Microcontrollers used to be those cute little chips clocked at 8 MHz, but it’s now common to have MCUs clocked at one or two hundred Megahertz, and with Cortex-M7 cores, several hundred Megahertz is now possible, and NXP even pushed the limit to one Gigahertz with their i.MX RT1170 series of Cortex-M7/M4 Crossover MCUs announced over a year ago. Embedded Artists has now made a computer-on-module and a corresponding devkit based on NXP i.MX 1176 Crossover MCU clocked at one Gigahertz. iMX RT1176 uCOM MCU module delivers up to 6468 Coremarks, comes with up to 32MB SDRAM, 16MB QSPI flash, optional WiFi and Bluetooth, and various peripherals in a tiny 45x42mm form factor. iMX RT1176 uCOM module Specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX RT1176 processor with Cortex-M7 core up to 1 GHz/800MHz (Commercial vs industrial), Cortex-M4 core up to 400/200 MHz, 2MB internal SRAM, 2D GPU with OpenVG 1.1 support and 2D accelerator (PXP); note: no VPU for video decoding/encoding System […]
SRKH Designs’ microZERO is a tiny, Arduino compatible module based on Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller for applications such as drone control, mobile platforms such as cars, trucks, boats and bikes, and other products working in demanding environments. The company has also designed two baseboards, namely Dev Board A with RGB color high resolution IPS display and the more classic Dev Board B, both mostly following Arduino UNO form factor to get started with development and/or evaluation. microZERO specifications MCU – Microchip SAMD21G18 Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM Storage – 16MB SPI flash memory for additional storage and remote firmware upgrades I/Os 32x protected IO with 6x ADC, SPI, I2C, 6x PWM, TCC, USART, 1-WB, I2S, and USB 1 Mbps CAN controller with fully isolated and filtered CAN transceiver for maximum signal integrity 2mm pitch footprint Security – Microchip ATECCA508/608 software protection encryption IC Misc – 6x LEDs for power, GPIO, and CAN activity, Brown-out […]
We’ve seen several tiny “omu” USB boards that are the size of a USB connector in the past, starting with Tomu based on Silabs EFM32 Arm-Cortex-M0+ MCU, then Fomu enabling Python programming and RISC-V softcore on a Lattice ICE40 FPGA, and finally Somu FIDO2 security key. There’s now the new Qomu board based on Quicklogic EOS S3 Cortex-M4F MCU with embedded FPGA. Just like its predecessor, the board almost completely fits in a USB connector except for the touch pads, and also happens to be programmable with Symbiflow that dubs itself as the “GCC of FPGAs”, as well as other open-source tools. Qomu specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ up to 80 MHz with 512 KB memory, embedded FPGA with 2,400 effective logic cells and 64 Kbits of embedded RAM Storage – 16 Mbit flash Misc – Four capacitive touch pads, 1x RGB LED Power – 5V via USB port Qomu board will ship with an […]
Abhishek recently posted an overview of Raspberry Pi RP2040’s two PIO blocks with examples in C and Micropython using some PIO assembler code. He used some basic examples like blinking an LED, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation also mentioned the programmable IO could be used to drive a VGA display, read and write data from a MicroSD card at reasonable speeds, and so on. However, the Raspberry Pi Pico does not have any of those interfaces, and it would be nice to have a board that does. It turns out there’s such a board in “Chapter 3. The VGA, SD Card & Audio Demo board for Raspberry Pi Pico” of “Hardware Design with RP2040.pdf” document. It will be sold as the “Pimoroni Pico VGA Demo Base” board for 19.50 GBP inc. VAT (about $22 US ex. VAT), but since the KiCad hardware files are open-source, I’d assume other companies may also sell the board (not sure about the license though). […]
I’ve just written about the launch of the Raspberry Pi Pico board and Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU, which, as I explained in the announcement, could be used with third-party boards, but what I was not made aware during the embargo was that RP2040 boards were already being worked on, and other companies jointly announced their own custom Raspberry Pi Pico compatible board with Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, and Sparkfun joining the party. Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect Board When I first wrote about Raspberry Pi Pico, I really saw it would be a competitor to Arduino boards, but instead Arduino and Raspberry Pi joined hands to design Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect with the board including 16MB external SPI flash, a u-blox NINA WiFi & Bluetooth module, an STMicro MEMS sensor with 9-axis IMU and microphone, and the ECC608 crypto chip. That obviously means Arduino Core will also support the new RP2040 MCU. Pre-orders are expected to start in the next few weeks. […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Linux capable Raspberry Pi board in 2012 to teach programming and computers. Since then, the company has introduced models with faster processors, more memory, faster interfaces, culminating with the launch of Raspberry Pi 4 in 2019. The board also comes with a 40-pin header to teach electronics, but relying on a Linux SBC to blink a LED, gather data from sensors, or controlling servos is a bit over the top. So the Raspberry Pi Foundation decided to create their own MCU board called Raspberry Pi Pico powered by RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller designed in-house by the foundation. Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller Before we look at the board, let’s check out RP2040 specifications highlights: Core – Dual Cortex M0+ cores up to 133 MHz (48MHz default) Memory – 264 kB of embedded SRAM in 6 banks Peripherals 30 multifunction GPIO 6 dedicated IO for SPI Flash (supporting XIP) Dedicated hardware for commonly used peripherals Programmable […]
The STM32WB5MMG (STM32) is a wireless microcontroller module by STMicroelectronics. It is a compact ultra-low-power module that allows customers to design 2-layer PCBs and integrates everything up to the antenna, including an IPD (integrated passive device) for reliable antenna matching in order to reduce the overall costs. The STM32 wireless module is compatible with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) 5.0, OpenThread, Zigbee 3.0, dynamic and static concurrent modes, and 802.15.4 proprietary protocols. It also supports simultaneous dual-protocol mode that allows IEEE 802.15.4 radio-based protocols like Zigbee 3.0 and OpenThread for direct connection with any BLE device. Overview of STM32 Wireless Module The STM32 wireless module is a SiP-LGA86 package (System in Package Land Grid Array) with various external components including: STMicro STM32WB55 Cortex-M4/M0+ wireless MCU LSE crystal HSE crystal Passive components for SMPS Antenna matching and antenna IPD for RF matching and harmonics rejection Key Features of STM32 Wireless Module Dedicated Arm Cortex-M0+ for radio and security tasks Dedicated Arm Cortex-M4 […]
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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