Embedded Systems Blog

Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer

Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer



Of all the things we do at Raspberry Pi, driving down the cost of computer hardware remains one of the most important. Even in the developed world, a programmable computer is a luxury item for a lot of people, and every extra dollar that we ask someone to spend decreases the chance that they’ll choose to get involved.
The original Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend. Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming, but we still meet people for whom cost remains a barrier to entry. At the start of this year, we began work on an even cheaper Raspberry Pi to help these people take the plunge.

Today, I’m pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of Raspberry Pi Zero, made in Wales and priced at just $5. Zero is a full-fledged member of the Raspberry Pi family, featuring:
  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
    • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
    • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header
  • Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
Raspberry Pi Zero runs Raspbian and all your favourite applications, including Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. It is available today in the UK from our friends at The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit and in-store at your local branch of Micro Center. We’ve built several tens of thousands of units so far, and are building more, but we expect demand to outstrip supply for the next little while.
One more thing: because the only thing better than a $5 computer is a free computer, we are giving away a free Raspberry Pi Zero on the front of each copy of the December issue of The MagPi, which arrives in UK stores today. Russell, Rob and the team have been killing themselves putting this together, and we’re very pleased with how it’s turned out. The issue is jam-packed with everything you need to know about Zero, including a heap of project ideas, and an interview with Mike Stimson, who designed the board.

Case Mod: Rockcrawler X99 By ACE Finland

Rockcrawler X99

Alexander Hede is a famous modder from Vörå (a small town west of Finland).  He is a mechanical engineer working for an abrasive manufacturer, where he spends his days developing power tools.  Online he is known as ACE Finland.  From an early age he has been interested in computers, and completed his first computer mod in 2012 using a water-cooled Corsair 600T.  Since then he has been prolific in creating high-quality mods such as this.

 Hardware for the mod:

- X99 Sabranco motherboard
- Intel I7 5960X
- Titan black
- 8 x 8Gb DDR4 2400Mhz Dominator Platinum Ram
- H80i GT watercooler
- Neutron GTX 240GB SSD
- SP120 PWM Quiet fans
- RM 650 PSU
-Corsair sleeved cable kit

CES 2015: Intel unveils Curie, new module for compact wearables

Intel has showcased some futuristic technologies at the ongoing CES 2015 event. Intel's future seems to be greatly focused on wearables as it unveiled Curie module, a low-powered hardware product that can be used in a range of wearables including rings, bands and glasses.
Intel's Curie Module is based on an updated version of its Quark Chip, called the Quark SE. The chip comes with features such as 32-bit microcontroller with 384 kB of flash memory and 80 kB SRAM, Bluetooth LE, low-power sensor hub, six-axis combination accelerometer and gyroscope. It runs Viper, an open source software that can capture information via activity recognition and built-in features.

The new module is supposed to help speed up development in the wearable segment. It aims to help developers come up with more compact wearable hardware. Apart from the industry, the module is also important for Intel.

SuperDuino: Arduino Compatible + Color Display + Acceleromtr


SuperDuino is perfect for Professionals, Hobbyists and University Students
SuperDuino is featured on TechCrunch
It’s a clever, cool little product and could be useful for wearables experimenters and micro-Flappy Bird fans. Comments By John Biggs TechCrunch.


  • USB Programmable (Micro USB Connector )
  • 16Mhz / 32Khz System clock
  • Two 8-bit Timer/Counters with Separate Prescaler and Compare Mode
  • One 16-bit Timer/Counter with Separate Prescaler, Compare Mode, and Capture Mode
  • Real Time Counter with Separate Oscillator
  • Six PWM Channels8-channel 10-bit ADC USARTMaster/Slave SPI
  • Byte-oriented 2-wire Serial Interface (I2C)On-chip Analog Comparator
  • Interrupt and Wake-up on Pin Change23 Programmable I/O Lines
  • 1.7" 128X160 16bit color TFT LCD
  • USB / CR2032 coin cell ( Can charge rechargeable cell ) / 3-12V Supply operated 
  • 3 axes Accelrometer ( can detect single click,double click,up,down,left,right tilt )
  • 2.54mm I/O pin Header
  • Speaker Option
  • Bluetooth Add-on
  • WIFI Add-on
  • MicroSD Add-on

