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NXP Unveils LPC84x ARM Cortex M0+ MCU Family, and LPCXpresso845-MAX Evaluation Board

June 23rd, 2017 No comments

NXP Semiconductors has expanded LPC800 series MCUs with the new LPC84x family of 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller said to offer 10 times the performance, three times more power saving savings, and 50 percent smaller code-size than 8- or 16-bit microcontrollers.

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Key features of LPC84x MCU family (LPC844 / LPC845):

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 30 MHz with advanced power optimization
  • RAM – 16 kB RAM (Logic for Bit banding across all of SRAM)
  • Storage – 64 kB Flash, small 64-byte page size suitable for EEPROM emulation
  • Peripherals
    • Timers – 32-bit CTimer, WWDT, 4-channel multi-rate, SCTimer/PWM
    • Serial Interfaces – Up to 4x I2C, 2x SPI, up to 5x UART
    • Analog Interfaces – 12 ch, 12-bit ADC up to 1.2 Msps; 2x 10-bit DAC; comparator with external Vreg; 9-channel capacitive touch interface working in sleep and deep sleep modes
    • Up to 54 GPIOs
    • 25-ch DMA offloads core
  • Power Control
    • Five power modes
    • Power profile APIs for simple runtime power optimization
    • Fast Access Initialization Memory (FAIM) for low power boot @ 1.5 MHz
  • Clock Generation Unit with Free Running Oscillator
  • Packages – LQFP64, LQFP48, HVQFN48 and HVQFN33

The LPC84x MCUs target applications typically making use of 8- or 16-bit MCUs such as sensor gateways, gaming controllers, motor control, fire & security, climate control, lighting, etc.. The company has already provided code samples that can be used in MCUXpresso, Keil, and IAR IDEs, as well as a datasheet, and a user guide for the microcontrollers on the product page.

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NXP also unveiled LPCXPresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) to help quickly evaluating the new MCUs. The board comes with the following key features:

  • LPC845 MCU
  • On-board CMSIS-DAP (debug probe) with VCOM port, based on LPC11U35 MCU
  • Debug connector to allow debug of target MCU using an external probe
  • Red, green and blue user LEDs;  Target ISP and user/wake buttons; Target reset button
  • LPCXpresso expansion connector
  • DAC output via speaker driver and speaker
  • Arduino connectors compatible with the “Arduino UNO” platform
  • Pmod compatible expansion header
  • Prototyping area

NXP did not disclose pricing for LPC84x MCUs, but it should be priced competitively against 8-bit micro-controllers. LPCXpresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) can be purchased for $19 directly on NXP website.

Silicon Labs Introduces $29 Thunderboard React Bluetooth 4.2 LE IoT Board and $69 Derby Car Kit

October 3rd, 2016 No comments

Earlier this summer, Silicon labs launched ThunderBoard React, a Bluetooth 4.2 LE compliant board with sensors and expansion headers for IoT applications based on the company’s BGM111 Bluetooth Smart Module, and to make it much more fun to work with the company has released a Derby Car kit controlled by the board.

thunderboard-reactThunderBoard React specifications:

  • Bluetooth Module – BGM111 Bluetooth 4.2 compliant module with integrated Tx and Rx antenna, and Cortex M4 MCU @ 38.4 MHz with 32 kB RAM and 256 kB Flash
  • Extra Storage – Footprint for 8Mb external flash storage
  • Sensors – Si7021 relative humidity and temperature, Si1133 UV index and ambient light sensor, Invensense MPU-6500 6-axis gyro/accelerometer, Si7201 hall effect position sensor
  • Expansion – 12 breakout pina to connect to BGM111 GPIOs
  • Debugging – 10-pin mini Simplicity debug connector
  • Misc – 2x momentary buttons, 2x LEDs, power selection switch
  • Power Supply – CR2032 coin cell battery slot or external power (Vext)
  • Dimensions – 44 x 25 mm
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Thunderboard React Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The firmware for the board can be found in Silicon Labs Bluetooth Smart SDK as a sample application, and developed using Simplicity Studio v3 and IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM v7.30. The company also provides Thunderboard Android and iOS apps with source code in order to control the board and monitor the sensors’ data. Data can optionally be synchronized to Thundercloud platform based on Firebase by Google, again with source code available on Github.

thunderboard-appBeside just getting the board to play with BLE, sensors, apps, and the cloud platform,  you could also buy the Derby Car kit. The wheels are not driven by any motors, so the car can mostly be seen as a case for the board, and used for motion sensing while the car is moving.

