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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

Arduino UNO WiFi Board Combines Atmel ATmega328P MCU with ESP8266 SoC

May 3rd, 2016 8 comments

Arduino.org (Arduino Srl) has launched Arduino UNO WiFi board, bringing Arduino (Atmel ATMega328P MCU) and ESP8266 together, and adding WiFi to the popular Arduino UNO board, while keeping all existing interfaces and headers.

Arduino_UNO_WiFiArduino UNO WiFi (A000133) board specifications:

  • Arduino part
    • MCU – Atmel ATmega328 8-bit AVR MCU @ 16 MHz with 32 KB flash Memory, 2KB SRAM, 1KB EEPROM
    • Digital I/O pins – 14, with 6 PWM and UART
    • Analog Input Pins – 6
    • DC Current per I/0 –  40 mA
    • Misc – Reset button
    • Operating Voltage – 5 V
  • ESP8266 part
    • SoC – Expressif ESP8266EX Tensilica Xtensa LX106 processor @ 80 MHz
    • Storage – 4MB SPI flash
    • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi @ 2.4 GHz, wake up time < 2 ms; Antenna: PCB and IPX
    • Misc – Bootloader button, WiFi LED
    • Operating Voltage – 3.3 V
  • Common specs
    • USB – 1x USB device port
    • Input Voltage – 5-12 V via DC jack, Vin or USB port (5V only)
    • Power Consumption – 130 mA (sleepmode 80 mA)
    • Dimensions – 68.5 x 53 mm
    • Weight – 28 grams

Arduino_UNO_WiFi_Pinout

The board is open source hardware with the schematics (PDF and DSN) soon to be released, and is programmed using the Arduino IDE by selecting “Arduino UNO WiFi” board, and the Ciao library can be used to play with REST, MQTT, etc… You won’t even need a USB connection to upload your sketch as it can be done over WiFi just like with Arduino Yun. The Atmel AVR MCU and ESP8266 processor communicate via either UART or I2C as shown in the diagram below.

Arduino_UNO_WiFi_ESP8266_Communication

Arduino Uno Wi-Fi board will come pre-uploaded with the RestServer sketch that allows you to control the board via your web browser using the URL: http://192.168.240.1/arduino/<digital|analog>/<GPIO>/<ON_OFF|<INPUT_MODE>, where digital or analog let you select the IO type, GPIO the pin number,  ON_OFF is either  1 or 0 for on or off, and INPUT_MODE is either input or output. Some examples:
  • /arduino/digital/13/1 – Sets GPIO 13 to high
  • /arduino/digital/13 – Reads the value on GPIO 13
  • /arduino/analog/2 – Reads Analog pin 2 value
  • /arduino/mode/13/input – Set GPIO 13 to input

Price and availability of the board have not been disclosed. You can visit Arduino UNO WiFi product page for more information.

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Electrodragon WiFi IoT Relay Includes ESP8266 Module, AC Power, and Enclosure for $6

May 2nd, 2016 4 comments

Thanks to ESP8266, the cost of WiFi relays has dramatically come down, but so far, I could not find an all-in-one solution with ESP8266, relay, AC power and enclosure, and for example I’m still using NodeMCU board, a relay board, a USB power supply, and put all that into a plastic jar in order to control a water pump. It works but it’s not ideal, and solutions like Wemos D1 mini with relay shield improves things further, but Electrodragon has come with a connect-and-play WiFi IoT relay that integrates everything including the case for $6 + shipping.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Wifi IoT Relay Board Based on ESP8266:

  • WiFi module – ESP-12F based on Espressif ESP8266EX WiSoC
  • Relays – 2x Songle SRD-05VDC-SL-C relays supporting 125VAC/10A, 250VAC/10A, 30VDC/10A, 28VDC/10A
  • Input/Output – 3x terminal blocks for relay and power
  • Expansion – 12-pin header with Rx/Tx,  GPIO4, Btn2, GPIO15, 5V/GND,  ADC, GPIO5, Btn1, OUTPUT1, and 3V3
  • Debugging – Serial pins accessible on header for programming the board with your own firmware
  • Misc – 2x buttons, 2x LEDs for relay, 1x status LED
  • Power – 1x terminal block for AC input; AC 85-265V to DC 5V power module
  • Dimensions – N/A, but small 🙂

IoT_Relay_ESP8622_BoxThe enclosure appears to protect well enough against dust, or a few water drops, but I would not put it under the rain…

The board is pre-loaded with ESP8266 AT firmware, but you can connect a USB to TLL debug to program with the demo code firmware available from the Wiki. The demo firmware used NodeMCU LUA firmware and www.cloudmqtt.com.

