RAKwireless announces 14 new WisBlock modules for IoT prototyping

Gas sensor & DC-Motor Wisblock Modules

Rakwireless has added 14 new Wisblock modules to the WisBlock IoT modular system introduced last year, plans to soon release a Raspberry Pi RP2040 based LoRaWAN Wisblock Core module, and will give away some Wisblock starter kits this week. As a reminder WisBlock IoT modular system is comprised of four block types: WisBlock Base – A carrier board with connectors for other block types, power supply, some ports WisBlock Core – Module with a microcontroller/processor WisBlock Sensor – Modules with environmental sensors, motion sensors, ambient light sensors, or others WisBlock IO – Adds more inputs, outputs, or connectivity options including  LTE-M / NB-IoT, cellular and Wi-Fi modules, NFC reader, and interfaces for I2C, UART, ADC, and GPIO. New WisBlock IO and Sensor modules Some modules are available right now, while others have been announced, but just coming soon Here’s a list of the 10 modules available now: RAK12002 – RTC […]

MicroMod Teensy brings Teensy 4.0 board to M.2 form factor

MicroMod Teensy

Teensy 4.0, a low-cost board based on NXP i.MX RT1062 Arm Cortex-M7 crossover processor, is now getting a little brother with MicroMod Teensy following the same M.2 form factor as other Sparkfun MicroMod boards. Born from a collaboration between PJRC and Sparkfun, MicroMod Teensy has essentially the specs of Teensy 4.0 but with larger flash memory, and the board will be fully supported by the Teensyduino add-on to the Arduino IDE as noted by Paul Stoffregen on Twitter. MicroMod Teensy specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX RT1062 Arm Cortex-M7 processor at 600 MHz with  1024KB RAM (512KB is tightly coupled), Storage – 16MB serial flash (instead of 2MB on Teensy 4.0) M.2 MicroMod connector with USB Device up to 480Mbit/sec: Capable of enumerating as a USB keyboard, mouse, joystick, MIDI, audio, and more USB Host up to 480Mbit/sec: Capable of interfacing to USB flash drives, mice, keyboards, and more 7x Serial […]

ESP32-WROOM-DA dual PCB antenna WiFi module aims for longer range, better reliability


Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-DA is another ESP32 based WiFI & BLE module with a twist as its dual PCB antenna design aims to provides a longer range and more reliable connectivity by automatically switching to a specific PCB antenna depending on signal strength. The new module features ESP32-D0WD-V3 dual-core Xtensa LX6 dual-core processor with a maximum frequency of 240 MHz, along with 520 KB of SRAM and 448 KB of ROM, and has been designed to be pin-to-pin compatible with ESP32-WROOM-32E module found in products such as Pico Wireless, in order to ease migration between the two modules. Espressif did not provide detailed specifications for the new WiFi module, but assuming it’s mostly based on ESP32-WROOM-32E design, ESP32-WROOM-DA should have the following key features & specifications: WiSoC – Espressif Systems ESP32-D0WD-V3 embedded, Xtensa dual-core 32-bit LX6 microprocessor, up to 240 MHz with 448 KB ROM for booting and core functions, 520 […]

US516P6 RISC microcontroller powers offline voice assistant modules

US516P6 offline voice module

I recently wrote about a Linux microwave oven with a built-in voice assistant, and somebody mentioned a quad-core SoC was overkill, and instead US516P6 microcontroller designed for offline voice commands would be a better fit. It’s all good, but finding information about Unisound US516P6 proved to be quite a challenge with not much public information, and most in Chinese. But then I noticed Wireless Tag WT516P6Core offline voice module, and since I have contact with the company I managed to get a few more details, notable with regards to the development tools. US516P6 module specifications: MCU – Unisound US516P6 RISC microcontroller (likely Andes NDS32 based) @ 240 MHz with FPU, DSP instruction, FFT accelerator, 242KB SRAM, 2MB flash Audio – Built-in power amplifier I/Os – 12 castellated holes with UART, GPIO, microphone input, speaker output, VCC, and GND Power Supply – Built-in 5V to 3.3V, 3.3V to 1.2V LDO to […]