SuperDuino is designed for Education
Following Learning Tutorials which will be provided with SuperDuino
1. Displaying Text and colorful Graphics patterns
2. Temperature and Humidity controller
3. Volt and Ampere Meter
4. Capacitance Meter
5. Frequency Meter
6. Osciloscope
7. Digital Logic Analyzer
8. Pedometer
9. Smart Watch
10. Talking Clock
11. Bricks Breaker Game
12. Flappybird Game
13. Connecting devices via mobile phone ( Wifi )

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Surveillance Robot Camera (SUROCAM)

Here is a demo video:


This project was build based on idea on how to make a simple and cheap online surveillance camera robot that everyone can build. Not only that the robot also have to be easy to use and maintain. Using the raspberry pi, few cheap components, a robot chassis/RC car, and webiopi tutorial on the MagPi magazine this project was successfully build. For launching this robot to be accessible online, ngrok service from www.ngrok.com is used. Without any hectic and difficult port forwarding configuration this robot now can be controlled from anyone in the world by just using firefox or chrome browser.  

No soldering is required to build this robot because I use jumper wire to connect all necessary connection between the GPIO to the L298n motor driver module, and then i connect the two dc motor to the mounting hole on the L298n module.

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Smart Cap – DIY Head Mounted Display Project

Head mounted displays are definitely the latest fad that’s going around town now. You might have seen several wearable displays such as the google glass, and many others including virtual reality systems like the oculus rift. Head mounted displays are primarily used for video sharing, navigation, checking notifications, etc. However, several pioneers argue that the quintessential use for it have not yet been identified. But, if you ever wanted to build one for yourself from scratch, and are not willing to pay 1500$ just to experience its functionalities, then this DIY Head Mounted Display project is for you.
This DIY hacking tutorial will show you how you can make your own head mounted , virtual reality or augmented reality displays. I have built a “Smart Cap” , first of its kind , having a head mounted display on it. Here, I will instruct on how to build a monocular wearable display that runs on the raspberry pi as seen in the picture above. The system includes a webcam for video sharing and recording and also incorporates voice recognition for a hands free experience. Thus, you will be able to build an interactive voice recognition based wearable display at the end of this tutorial.
Smart Cap DIY Head Mounted Display Project DIY Hacking
Aspheric Lens
What are the stuff required to do this project?
  1. Raspberry Pi model B.
  2. A USB webcam with an inbuilt mic, I am using one from Iball.
  3. A 2.5″ NTSC/PAL LCD display.
  4. A headphone with mic.
  5. A loupe magnifier with aspheric lens.
  6. Sun board sheets or cardboard sheets.
  7. Fevicol SR glue or equivalent.
  1. Rasbi OS image with Voice Recognition Software.
How does it work?
Smart Cap DIY Head Mounted Display Project DIY Hacking
2.5″ LCD Display
Head mounted displays usually consists of a high resolution LCD or any other display screen within about 5-10 cm in front of your eyes. For virtual reality systems, usually one split display or two identical displays are used for each of your eyes for the stereoscopic effect. Here, I am only using one miniature LCD display in front of an eye , hence called a  monocular head mounted display.
In this system , in order to cope with the “Least distance of distinct vision” , which is about 15-25 cm , I have used an aspheric loupe magnifier lens having 5X magnification. This makes it possible for me to see the screen impeccably at about 5-6 cm from my eye. The display is also completely enclosed and insulated from outside light. The next part of the system is a normal USB webcam which was cannibalized to take only the camera and the microphone. All the plastic enclosures of it was removed, and the wires were re soldered to get a niche position for the camera and microphone on the cap. Furthermore, I used a raspberry pi running a voice recognition software I engineered , to ensure hands free operation.
DIY Head Mounted Display Project DIY Hacking
Working of the DIY Head Mounted Display
Here, the LCD display acts like any other PC display. However, when certain voice commands are executed in tandem with the system, appropriate results or data is displayed in front of your eye. A few of those examples are : email , maps for navigation, Google search, YouTube, webcam recording and first person viewing of other cameras, etc. The raspberry pi integrated with this head mounted display thus has to be connected to the internet for performing these functions.

