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Introduction to GR Sakura - Development board

Sakura? What's that ?

A royal sake brand ?Premium car Polish?(Sorry Oddbot ...had to put that in...)

A cherry blossom tree?(Well it means that literally!)

Simply put I guess you've never heard of it.But now you Are reading about it and if you're reading ..You'll soon Know about it.(Well that's rather my intention anyways).So here goes... the first introduction to GR Sakura Development Board here on LMR.

First lets start with a nerdy introduction...

"A GR-Sakura is one of the Gadget Renesas board series. This is an Arduino compatible board based on RX63N series 32-bit MCU, which is a successor MCU of RX62N, has on-chip flash memory and enhanced communication functions, including an ethernet controller and USB 2.0 Host/Function. The on-chip flash memory of RX63N is programmable by USB mass storage mode and the compiler for Rx63N on Cloud is a GNU base, and is supported by Renesas."

Here's a brief summary of the GR-SAKURA board:
Microcontroller: RX63N(R5F563NBDDFP)
Operating Voltage: 5V
Clock Speed: 96MHz
Digital I/O Pins: 55
Analog Input Pins: 16
Flash Memory: 1MB
RAM: 128KB
USB- Function: (mini-B)

So what's cool about it?Here's what appeals to me...

1)Powerful - Very Powerful.You can't expect less from a 32bit MCU and sakura delivers.It has 1MB flash memory,55 digital i/o pins,more than a dozen analog pins,what's more it has these tiny solder pads that you can bridge for purposes specific to yur application.It runs 6 times the speed of arduino

2) The board has complete compliance with arduino in terms of its footprint i.e. the positioning of pins on sakura board and arduino are same.What's more several libraries for arduino (servo,ethernet,LCD and a whole lot more ) can be used with it.

3) Shields designed for arduino can be used with GR Sakura (Check Voltage ratings first!)

4) It has host of interfaces- LAN Connector,MicroSD etc..

Here are some links for futher enlightenment:

http://www.designspark.com/nodes/view/type:design-centre/slug:GR-Sakura

http://sakuraboard.net/index_en.html

Some additional notes:

GR-SAKURA actually runs on 3.3V.The power supplied from the 5V power supply or the USB connector isconverted to 3.3V and fed to the on-board MCU. Input signals for the board should be clamped to 3.3V. Always check the operating voltage of the
Arduino shield. Incompatible voltage may damage both boards.

Offline compiler for sakura is also available in addition to online compiler.

So,should you use one? Maybe, maybe not.It's up to you.One thing is for sure - The board certainly is power-packed with features.Once you become acquainted with the basics I found it wasn't hard to use one.Currently what the board lacks in documentation (What I mean is in English language) can be(Or in my case -  was obtained) online and through renesas forum(renesasRulz.com).

So thats it.There's your introduction to the course.(Hope it wasn't bad..Its my first anyways..)Hope some of you make fun gadgets out of it.(And if you do ,post it here on LMR).BYE!

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