PineTime is a $25 Smartwatch / Companion for PinePhone Linux Phone

PineTime

We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch. That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems.  It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement. Available information is limited to the discussion in the tweet at this stage, but we do know the watch will be made of zinc alloy &  plastic, come with a charging dock, a 20 mm wristband, an heart-rate monitor and last several days on a charge. We’ve also seen people interested in porting ZephyrOS to the watch, and others would like to make it work with Android and/or iOS smartphones. Development kits should …

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NXP i.MX RT106F & RT106A/L Cortex-M7 Processors Target Offline Face Recognition & Smart Audio Applications

NXP i.MX RT crossover processors combine real-time capabilities of microcontrollers with the performance of application processors thanks to an Arm Cortex-M7 core clocked at 528 MHz and more. The performance is indeed impressive as shown by Teensy 4.0 benchmarks, but so far NXP i.MX RT processor targeted general purpose applications. The company has now introduced three new crossover processors designed for AI applications. NXP i.MX RT106F is designed for offline face recognition and expression Identification, while RT106L and RT106A are made for local and cloud-based embedded voice applications. NXP i.MX RT106F Processor Highlights of the processor: CPU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ 600 MHz (3020 CoreMark/1284 DMIPS) Memory – 1 MB On-Chip SRAM plus up to 512 KB configurable as Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) External memory interface options – NAND, eMMC, QuadSPI NOR Flash, and Parallel NOR Flash Real-time, low-latency response as low as 20 ns Industry’s lowest dynamic power with an integrated DC-DC converter Low-power run modes at 24 MHz …

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$5 Longan Nano GD32V RISC-V Development Board Comes with LCD Display and Enclosure

Longan Nano

There’s been some exciting news about RISC-V microcontrollers recently with Gigadevice announcing GD32V, one of the first RISC-V general-purpose microcontrollers, which outperforms its Arm Cortex-M3 equivalent in terms of performance and power consumption. The company also announced some development boards, but they are not quite that easy to purchase being listed on Tmall website in China. The good news is that Sipeed has introduced Longan Nano development board powered by GD32VF103CBT6 microcontroller, and it’s up for sale on Seeed Studio for $4.9. Longan Nano board specifications: MCU – Gigadevice GD32VF103CBT6 32-bit RISC-V (rv32imac) microcontroller @ 108 MHz with 128KB Flash, 32KB SRAM Storage – MicroSD card slot Display – 0.96″ 160×80 IPS RGB LCD connected via SPI USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion – 2x 16 through holes (2.54mm pitch) exposing 3x USART, 2x I2C, 3x SPI, 2x I2S, 2x CAN, 1x USBFS (OTG), 2x ADC (10 channel), 2x DAC Timers – 4x general-purpose 16-bit …

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AndesCore N22 RISC-V Core Supports RV32IMAC or RV32EMAC Instruction Sets

Andes N22 RISC-V vs Arm Cortex M3 / M0+

We covered Gigadevice GD32V general-purpose microcontroller with a RISC-V “Bumblebee” core last week, and I was informed that Andes Technology had recently introduced AndesCore N22 RISC-V “Bumblebee” IP core capable of supporting either RV32IMAC or RV32EMAC instruction sets. A web search did not reveal any specific information about what “Bumblebee” RISC-V cores are exactly, or maybe it’s in reference that many can be coupled in parallel. But that’s just a small detail, let’s check out in some details what AndesCore N22 core has to offer. The RISC-V core is designed for entry-level MCUs found in IoT devices and wearables, and is capable of deeply embedded protocol processing for I/O control, storage, networking, AI and AR/VR. Highlights of AndesCore N22: AndeStar V5 (RV32IMAC) / V5e (RV32EMAC) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), compliant to RISC-V technology plus Andes extensions architectured for performance and functionality enhancements 32-bit, 2-stage pipeline CPU architecture 16/32-bit mixable instruction format for compacting code density Branch prediction to speed up …

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Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe 2019 Schedule – October 28-30