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Project Jarvis - A.I Home Automation & Assistant

Key Features (At a Glance)
- A.I Home Automation
- Energy Savings Efficiency
- Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis
- Enhanced Security and Safety
- Entire House Wide Virtual Assistant
- Sleep Pattern Tracking
- World Wide Web Enabled Home Automation
- Custom Android Application and Computer Software
- Low Cost (Under $200)
- Research Report Compilation, Question Answering (Including mathematical equations)
- Any hacked appliance or device can work with this system

Jarvis In-Depth

Intelligent Automation
Jarvis is the name of Iron Man's computer system which manages his home, hence the name of this project. The main aspect of Project Jarvis is to help save electricity in your home which then helps save the Earth and of course, helps save a bit more money each month. The electricity usage is logged per room into an SD card on an open source micro controller such as an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, I chose Arduino. The code on the MCU then interacts with a larger more complex network known as a neural network which has been programmed in a separate application. This software then makes intelligent decisions using the environment and its sensors to help beat the current months data which is still on the SD card. Jarvis will attempt to save more energy than the previous month without getting in the way of your usual living style.
Who is Jarvis?
Jarvis is a virtual assistant, similar to Siri but with a lot more power. Jarvis is the brains behind all operations, he makes the choices and decisions for home automation and much more. Jarvis is based off Artificial Intelligence and is capable of answering complex questions, maths equations, reading social network messages, conversing, being a top class assistant and much more. Jarvis speaks back through speakers located in the rooms and you can speak to him! That's right, if you have a question, simply ask it wherever you are in your home. You don't need to pull out your phone and ask Jarvis to do something, he is always there. Jarvis is wherever you are, in the home, office and in your pocket if you use our Android mobile app.
Energy Efficiency
Every home has lights, appliances and other electronic or electrical gadgets. These all consume energy even if you aren't present in the room. Jarvis is smart enough to switch off lights and unused appliances when you walk out the room. If you turn on a light in your room, Jarvis will compare that specific lights consumption in real time and compare it to data from other lights. If it detects that the light you have on is less efficient, Jarvis will automatically switch that light off and turn on a more efficient light instead. How about automatically switching off cell phone chargers when your phone is disconnected? All these small things in human error or laziness add up in energy consumption and on your monthly bill. Jarvis is here to help make energy savings available to everyone without the owners even noticing. He logs data periodically and that data can be used to help reduce more electricity where possible each month. This way Jarvis will always strive to exponentially increase energy savings and decrease your bill.

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Internet-Controlled RC Car

The Internet Controlled RC Car allows you to remotely drive around a small rc car from wherever you may be and see where it is going. This is fun because you can remote explore whatever space you leave it in, or hand over the keys - so to speak - and allow someone to drive around your space. This is also a great building block for a telepresence robot.

This project is also a great beginner project for someone who has made a few simple things and is looking to get slightly deeper into the world of microcontrollers. It starts to incorporate more advanced skills like circuit building and networking, but is not dauntingly complex.

