Last modified 2016-09-18 19:14:20 PDT


The ARM Bare Metal Widget (arm-bmw) is an open hardware Cortex-M0 development board with a focus on battery power, non-volatile storage, and debuggability. It is suitable as a battery-powered data logger or a general purpose embedded controller.

The arm-bmw features a small 70 x 43mm footprint, lithium polymer battery and USB power selection, a lithium polymer battery charger, a 2-megabyte Flash memory for data storage, a basic user interface, an FTDI-cable compatible UART header, JTAG-SWD for flashing and debugging, and 16 assorted I/O for connectivity. Its BOM totals to $15 USD. The arm-bmw is open hardware (CC-BY-4.0 licensed) and open source (MIT licensed).

Order 3 PCBs from OSH Park for $23.30 ($7.77 per board):

Hardware Sources

Git: git clone


Software Sources

Git: git clone


The arm-bmw-sw project includes a testing suite to verify the correct operation of the UART, SPI, I2C, SPI Flash, I/O Expander, LEDs, and Buttons.




See the datasheets section below for links to part datasheets.

Details and Pinout


Power and Charging

The arm-bmw provides a female JST-PH connector to accept a 3.7V lithium polymer battery, and a USB mini-B connector to accept 5V power from USB. The USB mini-B connector is only used for power and charging, not data.

A 3-position slide switch on the front selects between off, battery power, and USB power. The red Power LED indicates that 3.3V is present and that the arm-bmw is on. The orange Charge LED indicates that the lithium polymer battery is being charged from 5V USB power.

The onboard MCP1252 switched capacitor DC/DC converter regulates a 2V to 5.5V input to 3.3V, automatically switching between step down and step up operation as needed to provide 3.3V. This provides continuous power from a 3.7V lithium polymer battery as it drains to below 3.3V volts. The voltage regulator has a maximum output current of 120mA, so the arm-bmw should not be used to drive heavy loads alone.

The MCP73831T charge controller facilitates charging the connected lithium polymer battery. It operates whenever 5V power is present via the USB mini-B connector, regardless of the power slide switch state.


The arm-bmw can be programmed and interactively debugged through its 5-pin JTAG-SWD header, with a SWD dongle like the ST-LINK/V2. This dongle and the LPC1114 target are supported by OpenOCD. See arm-bmw-sw for configuration scripts for flashing and debugging over JTAG-SWD with openocd. See the JTAG-SWD header pinout below.

The arm-bmw also supports programming over UART with its on-chip ROM bootloader. The 2-pin bootloader header on the front can be jumpered to start the on-chip ROM bootloader on reset. Software like lpc21isp or Flash Magic can be used to program the LPC1114, over a UART-to-USB or UART-to-RS232 cable connected to the UART header. See the UART header pinout below.

SPI Flash Memory

The arm-bmw features a S25FL216K 16-MBit (2-MByte) SPI Flash for non-volatile storage in data logging applications. This SPI device is connected to the SPI0 controller of the microcontroller, sharing the MOSI, MISO, and SCK pins with the main I/O header. One microcontroller pin (PIO0_2/SSEL0) is dedicated to controlling its chip select.

User Interface

The arm-bmw features a basic user interface, consisting of 4 LEDs, 2 push buttons, and 2 DIP switches. These 4 outputs and 4 inputs (8 I/Os total) are managed by an MCP23008 I2C I/O expander to conserve I/O pins on the microcontroller. The MCP23008 is connected to the I2C bus of the microcontroller, sharing the SDA and SCL pins with the main I/O header. In addition, one microcontroller pin (PIO0_3) is dedicated to the MCP23008 interrupt. The push buttons and DIP switches are debounced in hardware with an RC filter, to ensure that the MCP23008 interrupt is not spurious and to minimize the need for software debouncing.

The I2C address of the MCP23008 is configured by populating three 0-ohm jumpers on the back of the board, in either a 0 or 1 position, which pull down or up the MCP23008’s A0, A1, A2 address pins. By default, these three jumpers are in the 0 position, so the MCP23008 has an address of 0x20 on the I2C bus.

Free software to drive the I2C bus, MCP23008 chip, and manage the UI is avaiable in the arm-bmw-sw library.

System Clock

The LPC1114 microcontroller has an on-chip 12MHz RC oscillator, which can be configured with the internal PLL to provide a 48MHz system clock using no external parts – this is the default configuration. The arm-bmw also provides pads for an external HC49UP crystal and 0805 load capacitors for cases where a more accurate oscillator or a different multiple is required.

I/O Header Pinout

The I/O header exposes one I2C bus (SDA, SCL), one SPI bus (MISO, MOSI, SCK), and 11 additional pins that may be used as digital I/O, ADC inputs, timer capture inputs, or PWM outputs, depending on the pin’s supported functions.

