Rockchip RK2118G/RK2118M dual-core Star-SE Armv8-M microcontrollers target smart audio applications

Rockchip RK2118G microcontroller block diagram

Rockchip RK2118G and RK2118M smart audio microcontrollers based on a dual-core Star-SE Armv8-M processor, an NPU for smart AI audio processor, three DSPs, 1024KB SRAM, optional DDR memory in package, and a range of peripherals. I first noticed the RK2118M in slides from the Rockchip Developer Conference 2024 last March, but I did not have enough information for an article at the time. Things have now changed since I’ve just received a bunch of datasheets including the one for the RK2118G and RK2118G microcontrollers, which look identical except for the DDR interface and optional built-in 64MB RAM for the RK2118G. The datasheets have only one reference to Arm with the string “Arm-V8M” and nothing else, and Cortex is not mentioned at all. But the slide above reveals the STAR-SE core looks to be an Arm Cortex-M33 core. We also learn the top frequencies for the “STAR-M33″/”STAR-SE” core  (300MHz) and the […]

WCH CH32V006 RISC-V microcontroller adds more I/Os, memory, and storage compared to CH32V003

CH32V006 block diagram

WCH CH32V006 RISC-V microcontroller is an upgrade to the 10-cent CH32V003 microcontroller with more I/Os, up to four times the memory, storage, a wider supply voltage range, the addition of a TouchKey interface, as well as a new 32-bit V2C RISC-V core instead of the V2A core found in the CH32V003. More specifically that means we went from the CH32V003 with 2KB SRAM and 8KB flash, up to 8KB SRAM and 62KB for the CH32V006, and 6KB SRAM and 32KB flash for the CH32V005, a smaller sibling of the new RISC-V microcontroller. WCH CH32V005 & CH32V006 specifications (with highlights in bold to show differences against CH32V003): CPU – 32-bit “RISC-V2C” core up to 48 MHz Memory – 6KB SRAM (CH32V005) or 8KB SRAM (CH32V006) Storage – 32KB flash (CH32V005) or 62KB flash (CH32V006) Peripherals Up to 31x GPIO with interrupt support (CH32V003 had up to 18x GPIO) 2x USART interfaces […]

BitNetMCU project enables Machine Learning on CH32V003 RISC-V MCU

Neural networks on the CH32V003

Neural networks and other machine learning processes are often associated with powerful processors and GPUs. However, as we’ve seen on the page, AI is also moving to the very edge, and the BitNetMCU open-source project further showcases that it is possible to run low-bit quantized neural networks on low-end RISC-V microcontrollers such as the inexpensive CH32V003. As a reminder, the CH32V003 is based on the QingKe 32-bit RISC-V2A processor, which supports two levels of interrupt nesting. It is a compact, low-power, general-purpose 48MHz microcontroller that has 2KB SRAM with 16KB flash. The chip comes in a TSSOP20, QFN20, SOP16, or SOP8 package. To run machine learning on the CH32V003 microcontroller, the BitNetMCU project does Quantization Aware Training (QAT) and fine-tunes the inference code and model structure, which makes it possible to surpass 99% test accuracy on a 16×16 MNIST dataset without using any multiplication instructions. This performance is impressive, considering […]

Microchip PIC32CK 32-bit Arm Cortex-M33 MCU combines Hardware Security Module with Arm TrustZone for IoT cybersecurity compliance

Microchip PIC32CK 32-bit MCU with HSM

Microchip PIC32CK is a new family of 32-bit Arm Cortex-M33 microcontrollers clocked up to 120 MHz with Arm Trustzone and an optional integrated Hardware Security Module (HSM) that can help companies meet the cybersecurity requirements for consumer IoT devices and critical infrastructure mandated in the US, Europe, and other countries. Two sub-families are available with the PIC32CK GC and PICK32CK SG with the latter integrating the HSM, and the company claims it is the first 32-bit device on the market that combines an HSM with TrustZone technology for optional security. The PIC32CK is also said to support ISO 26262 functional safety and ISO/SAE 21434 cybersecurity standards. Microchip PIC32CK specifications: MCU core – Arm Cortex-M33 clocked at up to 120 MHz with 4KB combined instruction and data cache, TrustZone security Memory and Storage 128KB, 256KB, or 512KB SRAM 512KB, 1MB, or 2MB flash 128KB boot flash memory 64KB of configuration flash […]

