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Posts Tagged ‘development board’

$59 RetroEngine Sigma Retro Game Console is Based on Orange Pi Lite Board (Crowdfunding)

December 9th, 2016 7 comments

2016 has been the year of retrogaming comeback with products like PocketCHIP, Nintendo NES Classic, GPD Win and quite a few other projects. There will soon be a new option with RetroEngine Sigma, an inexpensive Linux based retro-gaming console based on Allwinner H3 processor.

retroengine-sigmaRetroEngine Sigma fanless game console hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 or 32GB micro SD card
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – Programmable status LED, 2 user configurable buttons P1 & P2
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 110 x 85 x 33.5 mm

The specifications look similar, so I went to my little list of Allwinner H3 boards, found the specs matches closely Orange Pi Lite board, and after checking the video and more picture, the ports also happen to be exactly in the same place… So it’s pretty sure the console is based on Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi Lite board, which is cool since there’s a good community support.

retrogame-sigma-armbianRetroGame developers leveraged that, and the console supports Atari 2600/7800, Sega Genesis, Nintendo NES / 64, Amstrad, Sega, and many more, and can be used as a mini computer and a media player with Kodi. It seems to have the same features as RetrOrangePi firmware based on Armbian plus Kodi and various game emulator.

The mini console’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been very successfully so far as they’ve raised closed to $250,000 from over 3,000 backers. All early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $59 for the “Speedy Backer” reward including a mini console with a 16GB micro SD card pre-loaded with the firmware, a power adapter, a dual stick analog controller, a micro USB card reader, and a Xmas voucher. The 32GB micro SD Deluxe version goes for $89, and adds a Bluetooth adapter, a Bluetooth game controller, and a HDMI cable. Shipping adds $7 to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for April to June 2017, but you’ll first receive a Christmas Gift voucher.

orange-pi-lite-retro-gaming-console-kit

STMicro SensorTile is a Tiny STM32 Module with Bluetooth 4.1 LE and Four Sensor Chips

December 8th, 2016 No comments

STMicroelectronics SensorTile is a 13.5 x 13.5mm sensor board based on STM32L4 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, a MEMS accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor, a MEMS microphone, as well as a 2.4Ghz radio chip for Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy connectivity for wearables, smart home, and IoT projects.

stmicro-sensortile

SensorTile hardware specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32L476 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller@ up to 80 MHz with 128 KB RAM, 1MB flash
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 Smart/LE via BlueNRG-MS network processor with integrated 2.4GHz radio compliant with
  • Sensors
    • LSM6DSM 3D accelerometer + 3D gyroscope
    • LSM303AGR 3D Magnetometer + 3D accelerometer
    • LPS22HB pressure sensor/barometer
    • MP34DT04 digital MEMS microphone
  • I/Os – 2x 9 half holes with access to UART, SPI, SAI (Serial Audio Interface), I2C, DFSDM, USB, OTG, ADC, and GPIOs signals
  • Debugging – SWD interface (multiplexed with GPIOs)
  • Power Supply Range – 2V to 5.5 V
  • Dimensions – 13.5 x 13.5 mm
SensorTile's Functional Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

SensorTile’s Functional Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Software development can be done through a sets of APIs based on the STM32Cube Hardware Abstraction Layer and middleware components, including the STM32 Open Development Environment. The module is supported by Open Software eXpansion Libraries, namely Open.MEMS, Open.RF, and Open.AUDIO, with various example programs allowing you to get started. Several third-party embedded sensing and voice-processing projects also support the module. The module also comes pre-loaded with BLUEMICROSYSTEM2 firmware, and can be controlled with “ST BlueMS” app found on Apple Store and Google Play.

sensortile-kit

But the best way to get started is with SensorTile kit including SensorTile core module and:

  • STLCR01V1 cradle board with a footprint for SensorTile core board, HTS221 humidity and temperature sensor, a micro-SD card socket, a micro USB port, a lithium-polymer battery (LiPo) charger, and a SWD header.
  • A LiPo rechargeable battery and a plastic case for the cradle board, SensorTile module, and battery
  • STLCX01V1 Arduino UNO R3 compatible cradle expansion board with analog stereo audio output, a micro-USB connector for power and communication, a reset button and a SWD header.
  • A programming cable

I could not find a price for SensorTile core module, but STEVAL-STLKT01V1 SensorTile kit can be purchased for $80.85 directly on STMicro website or their distributors. Visit SensorTile kit’s product page for further information include hardware design files, quick start guide, software and firmware downloads, purchase links, and more.

