Thingsquare Mist – Open Source Firmware for The Internet of Things

Thingsquare recently released the source code for the Thingsquare Mist firmware, an ultra lightweight router software (<4 kB memory) for the Internet of Things based on open Internet standards such as IPv6, RPL (Routing Protocol for Lossy networks), and 6lowpan. Thingsquare Mist allows to connect battery-powered wireless micro-controllers to the Internet, and is currently used in applications such as smart light bulbs, connected home appliances, and connected cities. The IPv6 mesh network is composted of nodes with a low power radio that communicate with the Mist router (Green), which in turn connect to the Internet and Thingsquare Cloud backend (Thingsquare Haven) to store the data, and/or receive control commands via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The end users can then use an App to monitor, and/or control the devices remotely. Thingsquare Mist uses IETF RPL IPv6 mesh routing protocol (pronounced “ripple”) for IPv6 nodes communications. Thingsquare Mist runs on several low-power wireless […]

Freescale Unveils Kinetis KL02, an Ultra Small (1.9×2.0mm) ARM Cortex M0+ Microcontroller

Freescale Semiconductor introduced the Kinetis KL02, the world’s smallest ARM MCU, at Embedded World 2013. KL02 is an ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller designed to address the miniaturization needs of the Internet of things, and its size (1.9×2.0mm) makes it suitable for applications such as ingestible healthcare sensing, portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, and wearable devices.   Kinetis KL02 MCU features include: 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 1.71-3.6V operation Bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient handling of peripheral registers 32 KB flash memory, 4 KB RAM High-speed 12-bit analog-to-digital converter High-speed analog comparator Low-power UART, SPI, 2x IICI2C Powerful timers for a broad range of applications including motor control Power Efficiency – 15.9 CM/mA (Coremark 1.0) -40 °C to +85 °C operation The MCU is manufactured using chip-scale package (CSP) technology that allows to connect the die directly to the solder ball interconnects and, in turn, to the printed […]

Infineon Hexagon Application Kit (XMC4500 Enterprise Edition) Overview and Quick Start Guide

A few months ago, Infineon sent me XMC4500 Relax Lite Kit for review, and I wrote a short Getting Started Guide about this 10 Euros Cortex M4 devkit. This month, I’ve received another XMC4500 kit with more features and expansion abilities: XMC4500 Enterprise Edition which is one of their Hexagon Application Kit. I received two packages: CPU Board XMC4500 General Purpose (CPU_45A-V2) with accessories (55 Euros) – This is what you get when you order to Basic Kit. J-Link Lite Cortex-M Debugger (40 Euros) Let’s open the packages and see what’s inside. In the first package, we’ve got XMC4500 CPU board, a pin extension board that can be used on any of the 3 extension connectors of the CPU board to access the signals easily, and a microUSB to USB cable for power. The JLink debugger comes with a 10-pin ribbon cable, and a microUSB to USB cable to connect to the […]

ARM MCU Development in Linux with Energy Micro’s Simplicity Studio, Eclipse, and CodeSourcery Toolchain

Quite a few months ago, I received an Energy Micro EFM32 Tiny Gecko Starter Kit, but I haven’t done much with it. But recently I saw a tweet from EnergyMicro about Simplicity Studio supports for Ubuntu, and I know it can be problematic to find proper tools for ARM MCU development in Linux, so I decided to give it a try. The first part is about Simplicity Studio, and energyAwareTools which are specific to Energy Micro, but the second part deals with setting up Eclipse and CodeSourcery ARM toolchain for MCU development which should be reusable for other MCUs from vendors such as Texas Instruments, NXP and STMicro. I’ve used a PC running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit with the instructions below. Installing Simplicity Studio and energyAwareTools in Ubuntu Simplicity Studio is part of the 4 steps of the getting started guide with EFM32 MCUs. It has been available for Linux for […]

Getting Started with Infineon XMC4500 Relax Lite Kit and DAVE 3 IDE

Infineon Relax Lite Kit is a 10 Euros development kit based on Infineon XMC4500 Cortex M4 MCU with 160 KB SRAM and 1 MB flash, and featuring 2 USB OTG ports for debugging and powering up the board, 3 buttons (including reset), 2 LEDs, and 2 headers (through holes) giving access to the signals from the MCU such SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, CAN, ADC, DAC and PMW. The kit if available online via Hitec, but unless you live in Germany, this is not an interesting option, as international shipping costs over 100 Euros. So you’d better check local distributors in your country. The package only comes with the board, and you’ll need a USB to microUSB to power the board. To get started, simply connect the board via the USB cable to one of the USB OTG connectors, and to a Windows PC. The power LED (green) should lit up, […]

TI Releases TI-RTOS, a Free Real Time Operating System for MCUs

Texas Instruments announced TI-RTOS, a complete real-time operating system based on a preemptive multithreading kernel for its MCU platforms. TI-RTOSs includes SYS/BIOS real-time kernel and network developer kit (NDK) TCP/IP stack. TI expects this new OS to speed-up software development by eliminating the need to write complex system software such as schedulers, protocol stacks, and low-level drivers. TI-RTOS features and benefits: Complete embedded operating environmentthat provides full middleware and drivers including: Deterministic, real-time multitasking kernel (SYS/BIOS) TCP/IP stack, including network applications USB, EMAC, MMC/SD host and device stacks and class drivers FAT-compatible file system fully integrated with C RTS file I/O functions Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C and SD device drivers Low overhead core-to-core communication mechanism for dual-core devices Ability to move functions between dual core devices to optimize performance by using the same TI-RTOS kernel on both the ARM and C28x DSP cores. Documentation and examples to augment designs, including examples and […]

smARtDUINO Open System Provides a Low Cost Modular Arduino Platform

smARtDUINO is a new platform design by the former ARDUINO’s manufacturer (Update: This claim appears to be incorrect and a lie) composed of several compact modules and is a fully funded project on Kickstarter (Less than 3 days remain to become a sponsor). The platform is not based on a single processor, architecture or language but, makes use of an universal platform that can be used to connect components originally developed from different companies, technologies and form factors. For example, it is possible to integrate modules, accessories or shields from Arduino, Netduino, ChipKit and even interact with smartphone using an ADK module, without having to use a breadboard and/or soldering. Interoperability is made possible thanks to what they call “smARtBUS Open I/O“, which is a standard for connectors designed after looking at existing (Arduino) platforms on the market. The company opted for 2 solutions composed of 2 connectors: smARtBUS BASIC […]

Infineon Unveils Low Cost XMC4500 Relax & Relax Lite Kits For Cortex M4 XMC4500 MCUs

Infineon XMC4500 micro-controller family is based on ARM Cortex-M4 core @ 120 MHz, comes with 128 to 160 KB SRAM, 512 KB to 1 MB “Program Memory” as well as interfaces & peripherals, such as DMA, Ethernet, USB, ADC, DAC, SPI, I2C, I2S, UART and more. They are specifically designed for industrial applications supporting temperatures up to 125°C. The family was announced at Embedded World 2012 in February, and mass production started in May. This week at Electronica 2012, the company announced two low cost development kits for XMC4500 MCU: XMC4500 Relax Lite Kit (10 Euros): XMC4500 Microcontroller (ARM® Cortex™-M4F based) Detachable on-board debugger Power over USB ESD and reverse current protection 2 x user button and 2 x user LED 4 x SPI-Master, 3x I2C, 3 x I2S, 3 x UART, 2 x CAN, 17 x ADC (12 bit), 2 x DAC, 31x PMW mapped on 2 Pin Headers […]