ARM offers $10,000 in prizes for smart product design competition

John O'Hanlon
|Mar 11|magazine5 min read

Technology entrepreneurs can now compete for a $10,000 prize fund in a contest to create a smart domestic or industrial device based on an ARM Cortex-M processor. The competition will run from March to June 2015 and will showcase just how quickly products can be designed by utilising ARM CMSIS software components and middleware.

The goal is to create a device fulfilling any function in areas such as home automation, measurement, the Internet of Things or system control. Contest registration ends March 31, 2015. Around 100 innovative projects will progress into the next round. Each will receive professional software development tools, a debug unit, hardware containing a Cortex-M4 processor-based microcontroller and peripheral components. The competitors can choose from platforms provided by Freescale, Infineon, NXP or STMicroelectronics.

Final prototype designs for the Microcontroller Design Contest for ARM Cortex-M processor-based devices must be submitted by June 30, 2015. The winners will be announced in October 2015, with five prizes awarded from $500 to $5,000.

"The contest will demonstrate how standardized components and readily available software now make it far easier and faster for designers to create smart products," said Reinhard Keil, director, microcontroller tools, ARM. "New technology invention was previously the domain of those with advanced processor knowledge and access to funding. That has changed now because of the tools and solutions ARM and its partners are providing and that has led to the rapid evolution of a vibrant new developer industry."

Participants will receive a complementary licence for the ARM Keil® MDK Microcontroller Development Kit – Professional Edition, the industry-leading software development environment for Cortex-M based microcontrollers. Competitors can use proven pre-built software components such as CMSIS, RTOS, communication stack, file system, graphical user interface to accelerate software development. Developers may also add hardware components and use standardized CMSIS drivers, for example to utilise communication interfaces such as I2C, SPI and USART.

To further help designers, ARM is introducing a new learning platform to provide expert knowledge and useful coding examples.