Pine64 mailbag – PinePhone postmarketOS Edition, PineCone BL602 board, and Pinecil soldering iron

Pine64 community was pretty busy last year with the launch of several products. Recently I’ve received a couple of packages with some of those products, namely PinePhone Community Edition: PostmarketOS, PineCone WiFi & BLE IoT board based on BL602 RISC-V SoC, and Pinecil soldering iron also based on a RISC-V chip for control, but this time GD32V generic-purpose MCU. I’ll most show what I have received without going into too many details, except for PinePhone which I have already set up and used for one hour or so. PineCone BL602 board I received PineCone at the end of last year in a separate envelope with the board only. There’s not much to it with the BL602 processor offering WiFI and Bluetooth, a USB-C port for programming and power, and a few I/Os. The board is interesting as it is the first RISC-V IoT board with wireless connectivity built into the chip. There’s an SDK, but it’s not yet an easy-to-use […]

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Calliope 2 – An LTE Cat-1 IoT platform with VoLTE support

We have already seen Sequans’ Low Power LTE-M/NB-IoT Module – the Monarch 2. Sequans, popular for its product portfolio based on Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT and Calliope Cat 1 chip platforms, has continued to release more products with the latest announcement of the Calliope 2 LTE Cat-1 Platform (Chip). This solution is designed for IoT applications that require a higher data rate of more than 100 kilobits per second. One of the key elements of the IoT industry is to choose a network connection that is cost-efficient and provides excellent coverage along with global coverage that enables roaming and voice over LTE (VoLTE) made possible with Cat 1.  Why having audio and voice for IoT applications you may ask? That’s mostly useful in machine-to-human and human-to-machine communications such as command, control, and alerts. “Calliope 2 complements our Monarch 2 LTE-M/NB-IoT product family and makes Sequans a one-stop-shop for virtually all IoT applications—ranging from simple low-speed sensor devices to higher speed security cameras, […]

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MKR SharkyPro BLE, Zigbee, OpenThread development board follows Arduino MKR form factor

Just a few days ago, we mentioned STMicro launched STM32WB5MMG wireless module to simplify Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, OpenThread connectivity by allowing 2-layer baseboards for the module. It turns out there’s also such a module from a third-party with namely Midatronics SharkyPro module based on STM32WB55, and the company also launched MKR SharkyPro I & II development boards following Arduino MKR form factor. MKR SharkyPro specifications: Wireless Module – SharkyPro module Wireless MCU – STMicro STM32WB55CG/CE dual-core Arm Cortex-M4 core at 64 MHz (application processor) and Arm Cortex-M0+ core at 32 MHz (network processor) with 512KB flash, 256KB SRAM Connectivity – Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Bluetooth Mesh 1.0, OpenThread, Zigbee, and other IEEE 802.15.4 proprietary protocols Antenna – Onboard chip antenna (SharkyPro I) or SMA antenna  connector (SharkyPro I) Power 3.3V supply voltage Consumption  – 13 nA in shutdown mode, 600 nA in Standby mode + RTC + 32 KB RAM Dimensions – 23 x 14.3 mm USB – 1x Micro USB […]

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$6 Rtlduino RTL8720DN dual-band WiFi IoT board features 2.4/5GHz Wireless MCU

There are plenty of WiFi modules for the IoT market, but those usually work at 2.4 GHz only. This may be an issue in areas where the 2.4 GHz spectrum is overcrowded. But two years ago, we were pleased to see the Ameba Z2  board offering dual-band (2.4GHz and 5Ghz) WiFi thanks to Realtek RTL8720CM wireless MCU, and last year, we discovered B&T BW16 dual-band IoT module based on RTL8720DN sold for under $4 before shipping. If you like the cheap price of the module, but do not feel like creating your own baseboard, or soldering wires to the module, you’ll be glad to know Rtlduino RTL8720DN board offers an easy way to evaluate RTL8720DN dual-band WiFi (and Bluetooth LE 5.0) microcontroller as it is fitted with a B&T BW16 module and comes in a form factor similar to NodeMCU ESP8266 board. Rtlduino RTL8720DN board Specifications: B&T BW16 wireless module Wireless SoC – Realtek RTL8720DN MCU with KM4 Arm Cortex-M4 […]

