iSYSTEM Development board for the younger generations of embedded engineers
MOUSE or MiŠKO (Slovenian: MIkrokrmilniški Študentski KOmplet) is a development board originally introduced by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to bring embedded hardware and software closer to students.
The first MOUSE was created in 2011 based on Microchip ATmega324 microcontroller. It features USB-A connector, USB-UART converter, two-line alphanumeric LCD screen, and other simple peripherals. Students were not only learning the basics of the microcontroller architecture, assembler and C programming, but they were also manufacturing the board including soldering it on its own.
After 6 years, it was replaced by MOUSE V2, which is built around Microchip ATmega328PB microcontroller providing a big upgrade regarding peripherals. A graphic color screen with touch detection and many other additional peripherals were added. Thus, compared to the predecessor, MOUSE V2 gained mainly on the larger peripheral set.
When we look at MOUSE V3, it's a completely different story.
Where and how do we enter the story?
iSYSTEM Labs, our Slovenian subsidiary, entered the story in 2019 when the professor of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering was looking for partners and ideas for the next generation of MOUSE V3.
As we already tightly cooperated on multiple occasions, e.g. workshops for students, praxis, thesis mentoring, the project and ideas started coming together. A student who by coincidence started with a praxis at iSYSTEM Labs, joined the project and pushed the project forward. During the summer of 2021 the idea was realized and MOUSE V3 prototype was developed.
The whole development took place at iSYSTEM Labs which excels in the entire vertical chain of hardware production, from idea to the final product all in one house. With almost 30 years of experience in:
- Schematics design,
- PCB design,
- Housing design,
- Assembling complex electronic boards including BGA components,
the student development board MOUSE was a piece of (cheese) cake!
We created a “Monster” MOUSE!
The newest version of MOUSE, which is capable of running without being connected to a PC, consists of:
- 32-bit STM32G474 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller from STMicroelectronics
- USB hub which enables communication:
- with ST LINK debugger
- UART converter
- USB interface via USB-C connector for programming and power
- Bigger LCD
- CAN and LIN communication interfaces
- CoreSight 20-pin connector for advanced code debugging and tracing
- User-friendly and game console interface design
With MOUSE V3 all students who study Programming will be able not only to learn the basics of microcontrollers but also build the system from scratch and smell the solder of their own development board.
Beside iSYSTEM Labs d.o.o., the faculty and the student, the following companies also joined the project by providing some MOUSE components for free:
- Wurth Elektronik Eisos d.o.o.
- IC elektronika d.o.o.
- Intectiv d.o.o.,
- LPVO, Fakulteta za elektrotehniko, Ljubljana
What does the future hold?
iSYSTEM Labs will support the project in the future and assemble one batch per year for all students of programming. Project will be hosted as an open source project on iSYSTEM GitHub account.
Beside all of the above, the student who worked on this project, used the project for his thesis and got hired at iSYSTEM Labs in Software Test department.
Wouldn’t you agree that this is a 100 % success story?