smARtDUINO Open System Provides a Low Cost Modular Arduino Platform

smARtDUINO is a new platform design by the former ARDUINO’s manufacturer (Update: This claim appears to be incorrect and a lie) composed of several compact modules and is a fully funded project on Kickstarter (Less than 3 days remain to become a sponsor). The platform is not based on a single processor, architecture or language but, makes use of an universal platform that can be used to connect components originally developed from different companies, technologies and form factors. For example, it is possible to integrate modules, accessories or shields from Arduino, Netduino, ChipKit and even interact with smartphone using an ADK module, without having to use a breadboard and/or soldering. Interoperability is made possible thanks to what they call “smARtBUS Open I/O“, which is a standard for connectors designed after looking at existing (Arduino) platforms on the market. The company opted for 2 solutions composed of 2 connectors: smARtBUS BASIC smARtBUS A Power signals including +5V, +3.3V, +VIN and GND …

FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) and Texas Instruments MSP430FR57xx MCUs

I’ve recently received a complementary book entitled “Texas Instruments FRAM MCUs for DUMMIES” sent by Mouser, that provides technical and practical information about FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) – pronounced F-RAM – and Texas Instruments MSP430FR57xx MCU series which makes use of this relatively new type of memory. FRAM is a non-volatile memory with power and write speed & endurance characteristics that almost matches SRAM capabilities, and leave traditional Flash and EEPROM memory in the dust in terms of performance, as you can see from the table and diagram below. At constant speed, FRAM consumes 250x less than Flash/EEPROM. Please note the FRAM write speed also depends on the MCU used, and a MCU @ 8MHz can write the FRAM @ 1400 kBps (Source: TI). However, you won’t see this type of memory in devices like smartphones anytime soon because the maximum size currently manufactured is 1MB, density is higher (130 nm process manufacturing) and the cost is higher than …

Digi Launches XBee-PRO 900HP RF Module With a Range of Up to 45 Km

Digi International has recently announced the XBee-PRO 900HP RF embedded module based on ADF7023 transceiver and Energy Micro Cortex-M3 EFM32G230 MCU @ 28 MHz. The company claims the module supports a line-of-sight range of up to 45 km with a high-gain antenna and data rates of up to 200 Kbps.45 km is not quite enough to communicate in space (100 km), but that’s still a pretty good range. Indoor / urban range is up to 600m. Here are the hardware specifications of XBee-PRO 900HP module: Processors – ADF7023 transceiver and Cortex-M3 EFM32G230 @ 28 MHz Frequency Band – 902 to 928 MHz, software selectable channel mask for interference immunity Antenna Options – Wire, U.FL and RPSMSA RF Data Rate – 10 Kbps or 200 Kbps Indoor/Urban Range – Up to 2000 ft (610 m) Outdoor/ Line-Of-Sight Range – Up to 9 miles (14 km) w/ dipole antenna; Up to 28 miles (45 km) w/ high-gain antenna Transmit Power – Up …

ARM TechCon 2012: Software & System Design Schedule

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2012 will take place on October 30 – November 1, 2011, in Santa Clara, and UBM Electronics has already posted the detailed schedule for the event. The first day (October 30) will be Chip Designs day  and the other 2 days will focus on Software & System Design. Even if, like me, you are not be able to go there, it’s still interesting to know what will be discussed at the conference, to have a better idea where ARM is going, and what new technologies and/or development techniques are (or will become) available. There will be around 70 sessions categorized in 15 tracks: Android / Open Source –  Development tools, middleware for native application development, and optimized drivers for Android, Linux, FreeRTOS etc … Compute Platforms – Development and implementation of standards and specifications, from board/module design to consumer and server designs Developing / Debugging – Programming and debugging for ARM, power optimized software across multicore …

Digi Launches XBee Modules Examples Website To Get Started with IoT Development

Digi International has launches an example section on their website to showcase what can be done with their XBee 805.15.4, ZigBee and WiFi Modules, as well as their IoT gateway. They provide examples to use different type of sensors, control lights, motors, and more. They show demos on the website and explain how each components can be linked together, hooked to computers and connected to the internet. They currently just have a few tutorials only, but plan to add more overtime: Basic XBee 802.15.4 & Zigbee Chat 802.15.4 PWM and Digital Output with an LED 802.15.4 Digital Input with a Button 802.15.4 Analog Input with a Potentiometer Light Switch XBee – A wireless wall switch that can control lamps, fans, motors or your homemade robot The first four examples look good to get started, but the Light Switch XBee is the most interesting, and they describe 8 steps to show how to make it yourself. They also link to project …

NXP Unveils JenNet-IP-EK040 Evaluation Kit for the Internet of Things

NXP Semiconductors announced the availability of JenNet-IP-EK040 evaluation kit featuring JenNet-IP wireless network layer software for the Internet of Things. This evaluation kit based on NXP’s JN514x single chip wireless MCU provides all the components needed to create applications for IPv6-based networks for lighting and home automation. The JenNet-IP EK040 evaluation kit includes the following: 4 wireless sensor nodes, including modules based on JN5148-J01 and JN5142-J01 chips (single chips with MCU and IEEE802.15.4 transceiver) , USB micro-B connectors, a JN514x IO expansion port, support for USB, battery or an external power supply unit (not included), and 2 USB cables. 4 plug-in shields with an Arduino-compatible footprint featuring 3 dimmable white LEDs, as well as temperature, light level and humidity sensors. 2 high-power JN5148-J01 modules for extended range 2 high-power USB dongles for sniffer and coordinator A router providing connection to Ethernet, with a custom Open WRT Linux distribution and power supply. A capacitive touch remote control An Eclipse based software development kit …

Freescale Announces Kinetis KW20 Cortex M4 MCU with Built-in Zigbee Transceiver

Freescale announced the addition of the Kinetis KW20 to its Kinetis microcontroller portfolio. The Kinetis KW20 is based on ARMCortex-M4 core and MC13242 RF transceiver to deliver a single chip Zigbee solution for the Internet of Things and power applications such as smart energy, smart metering and building control. The company explains that their new wireless MCU family aims to “address the increased processing and memory requirements associated with future ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 and Internet Protocol specifications”. The KW20 supports dual personal area network (PAN) to enable a single device to communicate wirelessly on two ZigBee networks. This feature eliminates the need for multiple radios required to connect different home automation and smart energy networks. Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU features: ARM Cortex-M4 processor core Up to 512 KB of flash memory and 64 KB of RAM Cryptology accelerator and sophisticated tamper detect Integrated IEEE 802.15.4-compliant radio (MC13242 RF transceiver) Low power consumption Freescale will provide several tools for software development …

25 USD Hacker Friendly Electric Imp “WiFi-ises” Your Coffee Machine

Electric Imp is a device in an SD card form factor that aims at providing Wi-Fi connectivity to household appliances at low cost and bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) closer to reality. The Imp will also connect to a Cloud service handled by the company (which is also called Electric Imp). The device Wi-Fi connection can easily be configured using an iOS or Android smartphone thanks to  BlinkUp, a patent-pending scheme supporting WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption schemes as well as WPS setup. Electric Imp developers expect this device to save resources (e.g. electricity) by taking into account environmental conditions (e.g. occupancy, temperature..), improve security & safety and overall provide better monitoring and control of devices. For example, this could enable support services to remotely diagnose a device, and provide timely customer support. Here are the Electric Imp hardware specifications: ST Micro STM32 Cortex M3 MCU 802.11b/g/n WiFi 6 software configurable GPIOs with support for UART, I2C, SPI, analog …