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Posts Tagged ‘development board’

NodeMCU is both a Breadboard-Friendly ESP8266 Wi-Fi Board and a LUA based Firmware

April 18th, 2015 No comments

NodeMCU is a LUA based interactive firmware for Expressif ESP8622 Wi-Fi SoC, as well as an open source hardware board that contrary to the $3 ESP8266 Wi-Fi modules includes a CP2102 TTL to USB chip for programming and debugging, is breadboard-friendly, and can simply be powered via its micro USB port.

NodeMCU_Development_BoardLet’s checkout the hardware first. The latest version of the board (V1.0) has the following specifications and features:

  • Wi-Fi Module – ESP-12E module similar to ESP-12 module but with 6 extra GPIOs.
  • USB – micro USB port for power, programming and debugging
  • Headers – 2x 2.54mm 15-pin header with access to GPIOs, SPI, UART, ADC, and power pins
  • Misc – Reset and Flash buttons
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 49 x 24.5 x 13mm
NodeMCU Headers' Pinout

NodeMCU Headers’ Pinout

The hardware documentation for the board can be found on nodemcu-devkit repo, including schematics and PCB layout designed with Altium Designer, but they should also be compatible with the cheaper Altium CircuitStudio. Sadly, the files have not been updated for 3 to 4 months, so they don’t completely match the latest hardware shown above, and some pins were not connected in the earlier version.

NodeMCU can be purchased for $10 and up on Aliexpress or Seeed Studio. However, it’s not entirely clear which version of the board is sold… The Aliexpress shop shows hardware v0.9, but says they will send the latest version, while Seeed Studio mentions NodeMCU “v2″,  and shows picture of v1.0 hardware, which should be the one you want. The new board will also be up for sale in Europe on nodemcu.eu for 15 to 18 Euros including VAT.

NodeMCU firmware is build with ESP8266 SDK v.0.9.5, based on Lua 51.4 without debug and os modules, lua-cjson, and relies on spiffs (SPI Flash File System) file system. The quick start guide is written on the bottom of the board:

  1. Install CP2102 driver (not needed in Linux)
  2. Use 9600 baud rate
  3. Connect Wi-Fi and enjoy!

Once you are connected, you can just type the command in the terminal. For example to connecting to your Wi-Fi router:

wifi.setmode(wifi.STATION)
wifi.sta.config("SSID","password")
print(wifi.sta.getip())
--192.168.18.110

You can also toggle or/and read GPIO status in a similar way to what you’d with Arduino:

pin = 1
gpio.mode(pin,gpio.OUTPUT)
gpio.write(pin,gpio.HIGH)
gpio.mode(pin,gpio.INPUT)
print(gpio.read(pin))

To get the board automatically run a script right after boot is complete, you can edit init.lua as follows:

file.open("init.lua","w+")
file.writeline(print("hello world"))
file.close()

You can find the firmware source code and documentation on Github, as well as nodemcu-flasher, a Windows only tools to flash the firmware to a module. There’s also a separate tool called esptool that will let you flash nodemcu from Linux. In case you find the documentation is all over the place, you might want to checkout NodeMCU video tutorial below.

Nodemcu.com is the official website for the project, but you’ll find more information on Github. You can also get answers to your questions on their BBS or ESP8622 community forums.

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Ambarella Unveils SL2m IP Camera Reference Design Promising up to 6 Months of Battery Life

April 18th, 2015 No comments

Ambarella S2Lm IP Camera SoC features a Cortex A9 CPU core, encodes video with H.264 up to 3Mp30 / 1080p30, and targets  consumer and entry-level IP Camera designs. The company recently launched a new battery-powered IP camera reference design based on the solution that promises up to 6 months battery life, and can record Full HD video in less than 500ms from wake up, making ideal for battery operated security cameras. A Linux SDK is also provided with reference implementations for low-power standby operation, wake-on-Wi-Fi and fast boot to Linux.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about the reference design, so instead I’ll have a look at the processor, and SL2m IP camera evaluation board.

