PCBWay adds new parameters to its flexible PCB manufacturing services (Sponsored)

PCBWay, one of the most popular PCB manufacturers in China, has been offering flexible PCB manufacturing services for years, but the company has recently added new parameters and special processes to its flexible PCB ordering page. The first change is that customers can now order more complex flexible PCBs with up to 16 layers when using Polyimide Flex base material. PCBWay also added support for “high-frequency (DK<=3.6)” material with a dielectric constant of under 3.6 at 1 MHz as well as “Transparent” and “Translucent” options for PET material in the Polyimide base material section. Additional FPC thickness options have also been introduced with 0.025 and 0.05mm for one-layer boards and 0.08mm for two-layer boards enabling ever-thinner designs. Customers have now more choices when ordering stiffeners – the rigid part of a FlexPCB – with the “TOP Black FR4” and “BOT Black FR4” options with thickness options including 0.2mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, […]

$166 Mustool MT13S thermal imager doubles as multimeter

Mustool MT13S is a relatively inexpensive 2-in-1 thermal imager and multimeter with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display and an IR camera with a 192×192 resolution. Thermal cameras used to be quite expensive, but in recent years, we’ve seen cheaper models such as the HT-102 thermal camera for Android smartphones and M5Stack T-Lite Wi-Fi thermal camera, but those integrate fairly small 32×32 and 32×24 pixels IR arrays, The Mustool MT13S provides a higher resolution 192×192 thermal camera and doubles as a 10,000-count multimeter for about $166 plus shipping on Banggood or around $177 including shipping on Aliexpress. Mustool MT13S specifications: Thermal imaging Sensor – Uncooled focal plane Image capture frequency – 20Hz Thermal imaging resolution – 192 x 192 Display image resolution – 240 x 240 Field of view (FoV) – 50.0(H) × 50(V)/72.1(D) Emissivity – 0.1-0.99 is tunable and 0.95 is the default Temperature Range – -20°C to +550°C Accuracy – […]

FOSDEM 2024 schedule – Open-source embedded, mobile, IoT, robotics, RISC-V, etc..

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where thousands of developers meet in Brussels on the first week-end of February to discuss open-source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2024 will take place on February 3-4 with 880 speakers, 818 events, and 66 tracks. Although I won’t attend, I’ve created a virtual schedule like every year with sessions most relevant to the topics covered on CNX Software from the “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “Open Hardware and CAD/CAM” devrooms, but also other devrooms including “FOSS Mobile Devices”, “ Energy: Reimagining this Ecosystem through Open Source”, “RISC-V”, and others. FOSDEM Day 1 – Saturday, February 3, 2024 10:30 – 10:55 – Screen Sharing on Raspberry Pi 5 Using VNC in Weston and Wayland with the Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded by Leon Anavi In 2023, embedded Linux developers received eagerly awaited news: […]

JLCPCB now offers flex PCB manufacturing services starting at $15 (Sponsored)

JLCPCB, arguably the most popular and best PCB manufacturer in the community, has now started to offer a flex PCB manufacturing service with a special price starting at $15 and up to $54 coupon codes for new users. A flex PCB, also called flexible PCB or flexible printed circuit (FPC), is made by creating copper traces on a polyester or polyimide film and can used to fit into electronic products in the consumer, communication, medical, automotive, aviation, and military industries. Its main benefits are its flexibility so a flex PCB can arbitrarily be bent and moved replacing regular cables, especially on moving parts, and its size and light weight that allows them to be integrated with high reliability into products with a small form factor. JLCPCB supports flex PCBs from 8x12mm to 234×490 in size with the full JLCPCB flex PCB capabilities shown in the table below. Hardware engineers can […]

Samsung LPCAMM integrates LPDDR RAM on removable modules

Samsung has unveiled a new type of removable memory module called the LPCAMM (Low Power Compression Attached Memory Module) with LPDDR designed for PCs and laptops, and the company expects them to eventually be used in servers found in data centers. I would also not be surprised to find them in embedded systems in the future, for example in an updated COM Express standard. Laptops typically come with either low-power DDR (LPDDR) soldered to the motherboard or SO-DIMM modules with DDR memory chips, but there weren’t any removable modules with low-power memory so far, and Samsung LPCAMM changes that. The new LPCAMM module will initially be fitted with LPDDR5X chips and deliver a 50% performance boost (up to 7500 MT/s), improve power efficiency by 70%, and reduce the mounting area by 60% (78 x 23mm) compared to SO-DIMM modules A main factor in reducing the area required is that two […]

Review of ALLPCB PCB manufacturing services with an ESP8266 board (Sponsored)

ALLPCB, a PCB manufacturer based in China, has offered us to review their PCB manufacturing services. We’ve taken them up on their offer and will report our experience with the ordering process, shipping, and the board itself, in this review. We will be using the E66 Transmitter board based on an ESP8266 module, and designed to read values from an I2C sensor and send them over RS485 using the Modbus RTU protocol for a range of up to 1.2 km. Since the E66 Transmitter can also connect to WiFi thanks to the ESP8266 module, Modbus TCP is also supported. Since we have our PCB design ready, we can go to the ALLPCB website to start the ordering process. We just had to upload the Gerber files, and then select parameters such as the number of boards, the number of layers, thickness, material type, and whether to include a Stencil or […]

Raspberry Pi Pico to Arduino Uno adapter relies on “FlexyPins” for castellated holes

Solder Party’s “Raspberry Pi Pico to Uno FlexyPin Adapter” transforms the Raspberry Pi Pico into an Arduino UNO without soldering the board directly or using headers, but instead relying on FlexyPins flexible pins to attach the Pico board to the adapter using its castellated holes. The end result is basically the same as for the WisdPi ArduPico board, except the Raspberry Pi Pico is soldered to the main PCB on the latter, but it can be easily removed from the Solder Party’s Uno adapter board to be replaced with another compatible model, e.g. Raspberry Pi Pico vs Pico W. The FlexyPins can be used with any board or module with castellated holes, but it’s obviously especially useful for castellated modules without through holes, for example, to easily program a bunch of ESP32 modules. You’ll first need to get a few FlexyPins as shown below. Then solder them to a compatible […]

VL53L7CX Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor offers camera-like 90° field of view

STMicroelectronics VL53L7CX is the latest FlightSense multi-zone Time-of-Flight (ToF) distance sensor from the company with the main highlight between its camera-like 90° diagonal field of view, derived from a 60° x 60° field of view… This is a significant improvement over the 61° diagonal field of view of the previous generation ToF sensors such as the VL53L8 or VL53L5CP,  and the wider field-of-view is said to bring “lifelike situational awareness” to applications like home automation, computers, house appliances, robots, and industrial equipment with full-privacy since ToF sensors do not capture photos or videos like traditional cameras. STMicro VL53L7CX key features and specifications: 940 nm invisible light vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and integrated analog driver 60° x 60° square field of view (FoV) (90° diagonal) using diffractive optical elements (DOE) on both transmitter and receiver enabling square FoV Receiving array of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) Multizone ranging output […]

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