Once a month, Bay-area hackers and engineers-by-night gather in the grand office of our evil overlords (Supplyframe) and take us on an adventure in hardware. This past month, [Philip Friedin] gave us the hands-on tour of the OSHChip, a project we’ve seen floating around our pages for the last year. OSHChip might look like another open source development board, but the DIP package and all the packaged features are telltale signs that OSHChip is the offspring of a seasoned double-E. Scroll down to watch his presentation in full.
[Philip] gave us a few extra tweaks that make the OSHChip a creature of many features. For brains, it has a 16 MHz ARM Cortex-M0 running inside the Nordic nRF51822. While 16 MHz won’t win you first place at the worldwide chip-sprinter Olympics, this chip does, however, offer something special in its peripherals. While we’ve only got 14 I/O pins, peripherals and pins are linked with a full-crossbar switch, which means any pin can be mapped to any peripheral. This chip also features a “task-event” system, where peripheral events can trigger simple behaviors independent of the processor. Finally, we wouldn’t think of Nordic without forgetting their wireless hardware. This chip also has a built-in bluetooth (BLE) radio to get your wireless projects alive-and-kicking without any extra hardware.
Programming other dev boards usually requires some unwilling commitment. Whether it’s a proprietary IDE or an unfamiliar operating system, we usually need to install some extra fluff to get code onto our microcontrollers. Not the OSHChip, though. [Philip’s] custom programmer masquerades as a USB flash stick when you plug it in, and programming is as easy as dragging a hex file into the folder on your PC. Finally, since it’s an ARM chip, you can use any open-source ARM toolchain you prefer to generate executables.
Finally, we can’t look away from the OSHChip without commenting on how adorable it is! The OSHChip packs itself into the footprint of a classic DIP-16 package, making it incredibly convenient for prototypes on a standard breadboard. As a result, it’s tiny–tiny enough to slip into a case and kick off your smartwatch!
You might call the OSHChip a dev-board–or even a chip imposter! In the video after the break, Let [Philip] be your guide on how to use this small, but flexible DIP-16 beast.