WeAct ESP32-C6-Mini is the cheapest ESP32-C6 board so far going for less than $4

WeAct ESP32-C6-Mini board

WeAct ESP32-C6-Mini is a small development board based on Espressif Systems ESP32-C6 WiFi 6, Bluetooth, and 802.15.4 wireless SoC that’s the cheapest we’ve seen so far selling for just $3.86 on Aliexpress. WeAct was one of the first companies to launch a third-party ESP32-C6 development board year with the price starting at just $6. I still remember the excitement around the first $5 ESP8266 WiFi 4 module when we first covered it in 2014, and ten years later, we can get a full $4 development board with a more powerful 160 MHz RISC-V microcontroller, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and an 802.15.4 radio for Thread, Zigbee, and Matter. WeAct ESP32-C6-Mini specifications: Wireless SoC – ESP32-C6-N4 CPU Single-core 32-bit RISC-V clocked up to 160 MHz Low-power RISC-V core @ up to 20 MHz Memory – 512KB SRAM, 16KB low power SRAM Storage – 320KB ROM, and 4MB flash Wireless – 2.4 GHz […]

Silicon Labs BG22E, MG22E, FG22E wireless MCUs target energy harvesting, battery-free IoT devices

BG22E MG22E FG22E energy harvesting wireless microcontroller

Silicon Labs xG22E is a family of wireless SoCs consisting of the BG22E, MG22E, and FG22E and designed to operate within an ultra-low power envelope required for battery-free, energy harvesting applications such as electronic shelf labels, Smart Home sensors, remote controls, and so on. Like the just-announced Silicon Labs MG26, BG26, and PG26, the new xG22E family features a Cortex-M33 core clocked up to 76.8MHz. As an evolution of the low-power BG22, the BG22E offers Bluetooth 5.4 LE connectivity with “Energy Conservation” to further enhance battery longevity and even support designs that eliminate the need for batteries. The MG22E is similar but embeds an 802.15.4 radio for Zigbee connectivity, and the FG22E provides a 2.4GHz proprietary plus the Cortex-M33 is clocked up to 38.4MHz. Silicon Labs BG22E, MG22E, FG22E specifications: MCU – Arm Cortex-M33 @ 76.8 MHz with DSP and FPU (38.4 MHz for FG22E) Memory – Up to 32 […]

Unexpected Maker NANOS3 might be the world’s tiniest ESP32-S3 module, yet fully-featured

Unexpected Maker NANOS3 A ESP32 S3 Powred Dev Board

Seon Rozenblum, better known as Unexpected Maker, has launched NANOS3  a development board that claims to be the world’s smallest, fully-featured ESP32-S3 module! This new module packs all the peripherals, and wireless connectivity features of an ESP32-S3 while being even smaller than the TinyPICO Nano. The module features two variants one with an onboard 3D antenna and the other with an u.FL connector. Previously we have written about TinyS3, FeatherS3, and ProS3 boards from Unexpected Maker we have also covered many unique ESP32-S3 boards like the ESP32-S3 PowerFeather Board with solar input, the Waveshare ESP32-S3-Relay-6CH, the ESP32-S3 4G dev boards and more feel free to check those out if you are interested in ESP32 boards with advanced features. Unexpected Maker NANOS3 Specifications ESP32-S3-WROOM-1-N8R2 MCU – ESP32-S3 dual-core Tensilica LX7 up to 240 MHz with 512KB SRAM, 16 KB RTC SRAM Memory – 2MB QSPI PSRAM Storage – 8MB QSPI flash Wireless – […]

Infineon PSOC Edge E81, E83, E84 Cortex-M55/M33 MCUs target Machine Learning-enhanced IoT, consumer and industrial applications

PSOC Edge E84 microcontroller

Infineon PSOC Edge E81, E83, and E84 MCU series are dual-core Cortex-M55/M33 microcontrollers with optional Arm Ethos U55 microNPU and 2.5D GPU designed for IoT, consumer, and industrial applications that could benefit from machine learning acceleration. This is a follow-up to the utterly useless announcement by Infineon about PSoC Edge Cortex-M55/M33 microcontrollers in December 2023 with the new announcement introducing actual parts that people may use in their design. The PSOC Edge E81 series is an entry-level ML microcontroller, the PSOC Edge E83 series adds more advanced machine learning with the Ethos-U55 microNPU, and the PSOC Edge E84 series further adds a 2.5D GPU for HMI applications. Infineon PSOC Edge E81, E83, E84-series specifications: MCU cores Arm Cortex-M55 high-performance CPU system up to 400 Mhz with FPU, MPU, Arm Helium support, 256KB i-TCM, 256KB D-TCM, 4MB SRAM (Edge E81/E83) or 5MB SRAM (Edge E84) Arm Cortex-M33 low-power CPU system up […]