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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

Texas Instruments CC3200 WiFi SensorTag is Now Available for $40

March 15th, 2017 No comments

Texas Instruments launched SensorTag in 2013, and at the time there was just a Bluetooth 4.0 LE version with 6 different sensors. I bought one for $25 at the time, and tried it with a Raspberry Pi board and a BLE USB dongle. Since then, the company has launched a new multi standard model (CC2650STK) supporting Buetooth low energy, 6LoWPAN, and ZigBee, and has just started to take orders for CC3200 WiFi SensorTag for $39.99, which seems expensive in a world of $2 ESP8266 modules.

But let’s see what the kit has to offer:

  • Wireless MCU – Texas Instruments CC3200 SimpleLink ARM Cortex-M4 MCU @ up to 80 MHz, with up to 256KB RAM, Hardware Crypto Engine, DMA engine
  • Storage – 1 MB serial flash memory
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with on-board inverted-F antenna with RF connector for conducted testing
  • Sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor (OPT3001), humidity sensor (HDC1000), IR temperature sensor (TMP007), and pressure sensor (BMP280)
  • Expansion – 20-pin DevPack SKIN connector
  • Debugging – Debug and JTAG interface for flash programing
  • Misc – 2x buttons, 2x LEDs, reed relay MK24, digital microphone, and a buzzer for user interaction
  • Power – 2x AAA batteries good for up to 3 months (with 1 minute update interval)

So it has plenty of sensors to play with, and rather long battery life for a WiFi evaluation platform. The kit ships with one CC3200 WiFi SensorTag, two AAA batteries, and a getting started guide.

WiFi SensorTag Mobile App – Click to Enlarge

Resources includes hardware design files (schematics, PCB layout, BoM, etc..), iOS and Android apps and source code, IoT Device Monitor for Windows, Code Composer Studio, and cloud-based development tools. Note that there’s no embedded software for the Wi-Fi SensorTag, it is only a a demo platform, while you can modify cloud-based applications, you can’t modify the firmware. If you want an embedded development platform, you’d have to go with CC3200 LaunchPad board. You can still have some fun SensorTag using Android or iOS app, or connecting it to IBM Watson IoT Platform.

Visit SensorTag page for further information.

NVIDIA Introduces Jetson TX2 Embedded Artificial Intelligence Computer

March 8th, 2017 9 comments

NVIDIA has just announced an upgrade to to their Jetson TX1 module, with Jetson TX2 “Embedded AI Computer” with Tegra X2 Parker SoC that either doubles the performance of its predecessor, or runs at more than twice the power efficiency, while drawing less than 7.5 watts of power.

The company provided a comparison showing the differences between TX1 and TX2 modules.

Jetson TX2 Jetson TX1
GPU NVIDIA Pascal, 256 CUDA cores NVIDIA Maxwell, 256 CUDA cores
CPU HMP Dual Denver 2/2 MB L2 +
Quad ARM® A57/2 MB L2
Quad ARM® A57/2 MB L2
Video 4K x 2K 60 Hz Encode (HEVC)
4K x 2K 60 Hz Decode (12-Bit Support)
4K x 2K 30 Hz Encode (HEVC)
4K x 2K 60 Hz Decode (10-Bit Support)
Memory 8 GB 128 bit LPDDR4
58.3 GB/s
4 GB 64 bit LPDDR4
25.6 GB/s
Display 2x DSI, 2x DP 1.2 / HDMI 2.0 / eDP 1.4 2x DSI, 1x eDP 1.4 / DP 1.2 / HDMI
CSI Up to 6 Cameras (2 Lane)
CSI2 D-PHY 1.2 (2.5 Gbps/Lane)
Up to 6 Cameras (2 Lane)
CSI2 D-PHY 1.1 (1.5 Gbps/Lane)
PCIe Gen 2 | 1×4 + 1×1 OR 2×1 + 1×2 Gen 2 | 1×4 + 1×1
Data Storage 32 GB eMMC, SDIO, SATA 16 GB eMMC, SDIO, SATA
Other CAN, UART, SPI, I2C, I2S, GPIOs UART, SPI, I2C, I2S, GPIOs
USB USB 3.0 + USB 2.0
Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth
Mechanical 50 mm x 87 mm (400-Pin Compatible Board-to-Board Connector)

The module still supports Linux for Tegra, as well as JetPack 3.0 SDK for AI computing with the following:

