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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

Add Wi-Fi to Arduino Boards for $3 with ESP8266 Wi-Fi Serial Module

November 17th, 2014 10 comments

There has been some buzz around ESP8266 Wi-Fi module, mostly because of its low price, and SDK availability, meaning it could become the Wi-Fi equivalent of ENC28J60 Ethernet module, and that for $5 you could potentially add Wi-Fi to your Arduino board for example. Since then, the price has come down even further, and if you are prepared to buy 5 pieces, you can now get the module for less than $3 / piece shipped, alternatively a single module costs $4, and a complete Wi-Fi + Arduino Uno (clone) kit goes for $15. A community has also been built around the chip, and a several project have been made with Arduino boards and ESP8266 module.

ESP8266_Wi-Fi_Module

The best way to find information is to go to ESP8266 community forum, as well as read the Wiki on github. There’s currently a GCC toolchain for Espressif Systems ESP8266, open source tools for working with the firmware images and serial protocol, but the (leaked) SDK needs to be officially opened, as I understand it still requires an NDA.

ESP8266 does not have to be connected to another MCU board via its serial interface, and it can be used in standalone, as it also provides two GPIOs (version 2 only) so you can use it to control relays for example. The picture above is ESP-01, which is the most common module, but there are also other form factor for example with ESP-07 that’s even smaller but would require some soldering.

There’s been several project published on the web with Arduino + ESP8622, but AFAIK no libraries have been released yet, and people simply send AT commands in their sketches. You can check ESP8266 Wifi Temperature Logger project using Sparkfun Arduino Pro Mini 328, Seeeduino wrote a short tutorial with Seeeduino3 (Arduino UNO), and James Wolf did a short demo using ESP8622 and Arduino Micro board that fetch a URL, and display the HTML code and some of HTTP data in the serial monitor.

The sketch for the demo can be found here, and he also wrote some documentation.

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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Ingenic Unveils Newton2 Platform for Wearables with M200 Dual Core SoC

November 13th, 2014 5 comments

Ingenic Newton is a development platform for wearables powered by Ingenic JZ4775, an application processor mostly used in tablets. Many companies are now making SoCs speficially designed for wearables with a powerful application core, and a low power core serving as a sensor hub, an Ingenic M200 SoC found in the new Ingenic Newton2 platform, uses the sample principle by combinging a MIPS XBurst processor @ 1.2GHz with a low power MIPS XBurst core @ 300MHz combined with low power GPU and VPU.

Inegnic Newton2 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Inegnic Newton2 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Ingenic Newton2 specifications:

  • SoC – Ingenic M200 dual core processor with MIPS XBurst @ 1.2 GHz, MIPS XBurst @ 300 MHz, 2D/3D GPU, and VPU supporting H.264, VP8, MPEG-1/2/4, VC-1, and RV9 up to 720p30
  • System Memory – 512 MB LPPDR2 (Samsung eMCP)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC (Samsung eMCP)
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 (Broadcom BCM43438) + connector for GPS
  • Sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer (IvenSense MPU-9250)
  • Expansion Headers –  24-pin display connector, MIPI CSI / I2C camera connector, DMIC and AOHPL/R audio connector, GPS and sensors header including UART, I2C, and GPIO pins. touch connector, 14-pin button connector, and 4-pin Wi-Fi and 2.4 GHz BT connector.
  • Power Supply – Li-on battery: 3.7~4.2V or Micro USB: 5.0V;  Ricoh RC5T619 PMIC; Standby power consumption: < 3 mW
  • Dimensions – 15 x 30 x 2.4 mm
Newton2 Block Diagram

Newton2 Board Block Diagram

Compared to the original Newton board, Newton2 is about 50% smllaer, and consumes much less power resulting in improved battery life. Target applications include smartwatches, augmented reality headsets, smart glasses, smart cameras, wearable healthcare monitors, activity trackers, smart clothing, etc… The platform runs Android 4.4 + Linux 3.10, but there’s no mention of Android Wear support.

