Future-Blox: enabling rapid development and component comparison
Future-Blox is an innovative development tool technology designed by Future Electronics to help its customers cut the time and cost involved in developing proofs-of-concept.
Future-Blox development boards benefit from two important features that help design engineers accelerate product development: 1) The modular design comprises a baseboard and a header that supports interchangeable daughterboards with an identical pinout. The baseboards have generous provision for I/O and peripherals, and provide sockets for third-party modules such as wireless communication interfaces. Designers can quickly fill out the framework of a working concept by interfacing peripheral devices to the baseboard. Using the daughterboard header, they can then compare the performance of different microcontrollers in a system that closely matches the end product's eventual design. The result is more realistic evaluation of microcontrollers, in less time.
2) The Future-Blox baseboards benefit from production-oriented hardware design. Microcontroller manufacturers' evaluation boards are designed with a view to demonstrating all the features of the microcontroller. Future-Blox boards, by contrast, are optimized by Future Electronics for cost, performance and availability of components. Customers can use the Future-Blox Gerber design files and Bills of Materials to adopt and modify the Future-Blox baseboards in their own end products. The Future-Blox hardware design uses components that offer high performance at a competitive cost, and that are readily available. Future-Blox users benefit from faster development of working prototypes that are performance- and cost-optimised.
Two Future-Blox baseboards provide a platform for evaluating two different categories of microcontroller: LongBow and CrossBow.