NB-IoT Overview, Technical Presentation, and Getting Started (in Thailand)

December 7th, 2017 3 comments

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I attended a talk about NB-IoT at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 (2017). It was presented by representatives from AIS, a large telco company in Thailand, and I’ll give a summary of what I learned beside that Xiaomi Mi A1 camera is not that good after all, and I should have taken my DSLR camera with me instead. So apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos… The talk started from a higher level, including marketing / business propositions, and has time passed it become more and more technical. The first part of talk was presented by Phuchong Charoensuk, IoT marketing specialist at AIS, and he provided some more details about the company, and their current B2B IoT/M2M market (400,000 subscribers), before providing an overview of IoT, and how NB-IoT will bring in not only larger businesses but also startups and makers. He also went through some of the benefits of…

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ESP32-PICO-KIT v4 Board Based on ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP Now Available for $10

December 7th, 2017 2 comments

A little while ago, I received a bunch of ESP32 PICO Core development boards which were based on Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package with ESP32, 4MB SPI Flash, and other components. The advantage of such chip is that is requires less external component, and allows for smaller designs. For example, the boards I received would leave two row of pin on each side of the board, while most other ESP32 boards will only expose one row on each side. I used the board to play with Micropython ESP32 port, and later-on when I launched a giveaway of 8 of the boards, I found out the name had changed to ESP32-PICO Kit, with the documentation listing v3 with all pins connected to male headers, and v4 with 6-pin not connected to a male header as shown in the photo below. Both versions of the board also have a different pin layout. But you don’t need to care since AFAIK v3 was never…

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Rockchip RK3288 To Be Phased Out Soon? GPD XD+ Android Console To Get Mediatek MT8176 SoC, 4GB RAM Upgrade

December 7th, 2017 20 comments

[Update: I have now seen an email exchange with ASUS replying that Rockchip RK3288 will still be in production for 5 years, so GPD claims that manufacturing will stop for RK3288 may be incorrect, or misunderstood] Rockchip RK3288 32-bit Arm processor was first spotted in a company presentation in the summer of 2013, before being announced – with some confusion (Cortex A12 vs A17) – at CES 2014 in January. The quad core Cortex A17 processor had then its moments of glory with inclusion in products such as Chromebooks (2015), and ASUS Tinker board SBC earlier this year. Another product based on the processor is GPD XD Android game console, but according to a report on reddit, GPD will soon launch an upgraded version call XD+ powered by Mediatek MT8176 Hexa-core Cortex A72/A53 processor with 4GB RAM, mainly because “Rockchip are phasing out sales of the RK3288”. If true, it means most products based on the chip will soon be…

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa Core Kryo 385 SoC to Power Premium Smartphones, XR Headsets, Windows Laptops

December 7th, 2017 9 comments

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor was expected since May 2017 with four custom Cortex A75 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, Adreno 630 GPU, and X20 LTE modem. with the launch planned for Q1 2018. At least, that what the leaks said. Qualcomm has now formally launched Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and rumors were mostly right, as the the octa-core processor comes with four Kryo 385 Gold cores (custom Cortex A75), four Kryo 385 Silver cores (custom Cortex A55) leveraging DynamIQ technology, an Adreno 630 “Visual Processing System”, and Snapdragon X20 modem supporting LTE Cat18/13. The processor is said to use more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) allowing what the company calls “extended reality (XR)” applications, and will soon be found in flagship smartphones, XR headsets, mobile PCs, and more. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (SDM845) specifications: Processor 4x Kryo 385 Gold performance cores @ up to 2.80 GHz (custom ARM Cortex A75 cores) 4x Kryo 385 Silver efficiency cores @ up to 1.80 GHz…

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A Day at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0

December 6th, 2017 6 comments

The Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 is now taking place until December 9, and I went there today, as I was especially interested in the scheduled NB-IoT talk and workshop to find out what was the status about LPWA in Thailand. But there are many other activities planned, and if you happen to be in Chiang Main in the next few days, you may want to check out the schedule on the event page or Facebook. I’m going to go though what I’ve done today to give you a better idea about the event, or even the maker movement in Thailand. Booth and activity area should be the same over the 4 days, but the talks, open activity, and workshop will be different each day. Today, people could learn how to solder in the activity area. The even was not really big with manufacturers/sellers like ThaiEasyElec, INEX, or Gravitech closer to the entrance… … and slighter higher up in a…

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HE3D K280 3D Printer Review – Part 1: Build, Tweaks, and First Prints

December 6th, 2017 4 comments

Hello Karl here again with another 3D printer review. Today we are looking at an HE3D K280. I saw the brand for the first time on Gearbest a couple months ago and asked for it to review. I never heard of this brand before and have been wanting to review a delta style printer. In my case, I should have been careful what I asked for. It took me quite some time to get it to print utilizing the whole print bed. I experienced several challenges and after defeating them I enjoy this printer quite a bit. Delta style printers mesmerize me with the movements that they make and all the math that goes into moving the extruder in the X, Y and Z. Regular Cartesian printers are rather simple in this respect. Build Volume – 280×600 mm Heated bed No Parts cooling 2020 aluminum and all injected molded parts except effector Bowden Style 24V system HE3D K280 Build Building…

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Categories: Hardware, Testing Tags: 3d printing, he3d, review

Meet the First Windows 10 Arm “Always Connected PCs” – HP Envy x2 (2017) and ASUS NovaGo TP370

December 6th, 2017 28 comments

Qualcomm and Microsoft showcased some Snapdragon 835 based Windows 10 “Mobile PCs” at Computex 2017 last June, and while the press was allowed film the demo, the device could only be operated by a Qualcomm employee. But both companies and their partners have made progress, and at the Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm announced “Always Connected PCs” which will run Windows 10, be always on and always connected at Gigabit LTE speeds, and support all-day battery life while keeping thin and fanless designs. all while incorporating Windows 10. HP and ASUS unveiled their very own “Always Connected PCs”, respectively Envy X2 and Novago TP370. What I used to call laptop or in this case 2-in-1 hybrid (laptop) is now apparently called “Always Connected PC”, but in any case let’s have a closer look at both devices. HP Envy x2 (2017) Specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Processor @ 2.6GHz with Adreno 540 GPU @ 710MHz System memory – Up to 8GB…

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Riot Micro RM1000 NB-IoT and eMTC Baseband Chip Unveiled for the Cellular IoT Market

December 5th, 2017 3 comments

Telecommunication providers don’t intend to let newcomers like Sigfox or Semtech (LoRa) get all the fun and money with the Internet of Things, and that’s why LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) and Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) have been standardized. We have already covered module and silicon vendors products such as U-blox SARA-R4 / SARA-M2 modules, or Mediatek MT2625 SoC supporting the new protocols defined in 3GPP release 13 specifications. U-blox even have a module that supports both NB-IoT and eMTC in a single chip, but they are not alone anymore, as a startup called Riot Micro introduced RM1000 baseband NB-IoT & eMTC chip. RM1000 key features & specifications: MCU – ARM Cortex-M0 processor Storage – QSPI Flash interface Connectivity LTE-M Baseband supporting 3GPP Release 13 NB-IoT Baseband supporting 3GPP Release 13 SIM interface with power control Peripherals Digital data and control interface to popular RFICs (RBDP/DIQ/SPI) 3x UART interfaces General purpose I/O Integrated power management for external components Temperature Range – -40…

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Categories: Hardware Tags: cellular, IoT, lpwan, lte, riot micro