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Electric Arduino Go-kart

Hello everyone! As the title says, I built an electric go kart which is powered by arduino! Here's a quick video to make you certain that this is the next thing you're going to build.
(Sorry, the embedding isn't working for some reason)
My background: I'm a 15 year old high school student from California. My hobbies include building stuff, reading, and studying Japanese.
I've also entered into the Epilog Challenge contest, please vote for me!
A quick disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any injuries to yourself or anyone else. Electricity is DANGEROUS. Chain drives are EVEN MORE DANGEROUS. They could easily cut a finger off or worse. Wear a helmet when attempting things like this.
With that out of the way :)
The drive setup uses a Hobbywing Xerun 150A brushless electronic speed controller to control a Savox BSM5065 450Kv motor. Batteries are 3x zippy lithium polymer - 5 cells, 5000mah. The motor has two large fans I pulled out of an old computer for cooling, mounted right over the motor. The chain drive is a 1:10 overall ratio, using a 15 tooth on the motor chained to a 30 tooth on the jackshaft, and a 9 tooth from the jackshaft to a 45 tooth on the wheel. The tires are 10" diameter so at 20 volts the top speed is around 30 mph. The ESC is controlled via PWM from the arduino. A throttle potentiometer on the steering wheel controls this. Constant current is around 40-50A, and the batteries last around 30 minutes with an average speed of 10-15mph. It requires a small push to get started (really, the motor just has to be rotating) and accelerates extremely fast. (and if anyone's wondering why it says FTL on the left control box, it's short for Faster than Light, which is the name I gave it.)
This is not going to be a guide to building this, because it's far too complex and every step wasn't documented, but rather detailed information for anyone who wants to make something similar.
I'm going to assume the reader has a decent understanding of electronics, Arduino, and radio control power systems.

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Make Your own Raspberry Pi Gameboy Replica

This “Gamegirl” 3D printed Gameboy replica by Adafruit features some seriously upgraded hardware to mark the original’s 25th anniversary. The Raspberry Pi processor allows it to run Gameboy, or even MAME ROMs, and the color touchscreen allows for much better graphics than the original’s grayscale display. Adding to these significant upgrades, the built-in rechargeable battery is a welcome addition. Those that had these devices likely remember buying battery after battery to keep playing Tetris or SolarStriker.
The case is 3D printed, and aside from the varied colors, it could be mistaken for an original Gameboy; at least it appears that way from the video. Aside from the printed parts, the gamepad buttons are recycled from a Super Nintendo controller, so there is some disassembly and cutting involved. Quite a few more components are also needed from Adafruit, but the instructions seem to lay everything out nicely.
If “merely” playing ROMs isn’t good enough for you, this very hackable set of hardware could function as a platform for many other unique programming projects. It will be interesting to see if any interesting modications come out of this build. I’d personally like to see the other two top SNES buttons used for a more versatile control scheme. On the other hand, that would lower the “replica factor,” so maybe that’s missing the point!

Originally posted at http://makezine.com/ 

PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space

HAB (High Altitude Ballooning) is a growing hobby where enthusiasts use standard weather balloons to put small payloads typically 100g-1kg into “near space” at altitudes of around 30km or so, carrying a tracking device (so the balloon position is known throughout the flight) and usually some sensors (temperature, pressure etc) and often a video or stills camera storing to an SD card for later retrieval. The job of the tracker is to read the location from the GPS receiver, possibly also read some sensors, and then format and send a telemetry sentence to the ground over a low power radio link. Flights only happen once the predicted path is known to be safe (avoiding airports and densely populated areas for example) and permission has been gained from (in the UK) the CAA. Here the tracking system uses the 70cm radio band (around 434MHz) using RTTY to send the telemetry down to a number of ground stations run by other enthusiasts. Telemetry from all receivers is sent to a central server that then drives a live map which can be viewed by anyone with an internet connection. The system works extremely well and has been used to track payloads at distances of 800km and more even though the transmitter is limited by UK law to 10mW ERP.

PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space

In early May I received my first Raspberry Pi computer, and having flown several high altitude balloons before I thought about using one as a flight computer. In almost all of my previous flights I used Arduino Mini Pro boards, and these are ideal – tiny, weigh almost nothing, simple and need very little power. I looked at the Pi and saw none of these desirable features! What I did see though was a USB port offering quick, easy and inexpensive access to a webcam, meaning that for the first time I could have live images (SSDV) sent down by my payload – something that hasn’t been done very often.
“Near Space” is a fairly hostile environment – less than 1% atmosphere, temperatures down to -50C or so – and if anything goes wrong it’s likely to stay wrong. The radio link is one-way so there’s no chance of remotely doing a “sudo reboot” let alone powering off then on again! Descent can be violent, as can the landing, so even things like SD card sockets can represent a potential failure mode. The Pi is a step up in complexity from the usual boards we use, that have no SD cards, or USB, or even an operating system, so the extra power and capability does come at a price, and the first one is an increase in the power requirement from around 60mA to over 500mA, and that of course means much higher power dissipation. People often worry about the low temperatures in near space, but when your payload is generating a few watts of power that is not likely to be a problem! I was much more concerned with how hot it was going to get inside the payload, so I added some heatsinks to the Pi:

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PiPhone: A DIY Raspberry Pi Cellphone

Dave Hunt‘s been at it again. Here’s his latest: a home-made smartphone based around a Raspberry Pi. It’s smaller than many of the phones I’ve owned, and it’s cheaper than the phone that’s currently in my pocket, with a parts list coming in at only $158. The PiPhone is built entirely from off-the-shelf kit, so there’s no soldering required, and no fiddly electronics work. I’ll let Dave introduce it to you.

PiPhone: A DIY Raspberry Pi Cellphone

My Fish Just Sent Me A Text Message

The Internet of Things makes it easy for us to monitor our homes. Today I’m taking that concept one step further—getting our homes to report back to us. 
In early March, I wrote about using Raspberry Pi to quantify my fish tank—in short, I taught the $35 single-board computer to monitor the temperature of my home aquarium no matter where I was in the apartment. Of course, the limitations of this project were clear: I could only keep tabs on the tank while on my home network. What if I want my fish to text me when it needs my assistance? 

The problem, until now, was that getting the Raspberry Pi to initiate communication was hard. I experimented with a Node.jsreceiving application, and contemplated buying a server from which to run it (since my Bluehost server space doesn’t support a Node installation). The other way to get the Raspberry Pi to talk to me was to teach it to text my phone. There are also many ways to achieve SMS support in Python, Pi’s primary language, but they all either involve money or writing programs that are way over my head. 
However, I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t eventually find a way to do it. The answer turned out to be Twilio, a developer-friendly set of tools for creating SMS, voice, and VoIP applications. Twilio charges pennies for calls and text messages to any phone, but it's free to develop programs that text your own phone. That second part might not sound useful at first, but it’s exactly what I needed to complete my fish tank project.
I met with Matthew Makai, Twilio’s DC-based developer evangelist, and he helped me solve the problem. It only took nine lines of code. 
If you’ve already finished the first tutorial, here’s all you need to do. 

Sign Up For Twilio

Don’t worry, it’s free. Signing up for Twilio will give you a phone number to assign to the Raspberry Pi and credentials for using the Twilio API.  
Your phone number will probably begin with the area code of wherever you sign up. 

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Smart Home with Intelligent Intruder Detection and Automatic Terrestrial Mapping Information To The Police by Internet


Smart home technology has proved to contribute to increased independence and safety. Smart Home Technology is a collective term for information and communication technology in homes, where the components are communicating through a local network. The technology may be used for monitoring, alarming and executing actions, according to the programmed criteria. These project includes a high level security system informs the authorized person and to the police station by a dedicated software using internet. The heart of the project is a Web Server running on an ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller. There are various sensors, devices connected to this device for security system, control and monitoring. Dedicated softwares are there for user (.Net and Android) and police station (.Net). The user software can control the devices in home, view various sensor readings, status of security system, change configuration etc. The application used in the police station use maps of local area to provide the intruder alert. The software used in police station will be communicating with this home server and if an intruder is detected, it will be shown in the software as a location in map and a notification message which makes their duty easily. Same time the house owner will be informed by the user software. The software communicates to the Smart Home Device using UDP protocol. The user software is compatible for future developments like camera interfaces. 


