3µA/MHz Ambiq Apollo 4 MCU Targets Battery-powered IoT Devices with Voice Processing

Ambiq Micro is using sub-threshold voltages under 0.5V to offer ultra-low-power Arm microcontrollers. In 2015, the company launch the Apollo Cortex-M4F MCU with 30µA/MHz power consumption in active mode, which was followed in 2016 by Apollo 2 in consuming just 10µA/MHz, and Apollo 3 (Blue)  dropped power consumption to as low as 6µA/MHz against using a Cortex-M4F @ 48 MHz in active mode. The fourth generation of ultra-low-power Apollo microcontroller has now been announced with Apollo 4 and Apollo 4 Blue microcontrollers – the latter adding Bluetooth – halving the power consumption of Apollo 3 at just 3µA/MHz, or ten times less than the original ultra-low-power MCU from the company. Apollo 4 (Blue) specifications and key features: MCU Core – Arm Cortex-M4F core up to 192 MHz (TurboSPOT) with FPU, Memory Protection Unit (MPU), and Secure Boot GPU – 2D/2.5D graphics accelerator with full alpha blending, texture and frame buffer compression Ultra-Low Power Memory Up to 2MB of non-volatile MRAM …

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Silicon Labs Introduces Bluetooth 5.2 BGM220S SiP and BGM220P PCB Module

Silicon Labs has recently announced two hardware modules based on the company’s BG22 secure Bluetooth 5.2 SoC, namely BGM220S System-in-Package (SiP) measuring just 6x6mm, and BGM220P, a slightly larger PCB variant optimized for wireless performance along with a better link budget for greater range. Both modules can be integrated into products with up to 10-year battery life from a single coin cell. All BGM220S/P variants can support Bluetooth Direction Finding and some of the parts can also handle Bluetooth Mesh Low Power protocol. Silicon Labs BGM220S/P key features: Wireless SoC – Silicon Labs EFR32BG22  Arm Cortex-M33 with DSP instructions and floating-point unit, up to 512 kB Flash, 32 kB RAM, 2.4 GHz radio with TX power up to 8 dBm, and Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM) for advanced debugging Supported Protocols Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 5.2) Direction-finding Bluetooth mesh Low Power Node Various MCU peripherals include ADC, up to 25x GPIOs, DMS, PWM, I2C, UART, PDM (mic), etc… See EFR32BG22 specifications …

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M5StickC PLUS ESP32-PICO Devkit Comes with 1.14-inch LCD, 120 mAh Battery and Buzzer

Shortly after introducing the Core2 ESP32 IoT Development Kit with a 2-inch touch display, 390 mAh battery earlier this week, M5Stack has announced the availability of another ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth IoT devkit, with the more compact M5StickC PLUS featuring a 1.14-inch display, a 120mAh battery, motion, sensor, a buzzer and the usual Grove connector for expansion. M5StickC PLUS is an upgrade to the original M5StickC that lacks the buzzer and features a smaller 0.96-inch display and a lower capacity 96 mAh battery. The new model can be purchased now for $13.95 plus shipping on Aliexpress, while the original device, that happens to be M5Stack top-selling product, is still available for $9.95. M5StickC PLUS key features and specifications: SiP – Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package with ESP32 dual-core WiFI and Bluetooth IoT processor @ up to 240 MHz, 4MB SPI flash Display – 1.14-inch Color TFT LCD with 135×240 resolution (ST7789v2 driver) Audio – SPM1423 microphone, buzzer USB – 1x USB-C …

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STMicroelectronics Introduces Zigbee 3.0 to the STM32WB55 microcontrollers

STMicroelectronics has added Zigbee 3.0 support to its STM32WB55 wireless microcontroller family using the Zigbee PRO protocol stack. The STM32 Wireless MCU (STM32WB55) was launched last year with a dual-core Arm Cortex-M4 CPU and Cortex M0+ core, as well as  Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4 radios. STMicro is hoping to expand the applications of the STM32WB into areas like home automation as Zigbee 3.0 is making brands choose Zigbee for their smart-home connectivity solution, smart-lighting, smart-building, mesh IoT connectivity, and many more. The STM32WB55 microcontrollers already provide support for Thread and Bluetooth 5.0 and the inclusion of the Zigbee connectivity will take this to the next level. The STM32WB55 Zigbee 3.0 software includes support for the Exegin Zigbee PRO protocol stack which is available for free. To ease development and deployment, STM32WB Zigbee solution supports 46 Zigbee 3.0 clusters and a further 21 clusters support legacy products and with the Zigbee 3.0 ZCL, developers can easily speed up their certification process thereby …