Ambarella_S2Lm_IP_Camera_Reference_Design

S2Lm IP Camera Evaluation Board

Ambarella SL2m SoC specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 32KB/32KB I/D and 128 KB L2 Cache, NEON and FPU,
  • Crypto Engine – AES/3/DES/SHA-1/MD5
  • DSP / VPU –  Ambarella Image and Video DSPs
  • Sensor and Video I/O
    • RGB Bayer sensor port: 8-lane SLVS/MIPI/HiSPI
    • BT.601/656/1120 video in and BT.656/1120 out
    • PAL/NTSC composite SD video out
  • Front End Sensor Processing
    • 5 MPixels maximum resolution/ 240 MHz maximum pixel rate
    • Lens shading, fixed pattern noise correction
    • Multi-exposure HDR (line-interleaved sensors), WDR (Wide dynamic range) local exposure
  • Image Processing
    • 3D motion compensated noise reduction (MCTF)
    • Adjustable AE/AWB/AF
    • Wide angle lens distortion compensation
    • High quality polyphase scalers
    • Digital PTZ and Virtual Cameras
    • OSD engine; overlays, privacy mask; Crop, mirror, flip, 90°/270° rotation
    • DC-iris and P-iris
    • Defect pixel correction; Chroma lens distortion correction; Gamma compensation and color enhancement; Backlight compensation
  • Video Analytics
    • Advanced 3rd party analytics options
    • Face detection and tracking
    • Intelligent motion detection
    • Tampering detection
  • Video Encoding
    • H.264 codec BP/MP/HP Level 5.1 and MJPEG
    • 5 MPixels maximum resolution
    • 3M@30 fps encoding performance
    • Up to 4 simultaneous stream encodes
    • SmartAVC (Smart Advanced Video Coding) low bitrate/high quality encoding
    • On-the-fly change of multiple encoding parameters
    • Flexible GOP configuration with I, P and B frames
    • Temporal Scalable Video Codec with 4 Layers (SVCT)
    • Dynamic region of interest
    • Multiple CBR and VBR rate control modes
  • Memory Interfaces
    • DDR3/DDR3L up to 528MHz
    • SD controller with SDXC SD Card
    • NAND flash, SLC with ECC
    • Boot from SPI-NOR, SPI-EEPROM, NAND flash, USB or eMMC
  • Peripheral Interfaces
    • 10/100 Ethernet with RMII/MII
    • USB2.0 Device or Host w/PHY
    • Multiple I2S, SSI/SPI, IDC, and UART
    • Multiple PWM, Stepper, and ADC channels
    • Many GPIO ports, PWM, Steppers, IR, ADC
    • Watchdog Timer, multiple general purpose timers, JTAG
  • Process – 28nm Low Power CMOS
  • Operating temperature – -20°C to +85°C
  • Package – TFBGA package with 256 balls, 11×11 mm, 0.65 mm pitch
Block Diagram for a Typical S2Lm IP Camera (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram for a Typical S2Lm IP Camera (Click to Enlarge)

The company can provide a complete SL2m IP camera development platform comprised of:

  • An hardware evaluation kit (as shown in the top picture) with a baseboard with SL2m processor and a sensor board with a camera from Aptina, Omnivision, Panasonic, Sony or others.
  • A software development kit (SDK) based on Linux 3.8 kernel with relevant patchsets, drivers, tools and application source code.

Hard design files including datasheets, the bill of materials, schematics and PCB layout are all available, as well as C source code for reference applications. The libraries for the ISP, dewarp and codecs are royalty-free, the company also offers tools for image tuning and manufacturing calibration, as well as detailed software documentation.

Pricing and availability information for the new battery operated S2LM reference design are not known, and they ask you to contact them for details. But the SoC and and the evaluation kit are available now at undisclosed prices. I found most the information in S2Lm product brief which can also be downloaded via Ambarella IP Camera product page.

