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Project Help and Ideas » Using Other Chips with the NerdKit MCU

April 27, 2012
by jlaskowski
jlaskowski's Avatar

I am considering trying to use the MCU that came with my Nerdkit to talk to other chips, like the CC3000 Wi-Fi chip by Texas Instruments. Being a programmer for many years, I believe once they are wired together, I can figure out the software side. I am, however, concerned with the hardware side.

Are there necessary electrical compatibilities that I should be looking for when deciding what chip to tie to the MCU that came with my USB NerdKit? If they both can talk via serial communications, could there be voltage specifications that differ between the two that would make this impossible or at least very difficult for a newbie to wire up?

April 27, 2012
by pcbolt
pcbolt's Avatar

jlaskowski -

Some things to keep in mind are:

  • standard vs non-standard interfaces (I2C, SPI, UART are standard and easy to use)
  • voltage differences - using chips with different voltages requires some extra parts
  • speed - some chips may operate above the freq. of the NK MCU (i.e. USB hi speed, DVI)

For the most part, chips are designed to interact with each other. If they are listed as having CMOS or TTL communications....chances are good you will be able to use them easily enough.

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