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Posts Tagged ‘thread’

EEMBC IoT-Connect is a Family of Benchmarks Designed To Test the Power Efficiency of IoT Devices

April 14th, 2017 No comments

EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, has been providing benchmarks for embedded systems since 1996, including ULPBench helping to rank micro-controllers by their power efficiency. But with the Internet of Things gaining traction, it’s important to test more than just the MCU core’s power efficiency, and having a benchmark taking sensors and connectivity into account would be useful.

EEMBC EnergyBench Monitor showing Accumulated Energy while running UPLBench – Click to Enlarge

That’s exactly what EEMC IoT-Connect benchmark family aims for with the three main characteristics:

  • Provides flexibility to accommodate various communication protocols (e.g. Bluetooth, Thread, LoRa, WiFi)
  • Portable to work with any vendor’s microcontroller and radio-module products
  • Compatible with EEMBC ULPBench and EEMBC IoT-Secure benchmarks

The first benchmark of the family is IoTMark-BLE connectivity profile that supports Bluetooth (LE) MCUs. The benchmark requires fixed payload size, frequency of transmission, and transmit power, and performs a complete sequence of event ranging from sensor reading, to BLE notifications, and command write and CRC.

The IoT-Connect test infrastructure is completed, and supports IoTMark-BLE, but to access it, you’ll either need to license one or more benchmark suites, join the EEMBC Board of Directors, or an application-focused EEMBC subcommittee. There are also special licenses for faculty members colleges and universities.

The next IoT-Connect benchmark profile will be completed around Q4 2017 for another communication protocol which is yet to be decided between Wifi, Thread, and LoRA.

You can find more details on EEMBC’s IoT Connect product page.

Aconno Bluetooth 4.0 & 5 IoT Development Board Features an nRF52832 or nRF52840 Module, an e-Paper Display, Sensors and More

March 31st, 2017 1 comment

Bluetooth 5 is the latest iteration of Bluetooth with up to four times the speed and twice the range of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and so far apart from Puck.js and Nordic Semi nRF52840 devkit, I had not seen many Bluetooth 5 IoT modules or boards. Aconno, a German startup, has designed ACD-52832 Bluetooth 4.0 / Thread / ANT+ IoT development board based on their own nRF52832 module, and equipped with some goodies like a black & white e-Paper display, a joystick, sensors, I/Os, etc… They’ve also launched an updated module with Bluetooth 5 using nFR52840 SoC. I don’t have the full details about the new module, but the nRF52832 module and devkit is interesting to look at, especially features should be similar.

Aconno ACD-52832 board specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ACN52832 based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4 @ 64 MHz SoC with Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Thread, NFC, and 2.4 GHz proprietary
  • Display – e-Paper display with 200×200 resolution, 184 dpi pixel density
  • Sensors
    • ST iNEMO 9-DoF inertial module with a accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer
    • Temperature sensor with -40°C to 125°C range and ± 4K accuracy
    • Light sensitive sensor
  • I/Os – Pin header with seven I/O ports; 2x potential free relay outputs; 2x PWM controlled servo outputs
  • Debugging – micro USB port for J-Link or drag and drop flashing
  • Misc – IR emitter; 5-way digital joystick; 2x LEDs; 2x tactile switches; potentiometer for ADC values; buzzer
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • 1,200 mAh Li-Ion battery
    • Texas Instruments USB Li-Ion battery charger with up to 0.5A charging devices.
  • Dimensions – 105 x 65 mm (module is ~ 20 x 25 mm)

The board can be programmed and debugging via Segger J-Link OB through the micro USB interface, and Nordic toolchain using Keil, IAR and GCC. It’s also supported by mbed online compiler allowing drag & drop programing. The board and module supports Nordic’s SoftDevices to enable the wireless protocols needed for your project. Potential applications include IoT sensor nodes and hubs, rapid prototyping, desktop peripherals, remote controls, sports & medical wearables, smarthome sensors, beacons, toys, and NFC <-> BT tags.

ACN52832 Module Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Charbax interviewed the 4-person company at Embedded World 2017, where they showcase the old and new modules, the development board, as well as some other products based on the module such as soil moisture sensor, an e-Paper picture frame, an interesting tiny SMT prototyping board with traces made with conductive ink pen, a DIN rail box with e-Paper and so on..

The nRF52832 module is sold for 12 Euros + VAT, while the development board goes for 99 Euros + VAT on Amazon Germany. It’s also possible to buy directly on their own shop, and they have a 20% discount for a few more days. For more information, including manuals for both the module and devkit, and some other hardware kits, visit Aconno products page. Pricing and info about nRF52840 do not seem to have be posted to their website yet.

Samsung Introduces Artik 530 IoT Module & Development Kit with WiFi, BLE, and Zigbee/Thread

February 9th, 2017 No comments

Samsung unveiled Artik 1, Artik 5, and Artik 10 IoT modules & development board families in 2015, but since then they dropped the Artik 1 family, and instead launched Artik 0, Artik 5, and Artik  7 modules and boards late last year. More recently the company canceled the more powerful Artik 1020 development board, but the Artik project is still going on, as they’ve just added Artik 530 module & development kit to their Artik 5 family.

Artik 530 Module – Click to Enlarge

Samsung ARTIK 530 module specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed Quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with a 3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC v4.5 flash
  • Connectivity – Dual band SISO 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LE + Classic, 802.15.4/Zigbee/Thread, 10/100/1000M MAC (external PHY required)
  • Other Interfaces and peripherals
    • Camera – 4-lane MIPI CSI up to 5MP (1920×1080 @ 30fps)
    • Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI and HDMI 1.4a (1920×1080 @ 60fps), or LVDS (1280×720 @ 60 fps)
    • Audio – 2x I2S audio input/output
    • Analog & digital I/O – GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, USB host, USB OTG, HSIC, ADC, PWM, I2S, JTAG
  • Security – Secure point to point authentication and data transfer
  • Power Supply – PMIC with on-board bucks and LDO
  • Dimensions – 49x36mm

Artik 530 module block diagram – Click to enlarge

Samsung did not make it easy to find which operating system is running on their modules, but after reading a few pages in the getting started guide, I found out the module should be running Fedora. The Wiki shows Fedora 22 with Linux 3.10.93, but they have upgraded to Fedora 24 since then. The product brief however includes more details about the BSP which including drivers for wireless community, multimedia, and other systems peripherals and interface, as well as power management code and security with secure boot, Artik cloud authentication API, and a crypto library based on OpenSSL.

Click to Enlarge

Since the module is not exactly convenient to use without baseboard, most people will likely start with Artik 530 developer kit with the “Interposer board” with an ARTIK 530 module, a “Platform board” that attached under the Interposer board with extra interfaces (MPI DSI/CSI, audio jack), an “Interface Board” with two female header to easily connect external hardware, and two wireless communication antennas.

Artik 530 Development Kit

You can optionally also get a MIPI camera board and/or a sensor board. The boards are described on details in what’s in the box part of the documentation.

Artik 530 module can be purchased for as low as $42.35 in quantities on Digikey or Arrow, while the developer kit goes for $189 and up, also on Digikey or Arrow.

Via Tizen Experts

Qorvo GP695 “Smart Home” SoC Integrates 802.15.4, Zigbee 3.0, Thread, and Bluetooth LE

January 4th, 2017 No comments

GreenPeak Technologies ultra-low power, short range RF communication technology company was acquired by Qorvo last year, and Qorvo has recently announced a GP695 system on chip (SoC) for smart home devices part of GreenPeak’s previous family of devices, and supporting multiple short range RF protocols.

qorvo-gp695GP695 key features:

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex M4
  • Connectivity
    • IEEE 802.15.4
    • ZigBee 3.0
    • Thread
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
    • Qorvo Wi-Fi interference mitigation technology

GP695 has been designed to be used in device such as a door locks, smart HVAC, smart security systems, connected video doorbells and intercoms, lightbulbs, smoke alarms, and leak detectors, and complements GP712 multi-protocol SoC designed for smart home gateways.

Qorvo will feature live demonstrations of its smart home and IoT solutions at its booth during CES 2017, at Sands Expo, Halls A-D Booth #42114. There’s very limited public information, and no product page could be found in their website.

Samsung Introduces $5 ARTIK 0 and $50 ARTIK 7 Smart IoT Module Families

October 27th, 2016 6 comments

Samsung unveiled ARTIK 1, 3 and 5 boards for the Internet of Things in 2015, and started to sell them, together with development with WiFi, BLE and Zigbee connectivity earlier this year. The Korean company has now announced two new family with ARTIK 0 modules powered by an ARM Cortex-M MCU and destined to be used in HVAC, lighting, industrial sensors, personal health monitoring and more, as well as ARTIK 7 family powered by an Octa-core Cortex A53 processor, and targeting IoT gateways.

ARTIK 0 Family

Development Kit with Artik-020 Module

Development Kit with ARTIK 020 Module

ARTIK 0 family is now comprised for ARTIK 020 with Bluetooth, and ARTIK 030 for applications requiring Thread and/or Zigbee. Beside the different radios, both modules share the same key features:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4 up to 40 MHz with Floating Point Unit, 256KB flash, 32 KB SRAM, advanced hardware cryptographic engine with support for AES-128/-256, ECC, SHA-1, SHA-256, and a Random Number Generator
  • Peripherals
    • 2x USART (UART, SPI, IrDA, I2S)
    • Low Energy UART (LEUART)
    • I2C peripheral interface (address recognition down to EM3)
    • Timers – RTCC, Low Energy Timer, Pulse Counter
    • 12-channel Peripheral Reflex System (PRS)
    • Up to 25 GPIO with interrupts
    • ADC (12-bit, 1 Msps, 326 μA)
    • Current-mode Digital to Analog Converter (IDAC)
    • 2x Analog Comparator (ACMP)
    • 8 channel DMA controller
  • Radio
    • Artik 020 – 2.4 GHz radio for Bluetooth. Chip antenna
    • Artik 030 – 2.4 GHz 802.15.4 radio with integrated balun, support for ZigBee/Thread wireless mesh networking; Up to + 10 dBm Tx power. Antenna: chip antenna or u.FL variant for external antenna
  • Power & Consumption
    • 1.85 to 3.8 V DC input
    • Energy Mode 2 (Deep Sleep) Current: 2.5 μA (Full RAM retention and RTCC running from LXFO)
  • Operating Temperature – -40 to +85°C
  • Certifications – FCC, IC, CE, Aus/NZ, Korea certifications (pending)
  • Dimensions – 12.9 x 15.0 x 2.2 mm
Artik 020 Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

Artik 020 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Samsung did not disclose the MCU vendor, but considering Silicon Labs made SIP-KITSLF001 evaluation kit for the modules, it has to be one of their Gecko MCUs, especially the getting started guide explains how to install Silicon Labs Simplicity StudioTM 4.0…

Artik 0 modules costs about $5 to $6 on Digikey or Mujin (Korea), while the evaluation kits go for $99 and $499 (must be a mistake) respectively for ARTIK-020 and ARTIK-030. You’ll find more technical information on Samsung ARTIK 0 family product page.

ARTIK 7 Family

ARTIK 710 Module

ARTIK 710 Module

ARTIK 7 family is at the other range of the spectrum with an octa-core processor running Linux, and there’s currently only one member with ARTIK 710:

  • SoC – 8x ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.4 GHz with 3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 @ 800 MHz
  • Storage – 4 GB eMMC flash
  • Display I/F  – 4-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 1080p24
  • Audio – I2S interface
  • Camera – 4-lane MIPI CSI interface
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 classic + LE, 802.15.4 radio for Zigbee or Thread
  • Analog and Digital I/Os – GPIO, I2S, SPI, UART, SDIO, USB 2.0,  JTAG, Analog input
  • Security – Trustware TEE, secure point-to-point authentication and data transfer
  • Power Supply – PMIC
  • Dimensions – 49 x 36 mm

The module comes pre-installed with Fedora Linux and shares the same getting started guide as ARTIK 5 and 7 modules. A development kit comprised of ARTIK 710 module, an interposer board with Ethernet, micro USB OTG, micro HDMI, LVDS and antenna connectors connected through USB to a platform board with USB ports, MIPI DSI & CSI connectors, micro SD card, audio jack, a battery connector & power jack, itself connected to an IF board to access to more I/Os via the “Expansion Connector Interface”.

ARTIK 710 Module, Interposer and Interface Boards - Click to Enlarge

ARTIK 710 Module, Interposer, Platform, and Interface Boards – Click to Enlarge

ARTIK 710 module sells for around $50 on Digikey, while SIP-KITNXE001 kit with all three boards and the module goes for $199. Visit Samsung ARTIK 7 Family product page for more details, including datasheet, and hardware and software guides.

ARM Introduces Secure Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 ARMv8-M MCU Cores, and Bluetooth 5 Cordio Radio IP for IoT Applications

October 26th, 2016 3 comments

ARM TechCon 2016 is now taking place in Santa Clara, California, USA, as ARM has made three announcements for the Internet of Things, the focus of SoftBank going forward, with two ARM Cortex-M ARMv8-M cores integrating ARM TrustZone technology, namely Cortex-M23 low power small footprint core, and Cortex-M33 core with processing power similar to Cortex-M3/M4 cores, as well as Cordio Radio IP for Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4 connectivity.

cortex-m33-m23-vs-cortex-m3-m0

ARM Cortex-M23

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

ARM Cortex-M23, based on the ARMv8-M baseline architecture, is the smallest and most energy efficient ARM processor with TrustZone security technology,and targets embedded applications requiring both a small footprint, low power, and security. Its power consumption is low enough to be used in batteryless, energy harvesting IoT nodes, and is roughly a third of Cortex-M33 processor size, and offers more than twice its energy efficiency.

Cortex-M23 is a two-stage pipelined processor, software compatible with other processors in the Cortex-M family.

You’ll find more information on ARM Cortex-M23 product page, and related blog post.

ARM Cortex-M33

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

ARM Cortex-M33, also based on ARMv8-M architecture with Trustzone technology, is the most configurable of all Cortex-M processors, includes FPU, DSP, a co-processor interface, a Memory protection unit (MPU) for task isolation, and ARM claims it “delivers an optimal balance between performance, power, security and productivity”.

The Cortex-M33 processor has an in-order 3-stage pipeline, which reduces system power consumption, and most instructions complete in two stages, while more complex instructions require three. The core also has two AMBA5 AHB5 interfaces: C-AHB and S-AHB, which are symmetric in nature and offer identical performance of instruction and data fetches.

You can visit the products page, and ARM blog post for further details.

ARM Cordio Radio IP

arm-cordio-radio

ARM has also introduced Cordio IP which offers Bluetooth 5 or 802.15.4’s ZigBee or Thread connectivity using ARM RF or 3rd party front-end. The IP supports TSMC 40nm LP/ULP, TSMC 55nm LP/ULP and UMC 55nm ULP manufacturing processes, and three solutions are available with Cordio-B50 with Bluetooth 5 only, Cordio-E154 with 802.15.4 only, and Cordio-C50 with both Bt5 and 802.15.4.

More details can be found on that ARM community blog post.

$99 MATRIX Creator Raspberry Pi Add-on Board Features Plenty of Sensors, a 2.4 GHz Radio, and More

July 6th, 2016 9 comments

MATRIX Creator is a round-shaped add-on board for Raspberry Pi boards with various sensors, a microphone array, an LED array, a Xilinx FPGA, an Atmel Cortex-M3 MCU, wireless connectivity via Z-Wave, ZigBee, Thread, and NFC, as well as various I/Os….

MATRIX_CreatorMATRIX Creator specifications:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA
  • MCU – Atmel ATSAM3S2C Cortex-M3 MCU
  • Connectivity – ZigBee, Thread, Z-Wave and NFC
  • Sensors – Ultraviolet, pressure, humidity, temperature, 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer
  • Audio – 8x MEMs microphone array with Alexa support
  • Expansion – 2x ADC, 17x digital GPIOs, SPI, I2C, UART; 40-pin connector for Raspberry Pi 2/3
  • Misc – 35x RGBW LEDs array, IR Rx/Tx, infrared ring for the Raspberry Pi NoIR camera
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I can’t think of the single application that would make use of all features of this board, but the least we can say is that it’s extremely versatile. The developers are providing MATRIX OS based on Linux to run on the Raspberry Pi board including necessary drivers and some samples, as well as MATRIX CLI and MATRIX CV, to respectively manage multiple Raspberry Pi boards and develop computer vision applications.

Documentation has not been made public yet, but the Wiki is scheduled to be up and running on, or before, July 15th, the date when the board will start shipping. In the meantime, some Raspberry Pi 3 based demos are showcased on their website including including a self-balancing robot, a gesture triggered IR transmitter, a face tracking app, and one demo showing the compass driving LEDs.

The board can be pre-ordered for $99 plus shipping.

Via HackerBoards and Harley.

Apache Mynewt RTOS for IoT Includes an Open Source Bluetooth 4.2 LE Stack for MCUs

June 15th, 2016 7 comments

The Apache Software Foundation has recently released version 0.9 Apache Mynewt open source real-time operating systems for micro-controllers under… an Apache 2.0 license. The RTOS works on STMicro STM32 Cortex-M4, and Arduino Zero / M0 Cortex-M0 boards, but they’ve also implemented the  first open source Bluetooth Low Energy stack for MCUs, starting with support for Nordic Semi nRF52 Cortex-M4 and nRF51 Cortex-M1 evaluation boards, and acting as a replacement for Nordic SoftDevice Bluetooth Smart / LE solution.

Apache_Mynewt_System_Block_DiagramThe operating system competes with ARM mbed, the Zephyr Project, and RIoT, but the foundation claims it is the only one that’s both community driven and permissively licensed (Apache 2.0) project in the embedded space.

The OS is modular and can be configured with a Go-like build and package management tool with components such as secure boot loader, flash file system and TLV storage mechanism, rich logging infrastructure, circular buffering schemes, and Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy. WiFi, Thread, and Bluetooth 5 are also part of the roadmap, and support for Javascript and Python is currently being worked on.

You can find more information and/or get started with the project on Apache Mynewt microsite.