Cellular Forecasts for 2024 – 1.5 Billion 5G Subscriptions, 4 Billion Cellular IoT Devices

Mobile subscription forecast 2024

5G has yet to really take off, as it’s only available in a few cities,  but a recent report publishes by Ericsson provides some forecasts for the future of 5G and cellular IoT connectivity, as well as interesting numbers of the current state of cellular networks. There are now 7.9 billion mobile subscriptions, more than humans, including 5.7 billion mobile broadband subscription, with Asia clearly dominating the field due to its much larger population. Asia also accounts for most of the recent growth in subscriptions, and interestingly people in Central and Eastern Europe (including Russia) especially appears to need more than one mobile subscription with 142% penetration, which means on average one person has 1.4 mobile subscriptions. There are more subscriptions than people in most of the continents/countries, but to a lesser extent, and India (87%) and Africa (82%) are the only exceptions. The chart above allows us to look at both the current trends and the future. We can …

postmarketOS Linux Mobile OS Supports Over 100 Devices

postmarketOS

postmarketOS is a Linux operating system that was first unveiled in 2017, with the developers aiming to provide long term support in order to extend the life of existing phones.  The operating system is based on Alpine Linux with touch-screen optimization, and the goal is to provide updates, including security updates, for at least 10 years just like you would get on a computer. The project was really getting started at the time, but now the community has provided an update for the first 600 days of development, and over 100 devices are now supported, mostly smartphones such as Google Pixel 3 XL or Motorola Droid 4, but also some SBCs, for instance, Pine A64-LTS and various Raspberry Pi boards. “Supported” means the 112 devices listed can boot postmarketOS, but the operating system is still considered to be alpha software, and for example, if you look at the features matrix in the list of the device, you’ll find only LG …

ATORCH USB PD Power Meter Comes with USB type-C, type-B, and type-A Ports

ATORCH J7-c

Most smartphones are charged over a USB port, and many single board computers are powered by a micro USB or USB type-C port, and USB power meters such as USB Charger Doctor can be useful to evaluate phone chargers, as well as measure power consumption of SBCs. With the launch of the USB type-C connector and features such as USB PD (Power Delivery), old USB power meters are not adapted to the new standard since the connector and most importantly voltages are different, so we need USB PD compatible meters like Satechi USB Type-C power meter. Today, I decided to look for more options on Aliexpress, and you’ll find many USB-C power meters with the cheapest models going for under $5 shipped. However,  ATORCH J7-c model caught my attention since it supports both USB type-C, micro USB type-B, and USB type-A power sources, so you can keep using the same meter for all your USB testing needs. ATORCH J7-c USB-PD …

SuperB XBee Compatible Module Features ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth SoC (Crowdfunding)

SuperB XBee ESP32

Digi XBee is an ecosystem of standardized wireless module found in various development boards, and Espressif Systems ESP32 is by far the most popular WiFi and Bluetooth solution in the maker market. Somebody designed ESP32Bee combining ESP32 with  XBee form factor a couple of years ago, but it was never commercialized, and I’m not aware of alternatives, except for SuperB module based on ESP32-WROOM-32 module that has just launched on Crowd Supply. SuperB modules specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROOM-32 with ESP32 dual core WiSoC clocked at up to 240 MHz 4MB flash (potentially upgraded to 16MB) Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth Classic + LE Expansion – 3.3 V levels, UART, SPI and GPIOs broken out to headers Misc – 1x user LED Power Consumption – Sleep current is less than 5 μA Dimensions – XBee form-factor compatible Certifications – Fully certified with integrated antenna and software stacks The module will be open source hardware, programmable with various tools, …

Minnow Server is a Secure Web Server for Microcontrollers

Minnow Server Secure Websocket

Many embedded systems have a limited amount of memory, which would normally run programs with smaller footprints than on desktops or servers. For example, nginx and Apache2 are the common web servers, but on hardware with limited memory, smaller footprint web servers may be required, so that’s why I wrote a list of web servers for embedded systems running Linux/uClinux many years ago. But now, even platforms based on microcontrollers often need to run web server usually for configuration. We’ve already shown how to use Arduino to serve a simple web page and did the same in Getting Started with NodeMCU Board Powered by ESP8266 WiSoC but using Lua programming language instead. It may be more convenient to run a proper web server however, as it’s easier to change the interface, and we previously covered MicroWebSrv lightweight web server that works on platforms running MicroPython such as Pycom boards. Real Time Logic offers another open source alternative with their Minnow Server …

QC-MINI QC 2.0/3.0 USB fast charging board sells for $2

QC-MINI USB Fast Charging Board

QC-MINI is a USB fast charging board that can take 6V to 32V DC input from a power source such as solar panel, and outputs 3 to 12V via a USB port using QC 2.0/3.0 and other fast charging standards. The board can be useful to implement fast charging in any project, and it won’t break the bank as I’ve just come accross the module on IC Station for just $1.99. QC-MINI key features and specifications: Input voltage – 6.0V to 32V DC Output 5V DC up to 3.4A by default Fast Charging QC 2.0, QC 3.0 with 9V @ 2.5A and 12V @ 2A support BC1.2 protocol Apple protocol Samsung protocol MTK PE1.1/PE2.0 Huawei Fast Charge Protocol FCP, does not support mate9 (SCP) Spreadtrum Fast Charge Protocol SFCP Safety – Overvoltage protection, undervoltage protection, overcurrent protection, short circuit protection, over temperature protection. Misc – LED load indicator with brightness increasing with load Dimensions – 38x20x10 mm Temperature Range – …

FDK Unveils Tiny SMD Solid-State Batteries

FDK SMD Battery

Coin-cell batteries are often used in wearables or system with a real-time clock (RTC). They do the job just fine, but over many years they may start to leak, and some applications may benefit from even smaller batteries. Leaking can be solved by going with solid-state batteries, and we’ve seen in the past TDK launch CeraCharge solid-state batteries packaged into an ultra small SMD form factor. TDK CeraCharge batteries now have at least one competitor with FDK introducing their own SMD solid-state batteries using a high electrochemical potential cathode material “lithium cobalt pyrophosphate” (Li2CoP2O7). Key features: Energy Density – 26mWh/cm3 Voltage / Capacity – High voltage 3.0V, “high capacity” 140μAh Dimensions – SMD type; 4.0mm x 2.0mm x 2.0mm Temperature range – -20 – +105℃ Safety – High safety and environmental adaptability, use inflammable materials, use stable oxide sintered ceramics (sulfide free) The small size, high capacity, and wide temperature range of the batteries make them suitable for various IoT …

Xunison X-Brain Android Smart Home Hub Supports Z-Wave and Bluetooth Controllers

Xunison-X-Brain-1200

Xunison X-Brain is an All-in-One smart home hub that integrates a high-performance secure router, a home server, a WiFi, Z-Wave & Bluetooth gateway. X-Brain runs Android TV operating system, so you can watch live television, stream videos from Netflix, Hulu or IPTV services with EPG, as well as install apps from Google Play. The home automation part of the system allows you to control Z-Wave & Bluetooth Smart Home devices, monitor your home security system, control your home energy consumption, and so on. Xunison X-Brain V1 preliminary hardware specifications: Multimedia subsystem SoC – Unnamed quad-core processor @ 1.5 GHz with penta-core Arm Mali-450 3G GPU, likely Amlogic S905X System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI + AV port (composite) Audio – HDMI output, AV (stereo audio), and S/PDIF Router subsystem SoC – Mediatek MT7628 580MHz MIPS 24KEc processor Storage – 256 Mbit flash WiFi – 802.11n 2T2R …