TME: development kits from mikroLAB
MikroBUS is currently the fastest growing standard of expansion boards in the world. It’s one of the phenomenal developer solutions offered by MikroElektronika, but not the only one. Currently, MikroElektronika’s offer includes kits dedicated for other major manufacturers, such as Atmel (Microchip), NXP, TI, Silicon Labs, ST Microelectronics, and FTDI.
The Arduino standard is currently the most popular one on the market, but numerous manufacturers also offer alternative solutions. At the moment, one of the most interesting ones is MikroBUS. It’s a standard comprising two serial 8-pin connectors (the so-called gold-pins) with standard 2.54mm raster, with defined pin configuration and a marking system. Various expansion boards available in this standard are called click boards.
Board connectors include the most common interfaces, i.e. I²C, UART, and SPI, as well as an analogue pin and PWM I/O. Thanks to that, expansion boards in this standard will always work - regardless of the model of a development kit with a mikroBUS connector or the manufacturer of the microcontroller you are working with. Depending on the expansion board, they can be powered by 3.3 or 5V voltage, and it’s basically the only click boards compatibility criterion for development kits. In other words, your development board with the mikroBUS connector must support the voltage required by your click board. Information on power supply can be found in product descriptions to avoid any mistakes.
Currently, MikroElektronika offers over 250 expansion boards for different applications. The most basic click boards have a single integrated circuit, e.g. external memory or an RF transceiver with an antenna on the same PCB board (and/or an antenna port). More complex boards are equipped with Wi-Fi, BLE, and GPS modules, interface systems, and even 7-digit or graphical displays, or complete drivers for DC motors, stepper motors, or fans.