Espressif Rolls out ESP32 Boards for Microsoft Azure IoT & Google Cloud IoT Core Services

ESP32 Azure IoT Kit

Espressif ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth processor is pretty versatile, and you could connect any ESP32 board to any cloud services with some efforts. But to make things even easier Espressif Systems worked with Microsoft and Google to release versions of ESP32 boards specifically designed to connect to Microsoft Azure IoT or Google Cloud IoT core. Meet ESP32-Azure IoT Kit and ESP32-DevKitC Google Cloud IoT. ESP32-Azure IoT Kit Hardware specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B WiFi and Bluetooth module Storage – MicroSD card socket Display – 0.96” blue and yellow OLED display driven by SSD1306 I2C driver chip Sensors InvenSense MPU6050 motion sensor NXP MAG3110 magnetometer FBM320 barometer STMicro HTS221 humidity & temperature sensor ROHM BH1750FVI light sensor Expansion – 16-pin header Debugging – USB to UART bridge for serial debugging & programming Misc – Reset button, user button, 2x charge LED’s, 2x user LED’s, 1x passive buzzer Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 3-pin header for LiPo battery; charging …

Getting Started with balenaFin Developer Kit, balenaOS and balenaCloud

balenaFIN USB programming

balena Fin is a carrier board for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3/3+ designed specifically for industrial applications leveraging fleet management services provided by Balena. I received balenaFin developer kit last month, and in the first part of the reviewed shows how to assemble the kit. I’m now had time to spend more time with the kit, as well as BalenaOS Linux based operating system optimized for running Docker containers on embedded devices, and balenaCloud services to manage a fleet of devices from a web dashboard. I’ve mostly followed the instructions in the getting started guides here and there, and will document what I had to do to prepare the image, flash it to the board, and load a sample docker application locally, and through balenaCloud. Downloading and Configuring BalenaOS for balena Fin You’ll find BalenaOS in the download page. While we are using hardware based on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module, make sure to select “Fin” instead of “Raspberry Pi”. …

Cubbit Aims to Crowdsource the Cloud for Improved Privacy (Crowdfunding)

Cubbit Cell

Storing data in the cloud is convenient since you have access it from anywhere with an Internet connection, but there are privacy concerns, and you may have to pay a monthly fee if you exceed you storage limit. Cubbit aims to reinvent the cloud by not  storing files in corporate datacenters, but instead relying on a swarm of “Cubbit Cells” to deliver fully private and reliable cloud storage without monthly. You’d just need to pay for the boxes and potentially extra local storage, and then it’s basically free to use afterwards. Cubbit Cell hardware specifications: Processor – Dual core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz (possibly Marvell Armada 3700) System Memory – 1GB DDR4 Storage – Built-in SATA drive Networking – 1x Gigabit Ethernet port USB – 1x USB 3.0 port Power Supply – 12V Dimensions – 160 x 142 x 56mm The hardware looks like a basic NAS with a single drive, but what makes Cubbit special …

Arduino IoT Cloud Public Beta Launched

Arduino IoT Cloud Thing Widget

It’s long been possible to get data from sensors connected to official or compatible Arduino board, upload it to some cloud services, and watch the results is a neat web interface. But until now, you had to rely on third party services such as ThingSpeak, Adafruit.io, or Thinger.io to name a few. Arduino has now announced their own Arduino IoT Cloud services is entering public beta. You’d normally need to modify the sketch by hand to connect an Arduino board to the cloud, but Arduino IoT Cloud can automatically generate a sketch when setting up a new project, and help you get started quickly in less than five minutes. The Arduino IoT Cloud supports HTTP REST API, MQTT, Command-Line Tools, Javascript, and Websockets, and devices are secured using X.509 certificate-based authentication. To get started, you’ll need an Arduino MKR board, and create an account or login to Arduino IoT Cloud. Two boards can be selected from the interface: MKR1000 or …

Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Instances Deliver up to 45% Cost Savings over x86 Instances

