Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping Board Combines Cortex M4F MCU, Sensors, and Ethernet

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping board is a board designed – as its name implies – for the Internet of Things, with the company’s Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex-M4F micro-controller, various sensors, various I/Os including protected digital inputs and outputs, and Ethernet for network connectivity instead of a Bluetooth or/and WiFi module. Renesas S5D9 board specifications: MCU – Renesas Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex M4F MCU @120MHz with 2MB flash and 640KB SDRAM Storage – 256Mbits (32MB) QSPI NOR flash Connectivity – 1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet (RJ45) USB – 1x micro USB Full Speed port Sensors Bosch BMC150 6-Axis sensor (digital compass) AMS ENS210 environmental sensor for temperature and humidity data TE Connectivity MS5637-02BA03 barometric pressure sensor Knowles SPU0414HR5H-SB amplified SiSonic microphone Expansion 1x PMOD connector (SPI) 2x Grove Connectors (UART, I2C, GPIO) 2x Protected Digital Input (5.1V to 24V) + 2x Buffered Digital Output (up to 1A) via Molex 12 position header 2x RS232 via Molex 8 position header and Intersil driver…

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Manga Screen 2 is Smartphone Touchscreen Display with USB and HDMI Ports for Makers (Crowdfunding)

July 20th, 2017 6 comments

Most touchscreen displays aimed to be connected to a development board work through a display interface such as MIPI DSI or LCD RGB (and USB or I2C for touch support), and come with somewhat low resolution such as 800×480 which can be suitable for HMI applications. They also often don’t work with all boards due to the different interfaces used, and there’s no way to easily connect such small display to your computer. Taking those limitations into account, and since most boards and computers come with HDMI and USB ports, Elias Bakken and his team have added HDMI and USB ports to two smartphone displays, and Manga Screen 2 was born. The two displays – made by Sharp – have the following hardware specifications: Big (5.9”) Small (4.8”) Resolution 1920×1080 1280×720 FPS (max) 60 57 Color mode 24-bit PPI 376.2 307.9 Brightness 400 cd/m2 500 cd/m2 Contrast ratio 1000:1 800:1 Viewing angle 80 degrees Power draw (max.) 600 mA 520…

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MYiR Introduces Z-Turn Lite Board Powered by Xilinx Zynq-7007S/Zynq-7010 SoC for $69 and Up

July 20th, 2017 9 comments

Xilinx launched a cost down version of their Zynq-7000 series with Zynq-7000S series SoC combining a single ARM Cortex A9 core with Artix FPGA fabric last year. We’ve already seen sub 100 Euros/Dollars board based on the new SoCs with ZynqBerry and MiniZed boards. MYiR Tech has now launched their own version, a cost-down version of their Z-Turn board, with Z-Turn Lite board featuring either the new cost-down Zynq-7007S or the “good old” Zynq-7010 SoC. Z-Turn Lite specifications: SoC Xilinx XC7Z007S-1CLG400C (Zynq-7007S) with a single ARM Cortex A9 core @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with with 23K logic cells, 14,400 LUTs, 66 DSP slices OR Xilinx XC7Z010-1CLG400C (Zynq-7010) with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with 28K logic cells, 17,600 LUTs, 80 DSP slices. System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 256MB, 32-bit) Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, 16MB QSPI flash, and a micro SD slot Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet USB –…

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NanoPi K2 Board Gets Ubuntu Core Firmware Image

July 19th, 2017 3 comments

FriendlyELEC NanoPi K2 is a board powered by Amlogic S905 processor, just like ODROID-C2 board, so while only the Android image was available at launch, it was expected to also support Ubuntu or other Linux distribution shortly after. This was put in doubt by comments on the company’s forums claiming the board would not get Debian images, and only Android was supported. One alternative would be Armbian, but right now they only have ODROID-C2 images for download, no other Amlogic S905 hardware platform is supported either through stable or experimental builds. One user did manage to run Armbian on K2 with balbes150 help, but I’m not sure what’s the status of those firmware. Balbes150 also have a list of image for Amlogic platform in Github, which may be adapted to most hardware by using your board’s device tree binary (DTB) file. The good news today is that FriendyELEC did not give up on Linux support for the board, as they’ve just…

