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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

Infineon Showcases the Radar Board used in Google’s Project Soli, and Sense2Go Development Kit (Video)

June 30th, 2016 2 comments

Google’s Project Soli sensing technology uses a miniature radar to detect touchless gesture interactions, so that you can control devices such as wearables using gestures without having to physical touch the product. The 60 GHz radar technology used in the project has been developed by Infineon, and the company was recently interviewed by Arrow Electronics where they showcased Soli board, as well as another 24 GHz radar development kit called Sense2Go.

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The Soli board called BGT60TR24 features Infineon XMC4500 ARM Cortex M4 MCU, and a 60 GHz “CRIS20” radar chip designed specially for Project Soli by Infineon, and allowing 20mm resolution, falling to less than one millimeter with Google’s algorithms. The micro USB port will be used for power and programming. This board should be the one included in Project Soli development kit to be shipped to developers this fall.

Infineon also have a Sense2Go 24GHz sensor development kit that can detect motion, speed, and direction of movement in applications such as indoor/outdoor smart lighting, intruder alarm, motion detectors, intelligent door openers, and more.

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Sense2Go board specifications:

  • MCU – Infineon XMC 4200 ARM Cortex M4 MCU @ 80 MHz with 256 KB flash, 40 KB RAM
  • Radar – BGT24MTR11 24 Ghz radar transmitter and receiver IC
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Debugging – Cortex debug connector
  • Misc – 2x User LEDs, 2x 10-pin headers
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port or header
  • Dimensions – 4 x 3.5 cm

The CPU is already preprogrammed using Infineon’s DAVE development tool, and the module comes bundled with a standalone firmware for movement detection without the aid of a PC. It samples up to 2 IF channels of the transceiver chipset and communicates via USB interface to a connected PC, and provided PC application GUI (Windows XP/Vista/7/8) can be used to display and analyze acquired data in time and frequency domain.

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The kit also includes a User’s Manual, schematic and Bill-of-Materials of the module, and a micro USB-to-USB cable. Sense2Go can be purchased from various distributors using part number, including Future Electronics ($244) and Avnet.

Get an Early ESP32 Board by Contributing to Luanode for ESP8266 & ESP32 Project (Crowdfunding)

June 22nd, 2016 4 comments

Development boards and module based on Espressif ESP32 dual core processor with WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity are due for Q3 or Q4 2016, but you could get an early sample as early as July if you contribute to Jimmy Wu’s (of wifimcu.com) crowdfunding campaign to develop Luanode (Lua SDK) for ESP8266 and ESP32 processors, as ESP32 boards are part of the rewards.

ESP32_Development_Kit

Luanode is a Lua SDK for ESP32 and ESP8266 that supports multi-tasking through FreeRTOS, and includes support for peripherals. The source code and documentation can be already be found on Github, and the main differences against something like NodeMCU appear to be multi-tasking and (for now) ESP32 support. Interestingly the SDK contains a tools called WiFi-Killer uses for Denial of Service (DoS) attacks using ESP8266 or ESP32 modules…

ESP32_Video_Camera_Tank

One hardware project is called WiFi tank comprised of one T300 Tank Chassis, ESP8266 Development Kit, 720p HD Camera, WR703N Wireless Router, and controlled by an Android or iOS smartphone. The company behind the project is DOIT (Doctors of Intelligence and Technology) and the funds would be used for hardware, software, and documentation.

With less than 3 days to go, the campaign has not reached its goal yet however. ESP32 development kit rewards is $19, while a pack with 6 ESP32 devkit only costs $39 (maybe baseboard + 6 modules?), and the WiFi tank “video car” is also offered for $219. Shipping appears to be included, and delivery is scheduled for July 2016 for all three rewards.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

Marvell IAP220 “IoT” Processor Targets Low Power Touchscreen Enabled Appliances

June 14th, 2016 No comments

After IAP140 quad core Cortex A53 processor found in Brillo compatible AndroMeda Box Edge, Marvell has recently introduced another IAP processor for the Internet of Things with IAP220 dual core Cortex A7 processor targeting “low power cost sensitive home automation, industrial, security, and wearable applications”.

