My biggest problem is that this board is designed around totally archaic principles for development boards. It looks like something you’d see fifteen years ago – a giant, massive dev board, complete with every peripheral you’d ever want to use. Sounds great, but if you’ve ever tried developing on one of those things, it’s a total hassle.
If you want to use anything, you have to go digging through the board’s reference manual to figure out exactly which pins are multiplexed to which peripheral. Having worked with a ton of these boards, I can tell you it’s a huge pain in the ass. And once the user gets a design working, they’re almost obligated to build a custom board, just because these huge boards are so unruly.
The development board ecosystem has totally shifted away from that. Look at every major prototyping platform out there:
Texas Instruments BoosterPacks[/ul]
Every platform these days is module-based. The user can buy a collection of the modules he or she needs for a project, wire them up, and start programming. Obviously it’d be cheaper to have a single board than having separate modules, but there’s an infinite combination of modules that people need for a project, so how are you going to pick and choose which modules the user needs?
And Gadgeteer Designer really makes the old-style monolithic development boards look stale. With Gadgeteer, you simply drag and drop modules on your screen, wire them up, and start programming. You can prototype an entire embedded system without ever worrying about which pins go where, or how to interface this thing with that thing, etc.
I assume you’d have some sort of software library written for your board that abstracts the hardware. That’s great and everything, but why reinvent the wheel? Gadgeteer is in full bloom, and while I typically don’t use it for anything I do, I know it’s extremely popular among NETMF users.
I guess my advice is if you really want to put some time and effort into designing development boards, I’d recommend you abandon your giant dev-board-doohickey-thing and instead work on building new Gadgeteer boards. For example, while GHI has a ton of Gadgeteer boards, they don’t have any optocouplers, which your board has a ton of. Maybe that’s a contribution you could make?
I’m sure any Gadgeteer board you’d make would prove infinitely more popular than your original proposed design.
Good luck on your project!