A breakout board created in my Microprocessor Based System Design class for a PIC32 microcontroller. The board was a semester long project in which each student designed a board layout. The class then voted on the layout they liked the most and the winning layout was sent to a board house to have one made for each student.

Overview

We first breadboarded the basic layout needed to run the PIC32 microcontroller in a previous lab. A design with more features than this was a requirement for us to send the board to the board house. A valid design had to be able to fit in to a 3” by 5” clear case. The project had four feature levels that each student could choose from to use.

  1. Minimum board layout to run the PIC32 microcontroller. The USB-UART interface provided the 3.3v needed by the PIC32.
  2. The same as level 1 but with the USB-UART interface providing 5v and a 3.3v regulator for the PIC32.
  3. The same as level 2 but with a DC power connector and the option for adding a crystal for the main and secondary oscillators.
  4. The same as level 3 but with the addition of a breadboard area.

Before sending the final board design to the board house, it would be milled using the school’s mill to check for proper functionality.

My Design

I chose to design my board for level 4. The board was made to be the same width as a standard breadboard. The board then had pins on the bottom of the board so that it could be clipped into the 5v and ground breadboard rails. This made the board fit on the 5” breadboard each student originally wired the PIC32 and inside of the clear case.

Results

My board ended up getting second place when voting. The winner was laid out to be the same footprint as an arduino uno and thus worked with many of its shields. My board and the winning board can be seen in the photos below.