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Open-source VSCP IoT/M2M automation framework supports Arduino, Raspberry Pi

VSCP (Very Simple Control Protocol) is an open-source IoT framework that works on development boards like Arduino or Raspberry Pi, and lets you control IoT home automation tasks. The framework is highly scalable, has a very low footprint, and as such is specially designed for resource-limited devices. VSCP is an open-source standard protocol for m2m, IoT and other remote control and measurement applications. It enables simple, low-cost devices to be networked together with high-end computers and/or to work as an autonomous system, whatever the communication media is. The VSCP Protocol has two levels: Level 1 and Level 2. The protocol was primarily used in CAN networks (that is Level 1 for tiny microcontrollers) because CAN is cheap and reliable with high efficiency. However, VSCP can be used for faster transport layers such as TCP/IP, so here comes Level 2 which achieves better performance. We have already seen Souliss, an open-source IoT framework for home automation. If you wonder why another […]

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ESP32-S3 dual-core WiFi and Bluetooth LE 5 SoC supports AI acceleration for AIoT applications

Back in September, we reported that Espressif Systems planned to release a new ESP32-S3 with “AI instructions and multi-CPU cores” with few other details, except the chip would also be part of the MINI-series wireless modules. Now we have many more details, as the Shanghai-based company has now officially announced ESP32-S3. The processor features dual Tensilica LX7 cores, 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 & Bluetooth 5 connectivity, and as expected supports AI instructions to cater to the AIoT (AI + IoT) market. ESP32-S3 key features and specifications: CPU Dual-core Tensilica LX7 up to 240 MHz with additional vector instructions  for AI acceleration ULP core to handle low power modes Memory – 512 KB of internal SRAM Storage – Octal SPI flash and PSRAM support (supports larger, high-speed devices compared to ESP32) Cache – Connectivity 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 with 40 MHz bandwidth support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 connectivity with long-range support, up to 2Mbps data rate. Peripherals 44x […]

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IoT development board comes with AVR or PIC MCU, WiFi module

Microchip AVR-IoT and PIC-IoT development boards have AVR and PIC MCUs respectively, which enables a simple interface between embedded applications and the cloud. The IoT development boards can securely transfer data to Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT platform with a WiFi connection. The IoT development boards also include an onboard debugger which can be used to program and debug the MCUs without any need for external hardware. The IoT development boards also have an integrated lithium battery charger, which makes it a rechargeable device and allows easier deployment for a “ready-to-go solution.” The AVR-IoT WA development board integrates the ATECC608A CryptoAuthentication chip for security protocols and the ATWINC1510 Wi-Fi network controller for connectivity. The development board combines the ATmega4808 MCU 8-bit AVR MCU running at up to 20 MHz and offers a wide range of flash sizes up to 48 KB. The unit uses a “flexible and low-power architecture, including Event System and SleepWalking, accurate analog features, and advanced peripherals.” […]

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AWS IoT EduKit leverages M5Stack Core2 ESP32 hardware

M5Stack Core2 is a neatly packed ESP32 IoT development kit with a 2-inch touchscreen display, motion sensor, a microphone., and a built-in battery that was launched last September. The hardware has been selected by Amazon Web Services and gone through some small modifications including the addition of a secure element, and a yellow paint job giving birth the the “AWS IoT EduKit” hardware and software solution designed to “learn how to build IoT applications using AWS services through a prescriptive learning program”. M5Stack Core2 for AWS IoT EduKit specifications are pretty similar, but with a few tweaks here and there: SoC – Espressif ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 dual-core Xtensa LX6 processor clocked at up to 240MHz with 520KB SRAM, Wi-Fi, and dual-mode Bluetooth connectivity External Memory – 8MB PSRAM Storage – 16MB flash storage, MicroSD card slot up to 16GB Display – 2-inch IPS LCD screen with 320×240 resolution (ILI9342C driver), and touchscreen support (via FT6336U controller) Audio – Built-in 1W speaker, SPM1423 […]

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