Spartan Edge Accelerator Arduino Compatible Board Combines ESP32 & Spartan-7 FPGA

Spartan Edge Accelerator

Xilinx Spartan FPGAs have been around for a while, and a few years ago we covered Spartan-6 FPGA boards such as Spartixed and miniSpartan6+.  Seeed Studio has now launched another Xilinx Spartan board with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Spartan Edge Accelerator Board follows Arduino UNO form factor and combines a more recent Xilinx Spartan-7 FPGA with Espressif Systems ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth chip. Spartan Edge Accelerator specifications:  FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-7 XC7S15 FPGA with 12.8K Logic Cells and 360Kb block RAM WiSoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 SoC with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1  BLE Storage – SPI flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – Mini HDMI Video Input – CSI Camera Interface with support for OV5640 sensor USB – USB type-C port Expansion Arduino UNO headers (5V) FPGA I/O header DAC output and ADC input header (via 8-bit ADC1173 chip) 2x Grove connectors (I2C and digital I/O) Debugging / Programming – Arduino ICSP header, FPGA  JTAG interface Sensors …

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ESP32-S2 Processor Datasheet Released, Development Boards Unveiled

ESP32-S2 Development Board

Last may Espressif Systems unveiled ESP32-S2 secure WiFi processor  with a single Xtensa LX7 core clocked at 240 MHz, and the first ESP32 processor to come with a built-in USB (OTG) interface, as well as some new features such as WiFi Time-of-Flight (ToF), hardware security, LCD RGB & camera interfaces,  and more. Note that contrary to other ESP32 processors launched so far, ESP32-S2 does not support Bluetooth. ESP32-S2 Datasheet The processor is still not available, but there has been some interesting development in recent weeks. First the datasheet (PDF) has been released, so we’ve got to check more technical details including the processor diagram below. The main specifications have not changed, so I won’t reproduce them here, and you can check out ESP32-S2 announcement for specs. ESP32-S2 Development Boards The first ESP32-S2 development boards are also available… in Espressif Systems’ offices that is, but not quite publicly. The board above is based on ESP32-S2 processor with a 56-pin package, and …

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Espressif ESP-Skainet Voice Assistant Offers Wake Word Engine and Speech Commands Recognition for Embedded MCUs


Skynet is finally here! OK, not quite, but at least we do have ESP-Skainet now courtesy of Espressif Systems. ESP-Skainet is an intelligent voice assistant that features the company’s WakeNet wake word engine and MultiNet speech commands recognition. WakeNet WakeNet has been specifically designed for low-power MCUs such as ESP8266 or ESP32 with a low memory footprint (20KB RAM) and a high calculation speed that makes it capable of achieving a high success rate for wake word detection even in noisy environments. Tested in the company’s upcoming LyraT-Mini audio board that combines an ESP32-WROVER-B module and a codec, WakeNet achieves a 97% wake word success rate at a one-meter distance, and 95% three meters away in a quiet environment. ESP-Skainet wake-up engine ships with the wake-up word “嗨乐鑫” (Hi Lexin), which translates in “Hello Espressif”, and supports up to five wake words. You can use customize wake words as well, but you’d have to go through Espressif Systems to enable …

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ULX3S Education Board is Powered by Lattice Semi ECP5 FPGA & ESP32 WiFi/BLE Module

ULX3S Lattice ECP5 FPGA Educational Board

A few days ago, we covered the KiCAD designed OrangeCrab open-source hardware board powered by a Lattice Semi ECP5 FPGA, and compliant with Adafruit Feather form factor. It’s turned out there’s another Lattice Semi ECP5 FPGA board that’s also designed with KiCAD and open source hardware. Radiona ULX3S differs are it’s larger and exposes more I/Os since it was specifically designed to meet the meets of the digital logic course at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) of the University of Zagreb in Croatia. ULX3S specifications: FPGA – Lattice ECP5 LFE5U-85F-6BG381C with 84K LUT System Memory – 32MB SDRAM @ 166 MHz Storage – 4–16MB Quad-SPI Flash for FPGA config and user data storage; MicroSD slot Audio – 3.5 mm jack with 4 contacts (analog stereo + digital audio or composite video) Video – Digital video (GPDI General-Purpose Diferential Interface) with 3.3V-5V I2C bidirectional level shifter Display – Placeholder for 0.96″ SPI color OLED display (SSD1331 driver) Wireless …

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Getting Started with ANAVI Gas Detector Starter Kit and Home Assistant

ANAVI ESP8266 Gas Detector Display

ANAVI Gas Detector is an ESP8266 based board designed for MQ gas sensors supported by Arduino. This allows you to easily monitor air quality, or more accurately air conductivity using MQ-135 sensor as part of the starter kit either visually on the OLED display, or through your smartphone or computer using MQTT via automation platform such as Home Assistant. Leon Anavi sent me an ANAVI Gas Detector Starter Kit to have a look, and I’ll report my experience with the kit using it standalone, and through Home Assistant. Starter Kit Unboxing The kit contains the open-source hardware, ESP8266 based ANAVI Gas Detector board, a plastic stand, an OLED display, a USB to serial adapter, a gas sensor, and a few KiCad and ANAVI stickers. The board itself comes with an ESP8266MOD module, features a micro USB port for power, a reset button, four LEDs, a UART console, a 4-pin GPIO header, three I2C headers for sensors, a 4-pin connector for …

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ESP32-MeshKit is a Development Kit for ESP32 Mesh Networking


The ESP8266 was a jewel in its peak, it ruled the maker’s world in the need for creating a low-cost WiFi module. Being Arduino compatible also furthered  its glory then the ESP32 came in. ESP32 offered so much more than the ESP8266, and most importantly it was also affordable. With support for Bluetooth and WiFi, ESP32 was to open a new frontier for the development of Internet of Things applications. A major drawback of the affordable ESP32 was the lack of official support of mesh network for the chip, something that was easily possible with the ESP8266. Mesh network allows you to build a network of nodes that can communicate with each other, self heal, and many more possibilities.  But thankfully, back in 2018, Espressif Systems released the ESP Mesh Development Framework (ESP-MDF) which sits on top of the IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF), the official development framework for the chip. The launch of the framework makes it possible to develop …

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Sonoff S55 Waterproof WiFi Smart Sockets are Offered in Six Regional Variants

Sonoff S55

When WiFi smart sockets (aka smart plugs) started to appear a few years ago, they were often only available with either US or China plugs, and users from Europe, UK or other locales may have had to use an adapter instead. Since then, products that ship with multiple versions such as Sonoff S26 or Orvibo Wiwo S20 have launched in order to cater to more people around the world. ITEAD has now launched another WiFi smart socket, namely Sonoff S55, that’s designed to work outdoors thanks to IP55 ingress protection rating, and is offered in six different variants for Australia, Germany, France, the United States, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Sonoff S55 specifications: Input/Output S55TPI(AU) – AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 10A Max S55TPF(DE) – AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 16A Max S55TPE(FR) – AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 16A Max S55TPB(US) – AC 125V 50/60Hz 10A Max S55TPD(ZA)- AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 10A Max S55TPG(UK) – AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 13A Max Connectivity – IEEE 802.11b/g/n …

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mDash Cloud platform for IoT Devices Targets ESP8266/ESP32, STM32, and TI CC3220 Wireless MCUs

mDash firmware

Cesanta (a company based in Dublin, Ireland) recently launched mDash – an IoT cloud platform for administration of various IoT modules. This platform supports Espressif’s modules ESP32 & ESP8266, STM32 (L4,M4) and TI CC3220, and offers a bunch of features which are known to be  challenging tasks in the IoT world. This includes OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware updates, remote configuration and administration, alerts and notifications, remote device control and file management. This can be achieved through 3 programming platforms – Arduino IDE, ESP-IDF and through Mongoose OS. For evaluation and testing purpose mDash offers a simulator that run as a docker container. Refer our previous post, to understand how to get started with Cesanta’s Moongoose OS for ESP8266. Basic WorkFlow mDash Library The company offers reference firmware/library for the defined hardware platforms. This been implements by using secure MQTT for communication, re-connection and initial provisioning with mDash cloud. You can find the library for ESP32 & ESP8266 with a few examples …

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