Ingenic_M200_SoC_Block_Diagram

 Key features of Ingenic M200 as listed on Anandtech:
Package BGA270, 7.7mm x 8.9mm x 0.76mm, 0.4mm pitch
CPU XBurst1-HP core, 1.2 GHz
XBurst1-LP core, 300 MHz
GPU 2D/3D acceleration with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1. OpenVG 1.1
VPU Video encoder up to 720p @ 30fps: H.264, VP8
Video decoder up to 720p @ 30fps: H.264, VP8, MPEG-1/2/4, VC-1, RV9
ISP HDR, video and image stabilization, crop and rescale, auto exposure + gain + white balance + focus control, edge sharpening, noise reduction, color correction, contrast enhancement, gamma correction
Memory DDR2, DDR3, LPDDR, LPDDR2 up to 667 Mbps
64-bit ECC NAND flash support Toggle 1.0 and ONFI2.0
Display LCD controller with OSD: TFT, SLCD and MIPI-DSI (2-lanes)
E-Ink controller
Camera MIPI-CSI2 (2-lanes), DVP
Audio Audio CODEC with 24-bit ADC/DAC, stereo line-in, MIC in, and headphone interface
Low power DMIC controller
AC97/I2S/SPDIF interface for external audio codec
One PCM interface, supports both master and slave modes
Voice trigger engine to wake system by programmable specific voice
ADC 3 channels 12-bit SAR
Interfaces USB 2.0 OTG x 1
MMC/SD/SDIO controller x 2
Full-duplex UART port x 5
Synchronous serial interface x 2
Two-wire SMB serial interface x 4
Software Android 4.4

Ingenic M200, or another Ingenic SoC for wearables (M150), is said to be used in GEAK Watch 2, which can deliver 2-week of battery life. The crowdfunding campaign for the watch is still on-going.

Pricing and availability have not been disclosed for Ingenic Newton2, and if history is any guide, the board will be reserved to corporate customers, just like Ingenic Newton was. More details may be found on Ingenic Newton2 ad M200 SoC product page.

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Atmel Introduces ATmega PB MCUs and $8.88 ATmega168PB Xplained Mini Evaluation Kit

November 12th, 2014 No comments

Atmel has introduced four new MCU to its megaAVR MCU family with ATmega168PB coming first with 16KB Flash, 512 bytes EEPROM and 1KB RAM, as well as ATmega48PB, ATmega88PB and ATmega328PB to be released in Q1 2015. The new MCUs are pretty similar to the existing mega MCU with an AVR core running at 20MHz, a 10-bit ADC, an Analog Comparator, SPI, I2C, USART, etc…, but they also add a unique serial number readable from application code, the ability to wake-up from power-down mode on receipt of data on the USART interface, and improved accuracy for ADC conversion and UART signals. ATmega328PB also offers a QTouch peripheral touch controller, and on-chip debugging.

Atmel_ATMega168PB_Xplained_Mini

ATmega168PB Xplained Mini Evaluation Board

You can evaluated the new MCU thanks to ATmega168PB Xplained Mini evaluation kit which comes with the following key features:

  • On-board debugger with full source-level debugging support in Atmel Studio
  • Auto-ID for board identification in Atmel Studio 6.2
  • Access to all signals on target MCU on prototyping area.
  • 1x green status LED,  1x mechanical user pushbutton
  • Virtual COM port (CDC)
  • Arduino shield-compatible footprints
  • Target SPI bus header footprint
  • Xplained Pro extension headers can easily be strapped in
  • Power – 5V via USB port

ATmega48PB_ATmega88PB_ATmega168PB_ComparisonYou can program (C/C++ or/and assembler), and debug the board with Atmel Studio 6.2 IDE, and access the company’s embedded software including the Atmel Software Framework, application notes, and the Atmel Gallery app store.

You can find more information about the new MEGA PB AVR MCUs on ATMEGA168PB product page, and purchase ATmega168PB Xplained Mini development board on Atmel store for $8.88.

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Categories: Atmel AVR, Hardware Tags: atmel, devkit, mcu

NXP Introduces LPC54100 Single & Dual Core Cortex M4F/M0+ MCU Family and LPCXpresso54102 Development Kit

November 11th, 2014 No comments

NXP has recently introduced LPC54100 Series microcontrollers with a Cortex-M4F core up to 100MHz, and optionally an ARM Cortex M0+ core for always-on sensor processing applications, as well as LPCXpresso 54102 board.  Typical applications include mobile, portable health and fitness, home and building automation, fleet management and asset tracking, robotics and gaming.

