eval board from Actel arrived today 7 week early. The board contains SmartFusion A2F200M3F device, Ethernet, USB, UART, OLED display, flash, and integrated programmer all for $129. The SmartFusion chip contains a ARM Cortex M3, FPGA, and programmable analog circuitry including ADCs and DACs. The programmable analog aspect coupled with the FPGA would seem to make this an ideal device to interface with nanodevices and nanosensors. More details on the kit can be found at A2F-EVAL-KIT
. The kit was purchased from Mouser
one of three Actel distributors. A development kit is also available but it like around $1000.
The first photos show the SmartFusion in the open box.
The contents are removed and you can see the board, two USB cables, and instruction card.
The front of the card is nicely laid out. The OLED display is in the upper right next to the pot.
The bottom of the card is nicely done as well and has more components than I expected.
I hope to turn it on and test it out but I'm still waiting for the Libero® Integrated Design Environment
development tools on DVD. You can download the tools but the files size is around 1.7 GB. At the time, I could not wait that long but now that the boards here may be I can.
So, now I need a nanosensor. I'm now looking for a commercial device that I can buy that won't break the bank and looking an making my own that simple to make. I've read that people use crystal microbalances, cantilevers, and crystal resonators that they functionalize with a bioreceptor. This involve chemistry to link the bioreceptor to the microbalance. When the bioreceptor attaches to its analyte the mass changes so the microbalance slows down. The frequency then is proportional to the the mass of the analyte detected. So, there is much more to follow. Stay tuned.