IAP220_Block_DiagramIAP220 SoC specifications:

  • Processor – Dual ARM Cortex-A7 core up to 1.0 GHz
  • GPU – 3D GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 support
  • MCU – ARM Cortex M4F
  • Memory I/F – LP-DDR2/3, DDR3
  • Storage – eMMC and SDIO interfaces
  • Display – MIPI video and command mode; LCD display
  • Video – Full HD encode and decode with H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, MJPEG and more
  • Camera – Digital video camera interface, 2x, 2-lane CSI
  • Audio – I2S, TDM; support for multiple PDM (pulse-density modulation) microphones and speakers
  • Sensor hub • Low power sensor processing
  • Management I/O – SPI, GPIO, PWM? (the product brief says PWD instead), UART, 1-wire, I2C
  • Security – Secure boot, secure provisioning
  • Package –  ePOP and discrete

Marvell_IAP220

The IAP220 can also be paired with Marvell WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS chips, and the company supports Android, Linux or Brillo operating systems for the processor. Development and evaluation can be done on WiFI and Bluetooth enabled development boards based on IAP220 or IAP140 including a generic Linux board with or without Kinoma IoT application development framework, an Android board, as well as a Marvell sensor board, but clear details about the hardware have not been presented, except for IAP140 based AndroMeda Box.

Marvell IAP220 is currently sampling to customers. More information can be found on Marvell’s application processors page.

Via HackerBoards

STMicro Unveils Two Low Cost STM32F7 ARM Cortex M7 Development Boards

June 1st, 2016 No comments

STMicroelectronics introduiced its STM32F7 ARM Cortex M7 micro-controller family in 2014, and they released a $49 STM32F746G discovery board later in 2015. The company has now launched two new low cost development boards with the $23 STM32 Nucleo-144 board based on STM32F767 MCU, and a $79 Discovery Kit powered by STM32F746 MCU with TFT-LCD and MIPI-DSI support.

STM32 Nucleo-144 development board

STM32_Nucleo-144Key feature of NUCLEO-F767ZI board:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F767ZI ARM Cortex M7 microcontroller @ 216 MHz with FPU, DSP, MMU, 2MB flash, 512 KB SRAM, 16 KB instruction TCM RAM (for critical real-time routines), and 4 KB backup SRAM
  • Connectivity – IEEE-802.3-2002 compliant Ethernet connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG or full speed device
  •  Extension:
    • ST Zio connector including support for Arduino UNO v3 connectivity, and additional signals (A6 to A8, D16 to D72)
    • ST morpho extension pin header footprints for full access to all STM32 I/Os
  • On-board ST-LINK/V2-1 debugger/programmer with SWD connector
  • Misc – 3x user LEDs; USER & RESET push-buttons; 32.768 KHz crystal oscillator
  • Power supply
    • 5V from ST-LINK/V2-1 USB VBUS
    • External power sources: 3.3 V and 7 – 12 V on ST Zio or ST morpho connectors, 5 V on ST morpho connector

The board is ARM mbed enabled, the company provides free software HAL library & software examples, and the development board is  also supported by tools such as IAR, Keil, and GCC-based IDEs.

Hardware and software documentation, as well as links to distributors can be found on the product page.

32F746G-DISCOVERY Board

STM32769I-DISCO

Key features of STM32F769I-DISCO board:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F769NIH6 ARM Cortex-M7 microcontroller @ 216 MHz with FPU, DSP, MMU,  2MB Flash, 512 KB SRAM, 16 KB instruction TCM RAM (for critical real-time routines), and 4 KB backup SRAM
  • External Memory – 128-Mbit SDRAM
  • External Storage – micro SD slot, 512-Mbit Quad-SPI Flash memory
  • Display – 4″ capacitive touch LCD display with MIPI DSI connector
  • Connectivity – Ethernet connector compliant with IEEE-802.3-2002, WI-FI or Ext-EEP daughterboard connector
  • Audio
    • SAI audio codec
    • 2x audio line jacks, one for input and one for output
    • Stereo speaker outputs
    • 4x ST MEMS microphones on DFSDM inputs
    • 2x S/PDIF RCA input and output connectors
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • On-board ST-LINK/V2-1 supporting USB reenumeration capability
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO v3 headers
  • Misc – 2x push buttons (user and reset)
  • Power supply:
    • ST LINK/V2-1
    • USB HS connector
    • 5 V from RJ45 (Power Over Ethernet)
    • 5 V from Arduino or external connector
    • USB charger
    • Power Over Ethernet based on IEEE 802.3af (Powered Device, 48V to 5V, 3W)
    • Power supply output for external applications: 3.3 V or 5 V
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The company provide libraries and examples part of the STM32Cube package, and the board is also supported by various integrated development environments: Keil MDK-ARM, IAR EWARM, and GCC-based IDEs (free AC6: SW4STM32, Atollic TrueSTUDIO, …) allowing  development in Linux or Windows operating systems. Like other STMicro boards, STM32F769I-DISCO board is open source hardware, and you can find the hardware design files, as well as software document on the product page, where you’ll also find links to purchase the board.