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$99 Mira Prism Augmented Reality Headset Works with your Phone

July 19th, 2017 7 comments

We’ve seen many virtual reality headsets launched in the last year or so, even through the technology and ecosystem still needs to be improved to offer an acceptable user experience, but so far I have not seen augmented reality headset that combines 3D real and virtual worlds into a single screen. I was pretty enthusiastic about augmented reality technology when I first heard about in 2010,  but fast forward to 2017, I’m not using any such apps myself, with the most popular AR app possibly being Pokemon Go game launched last year, and apps like the upcoming AR Measure look quite useful. Augmented reality normally works by holding your phone into your hands and the camera, but Mira Prism will change that it’s meant to be worn like a virtual reality headset and relies on a phone (iPhone only for now) to mix both worlds right in front of your eyes. The headset includes a semi-transparent screen allowing you to…

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ModBerry Industrial Automation Controllers Leverage Raspberry Pi, FriendlyELEC, and AAEON Boards and Modules

July 19th, 2017 No comments

TECHBASE’s ModBerry Linux based industrial controllers have been around since 2014 with their first model being ModBerry 500 powered by a Raspberry Pi compute module. Over the years, the company has kept adding new ModBerry controllers with now an interesting choice of Raspberry Pi 3 board or compute module, FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi M1 Plus board, or Intel Atom x5 based AAEON’s UP board. All programmable automation controllers (PAC) runs Linux 4.0 or greater, with Debian or Ubuntu Core rootfs including ready tools and pre-compiled packs including C/C++, JAVA, SQL, PHP, SSH, and VPN support. The firmware is upgradeable over the air, and the controllers can run the company’s iMod control software and interface with iModCloud cloud computing service for telemetry, remote control and data sharing. Typical uses include C-L-V functions with conversion to collect and transmit data over communication interfaces, logging via iModCloud or a SCADA, and visualization via a web browser. All models share many of the same features, with…

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Bluetooth Low Energy Now Supports Mesh Networking for the Internet of Things

July 19th, 2017 8 comments

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced support for mesh networking for BLE, which enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications, and is optimized for large scale device networks for building automation, sensor networks, asset tracking solutions, and other IoT solutions where up to thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another. The standard actually specifies 32,767 unicast addresses per mesh network, but that number of nodes is not achievable right now. Mesh networking works with Bluetooth Low Energy and is compatible with version 4.0 and higher of the specifications. It requires SDK support for the GAP Broadcaster and Observer roles to both advertise and scan for advertising packets, and the FAQ claims Mesh Networking does not require extra power, and the devices only need to wake up at least once every four days or when they have data to transmit. Mobile apps connecting to mesh networking products will use the Bluetooth mesh proxy protocol implemented on top…

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Having Old Floppy Disks Around? You Can Still Buy a USB Floppy Disk Drive to Read Them

July 18th, 2017 14 comments

If you are young enough, you may never have heard about floppy disks. They were the equivalent of “micro SD card” in the 1970’s to 2000’s , in the sense they were portable mass storage device, but the comparison stops there, as the size and capacity were quite different, and they relied on magnetic storage technology. The first 8-inch floppy drives appeared in 1971/1972 and the best models could eventually store 1.2 MB, they were following by 5¼-inch drives later the same decade with 360KB being the most common capacity, and finally 3.5-inch floppy drives coming with either 720 KB or 1.44 MB capacity in the 80’s. The latter were used until the early 2000’s, and I can remember Windows 3.1 being sold with 7 or so floppy drives. They were eventually replaced by CD ROMs, and USB flash drives. I’m writing about this, because I found out that Aliexpress is selling USB floppy disk drives for just under $10…

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Categories: Hardware Tags: retro