Welcome back to Digilent’s Show and Tell series!
In this third episode, Larissa discusses our carrier modules, or Cmods. Cmods were originally created in order to give breadboard access to components that were not traditionally breadboard-able. One of the advantages to breadboarding while learning electronics is that students get a more tactile experience of connecting components together to make a functional circuit.
However, the downside of breadboarding is limited access to newer, more industry-relevant components and potentially limiting exposure only to very simple ICs with small pin-outs (at least ones that can fit on a breadboard). Most newer components come in packages that are surface-mounted, but in order to use them, you would have to know enough to lay out a board or operate high-end simulation software. As the industry advances and components get smaller and more dense, bigger packages that can be handled by students and a breadboard are becoming more limited.
Digilent’s response to this conundrum is the Cmod line. If you watched the previous video in the series, we mentioned the Cmods that you get inside of the Analog Parts Kit. Currently the oldest Cmod we have is the Cmod2, or a CPLD Cmod. The subsequent Cmod, the Cmod S6, is one that we created in partnership with Project Lead the Way and National Instruments. Then, finally, we have our chipKIT Cmod.