You’ll find more details on Thunderboard React product page, as well as the Quick Start Guide where you’ll find link to buy the board for $29, and the complete car kit (including the board) for $59.

Weightless Development Kits are Finally Available (Sort of)

October 9th, 2015 2 comments

The first version of the Weightless standard aiming at lowering cost of IoT communications was published in 2013, but so far development kits were nowhere to be found. Nwave has now launched a Weightless-N SDK using sub-GHz spectrum, but not the white space spectrum used by Weightless-W, probably due to regulatory hurdles.

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Specifications and features of Nwave development board:

  • MCU – Silicon Labs EFM32G210F128 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 32 MHz with 128KB flash, 16KB SRAM
  • Connectivity – RM3 radio module (868MHz) and antenna connector (X3)
  • USB – X1 USB port for connection to PC or UART interface, X2 micro USB port
  • Debugging – UART, and 10-pin JTAG connector (X4)
  • Expansion header – 16 through holes for GND, 3.3V, GPIOs, ADC, Timers output, I2C, etc… (X5)
  • Misc – Three Jumpers for UART and other selections (TBD), reset buttons for USB ports?
  • Power – 5V via USB ?
  • Dimensions – N/A

I could not find any details about RM3 radio module, and the company only mentions NW1000 module, also a sub-GHz chip (868 to 915 MHz) on their radio modules page. Software development tools includ Simplicty Studio with GCC for Windows and Linux, as well as IAR Embedded Workbench for Windows, and the board also supports ARM Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS). Programming templates and examples of telemetry applications are provided.

The Weightless SIG now has 100 Weightless development kits, allegedly priced at £699 (~$1073 US) each, which it intends to giveaway to the first 100 Weightless Associate Members (membership: £900 per year). But once you submit a Weightless product for certification, the membership fee will be reimbursed too.  So that’s great if you are a company planning to design and manufacture products in quantities, but if you are just an hobbyist / maker, you’ll probably have to wait a bit longer to experiment with Weightless. You can find more details on Weightless-N SDK page, and especially on Nwave development kit product page.

STM32F746G-DISCO is a $49 Cortex-M7 Board with a 4.3″ LCD Display, Arduino Headers

August 7th, 2015 No comments

We’ve already seen Atmel started shipping its SAM V71 Xplained Board based on its latest Cortex M7 a few days ago, but Atmel is not the company which recently introduced a Cortex M7 development kit, as ST Micro also launched an STM32F7 Cortex M7 development kit with Arduino headers and 4.3″ LCD at the end of June.

STM32F7_Development_KitThe “Discovery Kit with STM32F746NG MCU” (STM32F746G-DISCO) comes with the following specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F746NGH6 Cortex M7 MCU with 1 MB Flash, 340 KB RAM, in BGA216 package
  • Memory – 128-Mbit (16 MB) SDRAM (64 Mbits accessible)
  • Storage – 16 MB Quad-SPI Flash memory, and micro SD slot
  • Display – 4.3″ 480×272 color LCD-TFT with capacitive touch screen
  • Camera – Camera connector
  • Connectivity – Ethernet connector compliant with IEEE-802.3-2002
  • USB
    • USB OTG HS with Micro-AB connectors,  USB OTG FS with Micro-AB connectors
    • USB functions: virtual COM port, mass storage, debug port
  • Audio – SAI audio codec, line IN and OUT jacks, stereo speaker outputs, 2x ST MEMS microphones, and S/PDIF RCA input connector
  • Debugging –  On-board ST-LINK/V2-1 supporting USB re-enumeration capability
  • Misc – 2x push buttons (user and reset)
  • Expansion Headers:
    • Arduino Uno V3 connectors
    • RF-EEPROM daughterboard connector
  • Power Supply
    • ST LINK/V2-1
    • 5V via USB FS connector or USB HS connector
    • VIN from Arduino connector
    • External 5 V from connector
    • Output for external applications: 3.3 V or 5 V
  • Dimensions – N/A

