Freescale Vybrid Controllers: Cortex A5 + Cortex M4 Solutions

Freescale announced the new Vybrid platform based on Cortex A5 application processor and Cortex-M4 MCU (VF6xx and VF7xx family only) which targets building/home automation and control, industrial automation, point-of-sale systems, medical devices, smart energy equipment, and appliances. There are 5 families of Vybrid Controllers which support the following common features: Video/Camera Interface Unit + optional OpenVG GPU (except VF3xx) Up to 800 MHz data rate DDR3 and LPDDR2 support (except VF3xx) USB 2.0 OTF with Integrated PHY (1 or 2 depending on model) Ethernet 10/100 MAC (1 or 2 depending on model) Display controller (WQVGA to XGA resolutions) High-assurance boot with Crypto Acceleration Up to 1.5 MB on chip SRAM NAND Flash controller and Dual Quad-SPI with eXecute-In-Place(XIP) Dual 12-bit ADC and DAC Here are the 5 families of Vybrid platforms and key differentiating features: VF3xx: ARM Cortex-A5 up to 266 MHz, 1x USB 2.0 OTG, 2x Ethernet, display up to WQVGA resolution (400 x 240) VF4xx: ARM Cortex-A5 up …

FSLBOT: Freescale (Dancing) Robot Kit

Freescale unveiled the FSLBOT prototype last year (and I missed it!), and today, the company has announced further improvements to the Freescale Tower System mechatronics robot and board, a bipedal robot and development board that allows designers to write software for a variety of sensor applications while making a robot walk and respond to touch, motion, vibration, tilt and other external stimuli. The new version of the robot uses a new programming language based on StickOS, has wireless capabilities and adds an Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer. This robot has been designed with the collaboration of StickOS and CPUStick.com with the goal “to create a tool that would enable casual users and consumers of technology to become creators and innovators”. The Freescale FSLBOT Robot Kit comes with the following: Freescale Tower System mechatronics board powered by a 32-bit ColdFire MCU with 64K of RAM and 512K of flash. Leg mechanics and associated hardware. Expressive “face” with 12 touch pads and 7 LED’s …

Glark, an alternative to Grep

grep is a very useful tool to search or filter strings in order to look for files, parse useful info in log files and more. glark is an alternative to grep, it has few features that grep does not such as complex expressions, Perl-compatible regular expressions, and excluding binary files. It also has a more fancy way of display results. It is described as follows in the manpage: Similar to “grep”, “glark” offers: Perl-compatible regular expressions, color highlighting of matches, context around matches, complex expressions (“and” and “or”), grep output emulation, and automatic exclusion of non-text files. Its regular expressions should be familiar to persons experienced in Perl, Python, or Ruby. File may also be a list of files in the form of a path. glark is not installed by default. To install it in Debian/Ubuntu/Mint: sudo apt-get install glark It does not appear to be available in Fedora and other RPM based distributions, so you’d have to download the …

iWave Systems Rainbow-G15M-Q7: Qseven SOMs Based on Freescale i.MX 6 Series

iWave Systems, an embedded systems company based in Bangalore, India, has launched Qseven Modules powered by Freescale i.MX 6Quad (quad-core Cortex A9 processor), i.MX 6Duo (dual -core) and i.MX6 Solo. The Rainbow-G15M-Q7 modules are compliant with Qseven specification R1.20 and target the Industrial, Automotive and Medical markets. Here are the modules specifications: CPU: Freescale i.MX6  Cortex A9 Q/D/S core @ 1 GHz Memory: 1GB DDR3 SDRAM– Expandable to 4GB Optional 8GB eMMC Flash On-Board Micro SD slot  Qseven Edge Connector : PCIe v2.0 HDMI 1.4 SATA 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Dual LVDS LCD Support 4 x USB 2.0 Host | 1x USB 2.0 device AC97 Audio 8-Bit SD/MMC CAN1, SPI & I2C ports Debug Port  Expansion Connector: 2x Camera CSI MIPI CSI & DSI 24 Bit RGB LCD IF Triple UART 4×4 Key Matrix ESAI (Embedded Software Application Interface) , SPDIF MLB (Media Local Bus), CAN2 I2C, PWM, GPIO, Memory bus Form factor:  Qseven R1.20 compatible Temperature:  0 to 70°C Power Input: …

