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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Cheap Chips

I've always loved potato chips. I used to eat a can of Pringles weekly with my sisters. They're unhealthy and nutritionally worthless, yet they're so addictive and irresistibly delicious.

I was referring to the chips there, not my sisters.

Anyway, I no longer indulge in that much potato chips. Nowadays my life is filled with a different kind of chip instead.

Electronic chips.

It didn't take me too long to realise that electronic chips can be addictive too.

I spent much of last semester programming a PIC microcontroller, and had quite a lot of fun while doing it. I managed to program it to read the room temperature, control speed and direction of the motor, read the motor speed, and display the temperature and the speed on a cute small display.

So I signed up for a similar job for my summer, hoping to fill my holidays learning something new while playing with something I like.

I was given this small circuit containing two chips some time ago. It is called the 5DoF IMU (5-degree-of-freedom Inertia Measurement Unit) by its manufacturer.

How small is it? Well, see for yourself.

One of the first things I learnt while taking this job is that the chips aren't cheap at all. For example, the microcontroller board I'm using costs 60USD. Yeah, that's over RM200.

If you think that's expensive, try checking out how much the 5DoF IMU costs. Keep in mind that we're talking about a small sensor board the size of my thumb here.

Oh boy I sure hope I don't burn that IMU.

I think I prefer potato chips. Someone remind me again the reasons I chose to become an electronic engineer!


  1. so that you have the money to buy potato chips

  2. the thing is being an electronic engineer is digging a big hole in my pocket

    actually no la, the school sponsored the chip haha. i just have to make sure i don't burn it


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