Via LinuxGizmos.

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AlphaScale ASM9260 ARM9 Processor Details and Development Board

April 16th, 2015 3 comments

Yesterday, as I wrote a Linux 4.0 Changelog, I noticed a new ARM processor called AlphaScale ASM9260, and I thought it might be interesting to find out more. A Google search would only return results from the Linux kernel mailing list and mirrors, so I checked out the code a bit to find out its an ARM9 processor made by AlphaScale Integrated Circuits Systems, Inc, based in Wuxi, China. The company website alphascale.com does not work, but I found out the processor is sold on Taobao for 38 RMB (~$6), and there’s also a development board (ASM9260DVK) for 498 RMB or about $80, and that’s basically the only two links were I could find any details.

ASM9260T_Block_Diagram AlphaScale ASM9260T is arm ARM926EJS processor clocked at 240 MHz, 16GN I-cache and D-cache, 8KB SRAM, with the following peripherals:

  • 32-bit SDRAM/NOR interface
  • MLC NAND 24-bit ECC
  • 2x USB 2.0 OTG, 2x USB 2.0 PHY
  • 24-bit LCD interface
  • Camera interface
  • 10/100M Ethernet MAC
  • 2x CAN, 10x USART, 2x SPI, 1x SQPI, 32 GPIO, 2x I2C
  • 8x 12-bit ADC, 1x 12-bit DAC
  • 2x 5.1 channels I2S
  • Packages – LQFP216,  LQFP176, or LQFP128

Alphascale_ASM9260_Development_boardThe development board  comes with a 10/100M Ethernet interface (KSZ8051RNL Ethernet PHY), micro and full size USB ports, two UART ports (DB9) for debugging and app?, a CAN port, a camera interface and two audio jacks (WM8731L Audio Codec). It can also support 4.5″, 7″ or 8″ displays, and boot from SPI NOR and NAND. There’s also a 20-pin JTAG interface., and a few unpopulated UART and RS422 headers.

The software development kit description refers to ALPOS ADS1.2 development environment, but I can’t find any details about it, as well as support for Linux 2.6.38, U-boot and GCC cross-toolchain. It might not be exactly using the latest version of Linux, but since the developer who submitted patchsets for ASM9260 has been working on it since August 2014, some company must be serious about improving Linux support for the platform.

The company claims ASM9260 offers a more cost effective solution compared to Samsung S3C2440 and Atmel SAM9G45, partially because it can be used on 2-layer boards, while the competitors require 6-layer boards.

Apart from the two Taobao links listed in introduction, I can’t find any useful links, so in case you are interested in such platform, and need more details, you’d either have to call to +86(0)25 86892412/86462412 (in China) or QQ to 714960297, and you’d probably better speak Mandarin. [Update: There’s a product page in Chinese on Tianjili website].

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Bubblegum-96 Development Board Complies with 96Boards, Features Actions Semi S900 64-bit ARM Processor

April 16th, 2015 2 comments

We’ve already have two 96Boards compliant boards formally announced with HiSilicon Hikey and Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c, and Actions Semiconductor was also expected to release theirs soon. Albeit it’s not been officially announced yet, the company has been showcasing their Bubblegum-96 board at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2015.

Bubblegum-96Bubblegum-96 development board specifications:

  • SoC – Actions Semi S900 quad core Cortex A53 with PowerVR G6230 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 to 8GB LPDDR2 / LPDDR3(800MHz) / DDR3 or DDR3L
  • Storage – 4 to 64 GB eMMC 4.5 flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP up to 4K, MHL 2.1 up to 4K
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 port
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector – UART, I2C, 12x GPIOs, SPI, PCM, 1.8V, +5V, GND…
    • 64-pin HS (High Speed) Expansion connector – DSI, CSI, SDIO, USB 2.0, I2C, etc…
  • Misc – On/off button
  • Power Supply – ATC2609 PMIC; Should be 8-18V / 2A input as per 96Boards specs but I can’t see any power barrels.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm (96Boards compliant)