  • TensorRT 1.0  neural network inference engine for production deployment of deep learning applications
  • cuDNN 5.1, a GPU-accelerated library of primitives for deep neural networks
  • VisionWorks™ 1.6, a software development package for computer vision and image processing
  • The latest graphics drivers and APIs, including OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.2, EGL 1.4 and Vulkan 1.0
  • CUDA 8, which turns the GPU into a general-purpose massively parallel processor, giving developers access to tremendous performance and power-efficiency

Just like with Jetson TX1 module, NVIDIA also provides Jetson TX2 Developer Kit, with a carrier board, Jetson TX2 module, and various accessories which can be preordered for $599 in the United States and Europe, and start shipping on March 14. The devkit will be launched in other regions in a few weeks. With the launch of the new TX2 devkit, NVIDIA also reduced the price of Jetson TX1 developer kit to $499.

You’ll find more details, and the pre-order link on NVIDIA’s Embedded Modules & Devkits page.

Trenz Electronic TE0808 UltraSOM+ is a Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ ZU9EG System-on-Module

February 21st, 2017 1 comment

Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ ARM Cortex A53 + FPGA SoC have now started to show up in boards such as AXIOM Board based on Zynq Ultrascale+ ZU9EG. Price for the board has not been announced, and while a similar Xilinx development kit goes for close to $3,000, some people are expecting the board to sell for $400 to $600. Since the price of FPGA vary a lot from a few dollars to $40,000 for the top end chips, I decided to find pricing info about Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoCs which lead me to Trenz Electronic TE0808 system-on-module, which was unveiled in May last year, and I’ll cover in the second part of this post, after – hopefully quickly – describing Zynq Ultrascale+ family and nomenclature, and addressing the price “issue”.

First, there are three sub-families within Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC portfolio:

  • CG models with 2x Cortex A53, 2x Cortex R5, FPGA fabric
  • EG models with 4x Cortex A53, 2x Cortex R5, a Mali-400 GPU, and FPGA fabric
  • EV models based on EG, but adding a H.264 / H.265 video codec capable of simultaneous encode and decode up to 4Kx2K (60fps)

Within each sub-families there are multiple parts that differ by their number of logic cells, and I/Os. Since AXIOM board is using ZU9EG, I focused on EG family which start from ZU2EG up to ZU19EG.

Click to Enlarge

Once you’ve selected a part like ZU9EG, you’ll need to select a package ranging from FFVC900 (900-pin) to FFVE1924 (1924-pin), and offering options in terms of the number of the number serial transceivers and I/Os. So I plan to check the price for ZU9EG with FFBV900 package which should be the cheapest for that model.

While 1688.com is a great site to check price for Chinese SoCs, you’ll probably want to use Octopart to check for other silicon vendors, and that’s what I did to check ZZU9EG-FFVC900 price. The cheapest I could find was on AVNet Asia for $2407 in single unit. The price should go down a bit in multiple quantities, but we should still expect boards based on this model to be around $2,500 to 3,000.

With that out of the way, let’s now look at Trenz Electronics’ SoM.

Click to Enlarge

TE0808 UltraSOM+ specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ ZU9EG MPSoC with four ARM Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.2 GHz, two Cortex R5 “real-time” cores @ 500MHz, a Mali-400MP GPU, 600K System Logic Cells
  • System Memory –  2GB 64-Bit DDR4 by default (up to 8 GB supported)
  • Storage – 2x 32 MB dual parallel SPI Boot Flash by default (up to 512 MB supported)
  • User I/Os:
    • 65x MIO, 48x high-density (HD) I/Os (all), 156x high performance (HP) I/Os  (3 banks)
    • Serial transceiver – 4x GTR + 16 x GTH
    • Transceiver clocks inputs and outputs
    • PLL clock generator inputs and outputs
  • Board to Board Connectors – 4x 160-pin
  • Power Supply – Single 3.3V power source required; 14 on-board DC-DC regulators and 13 LDOs; LP, FP, PL separately controlled power domains
  • Dimensions – 76 x 52 mm; 3mm mounting hole for skyline heat spreader

Click to Enlarge

Two models are available with TE0808-03ES2 and TE0808-03-02I with the later coming with the first one based on XCZU9EG-1FFVC900 and the second XCZU9EG-2FFVC900I. I could not find what the differences are between “1FF” and “2FF” SoC. Note that the ICs used are currently engineering samples. The company recommends Vivado HL Design Edition to program the FPGA part of the chip, and PetaLinux 2016.4 is running on the ARM cores. You’ll find all technical information you may need via the Wiki, and support from the forums.

