It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices, but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first WiFi IoT RISC-V chips with ESP32-C3 and BL602, Alibaba making […]
Estone Technology has launched another rugged tablet with UA-80 IP-67 waterproof rated, and MIL-STD-810G compliant rugged Android tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 mobile platform driving an 8″ capacitive touchscreen display. The tablet is equipped with up to 8GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, and comes with HF(NFC) and UHF RFID readers and an optional barcode reader for healthcare, construction, retail, oil and gas, and logistics use cases. Estone UA-80 tablet specifications: SoC – Qualcomm MSM8953 Pro (Snapdragon 626) octa core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 2.2GHz with Adreno 506 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.1 + AEP System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3 (Option: 8GB LPDDR3) Storage – 32GB eMMC flash (Option: 64GB, 128GB) Display – 8″ sunlight-readable IPS LCD with 1200 x 800 resolution, 450 nit brightness, 10-point touch, and chemically hardened cover glass Audio – Built-In microphone and 8 Ohm/1W speaker, 3.5mm 4-pole audio jack with speaker/mic support Camera – 5MP front-facing camera, 13MP rear camera […]
When Benjamin Vernoux is not working on open-source firmware & tools for AirSpy R0/R2/mini SDR, he spends his time on other projects such as HydraBus STM32 board with NFC support which we covered back in 2014. The HydraNFC Shield that came with the board was based on Texas Instruments TRF7970A NFC chipset with limited features and not compliant with any RF/NFC standard. Benjamin has now launched HydraNFC Shield v2 powered by STMicro ST25R3916 NFC chipset and equipped with a differential antenna. The new version of the shield still works with the original HydraBus board and allows much more output power (1,600mW vs 200 mW) and supports a wider range of NFC features & standards. HydraNFC Shield v2 features and specifications: NFC Chipset – STMicro ST25R3916 high-performance NFC universal device supporting NFC initiator, NFC target, NFC reader and NFC card emulation modes Antenna – Differential antenna with power up to 1600mW and longer range Automatic Antenna Tuning (AAT) to tune the […]
STMicroelectronics STM32 IoT Discovery Kit is supposed to ease software development for IoT nodes thanks to a qualified port of FreeRTOS integrated into the STM32Cube ecosystem, and ready to connect to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The hardware is comprised of an STM32L4+ Cortex-M4F microcontroller, various MEMS sensors, a secure element, and offers WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC connectivity. STM32 IoT Discovery Kit (B-L4S5I-IOT01A) key features and specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32L4+ (STM32L4S5VIT6) Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller with 2 MB Flash, 640 KB RAM in LQFP100 package storage – 64 Mbit Quad-SPI Flash Connectivity Bluetooth 4.1 module (STMicro SPBTLE-RF) 802.11 b/g/n compliant Wi-Fi module (Inventek ISM43362-M3G-L44) Dynamic NFC tag based on ST25DV04K with its printed NFC antenna USB – Micro USB OTG port STMicro Sensors 2 digital omnidirectional microphones (MP34DT01) Relative humidity and temperature sensor (HTS221) 3-axis magnetometer (LIS3MDL) 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope (LSM6DSL) 260-1260 hPa absolute digital output barometer (LPS22HB) Time-of-flight (ToF) and gesture-detection sensor (VL53L0X) Expansion Arduino Uno V3 […]
NFC is better known for contactless payment and transferring contacts, but one interesting feature is the ability to provide power as we’ve recently seen with batteryless NFC powered E-paper displays. The current NFC implementations can only provide a limited amount of power, but the NFC Forum has recently approved the Wireless Charging Specification that enables wireless charging of small, battery-powered consumer and IoT devices with a smartphone or other NFC charging device at a power transfer rate of up to one watt. One watt is not as much as other similar technologies, but NFC wireless charging (NFC WLC) should be quite more cost-effective since device-specific wireless chargers are not needed. Just take a phone or charger with NFC WLC and all compliant devices could be charged that way. The specification is free to download for NFC Forum members but must be purchased by others. There’s still short abstract available: Wireless Charging allows for wireless charging of small battery-powered devices like […]
e-Paper displays have great readability under sunlight, and only consume power when updated. But their refresh rate is limited, and most displays are fairly expensive. One way to reduce the cost is to completely remove the battery from the display, and update it through NFC providing both data and power. I’ve just found out about that possibility through 4.2″ and 7.5″ displays offered by Waveshare. All you need is a compatible NFC smartphone, or the company’s ST25R3911B NFC Board to power the display and transfer your image of choice. This works best for signs you may need to infrequently update such as menus, daily schedules, conference badges, labels, etc… Waveshare NFC-powered e-Paper display key features and specifications: Screens 7.5″ display 800×480 resolution 2-level greyscale 170° viewing angle Refresh Time – 5s + data transfer time 4.2″ display 400×300 resolution 2-level greyscale 170° viewing angle Refresh Time – 4s + data transfer time Wireless Connectivity – NFC Power Supply – Wireless […]
We first covered zGlue Integration Platform (ZiP) in 2018 when the company introduced its chip-stacking technology with a fitness tracker based on ZGZL1BA ZiP equipped with chips from Dialog Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Macronix, MCube and others. The concept is similar to SiP (System-in-Package), but zGlue claims the costs and lead times are much lower with the technology. Earlier this year, ZiP was back in the news thanks to Antmicro GEM custom RISC-V/Arm ASIC, and today, I was informed about zGlue Omnichip devkit 2 that is equipped with a ZiP of the same name, and that can be used to evaluate the technology. zGlue OmniChip ZiP zGlue OmniChip ZiP is a multichip module with the following ICs (aka Chiplets) and specifications: Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 Cortex-M4F microcontroller with Bluetooth LE and NFC connectivity Texas Instruments BQ25120AYFPR battery charger, buck regulator Maxim Integrated MAX86140ENP+ optical pulse oximeter Texas Instruments TMP108AIYFFR temperature sensor Bosch Sensortec BMM150 magnetometer mCube MC3672 accelerometer SiTime SIT1552AC 32 kHz […]
I have an Octopus payment card from Hong Kong using NFC technology, and I’d like to check its status, and if needed top it up to keep it valid. One way to do so is to install the Android app on an NFC enabled smartphone. However, none of my phones, including my current Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone, support NFC. So I’d decided to look for the cheapest Android phone with NFC support that I could find since that’s the only feature I need, and the app is compatible with Android 4.0 or greater for now. Wileyfox Swift 2X – $75.90 I first went to GearBest to check out for NFC phones, as the cheapest one of the lot is Wileyfox Swift 2X going for $75.90 shipped. The phone runs Android 8.1 on a Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It is equipped with a 5.2″ Full HD display, supports 4G LTE Dual SIM, and comes with […]
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