The TM4C123G launchpad is a low-cost evaluation board based on the ARM Cortex-M4F processor. It allows users to develop and debug applications for the TM4C123GH6PM microcontroller. Some of the key features of the TM4C123G launchpad are:
The launchpad features the TM4C123GH6PM microcontroller which has the following specifications:
- ARM Cortex-M4F core running at 80 MHz
- 256 KB single-cycle flash memory
- 32 KB single-cycle SRAM
- Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller
- 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter
- Two UARTs, two SSI/SPI, two I2C interfaces
- One USB 2.0 OTG interface
- Up to 80 GPIO pins
The TM4C123G microcontroller provides a robust set of peripherals for developing a wide range of embedded applications.
The launchpad comes with an on-board ICDI interface which provides debugging and programming capabilities through a mini USB port. It supports real-time in-system programming and debugging with the IDEs such as Keil and IAR. The debugging features include:
- Real-time debugging
- Unlimited hardware breakpoints
- Data watchpoints
- Program trace
- Code coverage
The ICDI interface makes the debugging process very convenient for developers.
Booster Pack Interface
The launchpad provides two 40-pin BoosterPack connectors that allow adding modular BoosterPack plug-in modules. These BoosterPacks can extend the functionality of the launchpad by providing additional sensors, wireless connectivity, motors drivers, displays etc. Some example BoosterPacks include:
- Educational BoosterPack – with buttons, LEDs and piezo buzzer
- Sense BoosterPack – provides environmental and motion sensors
- WIFI BoosterPack – adds WiFi connectivity
- OLED BoosterPack – contains SSD1306 OLED display
The BoosterPack ecosystem enables quick prototyping by stacking additional functionality using these modular blocks.
Apart from the TM4C MCU and debugging interface, the TM4C123G launchpad contains several built-in components that help in application development, testing and demonstration. These include:
- User buttons and Reset button
- User LEDs
- USB micro B connector for power, communication and debugging
- Headers for all MCU pins for easy access
- Power selection jumper for USB or external source
- 3-axis accelerometer
These on-board components enable testing basic I/O operations and allow creating simple applications like LED blinking without the need for any external hardware.
Texas Instruments provides a complete open-source ecosystem for the TM4C MCUs consisting of software libraries, code examples and tutorials. Key components of this ecosystem include:
- TI-RTOS real-time operating system
- StellarisWare Peripheral Driver Library
- Graphical software tools like CCS IDE and Pin Mux Tool
- Comprehensive code examples on TI’s GitHub
- Detailed wiki pages and tutorials
This robust ecosystem enables developers to quickly learn and build applications using the TM4C MCUs and associated launchpads.
The TM4C launchpad is designed as an affordable and easy-to-use platform for learning embedded programming. It is commonly used in university courses and hobbyist projects. Some of the educational features include:
- Low cost – priced around $13
- Easy to use – no external hardware required
- Example projects and tutorials focused on education
- Used in university courses and books
- Large community support
These aspects make the TM4C123G launchpad an ideal board for getting started with ARM Cortex M4-based microcontroller development.
Support and Development Tools
The TM4C MCUs are supported by a wide range of development tools and IDEs like:
- Code Composer Studio
- IAR Embedded Workbench
- Keil μVision IDE
- Energia (Arduino-like) IDE
- TI Cloud tools
Users can choose their preferred development environment. The launchpad is compatible with all these industry-standard tools which makes development very convenient.
In summary, the TM4C123G launchpad enables easy and cost-effective evaluation of the TM4C123G MCU. Its on-board debugging, BoosterPack expandability, built-in components, educational focus and comprehensive software/tool ecosystem make it a versatile development platform for learning ARM Cortex M4-based embedded programming.