SwiftIO Arm Cortex-M7 MCU Board Targets Apple Swift Programming Language

Swift programming language has been developed by Apple for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. The programming language works with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, as well as existing Objective-C code written for Apple products. MadMachine has now created an Arm Cortex-M7 development board, named SwiftIO, specifically designed for Swift programming language through MadMachine IDE and SwiftIO framework. SwiftIO hardware specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX RT1052 Arm Cortex-M7 Crossover Processor @ 600MHz System Memory – 32 MB SRAM Storage – MicroSD card slot supporting standard and high capacity SD cards USB – 1x Micro USB connector for power, 1x Micro USB connector for serial communication Expansion – 2x 46 GPIO headers with 12x 12-bit analog to digital (ADC) converters, 4x UART, 2x CAN, 2x IIC, 2x SPI, 14x PWM Misc – On-board RGB LED, download and reset buttons Power Supply – 5V via Micro USB port Dimensions – TBD MadMachine IDE is the equivalent of the Arduino IDE …

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Huawei Pledges One Million Dollars in Huawei Mobile Services App Innovation Contest

Those are challenging times for Huawei with the company having to stop developing and manufacturing Kirin processors, and their temporary license to get support from Google has recently expired. But necessity is the mother of inventions, so Huawei has stocked up on chips to give it time to find alternatives and is developing its own software ecosystem. But app developers won’t simply spend time working on apps for the platform without some incentive, so Huawei has launched the HMS App Innovation Contest with one million dollars in prize money. HMS stands for Huawei Mobile Service and looks like the equivalent of GMS, with the app store being called “HUAWEI AppGallery”. The contest is open to developers in most countries, but unsurprisingly there’s no option for developers in North America (USA/Canada). However, the contest is global and it still looks possible to get a Huawei ID from any country. The schedule for the five zones is identical: June 30 – October …

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit Review – Part 1 – Unboxing and First Boot

Last month, we wrote about Elecrow introducing CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and electronics learning kit for its launch on Kickstarter crowdfunding website. The company has now sent one of its kits to CNX Software for evaluation and review. I’ll start by checking out the content of the package, and boot it up, before publishing a more detailed review in a few weeks. The package is fairly big and highlights it’s made for kids over 8 years old with close to 100 course resources and over 20 electronics modules. The back of the package list the main features and package contents with for example a 11.6″ Full HD display, Raspberry Pi 4 4GB board running a customized (Linux) system or Retropie for game emulation, electronics components and modules like servos and motors, as well as some resources for gaming including two USB gamepads. The first things we get when opening the package are some “Minecraft carton papers” and the user …

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Laptop Doubles as Electronics Learning Kit (Crowdfunding)

CrowPi portable learning kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and Pi Zero boards was launched in 2018. It comes with a 7″ display, several sensors, buttons, a breadboard, and more all packed in a small suitcase. Elecrow has now started a new crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the second generation portable electronics learning kit: CrowPi2 which looks much more like a laptop than a suitcase found in the first model thanks to a large display, and a detachable keyboard placed on top of the electronic prototyping/learning area. It’s also more powerful thanks to the latest Raspberry Pi 4 SBC. CrowPi2 specifications: Compatible Raspberry Pi boards – Raspberry Pi 3B/B+, Raspberry Pi 4 Display – 11.6-inch 1920×1080 IPS screen Camera – 2MP camera Audio – Built-in microphone and stereo speaker; 3.5mm audio jack Keyboard – 2.4GHz detachable wireless keyboard (QWERTY only) with touchpad Sensors and Modules under the keyboard: Displays – 4-digit Segment LCD, LCD1602 matrix display, and 8×8 RGB …

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Ampere eMAG 64bit Arm Workstation Enables Native Arm Development

Over the last few years, several companies have come up with 64-bit Arm workstation to allow developers to test Arm code natively which may be important to avoid network delays or test applications requiring video or graphics. Those started to become available in 2018 from the relatively low-end  24-core Cortex-A53 Linaro “Synquacer” Developerbox to the much more powerful (and expensive) GIGABYTE ThunderXStation Workstation powered by up to two 32-core ThunderX2 processors. In the fall of 2019, SolidRun started to ship HoneyComb LX2K 16-core Arm Workstation motherboard with and NXP LX2160A 16-core Cortex-A72 processor that offers significantly more performance than the Linaro Box at a reasonable price ($750). While reading a recent Anandtech post with photos of an engineering sample, I found out Avantek was also offering the Ampere eMAG 64bit Arm Workstation powered by an Ampere eMAG 8180 32-core server processor. Ampere eMAG 64-bit Arm workstation specifications: SoC – Ampere eMAG 8180 32-core Armv8 processor @ 2.8GHz / 3.3 GHz …

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Qt for MCUs 1.1 Adds Support for more STM32 and NXP i.MX RT Boards, FreeRTOS

The first stable version of Qt for MCUs was released in August 2019 in order to bring Qt graphical toolkit to microcontrollers such as STMicro STM32F7,  Renesas RH850, or NXP i.MX RT1050.   Qt for MCUs would run bare metal on supported boards, and software engineers would develop graphical interface using QML and C++. Qt for MCUs 1.1 has just been released with the addition of more STM32 and i.MX RT boards, support for FreeRTOS real-time operating system, and more. Qt for MCUs 1.1 highlights: Five new supported boards:  NXP i.MX RT 1064 EVK, STM32 H750B-DK, STM32 F469i-disco, STM32 L4R9i-disco, and STM32 L4R9i-eval Asset management Optional PNG compressions for assets to lower storage footprint Option to read data directly from flash memory for lower RAM consumption, or copy to RAM for better performance, at the cost of higher RAM consumption. FreeRTOS support (technology preview) to run background tasks without blocking the Qt Quick user interface Qt Charts for MCUs (technology preview) …

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Getting Started with Qoitech Otii Developer Tool using ESP8266 and Raspberry Pi 4 Boards

Last month, I received Qoitech Otii Arc power supply, power meter, and DAQ unit that aims at helping hardware and software engineers develop energy-efficient products. I’ve now had time to test the unit with an ESP8266 board and Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, so I’ll show how to get started and my overall experience with the hardware and program. Requirements and Initial Setup The unit takes a 9V power supply or micro USB adapter as power input, but power output is done through banana plugs. I did not have any cables with banana plugs so I bought one on eBay for about $5 shipped. This cable is really convenient with output to USB (female connector), crocodile clips, and hook clips. However, as we’ll see below it may not be suitable for all types of loads, and you may have to make your own with a higher rated cable. You’ll need to download Otii program available for Windows 10 / 7 64-bit, …

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Google Pigweed Libraries Streamline Embedded Software Development on 32-bit Microcontrollers

There are many components required for embedded software development, including cross-toolchain, a build system like buildroot or YoCto Project, and debugging tools like OpenOCD.  Once you’ve installed those, development involving several steps including building the code, flashing it to the board, and then running the program on the target. Google would like to make embedded software development to be as easy as web development as possible, similar to editing a file and running it in a web browser, so they’ve just released Pigweed open-source collection of embedded-targeted libraries/modules to streamline the development process for 32-bit microcontrollers such as STMicro STM32L452 or Nordic Semi nRF52832. Pigweed aims to help all steps of the process including tools/environment setup, program development, and code submission. Setup consists of running a bootstrap script that will automatically install tools such as Python 3.8, clang-format, and an Arm compiler in a virtual environment in order to leave the system’s default environment unmodified. There are several development “pw_” …

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