I found the product via Pete Scargill Blog, where he has started testing the device, and experimenting with his own firmware.

It’s actually quite similar to IteadStudio’s Sonoff, except it does not support RF, and features two relays instead of just one, and now that the crowdfunding campaign is over, you can purchase it for $4.85 (WiFi only), or $7.20 (WiFi + RF) plus shipping. Both Electrodragon and Iteadstutio provide affordable shipping for a couple of dollars. One more thing they almost certainly have in common is the lack of UL/ETL safety certifications, so that means your insurance may not cover fire hazard if they found this type of products in your home, and they have not been certified to be safe, so you’d have to rely on your own, or the community, judgment. One buyer also noted that “AC lines on the PCB are quite thin”, and Peter also had a similar comment: “the two tracks bringing power right across the board from the mains to the two relays –  while being nicely isolated by an air gap which is GOOD, are WAY too thin to handle a total of 20 amps”,  so the current design is unlikely to be suitable to handle two high loads at the same time.

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Inforce 6601 micro SoM Snapdragon 820 System-on-Module Embeds WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS

April 28th, 2016 1 comment

We’ve already seem Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 820 development board and module, but there’s now an alternative thanks to Inforce Computing 6601 micro SoM  which is pin-to-pin compatible to the company’s earlier Inforce 6401 and Inforce 6501 Micro SOMs, also based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, and works with the same SYS6501 carrier board.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Inforce Computing 6601 Micro SoM specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) quad core ARMv8 processor with two “Gold” cores up to 2.2 GHz, two “Silver” cores up to 1.6 GHz, Adreno 530 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan, as well as  Hexagon 680 DSP  up to 825 MHz
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 @ 1866 MHz
  • Storage – 64GB UFS 2.0 gear 3 flash up to 5.83Gbps, 1x micro SD card 3.0 interface for support for to HS400,  optional eMMC 5.1 flash.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 & 2×2 dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (QCA6174), and GPS (WGR4310)
  • Peripherals and I/O via two 100-pin SoM connectors:
    • Video / Display – 1x HDMI 2.0, dual MIPI-DSI (4-lane) & touch screen
    • Audio
      • 4x Line out, 3x Mic-in, 2x headphone out
      • On-board WDC9355 audio codec
      • Codec support for MP3, AAC + eAAC, WMA 9/Pro, Dolby AC-3, eAC-3, DTS
    • Camera – 3x MIPI-CSI (3x 4-lane) up to 28 MP with zero shutter lag
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 host/OTG port
    • 1x PCIe, 1x SDC, SLIMBUS
    • JTAG, 8x GPIO, 12x BLSPs for UART, I2C, and SPI
  • Video / Image Capabilities
    • H.264 playback and capture @4K60
    • H.265 playback @4K60 and capture @4K30
    • VP9 playback up to 4K60
    • Dual 14-bit Spectra ISP with support for up to 1.2GPix/sec throughput
  • Power Supply – +3.3V/6A DC input; On-module MA8996 MIC
  • Dimensions – 50 x 28 mm
  • Weight – 11 grams
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0° C to 70° C; Storage: -20° C to 80° C
  • Certifications – RoHS and WEEE compliant, FCC.
6601 Micro SoM Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

6601 Micro SoM Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The company provides Android 6.0 Marshmallow / Linaro Ubuntu Linux BSPs for the module, as well as several free Qualcomm SDK such as Vuforia VR, Alljoyn proximity connectivity, FastCV computer vision, Symphony System Manager, and Snapdragon for facial recognition. SYS6601 development kit includes a Inforce 6601 Micro SOM pre-loaded with either Linux and Android, a mini-ITX baseboard, and other accessories.

