Difference between boards

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by eleboy, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. eleboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 14, 2012
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    Hi, What is the difference between shields, acceptor board, breakout board and target board. Thanks!
     
  2. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    I assume you are referring to microcontrollers (uC) and perhaps more specifically an arduino.

    Shields is a term thrown at boards that can plug directly into a uC development board like the arduino. There are other uC development boards out there that accept accessory boards. The shield either has a specific purpose built circuit on it or has a prototyping area that the user builds a circuit on. Some examples could be a motor driver shield or ethernet shield or proto shield.

    A breakout board is usually a circuit board that has an IC on it that is in a package that is hard for a hobbyist to use. The IC is placed on the board with all the pins routed out to through hole headers to make it easier to use in development of a grander circuit (or just to play around with). Examples include PCF8575 breakout and MCP4725 breakout...

    Target board in the uC environment is the board that has the uC that is being programmed.

    I am uncertain what the "acceptor board" is that you are referring to though.
     
  3. eleboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 14, 2012
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    Just starting out with electronics stuff and keep encountering these names. And surprisingly, unable to find the meaning / differences of these boards anywhere in web. Nice explanations.. thanks a lot Bsomer :)
     
  4. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    In many cases, the terms you will run across are not widely used terms, but rather terms that have been made up (or just a common word that is being co-opted) by a particular manufacturer for a particular product line. Occassionally, such a term will 'make the jump' to become a commonly used term for that same thing. An example is the term 'tristate', which is actually a legal trademark of National Semiconductor and is only legally usable by them or to refer to three-state outputs on their parts. Other manufactuers are pretty careful to avoid using that term, but it is none-the-less widely used by people in the field to mean a generic three-state output. Many of our commonly used terms started life being coined this way (though often not protected, but just coined in relation to a paper or a product) and gained wide acceptance over time.

    My point is that you need to be aware that when you hear a term, you won't always be able to find it's meaning in a resource aimed at defining terms that are broadly used, because it may not be a broadly used term (yet, anyway).
     
  5. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    I am glad to be of some assistance. WBahn is on the money with his assessment and explanation of how things end up with these names and such. I do tend to find more of these things happening with trendy microcontroller development platforms like the arduino.
     
  6. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Agreed. I think it is because they are trying to apply slick marketing to attract a market segment that would historically walk on by. In general (not just Arduino) I understand what they are doing and why. I even hope they are successful at getting new blood into the field. But I have to admit that as soon as I hear slick marketing gimmicks I tend to have the opposite reaction and walk away; I'm definitely a function-over-form guy and don't see why we have to keep changing names for the same thing just to be novel and trendy.
     
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