Here is yet another development board to add to your list (If you are into keeping lists), introducing the Firebird32. There seems to be no end to the production of new development boards, following the current style the Firebird32 comes in the familiar Arduino form factor to fit all of your Arduino shields.
The Firebird32 from [Wytec] is build around the 32bit Freescale Flexis MCU [MCF51JM128] running the Coldfire V1 core commonly found in industrial and medical equipment. We were kindly donated a board before release, the first thing that we noticed was the onboard 8×2 segment LCD which makes the perfect debuging tool. The board along with fitting standard Arduino shields has extra input headers for a keypad, an accelerometer and an extra communication header (IC2/SPI/SCI). It’s also sporting 8 x 12bit analogue inputs, external 32k EEPROM, an RGB LED, a buzzer and an extra push button. The Flexis chip along with the beefy 32bit processor can run at a clock rate up to 48Mhz using PLL and has an integrated USB port, all of this for under $30.
So the hardware seems nice and you can plug your Arduino shields right in, but (you knew it was coming right) it is not yet compatible with Arduino sketches or code. Currently for beginners the Firebird32 is supplied with the StickOS BASIC bootloader, it seems like a very high level programming language which may be useful to get a LED flashing but we not totally convinced on it utilising the chips full potential. To program in C/C++ or assembly, a USBDM programmer is required and code is compiled using the CodeWarrior IDE which offers step by step debugging which is nice, setting it up is not entirely obvious but some tutorials and source code to get you started are available.
The bottom line is that the Firebird32 is a nice looking board with some great hardware at a low cost for projects requiring some extra power, but it is not a tool for beginners. The Coldfire chipset is quite common in industrial equipment, so the board makes a perfect stepping stone for engineers who want to learn about coding embedded hardware, or migrating to the more advanced Coldfire V2/3 controllers.