SigmaStar SSC33x Camera SoCs are pin-to-pin compatible with Hisilicon Hi3516/Hi3518 processors

SSC336Q development kit

We’ve been writing a fair amount of posts about SigmaStar SSD201/SSD202D processors for smart displays in recent times. But the company also has various camera SoC’s with SSC333, SSC335, SSC336, SSC337, SS338, and SSC339 parts. Those processors feature one or two Cortex-A7 core, embedded RAM, as well as an optional AI accelerator called DLA (Deep Learning Accelerator). The chips manufactured using a 28nm or 22nm process, with the latter being used for parts with the AI accelerator. Most of the Sigmastar SCC33x processors also happen to be pin-to-pin compatible with HiSilicon Hi3516 or Hi3518 SoC that are found in a wide range of IP cameras. Let’s take SSC336D/SSC336Q processor as an example since it comes with the AI accelerator and we have a datasheet courtesy of linux-chenxing.com. SigmaStar SSC336D/SSC336Q camera SoC key features & specifications: CPU – Dual-core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Neon and FPU Embedded Memory […]

Ebyte E104-BT11 Bluetooth Mesh module features Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 MCU

Ebyte E104-BT11 Bluetooth Mesh modules

Ebyte E104-BT11 is a Bluetooth Mesh module offered in four variants with support for gateways (G) and node (N) versions, as well as PCB or IPEX antenna versions. Interestingly it is based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Cortex-M33 microcontroller also found in ITEAD Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle, so it’s not impossible that it could be repurposed for Zigbee or Thread with firmware from Silabs. Ebyte E104-BT11 module specifications: Wireless MCU – Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ up to 80 MHz with DSP and FPU, up to 1024 kB flash, up to 96 kB RAM, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 for Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, or Thread Wireless connectivity Bluetooth Mesh/BLE support with default firmware, up to 10,922 devices supported Max Tx power – 20 dBm Rx sensitivity- -88 to -97 dBm (-97 dBm typ.) Max data rate – 1Mbps Antenna – PCB antenna up to 200-meter range, or IPX antenna up […]

AI-Thinker introduces 5 ESP32-C3 modules pin compatible with ESP8266 & ESP32 modules

ESP32-C3 modules

ESP32-C3 is the first RISC-V wireless SoC from Espressif Systems, and at the time of the initial announcement promised to cost about the same as ESP8266 but adds support for Bluetooth 5.0 LE besides 2.4 GHz WiFi, and retain software compatibility through the ESP-IDF framework. We were also told the goal was to provide ESP8266 compatible modules, and AI-Thinker has just announced five new ESP32-C3 modules compatible with earlier ESP8266 & ESP32 modules as shown in the table below. The table above is quite low resolution but that’s the best I could obtain from the company… It’s also a complete mess, not showing all alternative ESP8266 or mistaken in board sizes. So I’ll try to give a short summary of differentiating features and equivalent ESP8266/ESP32 modules: ESP32-C3F is meant to replace ESP-12F with a 24 x 16 mm form factor. It does add an IPEX connector, besides the PCB antenna. […]

Minima is a tiny Arduino Zero compatible module with SAMD21 MCU (Crowdfunding)

Minima Arduino Zero Module

We’ve covered a fair amount of compact Arduino Zero compatible boards based on SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller over the years including Exen Proto, Wemos D1 SAMD21, or Seeeduino XIAO with the latter being the smallest of them all at just 23.5 x 17.5 mm. All those boards come with a USB port (Micro USB or USB-C) by default that makes it easy to work with, but may not be ideal to integrate into projects or final products. That may be why Hamish Morley designed the Minima Arduino Zero compatible module with a size even smaller than the XIAO board at 19.8 x 16.6 mm, and the USB interface exposed through 4 pads instead of a connector. Minima specifications: Microchip SAMD21G18A 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 48 MHz with 256KB of flash storage, and 32KB of SRAM Expansion – 24x castellated pads (2.54mm pitch) with 18 GPIO pins, including 5x analogue capable, […]

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