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2019 Schedule

I may have just written about Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 schedule, but there’s another interesting event that will also take place this fall: the Embedded Linux Conference Europe on  October 28 -30, 2019 in Lyon, France. The full schedule was also published by the Linux Foundation a few days ago, so I’ll create a virtual schedule to see what interesting topics will be addressed during the 3-day event. Monday, October 28 11:30 – 12:05 – Debian and Yocto Project-Based Long-Term Maintenance Approaches for Embedded Products by Kazuhiro Hayashi, Toshiba & Jan Kiszka, Siemens AG In industrial products, 10+ years maintenance is required, including security fixes, reproducible builds, and continuous system updates. Selecting appropriate base systems and tools is necessary for efficient product development. Debian has been applied to industrial products because of its stability, long-term supports, and powerful tools for packages development. The CIP Project, which provides scalable and customizable base image and BSP layers, is now used in …

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Ameba Z2 IoT Board Features Realtek RTL8720CM Armv8-M KM4 Secure Wireless MCU

Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board

In 2016 we discovered Realtek Ameba wireless microcontrollers combining an Arm Cortex-M3 core with WiFi connectivity, and that could potentially become an ESP8266 competitor with modules selling for as low as $2. But the solution never really took off, because it was about the same price as ESP8266, and the latter already had a solid software ecosystem and community. But RealTek has now introduced a new Ameba Z2 IoT development board powered by RTL8720CM microcontroller featuring an Armv8-M KM4 core clocked at 100 MHz. What’s an Arm KM4 core you may ask? Seeed Studio informed me Arm and RealTek worked together on the KM4 core, so it looks like a custom Armv8-M microcontroller. Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board Ameba Z2 (ZII) specifications: Wireless MCU – Realtek RTL8720CM single core Armv8-M KM4 core @ 100MHz with 4.2MB internal RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth radios Storage – 2MB external flash on module Connectivity Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 1×1 Wi-Fi 4 (20/40MHz) with PCB …

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$15 TTGO T-Call Board Combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth SoC with SIM800 GPRS Module

TTGO T-call Pinout Diagram

LilyGo has launched several TTGO boards usually based on Espressif ESP8266 or ESP32 over the years. Here’s another that could be useful if 2G cellular networks have not sunset in your country: TTGO T-Call. The new board combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth WiSoC with SIMCom SIM800L GPRS module, and also happens to rely on a USB-C port for power and programming instead of the more common micro USB port on this type of hardware. TTGO T-Call board (BLINK_V1.3) specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B based on ESP32 dual core Xtensa processor @ 240MHz with 520kB SRAM on-chip, 4MB QSPI flash, 8MB PSRAM Connectivity – WiFi 4 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) up to 150 Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 Classic + LE Cellular  – 2G GSM/GPRS via SIMcom SIM800L module + Nano SIM card slot USB – 1x USB-C for power and programming (via CP2104) Expansion – 2x 21-pin headers with UART, SPI, SDIO, I2C, PWM, I2S, IRGPIO, capacitor touch sensor, ADC, DAC Misc …

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Obsidian ESP32 Board Follows Raspberry Pi Model A Form Factor (Crowdfunding)

Obsidian ESP32 Raspberry Pi Board

When Thomas McKahan‏ had been playing with ESP32 for a while, he found the need to use Raspberry Pi HAT boards and enclosure with his new hardware,  so he went ahead and designed his own ESP32 board compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, and following the smaller Raspberry Pi Model A / 3 Model A+ form factor. Obsidian ESP32 specifications: Wireless module – Espressif Systems  ESP32-WROVER-B 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 / BLE module with 16 MB flash, 8 MB PSRAM USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming Audio – 3.5mm TRS audio jack connected to ESP32 DACs Expansion 40-pin GPIO header compatible with popular HAT expansion boards with 3.3 V signalling,  I²S for audio DAC, I²C and SPI, Serial UART available on header or via microUSB, I²C GPIO expander with interrupts & address selection 8-pim unpopulated header from remaining I/Os accessible through GPIO expander 5-pin unpopulated header with analog inputs connecting to the ESP32’s SENSOR_VP and …

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