TBT: Shields or Pmods?

What is the best way to increase the functionality of your microcontroller? Should you use a shield or a Pmod? Well, revisiting James Colvin’s post from last year, we can infer that it probably depends on what you’re trying to do, or what sort of functionality you’re hoping to achieve.

There are a wide variety of shields available for different microcontrollers. They work with compatible microcontrollers that have the same form factor; you simply place the shield over the board and plug it onto the pin headers. Additionally, one shield usually has a wider range of functionality than is necessary for more directed endeavors. This means it’s great for projects with a larger scope.

The uC32 with the Basic IO Shield.
The uC32 with the Basic IO Shield.

Conversely, Pmods can only be plugged directly into some boards that already feature Pmod connectors. Otherwise, you need to use a special connector or cable. Pmods are only designed to perform one task. This leads to more directed functionality, but can be rather unwieldy if you’re attempting to use a lot of Pmods with the microcontroller.

A partial collection of the Digilent Pmods
A partial collection of the Digilent Pmods

Read James’ original post and let us whether you prefer to use Pmods or shields for certain projects!

Be the 1st to vote.

About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

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