Nordic Semi Unveils nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 Ready SoC and Development Kit

December 7th, 2016 2 comments

Nordic Semiconductor nRF52xx Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz solutions are very often found in development kits and low power devices such as wearables, and it’s no surprise that the company introduced a new nRF52840 SoC supporting Bluetooth 5, the new standard promising twice the range, and four times the speed of BLE 4.x, as well as ANT, 802.15.4, 2.4GHz proprietary, and NFC connectivity.

nrf52840Nordic Semi nRF52840 key features and specifications:

  • MCU – 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 @ 64 MHz with with FPU
  • Memory & Storage – 256 KB RAM, 1MB Flash
  • Connectivity
    • Bluetooth 5-ready multiprotocol radio
    • Bluetooth 5 data rate support: 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 kbps, 125 kbps
    • 104 dB link budget for Bluetooth low energy
    • -96 dBm sensitivity for Bluetooth low energy
    • Programmable output power from +8 dBm to -20 dBm
    • NFC-A tag on chip
    • Single-ended antenna output (on-chip balun)
  • I/Os
    • USB – Full-speed 12 Mbps USB controller
    • SPI up to 32 MHz
    • Quad SPI up to 32 MHz
    • PPI — Programmable peripheral interface
    • EasyDMA
    • 12 bit/200 ksps ADC
  • Security – ARM Cryptocell CC310 cryptographic accelerator, 128 bit AES/ECB/CCM/AAR coprocessor
  • Power Supply –  1.7 V to 5.5 V; individual power management for all peripherals; regulated supply for external components up to 25 mA

nRF52840 is “on-air-compatible with nRF51, nRF24L and nRF24AP Series”, and target advanced wearables, IoT, and interactive entertainment devices (remote controls / controllers).

nRF52840 Preview Development Kit - Click to Enlarge

nRF52840 Preview Development Kit – Click to Enlarge

The company has also launched nRF52840 Preview Development Kit to get started with evaluation and development.  The development board is hardware compatible with Arduino Uno Rev. 3 to allow the use of common Arduino shields, and also includes 4 LEDs and 4 buttons, all programmable by the user. It supports Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth low energy, ANT, 802.15.4 and 2.4GHz proprietary using the latest S140 SoftDevice software stack, as well as NFC thanks to an external antenna included in the kit.  The kit is compatible with Nordic Software Development Toolchain using Keil, IAR and GCC, and can be programmed & debugging with Segger J-Link OB.

Samples and the development kit are available now at an undisclosed price. You’ll find more details about the nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 SoC and development kit on the product page.

Hardkernel ODROID-VU8C is 8″ LCD Display and Case Kit for ODROID C1+ and C2 Boards

December 6th, 2016 7 comments

While it’s quite easy to find displays for development boards, they do not always come with a case, so you’d have to make your own. One easier option for the Raspberry Pi boards is the official Raspberry Pi 7″ LCD touch screen Display, plus RS Premium touchscreen case that selling for $132 in total including Raspberry Pi 3 board. But Hardkernel has now launched their own ODROID-VU8C 8″ Touch Display Shell Kit compatible with ODROID-C1+ and ODROID-C2 boards.

odroid-vu8cSpecifications and Kit Contents:

  • 8-inch TFT-LCD with 1024×768 resolution (4:3 ratio)
  • 10 finger capacitive touch input
  • Back-light brightness control with ODROID GPIO PWM
  • Viewing angle : Left 75, Right 75, Up 75, Down 75 degree
  • Screen Dimensions : 189 x 149 x 29 mm
  • Viewable screen size : 162 x121.5 mm (active area)
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A DC to power barrel (powering both the LCD and ODROID ARM Linux board)
  • Power consumption – 700mA/5Volt (Only LCD and display controller)
  • Plastic bottom case
  • DVI to LVDS Converter board
  • HDMI dual gender board
  • 8 x 3.5mm screws; 2port jumper cable
  • Cables – Micro-to-Micro USB Cable (approx. 8cm), Micro-to-TypeA USB Cable (approx. 20cm)

