Home > Freescale Kinetis, Hardware > MC HCK is a $5 ARM Development Board Powered by Freescale K20 MCU

MC HCK is a $5 ARM Development Board Powered by Freescale K20 MCU

MC HCK (pronounced McHack) is a tiny and cheap development board powered by Freescale K20 MCU (ARM Cortex M4) that can be easily programmed via USB. The board has been designed with KiCad, is fully open source hardware, and it’s supposed to cost as low as $5.

MC_HCK

The only problem, or main advantage, depending on how you look at it, is that it’s not available for sale (yet), but instead you’ll need to make it yourself. The actual cost of doing so will be well over $5 (About $35), but the BoM cost is about $5, and you can make 5 boards for this price, or about $7 per board.

The detailed steps are explained on McHck blog, but they can summarized as follows:

  1. Order 10 PCB using the gerber files via services such as Seeedstudio or Iteadstudio
  2. Order 5 free samples of Freescale K20 MCU. Select MK20DX128VLF5 part, and add $5 for shipping.
  3. Order passive components: 100nf decoupling caps, 2.2μf regulator caps, 33Ω and 1kΩ resistors,LEDs, and buttons.
  4. Once you have your PCB, and all components, you’ll have to do some soldering.
  5. Done

You can now read the Getting Started Guide to learn how to install the toolchain, program and debug the board via USB, and more.

If you don’t feel like doing the board yourself, but would still like to play around will a fully assembled $5 board, Hackaday reports that “the McHck community will soon launch a crowdfunding campaign to send the 5th version of the board to all the hobbyists that may be interested”.

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  1. onebir
    August 8th, 2013 at 22:31 | #1

    Looks like Arduino Nanos are already available from China for a similar price:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item//837236806.html
    Interested to hear how they might compare…

  2. August 9th, 2013 at 11:49 | #2

    @onebir
    That’s cheap!

    The board you’ve shown are based on 8-bit AVR MCU @ 20 MHz with 2KB SRAM, 32KB Flash,
    MC HCK is based on 32-bit Cortex M4 MCU @ with 16KB SRAM, 160 KB Flash. I haven’t checked the I/O in detail, but it’s a much more powerful and flexible.

    If they manufacture it, I’m not sure they can get as low as $5, because current price relies on 5 free samples from Freescale. That MCU normally costs $2.3 per pc for 1k order.

  3. onebir
    August 9th, 2013 at 12:45 | #3

    @cnxsoft
    I was kind of surprised to see any kind of Arduino at that price :p It turns out it’s not a Nano, but a ‘Pro Mini’ – which I’d never heard of before:
    http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardProMini

    Thanks for the comparison! Perhaps the reduced cost of the PCB &/ production in bulk will let them keep the overall costs down close to $5…

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