LCP5400_Block_DiagramKey features of LPC54100 series MCUs:

  • CPU – 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F up to 100 MHz,  optional 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ coprocessor
  • On-chip RAM – 104 KB internal RAM
  • On-chip Storage – Up to 512 KB on-chip Flash
  • Interfaces
    • 3 fast-mode plus I²C, 4 UART, 2 SPI, 39 GPIO
    • ADC with up to 12-channels, 12 bits, and 4.8 Msps sample rate, full-spec (1.62 V to 3.6 V)
  • Clock Sources – IRC, digital clock input, PLL, 32 kHz XTAL, WWDT
  • Timers – 5x 32-bit general-purpose timers/counters, One-state configurable timer/PWM, RTC with alarm, and WWDT
  • 22-channel DMA with 20-programmable triggers
  • Power consumption
    • 3 µA continuous sensor listening (power-down with RAM retention)
    • Scalable active power/performance technology: Cortex-M0+ (55 µA/MHz) or Cortex-M4F (100 µA/MHz)
    • Four low-power modes and power profiles
  • Operating voltage – 1.62 V to 3.6 V
  • Temperature Range – -40 to 105°C
  • Packages – WLCSP49 (3.2 x 3.2 mm), LQFP64 (10 x 10 mm)

There are currently 8 MCUs in the family with single or dual core, with 256 to 512 KB flash, and different packages:

  • LPC54101J256UK49 – Cortex M4F only, with 256 KB flash, WLCSP49 package
  • LPC54101J512UK49 – Cortex M4F only, with 512 KB flash, WLCSP49 package
  • LPC54101J256BD64 – Cortex M4F only,  with 256 KB flash, LQFP64 package
  • LPC54101J512BD64 – Cortex M4F only,  with 512 KB flash, LQFP64 package
  • LPC54102J256UK49 – Cortex M4F & M0+, with 256 KB Flash, WLCSP49 package
  • LPC54102J512UK49 – Cortex M4F & M0+, with 512 KB Flash, WLCSP49 package
  • LPC54102J256BD64 – Cortex M4F & M0+, with 256 KB Flash, LQFP64 package
  • LPC54102J512BD64 – Cortex M4F & M0+, with 512 KB Flash, LQFP64 package

So LPC54101 are the part with only a Cortex M4F core, and LPC54102 feature both Cortex M4F and Cortex M0+ cores.

LPC54100 devices are supported by Keil MDK, IAR EWARM, and the NXP LPCXpresso IDE, a cross-platform C/C++ development suite that supports all of NXP’s LPC microcontrollers.
LPCXpresso 54102 Development Board

LPCXpresso 54102 Development Board

For evaluation and rapid prototyping, NXP also launched LPCXpresso54102 board with the following technical specifications:

  • MCU – LPC54102 with Cortex M4F + Cortex M0+ in LQFP64 package.
  • On-board high-speed USB based debug probe with CMSIS-DAP and LPCXpresso IDE Redlink protocol options, can debug on-board LPC54102 or external target
  • Support for external debug probes
  • Tri-color LED
  • Target Reset, ISP and WAKE buttons
  • Expansion options based on Arduino UNO and Pmod, plus additional expansion port pins
  • On-board 1.8/3.3V or external power supply options
  • Built-in MCU power consumption and supply voltage measurement
  • UART, I2C and SPI port bridging from LPC54102 target to usb via the on-board debug probe
  • FTDI UART connector
  • Dimensions – 123 x 59mm
The board is pre-programmed with CMSIS-DAP firmware. Drivers, libraries and FreeRTOS operating system can be downloaded @ http://www.lpcware.com/lpcopen.

The LPC54100 series will be available in Q1 2015, with pricing starting at USD $1.99 in 10K quantities. LPCXpresso 54102 evaluation board is available now for about $40 from DigiKey and Embedded Artists (Part number: OM13077). Further details are available on NXP LPC54100 series and LPCXpresso 54102 board product pages.