ARCHOS G9 Tablets Firmware 4.0.5 Released

Two weeks ago, Archos released the first  firmware for Archos 80 G9 / 101 G9 and A70B supporting Android 4.0.3 (ICS), so it was likely a new one would soon follow to fix a few bugs. Here’s the ChangeLog: Version 4.0.5 – March 22nd, 2012 Wi-Fi: fix slow throughput and disconnections happening on some access points HDMI: solve no sound or no video output issue on some TVs Bluetooth: make sure Bluetooth does not prevent device suspend VPN: fix VPN connection failing Touchscreen: avoid loss of first finger touch while tapping with second finger The update should be done automatically OTA, but alternatively the firmware can be downloaded at http://update.archos.com/9/gen9/gen9_4.0.5/firmware_archos_it4.aos

Microchip Unveils Wi-Fi Comm Demo Board with 32-bit PIC32 MCU

After TI and Qualcomm, here’s another WiFi solution for MCU aimed at the internet of things (IoT).  Yesterday, Microchip Technology announced the Wi-Fi Comm Demo Board, which combines a Microchip 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller (PIC32MX695F512H) with a low-power MRF24WB0MA embedded Wi-Fi radio transceiver module. This small (and cheap) demo board can be used to integrate with existing embedded designs and/or to evaluate Wi-Fi connectivity with a 32-bit MCU. Contrary to TI and Qualcomm, the IP network stack is not implemented in hardware, but Microchip provides a TCP/IP stack that can be freely downloaded at http://www.microchip.com/get/A3VP.  This TCP/IP stack includes HTML, DHCP, DNS, IPv4/v6, SSL, etc… (See diagram below) The memory footprint is 28-34 KB depending on the modules used. I could not find details about power consumption, but the company claims their solution can also run with just 2 AAA batteries. Microchip explains that this solution can enable the rapid growth of the embedded “Internet of Things” in applications such as …

Android SDK Tools and ADT Revision 17 with VM Acceleration for x86 Emulator

Google has released revision 17 of the SDK Tools and the Eclipse plugin. This release brings new features and bug fixes in for Lint static checker, the build system, and the emulator among other things. Here’s what’s new for Lint in r17: Lint API Check – Added check for Android API calls that require a version of Android higher than the minimum supported version. You can use the @TargetApi annotation to specify local overrides for conditionally loaded code. New Lint Rules – Added over 40 new Lint rules for a total of over 80, including checks for performance, XML layouts, manifest and file handling. Ignoring Lint Warnings – Added ability to suppress Lint warnings in Java code with the new @SuppressLint annotation, and in XML files with the new tools: namespace prefix and ignore attribute. New Eclipse Lint UI – Improved HTML and XML reporting and Eclipse integration. Improvements to the build systems for Eclipse and Ant: Better dealing with …

Qualcomm Atheros AR4100P Provides WiFi Connectivity to the Internet of Things

In January, Texas Instruments was the first company (to my knowledge) to release a WiFi chip for the internet of things, the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000, where WiFi is mostly implemented in hardware to lower power consumption. Now, the company has some competition with the announcement of Qualcomm Atheros AR4100P, an improved version of its AP4100 WiFi chipset, including IPv4/IPv6 support. The AR4100 targets the home, enterprise, smart grid and home automation and control applications that have lower data rates and transmit or receive data on an infrequent basis. The AR4100 system-in-package (SIP) features the following: Low energy Power saving modes as low as 5 µA Wake-up times as low as 2.2 ms Support for Quad SPI flash for faster wake times Low system resource requirements Low footprint host driver (25K Flash and 8K RAM) Simple, low-cost wireless system integration LGA package simplifies 2- or 4-layer PCB design Near zero RBOM Integrated RF front end, RF shield and clocks Direct connect …