Khadas Tone 2 Pro mini desktop Hi-Fi system supports MQA decoding, balanced RCA outputs

Khadas Tone high-resolution audio board was introduced in 2018 for audiophiles wanting to design their own DIY HiFi system using Khadas VIM/VIM2 SBC, or connect it the USB version of the board to other single board computers. The company is now about to launch Khadas Tone 2 Pro mini desktop Hi-Fi system based on the same ESS ES9038Q2M DAC, but a faster XMOS XU216 capable of handling MQA decoding, and equipped with balanced RCA outputs, as well as an I2S USB-C port. Khadas Tone 2 Pro key features and specifications: Multicore MCU – XMOS XU216 with 16 real-time logical cores on 2x xCORE tiles; up to 1000 MIPS DAC – ES9038Q2M 32-bit stereo mobile audio DAC Amplifiers – 4x OPA1612 operational amplifiers, 3x buffer amplifiers Seamless hardware MQA decoding Native DSD512 decoding, PCM decoding up to 32Bit/384kHz. Left and right balanced RCA jacks for transmitting a balanced analog signal via Line-out. 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced headphone jacks Rotate-push encoder […]

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NuMaker-IoT-M263A board is the Swiss army knife of IoT development

If you’d like an MCU board to experiment with various wireless (and wired) protocols used for Internet of Things applications, the Nuvoton NuMaker-IoT-M263A development board may be worth a look. Powered by a NuMicro M263KIAAE Arm Cortex-M23 CPU microcontroller, the board offers WiFi, Bluetooth, and LoRa connectivity, plus an mPCIe socket for 3G, 4G, or NB-IoT cellular connectivity. It also comes with various sensors, as well as CAN and RS485 transceivers for industrial control applications. NuMaker-IoT-M263A key features and specifications: MCU – Novoton NuMicro M263KIAAE Arm Cortex-M23 microcontroller @ 64 MHz with 96KB SRAM, 512 KB  dual-bank flash for OTA upgrade, 4 KB LDROM; LQFP128 package Storage – MicroSD card connector On-board wireless modules ESP12-F (ESP8266) 802.11b/g/n module MDBT42Q-PAT Bluetooth 4.2/5.0 LE module APC1278 (for 408 / 433 / 470 MHz)  LoRa module plus antenna Serial – CAN and RS485 transceiver USB – 1x Micro USB OTG connector (to M263 MCU) Sensors BME680 4-in-1 air quality sensor measuring relative humidity, […]

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STMicro launches cheaper STM32WB30 and STM32WB35 Bluetooth LE & Zigbee MCUs

STMicro introduced the first wireless STM32 microcontrollers in 2018 with STM32WB Cortex-M4/M0+ MCU family equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.15.4 radios, and they followed earlier this year with STM32WL Cortex-M LoRa SoC. The company has not just announced yet another wireless STM32 family but instead added the more affordable STM32WB35 and STM32WB30 chips that can be obtained for under $2 in quantities. The new STM32WB microcontroller enabled a low BOM cost thanks to their memory configuration. Specifically, STM32W30 comes with 256KB flash while STM32W35 features 512 KB flash, and both offer 96 KB of RAM. This compares to STM32WB55 will up to 1MB flash and 256KB of RAM. Apart from the lower memory and flash capacity, the new wireless MCUs have basically the same features as other members of the STM32WB family with 16-bit ADC, quad-SPI interface (STM32WB35 only), as well as Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0, Zigbee 3.0, and OpenThread (802.15.4) certified stacks. Features of STM32WB30 corresponds to the one […]

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Arm Ethos-U65 microNPU enables low-power AI inference on Cortex-A & Neoverse SoC’s

Arm introduced their very first microNPU (Micro Neural Processing Unit) for microcontrollers at the beginning of the year with Arm Ethos-U55 designed for Cortex-M microcontrollers such as Cortex-M55, and delivering 64 to 512 GOPS of AI inference performance or up to a 480x increase in ML performance over Cortex-M CPU inference. The company has now unveiled an update with Arm Ethos-U65 microNPU that maintains the efficiency of Ethos-U55 but enables neural network acceleration in higher performance embedded devices powered by Arm Cortex-A and Arm Neoverse SoCs. Arm Ethos-U65 delivers up to 1 TOPS, and as seen in the diagram enables features that can not be done with Ethos-U55 including object classification and real-time classification. Compared to Ethos-N78 NPU, the new microNPU offers less AI performance, but a significantly higher efficiency although AFAIK no quantified by Arm. The company says the development workflow remains the same with the use of the TensorFlow Lite Micro (TFLmicro) runtime that runs on a Cortex-M […]

