Sub-$2 MH-Tiny ATTINY88 Micro Development Board Provides an Alternative to BluePill Board

MH-Tiny ATTINY88 micro development board

Bluepill is a popular STM32 Arm Cortex-M3 development board in a compact form factor, and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE thanks to STM32duino project. A key selling point is also its ultra low price since it is now available for $1.67 including international shipping. I’ve now been informed a similar board is available, but instead of an STMicro MCU, it comes with Microchip ATtiny88 AVR micro-controller. We first discovered MH-Tiny ATtiny88 micro development board on Electrodragon where it is sold for $2.94, but the board is also listed on Aliexpress for virtually the same price as Bluepill board. MH-Tiny ATtiny88 micro development board specifications: MCU – Microchip ATtiny88 8-bit AVR MCU @ 16 MHz with 8KB ISP flash memory (over 6KB available after bootloader footprint taken into account), 64 bytes EEPROM, 512 bytes SRAM USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming Expansion – 2x 15-pin headers with 26x I/O pins including I2C, SPI, 2x PWM, …

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GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous RetroArch emulator that allows you to easily download cores, Cave …

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Edu-C Arduino Compatible Board Targets Education & Game Development

Edu-C Arduino Board Game Development

Sometimes learning can be boring, and a potentially good way to get kids more engaged is to learn by playing. Edu-C Arduino compatible board is designed to teach game development to kids old and young, so they have a lasting reward once they complete programming of the board, or they may decide to customize the game further. Edu-C hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmel AVR328 microcontroller Display – 28×64 pixel OLED display + 1-digita 7-segment display Game Inputs – Left and right potentiometers Misc – 8x LEDs, left & right LEDs, RGB LED, on/off power switch, reset button, buzzer USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming (CH340) and power Power Supply – 5V via USB; LiPo battery support The board ships with a 200 mAh Lipo battery, and a charger. Educational materials are also provided, but only in French right now, except for some documents which are in English. There are also various tutorials, again in French language: EduC-Clair complies …

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ClockworkPi GameShell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,  micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

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eduArdu is an Open Source Hardware Arduino Learning Board

eduArdu

Olimex has recently launched eduArdu, an open source hardware Arduino compatible board specifically designed for education with plenty of buttons, LEDs,  and sensors, as well as tutorials and samples source code to help young and older aspiring makers get started with Arduino programming. eduArdu hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip ATMega32U4 AVR microcontroller (as used in Arduino Leonardo) Display – 8×8 LED matrix display Audio – Built-in microphone, buzzer User Inputs – Joystick with push button, 6 Maykey-Makey type buttons Sensors – Utrasound distance sensor, light sensor, PIR sensor, temperature sensor (-45 to +125C) Expansion Two servo motor connectors UEXT connector Debugging / Programming – 1x micro USB port Misc – RGB LED,  IR transmitter, IR receiver, status LED, reset button Power Supply LiPo charger and battery connector 5V via USB port Dimensions – 170 x 75 mm Programming can be done with the Arduino IDE, or Snap4Arduino visual programming IDE. You’ll find KiCAD hardware design files, and software resources in …

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Bonsai Algorithm Enables Machine Learning on Arduino with a 2KB RAM Footprint

Bonsai Machine Learning

Machine learning used to be executed in the cloud, then the inference part  moved to the edge, and we’ve even seen micro-controllers able to do image recognition with GAP8 RISC-V micro-controller. But I’ve recently come across a white paper entitled “Resource-efficient Machine Learning in 2 KB RAM for the Internet of Things” that shows how it’s possible to perform such tasks with very little resources. Here’s the abstract: This paper develops a novel tree-based algorithm, called Bonsai, for efficient prediction on IoT devices – such as those based on the Arduino Uno board having an 8 bit ATmega328P microcontroller operating at 16 MHz with no native floating point support, 2 KB RAM and 32 KB read-only flash. Bonsai maintains prediction accuracy while minimizing model size and prediction costs by: (a) developing a tree model which learns a single, shallow, sparse tree with powerful nodes; (b) sparsely projecting all data into a low-dimensional space in which the tree is learnt; and …

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UDOO BOLT AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 SBC Goes for $229 and Up (Crowdfunding)

UDOO-BOLT

While Intel has been outing low cost and low power processors with less than 10W TDP over the years with their Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, Braswell, Apollo Lake, and now Gemini Lake processors, AMD has not really ventured into the low power space, and the latest announcements about 10-12W processors was for their Embedded G-Series J Family, which I have not seen in many products. More recently, the company introduced Ryzen Embedded V1000 family of processors with 4 to 8 Zen cores, 4K support, 10 GbE interface, and more with a TDP of 12 to 25W for Ryzen Embedded V1202B & V1605B dual / quad core processors. The latest x86 UDOO board – dubbed UDOO BOLT – will be one of the rare AMD development boards available on the market with pricing starting at $229. Two versions of the board will be available: UDOO BOLT v3 with Ryzen Embedded V1202B, and UDOO BOLT V8 with Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor. The …

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Circumference Datacentre-in-a-Box Features up to 32 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Managed by a UDOO x86 Ultra Board (Crowdfunding)

We’ve previously seen several clusters made of Raspberry Pi boards with a 16 RPi Zero cluster prototype, or BitScope Blade with 40 Raspberry Pi boards. The latter now even offers solutions for up to 1,000 nodes in a 42U rack. Circumference offers an other option with either 8 or 32 Raspberry Pi 3 (B+) boards managed by UDOO x86 board acting as a dedicated front-end processor (FEP) that’s designed as a “Datacenter-in-a-Box”. Key features and specifications: Compute nodes – 8x or 32x Raspberry Pi 3 B+ boards for a total of 128x 64-bit 1.4 GHz cores max Backplane MCU – Microchip ATmega1280 8-bit AVR microcontroller Serial Comms – FTDI FT4232 quad-USB UART Switched Mode Power Supply Units (SMPSUs): 8x / 32x software controlled (one per compute node) 1x / 4x always-on (microcontroller) HW monitoring: 8x / 32x compute node energy 2x / 8x supply voltage 2x / 8x temperature Remote console – 8x / 32x (1x / 4x UARTs multiplexed …

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