STM32F7-DISCOVERY_PinoutThe board supports various development toolchains such as IAR EWARM (IAR Embedded Workbench), Keil MDK-ARM, GCC-based IDEs (free AC6: SW4STM32, Atollic TrueSTUDIO,…), and ARM mbed online.  The company also released STM32CubeF7 embedded software for STM32F7 series which includes low level drivers, USB, TCP/IP, File system, RTOS, Graphic and more. You’ll need a Windows XP, 7, or 8 computer to use the board, because the drivers for ST-LINK/V2-1 are only available for Windows.

One developer got hold of the board and wrote a C program showing some of its graphics capabilities.

You can find more details, including the board’s user manual and hardware design files, as well as purchase the board on STM32F746G-DISCO product page.

Via Electronics Weekly.com

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

Atmel SAM S70 and SAM E70 Cortex M7 MCUs, SAM V71 Xplained Board Are Now Shipping

August 5th, 2015 4 comments

ARM Introduced Cortex M7 IP in September, and ST Micro simultaneously announced its STM32F7 Cortex M7 MCU clocked up to 200 MHz, and boards are now available, including some running Linux. But two other companies have licenses Cortex M7, Freescale with its Kinetis KV5x micro-controllers which are yet to be mass-produced, and Atmel which has recently announced their SAM S70 and E70 micro-controllers are now in mass production.

Atmel_SAM_E70_S70_Block_DiagramSAM E70 and S70 have similar features, but E70 offers some extra interface like CAN and Fast Ethernet:

  • ARM Cortex-M7 core running at up to 300MHz (1500 CoreMark)
  • Up to 2MB Flash and 384kByte SRAM
  • Floating point unit (FPU) for high-precision computing and accelerated data processing
  • High-performance internal memory architecture with user configurable Tightly Couples Memories and System memory, and 16kB I and D-cache
  • High Speed USB Host and Device with on-chip high-speed PHY
  • CMOS image sensor interface
  • AES hardware encryption engines, TRNG and SHA-based memory integrity checker
  • Advanced analog front end based on dual 2Msps 12-bit ADCs, including 16-bit average, up to 24 channels, offset error correction and gain control
  • Dual 2Msps, 12-bit DAC and analog comparator
  • Other I/Os – SSC supporting TDM and I2S, up to 8 UARTs, up to 5 SPI and up to 3 I2C
  • 64 to 144-pin package options
  • Extended industrial temperature range: -40°C to 105°C
  • SAM E70 only:
    • Dual Bosch CAN-FD controller
    • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588

SAM E70 MCUs are also pin-to-pin compatible with SAM4E series. Atnel claims their new MCUs are 2.5 times faster than their Cortex M4 MCUs, and 50% than competitor “S” (That would be ST Micro), which is expected since STM32F7 are clocked at 200 MHz, while SAM S70/E70 MCUs go up to 300 MHz.

Atmel actually has four families of Cortex M7 MCUs, but their automotive grade V70 and V71 MCUs are not mass-produced yet.

Atmel_Cortex_M7_MCUHowever since S70, E70, and V70 are all subset of SAM V71, the development platform “SAM V71 Xplained Ultra Evaluation Kit” (Codename: ATSAMV71-XULT) is powered by the top of the line ATSAMV71Q21 micro-controller with 2MB flash, 384KB SRAM and all peripherals available on Cortex M7 microcontrollers.

