Ameba Z2 IoT Board Features Realtek RTL8720CM Armv8-M KM4 Secure Wireless MCU

Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board

In 2016 we discovered Realtek Ameba wireless microcontrollers combining an Arm Cortex-M3 core with WiFi connectivity, and that could potentially become an ESP8266 competitor with modules selling for as low as $2. But the solution never really took off, because it was about the same price as ESP8266, and the latter already had a solid software ecosystem and community. But RealTek has now introduced a new Ameba Z2 IoT development board powered by RTL8720CM microcontroller featuring an Armv8-M KM4 core clocked at 100 MHz. What’s an Arm KM4 core you may ask? Seeed Studio informed me Arm and RealTek worked together on the KM4 core, so it looks like a custom Armv8-M microcontroller. Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board Ameba Z2 (ZII) specifications: Wireless MCU – Realtek RTL8720CM single core Armv8-M KM4 core @ 100MHz with 4.2MB internal RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth radios Storage – 2MB external flash on module Connectivity Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 1×1 Wi-Fi 4 (20/40MHz) with PCB …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Gateworks Ventana GW5910 SBC Targets WiFi, BLE & Sub-1GHz IoT Gateways

Gateworks Ventana GW5910 SBC

Freescale/NXP i.MX6 based Gateworks Ventana single board computers have been around at least since 2013 and were initially targeting networking processing applications for the industry. They could be used into all sort of gateways with cellular or WiFi connectivity for instance, thanks to the presence of mini PCIe sockets. But the latest Gateworks Ventana GW5910 SBC does not exclusively relies on mini PCIe cards for wireless connectivity, as it includes an onboard Laird Sterling 802.11b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth module, as well as optional TI CC1352P dual-band Wireless MCU supporting Sub-1GHz and 2.4GHz RF, and an optional on-board u-blox GPS module, which should lower the total cost compared to solutions with mini PCIe cards. Ventana GW5910 specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX6 Dual Core Arm Cortex-A9 SoC Processor @ 800MHz System Memory – 512MB DDR3-800 SDRAM Storage – 256MB Flash System Memory, microSD card slot, mSATA socket  Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet Port Onboard Laird Sterling 802.11b/g/n WiFi & BLE v4.2 BR/DR/LE Optional onboard …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

GAPPoc AI development boards based on the GAP8 RISC-V Chip

GreenWaves has developed a development board based on the GAP8 chip which can be evaluated from a GAPuino board, a generic board that can run off a low power external power source or USB and is compatible with the Arduino ecosystem.  Recently the company moved beyond the generic board to the GAPPoc, platform which stands for GAP8 Proof of Concept. The GAPPoc is focused on a class of applications which can be embedded on a single board and able to carry hardware such as crystal or external memory, sensors, a radio fit, and a battery. The board will be geared towards a set of low power functions for a particular class of applications.  This is a family of boards designed to increase the range of abilities in edge Artificial Intelligence.  At this time there is only a single board with a platform to enhance AI, targeting Computer Vision in the visible spectrum. The variant that has been developed is the …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Raspberry Pi 4 Features Broadcom BCM2711 Processor, Up to 4GB RAM

Raspberry Pi 4 SBC

Long expected, the Raspberry Pi 4 model B has finally launched, and it should not disappoint with a much more powerful Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz, 1 to 4GB LPDDR4, 4K H.265 video decoding and output support, a proper Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. Raspberry Pi 4 comes with all those extra features, but the form factor remains the same, and importantly the price is still $35 for the version with 1GB RAM, making Raspberry Pi alternatives suddenly much less interesting. Raspberry Pi 4 specifications: SoC – Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARMv8) @  1.5GHz with VideoCore VI GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics System Memory – 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – microSD card slot Video Output  & Display I/F 2x micro HDMI ports up to 4Kp60 (Currently 1080p60 max. in dual-display configuration, although 2x 4Kp30 is being worked on) 3.5mm AV port with composite video (and …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Silicon Labs Demonstrates Bluetooth 5.1 Location Technology (Video)

