Tiny Seeeduino XIAO board gets Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU

Seeduino XIAO RP2040

Seeeduino XIAO is a tiny Arduino Zero compatible board with battery support that was launched last year with Microchip SAMD21G18 ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller at up to 48MHz. Seeed Studio has now launched the XIAO RP2040 board with the same form factor but upgrading to a more powerful Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller clocked at up to 133 MHz. XIAO RP2040 specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex M0+ up to 133 MHz, or even 252 MHz (48MHz default) with 264 kB SRAM Storage – 2MB SPI flash USB – 1x USB type C port for power and programming Expansion I/Os 2x 7-pin headers with 11x 4x analog inputs, 11x digital I/Os / PWM, 1x DAC, SPI, UART, and I2C; 2.54mm pitch 3.3V I/O voltage (not 5V tolerant) Misc – 1x user LED, power LED, 2x LEDs for serial port downloading, Reset Button/ Boot Button, RGB LED, SWD pads […]

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 […]

Rockchip RK835 & RK837 fast charger chips support USB PD 3.0, QC4+, and VOOC

Rockchip is better known for its application processors for TV boxes (RK3328), Chromebooks and other higher-end hardware (RK3399), AIoT applications (RK3566), and more, but the company has recently introduced the RK83x family with RK835 and RK837 chips designed for fast chargers compatible with USB PD 3.0 and/or Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ and BBK Electronics’ VOOC. RK835 Specifications MCU sub-system – Arm Cortex-M0 with 60KB flash, 1KB RAM USB PD 2.0/3.0 and PSS with TID number 4325 USB Type-C and Vconn power source Supports proprietary protocols 8-channel 10-bit, 500Hz converter speed ADC sensing voltage and 1-channel 10-bit current ADC All GPIOs can be configured as ADC input or edge triggering input DP/DM pins can be configured as UART, BC 1.2, or GPIO mode High-voltage endurance DP/DM and CC1/2 pins I2C interface with slave and master modes Low-power RC oscillator, 3 timers, one watchdog Discharge N-MOSFETs for VCC and VBUS Power – […]

PC-based Logic Analyzers Comparison: PGY-LA-EMBD vs Logic16 Pro vs SP209

Comparison of PGY-LA-EMBD vs Logic16 Pro vs SP209

Building an embedded system requires multiple devices to communicate with the central processor, generally through an SPI or I2C bus. If your system is quite complex and things don’t work out as expected, then a Logic Analyzer might save your day. So, choosing the correct Logic Analyzer is critical to a successful project. This article gives a PC-based Logic Analyzers comparison, and we’ll compare products from three companies: Prodigy Technovations, Saleae, and Ikalogic. Factors to keep in mind while selecting a Logic Analyzer Before we dive into the comparison part, we should be aware of a few points based on which we’ll compare them. Logic analyzers come with a certain number of channels. The higher the number of channels is, the costlier is the product. So, select the number of channels appropriately depending on the size of your project. Several other technical specifications should also be considered, which are listed […]

Keyboard also serves as USB-C hub with 11 ports from audio jack to VGA

QGeeM Keyboard & USB-C Dock

I’m not sure who needs this, but if you’d like a USB-C hub with a QWERTY keyboard and a good variety of ports, you’ll be glad QGeeM Keyboard and USB-C hub/dock station exists. The device comes with one HDMI port, one VGA D-Sub connector, 3x USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, an RJ45 port for Ethernet, an audio jack, and USB-C port with USB-C PD 3.0 support up to 100W. This may look like a keyboard PC, but nope, it’s just a USB-C hub that happens to have a built-in keyboard. QGeeM Keyboard and USB-C hub key features: Storage – MicroSD and full-size SD/SDXC card readers (multiplexed) up to 2TB Video Output HDMI 1.4 port up to 4Kp30, VGA D-Sub connector up to 1920×1080 @ 60 Hz Dual display setups up to 1080p60 per display Mirroring and extended display modes supported Audio -3.5mm audio AUX jack Networking – Gigabit […]

USB Type-C Specification 2.1 allows up to 240W Extended Power Range (EPR)

USB PD EPR Flow 240W

Many devices have switched from a Micro USB port or a power barrel jack to the USB-C port in recent years, as the latter allows for higher currents, and up to 100W power input in USB PD (Power Delivery) compliant systems. While 100W will be more than enough for most devices, more power-hungry devices or systems still need a power brick, for example, gaming laptops and mobile workstations. But the USB Type-C specification 2.1 aims to change that by upping the maximum power to 240W. As noted by Benson Leung in a Reddit Thread the part of the specification that handles the 240W power is the EPR (“Extended Power Range”) that defines requirements for cables, chargers, and devices: 3.11 Extended Power Range (EPR) Cables 3.11.1 Electrical Requirements Extended Power Range cables have additional requirements to assure that these cables can deliver the full defined voltage and current range for USB […]

Check LoRaWAN deployments on the go with WisGate Developer Base USB dongle

Wisgate Developer Platform

RAKWireless just had their “Big Tech Bloom” event services they announced many new LPWAN products ranging from WisDM fleet management system, OpenWrt based Wisgate OS, new industrial LoRaWAN gateways like WisGate Edge Lite 2, their first STM32WL module, as well as 9 new modules for WisBlock modular IoT platform with MIC, e-Paper display, GPS, an ESP32 based WisBlock core, etc… But today, I’ll have a look at the new $99 WisGate Developer Base, a USB dongle that connects to a laptop for LoRaWAN networks evaluation, for example, to check the coverage before installing a new gateway. Alternatively, it could also be used to add LoRaWAN gateway capability to existing embedded hardware like routers or industrial PCs. Two variants of the WisGate Developer Base are available – RAK7271 & RAK7371 – with the following specifications: Concentrator modules RAK7271 – RAK2287 SX1302 based mini PCIe concentrator module RAK7371 – RAK5146 SX1303 based […]

LiPo battery powered Olimex boards use ESP32-S2’s USB OTG interface

Olimex ESP32-S2 LiPo USB Boards

Last year, Olimex introduced ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo and ESP32-S2-WROVER-Devkit-LiPo boards optimized for battery-powered applications with as little as 30uA deep sleep power consumption. ESP32-S2 processor comes with a USB OTG interface, but at the time, Espressif Systems ESF-IDF SDK did not support programming via the built-in USB interface, so Olimex added CH340T USB to serial converter for programming. The good news is that the SDK can now support USB programming without an external chip, so the company designed new versions of the boards without a USB to serial chip with namely ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo-USB and ESP32-S2-WROVER-Devkit-LiPo-USB boards. The specifications are basically the same as previously except for the removal of the USB to serial chip, support for USB OTG, and even lower power consumption: Wireless module: ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo – ESP32-S2-WROOM with Espressif ESP32-S2 single-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor up to 240 MHz with  128 KB ROM, 320 KB SRAM, 16 KB SRAM in RTC, 4MB SPI […]