TTGO T-Motion USB adapter offers LoRa and GPS for under $30

USB LoRaWAN GPS tracker adapter

USB adapters are one of the easiest ways to add new features to existing hardware, and if you’d like to add LoRa connectivity and GPS tracking to any device or board with a USB board TTGO T-Motion USB adapter offers just that. Manufactured by LilyGO, the USB dongle is based on AcSiP S76G system-in-package that integrates an STM32 MCU with a Semtech SX1276 LoRa transceiver and GPS into a single. The GPS antenna is placed on the board inside the enclosure, while the external LoRa antenna is connected through an SMA connector. TTGO T-motion specifications: SiP – AcSiP S76G system-in-package with STMicro STM32L073x Arm Cortex M0+ MCU with up to 192 KB of Flash memory and 20 KB of RAM, Semtech SX1276 supporting global 868 MHz or 915 MHz ISM-Bands, Sony CXD5603GF GNSS receiver. Antenna Internal GPS antenna External LoRa antenna Host interface – USB 2.0 male port Misc – […]

Mali-G78 GPU’s Valhall instruction set documentation released after reverse-engineering work

Arm Mali Valhall GPU product matrix

Collabora has been working on Panfrost open-source GPU driver for Arm Mali Bifrost and Midgard GPU for several years, and even getting official support from Arm. But apparently, that support does not include documentation for Mali-G78 GPU and other recent Arm Valhall Mali GPUs, as the company recently reverse-engineered Mali-G78 for about a month before releasing the documentation on the Valhall instruction set (PDF). Other results from the reverse-engineering include an XML architecture description that can be parsed by programs,  as well as a Valhall assembler and disassembler that were used as a reverse-engineering aid. Besides Mali-G78 “Borr” GPU, the work will be useful for other Valhall GPUs include Mali-G77 “TryM’, Mali-G57 “Natt-A/B”, Mali-G68 “Ottr”, and Mali-G78AE “Borr-AE” for automotive & industrial applications. Alyssa Rosenzweig explains Collabora’s work that was based on the International edition of the Samsung Galaxy S21 phone powered by Samsung Exynos 2100 system-on-chip with a Mali-G78 […]

LUNA board enables USB Hacking through Lattice ECP5 FPGA (Crowdfunding)

LUNA USB Hacking board

Severa USB hacking/debugging boards were launched in 2020 either based on microcontrollers or FPGA with the likes of Tigard (FTDI FT2232HQ), Ollie (STM32F042), Glasgow Interface explorer (Lattice Semiconductor iCE40), or Protocol Droid (STM32). All those were launched on Crowd Supply, and there’s now another one with LUNA “multi-tool for building, analyzing, and hacking USB devices” based on a  Lattice Semiconductor LFE5U-12F ECP5 FPGA that raised over $100,000 in a few days. LUNA hardware specifications: FPGA- Lattice Semiconductor LFE5U-12F ECP5 FPGA with 12K LUTs System Memory – 64 Mbit (8 MiB) RAM for buffering USB traffic or for user applications Storage – 32 Mbit (4 MiB) SPI  flash for PC-less FPGA configuration USB – 3x High-Speed USB interfaces, each connected to a USB3343 PHY capable of operating at up to 480 Mbps. 2x USB Type-C ports for device-mode communication (leff-side) 1x USB Type-C port for host-mode communication, device-mode communication, or USB […]

Index PnP – An open-source pick-and-place machine for mid-scale manufacturing

Index PNP open-source pick-and-place machine

We’ve previously written about one open-source pick-and-place machine,  SimplePNP aiming to provide a low-cost solution for several hundred dollars and relying on OpenPnP open-source control software. But Stephen Hawes found out this type of solution did not cut it for mid-scale manufacturing (100 to 5000 units per year), so he decided to build his own. Meet Index PnP, an open-source pick-and-place machine designed for mass-production volumes typical of crowdfunding projects. The project was introduced launched with the following requirements Automated – no human interaction necessary from attaching the paste-applied board to the machine to having a board ready for reflow Capable of picking and placing components down to 0603 passives Integrated up and down vision for fiducial scanning and on-nozzle component alignment Automatic nozzle tip changer to support a wide range of component sizes Frame and motherboard design capable of future upgrades Mechanical and Electrical support for conveyor belt module […]

