uSVC Arduino VGA board – a portable and programmable retro-gaming console (crowdfunding)

Itaca Innovation previously launched uChip, an Arduino-compatible board that has a Cortex M0+ MCU that features 0.3” spacing between rows. Now, next-hack joined Itaca Innovation to come up with an expansion board for uChip. The uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Arduino based retro-gaming console is open hardware and is a programmable console. It will allow creating and playing retro “9-bit” games with standard USB controllers and keyboards. You will get one uChip (pre-soldered) and the uSVC game loader pre-programmed, a PCB with a pre-soldered SMD MicroSD card reader. It also includes all of the components needed to build your uSVC, and Bill of Material (BOM) and assembly drawings will also be provided. uSVC Specifications uChip is the heart of uSVC (48 x 86 x 17 mm), with a Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU clocked @ 48 MHz (Arduino Zero compatible). A VGA output of 57 Hz vertical frequency, 30 kHz horizontal frequency. It comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, 10-bit […]

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ESP8266 based Wireless Air Quality & Environmental Monitors Teardown – Sonoff SC and vThings CO2 Monitor

The mailman delivered two parcels today, and interestingly enough they have a similar functionality measuring air quality and environmental data such as temperature. The first package was ITEAD Studio Sonoff SC environmental sensor with ESP8266, an Atmel MCU, DHT11 temperature & humidity sensor, a dust detector, a light sensor, and a microphone, while the second was v-Air Monitor vThings CO2 monitor v3 also based on ESP8266 with a CO2 sensor and other optional sensors. I’ll test both with their stock firmware later on, but today I’ll have a look at the hardware design. v-Air Monitor vThings CO2 monitor specifications While I’ve already written about Sonoff SC, it’s the first time I cover v.Air Monitor products, so let’s start with the specifications of vThings CO2 Monitor v3: SoC – Espressif ESP8266 WiSoC Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi Optional RF315 / 433 MHz RF module Sensors CO2 Sensor (one of them) CM1106 NDIR sensor with 3-day auto-calibration period and < ±(50ppm+5% reading) accuracy […]

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Microchip Atmel ATtiny417/814/816/817 tinyAVR MCUs Include Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs)

Microchip’s latest Atmel tinyAVR MCUs combine Atmel 8-bit AVR core with CIPS (Core Independent Peripherals) normally found in the company’s PIC MCUs. Since Atmel’s purchase by Microchip, I believe this is the first time the company leverages features from both MCU families. The four new ATtiny MCUs come with 4 to 8 KB flash, and up to 24 pins: ATtiny417 – 8-bit Atmel AVR MCU with 4KB Flash, 256 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 24 pins ATtiny814 – Same as above but with 8KB flash, 512 bytes SRAM, Peripheral Touch Controll (PTC), and 14 pins ATtiny816 – Same key features as ATtiny814 but with a 20-pin package with more I/Os ATtiny817 – Same key features as ATtiny814 but with a 24-pin package with more I/Os “Core […]

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$35 Arduino MKR1000 Board is Powered by Atmel ATSAMW25 WiFi Module

Arduino LLC has launched a new official Arduino board with MKR1000 board under the Arduino brand in the US, and Genuino brand in the rest of the world. The tiny board features Atmel ATSAMW25 SmartConnect module comprised of Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU, WINC1500 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi chip, and ECC508 CryptoAuthentication device. MKR1000 specifications: MCU – Atmel SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256 KB flash memory WiFi – 802.11b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz) via WINC1500 with 1×1 PCN antenna, support for SHA 256 certificates. I/Os 8x digital I/Os 12x PWM pins 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C 7x analog input pins 1x analog output pin 8x external interrupts Operating voltage – 3.3V DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA USB – micro USB port for power and programming Misc – RTC, power and charge LEDs Power Supply 5V only via USB or VIN pin Li-Po single cell, 3.7V, 700mAh minimum Dimensions – TBD The board […]

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Arduino Tian Board Combines Atmel D21 MCU, Atheros AR9342 WiSoC, and CSR8510 Bluetooth 4.0 SoC