odroid-8-inch-display-assemblyYou’ll have to provide your own ODROID-C1+ or ODROID-C2 board, micro SD card or eMMC module, and assemble the kit. Bear in mind that after assembly, it’s not possible, or rather not convenient, to remove the micro SD card or eMMC module. It works with both Android and Linux operating system, but you’ll have to make sure you use a recent version of the firmware (Linux 3.10.80-128 or higher) and change boot.ini file to 1024×768 (60Hz) resolution (setenv m “1024x768p60hz”) and DVI mode (setenv vout_mode “dvi”). The hardware design is interesting as they’ve used a DVI to RGB converter and a RGB to LVDS converter, instead of just a DVI to LVDS converter, maybe because it’s hard to find?

ODROID-VU8C Block Diagram

ODROID-VU8C Block Diagram

If you still want to access the 40-pin GPIO header in the panel, you can do so easily through the “cutting line ”  on the case.

ODROID-VU8C sells for $90 on Hardkernel website, to which you’d need to add about $32/$40 for ODROID-C1+/C2 board, and shipping. If you’re based in North America, it will be better to purchase the kit from Ameridroid instead, Alternatively the company has other 5″ and 7″ display solutions for their board, but AFAIK there’s no specific case.

Firefly-RK3399 Rockchip RK3399 Development Board Launched on Kickstarter for $139 and Up

December 5th, 2016 18 comments

Firefly-RK3399 is the first, and for now the only one, development board equipped with the latest Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core Cortex A72 & A53 processor. It’s just not available yet, but the board has now been launched on Kickstarter where it is offered for $139 to $199 depending on options.

rk3399-development-board

Firefly-RK3399 board specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with dual core ARM Cortex A72 up to 2.0 GHz and quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with OpenGL 1.1 to 3.1 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and DX 11 support
  • System Memory
    • Standard – 2 GB DDR3
    • Plus devkit – 4 GB DDR3
  • Storage
    • Standard – 16 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card, M.2 socket
    • Plus devkit – 32 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card, M.2 socket
  • Video Output & Display Interfaces
    • 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
    • 1x DisplayPort (DP) 1.2 interface up to 4K @ 60Hz (via USB type C connector)
    • 1x eDP 1.3 (4-lanes @ 10.8 Gbps)
    • 1x MIPI DSI interface up to 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz
  • Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps
  • Audio
    • Via HDMI or DisplayPort
    • 3.5mm headphone jack with stereo audio output and mic input
    • optical S/PDIF
    • 1x LINE Out and 1x speaker via GPIO header; Speaker: 1.5W or 2.5 W per channel for respectively 8Ω or 4Ω speakers
    • Built-in microphone
    • I2S output and input interface up to 8 channels
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) port using RTL8211E transceiver, WiFi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6354 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
  • Camera
    • 2x MIPI CSI interfaces up to 13MP or 2x 8MP
    • 1x DVP camera interface up to 5MP
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial header
  • Expansion
    • 42-pin GPIO female header with access to 1x I2S, 2x ADC, 2x I2C, 1x SPI, 2x GPIO, 1x LINEOUT, 1x SPEAKER
    • 1x mini PCIe for LTE, 1x PCIe 2.1 M.2 slot B-key (2x PCIe, SATA, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HSIC, SSIC, Audio, UIM, I2C)
    • SIM card slot
  • Misc – RTC battery header; power & user LEDs; power, reset and recovery buttons; IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A DC (5.5×2.1mm barrel connector)
  • Dimensions – 12.4 x 9.3 mm (8-layer PCB)
  • Weight – Board: 89 grams; board + cooling fan and heatsink: 120 grams

The company will provide Android 6.0.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 firmware images for the board, including a dual boot image. There are also work-in-progress documentation and placeholder links to Android SDK and schematics in the product page which will hopefully soon link to the actual documents and files, as well as a work-in-progress Wiki. It may also be worth monitoring the company’s  Github account.

firefly-rk3399-boardThe company aims to raise $50,000 from the crowdfunding campaign, and you’d have to pledge $139 to get “Firefly-RK3399 Development Kit” with 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash together with a 12V/2A power adapter, a USB Type C adapter, a USB to UART serial board, a USB cable, and a a cooling fan (I assume with an heatsink). After the 50 first pieces, the price goes up to $159, and if you want the “Plus development kit” with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, you’d need to pledge $199 instead. Shipping adds $5 to $30 depending on the destination country, and delivery is planned for March 2017.

