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Exploring Teensy 4.0 and Its PCBA Projects in 2024

Teensy 4.0
PCBONLINE Team Tues, Jul 02, 2024
69
Teensy 4.0 PCBA project

The Teensy 4.0 development board is a compact, powerful microcontroller board with impressive capabilities. You can use it on a PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) to create various innovative projects. Let's examine the hardware aspects of Teensy 4.0 and look at the PCBA projects that benefit from it.

Hardware Aspects of Teensy 4.0

Teensy 4.0 is a compact, high-performance development board that boasts:

  • a powerful ARM Cortex-M7 processor operating at 600MHz,
  • a Float point math unit (64 & 32 bits), 1984K Flash,
  • 1024K RAM, 1K of emulated EEPROM,
  • 40 digital input/output pins,
  • 31 PWM output pins,
  • 14 analog input pins,
  • 3 SPI busses,
  • 3 I2C ports,
  • SD Card slot,
  • RTC for date/time,
  • Cryptographic Acceleration & Random Number Generator,
  • Programmable FlexIO Pixel,
  • Processing Pipeline,
  • 2 I2S/TDM,
  • and 1 S/PDIF digital audio port.

The schematic diagram of the Teensy 4.0 is demonstrated below.

Teensy 4.0 schematic Program

From the above, the Teensy 4.0 is, basically, a Teensy 4.1 without the integrated SD card slot, USB host functionality, and slightly less memory.

Regarding the price of Teensy 4.0, you'll have to pay $23.8 if you purchase it on the PJRC official website. Compared with the other MCUs in the market, Teensy 4.0 costs more.

Teensy 4.0 and other MCU prices

Let's look at the MCUs in terms of raw processing power represented by the CoreMark points. As you can see on the chart below, The Teensy 4.0 and 4.1, powered by the same ARM Cortex-M7 CPU clocked at 600 MHz, have the highest CoreMark score out of all boards examined in this article.

Teensy 4.0 and other MCU coremark score

In terms of the raw processing power represented by the CoreMark score, the Teensy 4.0 is 2.3 times more powerful than the ESP32 and 5.2 times more powerful than the Teensy 3.6.

Teensy 4.0 and other MCU price per coremark point

Software Capabilities of Teensy 4.0

The Teensy 4.0 can be programmed using embedded C/C++ or CircuitPython.

Additionally, it has a feature called "Code security" that protects the program code from unauthorized access and copying. It works by encrypting the program during compilation, with the IMXRT Bus Encryption Engine providing on-the-fly decryption as the program executes.

So, even if an attacker tries to remove and read the flash memory chip from Teensy 4.0, capture USB communication from Teensy Loader, or copy the EHEX file Teensy Loader opens, they will only get an encrypted copy of the program.

That "Code Security" feature also enables the Secure Firmware Update. Customers can be given an EHEX file and Teensy Loader to securely update commercial products or secure applications that embed a Lockable Teensy without gaining access to the original program code. An image demonstrating the basic structure of the "Code Security" feature is shown below.

Teensy 4.0 Code Security

PCBA Integration

When designing a high-reliability industrial automation controller, place the Teensy 4.0 on a PCB. This avoids accidental contact bouncing or severance of connections between components in a high-vibration environment. This approach minimizes the risk of system failure, which can endanger workers' lives and cause substantial damage to the manufacturing plant.

For example, in the photo below, you can see the custom PCBA with the MIMXRT1062 chip used in both Teensy 4.0 and Teensy 4.1. The PCBA also has the ESP32, two USB-C ports, an Ethernet port, and other components placed on it.

Teensy 4.0 PCBA

PCBA Projects using Teensy 4.0

Many PCBA projects using Teensy 4.0 by other authors. Please view 10 of them and spark your thoughts to create your project.

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal Imaging Camera

PJRC forum member blackcoffee has built a handheld thermal imaging camera. This project upgrades Kris Kasprzak's earlier design by using the more powerful Teensy 4.0 microcontroller board instead of the original Teensy 3.2.

The camera uses the AMG8833 infrared array sensor, which detects temperatures from -20°C to 80°C with reasonable accuracy. The project integrates the infrared array sensor with the Teensy 4.0, a small 320x240 TFT LCD, and other components. These are housed in a custom 3D-printed enclosure. A custom PCB was designed and fabricated to integrate all the electronics neatly.

Atari 520ST Emulator on Teensy 4.0

Atari 520ST Emulator on Teensy 4.0

The Teensy 4.0 is powerful enough to emulate the vintage Atari 520ST computer. Jean-Marc took advantage of this capability to create a pocket-sized retro gaming emulator.

Despite the project's name, it supports five classic gaming consoles: Atari 2600, Philips Videopac/Odyssey, ColecoVision, NES, and Atari 800. This project uses a Teensy 4.0, a 320x240 TFT LCD, an analog joypad, and an improvised keyboard for interaction.

Quadruped Robot

Quadruped Robot

Quadruped Robot is a Teensy 4.0-based, 3D-printed robot equipped with a gyroscope and full suspension system. It can be controlled via the dedicated Android app.

