Home > Broadcom BCMxxxx, Hardware, Linux, Video > $99 MATRIX Creator Raspberry Pi Add-on Board Features Plenty of Sensors, a 2.4 GHz Radio, and More

$99 MATRIX Creator Raspberry Pi Add-on Board Features Plenty of Sensors, a 2.4 GHz Radio, and More

MATRIX Creator is a round-shaped add-on board for Raspberry Pi boards with various sensors, a microphone array, an LED array, a Xilinx FPGA, an Atmel Cortex-M3 MCU, wireless connectivity via Z-Wave, ZigBee, Thread, and NFC, as well as various I/Os….

MATRIX_CreatorMATRIX Creator specifications:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA
  • MCU – Atmel ATSAM3S2C Cortex-M3 MCU
  • Connectivity – ZigBee, Thread, Z-Wave and NFC
  • Sensors – Ultraviolet, pressure, humidity, temperature, 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer
  • Audio – 8x MEMs microphone array with Alexa support
  • Expansion – 2x ADC, 17x digital GPIOs, SPI, I2C, UART; 40-pin connector for Raspberry Pi 2/3
  • Misc – 35x RGBW LEDs array, IR Rx/Tx, infrared ring for the Raspberry Pi NoIR camera
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I can’t think of the single application that would make use of all features of this board, but the least we can say is that it’s extremely versatile. The developers are providing MATRIX OS based on Linux to run on the Raspberry Pi board including necessary drivers and some samples, as well as MATRIX CLI and MATRIX CV, to respectively manage multiple Raspberry Pi boards and develop computer vision applications.

Documentation has not been made public yet, but the Wiki is scheduled to be up and running on, or before, July 15th, the date when the board will start shipping. In the meantime, some Raspberry Pi 3 based demos are showcased on their website including including a self-balancing robot, a gesture triggered IR transmitter, a face tracking app, and one demo showing the compass driving LEDs.

The board can be pre-ordered for $99 plus shipping.

Via HackerBoards and Harley.

  1. Harley
    July 6th, 2016 at 18:04 | #1

    Wish hower that they would have sold the nice case from the MATRIX as an option:

    https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/004/864/267/9087ac6b41f83e8add450d4be78a3909_original.gif?w=680&fit=max&v=1447004603&q=92&s=c2f5c3d0046b5be2d5849236cec07b13

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2061039712/matrix-the-internet-of-things-for-everyonetm

    Hope that Domoticz and OpenHAB adds support for this as a transceiver regardless.

  2. Harley
    July 6th, 2016 at 18:09 | #2

    Home automation control can make use of almost all features of this board.

    Think of it like a combination of the Nest Cam, Amazon Echo, and a Zigbee/Z-Wave/Thread home automation gateway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4z3D2KrJrU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0pdT1TE7uQ

  3. OK
    July 6th, 2016 at 19:50 | #3

    never mind, fixed.

  4. TLS
    July 6th, 2016 at 21:52 | #4

    Hmmm… So unless they somehow manage to get this Z-Wave certified, they can only buy 500 Z-Wave chips, as it’s all you’re allowed without certification, this won’t end up being shipped to a lot of people.

    The Silicon Labs ZigBee chip is not very user friendly, but as long as they’ve pre-programmed it, it shouldn’t be a huge deal I guess, however, they can’t claim ZigBee and Thread support, as the chip only supports one standard at a time and to change that, well, it’s most likely more than a firmware flash and that requires a $500 programmer…

  5. Yoel
    July 7th, 2016 at 02:25 | #5

    @TLS

    Hi TLS, Thank you for the feedback on MATRIX Creator.

    Right now we are members of the Z-Wave and ZigBee Alliances and are in the process of certification for both. MATRIX Creator will be shipped with the Silicon Labs Zigbee chip and Sigma Design Z-Wave ready for use. Upgrades will be available trough flashing utilities (GPL licensed) for both Silicon Labs (Zigbee/Thread) and Sigma Design (Z-Wave) chips. No additional programmer (software/hardware) is required for Zigbee/Z-Wave/FPGA/Atmel MCU flashing.

    Thank you, the team at MATRIX Labs.

  6. TLS
    July 7th, 2016 at 11:18 | #6

    @Yoel
    How did you convince Silicon Labs to allow that? They’re notoriously closed source. I’ve worked with them in the past and they don’t seem very open to the idea of any kind of open source solution for their chips.

    Sigma Designs are just the same, so I’m really surprised to hear about your claims that you’ll have some kind of utility that allows the user to flash the chips. Also, I take it you’re aware that Z-Wave is region/frequency limited and requires different firmware depending on the frequency used?

  7. Drone
    July 8th, 2016 at 20:00 | #7

    Sounds like just a bunch of parts thrown on a board without any thought about what you can do next and how you can do it. Also, there is no LoRa. And in the video they call the FPGA a “Microcontroller”. Well it isn’t (unless they load a uC core on it – which I seriously doubt).

  8. anon
    July 9th, 2016 at 02:43 | #8

    Makes a nice IoT board if you can use it without Raspberry-awful-Pi.

  9. September 15th, 2016 at 09:22 | #9

    They’ve now launched an Indiegogo campaign for MATRIX Creator -> https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/matrix-creator-iot-computer-vision-dev-board-pi/x/1760545#/

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