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Tiny, Waterproof AirBolt GPS Tracker Works with LTE-M and NB-IoT Cellular Networks (Crowdfunding)

We’ve previously covered small waterproof LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT GPS trackers such as Mictrack MT825, but AirBolt GPS tracker offers another option and promises an even longer battery life of up to 12 months. At 37 x 34 x 11mm, AirBolt GPS may also be the world’s smallest waterproof GPS tracker on the market, as well as the lightest at just 21 grams, both of which are characteristics that make the tracker especially suitable for pets like cats and dogs, as well as track luggage, keys, bicycles, etc… AirBolt GPS tracker key features and specifications: SoC(s) Unnamed, but considering Nordic Semi is listed as a partner it should be nRF9160 SiP with Arm Cortex-M33 MCU core, 1024 KB flash, 256 KB SRAM, NB-IoT, LTE Cat M1, and GPS connectivity There’s also Bluetooth 5.1 so one of the nRF52 chips might also be included. Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1 with long-range and direction-finding support Cellular – Worldwide support via NB-IoT and LTE …

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Nordic Semi nRF21540 RF front end module Extends the Range of nRF52/nRF53 Bluetooth SoC’s

A little while ago, we wrote about RFCat N32 board integrating Meshtek-H52 module with nRF52832 2.4GHz multi-protocol SoC and a Skyworks power amplifier increasing power by up to 30 times to extend the wireless range to up to 200 meters. It turns out Nordic Semi outed its own range extender module late last year with nRF21540 RF front end module (FEM) that integrates a power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA) optimized to boost the link budget of the nRF52 and nRF53 multi-protocol wireless SoCs. nRF21540 key features and specifications: Supported wireless standards Bluetooth Low Energy (incl. Bluetooth mesh) Thread and Zigbee (802.15.4) Proprietary 2.4 GHz Output Power – Adjustable in small increments up to +21 dBm Receive Gain – +13 dB with 2.5 dB noise figure Antennas – 2x antenna ports for antenna diversity Host Interface – I/Os, SPI, or a combination Supply Voltage – 1.7 V to 3.6V Current consumption Tx tuned to +20 dBm: 115 mA …

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xDrill Smart Power Drill Supports Intelligent Speed/Torque, Laser Measuring, Digital Leveling (Crowdfunding)

Many home appliances now have smart functions, and in my cases, I fail to see the added value, and I’m not sure why I’d want/need a connected refrigerator with a touchscreen display. So when I first saw somebody make a “smart” power drill with a small touchscreen display I laughed. But after having a closer look, Robbox xDrill smart power drill could actually be a very useful device saving you time and helping work better. The touchscreen is used for settings but also serves as a level tool to make sure the drill is aligned horizontally or at the angle of your choice, and you can also set the drilling depth. There are also two lasers that measure distances, so you don’t need to use a measuring tape and pencil anymore. xDrill key features and specifications: Built-in microcontroller with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity (is that an ESP32 inside?) Display – LCD touchscreen display Brushless digital motor Manual speed/torque lever (2000 …

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iWave Telematics Control Unit Supports GPS, 4G LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth

We’ve often written about iWave Systems’ single board computers, development kits, and systems-on-module, but the company has also been offering automotive products such as a Linux based OBD-II Dongle. And they’ve just introduced a new one called Telematics Control Unit (TCU) based on an Arm Cortex-A7 processor and offering GPS, 4G LTE Cat 4/1/M1, WiFi 5, and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for vehicle fleet management and insurance companies that want to know how drivers behave… iWave Telematics Control Unit (TCU iW-G26) specifications: Processor – Arm Cortex-A7 based CPU @ 792MHz (likely NXP i.MX 7ULP) System Memory – 256MB DDR3L SDRAM Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash Connectivity 4G LTE Cat 4, Cat 1, Cat M1 (eMTC) 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 or 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 5 (Hotspot & Station mode) Bluetooth 5.0 GNSS – GPS/A-GPS receiver with antenna Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis magnetometer OBD Features & Protocols 12V Power Input from TCU Port USB 2.0 device CAN 1x HS CAN bus J1962 …

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