The board can run Android 5.0 or Ubuntu based on Linaro codebase. They did not provide the exact RAM and storage capacity, but since the board needs to be low cost, I’d use they’ll go with 1GB RAM, and 4GB internal storage, just like the Hikey board. There will also be another board called Actduino S900 powered by the same processor, running the same images, but not compliant with 96Boards specifications, and adding an Ethernet port, an LCD connector and so on.

Via AndroidPC.es

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How to Program STMicro STM8S $1 Board in Linux

April 13th, 2015 7 comments

In January, I discovered there was such thing as a one dollar development board based on STMicro STM8S103F3P6 8-bit MCU with 1KB SRAM, 8KB flash, and 640 bytes EEPROM, some GPIOs as well as I2C, UART, SPI, ADC, and PWM signals. Links to documentation and source code were provided, but development tools were only Windows based. However, one of my reader informed me SDCC (Small Devices C Compiler) supported STM8, and development in Linux should be feasible. So I decided to buy the board on eBay for $1.62, as well as an ST_link V2 programmer for STM8 / STM32 for $4.52 in order to flash the firmware.

The board came pretty quickly, i.e. within 2 to 3 weeks.

STM8S103F3_BoardBut due to a lost package, the programmer took nearly 3 months to reach me, as the seller had to re-send after I failed to receive it within 2 months.

ST-Link_V2_ProgrammerIt comes with 4 wires that need to be connected to RST/NRST, 3.3V, SWIM, and GND. To do so, I had to solder a 4-pin header on the side of the board.

To get started with STM8 on Linux, I found some information on ColeVision website where they explained how to run Drystone on STM8/128-EVAL board using SDCC as the compiler, and stm8flash to program the board.

So I’ve given it a try on Ubuntu 14.04 with the simple goal of blinking the TEST LED on the board. sdcc is an Ubuntu package, so it’s pretty easy to install:

sudo apt-get install sdcc

Let’s check the version and some more information:

sdcc --version
SDCC : mcs51/gbz80/z80/z180/r2k/r3ka/ds390/pic16/pic14/TININative/ds400/hc08/s08 3.3.0 #8604 (Dec 30 2013) (Linux)

That’s version 3.3.0 released in December 2013 and it lacks STM8 supports, but the latest version (sdcc v3.4.0) has been released in April 2014, and we can get it with a PPA, so let’s use that one instead:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:laczik/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove sdcc sdcc-libraries
sudo apt-get install sdcc

If you are using Ubuntu 14.10 or greater, you’ll already get the latest version.

Let’s double check stm8 is indeed supported:

sdcc --version
SDCC : mcs51/z80/z180/r2k/r3ka/gbz80/tlcs90/ds390/pic16/pic14/TININative/ds400/hc08/s08/stm8 3.4.0 #8981 (Jan 10 2015) (Linux)
published under GNU General Public License (GPL)

Great! stm8 is now present in the list of supported MCUs.

For the next step was to install stm8flash tool to program the device:

git clone https://github.com/vdudouyt/stm8flash.git
cd stm8flash
make
sudo make install

Now I had to find some code samples to blink the LED. I started but checking the samples for ST Visual Programmer and IAR tools, combine with a modified version of Drystone source code, but I always had some issues with the header files, and it seems a bit more work than expected. But then I discovered that Valentin Dudouyt, stm8flash developer, also provided code samples in his github account, including a blinky sample:

git clone https://github.com/vdudouyt/sdcc-examples-stm8.git
cd sdcc-examples-stm8

First, I tried to compile the samples, and they failed because sp_test.c was missing, so I edited the Makefile to remove sp_test.ihx, and build was successful. The LED on the board is connected to B5 GPIO, so at that point I had to check out STM8S103F3 datasheet to find out more about the registers used in the sample. The register map is in section 6.2 of the document, and I need to use three registers:

  • PB_ODR – Port B data output latch register (Sets pin HIGH or LOW)
  • PB_DDR – Port B data direction register (Sets direction to INPUT or OUTPUT)
  • PB_CR1 – Port B control register 1

Since pin 5 correspond to 00100000 (0x20) I updated blinky.c sample as follows:

#include "stm8l.h"

int main() {
        int d;
        // Configure pins
        PB_DDR = 0x20;
        PB_CR1 = 0x20;
        // Loop
        do {
                PB_ODR ^= 0x20;
                for(d = 0; d < 29000; d++) { }
        } while(1);
}

I typed make again to generate an updated firmware (blinky.ihx), and flash it as follows:

stm8flash -c stlinkv2 -p stm8s103 -w blinky.ihx
Determine FLASH area
Writing Intel hex file 189 bytes at 0x8000... OK
Bytes written: 189

All good and the LED started blinking…
STM8S_Blink_LED

So now you should be able to write simple program to control other GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART with the board. But if your program is a little more complex a debugger could be useful, and there’s Texane STLink working on Windows, Mac, and Linux, that can run gdbserver for STM32… But I tried it for STM8.

git clone https://github.com/texane/stlink
cd stlink
./autogen.sh
make -j8

Then I ran st-link:

./st-util
2015-04-13T16:44:34 INFO src/stlink-usb.c: -- exit_dfu_mode
2015-04-13T16:44:34 INFO src/stlink-common.c: Loading device parameters....
2015-04-13T16:44:34 WARN src/stlink-common.c: unknown chip id! 0xe0042000

Hmmm, it does not look good, and sadly there’s no support for STM8 yet, as STM32 and STM8 use different interfaces (SWD vs SWIM).

So if you have troubles debugging your program, you may have to revert to Windows based tools, at least for now, unless you’re up for the task and want to add STM8 support to Texane.

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Mediatek LinkIt Assist 2502 Open Source Hardware Board Targets Wearables and IoT Applications

April 10th, 2015 No comments

After LinkIt ONE, Mediatek Labs has introduced a new IoT development kit based on their Aster M2502 ARM7 processor with LinkIt Assist 2502 comprised of AcSiP MT2502A IoT SiP Core module, a 802.11b/g/n module, a GNSS module, and an exchangeable 240×240 16-bit color capacitive touch LCM Board. The AcSiP module can also be purchased separately, so you could use LinkIt Assist 2502 board for early development, because moving to your custom hardware based on AcSiP MT2502A module.

Mediatek_LinkIt_Assist_2502LinkIt Assist 2502A specifications:

  • MCU – AcSiP AI2502S05 module with  MT2502A (Aster) ARM7 EJ-STM processor @ 260MHz, 4MB RAM, 16MB flash
  • Display – 240×240 LCD module; 16-bit color depth; transflective; based on ST7789S driver IC.
  • ConnectivityAcSiP_MT2502A_Module
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n via AcSiP CW01S module based on MT5931 SoC
    • Bluetooth 2.1 SPP and 4.0 GATT dual mode (part of MT2502A)
    • GPS via AcSiP CW03S module based on MT3332 chip supporting GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou.
    • GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz / GPRS class 12  (part of MT2502A) with micro SIM slot
  • I/Os
    • 14x digital I/O (Voltage 2.8V)
    • 4x analog input (0~2.8V)
    • 2x PWM
    • 2x external interrupt pins
    • 1x I2C (master only) @ 100Kbps, 400Kbps, 3.4Mbps
    • 1x SPI (master only) @ 104Kbps to 26Mbps
    • 1x UART (Rx, Tx), 1x UART on USB
    • Xadow (Seeed Studio) connector
  • Audio – Speaker, headphone jack
  • USB – micro USB port for charging and development
  • Misc – Power button, 2x user buttons, vibrator
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 3.7~4.2V Li-ion battery (Battery is required to boot)
  • Dimensions – Board: 53x53x16 mm (with display); Module: 17x15x1.8 mm
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The kit includes LinkIt Assist 2502 Board, the 240×240 Touch LCM Board, a 240mAh Lithium-ion battery, and a user’s manual. The company provides the hardware design files including Eagle schematics and PCB layout for the main board and LCD module, as well as datasheets for the main ICs and modules.