Bluetooth 5.1 Location Base Station

Recently there are been advancements related to precise indoor positioning with the announcement for Bluetooth 5.1 and 802.15.4z. Both can provide 1 to 10 centimeters accuracy with minimal lag, and Bluetooth 5.1 achieves this through Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD) features and an antenna array. I had never seen the new feature in action, but Silicon Labs recently demonstrated Bluetooth 5.1 location technology at Arrow IoT summit with a DMX-512 connected light following a person carrying a Bluetooth 5.1 tag. It looks fairly accurate, and it does not have a 3-6 seconds lag like previous solutions based on earlier versions of Bluetooth? So what does one need to enable Bluetooth 5.1 location finding? First, we’ll need a Bluetooth 5.1 base station with an antenna array, The one used above includes a 16 antenna array (4×4 grid) used to calculated angles of departure and arrival and ultimately the position and direction of the beacons. The Silabs Blue …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Arduino Introduces Four New Nano Boards with WiFi, BLE, Sensors, and/or HW Crypto

Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense

The Maker Faire 2019 is now taking place in San Mateo, California, United States, and Arduino has made an habit of announcing new products during the events. This year is no different as the company has announced a new Nano Family with four boards: Arduino Nano Every powered by a Microchip ATMega4809 AVR microcontroller Arduino Nano 33 IoT with secure internet connectivity thanks to a U-blox ESP32 WiFi module and ATECC608A HW crypto chip Arduino Nano 33 BLE with Bluetooth connectivity via U-blox NINA B306 module based on Nordic Semi nRF52480 Bluetooth 5.0 chip Arduino Nano BLE Sense with a design similar to Nano 33 BLE but some extra on-board sensors. Arduino Nano Every Specifications: MCU –  Microchip ATMega4809 AVR microcontroller @ 20 MHz with 48KB flash, 6KB SRAM, 256 Bytes EEPROM USB to Serial via Microchip ATSAMD11D14A Arm Cortex-M0+ USB MCU 2x 15-pin expansion headers with GPIO, SPI, I2C, USART, PWM, ADC, DAC, reset, and power signals (+5V, +3.3V, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Gateworks Introduces GW16126 Mini-PCIe Cat M1 Modem and Bluetooth LE Radio

LTE Cat M1 mini PCIe card

Gateworks has launched another mini PCIe card providing IoT connectivity for their NXP i.MX 6 and Cavium Octeon TX powered SBC’s. Last month we covered GW16130 Mini PCIe satellite modem, and the company has now announced GW16126 mini PCIe card with a Cat M1 (eMTC) modem and a Bluetooth Low Energy radio for the US market, and other regions or countries where LTE Cat M1 networks have been deployed. Gateworks GW16126 mini PCIe card specifications: LTE Cat M1 Module – U-blox SARA-R410M-52 LTE CAT M1 cellular modem with up to 375 kb/s upload and 300 kb/s download; LTE Bands 2,4,5,12,13 SIM card – nano-SIM socket with hologram starter SIM included with free 1MB/month starter plan included BLE module – u-blox NINA-B301 Open CPU Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy Radio based on Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 chipset, Zephyr RTOS with Bluetooth HCI UART Host Interface. BLE Rates up to  2Mbps Antennas – 2x u.Fl antenna connectors for CAT M1 and Bluetooth modules Host …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Aconno Bluetooth Beacons Come with Various Sensors, Nordic Semi nRF52 BLE SoC

Aconno Bluetooth Beacons

We first covered products from Aconno is 2017 with their Bluetooth LE development board powered by the company’s ACN52832 BLE module based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4 multi-procotol wireless SoC. Since then they’ve launched several small Bluetooth beacon modules based on ACN52832, and the company has what they call a presale promotion until May 21st, but it looks really like a group buying event for their existing BLE modules where the price goes down as more people purchase modules. Six Bluetooth modules are offered: acnSENSA multisensor Bluetooth tag with temperature, light, humidity, barometer, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope acnBEACON programmable Bluetooth tag acnACT BLE beacon with button and RGD LED, magnetometer, phototransistor acnNFC programmable Bluetooth tag with NFC tag emulator acnRANGE distance measuring beacon with time-of-flight sensor acnFIND Bluetooth smart tag with LED, sound and accelerometer All modules come with a replaceable CR2450 battery, and IP65 enclosure. Pricing currently ranges from 15.96 Euros (Net) to 29.40 Euros (Net), but price may …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon