The HCC Module is an Arduino compatible, ready and easy to solder, surface mount programmable micro-controller module. Its purpose is to simplify the process of creating and building your own custom circuit boards without the need of worrying about soldering small fragile components, while still retaining all of the benefits of a tiny, lightweight, and low power micro-controller. Think of it as a way to bridge the gap between breadboard prototypes and full on "solder yourself" custom circuit boards. This is the simplified missing link. You use the module in combination with your custom circuit boards, to solder it directly to the board. No need for programming headers, power supplies, or FTDI chips.
Check out the GitHub: https://github.com/IdleHandsProject/samd_hcc_mod
What makes it special?
If you have been hanging around the electronics community at all, you will know there are a few modules available that are able to be programmed with the Arduino IDE and soldered directly on board, but there are a number of reasons why the HCC Module is special.
1) No Extra Components Needed! - Most surface mount solder on modules will need a few more components to get them working and talking to your computer, specifically a USB to UART device and in most cases a voltage regulator; Don't forget about the small discrete components that make them work! This will typically add 5-15 extra (Tiny!) components that will need to be put into your board design, and then later soldered on. The HCC Module has both a voltage regulator (at 3.3V) and native USB with a preloaded bootloader. This means all you need to do is either place a USB connector somewhere on your board, or solder the USB wires directly for programming.
2) Low Power! - Another problem with some of the "solder on" modules is they require a lot of power to get them running. Since the HCC Module is running a MICROCHIP SAMD21G18A ARM Core M0 with an external crystal, not only does it require a lot less power to start up and operate, it can also be put into low power mode to conserve energy. This is great for a lot of reasons; devices that go to sleep, sensors, anything that needs to go into standby and wait.
3) Lots of IO! - With the HCC Module, you will be getting a lot of Inputs and Outputs. 6 Analog Inputs(also can be used as Digital IO), 16 IO(included i2c, SPI, UART and PWM capable pins), pretty much a perfect amount for any project.
4) Small, thin, and easy to Solder! - I designed the pin spacing to be small but still easy to solder. It has 2mm spaced half cut castellation (hence the name "HCC Mod") which can be hand soldered, reflowed. The thin small surface mount design will allow you to fit the module into all sorts of different applications. You can see how much smaller the module is compared to a regular Arduino by looking at Arduino Demo Board I created.
5) Quick Prototyping - This is the most important aspect to me. Quick prototyping means board design will be much quicker and assembly will take a lot less time. Each time I create a new board, I have to recreate the traces and small components for the micro-controller. This is a repeated and unnecessary step which can waste a lot of time, especially when it comes to making an initial prototype. By using the HCC Module, you can skip this step and get building and assembling your projects faster.
The HCC Module is a hobbyist level device. Therefore, by purchasing this product you are agreeing that you understand that the HCC Module still requires knowledge in programming and electronics. Each assembled unit will be tested and shipped with a working Arduino Bootloader.