DSP Education Lab Kit for $50

ARM Introduces DSP ‘Lab-in-a-Box’ For Education Combining STMicro STM32F4-Discovery Board and Wolfson Audio Card

DSP ‘Lab-in-a-Box’ For Education
DSP ‘Lab-in-a-Box’ For Education

DSP (Digital Signal Processing) courses at University have traditionally used software simulation packages (Matlab), or hands-on labs using development kits costing around $300 per student. In order to reduce costs, ARM University program and their corporate partners have launched a DSP ‘Lab-in-a-Box’ so that university students can learn DSP and audio systems with hardware selling for about $50, or over 80% cheaper than previous educational hardware.

A typical DSP Lab-in-a-Box (LiB) would come with:

  • STMicroelectronics ARM Cortex-M4-based STM32F4 Discovery MCU board
  • Wolfson Microelectronics and Farnell element14 Wolfson Audio Card.
  • ARM Keil MDK-Professional development tool with a 1-year renewable software license.
  • Teaching materials such as lecture slides, code samples, and hands-on lab manuals.

STM32F4-Discovery board features an STM32F407VGT6 MCU (ARM Cortex-M4F core) with 1 MB Flash, and 192 KB RAM, sensors (motion and accelerometer), a digital microphone, and audio DAC, a micro USB connector, and various buttons and LEDs. The Wolfson Audio Card bring HD Audio, at 24-bit, 192KHz via audio ports including coaxial S/PDIF output and input, Line In and Out, and two digital microphones. ARM Keil MDK-Professional is a complete graphical development tool that normally costs several thousands dollars, but as part of ARM University program I understand it would be provided free of charge.

The DSP LiB will start shipping to universities in July 2014, and similar DSP kits are expected to be offered to developers at a later stage.

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