The mbed NXP LPC1768 board lets you create prototypes without having to work with low-level microcontroller details, so you can experiment and iterate faster than ever. Designers compose and compile embedded software using a browser-based IDE, then download it quickly and easily, using a simple drag-and-drop function, to the board's NXP Cortex-M3 microcontroller LPC1768, featuring 512K of Flash and 64K of RAM.
Engineers new to embedded applications can use the board to prototype real products incorporating microcontrollers, while experienced engineers can use it to be more productive in early stages of development. The mbed tools are designed to let you try out new ideas quickly, in much the same way that an architect uses a pencil and paper to sketch out concepts before turning to an advanced CAD program to implement a design.
The mbed tool has been designed for the best trade-off between versatility and immediate connectivity. The LPC1768, housed in an LQFP package, is mounted on the mbed board, which uses a 40-pin DIP with a 0.1-inch pitch. The convenient form factor works seamlessly with solderless breadboards, stripboards, and PCBs.
There is no software to install – everything, even the compiler, is online. The compiler and libraries are completely modular, so they're easy to use, yet powerful enough to take on complex, real-world applications. There is neither a time limit nor a code limit for the online compiler!
Pinout Diagram of mbed NXP LPC1768 Board
Getting started is as simple as using a USB flash drive. Simply connect the mbed NXP LPC1768 board to a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, and it will appear as a USB drive. Follow the link on the board to connect to the mbed website, where you can sign up and begin designing. There are no drivers to install or setup programs to run. It's so easy, in fact, that you can have a "Hello World!" program running in as little as five minutes.
The mbed compiler lets you write programs in C++ and then compile and download them to run on the mbed NXP LPC1768 microcontroller. There's no need to run an install or setup program, since the compiler runs online. Supported browsers include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome running on a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. You can log in from anywhere and simply pick up where you left off. And, since you're working with a web-based tool, you can be confident that it's already configured and will stay up-to-date.
The compiler uses the ARM RealView compile engine, so it produces clean, efficient code that can be used free-of-charge, even in production. Existing ARM application code and middleware can be ported to the LPC1768 microcontroller, and the mbed tools can be used alongside other professional production-level tools, such as Keil MDK.
The mbed Library provides an API-driven approach to coding that eliminates much of the low-level work normally associated with MCU code development. You develop code using meaningful peripheral abstractions and API calls that are intuitive and already tested. That frees you up to experiment, without worrying about the implementation of the MCU core or its peripherals. You can work faster and be more creative, and can concentrate on exploring and testing the options for your design.
Rather than simply providing examples, mbed focuses on reusable library functionality, with clear interfaces and solid implementations. The core mbed Library supports the main LPC1768 peripherals, and the libraries already contributed by the mbed design community include USB, TCP/IP, and HTTP support. It's also possible to add third-party and open-source stacks.
The libraries comply with the ARM EABI and are built on the Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS), making it possible to migrate to other toolchains or implement custom code for peripheral interfaces.
The mbed.org website (http://mbed.org) is now live, and the mbed microcontroller module based on the NXP LPC1768 is available for purchase from LPC Tools!