Pico-ITX i.MX8M Board Enables Offline Voice Control with Snips

Estone EMB-2238

A few days ago, we covered Estone Technology’s MJ-100 RK3399 rugged tablet. I’ve just realized Estone Technology used to promote their embedded product under the Habey USA brand, which we covered a few times here, and the company has also announced another new product ahead of Embedded World 2019 with their EMB-2238 Pico-ITX i.MX8M board specifically designed for voice control applications. The company setup two voice control demos with the board: one with Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and another with Snips that works locally without any Internet connection. We actually came across Snips previously for an article comparing microphone arrays, but I never looked into Snips into details or saw an actual demo. Let’s have a quick look at EMB-2238 board specifications first: SoC –  NXP i.MX 8MQuad  with 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5GHz, 1x Arm Cortex-M4 realtime-core @ 266MHz, Vivante GC7000L/GC7000LVX with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 System Memory – Onboard 2GB LPDDR4, …

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Banana Pi BPI-M4 Board Comes with RTD1395 Processor, M.2 Socket, Raspberry Pi 3B+ Form Factor

Banana Pi BPI-M4

Realtek RTD1395 processor is a lower cost version of RTD1295 / RTD1296 processors found in mid-range TV boxes often including HDMI input and output such as Zidoo X9s or LAKE I Home Cloud. The new processor comes with a lower-end Mali-470MP4 GPU and removed some interfaces like HDMI input and native SATA. So far, we had seen very few hardware platforms built around the processor, but SinoVoIP has just unveiled their latest Banana Pi BPI-M4 board powered by Realtek RTD1395 processor, following Raspberry Pi 3B+ form factor, and adding an M.2 key E socket with PCIe 2.0 and USB 2.0 signals. Banana Pi BPI-M4 specifications: SoC – Realtek RTD1395 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Mali-470 MP4 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR4 (option 2 GB) Storage – 8G eMMC flash (max 64 GB), micro SD slot up to 256GB Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 port up to 1080p (TBC) Audio – Via HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack Connectivity …

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ARIES M100PF PolarFire FPGA System-on-Module Targets Industrial Applications, RISC-V Development


MicroSemi unveiled PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC at the end of last year, bringing an alternative to Xilinx Zynq (Arm Cortex-A9 + FPGA) and UltraScale+ (Cortex A53 + FPGA) SoCs. The system-on-chip is expected to be mass produced later in 2019, so development is done on HiFive Unleashed RISC-V board and its FPGA expansion board. In the meantime, MicroSemi PolarFire FPGAs (without RISC-V hard core) are available now, and ARIES Embedded planning to showcase what they claim is the first PolarFire FPGA system-on-module at Embedded World 2019 with their M100PF SoM targeting industrial applications. ARIES Embedded M100PF key features and specifications: A choice of 3 PolarFire FPGAs MPF100T – 109KLE, 336 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF200T – 192KLE, 588 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF300T – 300KLE, 924 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) System Memory – 512 MiB / 1 GiB / 2 GiB DDR3 RAM Storage – 256 MiB configuration device, 4 GiB eMMC flash by default (Option up to 64GB) 2x Samtec QSH-090-01-F-D-A 180-pin …

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Nitrogen8M_Mini is the First NXP i.MX8 8M Mini SBC

Having just written about one of the first NXP i.MX 8M Mini systems-on-module, let’s stay with NXP’s latest 14-nm processor as Boundary Devices have been working on a variant of their Nitrogen8M SBC based on MXP i.MX 8M Mini processor and aptly called Nitrogen8M_Mini. The board is also known as the less human-friendly Nit8MQ_Mini_2r8e SBC, and comes with the following specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini with 4x Cortex A53 cores, 1x Cortex-M4F real-time core, Vivante GCNanoUltra 3D GPU, Vivante GC320 2D GPU System Memory –  2GB LPDDR4 (Optional 4GB version) Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, expandable up to 128GB, UHS SD card slot Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 1080p Video Encode / Decode – 1080p H.264, VP8/1080p60 H.265, H.264, VP8, VP9 Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, analog MIC jack, 2W audio amplifier, L&R speaker headers Camera Interface – 1x 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) Optional QCA9377 BD-SDMAC 802.11 ac version + Bluetooth 4.1 …

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CS32 MCU Clone of STM32 Makes it into Bluepill Board

