Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, has announced its Accessory Development Starter Kits for Android, which enables accessory development for Google’s Android platform. Specifically, Android versions 2.3.4 and 3.1 and later include a new framework that allows apps to communicate directly with an accessory connected to a smartphone or tablet, via USB. The kits consist of a development board and a software library which enable the fast and easy development of Android smartphone and tablet accessories based on Microchip’s large portfolio of 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.
According to the Nielson Company, Android smartphones comprised 40.8% of all smartphone purchases from June to November 2010. This represents a huge potential market for hardware accessories, including automotive, home, fitness/health and business applications. Microchip’s starter kits make it easy for designers to quickly design, develop and debug electronics accessories for this large and growing market. In addition to providing the schematics and gerber files for the development boards, the free software library includes a sample application protocol and an abstraction layer, which enables designers to focus on creating the application. The development boards feature a USB connector, an on-board debugger, a programming user interface and standard Arduino connectors, for use with a host of third-party “Shield” expansion daughter cards.
“These ground-breaking starter kits help Android accessory designers bring innovative products to market faster”, said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. “With thousands of potential applications for Android phones and tablets, these kits simplify the entire process for developers to create unique and diverse accessories using our large portfolio of 16- and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.