Panfrost now supports OpenGL ES 3.1 on Midgard (Mali T760 and newer) and Bifrost (Mali G31, G52, G76) GPUs

Panfrost OpenGL ES 3.1

OpenGL ES 3.0 experimental support for Panfrost open-source Arm Mali GPU driver was announced in February 2020 and culminate with the release of Mesa 20.3 with Panfrost support last December. Collabora has now started to work on Panvk, Panfrost Vulkan driver, but that does not mean OpenGL ES work is done, and the company has just published a blog post about OpenGL ES 3.1 support in Panfrost. Alyssa Rosenzweig explains OpenGL ES 3.1 extends to both the older Midgard GPUs that include Mali T760 and newer version, and the more recent Bifrost GPUs with Mali-G31, Mali-G52 and Mali-G76. Compared to OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenGL ES 3.1 adds compute shaders, indirect draws, and no-attachment framebuffers. Boris Brezillon, Italo, Nicola, Alyssa, and the wider Mesa community especially focused on Mali-G52 GPU, found for instance in Amlogic A311D and Rockchip RK3566, with Panfrost driver passing essentially all of drawElements Quality Program and Khronos […]

2-key mechanical USB keypad runs QMK firmware (Crowdfunding)

ANAVI Macro Pad 2

System76 Launch high-end customizable keyboard for PC’s that we covered earlier this week, and ANAVI Macro Pad 2 2-key mechanical USB keypad should not have anything in common, but they do to some extent. Both happen to feature backlit mechanical keys, are open-source hardware, and run the same Quantum Mechanical Keyboard Firmware (QKM) open-source firmware. ANAVI Macro Pad 2 specifications: MCU – Microchip ATtiny85 8-bit AVR microcontroller with 8 KB ISP Flash memory, 512 bytes EEPROM, 512 bytes SRAM Keys – Two Gateron Red mechanical switches with 3 mm LED backlighting and translucent keycaps Host connection – MicroUSB port Dimensions – 40×38 mm OSHWA certification – BG000077. ANAVI Technology says the key is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux support, but as a USB keypad, it should probably just work with any host device supporting the USB HID class. ANAVI Macro Pad 2 is a smaller version of the earlier […]

System76 Launch is an open-source hardware, configurable keyboard

System76 Launch keyboard

System76, the company better known for its Linux laptops, has launched an open-source hardware, configurable keyboard. Meet System76 Launch. The keyboard firmware, schematics, and mechanical files are all open-source. Launch ships with an ANSI US QWERTY layout but can be customized through a configuration program for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and a key puller is included to easily replace/change keycaps as needed. System76 Launch keyboard specifications: Open-source custom PCB Individually addressable RGB LED backlighting N-Key Rollover to detect all keystrokes no matter how many keys are pressed simultaneously Sockets and Switches Kailh MX Hotswap Sockets Kailh Box Jade or Kailh Box Royal Switches Key Caps – PBT plastic, dye sublimated legend, XDA profile Layout – ANSI US QWERTY Integrated USB hub with 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C (Up to 10 Gbps), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A (Up to 10 Gbps) Open-source milled chassis design with detachable […]

Why you should request open-source software for your IoT devices

PineTime open-source software Gadgetbridge

I usually think of open-source hardware and/or software are enabling skilled people to more easily fix bugs, improve on the design, get feedback from the community, etc… But in a world where IoT devices become more prevalent, there’s another reason why you should request open-source software: Long term support. What made me think about are two things. The first one if that I own WeLoop Hey 3S smartwatch, which I love and wear since March 2018. That’s quite a feat since most cheap devices I own often only last a few months or a year or so. I’m also used to the watch face and Weloop app interface. So what’s the problem exactly? WeLoop company closed on December 31, 2019, and while the app worked fine for about a year after that, recently I have been unable to login to the app to access my data and/or update settings for […]