Arm Mbed Gets a Linux OS for Cortex-A Processors

Mbed Linux OS

Arm Mbed is known as a free, open source platform and operating system that makes it easier to design IoT products based on Cortex-M micro-controllers, but the company figured out it might be a good idea to make something similar for IoT devices based on Arm Cortex-A processor and that’s exactly what Mbed Linux OS is made for. Embedded & IoT devices normally need to be supported for many years,  often optimized for cost and battery life, and make sure security patchsets are applying to your products. Companies often managed to do all those themselves but it’s not the most cost-effective solution, so  instead Arm decided to leverage Linux and offer Mbed Linux OS optimized for IoT devices yo their customers. The solution comes with built-in security, device management (e.g. OTA firmware upgrades) via the Pelion IoT Platform, common development tools for faster time to market, and so on. Some of the highlights for Mbed Linux OS: A few of …

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Makerdiary nRF52840 Micro Development Kit Works with OpenThread, Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr OS, Mynewt, etc…

nRF52840 Micro Development Kit

If you want to play around with Bluetooth 5, Nordic nRF52840 is probably one of the best option, and among the development board, $9/$12 Particle Xenon is hard to beat when it comes to value. But if you need a bit more storage, I/Os and features, Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit looks like a good candidate to evaluate, especially it supports plenty of frameworks / operating systems such as Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr Project, OpenThread, Mynewt, and others. It’s also the first MCU class board I’ve seen with a USB type C port, although I’m not sure it brings any benefits to this type of hardware. Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit (nRF52840-MDK) hardware specifications: SoC – Nordic nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F WiSoC with 1 MB FLASH and 256 kB RAM, Arm TrustZone Cryptocell 310 security subsystem External Storage – 64-Mbit QSPI flash Wireless Connectivity (on-chip) Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh Thread, IEEE 802.15.4 ANT, 2.4GHz proprietary On-chip NFC-A tag On-board 2.4G chip …

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Semtech SX1261/SX1262 LoRa Development Kit Now Available for $305

SX1261 Evaluation Board

Semtech announced SX1261, SX1262 and SX1268 LoRa chips in January as updates to their current LoRa solutions with a lower footprint, better efficiency, and even longer range. Mass production and development kits were expected in March 2018, and today I found out Semtech SX1261/SX1262 development kit is sold on Mouser for $305. The SX126xDVK1CAS kit comes with the following items: 2x SX126xMB1xAS RF modules including an  ST Nucleo Mbed board and a touchscreen 2x Mini-USB / USB connection cables 2x 868/915MHz antennas 2x Mini-USB cables 2x touchscreen styluses Read-Me Note The SX1261/SX1262 LoRa Transceivers offer continuous frequency coverage from 150MHz to 960MHz. You’ll find information to get started in the user guide. Basically, the two boards will show a menu on the touchscreen with radio test modes, settings and utilities (e.g. firmware update) as well as two demos: DEMO Ping Pong performs a bidirectional range test between the two radio units. DEMO PER performs a unidirectional packet error rate test …

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Avnet Silica NB-IoT Sensor Shield Works with mbed OS 5, STM32 Nucleo Board

If for some reasons, none of the many NB-IoT boards launched recently suit your needs, there’s yet another option with Avnet Silica NB-IoT sensor shield, that supports – despite the name – also supports LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) beside NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1), and comes with Arduino headers, as well as a Pmod connector. The board relies on Quectel BG96 module, and can be controlled with Arm mbed OS 5 when connected to STM32 Nucleo board. NB-IoT Sensor Shield specifications: Cellular Module – Quectel BG96 LPWA Module Multi Modes: Cat.M1, Cat.NB1, EGPRS Global bands Cat M1/NB1: B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B8 B12 B13 B18 B19 B20 B26 B28 B39 (B39 for Cat M1 only) EGPRS: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz Voice Over LTE support (M1 only) – PCM digital audio interface SIM card holder (also optional embedded SIM) Optional GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo, QZSS Expansion – Arduino headers, Pmod connector USB – 1x micro USB port Power Supply – 5V …

