Ovrdrive USB is an open-source, privacy-oriented USB flash drive that can self-destruct (Crowdfunding)

Ovrdrive USB flash

We have previously covered the Tillitis Tkey, an open-source security key in a USB-C case but the Ovrdrive USB stick is not a security key. It is a simple, plain USB flash drive with a special security feature. It will appear completely blank unless you plug this drive in three times in quick succession. The Ovrdrive flash drive is aimed at journalists in repressive areas and security researchers but may be useful to other security and open-source hardware enthusiasts. As for how it works, the Ovrdrive has two identical circuits connected to the ATtiny24A microcontroller that controls the rapid plug-in functionality. When the flash is plugged in, the microcontroller powers on, and the CHG1 node goes high, charging C3 through D2. The pin will remain high for a while and then slowly discharge via R1 and body resistance. C3 and the identical C14 will remain high through power cycling/a quick […]

Tangara is a portable, open-source music player based on an ESP32 MCU (Crowdfunding)

tangara music player outside

Tangara is a portable music player that is out to make MP3 players cool again. With an iPod-inspired design and an ESP32 module at its core, Tangara presents an open-source and nostalgic way to listen to your favorite music and podcasts. The ESP32-WROVER-E at the core of the music player is the main microcontroller but it also features a co-processor, a Microchip SAMD21, which is responsible for USB communication and power management. We have covered the ESP32-WROVER-KIT, a development kit for the ESP32-WROVER and ESP-WROOM-32 line of modules with a JTAG interface and an LCD. The Tangara music player can output audio through a 3.5mm headphone jack or Bluetooth, although Bluetooth is currently limited to the default SBC codec. Tangara is the brainchild of Australian tech company Cool Tech Zone and is aimed at the portable media player community at large. This is reflected in many of the design choices […]

The Boondock Echo is an internet-connected ham radio powered by the ESP32-A1S devkit (Crowdfunding)

Boondock Echo front

The Boondock Echo is an open-source, internet-backed recording and playback device for two-way devices. It can denoise, transcribe, translate, and send emails on hearing keywords/call signs. It is a low-cost solution for timeshift radio communication that enables users to monitor frequencies and record audio from a connected radio. Captured messages are uploaded to a server and transcribed using OpenAI. On the cloud server, the audio messages also pass through some DSP (digital speech processing) algorithms for noise reduction and volume normalization to enhance their clarity and usability. The Boondock Echo is aimed at amateur radio operators and first responders in remote areas and during emergencies, situations where traditional two-way radios tend to be unclear and unreliable. Multiple devices can be linked together to form a ‘dockpack’ and monitor/record multiple frequencies at once. Boondock Echo specifications: Mainboard – ESP32-A1S (ESP32 Audio Kit) running at up to 240MHz Expansion Board – Boondock […]

EVN Alpha is a LEGO-compatible robotics controller built around Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU (Crowdfunding)

EVN ALPHA Raspberry Pi RP2040 Robot

The EVN Alpha is a robotics project from a team based in Singapore and is aimed at roboticists seeking an advanced building platform beyond what LEGO Robotics kits offer. This robotics controller can be considered a spiritual successor to the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 intelligent brick. It runs on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller with two Cortex M0+ cores running at a maximum clock speed of 133 MHz and 264KB of embedded SRAM and builds upon the rich software support available for the microcontroller. It features 64 LEGO Technic-compatible holes on five sides for easy installation into your projects and has 26 ports for I2C, UART, servos, EV3, and NXT motors. It is smaller volumetrically than the LEGO bricks and can be powered from two generic 18650 Lithium-ion cells rather than a proprietary solution (unlike the LEGO SPIKE Prime). The EVN Alpha was created as a “basecamp for students looking to […]

Renesas releases the DA14592, a new dual-core Cortex-M33/M0+ BLE chip with integrated flash

DA14592 chip block diagram

The DA14592 System-on-Chip (Soc) is Renesas’ “lowest power consumption and smallest, multi-core Bluetooth LE device.” According to the company, this chip’s design was achieved by making careful tradeoffs between on-chip memory and die size. The chip offers an ultra-low power mode that uses only 2.3mA when transmitting radio signals at 0dBm and consumes 1.2mA to receive radio signals. It also supports a hibernation mode that uses about 90nA and can extend the operating life of battery-powered products. The active mode is best for processing-intensive products and uses 34µA for every MHz of CPU clock. Projected key applications for the DA14592 chip include crowd-sourced location (CSL) tracking as used in Apple’s Airtags, remote control units, human interface devices, asset tracking, IoT end nodes, data logging, connected health, and activity tracking. Renesas DA14592 specifications: CPU cores: Cortex-M33F running at up to 64MHz as application core Cortex-M0+ at 64MHz as configurable MAC Memory: […]

Jetway launches the JF35-ADN1– A 3.5” Intel N97 SBC designed for industrial robotics applications

Jetway JF35-ADN1

Jetway, an AAEON-affiliated manufacturer, has released a new single-board computer, the JF35-ADN1, targeted at industrial robotics applications. The JF35-ADN1 is a subcompact, 3.5” board that is powered by the Intel N97 (formerly Alder Lake) processor. It features several high-speed interfaces and peripherals for its target applications including two 2.5GbE ports, a total of eight USB 2.0 ports (physical ports and internal connectors), two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (Type-A and Type-C), and supports up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM via a SO-DIMM socket. It can power up to three displays via two HDMI 2.0b ports and a DisplayPort over USB-C port. The Jetway JF35-ADN1 SBC is aimed at Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) applications, but it is stated to be versatile enough to accommodate other uses such as machine vision and payment systems solutions. The JF35-ADN1 features the same Intel N97 processor as AAEON’s Up Xtreme 7100 and is intended for […]

Renesas RZ/G3S is a 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55/M33 microprocessor with low power consumption and enhanced peripherals

rzg3s lineup en

Renesas RZ/G3S 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55 microprocessor (MPU) designed for IoT edge and gateway devices consumes as little as 10µW in standby mode thanks to its Cortex-M33 core(s) and features a PCIe interface for high-speed data transfers with 5G wireless modules. A single-core ARM Cortex-A55 CPU powers the RZ/G3s and can distribute workloads to two sub-CPUs, boosting efficiency in task handling and resulting in fewer components and a smaller system size. The Cortex-A55 core operates at 1.1GHz and is designed to improve power efficiency and performance over its predecessor, the Cortex-A53. The RZ/G3S isn’t Renasas’ first Cortex-A55 product as they have previously released the RZ/A3UL and the RZ/G2L, both powered by the same Cortex-A55 CPU. Additionally, Renesas launched the 64-bit RISC-V RZ/Five processor late last year. The RZ/G3S boasts high-speed interfaces such as PCIe and GbE, a better standby mode, and improved security features which make it suitable for IoT applications […]

iW-RainboW-G58M is a compact module based on the Intel Agilex 5 SoC FPGA series

iW-RainboW-G58M Agilex 5 Dev Kit Top View

iWave Systems, an embedded systems solutions company based in India, has announced the launch of the iW-RainboW-G58M system-on-module (SoM). The module is based on Intel’s Agilex 5 SoC FPGA E-series family, a lineup of affordable, midrange FPGAs for intelligent edge and embedded applications. The Agilex 5 E-series is optimized to deliver better performance-per-watt than its predecessors at a smaller form factor. They feature an asymmetric applications processor system comprising two Arm Cortex-A76 cores and two Cortex-A55 cores for optimized performance and power efficiency. The Arm cores in the Agilex 5 SoC FGPA family are more powerful than the Cortex-A53 cores in the Intel Agilex 7 and 9 products, but those have faster high-speed interfaces and more logic elements. The Agilex 5 SoM is suitable for development in fields like wireless communications, video/broadcast, and industrial test and measurement sectors. The last iWave module we covered, the iW-RainboW-G55M, was based on a […]