SmugMug-Costs Savings Arm EC2 Instance

Just a couple of days ago, Amazon introduced EC2 A1 Arm instances based on custom-designed AWS Graviton processors featuring up to 32 Arm Neoverse cores. Commenters started a discussion about price and the real usefulness of Arm cores compared to x86 cores since the latter are likely to be better optimized, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) pricing for EC2 A1 instances did not seem that attractive to some. The question whether it makes sense will obviously depend on the workload, and metrics like performance per dollar, and performance per watt. AWS re:Invent 2018 is taking place now, and we are starting to get some answers with Amazon claiming up to 45% reduction in costs. It sounds good, except there’s not much information about the type of workload here. So it would be good if there was an example of company leveraging this type of savings with their actual products or services. It turns SmugMug photo sharing website has migrated to …

Circumference Datacentre-in-a-Box Features up to 32 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Managed by a UDOO x86 Ultra Board (Crowdfunding)

We’ve previously seen several clusters made of Raspberry Pi boards with a 16 RPi Zero cluster prototype, or BitScope Blade with 40 Raspberry Pi boards. The latter now even offers solutions for up to 1,000 nodes in a 42U rack. Circumference offers an other option with either 8 or 32 Raspberry Pi 3 (B+) boards managed by UDOO x86 board acting as a dedicated front-end processor (FEP) that’s designed as a “Datacenter-in-a-Box”. Key features and specifications: Compute nodes – 8x or 32x Raspberry Pi 3 B+ boards for a total of 128x 64-bit 1.4 GHz cores max Backplane MCU – Microchip ATmega1280 8-bit AVR microcontroller Serial Comms – FTDI FT4232 quad-USB UART Switched Mode Power Supply Units (SMPSUs): 8x / 32x software controlled (one per compute node) 1x / 4x always-on (microcontroller) HW monitoring: 8x / 32x compute node energy 2x / 8x supply voltage 2x / 8x temperature Remote console – 8x / 32x (1x / 4x UARTs multiplexed …

AAEON Releases an Intelligent Vending Machine Development Kit based on UP Board

Vending-Machine-Reference-Design

UP board is a low cost development board powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor with 1GB to 4GB RAM, and 16 to 64GB eMMC flash that mostly follows Raspberry Pi 3 form factor. AAEON is now offering an “intelligent vending development kit” featuring UP board together with a vending machine controller (VMC) board, a motor for the machine’s internal mechanisms, a camera, a QR Code device, and all the necessary cables, as well as optional WiFi and Bluetooth modules. Some details about AIOT-MSSP01 Mini SSP Vending control board: “Intel Intelligent Vending Based” Motor Control – 24V or 12V, Supports GPIO, DC, PWM Type, Supports up to 160 DC Motors Support LCD and Keypad Feature I/Os Vending machine specific interfaces / standards 1x MDB (MultiDrop Bus) 1x DEX (Digital EXchange) 1x Protocol A (EXE) 1x 1-WIRE 4-channel ADC x 1 4-channel Relay GPIO for 12V & 5V by switch x 1 2x 16 Bit GPIO 1x 8 Bit …

Embedded Systems Conference 2018 Schedule – IoT, Security, Artificial Intelligence, and More

The Embedded Systems Conference takes place each year in Boston, US in April or May. This year, the event will occur on April 18-19, and the organizers have published the schedule with 7 tracks: Advanced Technologies, Center Stage (free), Embedded Hardware Design & Verification, Embedded Software Design & Verification, IoT and Connected Devices, Keynotes (free) and Special Event (free). Even if you can’t attend, it’s always useful to have a look at the schedule to learn about potential industry developments. So I’ve made my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions I found relevant to this blog. Wednesday, April 18 8:00 – 10:00 – An Introduction to RTOS by Jean Labrosse (Software Architect, Silicon Labs) This tutorial will help you understand what RTOSs are and how they work so that you can make better use of their features. The class will explain what an RTOS is and why you should use one. We’ll explain what tasks are, why you …