Atmel_Xplained_SAM_V71_Cortex_M7SAM V71 Xplained Ultra key features and specifications

  • MCU – ATSAMV71Q21 microcontroller
  • Memory – 2 MB SDRAM
  • Storage – 2 MB QSPI Flash + SD Card connector with SDIO support + AT24MAC402 256KB EEPROM with EUI-48 address
  • Connectivity – IEEE 802.3az 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet RMII PHY
  • Audio – Stereo audio codec, external PLL for precise clock generation, microphone & headphone jacks
  • Camera – Camera interface connector
  • USB – USB interface, device and host mode
  • CAN – ATA6561 CAN Transceiver
  • Media Local Bus (MediaLB) Connector
  • Expansion Headers
    • 2x Xplained Pro extension headers
    • 1x Xplained Pro LCD header
    • Arduino due compatible shield connectors
  • Debugging – Coresight 20 connector for 4-bit ETM, External debugger connector, Embedded Debugger
  • Misc – Reset button, power switch button, mechanical user push-buttons, 2x yellow user LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB or external power input (5-14V)

Software development tools include Atmel Studio, the ARM Keil MDK-ARM and IAR Embedded Workbench, and the MCUs and board support various real-time operating system such as Express Logic ThreadX, FreeRTOS, Keil RTX, NuttX and Segger embOS. Charbax interviewed Atmel a little ago while they were showcasing the Cortex M7 Xplained board at Embedded World.

Atmel SAM S70 MCU starts at $5.34 in 64-pin LQFP package and 512KB on-chip flash for 10k orders, and Atmel SAM V71 Xplained board goes for $136.25. More information is available on SAM S70 and SAM E70 product pages.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

MXCHIP EMW3162 is a $10 Low Power Wi-Fi Module for IoT Applications

March 26th, 2015 No comments

You can’t beat ESP8266 Wi-Fi modules on price to add Wi-Fi to your IoT projects, but Hackaday found a new Wi-Fi module by Shanghai MXCHIP Information Technology that sells for $10 on Seeed Studio or Amazon US, that should be better suited to battery operated project thanks to a lower power consumption. EMW3162 also features a more powerful STM32F205 cortex M3 micro-controller, as well as more I/Os than ESP8266.

EMW3162Specifications for EMW3162 Wi-Fi module:

  • MCU – STM32F2 Cortex M3 MCU @ 120 MHz with 128KB RAM, 1MB flashOn
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
    • 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (single stream) on channel 1-14 @ 2.4GHz
    • WEP, WPA/WPA2 PSK/Enterprise (hardware encryption)
    • Transmit power: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
    • MIN Receiver Sensitivity: -96 dBm
    • Max Data rate: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] HT20
    • Wi-Fi modes: Station, Soft AP and Wi-Fi direct
    • Advanced 1×1 802.11n features: Full/Half Guard Interval, Frame Aggregation, Space Time Block Coding (STBC), Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) Encoding
    • WPS 2.0, EasyLink
    • Multiple power save modes
    • On-board chip antenna, IPEX connector for external antenna
  • Peripherals accessible via 30x through holes and 14 solder pads:
    • 32x GPIOs
    • 2x UARTs with hardware flow control
    • 1 x I2C, 1x SPI/I2S
    • 8x ADC input channels, 2x DAC output channel
    • 1 x USB OTG
    • 2 x CAN
    • PWM/Timer input/output available on every GPIO pin
    • SWD debug interface
  • Misc – 2x user LEDs
  • Single operation voltage – 3.3V
  • Power consumption:
    • ~7mA while module is connected to access point and no data is transmitting,
    • ~24 mA while sending data under 20kbps
    • 8μA under standby mode.
  • Dimensions – 38.60 x 23.62 mm
  • Compliance – CE,  FCC
  • Operating Temperature – -40°C to 85°C
  • Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) – Level 3

You can get the full details in EMW3162 datasheets. The module can be programmed with Broadcom’s WICED firmware development kit (See github), or the company’s MICO (Mico-controller based Internet Connectivity Operation System) that relies on IAR Workbench.

EMB-380-S2 Baseboard for EMW3135 Module

EMB-380-S2 Baseboard for EMW3162 Module

Since the module is said to require a single 3.3V power input it should not be too difficult to power it by yourself, but if you want an easier platform for evaluation, EMB-380-S2 development board is sold on Seeed Studio for $21 without the module. Both can also be found on Aliexpress but prices are quire higher, at least for now.