6601 micro SoM Development Kit - Click to Enlarge

6601 micro SoM Development Kit – Click to Enlarge

It’s exactly the same carrier board as for SYS6501 development kit so I won’t repeat the specs again.

Inforce 6601 micro SoM is sold for $270, while the complete development kit goes for $475. More details can be found on the product page.

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Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit Features Atom x5 UP Board, Realsense R200 Depth Camera

April 14th, 2016 6 comments

An Intel Developer Forum is currently taking place in Shenzhen, China, which may explains why we have several Intel products announcements targeting developers such as the launch of Quark D2000 development board. Another product for makers and developers is Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit combining Raspberry Pi like UP Board powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor with Intel RealSense camera (R200) in order to bring 3D / depth vision to robots.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

UP Board specifications have changed a little as the processor is now Z8350 instead of Z8300, and they now have a version with 4GB RAM used in the kit:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz (Burst frequency: 1.92 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics
  • System Memory –  4GB DDR3L-1600
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash
  • Video Output / Display – HDMI 1.4b, MIPI DSI/eDP interface
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, I2S
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 2x USB 2.0 pin header, 1x micro USB 3.0 port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI up to 4MP
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Misc – Power button, RTC
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via 5.5/2.1mm jack
  • Dimensions – 85.60 x 56.50 mm

The board will ships with Ubuntu Linux, but other operating systems such as Windows 10 and other Linux distributors are also supported. One of the USB 3.0 port is used to interface with R200 3D depth camera with the following features:

  • Depth Range – Up to 3-4 meters indoors, longer range outdoors
  • Depth / Infrared: 640 x480 resolution at 60 FPS
  • RGB: 1080p at 30 FPS
  • USB 3.0 port (required on host)
  • Dimensions – 130 mm x 20 mm x 7 mm

I could not find much information about the software side, but I assume this is likely supported by RealSense SDK.

The development kit is up for pre-order for $249.99 for resident of the United States, Canada, China, EU, and Japan only, and is expected to ship in June 2016. More details are available in the devkit page.

Thanks to Roi for the tip.

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BPI-GSM Arduino Compatible Board Integrates a GSM & GPS Module, Sensors and an OLED Display

April 7th, 2016 4 comments

Banana Pi team has come up with another board, but this time it does not run Linux or Android, as they’ve made an Arduino compatible board called BPI-GSM based on Atmel ATmega2560 MCU with a light sensor, DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor, and a GSM/GRPS & GPS module powered by a LiPo battery.

BPI-GSMBPI-GSM board specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel ATmega2560 8-bit AVR MCU @ 16 MHz with 256 KB flash, 8KB SRAM, 4KB EEPROM
  • Connectivity – Simcom SIM808 GSM, GPRS, and GPS module + SIM card slot +
  • Sensors – DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor, light sensor
  • Display – OLED display
  • Expansion headers – 54x digital I/O (including 14x PWM), 16x analog input, 4x UART. Max DC current per I/O: 40 mA.
  • Misc – Reset button, LEDs
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • 3.7V LiPo battery (2,500 mAh battery included in kit)
  • Dimensions – TBD
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board can be programmed in the Arduino IDE by selecting Arduino Mega board. SIM808 modem is controlled with AT commands so that might not be the most programmer friendly board there is. You can find limited documentation for the board on gitbook.io. Bear in mind that several countries have or are going to phase out 2G networks, so the GSM/GPRS connectivity may not work for long depending where you live.

The kit which includes the board, the OLED display and 2,500 mAh battery sells for $64 on Aliexpress.

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Astro Carrier & XBG201 Breakout Boards Are Designed for Nvidia Jetson TX1 Module

March 19th, 2016 4 comments

Nvidia unveiled Jetson TX1 system-on-module powered by their latest Tegra X1 processor, as well as a carrier board that fits into a mini-ITX case at the end of last year. However, if you need something more compact  and lightweight, Connect Tech designed Astro Carrier baseboard for Jetson TX1 module with about the same size, as well as a breakout board with connectors that can be customized as needed.

