MikroElektronika (MIKROE), an embedded solutions company, launched its 1000th Click board, EtherCAT Click, which enables EtherCAT functionality to be cost-effectively delivered on various processors over the SPI interface. MIKROE invented the 16-pin mikroBUS standard for sockets on a development board and the compact Click boards that use the standard ten years ago. CEO Nebojsa Matic realized that all development boards are substantially similar - they all integrate a microcontroller, power supply, tact switches, LEDs, pins.
The features that differentiate one development board from another are the peripherals - the UART, displays, RTC, relay, ADC, EPROM etc. Click boards enable design engineers to change peripherals easily, cutting months off development time. MIKROE now releases a new Click board nearly every day at 10am, and many leading microcontroller companies including Microchip, NXP, Infineon, Dialog, STM, Analog Devices Renesas and Toshiba, plus distributors such as Future Electronics andAvnet a now include the mikroBUS socket on their development boards. Comments Matic: “Engineers must learn to value their time. They should be focused on increasing the quality of the whole project rather than just seeing a small piece of it. Why spend two months in development when you could pay under $50 for a ready-made solution which will enable you to develop your code and prove the concept?”
EtherCAT Click, the 1000th Click board, features the LAN9252, a 2-port EtherCAT device controller with dual integrated Ethernet PHYs from Microchip Technology. Each PHY contains a full-duplex 100BASE-TX transceiver and supports 100Mbps operation. It communicates with an MCU via a synchronous SPI/SQI interface and can operate in digital I/O mode, allowing signals to be controlled or monitored by the EtherCAT Master. This Click board is suitable for industrial control, process/factory automation, hydraulic and pneumatic valve systems, power, and many other applications.