Qomu Cortex-M4F & FPGA USB board is programmable with Symbiflow open-source toolchain (Crowdfunding)

qomu board

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 […]

Open hardware Raspberry Pi Pico VGA, SD Card, and Audio demo board to support QVGA video playback

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). […]

Third-party Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards from Arduino, Adafruit, Sparkfun and Pimoroni

Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect

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. […]

$4 Raspberry Pi Pico board features RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU

Raspberry Pi Pico

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 IO […]

STM32WB5MMG Wireless Module simplifies Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, OpenThread connectivity

STM32WB5MMG Wireless Module

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 […]

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

AVR-IoT and PIC-IoT Development Boards

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.” […]

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

Khadas Tone 2 Pro

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 […]

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, […]