FTM Board Club
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
The Future-Blox baseboard for developing advanced 32-bit MCU applications. Supports a wide variety of 32-bit MCU daughterboards, including devices from Microchip, NXP Semiconductors and Freescale Semiconductor.

CROSSBOW
The Future-Blox baseboard for developing families of end products based on the Freescale Semiconductor Flexis line of 8- and 32-bit MCUs. This includes 8-bit MCUs using Freescale's famed SO8 core, and 32-bit MCUs using variants of the Freescale ColdFire core.Future Electronics will ship you the board you apply for at no cost if: