Microchip Unveils Wi-Fi Comm Demo Board with 32-bit PIC32 MCU

After TI and Qualcomm, here’s another WiFi solution for MCU aimed at the internet of things (IoT).  Yesterday, Microchip Technology announced the Wi-Fi Comm Demo Board, which combines a Microchip 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller (PIC32MX695F512H) with a low-power MRF24WB0MA embedded Wi-Fi radio transceiver module. This small (and cheap) demo board can be used to integrate with existing embedded designs and/or to evaluate Wi-Fi connectivity with a 32-bit MCU. Contrary to TI and Qualcomm, the IP network stack is not implemented in hardware, but Microchip provides a TCP/IP stack that can be freely downloaded at http://www.microchip.com/get/A3VP.  This TCP/IP stack includes HTML, DHCP, DNS, IPv4/v6, SSL, etc… (See diagram below) The memory footprint is 28-34 KB depending on the modules used. I could not find details about power consumption, but the company claims their solution can also run with just 2 AAA batteries. Microchip explains that this solution can enable the rapid growth […]

Android SDK Tools and ADT Revision 17 with VM Acceleration for x86 Emulator

Google has released revision 17 of the SDK Tools and the Eclipse plugin. This release brings new features and bug fixes in for Lint static checker, the build system, and the emulator among other things. Here’s what’s new for Lint in r17: Lint API Check – Added check for Android API calls that require a version of Android higher than the minimum supported version. You can use the @TargetApi annotation to specify local overrides for conditionally loaded code. New Lint Rules – Added over 40 new Lint rules for a total of over 80, including checks for performance, XML layouts, manifest and file handling. Ignoring Lint Warnings – Added ability to suppress Lint warnings in Java code with the new @SuppressLint annotation, and in XML files with the new tools: namespace prefix and ignore attribute. New Eclipse Lint UI – Improved HTML and XML reporting and Eclipse integration. Improvements to […]

Qualcomm Atheros AR4100P Provides WiFi Connectivity to the Internet of Things

In January, Texas Instruments was the first company (to my knowledge) to release a WiFi chip for the internet of things, the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000, where WiFi is mostly implemented in hardware to lower power consumption. Now, the company has some competition with the announcement of Qualcomm Atheros AR4100P, an improved version of its AP4100 WiFi chipset, including IPv4/IPv6 support. The AR4100 targets the home, enterprise, smart grid and home automation and control applications that have lower data rates and transmit or receive data on an infrequent basis. The AR4100 system-in-package (SIP) features the following: Low energy Power saving modes as low as 5 µA Wake-up times as low as 2.2 ms Support for Quad SPI flash for faster wake times Low system resource requirements Low footprint host driver (25K Flash and 8K RAM) Simple, low-cost wireless system integration LGA package simplifies 2- or 4-layer PCB design Near zero RBOM […]

Energy Micro Announces EFM32G-DK3550 Gecko (Cortex-M3) Development Kit

Energy Micro has just announced the availability of the EFM32G-DK3550 development kit based on ARM Cortex-M3 EFM32G890F128 MCU. The kit (pictured below) is based on the main board from the bigger Leopard and Giant Gecko kits and supports SEGGER J-Trace and J-Link in order to reduce the need for additional debugging tools. Here are the development kit specifications: EFM32G890F128 Gecko Cortex-M3 MCU 4MB PSRAM 16MB NOR-Flash 320 x 240 RGB resistive touch TFT display Ethernet MAC/PHY microSD slot audio I/O and I2S DAC USB debug interface, SEGGER J-Link debugger Advanced Energy Monitoring (AEM) system to monitor the prototype’s energy consumption. 2x RS232,  IrDA Switches, Joystick, LEDs, potentiometer… EXP32 Prototyping area (right side of the picture) For software development, Energy Micro provides Simplicity Studio suite, which includes energyAware Profiler that can interface with the AEM system via USB, gather all relevant system data, and display real-time graphs of current consumption on a […]

Intel Announces Atom CE5300 Media Processor for STBs and Smart TVs

Intel announced the Atom CE5300 Media Processor (codenamed Berryville) to be used in set-top boxes and smart TVs at IPTV World Forum.  This new processor is the replacement for CE4100, CE4130  and CE4150 media processors used in the D-Link Boxee Box and Sony NSX-24GT1 Google TV. The Intel Atom CE5300 Media Processor is manufactured using 32nm part and features a dual Intel Atom core with support for hyper-threading and virtualization, an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine, integrated power management, and an H.264 B-picture hardware encoder. That’s all we know for now, as Intel did not provide further information such as a product brief for their new SoC. The Amino Freedom Live Media Gateway, an Hybrid/OTT media gateway powered by the Intel Atom CE5300, is currently showcased at IPTV World Forum. This STB also features the latest Opera TV Browser that support HTML5, JavaScript and WebGL technology among other things. Jean-Luc Aufranc […]

Mele A1000: AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) Based Hackable Android STB

The Mele A1000 is an Android 2.3 IP Set-top Box (STB) powered by AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) CPU with 512 MB RAM and 2 GB NAND Flash.  AllWinner A10 is the CPU to be used by the 15 USD (BOM Cost) Rhombus Tech Linux Computer, an alternative to the Raspberry-Pi. Since they do not have an alpha board yet, the Mele A1000 STB is apparently the development platform chosen by developers involved in Rhombus Tech low cost board while they wait for the hardware. Let’s have a look at the device specifications: CPU: ARM CortexA8 1GHz (AllWinner A10) Memory: DDR3 512MB RAM / 2 4GB Nand Flash OS System: Android 2.3 External Storage: Supports SD card up to 32GB, supports 2.5″ SATA HDD up to 1TB, Supports max 16GB USB flash disk Video coding: HD MPEG1/2/4.H.264.HD AVC/VC-1,RM/RMVB, Xvid/DviX4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10, VP6 Video Format: ts/m2ts/tp/trp/mkv/mp4/mov/avi/rm/rmvb/wmv/vob/asf/flv/dat/mpf/mpeg Audio Format: MP3/WMA/WMV/OGG/FLAC/MKV Subtitle Format: SRT/SMI/SSA/ASS Network […]

uClinux Running on Freescale Kinetis K70 MCU (Cortex-M4) Module

Last year, I posted about Linux for Cortex M3 & M4 Micro-controllers and noted it was difficult to find cost effective Cortex-M based boards able to run uClinux or Linux (RAM being the main issue). Freescale TWR-K70F120M  is a module based on Kinetis K70 MCU (Cortex M-4) with plenty of RAM (128MB) to run Linux or uClinux. It is available for 109 USD or 179 USD with Freescale Tower system (TWR-K70F120M-KIT). Here are the key features of the module: Freescale MK70FN1M0VMJ12 Cortex-M4 MCU @ 120 MHz (Product Brief) Touch Tower Plug-in Socket General purpose Tower Plug-in (TWRPI) socket On-board JTAG debug circuit (OSJTAG) with virtual serial port 128 MB DDR2 SDRAM memory 256 MB SLC NAND flash memory Three axis accelerometer (MMA8451Q) Potentiometer Micro-SD Card slot I could not find an open source uClinux implementation for Kinetis K70, but emCraft has a Linux Board Support Package (BSP) for the Freescale TWR-K70F120M-KIT […]

Linux 3.3 Release

Linux Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.3 on the 18th of March: So after the extra -rc release last weekend, now the final 3.3 is out there in the usual locations. Things did indeed calm down during the last week, and the shortlog looks pretty boring. The diffstat from -rc7 is dominated by the arch/tile defconfig changes, the rest is pretty small, although there are changes spread out in various subsystems (drivers, filesystem, networking, perf tools). … And obviously, the 3.3 release means that the merge window for 3.4 is now open, although I may keep of pulling stuff for a day or so to encourage people to test the actual release. Linux 3.2 brought ext-4 and btrfs file system improvements, support for Qualcomm Hexagon processor, an improved profiling tool (perf top), and better CPU and network bandwidth management. Linux 3.3 brings the following key changes: Android merge: […]

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