Thread is a New IP-based Wireless Protocol Leveraging 6LoWPAN and 802.15.4 Standards

Wi-Fi is a neat way to connect devices to Internet, but it has two main inconveniences: relatively high cost and power consumption. Luckily there are standards that addresses the cost and power consumption issues. Radio chips based on IEEE 802.15.4, a standard which specifies the physical layer and media access control for low-rate wireless personal area networks, are common place and found in many existing devices relying on higher level wireless protocols such as ZigBee, ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, and MiWi. AFAIK, Zigbee is the most popular of the aforementioned protocols, but is hindered by the requirements of the license for commercial products (annual fee), Zigbee membership requirements conflict with many open source license such as GPL, and the standard suffers from lack of interoperability and IPv6 support, and power requirements that are too high for some applications. So a consortium of seven companies namely ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale, Nest, Samsung, […]

Intel Announces Galileo Gen 2 Development Board Based on Quark SoC

As many of us are waiting for our Intel Galileo board promised by Microsoft, and right after the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the Raspberry Pi Model B+, Intel has introduced a new version of the Galileo board which they simply call Galileo Gen 2. The development board is still powered by Intel Quark single core SoC (Pentium class) and with the same key features as the original Galileo Board, but with some tweaks based on the feedback from the community. Intel Galileo Gen 2 specifications (Changes in Bold): SoC- Intel Quark SoC X1000 single core, single-thread application processor @ 400 MHz, with 12KB embedded SRAM System Memory – 256MB DDR3, 5 Storage – 8MB NOR fklash, 8KB EEPROM, and micro SD card slot (up to 32GB) Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB 2.0 device port used for programming Debugging / Programming 10-pin […]

Microsoft is Giving Away Intel Galileo Arduino Compatible Boards to Developers

Microsoft has already launched several initiatives to reach the maker movement and app developers with .NET Gadgeteer supported by platform like Bambino 200, as well as Intel Shark Cove development board for Windows development. The company has now launched a website called where they currently have a signup page for developers to send a kit based on Intel Galileo, an Arduino compatible board powered by Intel Quark processor. There’s currently very little information on the software and documentation part of the development kit, but there are links to Visual Studio Express, Windows Embedded’s Internet of Things page, and a link to Maker Faire, so it gives what the kit will be for. Apparently they’ll send the kit to selected candidate whether “you are an experienced Windows developer looking to jump into the Internet of Things or you are new to Windows development and want to build the next big […]

Peek into the Smart Home of the Future with ARM Seamless Computing IoT Demo

We’ve seen lots of home automation being launched on crowdfunding platforms in the last year or so, and companies like Samsung, Archos, Google and Apple have launched, announced, or bought smart hone solutions. Recently ARM has hosted a demo for the smart home based on Cortex-M MCU mbed development boards, a single board computer gateway, and sensinode connected home software framework. Although some parts of the demo are unlikely to really have uses, e.g. you can look at the window to check the weather, I found the demo to be very interesting, especially with regards to the central role of the smartphone, and computing convergence. The list of different demos that can be seen in the video below is as follows: As you walk close to the main door, the system checks the weather, and if it rains, blinks a LED and emits a sound close to your umbrella, and […]

Amptek iCon is an ARM Cortex M3 Board for IoT Running uCLinux (Crowdfunding)

Up until now, the only company I ever heard running Linux on ARM Cortex M3/M4 was EmCraft Systems with their system-on-modules and development kits based on Freescale Kinetis, STMicro STM32 and Actel Smartfusion micro-controllers. But there’s now another option thanks to Ampek Technologies, a Canadian based company funded in 2002, and their iCon (Internet Connectivity) board featuring NXP LPC1788 Cortex M3 connected to 64MB RAM which is plenty enough to run uCLinux. The board can be used for applications such as industrial control systems, wireless sensors, or smart home appliances. The iCon board specifications are as follows: MCU – NXP LPC1788 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 120MHz with 512 KB flash memory, and 96 KB SRAM System Memory – 64MB SDRAM (external chip) Storage – 32MB flash for firmware Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0. Ethernet is supported via an add-on module USB – USB 2.0 host port, mini-USB debug port […]

Review of Broadlink SP2 Wi-Fi Smart Plug

I have received Broadlink SP2 Wi-Fi smart socket for Android and iOS thanks to GearBest, a Chinese e-retailer, that was kind enough to send a sample for review. I’ll start by showing some pictures of the package and device, and report the results of my review with an Android phone (ThL W200). Broadlink SP2 Unboxing Pictures The company send me the parcel via DHL, and I received in the package below, the top with the picture, and the bottom with specifications in Chinese. There’s only the smart plug in the package. The top is a universal plug, but the bottom is a Australian/ Chinese plug, so most people would need a wall adapter. It support 110 to 240V AC up to 10 amperes, consumes less than 0.5W without load, and it designed to handle 50,000 on/off events. The thing that surprised me was the size of the plug at first, […]

Advantech UTX-3115 Rugged Fanless Computer Powered by Intel Atom E3826 SoC Supports Intel Intelligent Systems Framework

Advantech UTX-3115 is a rugged low power fanless computer powered by Intel Atom “Bay Trail-I” E3826 dual core processor and lots of various ports that can be used as a digital signage, for machine or factory automation, & “smart IoT gateway”, and that happens to be supported by Intel’s Intelligent Systems Framework (ISF). Before checking out Intel ISF, let’s go Advantech UTX-3115 hardware specifications: SoC – Intel Atom E3826 dual core processor @ 1.46 GHz with 1MB L2 cache and Intel HD graphics. System Memory – 2 x 204-pin SO-DIMM DDR3 1333/1066MHz, up to 16GB Storage – 2.5″ bay for HDD or SSD storage Video Output 1x HDMI up to 1080p60 1x micro HDMI up to 1080p60 1x VGA up to 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Dual channel LVDS up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz (shared with micro HDMI) Connectivity – Dual Gigabit LAN (LAN1: Intel I210AT, LAN2: Realtek […]

Renesas DevCon Extension Organizes Free One-Day Courses About IoT, Low Power, Sensors and More

I’ve just come across a YouTube video called Ultra-Low-Power Solutions for Wearable Technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ On Renesas channel. The video itself promotes Cymbet EnerChip Solid State Batteries and Kits, working together with Renesas MCUs, and the interesting part is that they’ll provide a free training session for the kit as part of Renesas Devcon Extension 2014. This is not a single event as you may think, but instead the company hosts one-day workshops in various cities in the US and Brazil covering various tracks all year long, as you can see in the simplified schedule below. RTOS & Middleware track is not available anymore, but you can still attend training sessions for Human Machine Interfaces, Low Power designs, the Internet of Things and Sensors. As an example, the following lectures are available for the Low Power track: Renesas Low-Power MCU Lineup (30 minutes) – Updated technology roadmap […]