CoAction Hero – Low Cost ARM Cortex-M3 Board Running Open Source CoActionOS RTOS

CoAction Hero is a tiny board based on an ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller (NXP LPC1759), that makes use of  CoActionOS ecosystem that includes the hardware, but also an open source RTOS allowing multiple app to run concurrently, and a graphical interface to communicate with the board. First, let’s have a look at the hardware specs: Micro-controller – NXP LPC1759 ARM Cortex-M3 processor @ 120MHz with 64kB RAM and 512kB  Flash ROM. Storage – 1MB serial flash chip (pre-loaded with CoActionOS) Expansion port micro USB connector. 40 I/O pins are available on both sides of the board, and the board can be inserted in a breadboard. You can currently connect 2 modules to the board: Bluetooth and LCD device boards. CoActionOS RTOS will come pre-loaded on the board, and if you don’t want to, you don’t even need to know it’s there, and it’s use will be transparent. But let’s have a […]

Texas Instruments Announces Tiva Cortex M4 MCUs and $12.99 LaunchPad Evaluation Kit

Texas Instruments has just announced the Tiva ARM MCU platform, and specifically the Tiva C Series TM4C123x ARM Cortex-M4 MCUs, which are the first Cortex-M MCUs to be built on 65 nanometer flash process technology. The Tiva C Series TM4C123x MCUs, formerly known as Stellaris LM4F MCUs, are available now and target home, building and industrial automation. Key features and benefits of Tiva C Series MCUs: MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M4 floating-point core, operating at up to 80 MHz. Mixed-signal applications with high-performance analog integration – 2×12-bit ADC and 3 comparators.12-bit ADC accuracy is achievable at the full 1 MSPS rating without any hardware averaging. On-chip connectivity options – USB (host, device and On-The-Go), UARTs, I2C, SSI/SPI, CAN, etc.. Non-volatile storage of user interface or configuration parameters to reduce system cost – Thanks to integrated EEPROM. Low power –  Standby currents as low as 1.6 uA. Large choice of MCU […]

Keil RTX RTOS is Now Available for Energy Micro EFM32 MCUs

Energy Micro has recently announced the availability of the Keil RTX real-time operating system (RTOS) as part of its Simplicity Studio tool suite. The Keil RTX has been optimized for ARM Cortex-M processors to provide flexible scheduling and high-speed operation, and has been improved to enable an ultra-low power, deep-sleep mode between tasks. Energy Micro has implemented a tickless mode in Keil RTX. This mode allows the EFM32 Cortex M3 MCUs to wake up only when needed, either at a scheduled time or on an interrupt event. This results in much lower power consumption in sleep mode compared to other SysTick implementations. The video below shows the difference between SYSTICK mode where the system consumes about 2.7mA in active mode, and 830 uA in sleep mode to the new tickless mode where the MCU still consume the same amount of energy in Active mode, but only 1uA in sleep mode, […]

Design West Summit – 23-25 April 2013

Design West 2013, previously known as the Embedded Systems Confertence, will take place later this month, on 23-25 April to be exact, at San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, US. The event will be divided into 22 tracks dealing with software development, hardware design, operating systems, security and more: Android Certificate Program – Two-day hands-on embedded android workshop. Black Hat Summit – The Black Hat Embedded Security Summit will provide electronics professionals with essential information and tools, as well as a forum for the discussion and evaluation of the latest solutions for securing their embedded systems. Training courses will focus on topics such as Network Security, Incident Response, Web Application Security, and Exploit Development. Connectivity and Networking – The Connectivity and Networking track educates design engineers on wired and wireless communications, spanning need-to-know topics from essentials of USB device development to antenna and RF system design. Debugging […]

$299 Microsemi SmartFusion2 Starter Kit (Cortex M3 + FPGA)

Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC family combines an ARM Cortex-M3 Core @ 166 Mhz and FPGA Fabric with up to 12M Gates, and comes with up to 512 KB eNVM and 64 KB eSRAM, 1 CAN A & B interface, 1 GbE port, 1 USB 2.0 OTG, and diverse serial interface. Last year I received Emcraft SmartFusion Starter Kit using the first generation of the starter kit, and Microsemi (previously known as Actel) and Emcraft Systems have recently announced the second generation with the SmartFusion2 Starter Kit. The main hardware features include: SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA in FG896 package (M2S050T-FG896ES) with 256KB eNVM, 64KB SRAM,  and 48,672 logic modules. JTAG interface for programming of the SmartFusion2 device 10/100 Ethernet interface and RJ-45 connector USB OTG interface and mini-USB connector USB based Wi-Fi Module 64MB LPDDR, 16MB SPI flash User push-button connected to GPIO on the SOM Two user-controlled LEDs connected to GPIO on […]

$199 Gizmo Explorer Kit Powered by AMD G-Series APU is Now Officially Available

Back in November, I came across the Gizmo Explorer Kit, an embedded development platform based on AMD G-Series G-T40E dual core APU that includes the development board itself (Gizmo Board), two expansion I/O boards, Sage SmartProbe JTAG development tool, some accessories such as cables and power supply, and a DVD with the documentation and SDK. Today, Sage Electronic, Texas Multicore Technologies, and Viosoft officially launched GizmoSphere community that aims at “fostering innovation and development for x86-based embedded Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), and driving and enabling technology projects of interest to independent developers with a focus on stimulating and encouraging innovation for existing and new applications that leverage APUs”. To help with this initiative, they also produce the Gizmo Board, and corresponding Gizmo Explorer Kit, a development board that boots with coreboot, and can run a variety of operating systems such as Android, Linux, Windows, and other RTOS. You can refer to […]

Understanding PREEMPT_RT (The Real-Time Patch) – ELCE 2012

Steven Rostedt, working at Red Hat, talks about Real-Time Linux at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe, in Spain on November 6, 2012. Abstract: The real-time patch (which provides CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT), has been around since 2005. Started by Ingo Molnar and maintained by Thomas Gleixner and several others, it has grown from a hobby RTOS into a very serious contender. Several distributions (Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu) supply a kernel version that includes this patch. The embedded world has started adding the -rt patch to their own devices that they ship. But do the embedded developers understand what the -rt patch supplies? Programming for real time, and especially when writing kernel code requires special knowledge to avoid real time traps. This talk will explain what the real time patch provides and special programming tips that will ensure embedded developers will get the best from their devices. He goes through the following key […]

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 […]