ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module is Now Supported in Arduino IDE

ESP8266 revolutionized the IoT world by offering an ultra low cost Wi-Fi solution either standalone or connected to a micro-controller board via SPI or UART. There are plenty of tutorials on the web to play with the Wi-Fi module, but it’s only recently an Arduino IDE has added support for ESP8266. If you want to try it, you can download the binary for Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X. Since my computer is running Ubuntu 14.04, I download and extracted arduino-1.6.1-linux64.tar.xz to install it in my PC. Now simply run the arduino script to start the IDE, and select to Tools->Board->Generic ESP8266 board. I don’t own an ESP8266 module myself, but Olimex tried it on their ESP8266-EVB: They connected a serial debug board and selected Tools->Port->/dev/ttyUSB0 in the IDE Selected Tools-> Programmer->esptool Loaded Blink example, and modified it to turn on and off the relay on their evaluation board. If […]

Onion Omega is an Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi Module Supporting Various Docks and Add-on Boards (Crowdfunding)

There are so many inexpensive Wi-Fi modules running Linux that it would be easy to discard Onion Omega as yet another Wi-Fi module based on Atheros AR9331 WiSoC. However, the developers have tried to bring some added value by making programming easier for web developers, integrating it with a cloud platform (free for non-commercial use), and providing basicor Arduino dock, and add-on boards for Ethernet, OLED, Relay… to make building hardware projects easier too. Let’s go through the hardware first, starting with the module specifications: SoC –  Atheros AR9331 400MHZ MIPS 24K System Memory – 64MB DDR2 400MHz Storage – 16MB Flash Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi up to 150Mbps with PCB antenna w/ uFL connector I/Os –  18 GPIOs USB – 1x USB 2.0 Power Supply – 3.3V; Typ. consumption: 0.6W Dimensions – 28.2mm x 52mm (1.1″ x 2.0″) Since this type of module is not […]

Embedded Systems Conference 2015 Schedule – May 6-7, 2015

The Embedded Systems Conference took the name “Design West” for a couple of years, but this year, there’s no mention of Design West, and the Embedded System Conference 2015 will take place in Boston, MA, US on May 6-7, 2015. The 2-day event will have a demo hall, and well as sessions divided into 8 tracks: Connected Devices and the IoT Embedded Software Design Hardware: Design, I/O and Interfacing Prototyping Embedded Systems Design Software: Design, Languages, & Quality Fantastical Theater Teardowns The full schedule has now been posted, and I’ll build a virtual schedule with some of the sessions provided. Wednesday May 6, 2015 8:00 – 8:45 – Understanding Google/Nest Thread by Michael Anderson, Chief Scientist, The PTR Group, Inc. The IoT will live or die based on its connectivity. In examining existing wireless protocols, Google/Nest found most of them lacking. In order to address the needs for low-power wireless […]

ARM Cortex M0+ Based Arduino Zero Pro Board Gets Listed on

A new “Arduino Zero Pro” board has been listed on, which looks very similar to the Arduino Zero board announced last year, with Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU, and that is still listed as “Coming Soon” on website. So it feels a little odd Arduino would release a board with basically the same features. Arduino Zero Pro key specifications are indeed exactly the same: Microcontroller – Atmel ATSAMD21G18 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash, up to 16KB EEPROM (By emulation). 48-pin LQFP package. Digital I/O Pins – 14, with 12 PWM and UART Analog Input Pins – 6, including 5 12bits ADC channels and one 10 bits DAC DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA USB – 2x micro USB ports Debugging – USB via Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) on-board debugger, and JTAG Misc – reset button, […]

Spark Electron Cellular Module for M2M Projects Comes with a $3 Monthly Data Plan (Crowdfunding)

Spark IO started with Spark Core, a tiny Wi-Fi module, followed with Spark Photon is a cheaper, faster, and tinier Wi-Fi module, and now the company is launching Spark Electron to bring cellular connectivity to hobbyist projects at an affordable cost and small form factor. Spark Electron specifications: MCU – ST Micro STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller @ 120 MHz with  1MB Flash, 128K RAM Cellular Connectivity – U-Blox SARA U-series (3G) or G-series (2G) modem + NanoSIM card slot + u.FL connector for Antenna Headers – 36 pins with 28 GPIOs (D0-D13, A0-A13), plus TX/RX, 2 GNDs, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3, RST USB – micro USB port for power and programming Misc – Setup and reset buttons, LED Dimensions – 5.08 cm x 2.03 cm x 0.76 cm (1.27 cm including headers) The board can be programmed with Wiring (Arduino’s programming language), C/C++, or ARM assembly. It’s longer than Spark […]

UDOO Neo Development Board is Powered by Freescale i.MX 6SoloX Processor

UDOO boards combine a Freescale i.MX6 dual or quad core processor with an external Atmel SAM3X MCU that’s programmable as an Arduino board, so as Freescale has now formally announced their i.MX 6SoloX processor with a Cortex A9 core running Linux and Android, and a Cortex M4 core running MQX real-time operating systems, it was logical that the company would soon launch a low cost development board based on this heterogeneous processor. Meet UDOO Neo. UDOO Neo board specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX 6SoloX ARM Cortex-A9 core @ 1GHz and ARM Cortex-M4 Core with 2D/3D GPU System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3 (only Plus version) Storage – On-board NOR SPI Flash, micro SD slot, 8-bit SDIO interface (on headers) Video Input/Output micro HDMI port LVDS interface + touch (I2C signals) Analog camera connection supporting NTSC and PAL 8-bit Parallel camera interface (on headers) Audio – HDMI USB – 1x […]

Freescale Kinetis based Mbed IoT Starter Kit Ethernet Edition Connects to IBM IoT Cloud

ARM, IBM and Freescale have jointly announced Mbed IoT Start Kit – Ethernet Edition at Embedded World 2015 that consists of  a Freescale Kinetis Cortex M4 mbed-enabled development board and a sensor IO application shield that interface with IBM Bluemix cloud platform. Freescale FRDM-K64F Freedom development board specifications: MCU – Freescale Kinetis K64 (MK64FN1M0VLL12) ARM Cortex M4 MCU @ 120 MHz with 1 MB flash memory, 256 KB RAM External Storage – SDHC slot Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – Dual role USB interface with micro-B USB connector Sensors – FXOS8700CQ accelerometer and magnetometer Headers – Arduino R3 compatible I/O connectors Misc – RGB LED, two user push buttons Power Supply – OpenSDAv2 USB, Kinetis K64 USB, and external source The board also features a programmable OpenSDAv2 debug circuit supporting the CMSIS-DAP Interface software that provides a mass storage device (MSD) flash programming interface, or a CMSIS-DAP debug interface, or […]

Freetronics Introduces an Arduino Shield for ESP8266 ESP-01 Wi-Fi Module

ESP8622 has drastically brought down the price of adding Wi-Fi to MCU boards such as Arduino UNO,  but you need to add some cables, and take care of 3.3V to 5V conversion for the UART pins either with a divider made of 2 resistors, or a FET level shifter, and you may not be able to access all I/O of ESP8622 on the popular ESP-01 version of the module. For a neater solution, Freetronics had designed ESP-01 WiFi Module Shield that takes care of all these small issues. Key features of the shield: 3.3V regulator dedicated to the module Logic level shifters on TX/RX lines: compatible with both 3.3V and 5V Arduino models Selectable TX/RX pins: use D0/D1 for hardware serial, or D2 – D7 for software serial CH_PD pin on ESP-01 module pre-biased for correct operation mode Extra ESP-01 pins broken out for your own connections Prototyping area with […]

UP 7000 x86 SBC