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Posts Tagged ‘IoT’

MXCHIP AZ3166 IoT Developer Kit is Designed to Work with Microsoft Azure

June 25th, 2017 2 comments

MXCHIP is a Shanghai based company designing and manufacturing WiFi IoT modules such as EMW3165, which has now made a development board based on their EMW3166 STM32+ Cypress module – called MXChip AZ3166 – specifically designed for Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform.

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MXChip AZ3166 board specifications:

  • Wireless Module – EMW3166 WiFi module with STM32F412 ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 100 MHz with 256KB SRAM,1MB+2MB SPI Flash, Cypress BCM43362 WiFi chip
  • Display – 128×64 OLED display
  • Audio – Audio codec, built-in microphone, and 3.5mm heaphone jack
  • Sensors – Motion sensor,  magnetometer, atmospheric pressure sensor,  temperature and humidity sensor
  • Expansion – Finger extension interface with 25 external I/O pins including GPIOs, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC, Reset, 3.3V, and GND
  • Debugging – DAP Link emulator
  • USB – 1x Micro USB port for power, programming, debugging
  • Misc – 2x user buttons;  1x RGB light; 3x working status indicator; IR emitter; Security encryption chip
  • Power Supply – 3.3V DC, maximum current 1.5A; 5V via micro USB port

The AZ3166 board is Arduino compatible can be used for prototyping IoT and smart device solutions using Visual Studio Code with Arduino Extension. Applications can  integrates with various services like Azure IoT Hub, Logic App and Cognitive Services. You’ll find more technical details on Microsoft’s Azure IoT Devkit and MXCHIP AZ3166 pages.

Visual Studio Code with Arduino Extension – Click to Enlarge

The board is not for sale yet, but you could get a preview board for free, if you can meet Microsoft’s “select criteria”.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

NXP Unveils LPC84x ARM Cortex M0+ MCU Family, and LPCXpresso845-MAX Evaluation Board

June 23rd, 2017 No comments

NXP Semiconductors has expanded LPC800 series MCUs with the new LPC84x family of 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller said to offer 10 times the performance, three times more power saving savings, and 50 percent smaller code-size than 8- or 16-bit microcontrollers.

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Key features of LPC84x MCU family (LPC844 / LPC845):

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 30 MHz with advanced power optimization
  • RAM – 16 kB RAM (Logic for Bit banding across all of SRAM)
  • Storage – 64 kB Flash, small 64-byte page size suitable for EEPROM emulation
  • Peripherals
    • Timers – 32-bit CTimer, WWDT, 4-channel multi-rate, SCTimer/PWM
    • Serial Interfaces – Up to 4x I2C, 2x SPI, up to 5x UART
    • Analog Interfaces – 12 ch, 12-bit ADC up to 1.2 Msps; 2x 10-bit DAC; comparator with external Vreg; 9-channel capacitive touch interface working in sleep and deep sleep modes
    • Up to 54 GPIOs
    • 25-ch DMA offloads core
  • Power Control
    • Five power modes
    • Power profile APIs for simple runtime power optimization
    • Fast Access Initialization Memory (FAIM) for low power boot @ 1.5 MHz
  • Clock Generation Unit with Free Running Oscillator
  • Packages – LQFP64, LQFP48, HVQFN48 and HVQFN33

The LPC84x MCUs target applications typically making use of 8- or 16-bit MCUs such as sensor gateways, gaming controllers, motor control, fire & security, climate control, lighting, etc.. The company has already provided code samples that can be used in MCUXpresso, Keil, and IAR IDEs, as well as a datasheet, and a user guide for the microcontrollers on the product page.

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NXP also unveiled LPCXPresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) to help quickly evaluating the new MCUs. The board comes with the following key features:

  • LPC845 MCU
  • On-board CMSIS-DAP (debug probe) with VCOM port, based on LPC11U35 MCU
  • Debug connector to allow debug of target MCU using an external probe
  • Red, green and blue user LEDs;  Target ISP and user/wake buttons; Target reset button
  • LPCXpresso expansion connector
  • DAC output via speaker driver and speaker
  • Arduino connectors compatible with the “Arduino UNO” platform
  • Pmod compatible expansion header
  • Prototyping area

NXP did not disclose pricing for LPC84x MCUs, but it should be priced competitively against 8-bit micro-controllers. LPCXpresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) can be purchased for $19 directly on NXP website.

Samsung Announces Mass-Production of its Exynos i T200 WiFi Processor for the Internet of Things

June 22nd, 2017 4 comments

Exynos i T200 is an ARM Cortex R4 + Cortex M0 WiSoC for the Internet of Things, potentially used in the Samsung ARTIK-053 IoT module, and the first Exynos IoT processor from Samsung. The company has just announced that mass production had started, so let’s have a closer look at the processor’s features.

Samsung Exynos i T200 specifications:

  • MCU Cores
    • ARM Cortex-R4 @ 320MHz
    • ARM Cortex-M0+ @ 320MHz (Very high frequency for an M0+ core, is that a mistake?)
  • On-chip Memory – 1.4MB SRAM
  • RF & WiFi Connectivity
    • 802.11b/g/n WiFi; single band (2.4GHz)
    • Integrated T/R switch, power amplifier, low noise amplifier
  • Interfaces – SDIO,  I2C, SPI, UART, PWM, I2S
  • Security – WEP 64/128, WPA, WPA2, AES, TKIP, WAPI, PUF (Physically Unclonable Function)
  • Process – 28-nanometer (nm) High-K Metal Gate (HKMG)

The Cortex R4 core is used for system control, and the Cortex M0+ core for I/O and LED control. Cortex M0+ core is normally used to save power, and runs tasks that do not require high performance, so the maximum operating frequency is likely much lower than the 320 MHz listed in the specs.

Samsung further states that the processor is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED from the Wi-Fi Alliance, and Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT. Exynos i T200 also natively supports IoTivity IoT protocol enabling interoperability between IoT devices. You may find a few more details on Exynos i T200 product page.

Categories: Samsung Exynos Tags: cortex m0, exynos, IoT, samsung

Olimex Launches 22 Euros ESP32-GATEWAY Board with Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth LE

June 21st, 2017 11 comments

Olimex has just launched ESP32-GATEWAY board, as cost-down version of their ESP32-EVB board, still with Ethernet, WiFi, and Bleutooth LE, but without any relays, CAN bus, nor IR control, less I/Os, and a smaller footprint.

Olimex ESP32-GATEWAY specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP32-WROOM32 module with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE
  • Wired Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet with RJ45 jack (via LAN8710A)
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Expansion – 20-pin GPIO connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for debugging (CH340T) and power
  • Misc – Reset and user buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 62 x 50 mm

Another change is the lack of a LiPo charger to run the board from batteries. Just like most Olimex boards, ESP32-GATEWAY is open source hardware with KiCAD design files available on Github. The software directory is still empty, but Ethernet demo code using ESP32-IDF has been pushed for for ESP32-EVB board, and is likely to run with minor or even no modifications on ESP32-GATEWAY board.

You’ll save 4 Euros over ESP32-EVB board, as Olimex is selling ESP32-GATEWAY board for 22 Euros.

Intel Issues End-of-Life Notices for Galileo / Galileo 2, Edison and Joule Boards & Modules

June 19th, 2017 12 comments

While I’m not sure many of my readers are using them, Intel introduced several IoT development kits and modules over the years, with products like Intel Galileo, followed by Galileo 2, Edison module development board all based on Quark processors, and more recently Intel Joule modules powered by Intel Atom T550x / T570x processors.

The three boards / modules and corresponding modules will soon be no more, as Intel issues three end-of-life (EOL) notices for:

  • Intel Galileo Board, and Intel Galileo Gen2 Board Products – PDF
  • Select Intel Edison Compute Module, Intel Edison Breakout Board, Intel Edison Kit for Arduino, and Intel Edison Breakout Board Kit Products – PDF
  • Intel Joule 570x Compute Module, Intel Joule 550x Compute Module, Intel Joule 570x Developer Kit and, Intel Joule 550x Developer Kit Products – PDF

All three follow the same “forecasted key milestones”:

  • June 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins
  • July 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Demand To Local Intel Representative
  • September 16, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance Order Date
  • September 16, 2017 – Orders are Non-Cancelable and Non-Returnable After
  • December 16, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance Shipment Date

EOL notices are normal, and potentially understandable for Galileo and Edison products announced in 2013 and 2014, but Intel Joule modules were just announced last August, so they may not have been used any products considering development time, and I can’t even find Atom T5500/550X or T5700/570x on Intel Ark website. So it does not look good for Intel’s IoT initiatives. Note that some Edison modules will be sold in 2018, so not all SKUs are discontinued.

Via Hardware.info. Thanks to Sander for the tip.

Microchip based Orange LoRa Explorer Kit Connects to Orange’s own LoRaWAN Network

June 19th, 2017 No comments

You’d think Telecom operators with all infrastructure in place would focus their IoT efforts on LTE Cat M1 or LTE Cat NB-IoT, but Orange has setup its own LoRa network in France with the aim of achieving national coverage by December 2017, at which time they’ll also test interconnection and roaming with other European operators. The company has also launched the LoRa Explorer Kit based on Microchip solutions, and designed by SODAQ.

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Orange LoRa Explorer Kit specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB RAM, up to 16KB EEPROM by emulation
  • Storage – 4Mbit serial flash (Microchip SST25PF040C)
  • Connectivity
    • Microchip RN2483A LoRa module + PCB antenna
    • Microchip RN4871 Bluetooth 4.2 module (BLE) with ceramic antenna
  • Security – Microchip ATECC508A1 crypto chip to securely store LoRa keys.
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging and programming
  • Expansion – “Arduino M0” compatible headers with 10-bit ADC, 20x GPIOs, I2C, etc…
  • Misc – MCP97001 temperature sensor; RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V vai micro USB; 3.7 LiPo battery; on-board rechargeable coin cell battery;  Microchip MCP 73831 Charge controller
  • Dimensions – 40 x 25 mm

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. The page https://lpwa.liveobjects.orange-business.com/ must have some information, but you must be a customer as it requires a login to access it. The company claims you’ll get access to user guide, sample codes, and Orange libraries. Systev blog explains how to get started in details with Explorer board and Orange LoRa network. Beside the hardware, you’ll also get 6 months free access to the Live Objects platform for device and data management, and 6 months free connectivity through the “IoT Connect Low Power” service, which would then costs 1€ to 2€ per month per object depending on volume.

You’ll find a few more details on Orange Explorer LoRa kit product page, and you can purchase the kit for €83,49 including 21% VAT on SODAQ shop.

Thanks to Tirguy for the tip.

Design Amazon Alexa Gateways, Robots and Smart Speakers with WisCore Modular Development Kit

June 17th, 2017 3 comments

RAK Wireless has launched a new development board powered by Mediatek MT7628A processor running OpenWrt with built-in WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, and audio codec and microphone to support Amazon Alexa voice service. Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-wave will also be supported via UART modules.

Wiscore Specifications:

  • Processor – Mediatek MT7628A MIPS24KEc CPU @ up to  580MHz
  • System Memory –  128MB DDR2 (64 MB optional)
  • Storage – 16 MB flash + micro SD card

    Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

  • Audio
    • MicroSemi ZL38062 for audio in and out
    • MicroSemi ZL38067 to handle “Alexa” keyword
    • single or dual digital microphone up to 5 meter range
    • Far field voice wake up
    • Support for echo cancellation
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 2×2 MIMO up to 300 Mbps
    • 2x 10/100M Ethernet (LAN and WAN)
    • Optional UART modules for Bluetooth, ZigBeem Z-Wave
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Expansion – Arduino headers with UART, I2C, SPI and GPIOs
  • Power Supply – 5V via power barrel or mini USB port

As you can see from the photo below, the main components are on separate boards (for some reasons) with a “mother board”, MT7628 module, and an audio sub-board.

As mentioned in the introduction, the MT7628 module runs an OS based on OpenWrt with RAK iGate middleware, and the company provides an SDK allowing you to develop solutions based on Amazon Alexa thanks to one codec that will detect “Alexa” keyword and wake up to the board, and another codec handling audio capture and output. The software architecture is shown below, Wiscore app for Android and iOS is provided to pair the EVK with Alexa, and more documentation and software can be found in the Wiki on Github.

WisCore Software Architecture

The solution can be used to build voice controlled home automation gateways or appliances, smart speakers, and robots. RAK Wireless sells a development kit with the three boards, an Ethernet cable, a speaker, a USB cable, two antennas, some Dupont wires, some jumpers, and a Quick Start Guide for $49 plus shipping. Visit the product page for a few more details.

MangOH Red Open Source Hardware Board Targets Cellular Industrial IoT Applications

June 14th, 2017 3 comments

Sierra Wireless has announced MangOH Red open source hardware platform designed for IIoT (Industrial IoT) applications with a snap-in socket for 2G to 4G & LTE-M/NB-IoT modules, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, various sensors, a 26-pin expansion header, and more.

mangOH Red Board without CF3 / IoT Modules – Click to Enlarge

MangOH Red board specifications:

  • Snap-in socket to add any CF3-compatible modules, most of which based on Qualcomm MDM9215 ARM Cortex A5 processor including:
    • Airprime WP7502 LTE Cat 3, HSPA, WCDMA, EDGE/GPRS module
    • Airprime WP7504 LTE Cat 3, HSPA, WCDMA, CDMA module
    • Airprime WP7601 LTE Cat 4 module
    • Airprime WP7603 LTE Cat 4, WCDMA module
    • Airprime WP8548 HSPA, WCDMA, EDGE/GPRS, and GNSS module
    • AirPrime HL6528RD quad-band GSM/GPRS Embedded Wireless Module designed for the automotive market
    • And more….

      mangOH Red with CF3 Module, Shield, and IoT Module – Click to Enlarge

  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Wireless MCU Module – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 BLE module with an ARM Cortex-M4 core MCU (Mediatek MT7697) providing access to real-time I/Os
  • Wireless Connectivity “Accessories”
    • Micro SIM card holder; ESIM
    • Main, GNSS, & Diversity antennas connectors, and WiFi/Bluetooth chip antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack (unpopulated)
  • Sensors – Bosch Sensortec Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Temperature and Pressure sensors, Light sensors
  • Expansion
    • 26-pin Raspberry Pi compatible connector
    • IoT Expansion Card slot to plug in any technology based on the IoT Connector open standard
    • 6-pin real-time I/O header controlled by WiFi/BLE module.
    • 6-pin low power I/O header
  • Debugging – 1x micro USB port for serial console
  • Misc – LEDs; reset and user buttons;
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; battery connector; power source jumpers

Click to Enlarge

mangOH Red hardware design is fully open source with BoM, schematics (PDF an Allegro/OrCAD), PCB Layout (Intercept Pantheon), Gerber, and mechanical files available for download in the resources section, where you’ll also find other documentation and getting started guides for users and developers.  The CF3 modules run Legato Linux developed by Sierra Wireless, and open source with the source code on Github. Code specific to MangOH Red + WP8548 was also upstreamed in Linux 4.10.

The company also offers Sierra Wireless Smart SIM with up to 100 MB free data, but you can use the board any commercially available SIM car. The board also supports AirVantage IoT Platform to create, deploy and manage solutions in the cloud.

MangOH Red board can be purchased as a bareboard, but most people will probably want to get a Starter Kit with MangOH Red plus Air Prime WP8548, WP7502 or WP7504 sold on Digikey. I’m very confused by the price list, as $99 is shown for both the bare board, and kits including the board and a CF3 module. So I’ll assume $99 is for mangOH board only, and you’d likely have to pay $200+ for a board plus a CF3 module with the total price depending on the selected module. You may find additional details on MangOH Red product page.