Visit MXCHIP EMW3162 product page for a few more details about their embedded Wi-Fi module.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

Meet STMicro STM8S Based One Dollar Development Board

January 18th, 2015 24 comments

ESP8266 modules are $3 Wi-Fi boards targeting IoT applications that can be used in standalone mode, or connected to another MCU based board. But what if you don’t actually need Wi-Fi, but instead require a tiny board to control a few GPIOs? Arduino Pro mini can be used for this, but it costs about $10 on Sparkfun, and it’s certainly cheap enough for most projects. Switching to Aliexpress, you can get Arduino Pro mini clones for about $2, and a bit less in 10 pieces quantities. But you can get even cheaper and add a micro USB port with STMicro STM8S based boards that can be found for 5.5 CNY (Less than $1) on Taobao.com, or – once oversea shipping is factored in – about $1.60 to $1.70 on BuyInCoins, or Aliexpress without headers, and the version with headers sells for about $2 or more.

One_dollar_development_boardLet’s check the board specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM8S103F3P6 8-bit MCU @ 16 MHz, with 1KB SRAM, 8KB flash, and 640 bytes EEPROM
  • USB – micro USB port for power and programming
  • Headers
    • 2x 10-pin (2.54 mm) with access to 3.3V (out), 5V (in), GND, GPIOs, I2C, UART, SPI, ADC, and PWM (TIM2).
    • 4-pin debug header (SWIM)
  • Misc – Reset button, Power and user (test) LED.
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB, or 4.4 – 15V input via -/+ through holes.
  • Dimensions – 3cm x 1.8cm

Sometimes boards sold on Chinese website have zero documentation and tools, but that one has some documents, tools, and source code. It’s

STM8S Board Schematics (Click to Enlarge)

STM8S Board Schematics (Click to Enlarge)

I could find three files:

  • STM8系列程序资料.zip – Datasheet, schematics, and code samples for STVP and IAR
  • STM8软件工具.zip – With ST Visual Programmer (STVP) and IAR development tool (Windows only), as well as ST-Link drivers.
  • STM8其他资料.zip – Some other documents including university papers, datasheets, and getting started guide (All in Chinese), as well as some other example projects.
STVP

STVP (Click to Enlarge)

So everything seems there, but it won’t be as easy to use as the Arduino boards. [Update: As mentioned in comments the MCU does not have a USB interface, so the micro USB is only for power, and you’ll need an extra ST-Link debug board to program the boards]

Thanks to Onebir for the tip.

IAR Systems Releases Embedded Workbench for ARM Version 6.40

June 7th, 2012 No comments

Earlier today, IAR Systems has announced the release of version 6.40 of Embedded Workbench for ARM. This new version introduces several new features, enhancements and optimizations.

The enhancements include a new source browser and text editor, with functionality such as auto-completion, code folding, block selection, block indentation, bracket matching, and zooming. Word/paragraph navigation have also been improved.

IAR Systems also enhanced the compiler with improvements to the stack usage analysis functionality that provides calculations of the maximum stack depth for each call graph root and new features such as support for C++ source code and  recursion. A new linker directive check can be used to calculate the stack usage at link time to verify that the used stack space does not exceed the allocated memory. The inline assembler has also been improved and expanded with a large number of new operand constraints and modifiers.

In a previous post “Green Hills MULTI 6.0 Compiler Improves ARM MCU Performance by up to 40%“, IAR v6.10.5 compiler was shown to produce the slowest code (vs Green Hills MULTI 6 and Keil uVision v4.20), but the company announced a 40% improvement on “standard industry benchmark” for code compiled for Cortex-M4 core compared to the previous IAR version, which should make it now more or less equal to Green Hills compiler. Compared to the gcc compiler, code generated by IAR Systems C/C++ compiler is (up to) 50% faster. The company also claims to get “extraordinary high scores for other ARM Cortex-cores including Cortex-A8” without giving benchmark numbers or improvements in percentage.

IAR Systems Workbench for ARM v6.40 added support for the new ARM Cortex-M0+ core as well as the new high-end cores ARM Cortex-R5, Cortex-R7, Cortex-A7, and Cortex-A15.

Support for I-jet hardware debugging probe has also been added to the new version of Workbench. This probe allows finer power measurements for better power consumption optimization.

You can find more information about IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM and download an evaluation version at www.iar.com/ewarm.