$59 HiFive1 Arduino Compatible Board is Powered by Sifive Open Source RISC-V MCU (Crowdfunding)

November 30th, 2016 8 comments

Royalty-free RISC-V instruction sets has been getting in the news in the last few years with various MMU designs from companies or projects like lowRISC, PULPino, and SiFive, and recently there are been rumors that Samsung may use RISC-V in their future IoT SoCs. Many projects are still in progress, and while you can get involved in OnChip Open-V MCU crowdfunding campaign to their get the MCU or a development board, the cost for the MCU ($49) and development board ($99) is a little on the high side, and delivery is expected in 2018 for most rewards. SiFive appears to have a more interesting open source RISC-V solution with HiFive1 Arduino compatible board going for $59 and slated to ship between December 2016 and February 2017.

HiFive1 Board

HiFive1 Board

HiFive1 development board specifications:

  • MCU – SiFive Freedom E310 (FE310) 32-bit RV32IMAC processor @ up to 320+ MHz (1.61 DMIPS/MHz)
  • Storage – 128 Mbit SPI flash
  • I/Os
    • 19x Digital I/O Pins
    • 19x external interrupt pins
    • 1x external wakeup pin
    • 9x PWM pins
    • 1/3 SPI Controllers/HW CS Pins
    • I/O Voltages –  3.3V or 5V supported
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power, programming and debugging
  • Power Supply – 5 V via USB or 7 to 12V via DC Jack; Operating Voltage: 3.3 V and 1.8 V
  • Dimensions – 68 mm x 51 mm
  • Weight – 22 g

sifive-fe310

The company’s Freedom SDK with the RTL files for Freedom E310 (and U500) MCUs will allow you to actually play and/or modify the MCU on an FPGA platform, which can be useful for education or if you want to create your own MCU based on SiFive design. If you don’t have the know-how the company’s “chips-as-a-service” offering can customize FE310/U500 MCU to meet your needs.

 Most users will probably just program the board with the Arduino IDE, and many of the usual development tools have already been ported to RISC-V architecture. The processor is also quite faster than our typical Arduino, being about 10 times faster than Intel Curie and Atmel SAMD21G18 used in respectively Arduino 101 and Arduino Zero.

hifive1-vs-arduino

Power efficiency (@ 200 MHz) appears to be much higher compared to Atmel AVR and Intel Quark. However, based on ARM Cortex M0 product brief (I could not find data for M0+), 10DMIPS/mW can be achieved using 180ULL process, and 75 DMIPS/mW with 65LP process.

If you are interested, you can get the board on Crowdsupply with the HiFive1 devkit going for $59 and shipping in February 2017, but if you want to have a piece of history, you may consider HiFive1 Founder Edition for $79 with SiFive Founding Team’s Signature on the silkscreen and shipping at the end of December 2016. Shipping is free to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world.

RISC-V could be a serious competitor to ARM and MIPS in the MCU/IoT space in the years ahead, as it’s royalty-free, and the RISC-V foundation has many players including some heavy weights such as Google, AMD, Microsemi, Qualcomm, Nvidia and more…

Thanks to noone for the tip.

LeMaker HiKey 96Boards Board Sells for $29.70 (Promo)

November 29th, 2016 17 comments

[Update: The promo is over back!]

You’d think Cyber Monday should be over by now, but ITEAD Studio still has a clearance with real 70% discount, as 96Boards hardware compliant LeMaker Hikey board is now sold for just $29.70 instead of the usual $99 price.

96boards-discountA quick reminder of the specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3 @ 800 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video Output / Display – HDMI up to 1080p, MIPI-DSI interface
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE (WL1835MOD module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Camera – MIPI CSI interface
  • Debugging – UART header), unpopulated 10-pin JTAG header (back)
  • Expansion headers
    • 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector – UART, I2C, 12x GPIOs, SPI, PCM, PWM, SYS_DCIN, 1.8V, 5V, and GND,
    • 60-pin HS (High Speed) Expansion connector – SDIO, MIPI_DSI, MIPI_CSI, I2C, USB 2
  • Misc – Power button, jumper for power/boot/user, LEDs for Wi-Fi/Bt, and 4x User LED
  • Power Supply – 8-18V @ 3A as per 96Boards specs via 4.5/1.7mm power jack. Hi6553V100 PMU
  • Dimensions – 85 x 55 mm

You’ll be able to run Android and Debian images provided by Linaro. The board is also one the rare development board to be officially supported by AOSP.

