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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

WAVIoT LPWAN Technology Powers Low Cost Smart Water and Electricity Meters

January 20th, 2016 9 comments

With the rise of IoT and M2M applications, more and more Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) standards have been launched or being worked on, such as Sigfox, LoRa, 802.11ah “Hallow”, Weightless, etc… with all promising long range, low power consumption, and support for a high number of nodes. WAVIoT, a US startup founded in 2011, has decided to create its own solution called WAVIoT Nb-Fi (Narrowband Fidelity) that works in ISM bands, offers up to 50km line-of-sight range, supports up to 2 million nodes by gateway, lasts over 20 years on a small battery, and with WAVIoT said to cost as low as $2 per node. The technology is already available in smart electricity and water meters, and modules as shown in the picture below.

WavIOT_Meter_and_LPWAN_Radio_ModuleHere are some of WAVIoT Nb-Fi technical specifications:

  • DBPSK on physical layer of signal transmission;
  • End-nodes transmit radio signal in 10-500 kHz bandwidth
  • Minimum bit rate of 50 baud+ (8-10 bits per second)
  • Link budget available 184-194 dBm
  • Output power up to 25dBm (with FEM)
  • TX 250mA @ 27Bm, 90mA @ 16dBm, 44mA @ 14dBm
  • Sleep mode with RAM retention and wake-up timer running 1.5 μA
  • RF transceiver operates over a wide frequency range including 315MHz, 433MHz, 470MHz, 868MHz, 915MHz in the license-free Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency bands.

But the best way to see what the standard can do it to compare it to other solutions such as LoRa, Sigfox, LTE-M, WiFi, and Cellular.

Comparison Table

Click to Enlarge

(1) LoRa info source: Link Labs; (2) Sigfox info source: SigFox.

The table above has been provided by the WAVIoT, and while it’s informative, the data shown is likely to show WAVIoT Nb-IF in the best light possible.

You can already setup an ecosystem with WAVIoT, for example using WAVIoT GW200 base station combined with nodes using RM130 transceiver module ($15) supporting both Nb-Fi and LoRa, or smart meters such as SWM-1 smart water meter ($28)  or SEM-1 smart electricity meter ($59).

WAVIoT & LoRa RM-130 Development Kit

WAVIoT & LoRa RM-130 Development Kit

The company also provides a WAVIoT and LoRa development kit based on RM-130 transceiver module with the following hardware specifications:

  • MCU – SiLabs EFM32G210F128 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 32 MHz with 128 KB Flash and 16 KB RAM
  • RF Transceiver – Semtech SX1276 137 MHz to 1020 MHz Low Power Long Range Transceiver
  • Frequency Bands – 866.5 – 916.5 MHz
  • Radio protocols – LoRa, WAVIoT UNB
  • TX Power Range – -2…18.6 dBm, by 1 dBm steps
  • TX Current –  120mA @ 18.6dBm, 90mA @ 16dBm
  • RX Current – 16 mA
  • Sleep Current 10 µA
  • Expansion – 17 through holes for Power signals, as well as GPIO, USB, UART, SPI, I2Cm ADC, analog comparators, pulse counters, etc…
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG header, USB-UART interface
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB or 2.5 / 3.8V (selectable by jumper)
  • Dimensions –  80 × 38 × 11mm
  • Operating Temperature – – 40…85 °C

So WAVIoT is just using existing RF solutions, and seems to basically use the same hardware as LoRA, as Semtech SX1276 is featuring a “LoRa long range modem”, and the cost per node is likely lower because of its better scalability. The board supports add-on shields for LCD display, SWR sensor, and more.

The company provides a simple Windows GUI, command-line utilities for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, and an open source host-interface abstraction written for PCs and embedded microcontrollers. Several cloud solutions for data management and billing are offered. The development kit sells for $274.99.

You can find more details on WAVIoT website.

