RS Components launches global DesignSpark chipKIT Challenge

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, today announced full details of its DesignSpark chipKIT™ Challenge, a global competition launching on 28 November 2011.

Run in partnership with Elektor and Circuit Cellar magazines across Europe, Asia Pacific and the US, the chipKIT Challenge is an online competition that challenges electronics design engineers, students and hobbyists to produce an energy efficient, eco-friendly design. Entrants will use the award-winning, free-of-charge DesignSpark PCB software tool from RS and the Digilent chipKIT Max32? development platform featuring the 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller from Microchip Technology, a leading provider of microcontroller, analogue and Flash-IP solutions, to realise their designs.

Registration for the chipKIT Challenge will open at, with participants invited to submit design projects showcasing the functionality of the chipKIT Max32 development kit and DesignSpark PCB in an environmentally friendly application. The first 1,000 qualified entrants to register will be eligible to receive a complimentary chipKIT Max32 development board.

A panel of judges, comprising design engineers and experts, has been established to evaluate the projects based on a range of criteria including energy efficiency, originality, usefulness, and design optimisation. The competition winners will share a total cash prize of US$10,000. During the competition entrants will also be encouraged to share ideas and post updates to the RS online DesignSpark community and automatically qualify for a bonus Community Choice Award as well as entry into prize draws.

“Today’s embedded applications are demanding ever-decreasing energy consumption to mitigate the environmental impact of the global electronics market,” said Mark Cundle, Technical Marketing Manager, Electrocomponents. “In conjunction with Microchip, RS has launched this competition through Elektor and Circuit Cellar to highlight its commitment to eco-friendly electronics design and to offer engineers at all levels the opportunity to gain recognition for developing unique, innovative energy efficient products.”

Mike McGlade, Sales Channel Manager - Catalogue & Retail, Microchip, commented, “Microchip is delighted to be a partner in the DesignSpark  chipKIT Challenge. The PIC32 based chipKIT board provides a great platform for entrants of all abilities to develop application solutions in a familiar engineering environment. Microchip wishes all entrants the best of luck.”

“The DesignSpark chipKIT Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the Elektor and Circuit Cellar community to show their skills to a broad audience through the online community. This is an excellent fit with our objective to put hardware, like the Microchip chipKIT platform and software, like the RS DesignSpark PCB design tool in the hands of developers who are able to use these to create new and exciting applications. We are delighted to join this unique cooperation,” added Wisse Hettinga, International Editor, Elektor.

The closing date for entries to the competition is 27 March 2012. Winners will be announced in April 2012.

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