SEGGER’s J-Link OB plays crucial role in new BBC ‘HiFive Inventor’ educational kit

by donpedro

SEGGER’s J-Link on-board debug probes can be found on hundreds of different evaluation boards and single-board computers around the globe. But few are as prominent as the BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. It is a new children’s IoT coding platform created by US educational coding firm Tynker and RISC-V IP provider SiFive, and backed by BBC Studios (a division of the BBC).

The HiFive Inventor Coding Kit comes in a hand-shaped enclosure with a matrix of LEDs on the front. It is powered by a 150-MHz SiFive FE310 RISC-V processor and has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Guided by Tynker’s educational coding package, students can read data from the on-board suite of sensors and program on-device decisions to display results using the fun and colorful LED-matrix display.

“We are very pleased to see our our J-Link OB as a key component of the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. As such, it will reach the desks of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of kids and students, helping to educate the next generation of programmers and software architects,” says Axel Wolf, Sr. Staff FAE at SEGGER US. “The J-Link OB enables both web-browser-based as well as drag-and-drop programming of executable files to the on-board QSPI flash. It also provides a JTAG interface for debugging the SiFive RISC-V processor. And on top of that, the J-Link OB establishes two virtual COM ports, allowing Windows, macOS, or Linux host computers to communicate with both the FE310 processor and the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi module. It’s a real workhorse in a tiny package.”

SEGGER J-Links are the most widely used line of debug probes available today. They have proven their value in embedded development for more than 15 years. This popularity stems from the unparalleled performance, extensive feature set, large number of supported CPUs, and compatibility with all popular development environments.

SEGGER encourages students and hobbyists to use its tools to further education, build passion projects, and develop careers. SEGGER also offers educational versions of the popular J-Link Debug Probe. The J-Link EDU and J-Link EDU Mini are available for educational purposes at minimal cost. Making professional tools available to students, anywhere in the world, opens opportunities for all. SEGGER proudly supports the next generation of Embedded Experts!

For more on the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit please see:
For more on J-Link, and for a full list of J-Link-related tools, please visit:


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