Via EETimes

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Hi-Link HLK-M30 StartKit Based on Mediatek MT7681 WiSoC Sells for $10

October 31st, 2014 4 comments

Here’s yet again another low cost Wi-Fi board for the internet of things with Hi-Link HLK-M30 StartKit featuring an HLK-M30 Wi-Fi module powered by Mediatek MT7681 SoC, exposing 5 GPIOs, and a serial RS-232 DB9 interface. AFAICR, it’s the second MT7681 board featured on CNX Software after xWiFi.

HKL-M30 StartKit (Click to Enlarge)

HKL-M30 StartKit (Click to Enlarge)

Key feature of HLK-M30 Wi-Fi module and Starter Kit:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7681 WiSoC
  • Wi-Fi
    • Standards – 802.11b/g/n
    • Wi-Fi encryption: WEP/WPA-TKIP/WPA-AES/WPA2-TKIP/WPA2-AES
    • STA/AP mode
    • Protocols supported by MT7681 – TCP Server/Client, UDP Server/Client, DHCP, DNS, HTTP
    • Internal and external antennas
  • Serial – DB9 connector for RS-232
  • Expansions
    • 2.54mm through holes for 3.3V/GND, Tx/Rx, and GPIO 1 0 to 4.
    • 4-pin SPI interface to flash firmware to IC (not usable by end users)
  • Misc – Test LEDs
  • Power – 5V power barrel
  • Dimensions – 14.1 x 16.5 x 2.25 mm

Documentation including User’s manual and AT command sets, windows based tool, and hardware design files for the kit can be downloaded from Baidu. HLK-M30 module is expected to be used in smart sockets, smart light bulbs, ODB-II Wi-Fi dongles, RFID, toys, industrial automation, telemetry, remote controls, and so on.

HLK-M30 StartKit can be purchased for $10 + shipping on Aliexpress, and HKL-M30 module only for $5.50 + shipping. You can save one or two dollars if you pledge for the module or kit on Indiegogo instead, but you’ll have to wait for 3 weeks until the campaign closes to getting the hardware shipped.

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Categories: Hardware, Mediatek Wi-Fi Tags: IoT, devkit, hi-link, wifi

Zero+ IoT Wi-Fi Board is Programmable with Lisp (Crowdfunding)

October 29th, 2014 2 comments

There have been so many low cost Wi-Fi modules and boards with GPIO headers announced this year, especially on crowdfunding sites, and from the hardware point of view, Zero+ (Zero Plus) board looks very much like many other Ralink RT5350 boards such as Vocore or AsiaRF AWM002, but what makes it different is that it can be programmed with Lisp from a web-based IDE.

Zero_Plus_Lisp

But let’s go through Zero+ board specifications first:

  • SoC – Ralink/Mediatek RT5350 MIPS processor @ 360MHz with dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps
  • System Memory – 32 MB RAM
  • Storage – 8MB to 16 MB SPI Flash (for firmware)
  • Expansions Headers – 2x headers with access to I2C, SPI, USB, 2x UART,  JTAG, and 14x GPIOs
  • USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB for power
  • Misc – 2x buttons
  • Dimensions – 36 x 25mm (possibly module dimensions only, not full board).

I’m quite confident the hardware should be OK, as they are using an existing Wi-Fi module (WL-AM01-5350-V1.2) soldered to a baseboard with USB ports, buttons, and expansion headers.

But as mentioned in the introduction, the interesting part is that it can be programmed and debugged from a WebIDE or a Cloud service using a Lisp programming language called Lambda, and there’s no need to build the code, or load the firmware as the Lisp interpreter will handle your project, a bit like if your programmed with Python or JavaScript.

Preliminary Zero+ WebIDE (Click to Enlarge)

Preliminary Zero+ WebIDE (Click to Enlarge)

The board is also a standard router running OpenWRT, so you should also be able to access it, and configure it in a more usual way if you prefer.

