Free (…as In ‘free Beer’) ARM Kit

NXP holds a lot of market share for their ARM based solutions as it is. That’s why we were a little surprised when we found a link on their website announcing that they were giving away free LPCXpresso development boards, based on their Cortex-M0 line.

Catches? Unfortunately there are a few to get the board shipped and running. In order to do so, you must…

  • register with a corporate email address
    …the promo is targeted at engineers
  • use the crippled IDE supplied with the board
    …due to hard to find (non-existent?) documentation for the integrated LPC-Link
  • upload an original video of the physical destruction of a competing board to the NXP website

While killing your Arduino may not sound like the most fun, some qualified readers may be interested in moving up to 32-bits for a price that is hard to beat.

109 thoughts on “Free (…as In ‘free Beer’) ARM Kit

  1. @Avaviel it’s like free beer, as in leave your old beer can in the cupboard and get the new beer can out of the refrigerator. They only want to know what you’ll do with the old one. They don’t tell you to destroy it. People just happen to love destroying stuff.

    Here’s a Q. How have people managed to post youtube vids into their comment rather than as a link? Some kinda bbcode for wordpress?

  2. Absolutely reprehensible. I’m going to make sure I actively avoid NXP, and make sure others do as well. Destruction of equipment for marketing is just malevolent, and incredibly wasteful. If you have old dev boards/mcus/etc that you aren’t using anymore or collecting dust, donate them to a school, or a beginning hobbyist, or other such person. If you’ve got dead chips, they could still be useful as solder practice to a beginner.

    Shame on you NXP.

  3. @untrustworthy did you visit the page and actually read the rules? They don’t tell you to destroy them. People are making that decision on their own.

    Many people have submitted pictures of their old hardware being boxed up/donated. It is NOT a requirement to destroy the hardware, it’s just a choice that many users have chosen on their own.

    You’re a tool.

  4. i’m tempted to do this. my ideas: dremel + old broken anything = ‘dev board’. this could be a hard drive circuit board, video card that i’ve already shocked with my ‘tesla coil’ (cold cathodes with 1 wire detached, actually makes it look like a blowtorch or lightsaber..) cell phone i went swimming with, etc. anything FUBAR. then ??? Profit. i’ve never used a dev board and i wouldn’t know what to do with it, especially if the cpu is 500mhz or below. but if it could interface with some parts from my old cell phone, namely the 3.1-3.2mp camera, a touchpad and screen from an old laptop.. i could have some fun with that. i have a few old electronics lying around that would make an interesting device if they couldbe cobbled together somehow. wrt54g, pieces of a samsung impression= wireless webcam? that would be pretty sweet since there is plenty of room inside the old router to hide a camera and some more sh

  5. No where on NXP’s webiste does it say you need to destroy your old board in order to get one!!! Some obviously have done this but its not required.

    Please Hack-a-Day change the original post, it seems to be misleading a lot of peeps here!

  6. “show us what you would do”
    Read that again you whiners!The destruction is not a requirement.A creative and fun dishing of 8bitters is.And judging some of the pictures submitted not much is required to qualify.
    A simulation of what you would do – is!
    I hope those whining here are still on pocket allowances and paper routes

  7. Destroying ANYTHING that still works is simply wrong in my book. I don’t care how advantageous the price/value ratio might be. Urging others to destroy is way more so, regardless of the exact wording.

    You’re definitely welcome to not believe me, but after I’m done browsing the morning stuff, I’m actually supposed to recommend an MCU choice for a production run – I was going to go back and give it another shot at the NXP website (since their search sucks – go on, tell me which of their MCU’s have ethernet built-in?) but now I think I’ll just pass.

    Corporate marketroids, rejoice! You’ve sure as hell lost this quote request, if you ever had a chance.

  8. I really dont see the reason to go and destroy one of my hoby boards just to get a free sample, even my home made Pic18f dev boards.

