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Silicon Labs EFM8BB1 Busy Bee Low Cost Kit First Look Video

Welcome to First Look, brought to you by Digi-Key and Silicon Labs. While we do love our 32-bit microcontrollers for all the capabilities they offer, they aren’t always the right choice. 8-bit MCUs offer the performance and features to address many applications, and they do so at a lower cost and with a simplified tool chain that can ease development. The EFM8BB1LCK is a low cost and easy-to-use development kit from Silicon Labs, based on the EFM8 Busy Bee 8051 MCU. The board is USB-powered and has an on-board debugger. Breakout headers provide access to all GPIOs, while a 20-pin expansion header can be used to connect to hardware modules such as Silicon Labs’ Wireless Xpress BGX starter kits. The board also has a user button, LED, and footprint for an SOT-223 regulator as an alternative power option. The development kit is fully supported by Simplicity Studio, Silicon Labs’ free IDE that includes tools to help developers of all skill levels get projects started in minutes. The IDE includes graphical configuration tools, demos, example code for every peripheral, as well as more subtle features such as automatic detection of the development kit. The low-cost development kit also includes a free Keil compiler license with no code limitations, removing yet another barrier to development. This complements the fact that development with 8-bit MCUs is inherently easier, but this doesn’t mean the Busy Bee MCU is lacking. The EFM8BB1 8051 MCU featured on the board has a highly efficient pipelined 8051 core that operates at 25MHz. The MCU has 18 GPIOs, a 3-channel enhanced PWM, and a 12-bit, 200ksps ADC that can also be used in 10-bit mode at 800ksps. These are all connected to a priority crossbar that allows developers to map peripherals and pinout placement based on their application needs. This means the 8-bit MCUs also ease hardware development and can reduce cost by minimizing layer count and reducing design time. See you next time on First Look.

10/7/2019 5:27:29 PM