A Closer Look at Mediatek MT8516 Cortex A35 SoM / Devkit for Android Things

Mediatek-MT8516-SoM

Earlier this month, Google released Android Things 1.0, the first stable release for the IoT operating system, and announced several certified SoMs (systems-on-module) based on NXP i.MX 8M, Qualcomm SDA212 & SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 SoCs. However at the time, beside some information about the processor itself, there was not many details about MT8516 system-on-module. Since then, MediaTek wrote a blog post about their Cortex A35 solution for Android Things & Google Assistant, so let’s have a look. First the MT8516 SoM is not exactly what I had expected, but instead a complete single board computer, and this is why they call it virtual SoM (vSOM). Google defines the latter as reference design provided by the chip vendors and certified by Google. Mediatek MT8516 quad core Cortex A35 vSoM / development board specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT8516 quad core Cortex A35 processor without GPU System Memory – 4Gbit (512MB) DDR3L Storage – 4GB eMMC flash Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO …

RAK833 is an Industrial Grade mini PCIe LoRaWAN Gateway Card

Mini-PCIe-LoRaWAN-Gateway

The most obvious way to setup your own LoRAWAN network is to get an off-the-shelf Gateway such as MatchBox, which can be easily installed, and configured using the built-in web interface. But if you need something more flexible, Rakwireless RAK833 could be an interesting option, as an industrial grade LoRaWAN gateway that you can just insert into an advanced router or computer’s mini PCIe slot. RAK833 card specifications: LoRa Connectivity Semtech SX1301 Digital Baseband Chip for outdoor LoRaWAN macro gateways 2x Semtech SX1255/7 Tx/Rx front-end 49x LoRa demodulators, 10 parallel demodulation paths Frequencies – 433 MHz, 470 MHz, 868 MHz, and 915 MHz Tx Power – Up to 25 dBm Rx Sensitivity – -140 dBm Host Interface – 52-pin mPCIe edge connector with USB and SPI (via FT2232H) signals; Supply Voltage – 3.3V compatible with 3G/LTE mPCIe cards Dimensions – 50.95 x 30 mm The card ships with an external antenna, and should work with any Linux device with a …

Dragino NB-IoT Bee is a $23 Xbee Compatible NB-IoT Add-on Board

Several companies are already offering XBee NB-IoT add-on board including Digi International themselves, and SODAQ with their NB-IoT Bee N211 module going for 69 Euros. Dragino NB-IoT Bee is another option for NB-IoT connectivity using Xbee form factor,  and the board should be cheaper than most as it goes for $23.00 on Tindie with an external antenna. NB-IoT Bee specifications: NB-IoT module Quectel BC95-B5 for B5:850Mhz, B8:900Mhz, or B20:800Mhz in respectively Nb-IoT Bee QB05, QB08, QB20 models (i.e. one frequency is supported by model) Quectel BG96 for  LTE Cat M1 & Cat NB1 & EGPRS in Nb-IoT Bee QG96 model Output Powe  – 23dBm Sensitivity – -129dBm Micro SIM Slot Input voltage – 4.5v ~ 5.5V Temperature Range – -40°C ~ +85°C Typical applications for such board include smart metering, facility management services, security & fire alarms, asset tracking, smart city infrastructure and so on. If you are looking specifically for Nb-IoT Bee QG96 add-on board, it’s currently out of …

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 …

ESP32-Sense Kit Lets You Experiment with ESP32 Touch Interface

Beside support for Bluetooth, one the other extra benefits of Espressif ESP32 over ESP8266 is the presence of a touch interface in the newer processor. If you are interested in that specific features, Espressif Systems has worked on ESP32-Sense kit that provides a main board with ESP32, and several touch enabled daughter boards. Board descriptions in the kit: Motherboard with ESP32 module (ESP-WROOM-32),  a 3-digit display unit,  a debug unit, USB port for power, switches, an RGB LED, and expansion headers. 5 daughterboard: linear slider duplex slider wheel slider matrix buttons spring buttons. Developers could even design and add their own daughterboards to connect to the motherboard’s touch header. A good way to get started with your own board is to check out ESP32 Sense Kit reference design files with Cadence/OrCAD Capture V16.6 schematics, and Mentor Graphics/Pads VⅩ.2 PCB layout files. But if you are just interested in the software part, you’ll want to check out the documentation and related …

Sens’it Discovery is a Sigfox IoT Solution with 6 Sensors

Sigfox has just launched Sens’it Discovery, which they describe as a “end-to-end IoT solution, which aims to accelerate the adoption of the IoT (Internet of things) among business and technical professionals”. The solution is comprised for Sens’it 3 device with 6 sensors, sensit.io application, and Sigfox connectivity. Sens’it 3 hardware specifications: MCU – STM32 micro‑controller  Connectivity TI CC1125 radio transceiver Sigfox Ready class 0U Frequencies – 868 to 869.7 MHz, 902 to 908 MHz, or 923.2 MHz (TX) / 922.2 MHz (RX), or 920 to 925 MHz depending on region Transmit Power emission – 14 dBm ERP (RC1), 22 dBm ERP (RC2), 10 dBm ERP (RC3), 22 dBm ERP (RC4) Sensors Thermometer (HTS221) – -40 to 120°C / Accuracy ± 0.5°C Humidity (HTS221) –  0 to 100 / Accuracy ± 3.5% rH (20 to +80% rH) Accelerometer (FXOS8700) –  ±2, 4, 8 g / Accuracy 0.244, 0.488, 0.976 mg Magnetometer (FXOS8700) –  ±1200 μT / Sensitivity 0.1 μT/LSB Light (LTR329) –  …

CrowPi is a Portable Learning Kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ / Zero Boards (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry-Pi-Learning-Kit

We have an embarrassment of choices for Raspberry Pi accessories from touchscreen displays, HAT add-ons boards, sensors, breadboard, and so on, as well as good software and support from Raspberry Pi forums. This is all good, but it can be messy with all those jumper cables, and not really portable. Elecrow has a neat solution with the CrowPi learning kit for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero that come with a 7″ display, several sensors, buttons, a breadboard, and more all packed in a small suitcase. Main parts of the kit: 7″ touchscreen display Breadboard with GPIOs status LEDs Input modules – Light sensor, IR receiver, PIR motion sensor, sound sensor, temperature & humidity sensor, touch sensor, ultrasonic sensor, NFC reader, and tilt sensor Output modules – 8×8 LED matrix, 4-digit LED display, I2C LCD1602 display, buzzer, vibration motor, relay module, 9G servo, and stepper motor. Control modules – 4×4 array keypad and direction keys (D-Pad) A battery is …

Toradex Launches Apalis iMX8 Computer-on-Module based on NXP i.MX 8QuadMax SoC

Toradex-Apalis-i.MX8-SoM

Toradex Apalis iMX8 is another system-on-module powered by NXP i.MX 8QuadMax hexa core Arm Cortex A72 + 53 processor, which comes with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, up to 16GB flash, and an on-board dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 ready module. The company has just opened early access for selected customers, so it has become possible to start developing products with the MXM3 computer-on-module. Apalix i.MX8 module specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8QuadMax hexa core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 cores @ 1.6 GHz, 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.26 GHz, 2x Cortex-M4 real-time core @ 266 MHz, and dual Vivante GC7000XSVX GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 (64 Bit) Storage – Up to 16GB eMMC flash On-module Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet via Microchip KSZ9031 transceiver with low power features Dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 via Azurewave AW-CM276NF M.2 1216 LGA module Audio – NXP SGTL5000 low power stereo codec 314-pim MXM3 edge connector with: Storage – …