    A few days ago our secatery called me over to the front desk to see a rep for STLabs, we talked a bit about dev boards, and simply handed me a few STM32 dev boards and a jtag programmer to try out for free, as well as a few things I picked out of there catalog as samples,I really loved the STM32 and where now using there products, THIS IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE DONE, not some lets be wasteful marketing campaighn.

  9. This is basically the same as a mail-in-a-competitors-product thing – except you get to do the smashing etc yourself, you save yourself an envelope and they save themselves the cost of disposal, processing etc.
    So, I’ll be propane-torching a PIC or something.

  10. “upload an original video of the physical destruction of a competing board to the NXP website”

    I think they’re trying to be funny with that one…

    “Crippled IDE”

    That one makes this a pass.

  11. If anything its Hack-a-Day thats doing the reprehensible thing of encouraging others to destroy competing products. Only here on this page does it say to destroy a product, which is entirely a fantastical creation by Jacob Woj. You all are getting so worked up without so much as reading the actual article. Instead you are all giving knee-jerk reactions to a poorly written post. For such an intelligent group of people you all seem to skip important details to draw the most dramatic conclusions.

  12. @Jorge: I think a lot of these comments along the lines of ‘omg i cant believe ur destroying stuff!!’ are actually the same person trolling. I noticed the same thing the other day. Lots of new names posting to HackaDay. All posting the same nonsense, worded very similar.

  13. Also, the toolchain here is mostly just GNU utils – gcc, ld, etc. You can use the CodeRed proprietary C library but you can also use NewLib. So any time you spend on this is *mostly* transferrable.

    The time that isn’t reclaimable is that spent dealing with eccentricities of the dev environment but that’s really not that severe IME.

    Don’t smash your old board, just photoshop something innovative, that seems to be all they’re after.

  14. beer isn’t free if you have to dump the beer you already have on the floor. it would be pretty amusing if this ‘promotion’ actually caused increased sales of a cheaper board.

  15. Don’t you have a chip that is already broken? I myself had a burnt MSP430 which was perfect for the ‘destruction’ which is by no means required. Some have been accepted by posting a simple captions made of a few chips. Most of the destruction videos/photos show already broken things!

  16. Why destroy it?

    I am sure people from NXP marketing department also wouldn’t have use of too much of the same thing. Demolition Derby can bore after a while. I guess they would like something like “Fifty ways to leave your old architecture”. I can’t think about that much, but how about …

    Just “honourably retiring” your old 8-bit development board, putting it on display in nice glass enclosure with a legend “in service 1991-2011”, or hanging it on the wall above your desk,


    passing it on to your little nephews and nieces (or your grandma … yeah, old devboards for oldtimers!) to play with and learn about micros,


    instead of not using it any more at all, just show how you wont use it *for development* any more – permanently build it into some home/in-house made piece of equipment you will be using, some tester, ‘meter, signal generator, character terminal, dashboard computer, a Rube Goldberg machine, some clever or funny hack …

    or something along that lines?

  17. @Spork: Destruction is more fun? Sure it is, but only when I destruct something which isn’t mine and I can’t have it, or actually is mine but I am forced to share it with others. Have you even went to kindergarten? Sheesh!

  18. @A7
    If by ‘arduino’ form, you mean easy and fast to develop for, then the answer would be “for ease and speed of development”. Nearly every professional and hobbyist would prefer to have easier and faster project development. Doing projects in ASM on PIC chips was a lot of fun, but the fact is that I can write, debug, and test code nearly 20 times as fast on a platform like the arduino.

  19. Non-existent documentation for an NXP product? Not surprising. Aside from the boneheaded packaging design of their BGW211EG wifi chip, finding technical docs for that shitgem has proven impossible.

  20. nothing against ease and speed! i work in C, not ASM. but ‘arduino’ means nothing! why should everything be arduino? when people see a blue board they think ‘oooh! arduino, arduino,arduino’..
    words ‘easy’, ‘simple’ and friendly are not synonyms for arduino, they exist in electronics long before, but without marketing and hipster-brainwash

  21. Now I could see if NXP required me to make a video of a board I had programmed… or some other requirement to prove someone is not a “sample collector”. That would be understandable.

