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News BBC unveils Micro Bit, Make it Digital initiative

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 12 Mar 2015.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    Having buttons and the LED Array will certainly expand what can be done with the device without having to buy/build extra add-ons.

    I can certainly see children enjoying programming it to spell out their name or a simple tetris clone with the buttons..
     
  3. Ergath

    Ergath Giant Zombie Pigeon Photographer

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    The display matrix is too small to display 80085. Disappointing.
     
  4. MikeC

    MikeC New Member

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    no info on this other than the photos....
    looks to me more like an ATmega32U4 rather than an ARM microprocessor (runs at ~3volts rather than USB 5volts) so presumably this is the early 'demo version'
    Could do with a few more buttons I think
     
  5. InSanCen

    InSanCen Buckling Spring Fetishist

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    Do some scrolling then... Get the speed right, and you can display almost anything on a single 7 segment LED. Maybe 55378008 for variation.
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Did you click through to the link at the botom? 'Cos there's a bit more there.
    That is a prototype, yes, and I agree that it looks like an ATmega32U4 - and would add that, interestingly, the markings on the top have been blurred out in post-production, possibly to hide that fact. The reason I mention an ARM chip in the piece, though, is that Atmel isn't described as being a partner in the programme. To quote:
    Note the lack of Atmel on that list, but the presence of ARM and licensee Freescale. If I had to guess, I'd say the proof-of-concept prototype is an Atmel ATmega of some description, but the final product will be based around the ARM Cortex-M family (as used in Freescale's mbed boards - which, fun fact, show up as a USB Mass Storage Device and use a web-based IDE which compiles your program remotely and gives you a binary to drag-and-drop onto the board - making it completely cross-platform and entirely compatible with everything from the Raspberry Pi to an iPad, which would fit in with the BBC's aims quite nicely.)

    Oh, and one of the people working on the project has posted an even earlier prototype - does anyone recognise the board in use there? Is that the Texas Instruments logo I see in the corner?

    EDIT: Oh, here you go, he's confirmed it's an Atmel ATmega but says the final version will "probably have a different chip." I'm still betting on ARM - any takers?
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2015
  7. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    Will be interesting to see what happens in the autumn.
    My daughter will be moving up to year 7, so should be in line for one.
    Hoping for something inspiring to move on from Scratch
     
  8. MikeC

    MikeC New Member

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    Gareth, yes, I glanced thru the PR stuff but couldn't see any useful info

    the board used in the prototype appears to be this one - funnily enough, an ATmega32U4 board (I did check the board layout so was 99% certain)

    ATmegas do have the advantage of being a little more 'electrically robust' - could be a useful feature where kids are involved !
     
  9. ashchap

    ashchap Member

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    Is GTA really the most appropriate choice? I thought the campaign was aimed at children? I'm pretty sure there are other (non 18 rated) games that would appeal to both adults and children that would make a great drama series...
     

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