The company also announced two higher end STM32F7 boards selling for $360: STM32F769I-EVAL & STM32F779I-EVAL.

$49 STEVAL-WESU1 Wearable Sensor Unit Reference Design is Based on STMicro STM32 MCU

May 23rd, 2016 1 comment

STMicroelectronics STEVEL-WESU1 is a wearable open source hardware reference design and development kit comprised of a board with STM32L1 ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller, BlueNRG-MS Bluetooth LE chip, and sensors, a battery, and a watch band.

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STMicro “WESU” specifications and features:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32L151VEY6 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 32 KHz to 32 MHz, 512KB flash, 80 KB SRAM
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE via BlueNRG-MS BLE network processor
  • Sensors – 3D accelerometer + 3D gyroscope (LSM6DS3), 3-axis magnetometer (LIS3MDL),  MEMS pressure sensor (LPS25HB)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for recharging
  • Debugging – SWD connector for debugging and programming capability
  • Power
    • 100 mAh Li-Ion battery included, UN38.3 tested and certified
    • STNS01 Li-Ion linear battery charger
    • STC3115 Fuel gauge IC
  • Watch strap with plastic housing included
  • Certifications –  FCC (FCC ID: S9N-WESU1), IC (IC: 8976C-WESU1), RoHS

The kit can be controlled by ST WeSU app for Android and iOS, and developed using BlueST SDK, available on Github. You can also get all hardware files (Gerber, schematics, PCB layout, BoM,…), documentation, as well as firmware and source code on STEVAL-WESU1 product page.

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Android app Screenshots – Click to Enlarge

STEVAL-WESU1 can be purchased for $48.95 directly on STMicro website, or via distributors such as DigiKey or Mouser.

Via Time4EE

NXP Unveils i.MX 8 Multisensory Enablement Kit with Hexa Core ARMv8 Processor

May 17th, 2016 8 comments

Freescale, now NXP, i.MX 8 processors have been a long time coming, but finally the company has now unveiled a Multisensory Enablement Kit based on i.MX 8 hexa core ARMv8 processor combined with a Vulkan-ready & OpenCL capable GPU.

i.MX8_Multisensory_Enablement_KitKey features of the development kit:

  • Multisensory Processor Board
  • Multisensory Expansion Board
  • Isolation and separation of secure, safe and open domains
  • Rich compute (6x ARMv8 64-bit main CPUs, OpenCL GPU)
  • Vulkan-ready GPU with HW tessellation and geometry shading
  • Efficient, multi-screen (4x) support via HW virtualization
  • Failover-ready display path
  • Up to 8x camera input for 360 degree vision
  • Integrated vision processing
  • HDR enhanced video
  • Multi-sensor fusion and expansion
  • Multi-core audio and speech processing
  • NXP radio solution integration

However, at the time of writing, there’s very little information about i.MX8 processors themselves, but I’m confident much more info should soon surface as NXP FTF 2016 is taking place now until May 19, 2016. The press release about i.MX8 MEK does mention 4K video and graphics, and some security features. The company expects the processor to be used for for intuitive gesture control, voice recognition, natural speech recognition and audio acceleration, as well as healthcare and industrial applications such as connected vehicles.

NXP i.MX 8 MEK is said to be available now, together with the BSPs and middleware. More details should eventually be posted on i.MX8 MEK page.

[Update: I found a slide about i.MX8 with some details. Source: NXP Forums.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux, NXP i.MX Tags: 4k, armv8, automotive, devkit, nxp

“BluePill” is a $2 Arduino Compatible Development Board Based on STMicro STM32 MCU

May 17th, 2016 34 comments

I’m amazed that if your budget for a board was just $5 for one MCU board, you now have so many options for your electronics projects: ESP8266 boards, a few STM8 boards, One Dollar Board project, and many more… Other options are “BluePill” or “RedPill” boards based on STM32 or GD32 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 micro-controllers that go for about $2 shipped, and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE thanks to STM32Duino project.

BlueBill_STM32_Board

BluePill board specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F103C8T6 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 72 MHz with 64KB flash memory, 20KB SRAM.
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Debugging – 4x pin SWD header or micro USB port
  • Expansion – 2x 20-pin with power signals, I2C, SPI, GPIOs, ADC inputs, etc…
  • Misc – Reset button, two jumpers (for boot mode), power and user LEDs.
  • Power – 5V via USB, 2.0-3.6V power via 3.3V pin on SWD header.
  • Dimensions – 5.3cm x 2.2cm.

I specifically wrote about “BluePill” board instead of “RedPill”, because one thread on STM32duino forums mention the former is a bit better. You can find documentation on Piffa.net wiki (Italian only) and STM32duino wiki. Most instructions use a USB to serial (TTL) board to program connected to PA9 and PA10 pins to program the board, but I understand that USB programming if possible by replacing the 10kΩ pull up resistor on PA12 (USB D+) by a 1.5kΩ resistor.

The video below shows how to use the STM32 board with a serial debug board, and the Arduino IDE.

One interesting fact about the $2 price tag for the board (remember it also includes shipping) is that STM32F103C8T6 MCU itself is supposed to sell for $2.056 in 10k quantities, until you are looking for actual pricing in China, where it is sold for less than one dollar (6 RMB).

Beside Aliexpress, you can also find the board on eBay. Few sellers call it BluePill, and instead they are often called “STM32 Minimum System Development Board”, but a search for “STM32F103C8T6″ on your favorite resellers should also list the board.

Thank you Zoobab!

Getting Started with Wio Link Starter Kit, Visual Programming Android App, and IFTTT

May 15th, 2016 1 comment

Wio Link is a board based on on ESP8266 WiSoC that supposed to be easy to setup thanks to Grove modules – no breadboard and mesh or wires – and, as I first understood it, to program thanks to a drag and drop mobile app that does not require any actual programming. More advanced users can also use a RESTful API in Python, JavaScript, Node.js, PHP, Objective-C or Java. I’ve been sent a $49 Wio Link Starter Kit including the board, a USB cable, and six Grove modules to evaluate the kit. I’ll start by have a look a the kit, before experimenting with Wio Link Android app.

Wio Link Starter Kit Unboxing

The kit is sent in a red plastic case.

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Wio Link board is lodged in the top covers, and other accessories placed in bags in the main part of the case.

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Let’s check the board first.

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There are three main ICs: ESP8266EX WiFi SoC, Silabs CP2102 USB to TTL chip for programming the board, and Winbond 25Q23BVIG serial flash memory (4MB). On the right side, the micro USB port is used for power and debugging, a header can be used for battery power, and Config and Reset buttons are present. The six Grove connectors can either take digital (3) modules, analog (1) modules, I2C (1) modules, or UART (1) modules.
ESP8266_Board_Open_Source_Hardware

The bottom side of the board does not any components, and the only noticeable parts are Seed Studio and Open Source Hardware logo, as well as http://iot.seeed.cc which point to documentation and forums for the board.

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Once I’ve taken everything out of the small bags, we can see the fully kit content with Wio Link board, a micro USB port, and from top left to bottom right, six Grove modules and their cables: WS2812 LED strip (25 LEDs), temperature and humidity sensor, button, digital light sensor, 3-axis digital accelerometer, and a relay module.

Grove_Module_MarkingsIf you have many Grove module, it may not always be easy to know which one does what, but the Grove module is printed on the silkscreen on the back the board.

Wio Link Android App

Wio / Wio Link app is available for both Android 4.1+ and iOS 7+, and I tested the board with the Android app, following some of the instructions on the Getting Started Guide.

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The first step is to login or create an account with your email, before setting up Wio Link, or the small and soon-to-be released Wio Node.