Bottom to Top: Jestnp TX1 SoM, Astro Carrier, and xxxBreakout Board

Bottom to Top: Jetson TX1 SoM, Astro Carrier, and XBG201 Breakout Board

Astro Carrier (ASG001) board specifications:

  • SoM Connector – Samtec “SEARAY” high density board to board connector for Jetson TX1 module
  • Breakout board connectors – 3x 60-pin high density connectors with HDMI, SATA,  2x Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000), 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 2x RS-232/RS-485, 2x camera (CSI4), 4x GPIO……
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • On-board connectivity – GbE magnetics + Intel 82574 GbE PHY + magnetics
  • Video I/Os
    • 8x u.FL video inputs GMSL (Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link) signaling via 2x MAX9286 deserializer connected to CSI0 to CSI3
    • HDMI circuitry
  • Audio – Freescale SGTL50000 stereo codec
  • Expansion
    • mini PCIe slot (half size or full size)
    • mSATA slot (only if half size used above)
  • Misc – Fan connector, UART control switch
  • Power Supply – +7.5V to +14.0V DC input range ; +12V DC Nominal Input
  • Dimensions – 87mm x 57mm
  • Weight – 46 grams with stands
  • Temperature range – -40 C to +85 C
Astro Carrier (Click to Enlarge)

Astro Carrier (Click to Enlarge)

You’ll also need a breakout port plugged into the three 60-pin board to board connectors in order to add connector for power, USB, Ethernet, etc… and the company provides an off-the-shelf board called XBG201 with the following key features:

  • Video output – HDMI type A connector
  • Connectivity – 2x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 type A, 1x USB 2.0 type A
  • Camera – 1x MIPI connector
  • Headers
    • Stereo output header
    • 2x RS-232/RS-485 Header
    • GPIO Header with 4x GPIO, 4x GND
    • System control header with power, main and secondary reset, sleep and battery low signals
    • RTC battery connector
  • Power supply +9V to +36V Input via terminal
  • Dimensions – 87mm x 57mm
  • Weight – 51 grams
  • Temperature range – -40 C to +85 C
Breakout Board (CLick to Enlarge)

XBG201 Breakout Board (CLick to Enlarge)

Relevant cables and RTC cables are also available to XBG201 board. If the breakout board design does not match your requirements, the company can provide reference design package, which as I understand it should allow you to create your own design relatively easily, or design a custom breakout board on your behalf.

The software part should probably be fully handled by Nvidia, as they provide Jetson TX1 module, and you can find all information needed on Nvidia Jetson Embedded page to access the Linux SDK, libraries, tools, and documentation.

Astro Carrier and breakout boards are available now, at an undisclosed price. Some hardware documentation can be downloaded on the product page.  Connect Tech Inc (CTI) is also working on a lower cost Elroy carrier board that should be launched next month.

Thanks to Byron for the tip.

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Cleo35 Touchscreen Display for Arduino UNO Comes with Tutorials and Example Projects (Crowdfunding)

March 15th, 2016 No comments

There are already various options to add a (touscheen) display to Arduino board with software support including TFTLibrary for Arduino,  and recently I tried Nextion serial touchscreen displays that are supported by a WYSIWYG editor, but the latter is only supported in Windows and not exactly user-friendly, and I found the few provided tutorials would only work with a specific resolution incompatible with the displays I had been sent. So I gave up on the idea of interfacing the display with Arduino or ESP8266 as it would be too time-consuming. FTDI CleO project might be faster and easier to get started, as their CleO35 touchscreen display for Arduino UNO will come with a 20 chapter tutorial covering over 80 topics, and 20 projects to get started.