    What NXP is doing is bribing people to needlessly generate e-waste?? WTF?

    NXP marketing’s little stunt just convinced me to NEVER purchase NXP products whenever I have a viable alternative.

  22. @ Scott
    Are you seriously that dense? Did you honestly not read the ACTUAL article? Hack a Day writers purposely misled everyone by saying that destruction of a board is required, IT IS NOT. And if you had actually read the article instead of shooting your mouth off you woulda known that.

    Why the hell hasn’t it been edited yet? What is wrong with hack a day????

  23. Just think about it this is dumb.You can give your old boards to some kid so he can start a career in ee rather than being a greedy batard and destroying your arduino.

  24. This actually sounds like a fun hacking project to me. Not to destroy boards, but to convince them that you destroyed a real competitors board. A fun SE challenge for all.

  25. @Jorge – No need for you to be insulting.

    When you are chastising people for not reading “the article” you are just making stuff up… if you actually clicked the link to “the article” on NXP, you would see see a gallery of pictures and videos.

    There’s no need for bashing Hack a Day. There’s also no need for your juvenile trolling and telling people to read ‘articles’ you did not read yourself. If you remain sarcastically bitter, you will always have trouble becoming gainfully employed (even if you are an angry astroturfing NXP employee, Good luck would not be enough..)

  26. It’s been said before, but to reinforce the point, most of you guys are going off the deep end over nothing. One, nobody said you had to do it. If you’re cool with maiming some old junk, go for it, you get a free board. More to the point, this isn’t targeted at hobbyists, it’s targeted at product designers who will go with what they know in general purpose micro applications.

    Even as it is, I’m a student and I’m pretty happy right now. I used my university email address, PRETENDED to destroy my arduino but cut to black right before I flipped the switch, and got a free board despite pretty clearly being outside of the target promo market.

    Then I got a second one from the survey NXP sent out after all YOU GUYS started flipping shit. So I guess I should thank you all for your overreaction, your loss is my (2x) gain.

  27. Did no one read the print?

    “And, if you show us what you would do with your old 8/16 bit in order to switch to the new Cortex-M0, we’ll send you a FREE LPCXpresso!”

    “show us what you would do” <- Read that a few times.

    I sent in for mine, because it has more pins then my arduino does. And I need 16 pins for free :)

  28. @Scott
    Don’t give me any of that BS.

    “upload an original video of the physical destruction of a competing board to the NXP website”

    Is a LONG way away from

    “Show us what you would do”.

    And probably the ONLY reason there are even destruction videos on the site is because of HaD. And even so, just because there was a few people uploading those types of videos, that DOESN’T limit the contest to JUST those types of videos. HaD limited their narrow focus to just destruction and that is what everyone here (who is mad at NXP) is getting upset about. The thought that the ONLY thing you can do to get a free board is to destroy a competitor’s board is extremely aggravating to these people and this is all because HaD chooses to post borderline-defamatory articles with purposeful mistakes and then refuses to edit them when everyone points out their error. Maybe you should get your head out of the sand and realize what I am actually mad at before you shoot off another ignorant comment again.

  29. Oh, and I see some of my other comments are gone now too. So HaD staff will edit comments but not the original story thats wrong? Thats just what I come to expect from them. Seems now they are only interested in money or fame and notoriety rather than quality articles and actually doing something good for the hacker community. Don’t confuse that last one with “They AREN’T doing anything good for the hacker community”, they just no longer CARE if they are or not.

  30. Hey @Jorge,

    Most HaD visitors actually -like- HaD, say nice things about this website and positive constructive comments.

    I would challenge that you are even a want-to-be hacker.. otherwise you would either be featured here one day, or you would have constructive comments instead. It’s because of you that we will be forced to register before posting, and I hope that never happens. Please find another bridge to troll under.

    Why do you come here if you do not,

    Please, as you make your well announced exit, do not permit the door to swing so impact your behind as you

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