  Demo Videos







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STM32F4 Discovery Tutorial 1 Using NETMF - Setting Up the Environment


STM32F4 Discovery

I received my STM32F4 Discovery board few days ago. During these days I am searching for a good compiler for the STM32 which is free or provide a better code sized free version. I am already working in .Net environment using C#, and I it is pretty good. In Google search I saw STM32F4 programming using  .Net, the below link.

We are using a .net port for STM32F4, it is .Net micro framework. 
I am using Visual Studio Ultimate 2010 (Compatibility of others is not known).
I hope you have an STM32F4 Discovery Board.
Necessary Tools
1.      STM32 ST-LINK Utility            Get It ->
2.      USB Micro and USB Mini cable.
3.      .NET MicroFramework SDK  Get It ->  
4.      Download these files (Evaluation purpose only driver)
                                                              i.      If you are not a member, join
Install all the softwares.
Step 1
            Connect Board to PC using Micro USB
The board will get power and power LED & COM LED will be on, if your board is fresh the demo program will run blinking LEDs.
The computer will look for drivers, ( I installed the drivers included in some software already, so i didn’t seen it)
Install STM32 ST-LINK Utility   you downloaded. The driver will be automatically installed.
Step 2
You need to Erase the program and Configs in the controller.
For these, open the STLink Utility from where you installed it.
            Let’s first erase chip.
From Target select Erase chip ------Target > Erase Chip click Select ALL apply
After doing these you need to erase sector
For these select erase sector from target
Target >Erase sector

After these you have to load bootloader to the Discovery board.
In the stm32f4 Files.zip you will see some files: Open Tinybooter.hex in the STLink Utility
From Targets >Program
After it’s done,
Reset the board.

Step 3

After you have reset your board now plug-in the USB Micro USB and connect to PC(the other USB). Most of the smart phone cables should be Micro USB.  Once you connected the Micro USB, windows will start searching for driver and will fail. Now we got to install the driver we downloaded from the zip file. “STM32_WinUSB_drivers_(for_evaluation_purposes_only)  Folder. From device manager find the USB device then (May be its name is STM32F4 Test or unrecognized)
Double click on it, from DRIVER  tab  click update diver and browse it to the folder mentioned above and update it.

 Doing this you can see a device as shown in pic. Control Panel> Devices and printers

STM32F4 Discovery Programming

Step 4

Find the application Named MFDeploy.exe
Launch MFDeploy.exe (you should be able to find it in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft .NET Micro Framework\v4.2\Tools\MFDeploy.exe) which you should have got when you installed the SDK. To make sure MFDeploy can see the board do as shown below.

If you see the Ping the everything is good till this point. Now download the other 2 .hex ER_Config.hex and ER_Flash.hex files extracted from stm32f4 Files.zip file to the board using the MFDeploy as shown below one by one.   (the Combo-box, you need to change it to USB, the STM Discovey board will be shown in right of it.)

Reset the board.

Step 5
Open Visual C# Express/ Visual Studio  Select the project type as given below

Now we need to change the properties, so that the Visual Express/Studio will deploy to the hardware. So change the project properties as shown below



Add Reference  Right Click On MFTest in Solution Explorer>Add Reference> Select the following sown in the figure>OK



using System;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;

namespace MFtest
public class Program
public static void Main()

OutputPort led1 = new OutputPort(Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.STM32.Pins.GPIO_PIN_D_15, false); //LED Pins of Discovery Board

OutputPort led2 = new OutputPort(Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.STM32.Pins.GPIO_PIN_D_14, false);
OutputPort led3 = new OutputPort(Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.STM32.Pins.GPIO_PIN_D_13, false);
OutputPort led4 = new OutputPort(Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.STM32.Pins.GPIO_PIN_D_12, false);

while (true)


ADD files HardwareProvider.cs and CPU.cs to project (step is same as adding reference right click> select Add existing Item)  from the zip file downloaded including the drivers.

Start debugging your code will be written to your Discovery, you can see the status at the bottom. Reset your board.

You Are Successfully Done!!!!!!!!!

Download Full Project Files

STM32F4 Discovery Board