NexDock 2 Laptop Shell Gets a Full HD Display, a USB type-C Port (Crowdfunding)

NexDock 2

NexDock 14″ laptop shell was first introduced in 2016 to help people convert their smartphones or single board computers into a laptop with a display, a keyboard and battery. The crowdfunding campaign was successful with over $360,000 raised for the projects, and the first NexDock has been shipped to 2,600+ backers. The following year, the company – now called Nex Computer – announced plan to develop NexDock 2 with support for Intel Compute Cards. This did not quite work out as expected since Intel decided to stop further development of Compute Cards, but not all is lost as Nex Computer has now launched NexDock 2 with an aluminum body, a slightly smaller but higher resolution Full HD display, an edge to edge keyboard, and a USB type-C input port. NexDock 2 specifications: Display – 13.3” IPS LCD display with 1920×1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio Video Output – Full-size HDMI input port Storage – microSD card slo User Inputs Edge to …

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GRiSP 2 Board Targets Embedded Erlang & Elixir Development (Crowdfunding)

Erlang is described as a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements on high availability, and used in telecoms, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging. Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications that leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems. Elixir is used in many types of applications from higher-level web development to the embedded software domain, and Peer Stritzinger designed GRiSP board especially for the latter in 2017. He’s now back with GRiSP 2 featuring an NXP i.MX 6ULL SoM running Linux and RTEMS (Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems) RTOS. GRiSP 2 board is comprised of a system-on-module and baseboard with the following specifications: System on Module SoC – NXP iMX6UL Arm Cortex-A7 @ 696 MHz, 128 KB L2 cache, with TRNG, Crypto Engine (AES/TDES/SHA), Secure Boot Memory – 128 MB DDR3 DRAM Storage – 4 GB eMMC flash, 4 KBit EEPROM …

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DIP-Sized uChip Arduino Zero Compatible Board Loves Your Breadboard (Crowdfunding)

uchip breadboard-friendly arduino board

Most so-called breadboard-friendly boards that can easily be inserted into a breadboard often leave only one or two rows to play with on each side. This may suitable in many cases, but some people really want to use as many rows as possible, and come up with a solution using 90 degrees headers with 0.3″ spacing between them, just like 0.3″ wide chips do, and allowing the use of 4 rows on each side of the board. It does the trick, but this is not a standard solution, requires some bending of the headers, and covers part of the board so it’s not really ideal. A better way would be for somebody to design a narrow board using headers with 0.3″ spacing, and that’s exactly what Itaca Innovation has done with their Arduino Zero compatible uChip board designed in a 16-pin DIP package. uChip specifications: MCU – Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex M0+ MCU clocked @ 48 MHz (Arduino Zero Compatible) …

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TAIHE Gemini is a 15.6″ Full HD or 4K Portable Display (Crowdfunding)

TAIHE Gemini 4K Portable Touchscreen Display

Portable displays have been available for a while, but they used to be fairly heavy, as for example, Gechic On-Lap Monitor 2501M 15.6″ portable monitor weighted 1.3 kg with cover. However in recent times, we’ve seen several such products – LAPSCREEN and DUO Add-on Display – launched with lighter designs, and the advance as USB type-C and power delivery make those even more attractive since a single cable can be used to transfer video, and power both the display and the host device. TAIHE Gemini is yet another option, but at 15.6″ is larger than the two aforementioned products, it is equipped with its own battery and kickstand, and comes in two variants with either 1920×1080 Full HD or 3840×2160 (4K UHD) resolution. TAIHE Gemini FHD & UHD portable displays specifications: Display Gemini FHD – 15.6″ 10-point touchscreen IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution, 15ms response time, 180° kickstand Gemini UHD – 15.6″ IPS display with 3840×2160 resolution, 14ms response time, …

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ATOMIC Pi Intel Atom x5 Board Goes for $34 and Up (Crowdfunding)

Following Raspberry Pi form factor, AAEON Up Board powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor launched in 2015 for 89 Euros and up via a crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the company switched to Atom x5-Z8350, and now offers for the board for $99 US and up, with for example the 2GB RAM / 16GB flash version going for $109 excluding taxes and shipping. I’m mentioning this board, as there’s now a crowdfunding campaign for a larger board with similar specifications (x5-Z8350, 2GB RAM, 16GB flash) called ATOMIC Pi, and being offered for just $34 plus shipping by “Team IoT”. This looks too good to be true, but that’s intriguing so let’s have  closer look. ATOMIC Pi specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core processor @ up to 1.92GHz with Intel HD graphics System Memory – 2GB DDR3L-1600 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, slot for SD expansion up to 256GB Video Output – HDMI port Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet via Realtek …

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Diskio Pi 13.3″ DIY Tablet Kit for Raspberry Pi – Take 2 on Kickstarter

Diskio Pi with ODROID-C2 Board

Diskio Pi was a DIY tablet kit for Raspberry Pi, ODROID-C2/XU4 and other compatible boards with a 13.3″ Full HD display that launched last year on Kickstarter. But the project failed likely due to the high costs (350 Euros and up for early bird pledges without battery nor SBC) and an elevated funding target of 400,000 Euros. But the team did not give up, worked on reducing costs, improved the design, and recently relaunched Diskio Pi on Kickstarter with a more achievable 52,096 Euros target, and reasonable pricing with rewards starting at 189 Euros including VAT. Diskio Pi “basic” DIY tablet kit content and main specifications: Display – Innolux 13.3″ TFT/IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution, WLED backlight + 10-point touch capacitive panel connected over USB 2.0 Video control board with HDMI 1.4 to eDP converter, stereo amplifier, and 2x 1W speakers Daughter board with Genesys USB hub, 9V to 5V/4A buck converter, temperature control, HDMI external output Ethernet and audio …

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PyGo Wearable Devices Create LoRa Mesh Networks (Crowdfunding)

Pygo Lora Mesh Network

Pycom has made some interesting IoT boards running MicroPython in the past starting with WiFi capable WiPy in 2015, and followed by various others supporting various wireless standard including Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT with LoPy and Fipy. The company launched all their boards via crowdfunding campaigns, and they are now back on Kickstarter for their PyGo plug-n-play wearable devices creating PyMesh networks with up to 12km range between nodes, and managed using Pylife mobile app. Typical use cases include basic connectivity (e.g. messaging) in remote areas without cellular access,  and assets / pets / kids location tracking, There are two version of PyGo: PyGo1 with mesh networking only, and PyGo2 that adds cellular network access. Pygo hardware specifications: SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core WiFi 4 + BLE SoC System Memory – 64 Mbit (8MB) RAM Storage – 8MB flash Display – 128×36 OLED display Connectivity PyMesh up to 200 devices LoRa including auto-connect to the Things Networks, …

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Allwize K2 IoT Board Supports 169MHz Wize LPWAN Protocol (LoRa alternative)

Allwize K2

LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT are probably the most popular low power long range wireless protocols for the Internet of Things, but there are several others, including one I had never heard of: Wize. The Wize Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) protocol has been created in late 2017, leverages the “old and refurbished” 169 MHz frequency, support up to 20 km range, 20-year battery life, and is managed by the Wize Alliance with members including STMicroelectronics, Suez, Sagecom, Renesas, Analog Devices, Silicon Labs and many others. Despite being a recent protocol, the table below claims 3 millions of deployment for Wize, and showcases some of differences against LoRa, NB-IoT, and Sigfox. You may be confused as how the standard was created in at the end of 2017, but there are so many deployments, and 13 years experience.  It appears Wize is derived from the older EN 13757 standard for gas and electricity meters, and companies such as GRDF and Suez …

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