USB Business Card Packs An ARM Processor

Over on the Hackaday forums, [Brian] introduced himself by showing off his new business card. Given his expertise is creating unique circuit boards, we can’t imagine a better way to show off his skills than an ARM-powered business card.

[Brian] posted a more detailed write-up on his blog that covers his development process. He decided to use a 48-pin LPC1343 ARM Cortex M3 as a USB Mass Storage Class device. All the heavy lifting for instantiating a USB storage device is handled by the microcontroller, so all [Brian] had to do was wire up a Flash memory chip and access it over an SPI interface.

The finished business card functions just like a USB thumb drive with a whopping 1 Megabyte of storage. That’s not a lot of storage, but it has more than enough room for [Brian]’s resume, a link to his website, and the full source code for his card.

25 thoughts on “USB Business Card Packs An ARM Processor

  1. I don’t know if I would have used a full on usb plug, probably would have just made it out of the PCB. still cool though! Would have saved $1.41

    1. It looks like the 2.0mm option is free at first, but if you select “2.0mm” from the drop down the total cost jumps $50 for a 5cm x 5cm board. I decided I would rather have a connector on the side than pay an extra $5 per board.

    1. Yeah.

      Really it’s a waste of a processor for such s small capacity. I would say it’d be better to make it a 2-4gb drive so that someone will keep using it, thus acting as advertising. That and maybe usb 2.0 in that case. USB 3.0 would be even better, since it’s the newest thing, but kinda hard to obtain interface chips cheaply I would expect.

      It’d be really nifty if you could find a way to store his data on read only memory but have it act as an unerasable part of the memory space on the usb drive.

      1. It looks neat, but since it’s just a thumb drive it’s kind of…boring, by itself.

        I’d rather see it become a USB keyboard. Just have it key-in the following


        and then a few seconds later, have it type up his resume on the user’s machine.

  2. A box of electronics goodies awaits whoever can implement basic USB on a PIC 10F206 with a few external parts.

    It doesen’t have to be fancy, even a simple keyboard or other I/0 device will do.

    Closing date, end of September.
    send submissions to mandoline at cwgsy dot net, please include HEX file and schematics.

    1. : “A USB 1.1 implementation for PIC16F628/628A”

      That only just manages 1.1 low speed with a 20Mhz part overclocked to 24Mhz issuing 4 instructions per USB 1.5Mhz cycle. The 10F206 is limited to 4Mhz, although it claims 1 cycle non-branch instructions. I doubt it’s feasible on that part unless you can overclock it to 6Mhz.

  3. Someone has overclocked a 12F675 to 27 MHz for a mini scope unit, maybe a 12F675 would be a better choice. 10F206’s in parallel with alternate clocks offset by one cycle *might* barely be able to work.

  4. OVERKILL! I wouldn’t trust an engineer with a business card like this ;) Building a 1MB (!) USB storage device with that kind of hardware is not recommended for convincing somebody who is interested in an engineer who can focus on a specific problem and solve it the most simple and cheap way, I think. It would be nicer if it had a few more capabilities like for example.

    1. I wonder if anyone has ever gotten a job with a “business card” like this. Surely if you’re going for a job designing this sort of thing it’s not going to really impress them.. and I would have thought the showiness of it would put people off a bit. If you were going for a job that was only slightly related you might win points for “oh isn’t that clever” I suppose.

  5. Yeah and I will give my future employers a roll out scroll business card with 20kloc to show off my mad programming skills for a jerb lol. Good for Brian, but per my experience if someone is hiring you to dev micros, then they probably have a pile of their own at the company and HR/CEOs wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway :P

  6. To the people making negative comments.

    As someone who occasionally interviews and hires people in a not entirely unrelated area, I see someone fairly fresh out of university who:
    – Enjoys working with technology enough to play around in their spare time (and hence likely picks up new/more skills than someone who doesn’t).
    – Manages to complete a project without teacher/boss nagging.
    – Is geeky enough to fit in.

    Oh, and regarding putting an on-board connector … that saves you shipping a cable with it (losing the sleekness factor) or the recipient having to go dig around for a cable.

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