MakerSpot CC2640 is a $20 Bluetooth 5 LE USB Dongle

Bluetooth 5 was announced in May 2016 with four times the range, twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. Since then SoCs, development boards, and smartphones have been announced with Bluetooth 5, but so far I had not seen any Bluetooth 5 USB dongle to add the new Bluetooth version to existing computer or boards. While I’ve not been able to find a consumer grade Bluetooth 5 USB dongle yet, today I found out something close it to with MakerSport CC2640 USB dongle / board based on TI CC2640 chip. GT-Tronics CC264BPA-UDOG (actual name) USB dongle specifications: MCU – Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 SimpleLink Wireless SoC with Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 Low Energy BLE including built-in antenna; backward compatible with BLE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 Silabs CP2110 HID to UART bridging device Debugging – 10-pins JTAG connector for CC2640 debugging and firmware flashing The dongle is enumerated as generic HID device, and no driver required for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OSX, …

UP AI Edge Enables Artificial Intelligence on the Edge with Intel CPU, GPU, VPU and FPGA Solutions (Crowdfunding)

UP-Squared AI Vision Development Kit

Back in February of this year, AAEON introduced their UP AI Edge family of products with UP AI Core mini PCIe card based on Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU (Vision Processing Unit), and UP Core Plus board powered by a choice of Apollo Lake processors, and supporting AI Plus FPGA and AI Net Ethernet expansion boards. The company has now launched a Kickstarter campaign for those boards, and added several new products including Vision Plus with three Movidius Myriad 2 VPUs, AI Core M2 with two Movidius Myriad2 VPU in M.2 2280 form factor, as well as the Up Squared AI vision development kit for OpenVINO toolkit. I won’t go through the products announced in February, but let’s have look at the new boards and cards. Vision Plus Board Vision Plus Specifications: VPU – 3x Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPUs with 512 MB DDR Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet USB – 2x USB 3.0 port Expansion – 1x mPCIEe for …

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) –  …

Microchip Offers Free PIC16F18446 8-bit MCU Development Boards

MPLAB-Xpress-PIC16F18446

Microchip announced several PIC and AVR microcontrollers with “Core Independent Peripherals and Intelligent Analog” in February with respectively PIC16F18446 family of microcontrollers, and ATmega4809 megaAVR microcontrollers, with the latter to be integrated in the next generation of Arduino boards. The company is now organizing a promotion for their PIC16F184xx product family where they give away a PIC16F18446 MPLAB Xpress evaluation board! Key features of PIC16F184 micro-controllers: High-precision 32 MHz internal oscillator 7 to 28 KB Flash program memory 512 bytes to 2 KB of SRAM 12-bit ADC with computation (ADC2), up to 24 channels 5-bit DAC eXtreme Low Power (XLP) with sleep currents down to 50 nA IDLE and DOZE low power modes Memory Access Partition (MAP) Device Information Area (DIA) Signal Measurement Timer (SMT) Hardware Limit Timer (HLT) Windowed Watch Dog Timer (WWDT) Peripheral Pin Select (PPS) Peripheral Model Disable (PMD) Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) Two comparators Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO) Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) On-chip temperature sensor 10-bit PWMs …

IMM-NRF52832-NANO is an Ultra Small nRF52832 Module with Bluetooth 5, ANT+, 30 I/Os

If you have a project requiring a programmable Bluetooth 4.x/5 module that’s as small as possible, Canada based I-Syst may have what you need with their IMM-NRF52832-NANO module measuring just 10 x 7 x 1.6 mm. The module is based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 Arm Cortex-M4F SoC with Bluetooth 5 LE (no long range support) and ANT+ connectivity, and exposes up to 30 I/Os for your project. Specifications: SoC – Nordic Semi nRF52832 32 bits Arm Cortex-M4F @ 64MHz with 512KB Flash, 64KB SRAM, 2.4GHz multi-protocol transceiver Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 LE, ANT+, Type 2 NFC -A Tag with wakeup on field Up to 30x I/Os: 3x SPI Master/Slave 2x 2-wire Master (I2C compatible) UART (CTS/RTS) 3x 4 channel PWM 8x configurable 12 bits, 200 ksps ADC Digital microphone interface Quadrature decoder input Sensors – Temperature sensor Security – AES HW encryption Misc – 32MHz & 32.768KHz crystals, low power comparator Power Supply – 1.8V to 3.6V DC input; DC/DC …

Particle Unveils Three nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 Boards: Argon (WiFi), Boron (LTE), and Xenon, as well as Particle Mesh Technology

In the last year or so, Bluetooth has gotten an upgrade with the release of Bluetooth 5. The new protocol works on several existing platforms, but if you want support for the full set of Bluetooth 5 features such as longer range and higher bandwidth, we’ve seen you need a recent chip such as Nordic Semi nRF52840. However so far, AFAIK you had to buy Nordic Semi own development kit for play with nRF52840, and now Particle has announced not one, but three low cost development boards powered by nRF52840 chip starting at just $9, and supporting their newly announced Particle Mesh technology. So for some reasons, it appears they did not go with Bluetooth Mesh. Particle Xenon – Bluetooth 5 + Mesh Xenon is the cheapest model with the following specifications: SoC – Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz with 1MB flash, 256KB RAM Storage –  2MB SPI flash Connectivity (via nRF52840) 802.15.4-2006 up to 250 …

Espressif ESP32 LyraTD MSC HDK is Designed for Smart Speakers, Wireless Audio and other Smart Home Appliances

[Update February 17, 2018:  The kit was previously referred as ESP32 LyRaTD MS1, but the company appears to have changed the name to ESP32-LyRaTD-MSC] So apparently voice command will represent 50% of all searches in the next two years, and everybody is jumping on the smart speaker bandwagon, with announcements from many companies at CES 2018, including Google’s Android Things + Assistant products‘ announcement,  NXP i.MX 8M official launch, Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) development kit from Amlogic and Allwinner, and more. Espressif Systems is about to join the party with their ESP32 LyraTD MS1 HDK (Hardware development kit) that most people will likely remember as “Audio Mic HDK” that was announced on Twitter. Espressif Audio Mic HDK specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER module with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE connectivity. DSP – 4-mic array chip Storage – micro SD card for audio files Audio Audio driver chip Earphone jack Dual speaker output ports 4x microphone array with …