Year 2018 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Stats

cnx software year 2018 review

That’s it, we’ve already reached the last day of 2018, and it’s time to have a look back at what happened during the past year. On the mini PC front, Gemini Lake based mini PCs took over from Apollo Lake with some performance improvements, but I expected the price point to be a bit lower than it is today.  Apart from further developments with regards to mobile processors, it feels 2018 was an off-year for processors, such as the ones found in TV boxes and development boards, with mostly more of the same. Allwinner and Rockchip did not release any really interesting processor, and Amlogic only launched S905X2 and S905Y2 which are mostly evolutions of their previous generation with an OpenGL 3.x capable GPU and USB 3.0. Rockchip RK3399 stood out this year, as despite being launched in 2016, it suddenly became popular again with many RK3399 SBCs coming to market, and RK3399Pro was announced – but not launched yet …

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Wistrio LoRa Tracker RK5205 Complies with 96Boards IoT Edition Specification

Wistrio LoRa Tracker RK5205

  It’s not hard to find a LoRa GPS tracker board such as Rak Wireless RAK811 these days, but if for some reasons, you’d also like your board to comply with 96Boards IoT Edition form factor, Rak Wireless just launched Wistrio LoRa Tracker RK5205 for $49.50 plus shipping on Aliexpress and Amazon. Wistrio specifications: LoRa Module – RAK5205 module with SX1276 LoRa chipset, STM32L1 Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller LoRa Connectivity LoRaWAN 1.0.2 protocol OTAA/ABP activation Programmable bitrate up to 300 Kbps Support for global bands: EU433, CN470, EU868, US915, AS923, AU915, KR920, and IN865 SMA & iPEX antenna options Location – Quectel L76-L GNNS chip supporting GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS system (pin-to-pin compatible with u-blox Max7) Sensors – LIS3DH 3-axis accelerometer, BME680 environmental sensor reporting gas, pressure, humidity and temperature data Expansion Header – I2C, GPIOs, UART and ADC Power Supply – Rechargeable battery via micro USB port, or 5V solar charging port Power Consumption / Low power modes – …

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Microchip Releases Tiny SAM R34/R35 LoRa SiPs and Development Kit

Microchip SAM R34

Microchip has been offering RN2483 & RN2903 LoRa modules for respectively 868 MHz and 915 MHz frequencies for several years, but the company has now announced SAM R34 and SAM R35 LoRa systems-in-package (SiP) that offer similar functionality in a much smaller form factor. Both SiPs integrate a Microchip SAM L21 Arm Cortex-M0+ based MCU,a sub-GHz RF LoRa transceiver operating from 862 to 1020 MHz, and a software stack. That means you don’t need different SiP depending on the region, and the only difference between SAM R34 and SAM R35 is the latter does without a USB interface for lower cost. Microchip SAM R34/R35 key features and specifications: MCU – Arm Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz System Memory – Up to 40 KB RAM including 8KB LP-RAM Storage – Up to 256 KB Flash for application code and stack Wireless Connectivity 862 MHz to 1020 MHz coverage Up to 20 dBm (100 mW) max power Up to +13 dBm (20 …

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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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Arduino PRO Gateway for LoRa Features Raspberry Pi 3 Board

Arduino Pro Gateway for LoRa

Arduino has just introduced the Arduino PRO Gateway for LoRa based on Raspberry Pi 3 development board, a LoRa gateway mPCIe module, and a metal enclosure. The strange thing about this product is that it does not feature any Arduino MCU, so why did Arduino design it? That’s because it works as a LoRa gateway for their Arduino MKR WAN 1300 IoT nodes. The gateway is sold as a kit with a LoRa gateway Embit EMB-LR1301-mPCIe card with SX1301 baseband chipset, an adapter for Raspberry Pi, an aluminum enclosure, a Raspberry Pi 3 model B+, a 5V power supply, an Ethernet cable, and an external antenna. Specifications for the LoRa part of the gateway: Chipset – Semtech SX1301 Modulation – LoRa Spread Spectrum, FSK, GFSK 868MHz (EU) / 915MHz (US) Number of Channels – 8 LoRa Channels Operating Frequency – 868MHz (EU) / 915MHz (US) Frequency Range – 860MHz to 1020MHz Operating Temperature – -40°C to +85°C RF Output Power – Up …

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ModBerry M2000 Industrial Computer Features UP Squared Apollo Lake Board

Modberry M2000

TECHBASE has been providing DIN rail mountable Arm and x86 based Modberry industrial computers / IoT gateways for several years. The company has now upgraded ModBerry M1000 model with an Intel Cherry Trail UP board to ModBerry M2000 computer featuring AAEON UP Squared board powered by either an Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor, or Pentium N4200 quad core processor, both part of Intel’s Apollo Lake family. ModBerry M2000 specifications: SoC (one or other other) Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor @ 1.10 / 2.40 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 500; 6W TDP Intel Pentium N4200 quad core processor @ 1.10 / 2.50 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 505; 6W TDP System Memory – 2, 4, or 8GB RAM Storage – 16, 32, 64, or 128GB eMMC flash, SATA connector and M.2 SATA socket Video Output – 1x HDMI Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, with optional LTE/3G, WiFi, ZigBee, LoRa, and Bluetooth expansion cards USB – 3x USB 2.0 ports, …

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Pi Supply IoT LoRa Boards are made for Raspberry Pi & BBC Micro:bit Boards (Crowdfunding)

We’ve already covered plenty of LoRa boards or solutions designed for nodes or gateways such as TTGO T-Beam ESP32 + LoRa board, RAK Wireless RAK811 GPS Lora tracker board, MatchX Matchbox LoRa gateway, and many others,, but Pi Supply offers yet more options with LoRa node and gateway add-on boards designed to work with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and BBC Micro:bit boards. Pi Supply LoRa Gateway HAT for Raspberry Pi The IoT LoRa Gateway HAT is based on RAK Wireless RAK833 mPCIe LoRa gateway concentrator module and connects to Raspberry Pi 3 B/B+ board via the 40-pin header. There are two hardware version using 868 MHz or 915 MHz frequencies, but as we’ve seen in previous reviews those are configurable for other frequencies such as AS923 or IN865. Pi Supply IoT LoRa Node pHAT for Raspberry Pi LoRa Node pHAT is designed for node specifically, and with a smaller form factor making it suitable not only for Raspberry Pi 3 boards, …

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n-fuse LoRaWAN Concentrator mini PCIe Card Comes with either SX1301 or SX1308 Chip

LoRaWAN-Concentrator-Card-mPCIe

Most gateways are based on Semtech SX1301 chip, but the company unveiled a SX1308 chip for picocell gateways back in 2016 that’s supposed to be cheaper and used indoors. Designs have been slow to come to market, but a few have been launched recently including n-fuse LRWCCx-MPCIE LoRaWAN concentrator mini PCIe card  that comes with either SX1301 or SX1308 chip, and is compatible with Semtech’s Pico Gateway design. n-fuse LRWCCx-MPCIE key features & specifications: LoRa Connectivity SX1301/ SX1308 digital base band processor with dual SX1257 Tx/Rx front-ends Output power level up to 23 dBm u.FL connector (50 Ω impedance) for external antenna 868 MHz model Frequency Range – 863 to 870 MHz Sensitivity – Up to -124 dBm at SF7 (BW 125 KHz), up to -138 dBm at SF12 (BW 125 KHz) 915 MHz model Frequency Range – 915 to 928 MHz Sensitivity – Up to -125 dBm at SF7 (BW 125 KHz), up to -139 dBm at SF12 (BW …

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