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At this stage, I had to power Wio Link board. I did so by connecting Wio Link to one of the port my USB hub, and I noticed the red LED would blink very fast, but pressing on the Config button as instructed in the app would not do anything, and Wio Link was not detected at all. So I changed to a proper 5V/2A power supply, and the red LED was steady, with the green LED in the middle of the board slowly blinking, and after pressing the Config button for about 4 seconds, the blue TURN lit up. So if the board does not work, try another power supply. The USB cable should be OK, as it’s shipped with the board.

After that you can select Wio (WioLink_XXXXXX), select an access point (AP) to connect the board to the Internet, and give your board a name – I went with cnxwio – to complete the setup.

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Then you can select module on the bottom, the app will show you where you can drag and drop it (Digital. Analog, UART, or I2C), and then repeat the same process with the other modules.  I had the idea of making a demo reporting the temperature and humidity, while turning off the LED strip with the accelerometer, and turning it on with the button module, so I connected the four modules in the app and in “real life”.

Wio_Link_LED_Strip

Once you are happy with the setup, tap on Update to flash the firmware to the board. This should take a few seconds. At this stage I was expecting to be able to do some more visual programming, but all you can do is tap on API to get the API info, and experiment with the API. So rather than a complete programming solution, Wio app is an help for program development.

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The three screenshots above show the list of Wio Link boards and their connected modules, and one API call to control the LED strip, namely to make it “blink in a rainbow flow”. You can also share the API by email or other method to get the API calls on your computer and get on with programming. This is the list of API calls I got with the four modules. You can simply use the command link in a Linux computer (or now Windows Subsystem for Linux) to monitor and control the board with curl. You can also use Python or other programming languages to use the API, as show in wio_link_execute.py that controls a traffic light.

But for the purpose of this review, I did not want to write code, only use graphical tools or app, so my next option was IF by IFTTT app.

Wio_Link_IFTTT_Setup

Right after  you start the app, tap on the top right icon to Browse recipes, select “Create a New Recipe“, tap on “+”  (Start Here!) icon, and search for Seeed trigger. The first time you’ll be redirected to login to Seeed Studio – which the password created at the beginning of this tutorial – in your browser, and once it’s done you’ll be able to “Monitor a sensor value”, select one action related to the sensors connected to Wio Link, and complete the trigger. I wanted to detect when the button is pressed (The value should be 0 when pressed) on the Grove module. There’s a big caveat doing this, but more on that later.

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Now click Next to select the “That” step, and again search for Seeed to select one of the “Actions”, and configure it. I wanted to turn on the LED strip, and selected “light up Grove WS2812 LED strip” and “Random Rainbow”, before pressing on Finish to complete the action.

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That’s all good, except for one detail. It did not work, as pressing the button had not effect. After configuring the accelerometer to turn off the LED strip, I started to receive notifications every 2 to 5 minutes about the “shaked” status. So I went to recipe, modified it to turn on the LED when the accelerometer is shaken, and press the Check Now button to verify it, and the LED strip indeed lit up. So unless I’ve somehow missed an important option, that meant IFTTT is not suitable for my use case, because everything is handled from the cloud, and it’s not “polling” the sensors quite often enough.  However, If you want to monitor the temperature sensor, and take an action if the temperature rise above a threshold, that’s perfectly usable as long as it can be taken within a few minutes.

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As one last experiment, I set the LED strip to turn on each time I receive a new email in my gmail account. It did not work for the first email, even after waiting a few minutes (5+ minutes), and then pressing “Check Now”. So I sent another email, waited one or two minutes without results, and pressed “Check Now” again, and the LED strip finally turned on.

So the takeaway is that Wio Link app does make setting up the board easier, and also provide an easy to use reference to the API after the configuration, but it’s not a pure visual programming app per se, and you’ll need to write your own program using the RESTful API. Alternatively IFTTT app can be used to control the board using triggers from the Internet (Facebook, twitter, emails, ….) or sensors from the Grove module, and the app then take actions using the Grove modules such as relays or LED strips, but there are some limitations to what can be done, and my experience with IFTTT and Wio Link was mixed.

I’d like to thank Seeed Studio for sending Wio Link Starter Kit for evaluation. You can purchase the kit for $49 on Seeed Studio if you are interested.