Cleo35_TFT_DisplaySome of the key features and specs of Cleo35 display include:

  • MCU – FTDI FT903 32-bit FT32 core @ 100MHz with 256kB on-chip Flash memory, 256kB on-chip shadow program memory, and 64kB on-chip data memory
  • Display and Touch Controller – FTDI FT810 IC with 18-bit RGB, resistive touch support
  • Storage – 8MB E-Flash, micro SD slot. Fast direct file transfers between micro-SD/eFlash and the Graphics subsystem without using Arduino UNO resources.
  • DisplayArduino_TFT_Display
    • 3.5″ resistive touch HVGA (480×320) TFT display
    • Anti-Aliased graphics
    • Smooth animations at up to 60 frames/second.
    • Portrait and Landscape modes supported
  • Audio – Audio amplifier, built-in PWM audio, and speaker out/Line In interface
  • USB – micro USB DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) socket
  • Expansion
    • Camera interface
    • I/O expander interface with SPI, UART, I2C and GPIOs
    • Arduino UNO headers
  • Misc – Configuration jumpers
  • Power – 5V from Arduino headers
  • Dimensions – 101.4 x 73.0 mm including bezels; Screen only: 75.4 x 51 mm

The display board is connected to Arduino UNO using SPI, one interrupt pin (INT0 or INT1), one Slave Select pin (D10, D6 or D7), 5V, IOREF and RESET and GND. If you are going to use Arduino shields or the camera module, you may need an Arduino UNO clone with a power-efficient regulator as used in the FTDI NeRO board, or some Arduino compatible boards made by Olimex. The design of NerO board (header with long pins) allows to connect it with the TFT display board, and still access Arduino headers.

NerO Arduino Board and Cleo Display

NerO Arduino Board and Cleo Display

There’s very little information explaining how the user interface is created however, although the company claims that “CleO comes complete with a set of professional utility widgets” such as a color picker, set DateTime , AlphaNumeric Keyboard Input, Numeric KeyPad Input, and Sketch Pad Input. I assume there’s no WYSIWYG drag and drop UI editor like for Nextion display , and that you may have to code the user interface manually. Some of the examples are showcased in the promo video (You can turn off audio if the music annoys you, as there aren’t any explanations…)

FTDI launched the project on Indiegogo, and they’ve reached the funding target ($7,000) with 6 days to go. You’ll need to pledge $49 for Cleo35, $63 for a NerO + Cleo35 bundle, or $97 for a bundle adding a camera module, a speaker and a 9V power supply. Shipping is not included, and adds $10 to $14 worldwide, with delivery scheduled on May 2016.

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Microchip Introduces MPLAB Xpress Cloud-based IDE and MPLAB Xpress Evaluation Board

February 16th, 2016 5 comments

Microchip has just launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE with some of the most used features of the company’s MPLAB X IDE, as well as a free – in limited quantities – MPLAB Xpress evaluation board based on a PIC16 micro-controller.

MPLAB_Express_Development_BoardLet’s get through the development board specifications first:

  • MCU – Microchip PIC16F18855 MCU with 14KB flash, 1KB SRAM, 256 bytes EEPROM
  • USB – micro USB port for power and programming
  • Expansion Headers
    • Unpopulated mikroBUS header supporting one of 180 Click boards
    • Unpopulated 2x 14-pin header with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, etc…
  • Misc – Reset button, user button, potentiometer
  • Dimensions – N/A
MPLAB Xpress with Click to Enlarge

MPLAB Xpress running LED Array Sample on Xpress Board simulator – Click to Enlarge

Playing with hardware is always more fun, but if you just want to evaluation the online IDE, you don’t even need the board. Visit MPLAB Xpress Code Examples page, load one of the example, possibly log-in if you want to save changes to the 10GB free online storage that comes with a myMicrochip account, and you’ll be able to run and debug the sample in the simulator.  Since the IDE is web based you don’t need to install any software, and it works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

You may want to go through the tutorial to learn more about the IDE, or visit the forums for support. MPLAB Xpress currently supports three hardware platforms: MPLAB Express board mentioned above, Curiosity board, and PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger/programmer that supports over 1,000 PIC MCUs.

If you’d like to apply for one of the 2,000 free MPLAB Express board, you can do so @ http://www.microchip.com/Xpress-021516a, or visit Microchip booth at Embedded World 2016. On a related note, Olimex will also give away 1,000 PIC32 boards at the event.

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