You may also be interested in LeMaker Guitar quad core ARM Cortex A9 board sold for $13.50 with 1GB RAM.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

Theobroma Announces Rockchip RK3368 and RK3399 Qseven System-on-Modules

November 29th, 2016 2 comments

Theobroma Systems, an embedded system company based in Austria, has designed several Allwinner systems-on-module compliant with μQseven & Qseven standards in the past. The company has now started to work with Rockchip and reached “an advanced design stage” for the development of μQseven and QSeven systems-on-module powered by RK3368 and RK3399 processors.

rockchip-rk3399

RK3368-uQ7 module specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3368 octa-Core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.2GHz with Imagination Technologies PowerVR G6110 GPU
  • System Memory – up to 4GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM on-module (512MB, 1GB, 2GB (default) and 4GB configuration available)
  • Storage – Up to 128GB eMMC flash on-module (8GB default), 16 Mbit to 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash on-module
  • Video Capabilities –  H.264 decoding up to 2160p30, H.265 decoding up to 2160p60, video encoding up to 1080p30
  • Connectivity – GbE PHY on-module
  • CAN – On-module communication offload controller for CAN
  • 230-pin MXM edge connector with:
    • 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 dual-role port, 3x USB 2.0 host port
    • Display – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K (60fps), LVDS (single-channel), MIPI-DSI, Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) up to 4 lanes (2.7Gb/s each)
    • Camera – MIPI-CSI, each with 4 lanes (up to 1Gb/s per lane)
    • Additional Interfaces – UART, 8x GPIO, I2S, I2C, SMBus, SPI, FAN, CAN
  • Security Module – Global Platform 2.2.1 compliant JavaCard environment, on-module EAL4-certified smartcard controller
  • Power Supply – 5V supply
  • Power Consumption – < 9W
  • Dimensions – 70 x 40mm (μQseven 2.1 form factor)
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0°C to 60°C; Industrial: -20°C to 85°C
Click to Enlarge

Theobroma “Hainan” carrier board for Q7 and μQ7 modules – Click to Enlarge

RK3399-Q7 module specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-Core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 up to 2.0 GHz (48KB+32KB L1 cache and 1024KB L2 cache), 4x Cortex-A53 (32KB+32KB L1 cache and 512KB L2 cache), and an ARM Mali-T864MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – up to 4GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM on-module (512MB, 1GB, 2GB (default) and 4GB configuration available)
  • Storage – Up to 128GB eMMC flash on-module (8GB default), 16 Mbit to 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash on-module
  • Video Capabilities –  Decoding up to 2160p60, encoding up to 1080p30
  • Connectivity – GbE PHY on-module
  • CAN – On-module communication offload controller for CAN
  • 230-pin MXM edge connector with:
    • 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
    • USB – 1x USB 3.0 superspeed dual-role port, 2x USB 3.0 superspeed host ports, 1x USB 2.0 host port
    • Display – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K (60 Hz), 2x MIPI-DSI up to 250×1600 @ 60 Hz, Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) up to 4 lanes (2.7Gb/s each)
    • Camera – 2x MIPI CSI, each with 4 lanes (up to 1.5 Gb/s per lane)
    • 4-lane PCIe 2.1
    • Additional Interfaces – UART, 8x GPIO, I2S, I2C, SMBus, SPI, FAN, CAN
  • Security Module – Global Platform 2.2.1 compliant JavaCard environment, on-module EAL4-certified smartcard controller (optional)
  • Power Supply – 5V supply
  • Power Consumption – < 15W
  • Dimensions – 70 x 70 mm (Qseven form factor)
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0°C to 60°C; Industrial: -20°C to 85°C

Both modules support Linux and Android 6.0 operating systems, and the company can provide Hainan development kit with a carrier board to get started with development.

RK3399-Q7 SOM will ship to early-access customers in Q1 2017, I could not find availability information for RK3368 module. You’ll find some more details in the announcement, and RK3399-Q7 product page.