Belgian embedded electronics specialist Embeddio is looking to simplify expanding the functionality of existing development boards with a stackable system it calls SNAP Boards — and seeks funds for an initial production run.
"SNAP Boards are an easy and smart way of adding functionality to your development board (e.g. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.), simplifying the software development and creation of your own custom circuit boards," explains Embeddio's Ehsan Hoseini. "With the current standards, it is necessary to plug one board in and out of the available header whenever you want switch boards."
"This is cumbersome and increases your development time. Also, no debugging capabilities are provided with those boards since there is no access provided to the pins. In addition, using those boards in your custom circuit board takes space (width and height), increases signal path and does not look professional. Therefore, we introduced SNAP boards."
Based on the I2C bus, SNAP Boards are stackable expansion boards for existing microcontrollers and single-board computers: To add sensors or other add-ons to a project, you simply pick the SNAP board — stacking up to 128 together until you have the mix of functionality you need.
Where the SNAP board differs from most, though, is in offering a route to production: Once prototyping and development is complete, the core electronics of each SNAP module can be snapped out of its stackable housing — revealing castellated edges suitable for soldering onto a custom circuit board.
Embeddio is planning to launch six initial SNAP board models: One with an OPT3001 ambient light sensor; one with an L3GD20 three-axis angular rate sensor; one with an LIS3DSH three-axis linear accelerometer; one with a DPS422 digital barometric pressure and temperature sensor; one with a four-way center-push joystick; and one with an MCP79410 real-time clock with 640-byte static RAM (SRAM) and 1kb EEPROM.
Full details of the SNAP Board range can be found on the project's Kickstarter campaign page, where pricing starts at €32 for a single board with schematics, manual, and PCB footprints for Altium Designer, Eagle, and KiCad.