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Texas Instruments MSP432 LaunchPad Development Board Sells for $4.32 (Promo)

January 11th, 2016 7 comments

Texas Instruments has started the year by offering a deal on their 32-bit MSP432 LaunchPad Development Kit, dropping the cost from $12.99 to $4.32 for a limited time with coupon code 432@432.

MSP432P401R_LaunchPad

MSP432 Launchpad’s key features:

  • MCU – Texas Instruments MSP432P401R ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 48 MHz with FPU and DSP, 256KB flash, 64KB RAM
  • Expansion – 40 pin BoosterPack Connector, and support for 20-pin BoosterPacks
  • Misc – 2 buttons and 2 LEDs for user interaction
  • Debugging – Back-channel UART via USB to PC, Onboard XDS-110ET emulator featuring EnergyTrace+ Technology
  • Power – Micro USB connector

The kit includes the board, micro USB cable and a quick start guide. There’s plenty of technical documentation for the board, although for some unknown reasons,  I can’t download any PDF documents from TI website tonight.

MSP432 LaunchPad Discount

MSP432 LaunchPad Discount (Click to Enlarge)

The coupon is still working, but free shipping on TI eStore seems to be a thing of the past, as the total price adds $7 for shipping and handling to the US, and it goes up to $19 to countries in Asia.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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GigaDevice GD32 is a Faster, Software and Pin-to-pin STM32 Compatible Cortex M3 MCU

December 21st, 2015 2 comments

Las month, Olimex discovered a Chinese company called GigaDevice has made an STM32 clone called GD32 and compatible with STM32F103, but with higher core frequency (108MHz). Olimex has now posted an update after receiving a letter from GigaDevice, and trying GD32F103RBT6 MCU on their own STM32F103 boards. The company explained that GD32 was their own implementation, and claimed rights on GD32 trademarks, while Olimex discovered than GD32 was working just fine on their board having passed “all functional tests without any modifications”, and with all the same development tools and software code running fine.

Olimex_STM32_P103_GD32_MCU

Olimex STM32-P103 Board with GD32 MCU

GD32F103xx datasheet (PDF / English version) can be downloaded to find a few more details:

The GD32F103xx device incorporates the ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit processor core operating at 108 MHz frequency with Flash accesses zero wait states to obtain maximum efficiency. It provides up to 3 MB on-chip Flash memory and up to 96 KB SRAM memory. An extensive range of enhanced I/Os and peripherals connected to two APB buses. The devices offer up to three 12-bit ADCs, up to two 12-bit DACs, up to ten general-purpose 16-bit timers, two basic timers plus two PWM advanced-control timer, as well as standard and advanced communication interfaces: up to three SPIs, two I2Cs, three USARTs, two UARTs, two I2Ss, an USB 2.0 FS, a CAN and a SDIO.

The device operates from a 2.6 to 3.6 V power supply and available in –40 to +85 °C temperature range. Several power saving modes provide the flexibility for maximum optimization between wakeup latency and power consumption, an especially important consideration in low power applications.

Roger Clark also found out the board previously, and added support for GD32 to Arduino STM32. He also noticed that beside the fast clock speed, the zero wait state internal flash also provided performance improvements with GD32 delivering 64.41 VAX MIPS against 48.81 VAX  MIPS when both MCUs are clocked at the same 72 MHz frequency.

GD32 Board

GD32 Board

The tests were done on the GD32F103 board above, which can be purchased for 15 RMB (~$2.3 US) on Taobao. I also looked for GD32 board on Aliexpress, but the MCU does not appear to be very popular outside of China, and I only found one $12.75 GD32 + WiFi board. If you are based in China you have more more choice here and there with evaluation boards with LCD displays selling for 281 RMB (~$44 US) and up. You can also purchase various version of GD32 MCUs directly for $0.70 to $2.80 on Taobao.

Visit GigaDevice GD32 product page for some more details.

