Products Overview
Controllers and Expansion Boards
TERN hardware is loosely sorted into two different categories: controllers and expansion boards:
  • Controllers are stand-alone boards that includes the CPU and can be used for any application.
  • Expansion boards are intended to be used in combination with controllers, plugging into them via specific headers. Expansion boards can add multi-axis motion control, LCD display, Compact Flash access capabilities, high-speed ADC etc.

At this moment, there are almost 50 different controllers and expansion boards available in the TERN product line. This includes three different processor architectures and a wide range of available features. These controllers differ in mechanical dimensions, power requirements, features, performance, and price. It can be difficult to pick the controller most appropriate for your application.

For OEM customers, stability and availability is as important of a consideration as feature and price. In this day and age of constant changes in production processes and packaging, embedded products seem to go obsolete every other year.

TERN treats our designs differently. We don't have a product "roadmap" with planned obsolescence: we're committed to supplying our customers with a consistent and stable design. Some TERN customers have been buying the same configuration for more than a decade. 

 

Software and Development Tools
One of the most appealing aspects of working with TERN controllers is the ease of software development. It really is surprising how easy it is to develop a working application within a very short time period with the integrated development environment. TERN also provides hundreds of sample files that should get you up-to-speed and coding in no time at all. There are also a number of versatile solutions for your application, whether it's for an OEM application or a simple stand-alone project. Best of all as a new customer, you only require one particular software development kit that includes all of the hardware, software, and peripheral you would need to complete your development.

Several supplementary software kits also make it possible to extend your development capabilities, ranging from easy networking to fast and inexpensive binary distribution


TERN Development Process:

Development with the TERN software kits occurs over three distinct steps.

Step One - Debugging/Development

  •  Write your application program in C/C++/ASM
  •  Connect controller to PC via serial port
  •  Edit, compile, link, locate, download, and remote-debug


Step Two - Standalone Field Test

  • Run controller standalone, away from PC
  • Application program running in battery-backed SRAM (battery lasts 3-5 years under normal conditions)

For some applications, this is sufficient. OEM applications will probably have to continue on to the next step.

Step Three - Production (DV-P Kit Only)

  • Generate an application HEX or BIN file
  • Produce your own ROM/Flash, replace DEBUG ROM... or download application onto on-board Flash.

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