By Rob Irwin, Altium Limitededadesignline.com (June 17, 2009)
There's perhaps a weary inevitability attached to the start of any new electronics design project that's been accepted for too long: after deciding what devices to target, you need to spend significant time 'tooling up'.
This generally involves finding and sourcing development boards and software that will allow you to 'play' with the devices on your short list.
Most designers accept this as necessity because that's the way it's always been done.
Time to take a step back, look at what's happening around you, and see that this is, frankly, clumsy, unresponsive, stifling of innovation and equally stifling of enjoyment!
Take for instance the notion that the first thing to do is choose the major devices around which you will base the design. Routine and precedent has it that you select the processor, the major peripheral chips and, increasingly, the FPGA.
It's logical, you argue, to set these
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