AudioToy – 8×8 Channel Audio Mixer

AudioToy

The AudioToy is an 8×8 channel modular audio mixer built on the Teensy 4.0, CS42448, and ESP32.

It features fully balanced, software-controlled gain on line/instrument inputs and 600-ohm/+8dBm outputs. Combo XLR/TRS sockets allow remote reading of insertion status over I2C. The ESP32 provides remote control via Wi-Fi, and WS2812B LED strips indicate channel levels.

Draw Bar Organ Module

Draw Bar Organ Module

The Draw Bar Organ Module is a 9-draw bar MIDI/USB Host keyboard organ module. It uses a Teensy 4.0 to drive the Rev. D audio board and a Teensy 3.6 to drive an ILI9341 touch display. The organ utilizes Teensy's audio libraries and the built-in SD card reader to store up to 105 patches, including 22 preset patches. It also features settings for Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, and Release.

Augie – A Large Hexapod Robot

Augie

Augie is a Teensy 4.0-based Hexapod Rideable Robot that can be ridden like an electric scooter. The design was inspired by a villain's ride in an anime series. The project evolved from a small model using 3D-printed parts and toy servos. It has robust, poseable 3D-printed legs powered by 60kg servos.

Phob – Game Cube Controller

Phob

The Phob – Game Cube Controller is a DIY controller powered by a Teensy 4.0 and uses the PhobGCC motherboard (version 1.2). This board is a direct replacement for GameCube controllers.

It reads stick positions using magnets and Hall effect sensors, instead of the original potentiometers. These sensors are more durable and don't degrade with heavy professional use.

Teensy FX Effects Unit

Teensy FX Effects Unit

The Teensy FX is a Teensy 4.0-powered effects unit designed by Matt Venn in the style of Teenage Engineering's Pocket Operators.

It features twelve knobs for adjusting parameters, four buttons with LEDs for functions, and four LEDs showing automation loop progression. The effects engines include filtered reverb, ping-pong filtered delay, and a noise source. Each knob can be automated to record parameter movements.

Model Railroad Control System

Model Railroad Control System

The Model Railroad Control System is based on the Teensy 4.1 microcontroller. It features eight inputs and 16 powered outputs.

The system can connect up to 50 expansion boards via RS485 networking. It allows point-and-click configuration without programming. This generates custom firmware for the Teensy to control lights, signals, and other elements of a model railroad layout.

Parallel Battery Charger

Parallel Battery Charger

If you have a power-hungry load that requires high-capacity battery packs, you can assemble the battery packs and then use the Teensy 4.0 to charge these batteries in parallel. The Teensy 4.0 can also monitor ambient and internal battery temperatures. Additionally, it prevents overcharging.

OEM PCBA Manufacturer for Teensy 4.0 Projects

The most above PCBA projects are DIY projects. However, if you are a senior engineer from a company, business maker, or research institute, you will need OEM (original equipment manufacturing) PCB assembly services from PCBONLINE.

OEM Teensy 4.0 project PCBA manufacturer

PCBONLINE is a one-stop PCBA manufacturer with R&D capabilities since 1999. It provides OEM PCBA manufacturing for IoT, industrial, communication, automotive, medical, aerospace, and military electronics. It has large advanced PCB manufacturing bases, one PCB assembly factory, stable supply chains, and an R&D team.

Advantages of PCBONLINE in OEM PCB assembly for Teensy 4.0 projects

PCBONLINE provides free DFM (design for manufacturing) before and during prototyping/sampling to prevent defects and solve any issues to ensure the success of your Teensy 4.0 project.

PCBONLINE has powerful R&D and OEM PCBA manufacturing capabilities to meet your Teensy 4.0 project demands, from development and prototypes to mass production.

Relying on its EMS PCBA factory, PCBONLINE can source components at lower costs, including the Teensy 4.0, ESP 32, and ESP8266.

Besides, PCBONLINE can lower your Teensy 4.0 project's fabrication cost by PCB design optimization and selecting alternate components with the same functions and certifications.

Fast delivery and high-quality PCBA certified with ISO 9001:2015, IATF 16949:2016, RoHS, REACH, UL, and IPC-A-610 Class 2/3.

For PCBA bulky production, PCBONLINE offers free R&D, prototypes/samples, and PCBA functional tests.

No matter what PCBA quantity you need, PCBONLINE offers one-on-one engineering support throughout your project. If you are a solution company, business maker, or research institute, you will find it cost-effective and hassle-free to work with such an OEM PCBA manufacturer, PCBONLINE. To get a quote for your Teensy 4.0 project, don't hesitate to email info@pcbonline.com.

Conclusion

The Teensy 4.0 is a powerful development board for a wide range of applications, such as retro computer emulation, robotics control, and other projects that require significant processing power and I/O capabilities. PCBONLINE is a reliable OEM PCBA manufacturer that offers one-stop solutions and manufacturing for your Teensy 4.0 project. If your Teensy 4.0 project targets business markets or scientific research, work with the OEM PCBA manufacturer PCBONLINE that matches your demands.


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