Arduino Tian is an update of Arduino Yun board, mainly replacing Atmel ATMega32u4 8-bit MCU and Atheros AR9331 WiSoC with more recent Atmel SAMD21 32-bit Cortex M0 MCU and Atheros AR9342 WiSoC with support for dual band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, as well as CSR8510 Bluetooth 4.0 SoC. Arduino Tian specifications: MCU part MCU – Atmel SAMD21G18 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash and 32KB SRAM Digital I/O Pins – 20x GPIOs with 12x PWM and UART Analog Input Pins – 6x 12-bit ADC channels Analog Output Pins – 1x 10-bit DAC DC Current per I/0 – 7mA Operating Voltage – 3.3V “Linux” SoC part SoC – Atheros AR9342 MIPS74Kc processor @ 535 MHz System Memory 64MB DDR2 Storage –  16 MB Flash for firmware, 4 GB eMMC Flash for data Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11n 2×2 2.4/5 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR (CSR8510) USB – 1x USB host port Operating Voltage – 3.3V Input […]

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ARM TechCon 2015 Schedule – IoT, Servers, 64-bit ARM, Power Usage Optimization, and More

The ARM Technology Conference (ARM TechCon) will take place on November 10 – 12, 2015, in Santa Clara Convention Center, and just like every year, there will be a free exposition for companies to showcase their latest innovation and/or products, as well as a technical conference with sessions and workshops sorted into various tracks: Automotive/Embedded Vision Embedded IoT Mobile/Connectivity Networking Infrastructure/Servers Tools & Implementation Wearables/Sensors ARM Training Day Sponsored Vendor Training Special Event General Event Software Developers Workshop You can find the complete schedule on ARM TechCon website. Although I won’t attend, I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions I found interesting. Tuesday – November 10 8:30 – 9:20 – ARM Vision for Thermal Management and Energy Aware Scheduling on Linux by Ian Rickards (ARM), Charles Garcia-Tobin (ARM), Bobby Batacharia (ARM) This talk will cover the history and where are we going, for ARM’s Power Software (IPA, EAS, and some concepts for the future). ARM will detail […]

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Atmel Unveils the World’s Smallest Bluetooth 4.1 LE SoC, and BTLC1000 Xplained Pro Development Kit

Atmel has just announced it is now shipping SmartConnect BTLC1000 Bluetooth Smart (BLE 4.1) SoC in production quantities. The chip is remarkable thanks to its size, as the company managed to pack an ARM Cortex-M0 MCU, a transceiver, a modem, MAC, PA, TR Switch, and Power Management Unit (PMU) into a 2.26×2.14 mm package. Atmel SmartConnect BTLC1000 Bluetooth LE SoC key features and specifications: MCU – ARM Cortex M0 @ 26 MHz 128KB IRAM/DRAM, 128KB ROM Connectivity – Bluetotoh 4.1 Smart with L2CAP service layer protocols, Security Manager, Attribute protocol (ATT), Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) and the Generic Access Profile (GAP). Proximity, Thermometer, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and others profiles are also included in the protocol stack. I/Os – Up to 15, including 2x UART, 2x SPI, and 2x I2C. Hardware Crypto – AES-128, SHA-256 Operating Voltage – 1.8 – 4.3V Power Consumption – > 4mA in RX, and >3mA TX at 3.6V Package – WLCSP (2.26×2.14mm) or QFN ( […]

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Atmel Introduces SAMA5D2 Cortex A5 SoC with Extended Temperature Range, Lower Power Consumption

Today, the news broke out that Atmel will be bought by Dialog Semiconductor for about $4.6 billion. The Anglo-German company is little known as their main products are PMIC, audio and connectivity chips, but they’ve still managed to get the financing to purchase Atmel. But that’s not the purpose of the post today, and instead I’ll cover a new SAMA5 Cortex A5 SoC recently announced by the company, targeting industrial Internet of Things, wearables and point of sale applications. SAMA5D2 key features and benefits: ARM Cortex-A5 core running at 500MHz (785DMIPS). Floating point unit (FPU) for high-precision computing and accelerated data processing. 128KB of L2 cache for system performance Low power consumption Less than 150mW in active mode at 500MHz with all peripherals activated Less than 0.5mW in low power mode with SRAM and registers retention Sub 200µA in retention mode with context preserved New backup mode with DDR in self-refresh at 50µA Dual CAN-FD controller 10/100 MAC with IEEE1588 […]

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