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Intrinsyc Introduces Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Cortex-A72-Class Development Board, SoM and MDPs

December 17th, 2015 2 comments

While there’s already an healthy choice of ARMv8 development board such as LeMaker Hikey, or Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, all those platforms are based on the lower end Cortex A53 64-bit ARM core, and ARM Cortex A57, let alone Cortex A72, boards are much more difficult to find, as they are much pricier and/or have limited availability. Intrinsyc may have released the first (somewhat) affordable and accessible Cortex-A72-class development board with Open-Q 820 development kit comprised of a SoM and a baseboard, as well as smartphone and tablet mobile development platforms (MDPs) based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core Kryo processor. While Kryo is a custom ARMv8 designed by Qualcomm, and not exactly a Cortex A72 core, both have similar performance, as shown in Snapdragon 820 Antutu and Kirin 950 Antutu results.

Open-Q_820_Cortex_A72_Development_Board

Open-Q 820 Development Kit (Display Optional)

Open-Q 820 board specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core Kryo cores with 2x cores @ up to 2.2GHz, and 2x cores @ up to 1.6GHz, an Adreno 530GPU, an Hexagon 680 DSP, and a 14-bit Spectra ISP.
  • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4 @ 1866 MHz (PoP)
  • Storage – 32GB UFS 2.0 Flash, micro SD slot
  • Display/Video Out
    • 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4086×2160 @ 60 fps
    • 2x MIPI-DSU 4-lane up to 2560×1600 (single port), or 4096×2160 (dual port) @ 60 fps
    • Optional 4.5″ FWVGA (854×480) touch display
  • Audio
    • 1x 3.5mm ANC jack for headset
    • 20-pin audio input header with 3x analog in, 3x digital in
    • 20-pin audio output header with 5x analog out 1x digital out
    • Qualcomm WCD9335 audio codec
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2×2 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1 (QCA6174), Qualcomm IZat Gen 8C GPS (WGR7640)
  • Camera – 3x MIPI-CSI  4-lane, dual ISP, up to 25MP. Optional 13MP camera module
  • USB – 1x micro USB 3.0 host, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG, 2x USB 2.0 host ports.
  • Debugging – 1x UART debug via USB micro-B port
  • Expansion
    • 8x DIO with pins configurable as I2C, SPI, UART, or GPIO
    • 1x mini-PCIe v1.2, 1x PCIe X1 slot v2.1
  • Power Supply – 12V DC
  • Dimension – Baseboard: 170 x 170mm; SoM: 82 x 42mm

Open-Q_820_Devkit_DescriptionThe company provides support for Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the board. Documentation is quite limited right now with only product briefs for the board and the SoM, but the company claims users will receive product documentation and access to complimentary tools and software updates.

Beside Open-Q 820 development kit, Intrinsyc also offers a smartphone MDP with a 6.2″ QHD display, and a tablet MDP with a 10.1″ 4K UHD (3840 × 2160) multi-touch display. Both will support 802.11ac with Qualcomm MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology, Blueooth 4.1, USB 3.0, and Qualcomm IZat location service. The tablet MDP has also has tri-band support, and supports multi-gigabit 802.11ad (11ad) Wi-Fi.

Intrinsyc Open-Q 820 development kit appears to be available now for $599 plus tax and shipping, the Tablet MDP for $999,  and the smartphone MDP will be $799, but it’s not quite ready for sale yet, and shipping is scheduled for December 31, 2015.

Via Linux Gizmos

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Wio Link is an ESP8266 Board Designed to Make IoT Projects Easier (Crowdfunding)

December 3rd, 2015 1 comment

There are already plenty of board or modules based on Espressif ESP8266 WiFi SoC, but if you don’t like soldering, or would rather avoid breadboards and some cables for your or your kids projects, Wio Link may be interested, as all you need to is to connect Grove modules required for your applications to get started, and Seeed Studio also took care of the low level software part and a drag-and-drop mobile app is provided, so software programming has been made easy too.

