It's the fad of the moment and, we, as designers, do love these Gadgets!
But what they are? Are Development Tools in USB Stick format simply toys or are they offering a complete and reliable debug system?
Surely the latter, because the capability (some of them have an ARM on board) and the versatility make a quality product highly useful for the developers. Some time ago I had the opportunity to "test" the Texas Instruments' Stick USB, the Ez430, related to the MSP430 Low Power Microcontroller, and I have to say that this "Gadget" (please note the quotes) surprised me, for its capabilities and easy of use. After 10 minutes I was already in step_by_step debug with my first application on Stick! (Ok, I did flashed a LED under interrupt while I had controlled the inputs in polling with debounce software, but the start-up times were reduced to a few minutes!!! )