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ITeadMaple Review (With 2.4″ Touch Display)

"ITead Studio has provided us with their LeafLabs Maple clone, called ITeadMaple.

The ITeadMaple is very similar to the Arduino, it has the same formfactor so you can fit the same shields, but instead of using an AVR 8-bit microcontroller it contains an 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 running at 72MHz.

In the following review we will have a look at the ITeadMaple board and see how it works. We also compare the speed with an Arduino, by using the ITead 2.4″ Touch Display shield and porting the Arduino library for that to the ITeadMaple. You will notice a huge difference in refresh rates.

The board itself looks very much like the Arduino Duemilanove or Due. As you can see on the image below the form factor is the same, and as I said in the video review, therefor your Arduino shields can also fit on the ITeadMaple — though this doesn’t mean there is a library for them! You should also take care of the changed voltage level, as the ITeadMaple is running at 3.3V, though the I/O pins are 5V compliant.

The ITeadMaple board is a little bigger in size than the LeafMaple. The extra connector (expansion connector) is also just 2×8 instead of 2×9 on the LeafMaple.

Except for the same form factor, the board contains a power jack for power supply, where it is possible to apply a voltage between 7V-23V

The board has a USB Mini-B connector for programming or USB applications. The processor on the board (STM32) has been factory programmed (by JTAG) with a USB bootloader, making it possible to program the applications to the board via USB. The USB port is also used as a virtual serial port when the board is running — just like on the Arduino!

The board also contains 2 buttons, one is reset and the other is BOOT. The BOOT button has to be pressed right after pressing the reset to make the board go into bootloader mode.

Though this is not always required, as the IDE is capable of putting the bootloader into programming mode sometimes.

…….."

Via TKJ electronics blog. Thanks to Thomas Jespersen.