Design

SEGGER's J-Link OB plays crucial role in HiFive Inventor

22nd January 2021
Alex Lynn

SEGGER’s J-Link on-board debug probes can be found on hundreds of different evaluation boards and single-board computers around the globe. But few are as prominent as the BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. It is a new children’s IoT coding platform created by US educational coding firm Tynker and RISC-V IP provider SiFive, and backed by BBC Studios.

The HiFive Inventor Coding Kit comes in a hand-shaped enclosure with a matrix of LEDs on the front. It is powered by a 150MHz SiFive FE310 RISC-V processor and has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Guided by Tynker’s educational coding package, students can read data from the on-board suite of sensors and program on-device decisions to display results using the fun and colorful LED-matrix display.

Axel Wolf, Sr. Staff FAE at SEGGER US, said: “We are very pleased to see our our J-Link OB as a key component of the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. As such, it will reach the desks of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of kids and students, helping to educate the next generation of programmers and software architects.

“The J-Link OB enables both web-browser-based as well as drag-and-drop programming of executable files to the on-board QSPI flash. It also provides a JTAG interface for debugging the SiFive RISC-V processor. And on top of that, the J-Link OB establishes two virtual COM ports, allowing Windows, macOS, or Linux host computers to communicate with both the FE310 processor and the Bluetooth/WiFi module. It’s a real workhorse in a tiny package.”

SEGGER encourages students and hobbyists to use its tools to further education, build passion projects, and develop careers. SEGGER also offers educational versions of the popular J-Link Debug Probe. The J-Link EDU and J-Link EDU Mini are available for educational purposes at minimal cost. Making professional tools available to students, anywhere in the world, opens opportunities for all.

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