SmartMatrix, the company behind the project, is also providing ChipDuino, a tiny Arduino board supporting DIP MCU, to add more I/Os to Zero+, and support for a variety of sensors such as a VGA webcam, temperature and humidity sensors, light sensors, LEDs, gyroscopes, TFT and OLED screens, a PM 2.5 air quality detector, an infrared module and a microphone.

Zero+ board is shown in a few projects including an air cleaner, an electronic lock, and another project where it interfaces with Espruino JavaScript board.

In order to mass manufacture the board, the company has launched a flexible funding Indiegogo campaign planning to raise $25,000 or more. An early bird pledge of $19 can get you a Zero+ board, and after the first 100 boards, pledge will be $25. Many of the perks are kits going from $39 to $69 with sensors, a camera, an LCD display, etc… Albeit, no explicitly written, international shipping is probably included in all perks, and delivery is scheduled for February 2015.

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Mackerel Wi-Fi IoT Board Connects to goHACK.me Cloud Services

October 15th, 2014 No comments

ACKme Networks, a start-up specializing in embedded wireless solution, launched Mackerel evaluation board based on their AMW004 Wi-Fi networking module. The module is intend to interface to objects in standalone mode (SOLO), or controlled by a micro-controller (SLAVE), and features WiConnect software to interface with goHACK.me cloud services powered by sensors.com “OEM cloud solution”.

Mackeral Board

Mackerel Board

Mackerel (AMW004-E03) board specifications:

  • AWM004 (Wallaby) Wi-Fi module:
    • MCU – ARM Cortex M4 @ 120MHz with integrated 1MB flash and 128kB RAM, onboard 8Mbit (1MByte) SPI-serial flash
    • Networking Standards – IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/h/i/j
    • 802.11 data rates – 802.11b: 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps; 802.11g: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps; 802.11n: MCS0 – MCS7
    • Wi-Fi Security – Open, WEP-40, WEP-104, WPA, WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2-mixed
    •  Network Protocols –  ARP, ICMP, DHCP client/server, DNS, NTP, SMTP, UDP, TCP, HTTP client/webserver, Sensors.com
    • Network Security –  SSL3.0/TLS1.1, HTTPS
    • I/Os – UART (up to 4Mbit/s), SPI (up to 10Mbit/s), I2C, USB, JTAG/SWD, I2S, GPIO, ADC, DAC, and PWM
    • Power consumption – Standby: 1.85uA; Sleep: 28uA; Wi-Fi Powersave: 0.77mA; Active Rx: 6.9mA (1Mbit/s UDP); Active Tx: 12.5mA (1Mbit/s UDP);
    • Supply voltage – 3.3V
    • Dimensions – 17.8 x 31.8 x 3.1 mm
  • USB UART – Up to 3 Mbit/s with hardware flow control (optional)
  • Breakout header – 2 x 2×10-pin header (connects to every pin on the AMW004 module)
  • Sensor – Thermistor
  • Misc – 2 x push buttons, 2 x LEDs
  • Power supply – +5V from USB (500mA max.)
  • Temperature Range – 0 – 70°C

The board is pre-loaded ACKme WiConnect serial Wi-Fi application, so you can just connect it to your PC via USB, and access the serial via a terminal program (minicom, PuTTy, hyperterminal, etc…).

gohackme_network_diagramFrom there you can enable networking, and register your board with three command lines:

network_up -s
ghm_capabilities download -s
ghm_signup  [email protected]  YourSecretPassword

You can then monitor the board temperature on your smartphone and computer by logging in gohack.me with your chosen email/password. You’ll also be able to control the LEDs on the boards via the webpage. The whole setup is quite similar to the one I tried with Texas Instruments Connected Launchpad board and Exosite cloud services, except the board uses Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.

GoHACKme website will let you monitor (Temperature, Humidity / Moisture, Light / Motion, door & window open/close…). and control (Servo motors, Fountains, Fans, Lights,Heaters…) your devices, as well as receive notifications by email, SMS, etc…  There are also many other Wiconnect commands that can be used in the serial console to control GPIOs, ADC, Wi-Fi connection, etc…

Mackerel evaluation board can be purchased directly on Ackme Store for $82, or via distributors such as Adafruit or Mouser.

 

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