Wio_LinkWio Link hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif ESP8266EX Tensila SoC
  • Storage – 4MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11b/g/n WiFi, with WEP/TKIP/AES encryption support
  • Expansion – 6x Grove connectors: 3x digital, 1x analog, 1x UART and 1x I2C (3.3V I/Os)
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • 3.4 ~ 4.2V via external battery
    • Output DC Current – 1000mA MAX
    • Charge Current: 500mA MAX
  • Dimensions – 55mm*48mm
  • Weight – 26g
  • Certifications – CE/FCC/IC

That’s for the main board, and you can connect one or more of the many Grove modules available so far. Now just powered the board with a USB charger or a LiPo battery, and start the mobile app, available for Android and iOS, in order to setup the board, by dragging and dropping the Grove module(s) you’ve connected. The app will also let you upgrade the firmware over the air (OTA).

Wio_Linux_Visual_Configuration

The behavior of the board can either be set using IFTTT (if-this-then-that) applications through Seeed IFTTT channel, or programming the board with a RESTful API in Python, JavaScript, Node.js, PHP, Objective-C or Java.

Some sample applications include connected traffic lights, pet feeder, plant watering, and whatever you may think of, as you can see in the video below.

Seeed Studio has already raised well over their $20,000 target on the Kickstarter campaign in less than day, and while all $9 early bird rewards are gone, you could still pledge for a Wio Link development board for $12. You may also consider a kit with the board and some Grove modules starting at $29, and up to $89 for a kit with two Wio Link boards, and 16 Grove modules including sensors, a relay, some buttons, a servo, a speaker, and LED strip, and more. Shipping is $5 for most rewards, and free for the larger ones. Delivery is planned for March 2016.

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Nvidia Tegra X1 Development Board is Finally Available… for $599

November 11th, 2015 16 comments

When Nvidia introduced Nvidia Tegra X1 octa processor with a 256-core Maxwell GPU at the very beginning of the year, I was expecting Jetson TX1 is follow suit in the next few months, but instead the company launched Nvidia Shield Android TV box based on the processor. The company has now launched Jetson TX1 module and development board.

Tegra_TX1_system-on-moduleLet’s check the module first and its main specifications and features:

  • SoC – Nvidia Tegra X1 octa core processor with 4x ARM Cortex A57 cores, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and a 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 (25.6 gigabits/second)
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 Bluetooth ready, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Video –  4K video encode and decode
  • Camera – Support for 1400 megapixels/second
  • Dimensions – 50mm x 87mm

The module support Linux4Tegra operating system based on Ubuntu. Libraries and drivers to leverage the Maxwell GPU include cuDNN  CUDA-accelerated library for machine learning, VisionWorks CUDA-accelerated OpenVX 1.1 library and framework for computer vision, graphics drivers with support for OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan, and support for CUDA 7.0.

The company did not release that much information about the development board in the press release, but send a few samples to various blogs and developers, including Kangalow of Jetsonhacks.com.

Jeston TX1 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Jetson TX1 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The development board relies on TX1 module for the processor, storage, memory, and wireless connectivity, and a carrier board for I/O connectivity: is

  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Storage – SATA data+power, M.2 Key E connector, SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – USB 3.0 Type A, USB 2.0 Micro AB (supports recovery and host mode)
  • Display expansion header
  • Camera expansion header with a 5MP camera
  • Expansion –  PCI-E x4 slot, 40 pin Raspberry Pi somewhat compatible header, 30x pin header for extra GPIOs.
  • Dimensions – Fits in mini-ITX case

Kangalow reports the fan is not active very often with the heatsink providing enough cooling most of the time, and the performance feels like the one of a typical laptop in Ubuntu.

The guys at Phoronix also got a board, and while they did not run their own benchmarks yet, they shared some provided by Nvidia themselves pitting Tegra X1 (Linux4Tegra) against an Intel Core i7-6700K (Windows 8.1…) showing for example graphics performance (GFXBench 3.1) is similar, but Jetson TX1 consumes 5 times less power.