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CloudBEAR BM-310 RISC-V MCU core for IoT applications

In the pool of 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller cores (E20 by SiFive, VEGA ET1031 by C-DAC), CloudBEAR showcased its 32-bit small and efficient MCU core – BM-310 at RISC-V GLOBAL FORUM 2020. CloudBEAR works on providing services like processor IP customization, support for RISC-V ISA extensions, product integration within a system-on-chip, and configurable instruction and data cache. Let’s first look into the CloudBEAR processor IP portfolio. It has three different product lines- BM series, BR series, and BI series. First, the BM series targets small and efficient MCUs cores. Second, the BR series targets fast and compact embedded cores. The third and most important BI series is about Linux capable application cores. In this article, we will look into the details of BM-310, which is the RISC-V MCU core for embedded and IoT solutions.  BM-310 Architecture As RISC-V is a modular instruction set, extensions are optional for the developer. BM-310 architecture (RV32IMCAFNB) includes many ISA extensions. It has RV32I as a […]

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MicroSAM System-on-Module Standard Targets Microcontrollers, IIoT Sensors

There are plenty of system-on-module standards, but those mostly target application processors such as Intel/AMD x86 processors or Arm Cortex-A based SoCs. PICMG has now added a new IIoT-related open standard with MicroSAM specifying a 32x32mm module for microcontrollers and industrial IoT sensor nodes. MicroSAM standard highlights: Reliable RS422 industrial-grade communications PWM output for motion control applications Direct connectivity to a variety of sensor types (analog voltage, analog current, digital) Low power consumption Power filtering and signal conditioning for embedded installations Dimensions – 32mm x 32mm Latching connectors for secure connectivity Full industrial operating temperature range from -40°C to +85°C One of the advantages often cited for traditional SoMs is that customers don’t have to take care of the complex layout around the processor and RAM, and can simply create a 2-layer baseboard to insert the 6-layer SoM into it. This lowers the development costs and time-to-market. But it’s not really an argument that can be made for microcontroller board, […]

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MAX78000 RISC-V & Cortex-M4F MCU enables IoT artificial Intelligence in battery-powered devices

Now even endpoints like sensors are capable of running basic artificial intelligence workloads thanks to microcontroller-class chips with built-in AI accelerators or instructions such as Kneron KL720 Arm Cortex-M4 AI SoC, GAP8 RISC-V IoT processor, or Cortex-M55 MCU core coupled with Ethos U55 MicroNPU. Maxim Integrated has now launched its own AI capable microcontroller with MAX78000 combining a Cortex-M4F core, a 32-bit RISC-V core, and a CNN accelerator enabling AI inferences at less than 1/100th the energy or 100 times the speed of software solutions making especially suited for battery-powered AI applications. MAX78000 specifications: Ultra-Low-Power microcontrollers Arm Cortex-M4F core with FPU Up to 100MHz with 512KB Flash and 128KB SRAM 32-Bit RISC-V ultra-low-power co-processor up to 60MHz Neural Network Accelerator optimized for Deep Convolutional Neural Networks​​ (CNN) 442k 8bit Weight Capacity with 1,2,4,8-bit Weights Input Image Size up to 1024 x 1024 pixels Network Depth up to 64 Layers Layer Network Channel Widths up to 1024 Channels 1D and 2D […]

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New STM32H7 Cortex-M7 MCUs Clock at 550 MHz, Feature Octal SPI Flash and Ethernet Interfaces

STMicro launched STM32H7 single-core Cortex-M7 microcontroller family a while ago, followed by some dual-core Cortex-M7/M4 models, with most clocked up to 480 MHz. The company has now announced five faster parts clocked at up to 550 MHz with STM32H723, STM32H733, STM32H725, STM32H735, and STM32H730 which STMicro claims is “the fastest core speed in the market among MCUs that integrate Flash storage on-chip to run deeply embedded applications”. The embedded flash storage is important, as you may now NXP i.MX RT1170 Cortex-M7/M4 crossover processor can reach up to 1 GHz but does not include flash storage. Key differences in STM32H7 550 Mhz MCUs We’ve highlighted the five new microcontrollers in the table above, and beside the higher 550 MHz frequency delivering 2778 CoreMark and 1177 DMIPS, we can see those are the only parts that support both OctoSPI flash and Ethernet, and all five parts are designed for HMI applications with a TFT-LCD interface. The blog post following the announcement also […]

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