Bangle.js 2 JavaScript smartwatch gets an nRF52840 MCU, a new design (Crowdfunding)

Bangle.js 2

The Bangle.js 2 is an upgraded, improved version of the Bangle.js hackable, JavaScript smartwatch based on NordicSemi nRF52832 SoC that was introduced in 2019 with ESPruino open-source firmware. The new watch comes with a new rectangular design, a Nordic Semi nRF52840 SoC that offers four times the RAM, twice the on-chip and external flash, plus an always-on sunlight-readable screen with full touchscreen support, and improved Bluetooth signal strength. Bangle.js 2 specifications: MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4 MCU @ 64MHz  with Bluetooth LE, 256kB RAM, 1MB on-chip flash Storage – 8MB flash Display – 1.3-inch 176×176 always-on 3-bit color LCD display (LPM013M126) with backlight, full touchscreen Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 LE with advertising, central and peripheral mode support GPS/Glonass receiver Sensors Heart rate monitor 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer Air pressure/temperature sensor Misc – Vibration motor Debugging/Programming – Full SWD debug port on the rear of the watch Battery – 200mAh […]

NXP i.MX RT500 Cortex-M33 Crossover MCU integrates DSP, 2D GPU for wearables and IoT devices

MIMXRT595-EVK

NXP i.MX RT500 is the second Cortex-M33 Crossover MCU following the NXP  i.MX RT600 Series announced in 2018, and optimized for low-power HMI applications such as wearables and Smart Home & IoT devices. NXP Crossover MCUs are typically clocked at 600 MHz or more, but NXP i.MX RT500 Cortex-M33 is limited to 200 MHz, and combined with 200 MHz Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP as well as a 2D GPU, and power optimizations that enable long battery life of up to 40 days on a charge for wearables like smartwatches. NXP i.MX RT500 key features and specifications: MCU Core – Cortex-M33 @ up to 200 MHz with Arm TrustZone, M33 built-in Memory Protection Unit (MPU), PowerQuad hardware accelerator for DSP functions, CASPER crypto coprocessor for asymmetric cryptographic algorithms DSP Core – Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP @ up to 200 MHz On-Chip Memory Up to 5 MB of system SRAM accessible […]

T-Watch 2021 ESP32 round smartwatch features ESP32 SoC, touchscreen, 500mAh battery

LilyGO T-Watch 2021

Back in May, LilyGo started selling “Paul’s 3D Things” Open-Smartwatch open-source hardware ESP32 watch as a kit with the board and a round display, but no case, wristband, or battery, although now a smartwatch kit, but still without battery, is available for around $30. The company has now designed the T-Watch 2021 which builds upon the Open-Smartwatch but adds features like a touchscreen display, a vibration motor, a magnetometer, and ships as a devkit with board and display or a complete smartwatch kit including a 500mAh battery. T-Watch 2021 specifications: Wireless module – LILYGO T-micro32 module based on ESP32-PICO-D4 module with dual-core ESP32 processor, 4MB FLASH, 2MB PSRAM, ceramic antenna and u.FL antenna connector Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 BR/EDR BLE and WiFi 4 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Display –  1.3-inch circular touchscreen LCD with 240×240 resolution (Model GC9A01) USB – Micro USB for charging and programming Sensors 3-axis BMA423 accelerator, pedometer […]

Ultra-Low-Power RISC-V System-on-Chip features Adaptive Body Biasing Technology

Ultra-low-power RISC-V Chip

CSEM and USJC together have developed an ultra-low-power RISC-V chip for electronic gadgets such as wearables. The semiconductor companies, from Switzerland and Japan respectively, have been in the market for a while, developing technologies for low-power chips. Their latest collaboration uses Adaptive Body Biasing (ABB) and Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) to build an ultra-low-power RISC-V chip with all the required and necessary components. Originating from the labs of CSEM, the Adaptive Body Biasing dwells into the operating efficiency of all the modes of ON, Standby, and OFF. There has been the problem of power leakage in Standby and OFF operating modes, but the Adaptive Body Biasing technology helps design to minimize power leakage when the processor is not operating while keeping the best performance in ON mode. For most of the designs, the processor is in Standby mode waiting for the incoming data or the next event to be offered. […]

Bluetooth 5.3 new features lower latency, interference, improve battery life, security

Bluetooth 5.3 Channel Classification Enhancement

Bluetooth 5.3 Core Specification was adopted on July 13, 2021, without fanfare, and the only related announcement that I could find is CEVA RivieraWaves Bluetooth IP getting support for Bluetooth 5.3. Bluetooth 5.3 brings four new features or enhancements and removes one extension from the core specification: Periodic Advertising Enhancement – The AdvDataInfo (ADI) field of the common extended advertising payload format may now be included in AUX_SYNC_IND protocol data units (PDUs) which are broadcast when a device is performing periodic advertising. The Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) controllers may now use the information in the ADI field to recognize packets that contain retransmitted copies of identical or semantically equivalent data, and discard those packets in order to prevent unnecessary processing on the nodes, and make sure the overall throughput is not affected due to retransmitted packets. Encryption Key Size Control Enhancement – In Bluetooth BR/EDR, encryption key sizes are negotiated […]

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 […]

HarmonyOS launched on Huawei MatePad tablets, Watch 3 smartwatches

Huawei HarmonyOS Tablet - MatePad Pro 10.8

Huawei plans for an Android alternative called HongMeng (鸿蒙) OS were leaked in 2019 following tensions with the US government that prevented them from working with American and other companies around the world. The operating system was later called HarmonyOS for the overseas markets, and Huawei released HarmonyOS 2.0 beta in September of last year, where we learned it was heavily inspired by Android, replacing Google GMS with Huawei’s own HMS, but using the same development tools. We also got a roadmap at the time with the company planning to launch HarmonyOS devices in 2021. Developers first got the HiSpark WiFi IoT RISC-V development board to play with the new OS in October 2020, but now the company has finally announced HarmonyOS consumer devices with three Huawei MatePad tablets, and two Huawei 3 watches. Huawei MatePad HamornyOS tablets Three models have been introduced with a mix of Kirin and Snapdragon […]

Nordic Semi nPM1100 PMIC combines battery charger and regulator in tiny WLCSP package

nPM1100

Nordic Semi is well-known for its 2.4GHz multi-protocol chips such as nRF52840 or nRF52832 that are typically found in battery-powered devices such as smartwatches with Bluetooth connectivity. But once rechargeable batteries are involved that means a charging circuit is needed, and for instance, PineTime nRF52832 based watch relies on SGMicro SGM40561 Li-Ion battery charger and SGM2036 low-power regulator. So Nordic Semi has decided to get involved in the power management business and launched its first PMIC with nPM1100 combining a USB-compatible Li-ion/Li-Po battery charger and an efficient DC/DC buck regulator in a single, compact WLCSP package. Nordic Semi nPM1100 PMIC key features and specifications: 400 mA battery charger USB compatible input regulator Up to 150 mA of regulated voltage output at 1.8, 2.1, 2.7, or 3.0 V Overvoltage protection Ship mode disables power output Low quiescent currents Drivers for charge and error LEDs Supports Lithium-Ion and LiPo batteries with a […]