CS32 STM32 Clone - CS32F103C8T6

A few year ago, we covered GigaDevice GD32 MCU based on STM32 Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller, but with some improvements to the flash and overall performance. So the MCU is not exactly an STM32 clone per se, but it’s pin-to-pin and software compatible. Now based on a discussion on STM32duino forum, it looks like another company (CKS – 中科芯微) may have made an actual clone of STM32 with CS32, more exactly CS32F103 that is compatible with STM32F103. CS32 comes with an Arm Cortex-M3 core clocked at 72 MHz, 64 to 128KB flash, and 20 KB RAM. A datasheet and user manual are available but only in Chinese. Several STM32duino members suspect it’s an actual copy of STM32 without modifications. What’s unclear is whether it’s a pirated copy, or a properly licensed one. CS32F103C8T6 & CS32F103CBT6 parts can be purchased on Aliexpress for $0.80 shipped and up. The datasheet mentions 64KB or 128KB, but some people tested CS32F103C8T6 and confirmed it to …

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Pyboard D Series MicroPython Board Features STM32F7 MCU, WiFi and Bluetooth

Pyboard D Series

Micropython is a lightweight implementation of Python for microcontroller which we covered first in 2013. The port is supported by various hardware platforms, and I even tested Micropython on ESP32 a little while ago, but the developer – Damien George – also launched officially supported boards starting with Pyboard in 2014 with an STM32F4 microcontroller. At FOSDEM 2019, the upcoming Pyboard D-series (aka Pyboard D, or just PyBD) board was introduced during the Micropython presentation with a faster STM32F7 Cortex-M7 MCU, as well as built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Pyboard D preliminary specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32F7xx Arm Cortex M7 microcontroller at 216 MHz with 512KB RAM, 2MB flash Storage – micro SD card slot, and 2x external flash chips Connectivity – WiFi & Bluetooth with on-board antenna and u.FL antenna connector USB – 1x micro USB port for power, flash disk access, and USB to serial debugging/programming Expansion 2.54mm pitch through holes for 16x GPIOs 1.27mm pitch castellated and …

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Ivy5661 Bluetooth 5 + 802.11ac WiFi IoT Board Up for Pre-order for $35

Ivy5661 board

There are many WiFi and/or Bluetooth board designed for the Internet of Things thanks to ESP8266 / ESP32, and other solutions, but usually they all work in the 2.4 GHz frequency band which can be an issue in crowded environments. Last October, we covered ucRobotics Ivy5661  96Boards compliant IoT board that offers a dual core Arm Cortex-M4F MCU with 802.11ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5 connectivity. It was still under development at the time, but today, I’ve noticed it was listed on Seeed Studio for $35 with shipping scheduled for the end of February. ucRobotics Ivy5661 board specifications: SoC – UniSoC UWP5661 dual core Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller @ 416 MHz manufactured with 28nm process Storage – 32Mbit NOR flash Connectivity (built in SoC) Dual band 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi 5 up to 866MHz; supports repeater mode, RTT indoor positioning Bluetooth 5 with support for high power mode, BT mesh, and AOD indoor positioning features USB – 2x Micro USB ports …

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OpenISA VEGAboard Combines RISC-V and ARM Cortex-M Cores


OpenISA has launched an Arduino compatible RISC-V development called VEGAboard that features RV32M1 wireless microcontroller with a RISC-V RI5CY core, a RISC-V ZERO-RISCY core as well as Arm Cortex-M4F and Cortex-M0 cores, and a radio operating in the 2.36 GHz to 2.48 GHz range. An external NXP Kinetis K26 Arm Cortex-M4 MCU is added to the board for OpenSDA (Open-Standard Serial and Debug Adapter) debugging over a single USB cable. The board was offered for free, I’m just not sure when, but they are already out of stock. Hopefully, they’ll start selling the board soon enough. VEGAboard (RM32M1-VEGA) board key features and specifications: Ultra-low-power RV32M1 Wireless MCU supporting BLE, Generic FSK, and IEEE Std 802.15.4 (Thread) platforms IEEE Std. 802.15.4-2006 compliant transceiver supporting 250 kbps O-QPSK data in 5.0 MHz channels, and full spread-spectrum encoding and decoding Fully compliant Bluetooth v4.2 Low Energy (BLE) Reference design area with small-footprint, low-cost RF node: Single-ended input/output port Low count of external components …

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