Trenz can also provide TEBF0808-04 baseboard for development, part of TE0808-03ES2-S Starter Kit with a E0808-03 module  SoM, a black Core V1 Mini-ITX Enclosure, a 12 V power supply, 2x XMOD FTDI JTAG Adapter, an 8 GB micro SD card, a USB cable and two Phillips screws.

Starter Kit and Baseboard – Click to Enlarge

Baseboard key features and specifications:

  • Storage – micro SD card, eMMC flash (both bootable), 1x SATA connector
  • Video Output – Displayport Single Lane PS GT Connected
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45, Dual SFP+
  • USB – USB3 with USB3 HUB
  • Expansion
    • PCIe slot – PS GT Connected, one PCIe lane (16 Lane Connector)
    • FMC HPC Slot (1.8V max VCCIO)
    • One Samtec FireFly (4 GT lanes bidir)
    • One Samtec FireFly connector for reverse loopback
    • CAN FD Transceiver (10 Pin IDC Connector)
  • Debugging – 20 Pin ARM JTAG Connector (PS JTAG0)
  • Misc – Fan connectors, FMC Fan, Intel front panel connector (PWR/RST/LED), Intel HDA Audio connector
  • Power Supply
    • ATX Power supply connector (12V only PS Required)
    • Optional 12V Standard Power Plug
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor

TE0808-03ES2 SoM sells for 2,500 Euros in low quantities excluding VAT and shipping costs, TE0808-03-02I for 3,500 Euros, and the Starter Kit for 3,800 Euros. Prices go down to as low as 1,750 Euros per unit  for orders of 1,000 modules or more. You’ll find purchase links on Trenz Electronic’ shop TE0808 Ultrascale+ page.

Samsung Introduces Artik 530 IoT Module & Development Kit with WiFi, BLE, and Zigbee/Thread

February 9th, 2017 No comments

Samsung unveiled Artik 1, Artik 5, and Artik 10 IoT modules & development board families in 2015, but since then they dropped the Artik 1 family, and instead launched Artik 0, Artik 5, and Artik  7 modules and boards late last year. More recently the company canceled the more powerful Artik 1020 development board, but the Artik project is still going on, as they’ve just added Artik 530 module & development kit to their Artik 5 family.

Artik 530 Module – Click to Enlarge

Samsung ARTIK 530 module specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed Quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with a 3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC v4.5 flash
  • Connectivity – Dual band SISO 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LE + Classic, 802.15.4/Zigbee/Thread, 10/100/1000M MAC (external PHY required)
  • Other Interfaces and peripherals
    • Camera – 4-lane MIPI CSI up to 5MP (1920×1080 @ 30fps)
    • Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI and HDMI 1.4a (1920×1080 @ 60fps), or LVDS (1280×720 @ 60 fps)
    • Audio – 2x I2S audio input/output
    • Analog & digital I/O – GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, USB host, USB OTG, HSIC, ADC, PWM, I2S, JTAG
  • Security – Secure point to point authentication and data transfer
  • Power Supply – PMIC with on-board bucks and LDO
  • Dimensions – 49x36mm

Artik 530 module block diagram – Click to enlarge

Samsung did not make it easy to find which operating system is running on their modules, but after reading a few pages in the getting started guide, I found out the module should be running Fedora. The Wiki shows Fedora 22 with Linux 3.10.93, but they have upgraded to Fedora 24 since then. The product brief however includes more details about the BSP which including drivers for wireless community, multimedia, and other systems peripherals and interface, as well as power management code and security with secure boot, Artik cloud authentication API, and a crypto library based on OpenSSL.

Click to Enlarge

Since the module is not exactly convenient to use without baseboard, most people will likely start with Artik 530 developer kit with the “Interposer board” with an ARTIK 530 module, a “Platform board” that attached under the Interposer board with extra interfaces (MPI DSI/CSI, audio jack), an “Interface Board” with two female header to easily connect external hardware, and two wireless communication antennas.

Artik 530 Development Kit

You can optionally also get a MIPI camera board and/or a sensor board. The boards are described on details in what’s in the box part of the documentation.

Artik 530 module can be purchased for as low as $42.35 in quantities on Digikey or Arrow, while the developer kit goes for $189 and up, also on Digikey or Arrow.

Via Tizen Experts

F&S Elektronik Introduces efus A53LS NXP QorIQ LS1012A System-on-Module for Communication & Networking Applications

February 2nd, 2017 No comments

NXP QorIQ LS1012A is a single core Cortex A53 communication processor that offers a 64-bit update to LS1021A dual core Cortex A7 processors found in gateways such as NXP LS1021A-IOTA IoT gateway reference design, and F&S Elektronik System has just launched efus A53LS system-on-module powered by the processor with up to 1GB RAM, up to 64SQPI NOR, access to the communication interfaces and peripherals from the processor via an efus compliant edge connector, and long term availability until 2030.

efus A53LS COM specifications:

  • Processor – NXP QorIQ Layerscape LS1012A  single core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 800MHz
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 by default, supports up to 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – Up to 64MB QSPI NOR flash on-module, I/Os for SATA and SD card on edge connector
  • Connectivity – 2x Realtek RTL8211F(N) Gigabit Ethernet transceiver chips, optional wireless module with dual WiFi IEEE802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 LE

    A53LS SoM Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

  • efus edge connector with
    • 1x SDIO
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet
    • 1x USB 3.0 OTG port
    • 1x CAN, 1x UART
    • 1x PCIe
    • 1x SATA
  • Supply Voltage – +5VDC/ ±5%
  • Power Consumption – 1W typ.
  • Operating Temperature Range – 0°C to +70°C; optional -20°C to +85°C
  • Dimensions – 47 x 62.1 x 11 mm
  • Weight – ~15g

The module comes with u-boot installed in the NOR flash, and supports Linux built with either Buildroot or the Yocto Project.

QorIQ LS1012A Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The company will also provide efus A53LS-SKIT starter kit including a SoM and a baseboard pre-loaded with Linux, as well as a cable kit and access to the documentation and software, and EAGLE hardware files. No details have been made available for the starter kit so far. Support is offered over their forums, or a workshop can be organized if needed.

All info and documentation is still preliminary, but efus A53LS computer-on-module, and starker kit are expected to launch this quarter. More information should eventually surface on the product page.

Via LinuxGizmos

RTL8710 Ameba Arduino Development Board and Ameba Arduino v2.0.0 SDK Released

January 20th, 2017 1 comment

We’ve already seen a NodeMCU lookalike board called RTLDuino based on Realtek RTL8710AF ARM Cortex M3 WiSoC earlier this month, that can be programmed with a community supported Arduino port also called rtlduino via a JLink SWD debugger, but now Realtek has just launched Ameba RTL8710 Arduino board, and released Ameba Arduino v2.0.0 SDK which brings official Arduino support to RTL8710AF platforms.

Click to Enlarge

There appears to be two versions of the development kit: RTLDUINO_PRO_V1.0 and REALTEK-AMEBA_RTL8710_V2.0, but based on the user manual they seem to be identical, and as you can see from the above picture, it includes a baseboard and the aforementioned RTLDuino board.

RTL8710 Ameba Arduino HDK key features:

  • SoC – Realtek RTL8710AF ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 83 MHz with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, hardware SSL engine connected to the baseboard via:
    1. RTLDuino board through female header
    2. B&T RTL-00 module soldered on module footprint
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports, CON2 used for power and Arduino programming, CON1 used for DAP programming (TBC)
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO headers with GPIOs, power signals, 2x UART, SPI, I2C, and 4x PWM
  • Debug Headers – 4-pin Mbed connector, 10-pin Jlink connector, 4-pin for serial console
  • Misc – T/R & n/R buttons maybe to select programming mode?, reset and test buttons

Pinout Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The documentation in English is still work in progress, but Realtek already released a getting started guide to program the board with Arduino IDE 1.6.5 or later. The guide only mentions Windows, so it’s unclear whether Linux is supported for now, but the steps are pretty simple:

  1. Install mbed serial drivers
  2. Install Ameba board packages in Arduino IDE
  3. Connect the board via USB to your computer, and select Ameba RTL8710 board in Arduino IDE
  4. Use Blink program to blink an LED connected to GPIO 13.
  5. Profit!

Ameba RTL8710 & Arduino IDE – Click to Enlarge

I understand you may not even need to use RTL8710 Ameba Arduino SDK for this if you have a board with the latest firmware. If not, you may need to update the firmware, but there’s no documentation about this, and it’s unclear whether this can be done via the RTLDUINO / AMEBA_RTL8710 baseboard, or a separate JLINK SWD debugger is needed.

The SDK has been released on Ameba IoT China website, and will soon be on Ameba IoT (English) website. The hardware development kit can be purchased for NT$ 630.0 in Taiwan, and 150 CNY (~$22) on Taobao. If you live outside of China, you could use a Taobao agent to ship to your country, or probably better, wait until Realtek gets a worldwide distributor. [Update: The board (pre-order) sells on Seeed Studio for $19.90]

Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Modules CM3 and CM3L Launched for $30 and $25

January 16th, 2017 14 comments

We all knew Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 were about to be launched soon, as the Raspberry Pi foundation announced a partnership with NEC displays last October, and the datasheet for two version of the Broadcom BCM2837 based system-on-module, CM3 and CM3L (Light), was released shortly after. The good news is that the modules have officially been launched for $30 and $25 for respectively Compute Module 3 with 4GB flash, and Compute Module 3 Light with the SD card signals exposed via the SO-DIMM connector. The foundation has also lowered the original compute module price to $25.

Here are Compute Module 3 specifications as a reminder:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Videocore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage
    • CM3L – SD card signals through SO-DIMM connector
    • CM3 – 4GB eMMC flash
  • 200-pin edge connector with:
    • 48x GPIO
    • 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 2x UART
    • 2x SD/SDIO, 1x NAND interface (SMI)
    • 1x HDMI 1.3a
    • 1x USB 2.0 HOST/OTG
    • 1x DPI (Parallel RGB Display)
    • 1x 4-lane CSI Camera Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane), 1x 2-lane CSI Camera Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane)
    • 1x 4-lane DSI Display Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane), 1x 2-lane DSI Display Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane)
  • Power Supply – VBAT (2.5V to 5.0V) for BCM2837 processor core, 3.3V for PHYs, UI and eMMC flash, 1.8V for PHYs, IO, and SDRAM, VDAC (2.8V typ.) for video composite DAC, GPIO0-27_VREF & GPIO28-45_VREF (1.8 to 3.3V) for the two GPIO banks.
  • Dimensions – 67.6 x 31 mm; compliant with JEDEC MO-224 mechanical specification used in DDR2 SO-DIMM memory module
  • Temperature Range – -25 to +80 degrees Celsius

The module is mostly electrically & mechanically backward compatible with the original Compute Module, and benefits from the software running on Raspberry Pi 3 board. You’ll find specific documentation here.

In order to get started quickly, a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 devkit is also offered with a CM3 module and a “Compute Module IO V3” baseboard exposing GPIO headers, an HDMI port, a USB port, a micro SD slot, and more.

Raspberry Pi Compute Modules CM3 and CM3L, as well as the development kit (~$150), can be purchased on RS Components and element14.

ESP32-WROVER-KIT Devkit Supports Espressif ESP32 Modules, Includes a 3.2″ LCD Display

December 30th, 2016 5 comments

Yesterday Olimex wrote a blog post informing us that ESP32-CoreBoard was back in stock, one the many ESP32 boards launched late this year, but still hard to get. The company also mentioned they’d have limited quantity of the new ESP32-WROVER with JTAG and LCD display together with the picture below.

esp32-wrover-esp32-lcd-kit

ESP32 is quite more powerful than ESP8266 so it makes sense to have an ESP32 development kit with an LCD display. A quick DuckDuckGo search led me to ESP-WROVER-KIT Getting Started Guide, where we can find more details including the overall specifications:

  • Compatible with ESP-WROOM-32 and ESP32-WROVER modules based on ESP32 dual core Tensilica L108 processor clocked at up to 240 MHz with WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity
  • Storage – Micro SD slot
  • Display – 3.2″ LCD display connected via SPI
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion
    • 8-pin UART header
    • 6-pin SPI header
    • 48-pin header for I/Os and camera interface (standard OV7670 camera module supported)
  • Debugging – JTAG through USB interface (FTDI FT2232HL) or 14-pin header
  • Misc – CTS/RTS jumper; power selection (EXT or USB); RGB LED; boot & reset (EN) buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input; 5V to 3.3V LDO chip
  • Dimensions – 85.2 x 79.0 mm
ESP-WROVER-KIT Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

ESP-WROVER-KIT Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The rest of the getting started guide explains how to configure jumpers to set the power source, serial flow control, and JTAG. It also shows how to access the serial console with a typical 115200 8N1 connection, as well as compile and load a simple hello program with ESP-IDF SDK in Windows and Linux.

Image Source: HackerBoads

Image Source: HackerBoards

Beside the development kit itself, I also discovered the new ESP32-WROVER module with the same feature as ESP-WROOM-32 plus an extra 32Mbit pSRAM chip and an external antenna connector.

esp32-wrover

ESP32-WROVER Photo via ESP32 Twitter Account

The kit should be available in January based on Olimex’ blog post, but we don’t have any pricing info yet.