The USBizi SoC (System on Chip) by GHI Electronics was the very first single chip running NETMF (.NET Micro Framework), released in 2008. The chip had some limitations around memory but it was the heart and soul of many products around the world. It was also the heart of the FEZ Panda II, one of the most popular products from GHI Electronics! Unfortunately, the USBizi SoC ran NETMF 4.1 and the severely limited resources prevented us from upgrading to newer NETMF releases. There were not any good microcontroller options so we decided to wait for the ultimate microcontroller upgrade. Finally, the microcontroller we have been waiting for was announced and we can now announce the next generation of NETMF chipsets: the G80 SoC!
The G80 SoC is a 100 pin chipset that is absolutely packed with features. This is what a single chip running NETMF can do:
• 180Mhz, Cortex-M4
• 1MB of Flash, 256kB available for applications
• 256kB of RAM, 152kB available for applications
• Full and latest NETMF support through Visual Studio
• USB and Serial debugging
• Networking (more on this below)
• Graphics with BMP decoder and internal native SPI display support
• USB Host with mass storage support
• 4Bit SD/MMC Memory card interface
• 4x UART
• 2x SPI
• 2x CAN
• One Wire
• 26x PWM
• 16x Analog inputs (12 bit)
• 2x Analog outputs (12 bit)
• TCP/IP Stack (.NET sockets)
• USB Host
• File System (SD and USB Sticks)
• Operational 1.7V to 3.6V
• 112mA fully active, 40mA idle, 1.8mA deep sleep, 7uA off state
For speedy development and evaluation, we will be offering the G80 Development Board, a highly recommended product for anyone interested in taking the G80 SoC for a test drive.
We have created an early adopter program for those wanting to try the G80 SoC and jumping out of their chairs with anticipation! Please contact us directly with as many specific details about your project as possible. Public availability is expected by mid 2015. The current SDK already supports the G80 SoC.
For the Ethernet support, the G80 SoC supports networking through the ENC28J60 Ethernet controller. Using the internal MAC is possible in the future if a serious inquiry is made for a reasonable commercial need. So why not just support the internal MAC? Using the internal MAC will cost the same as using ENC28J60, as it requires adding a PHY. There will be a speed increase when using internal, but it is not drastically different. Finally, while ENC28J60 uses 3 component pins and 3 SPI pins that can be shared, using the PHY requires about 17 pins, causing the loss of 12 analog and 8 PWM pins, and a SPI, CAN, and COM port.
The current internal version of the G80 Development Board does not include an Ethernet connection yet. It is up to the community and the customers to decide which Ethernet goes on the G80 Development Board: the ENC28J60 controller or an Ethernet PHY. Please note that any ENC28J60 module, such as GHI Electronics’ Ethernet ENC28 can be easily wired to the development board.
G80 SoC: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/501
G80 Development Board: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/483
Ethernet ENC28 Module: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/333
*** Edit *** G80 SoC User Manual: https://www.ghielectronics.com/downloads/NETMF/G80/G80_User_Manual.pdf
But wait, we have more exciting news! We are releasing the binaries for the USBizi100 and the USBizi144 SoCs. You are free to use these commercially and non-commercially. This means we are no longer offering the the USBizi family for sale. Customers can order the LPC2387FBD100 and LPC2388FBD144 from electronics stores, like Mouser, and flash them with the binaries provided. The same applies for all products based on USBizi, such as the FEZ Domino, the FEZ Panda I and the FEZ Panda II. These can be manufactured anywhere with the provided design files. Of course, the files are provided as is with no warranty, guarantee or support.
We will continue accepting special orders for USBizi (types 100 and 144) until the beginning of the year 2016.
USBizi binary files: https://www.ghielectronics.com/downloads/NETMF/USBizi/