Beside the hardware platform, Mediatek Labs also released MediaTek LinkIt Assist 2502 SDK providing a  plug-in for Eclipse IDE (with CDT) and tools to update development board firmware and upload software. Key feature of the software development kit:

  • C-based API
  • Compiles LinkIt Assist 2502 execution file format (.vxp)
  • LinkIt Assist 2502 API libraries used to create apps for the HDK
  • Communication functions for TCP sockets, HTTPS, Bluetooth 4.0 GATT and more
  • User interface through LCM display module with support for vector fonts (powered by Etrump), graphics, JPEG decompression, and more.
  • Compatible with Eclipse IDE (Indigo) with CDT plug-in (8.0.2 or later)
  • Supports Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 (So Linux users are out of luck)
LinkIt Assist 2502 Software and Hardware Architecture

LinkIt Assist 2502 Software and Hardware Architecture

More details about the hardware and software can be found on MediaTek LinkIt Assist 2502 Development Platform page. LinkIt Assist 2502 kit will soon sell for $119 on Seeed Studio (currently out of stock), while AcSiP AI2502S05 module costs $29.50 in single quantity.

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Inforce 6501 Micro SOM is a Tiny Module with Qualcomm Snapdragon S805 Processor

April 8th, 2015 No comments

Inforce Computing has now launched Inforce 6501 micro system-on-module (SoM) based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor found on their Inforce 6540 pico-ITX single board computer. The module measures just 50×28 mm, and integrates up to 3 GB RAM, up to 16 GB eMMC, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity.

Inforce_6510_Micro_SoM

Inforce 6501 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084) quad core Krait 450 processor up to 2.7 GHz with Adreno 420 GPU, and Hexagon DSP V50 up to 800 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB to 3GB PoP LPDDR3 @ 800 MHz; 2×64-bit 26.5GB/s memory bus
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC v4.5/v5.0, with options up to 16GB
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 & 2×2 dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (QCA6174), and GPS (QCA1530)
  • Peripherals and I/O via two 100-pin SoM connectors:
    • Video / Display – 1x HDMI 1.4a, 2x MIPI-DSI (4-lane) & touch screen,
    • Audio
      • 4x Line out, 3x Mic-in, 1x headphone out
      • 8-channel 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD via HDMI
      • On-board WDC9320 audio codec
    • Camera – 2x MIPI-CSI (4-lane)
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 (host), 1x USB 2.0 (device mode debug), 1x USB 3.0 (host)
    • 1x PCIe, SDC, SLIMBUS
    • JTAG, 8x GPIO, UART via 3-pin RS232, 5x I2C, SPI
  • Video / Image Capabilities
    • 4K Ultra HD video with HEVC (H.265) playback and H.264 capture
    • Dual image signal processors (ISPs) with ~1GP/s throughput and image sensors up to 55 MP
  • Power Supply – +3.3V DC input
  • Dimensions – 50 x 28 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0° C to 70° C; Storage: -20° C to 80° C

Inforce_Micro_SoM_Block_DiagramThe company provides Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu (Linaro) 14.04 BSPs for the module based on Linux 3.4 kernel, available after board registration on the company’s website. as well as hardware documentation. The product brief can be downloaded freely, but the hardware reference manual also requires board registration.

To speed up development, Inforce SYS6501 development platform can be purchased, and includes the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM, a mini-ITX carrier board, a power supply, micro-USB cable, and an acrylic base.

