XIAO ESP32S3 is a tiny ESP32-S3 WiFi 4 and BLE 5.0 module for IoT, AI, and robotics


Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32S3 is the new member of the company XIAO family with an ESP32-S3 dual-core wireless microcontroller with WiFi 4 and BLE 5.0 designed for Smart Home, IoT, wearables, and Robotics applications. It succeeds the single-core ESP32-C3-based XIAO ESP32C3  board with the same form factor, but the new XIAO ESP32S3 offers more performance, vector extension for machine learning, more flash, and improved power consumption in deep sleep mode. Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32C3 specifications: Wireless MCU – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3R8 dual-core Tensilica LX7 microcontroller @ 240 MHz with 512KB SRAM, 8MB PSRAM, Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth 5.0 dual-mode (Classic + BLE) connectivity Storage – 8MB SPI flash Antenna – External u.FL antenna USB – USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion I/Os 2x 7-pin headers with 1x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 11x GPIO (PWM), 9x ADC 3.3V I/O voltage (not 5V tolerant) Debugging – JTAG pads Misc […]

Renesas introduces 100 MHz RA4E2 and 200 MHz RA6E2 Arm Cortex-M33 MCUs for wearables, sensors, appliances

Renesas RA4E2 RA6E2

Renesas Electronics has added two new groups to its 32-bit RA family of microcontrollers (MCUs) with the 100 MHz RA4E2 and 200 MHz RA6E2 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontrollers designed for “high-performance applications” in small packages such as sensing, gaming, wearables, and appliances. The new microcontrollers are equipped with 40 KB SRAM, 128 KB or 256 KB flash, and integrate various on-chip interfaces such as CAN FD, USB, QSPI, SSI, and I3C interfaces to offer an easy upgrade path for products based on other members of the Renesas RA Family. Renesas RA4E2 MCU group Both the RA4E2 and the RA6E2 are the most cost-effective microcontroller groups of the RA family with integrated CAN FD,  with the RA4E2 group especially well-suited to cost-sensitive applications and other systems requiring relatively high performance, low power consumption, and/or small package size. RA4E2 key features: CPU – Arm Cortex-M33 core with TrustZone @ up to 100 MHz […]

Silicon Labs announces MG27 and BG27 Bluetooth LE & 802.15.4 SoCs for small devices, healthcare

BG27 Bluetooth LE SoC

Silicon Labs has just announced the tiny BG27 Bluetooth LE and MG27 multiprotocol wireless SoCs designed for small devices, and they will be especially useful in connected health applications, or the so-called Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), as well as wearables, sensors, switches, smart locks, and commercial and LED lighting. Both chips feature a Cortex-M33 core clocked at 76.8 MHz, up to 768KB flash, and up to 64KB RAM, but the BG27 only supports Bluetooth LE, Mesh, and propriety 2.4 GHz connectivity, while the MG27 also adds an 802.15.4 radio for Zigbee, OpenThread, and Matter protocols Silicon Labs BG27 and MG27 specifications: CPU – Arm Cortex-M33 @ 76.8 MHz with DSP instruction and floating-point unit Memory – Up to 64 kB RAM data memory Storage – Up to 768 kB flash program memory 2.4 GHz Radio BLE 5.3 Bluetooth mesh Proprietary 2.4 GHz MG27 adds Matter OpenThread Zigbee Modulation – […]

STMicro adds more STM32U5 Cortex-M33 MCUs with NeoChrom 2.5D GPU, 128KB to 4MB flash, NIST certification, etc…

STM32U5 MCU family 2023

STMicro has added three new families to its STM32U5 Cortex-M33 microcontroller series with the entry-level STM32U535/545 with as little as 128KB flash, the STM32U595/5A5 with up to 4MB of Flash and 2,514KB of RAM, and the STM32U599/5A9 with similar features as the STM32U595/5A5 by adding the new NeoChrom 2.5D GPU plus TFT-LCD and DSI display interfaces. STMicro also announced that STM32U5 series MCUs were the first general-purpose MCUs to receive NIST-embedded random-number entropy source certification. As of now, along with the STM32U575/585 introduced in February 2021 with an optional Chrom-ART 2D GPU, STMicro offers eight product lines as part of the STM32U5 MCU series as shown in the table below. That means the STM32U5 microcontroller can address a wider range of applications with the STM32U535/545 targetting lower-cost applications with less flash and RAM, the “legacy” STM32U575/U585 for mid-range applications, and the STM32U59X/5AX for applications where more storage and memory is […]

Ploopy – 3D printed open-source hardware headphones feature Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU, TI PCM3060 24-bit DAC