Jetson TX1 Board vs Skylake (iCore i7) Computer

Jetson TX1 Board vs Core i7 (Skylake) Computer

Jetson TK1 board with a 192-core GPU was $192, so you may dreamed that Jetson TX1 with a 256-core GPU would be $256, but it did not exactly turn out that way. Nvidia Jetson TX1 development kit will start showing for pre-order for respectively $599 (retail) / $299 (education) on November 12 in the US, with a launch in other regions in the next few weeks. The kit will include the module and carrier board, a camera board, a heatsink and fan and required cables. Jetson TX1 modules will be available in Q1 2016 for about $299 per unit for 1k order.

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Manifold mini PC Powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 Processor is Designed for Drones

November 4th, 2015 1 comment

DJI is known for their high-end drones such as Phantom 3 quadcopter, but the company has now launched Manifold mini PC powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core Cortex A15 processor and running Ubuntu 14.04 in order to allow developers run their own applications performing complex computing tasks and advanced image processing “on the fly”.

manifoldDJI Manifold specifications:

  • SoC – Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core Cortex-A15 processor @ up to 2.2 GHz with 192-core Kepler GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 4.51 flash, micro SD slot
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port
  • Audio I/O – mini HDMI, combo audio jack for microphone and headphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (supports Force Recovery mode and Host mode) ,  and a non-standard USB 2.0 interface with the drone.
  • Camera – Camera In and Camera Out ports
  • Expansion
    • Half-size mini PCIe slot
    • 26-pin I/O expansion header with SPI, I2C
  • Debugging – UART interface
  • Misc –  Power, reset, and recovery buttons
  • Power Supply – 14V-26V AC adapter
  • Power Consumption – 15W max.
  • Dimensions – 11 x 11 x 2.6 cm
  • Weight – > 200 grams

Manifold_portsThe company provides Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for the mini PC with support for CUDA, OpenCV, and ROS. There are three SDKs on the developer website: Mobile SDK, On-board SDK, and Guidance SDK for Windows, Linux, and Arduino, but it is unclear whether they are used directly by Manifold board. Once you’ve gone through the registration process, you can download Manifold’s user manual and quick start guide, as well as tarballs with the OS image and the kernel source code.

Manifold_on_matrice100_quadcopter

DJI Manifold is available now as a developer’s platform for $499, which will feel like pocket change once you include the $3,299 Matrice 100 quadcopter, and optionally a $999 Guidance visual sensing system. You can get all the details on DJI’s Manifold product page.

Via LinuxGizmos

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Brillo Android based OS for IoT Projects Support ARM, Intel and MIPS Platforms

October 28th, 2015 No comments

You’d think there are already enough lightweight operating systems that could provide a good enough platform for IoT and embedded projects, but Google decided to make their own Brillo operating system for IoT, based on Android, most probably to leverage the existing Android tools, and make it easier for app developers to move to the Internet of Things space. Brillo ‘s hardware requirements are pretty low as the operating system can run on devices with  32MB of RAM, and 128MB of storage.
Brillo_Architecture
Google will provide a complete ecosystem with an embedded OS, core services, and a developer kit with tools to build, test, and debug. Just like in Android, three architectures will be be officially supports, starting with the following hardware platforms:

All Brillo boards support WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and Brillo also includes Google’s Weave communication protocol for IoT devices that is said to enable easy setup, phone to device to cloud communication, and user interaction from the web or mobile apps.

The short introduction below video give an overview of Brillo, and provides some details about features (OTA updates, crash reports…), and how users can use familiar tools such as adb (Android Debug Bridge) to debug their IoT applications, and Android.mk build architecture.

You can find some more information on Google’s Developers’ Brillo page, but for full information, including source code, tools, and documentation, you’ll need to request an invite on the developer, and provide details about your project. You can also request an invite if you plan on keeping using your existing Linux operating system but would like to Weave.

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