Microcontroller Development Or Evaluation Board – What’s The Difference?

Microcontroller Development Board

A microcontroller development board and an evaluation board may sound similar, but they’re both very different pieces of electronic hardware that fulfill two very different, yet equally important roles.

The former – a microcontroller development board – is composed of a number of components which are used for experimenting with a microcontroller’s numerous features, often including an LCD, keypad, RTC, motor driver ICs, SD card slots and Ethernet port. To name just a few.

All of this functionality comes built-in, so there’s less time spent messing with cables, connections, and jumper wires in order to connect these standalone components to the board.

A microcontroller evaluation board, on the other hand, includes only the bare minimum of components. Usually nothing more than one or two LEDs, and some switches. Other features such as LCDs, keypads and the like are purchased separately, and connected to the microcontroller evaluation board via jumper wires and breadboards.

While this bare-bones feature set may prove inconvenient to some, these evaluation boards are often much cheaper than development boards, and provide a lower barrier of entry for beginners or DiY electronic enthusiasts.

More Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) on Microcontrollers

  • How Do I Find A Manufacturer Who Can Produce My Microcontroller Design?
  • Which Microcontroller Brand Or Part Should I Use For My Lower Power Embedded Design?