Ploopy open-source hardware headphones

I don’t think I’ve ever written about open-source hardware headphones. But that’s precisely what Ploopy offers with an amplifier based on a Raspberry Pi RP2040, a Texas Instruments PCM3060 24-bit DAC, and an amplifier circuit, as well as 3D printed parts and open-source firmware written in C. As we’ll see further below the project is reasonably well documented, and you can either build it from scratch, purchase a fully-assembled kit, or something in the middle. I suppose you could even do some knitting since woven covers are part of the build just in case making your own PCBs and 3D printing parts are not your things. The electronics are comprised of two boards: The Gould amplifier board with the Raspberry Pi RP2040, Texas Instruments PCM3060 24-bit 96/192 kHz DAC, and several TI OPA1688 audio operational amplifiers The Mazzoleni driver flex boards going into the left and right rings with a […]

Qualcomm Snapdragon X35 modem to bring 5G NR-Light to smartwatches, industrial IoT, XR glasses

Snapdragon X35 5G NR-Light chip

Only a few years ago, 5G was only found in premium smartphones, but with the launch of the Snapdragon X35, Qualcomm aims to bring 5G cellular connectivity to wearables, industrial IoT applications, and eXtended Reality (XR) glasses. The Snapdragon X35 specifically supports 5G NR-Light, aka RedCap, which is described as ” a new class of 5G” that “fills the gap in between high-speed mobile broadband devices and extremely low-bandwidth NB-IoT devices” and delivers link rates of up to 220 Mbps. Snapdragon X35 modem key features and specifications: Cellular Technology: 5G NR-Light, FDD, SA (standalone), TDD, sub-6 GHz, HD-FDD, LTE Multi-Mode NR – Sub-6 SA, LTE Cat 4 3GPP Release 17 “RedCap” modem Number of Antennas: 1 Tx antenna, 2 Rx antennas Cellular Modem-RF Specs: 20 MHz bandwidth (sub-6 GHz), 1RX/2RX, 1TX, and Half-Duplex FDD (HD-FDD) Calling Services: VoLTE, VoNR Peak Upload QAM – 64 QAM Peak Upload Speed: 100 Mbps […]

Nordic Semi nRF7002 DK low-power dual-band WiFi 6 IoT development kit launched for $56 and up

nRF7002-DK development kit

Nordic Semi nRF7002 DK is an IoT development kit based on the nRF5340 dual-core Cortex-M33 multi-protocol wireless SoC and nRF7002 companion chip adding low-power dual-band (2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz) WiFi 6 connectivity. When Nordic Semi introduced the nRF7200 dual-band WiFi 6 companion chip for nRF52840 and nRF5340 wireless SoCs and nRF9160 cellular IoT SiP last summer, the “nRF7002-PDK” development kit was only mentioned in passing with a 3D render and not much else. The company has now announced the availability of the nRF7002 DK to help developers create low-power Wi-Fi 6 IoT applications. nRF7002 DK specifications: Wireless MCU – Nordic Semi nRF5340 dual-core Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ 128/64 MHz with 1 MB Flash + 512 KB RAM for the application core and 256 KB Flash + 64 KB RAM for the network core, Bluetooth 5.1 LE with direction-finding support, Bluetooth mesh, NFC, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT, and 2.4 GHz proprietary […]

ZSWatch open-source hardware nRF52833 smartwatch runs Zephyr RTOS

ZSWatch open-source hardware nRF52833 smartwatch

ZSWatch is an open-source hardware smartwatch based on an u-Blox ANNA-B402 module with Nordic Semi nRF52833 Bluetooth 5.1 SoC and running Zephyr real-time operating systems. We’ve seen several open-source hardware smartwatches over the years, as well as open-source firmware projects such as AsteroidOS or InfiniTime with the latter used in the PineTime smartwatch, and the ZSWatch adds to the list of interesting open-source wearables with all source files made public. ZSWatch specifications: Wireless module – u-blox ANNA-B402 based on Nordic Semi nRF52833 Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller with Bluetooth LE 5.1 and direction finding support Storage – 8MB flash (MX25R6435FZNIL0) Display – 1.28-inch 240×240 IPS TFT circular display with GC9A01 driver; covered with Sapphire Crystal Glass. Sensors Accelerometer (LIS2DS12TR) for step counting, etc… MAX30101EFD for pulse oximetry and heart rate monitoring Misc 3x buttons for navigation (prev, next, enter) Vibration motor (DRV2603RUNT) with haptics driver to give better vibration control. Power Management […]

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