Freescale Tower System spurs design contest

freescaletowersystemTwo leading catalog distributors, Mouser Electronics and Digi-Key, are now stocking Freescale’s Tower System, which is designed to make it easier to evaluate Freescale solutions with modular and reconfigurable hardware.

Although Mouser claims to be the first to stock Freescale’s Tower System kits, Digi-Key has created an online social networking community,, specifically aimed at design engineers using the Freescale solutions.

To drive innovation, Digi-Key plans to hold several Tower System competitions and related prizes during the month of July. The Thief River Falls, Minn.-based distributor will provide prizes for the “First Tower System Challenge.” To qualify for the challenge, you must purchase a Tower System, and show it in a video while explaining what you plan to build with it. You could win a TowerGeeks shirt or a $25 Visa gift card.

The top prize is a Kindle 2 wireless reading device for the “Geek of the Month” title that will be awarded to the member whose qualifying video is most viewed during the month of July.

The Tower System is a modular, reconfigurable development platform for 8-, 16-, and 32-bit microcontrollers that allows designers to get to market faster with packaged evaluation boards, tools, and runtime software, said Digi-Key. The system consists of three types of modules, microcontroller, peripheral and elevator modules.

Mouser said the interchangeable microcontroller and peripheral boards leverage standardized, open source hardware, making it simple to create customized plug-and-play development tools.

Mouser offers the first development kit (TWR-MCF51CN-KIT) in this new platform configuration, which includes the elevator module (TWR-ELEV) that provides all the power regulation and structural integrity for a complete Tower System, a modular development platform (TWR-MCF51CN) supporting the ColdFire V1 MCF51CN128 Ethernet microcontroller and included complimentary MQX software, and a peripheral module (TWR-SER) to provide USB, Ethernet, CAN, and RS323 / 485 connectivity solutions.

Other microcontroller platforms are planned and will also be available from the Mansfield, Texas-based distributor.