b) to soak up stray RFI. Maybe both. 🙂

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