SYS6501 Carrier Board with 6501 micro SOM

SYS6501 Carrier Board with Inforce 6501 micro SOM

The carrier board has the following key features:

  • Video / Display Output – 1x HDMI v1.4a, 1x eDP (display port), 1x MIPI-DSI connector (4-lane)
  • External Storage – micro SD slot (on back of board)
  • Audio – High Definition 7.1 Audio in/out
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45), antenna connectors for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Camera – 2x MIPI-CSI connector (4-lane)
  • USB – 1 x USB 2.0 port; 1x USB 3.0 port; 1x USB 3.0 OTG port
  • Expansion
    • 1x Mini PCIe
    • EXP_CON female header for 5x I2C, SPI, 8x GPIOs, …
  • Serial – 1x RS-232
  • Debugging – Serial console, JTAG
  • Sensors – Integrated sensor board that includes 10-axis (Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure) and motion sensors.
  • Misc – Volume and power buttons, DIP switches for boot selection.
  • Power Supply – +12V (5A typ.), ATX power connector, 2x AA batteries, or external battery via 10-pin header
  • Dimensions – 17cm x 17cm (Mini-ITX)
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0° C to 70° C; Storage: -20° C to 80° C
Inforce_SYS6501_Development_Kit

Update: First Revision of the Board, the New Revision Will Be Slightly Different

Inforce 6501 Micro SOM sells for $225 with 2GB RAM and 4GB eMMC, while the development kit now goes for $449. However, Inforce computing is currently running a promotion where you can get the baseboard for free, and you can get a the discount coupon to get the complete kit for $225 by registering online (Company name required). More details should be available on Inforce 6501 Micro System on Module and Inforce 6501 Development Kit pages.

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$50 Mimas V2 Spartan 6 FPGA Development Board Comes with a VGA Port, 64MB RAM

April 7th, 2015 No comments

Just last week, I wrote about miniSpartan3, an FPGA board powered by Xilinx Spartan 3A. It costs as low as $25, features an HDMI output port, but lacks RAM. Numato Lab’s Mimas V2 is another low cost FPGA board with a more powerful Spartan 6 FPGA, 512 Mb LPDDR memory, and instead of HDMI output, a VGA port has been included on the board. The board can be used for prototype development, signal processing, learning digital electronics and as an educational tool for schools and universities.

Mimas V2 (Click to Enlarge)

Mimas V2 (Click to Enlarge)

Technical specifications:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan XC6SLX9 in CSG324 package
  • System Memory – 512Mb LPDDR @ 166 MHz (MT46H32M16LF/W949D6CBHX6E)
  • Storage – 16 Mb SPI flash memory (M25P16) + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – VGA connector
  • Audio – Stereo jack
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 port for on-board flash programming
  • Expansion Headers – Four 6×2 header with access to 32 I/O pins, and compatible wtih Numato Lab’s add-on boards.
  • Debugging / Programming – Via JTAG header or micro USB port
  • Misc
    • 8x LEDs, 6x Push Buttons
    • 8 way DIP switch for user defined purposes.
    • Three digit seven segment displays.
  • Power Supply
    • +5V from USB by default; External +5V power as option. Power input selected by jumper
    • On-board voltage regulators for single power rail operation
  • Dimensions – 120 x 73 mm

Mimas_V2

The board can be programmed with Xilinx ISE Webpack (Windows and Linux) via USB without the need for a programmer. The company also provides documentation, Verilog code samples, and several tutorials for their board, so it should be easy to get started, even for beginners. Add-on boards that can be connected via the 6×2 headers include AC97 audio codec expansion module, HDMI transmitter board, mini breadboard module, AD9283 ADC Expansion Module,and more.

The FPGA board sells for $49.95 on Amazon US, or directly on Numato Lab’s Mimas V2 product page, where you’ll also find all resources to play or work with the board.

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