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GreenWaves GAP8 is a Low Power RISC-V IoT Processor Optimized for Artificial Intelligence Applications

GreenWaves Technologies, a fabless semiconductor startup based in Grenoble, France, has designed GAP8 IoT application processor based on RISC-V architecture, and optimized for image and audio algorithms including convolutional neural network (CNN) inference with high energy efficiency thanks to an 8-core computational cluster combined with a convolution hardware accelerator. The design is based on RISC-V based Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP) computing open-source platform. The new processor targets industrial and consumer products integrating artificial intelligence, and advanced classification such as image recognition, counting people and objects, machine health monitoring, home security, speech recognition, consumer robotics, wearables and smart toys. Some of GAP8 processor specifications: 1x extended RISC-V fabric controller core with 16 kB data and 4 kB instruction cache for system control 8x extended RISC-V compute cores with 64 kB shared data memory and 16 kB shared instruction cache 1x Hardware optimized synchronization unit 1x Hardware Convolution Engine (HWCE) Multi channel 1D/2D DMA, specialized multi-channel micro DMA for autonomous peripheral …

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FOSDEM 2018 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) occurs every year on the first week-end of February, where developers meet for two days discussing about open source software projects. FOSDEM 2018 will take place on February 3-4 this year with  652 speakers, 684 events, and 57 tracks, an increase over  last year 608 speakers, 653 events, and 54 tracks. There will be 8 main tracks namely: Community, History, Miscellaneous, Performance, Python, Security and Encryption, Space, and Global Diversity CFP Day. There will also be 33 developer rooms, and since the full schedule is now available, I’ll make a virtual schedule mostly based on sessions from the Embedded, mobile, and automotive, Hardware Enablement, and Internet of Things devrooms. Saturday 3, 2018 09:50 – 10:15 – Turning On the Lights with Home Assistant and MQTT by Leon Anavi In this presentation you will learn the exact steps for using MQTT JSON Light component of the open source home automation platform Home …

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$1 RDA5981 WiFi IoT Arm Cortex-M4 SoC is Designed for Smart Home Devices, Smart Speakers

RDA Microelectronics processors are found in a few cheap smart and not-so-smart phones, as well as the even cheaper Orange Pi i96 board. But the company does not only design cellular chips, but their portfolio also includes solutions for the Internet of Things and TV & radio tuners. RDA5981 is a WiFi IoT chip specifically designed for smart home & audio application, such as smart speakers, and it’s found in devices running Baidu DuerOS, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The company explains it can be widely used in televisions, set-top boxes, smart appliances, wireless monitors, and other products. RDA5981 A/B/C processor specifications: CPU – Arm Cortex-M4 @ up to 160 MHz with integrated MPU and mbed uvisor System Memory  – Up to 448 KB SRAM for network stack and application, external PSRAM interface Storage – Up to 32Mbit SPI flash Connectivity WiFi 2.4 Ghz 802.11b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps with 20/40 MHz bandwidth WPA, WPA2, …

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LittleFS is an Open Source, Low Footprint, Resilient File System Designed for Tiny Devices

Most devices need to store data either configuration files, sensor data firmware updates, and while it’s in theory possible to write directly to the storage device, it’s normally not a good idea to do so due to issues such as wear, which could lead to a premature death of your storage… LittleFS is an open source file system specifically designed for small devices such as IoT nodes for SPI NOR flash and SD card storage, and introduced in Mbed OS 5.7. The “high-integrity embedded file system” is resilient to power-cuts, supports wear-leveling, and comes in a small memory and storage footprint. Mbed support both FAT and LittleFS, so the latter was compared to the former with the following key highlights: Footprint – Code for LittleFS takes 13KB less storage than FAT, and 4KB less RAM Power loss resilience – The file system has strong copy-on-write guarantees, and storage on disk is always kept in a valid state. FAT has no …

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