BMW Pin uC Pin uC Pin Functions Notes
SDA PIO0_5 PIO0_5/SDA I/O Expander shares this I2C bus. Pulled up with 10K.
SCL PIO0_4 PIO0_4/SCL I/O Expander shares this I2C bus. Pulled up with 10K.
MISO PIO0_8 PIO0_8/MISO0/CT16B0_MAT0 SPI Flash shares this SPI bus.
MOSI PIO0_9 PIO0_9/MOSI0/CT16B0_MAT1 SPI Flash shares this SPI bus.
SCK PIO0_6 PIO0_6/SCK0 SPI Flash shares this SPI bus.
A0 PIO0_11 PIO0_11/AD0/CT32B0_MAT3  
A1 PIO1_0 PIO1_0/AD1/CT32B1_CAP0  
A2 PIO1_1 PIO1_1/AD2/CT32B1_MAT0  
A3 PIO1_2 PIO1_2/AD3/CT32B1_MAT1  
A4 PIO1_3 SWDIO/PIO1_3/AD4/CT32B1_MAT2 JTAG-SWD header shares this pin.
P0 PIO0_7 PIO0_7/CTS  
P1 PIO0_10 SWCLK/PIO0_10/SCK0/CT16B0_MAT2 JTAG-SWD header shares this pin.
P2 PIO1_5 PIO1_5/RTS/CT32B0_CAP0  
P3 PIO1_8 PIO1_8/CT16B1_CAP0  
P4 PIO1_9 PIO1_9/CT16B1_MAT0  
3V3 - -  
GND - -  

JTAG-SWD Header Pinout

Compatible with ST-LINK/V2 and other JTAG-SWD dongles.

BMW Pin uC Pin uC Pin Functions Notes
!RST PIO0_0 !RESET/PIO0_0 Pulled up with 10K.
GND - -  
3V3 - -  

UART Header Pinout

Compatible with the FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 cable.

BMW Pin uC Pin uC Pin Functions Notes
GND - -  
NC - -  
NC - -  
uC RX PIO1_6 PIO1_6/RXD/CT32B0_MAT0  
uC TX PIO1_7 PIO1_7/TXD/CT32B0_MAT1  
NC - -  

Schematic, Board, BOM



Board Layout


Bill of Materials

Qty Part Description Part Number Order Qty Total Price
1 U1 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU Arrow LPC1114FDH28/102:5 1 3.07
1 U2 SPI Flash Memory Digi-key 1274-1052-ND 1 0.32
1 U3 I2C I/O Expander Digi-key MCP23008-E/SO-ND 1 1.22
1 U4 3.3V Regulator Digi-key MCP1252-33X50I/MS-ND 1 1.64
1 U5 LiPo Charger Digi-key MCP73831T-2ACI/OTCT-ND 1 0.67
8 C3, C4, C5, C6, C10, C11, C13, C14 C 0805 0.1uF Digi-key 1276-1099-1-ND 10 0.44
2 C9, C12 C 0805 1uF Digi-key 1276-1066-1-ND 5 0.50
2 C15, C16 C 0805 4.7uF Digi-key 1276-1244-1-ND 5 0.75
2 C7, C8 C 1206 10uF Digi-key 1276-1075-1-ND 5 1.15
8 R1, R7, R8, R9, R14, R15, R16, R17, R18, R19, R27 R 0805 10k Digi-key 1276-5332-1-ND 15 0.30
4 R10, R11, R12, R13 R 0805 100k Digi-key 1276-3512-1-ND 10 0.20
6 R20, R21, R22, R23, R24, R25 R 0603 0 jumper Digi-key RHM0.0CGCT-ND 10 0.10
4 LED1, LED2, LED3, LED4 Green LED Digi-key 475-1410-1-ND 5 0.40
1 LED_PWR Red LED Digi-key 475-1415-1-ND 2 0.16
1 LED_CHG Orange LED Digi-key 754-1130-1-ND 2 0.40
5 R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R26 R 0805 for LED 1.5k Digi-key 1276-5533-1-ND 10 0.18
1 CON_BAT JST-PH Connector Digi-key 455-1749-1-ND 1 0.56
1 CON_USB USB Mini-B Connector Digi-key 151-1206-1-ND 1 0.41
1 JP_,TP_ 40p header break-away Digi-key S1012EC-30-ND 1 0.48
1 JP_UART 6p header right angle Digi-key S1112EC-06-ND 1 0.23
1 SW_PWR Slide switch Digi-key 563-1095-1-ND 1 0.63
2 SW_B0, SW_B1 Tactile switch Digi-key 450-1792-1-ND 2 0.40
1 SW_DIP 2-pos DIP switch Digi-key 450-2045-ND 1 0.81
1 OPT BATTERY 3.7V LiPo Battery SparkFun PRT-00731 1 4.95
4 OPT STANDOFF 10mm Nylon Standoff Digi-key 25510K-ND 4 2.36
4 OPT STANDOFF SCREW 7mm Nylon Screw Digi-key 29341K-ND 4 0.76
DNP C1, C2 C 0805 xtal load caps - - -
DNP Q1 Crystal - - -
  Parts Total       $15.02

The parts total does not include the PCB, LiPo battery, or standoffs.

Order 3 PCBs from OSH Park for $23.30 ($7.77 per board):

The unit price of a complete arm-bmw comes out to $22.79, with the BOM parts above and PCBs from OSH Park.


Change Log


arm-bmw-hw is CC-BY-4.0 licensed.


Creative Commons License