GOWIN GW1NRF FPGA Comes with Bluetooth 5.0 LE Radio & 32-bit ARC MCU

GW1NRF Bluetooth FPGA

I first heard about GOWIN Semiconductor last month when I found out about Sipeed Tang Nano FPGA board going for $5 and featuring GOWIN GW1N FPGA. The company has now announced what it claims is the first Bluetooth FPGA on the market with GW1NRF FPGA integrating a Bluetooth 5.0 LE radio and a 32-bit ARC microcontroller beside FPGA fabric. GOWIN GW1NRF-LV4N uSoC FPGA key features and specifications: FPGA Fabric – 4.6K LUTs, 180 Kb block SRAM, and 16 multipliers MCU – 32-bit ARC microcontroller with 48KB IRAM, 48KB DRAM 136KB block ROM, 128KB block OTG Security – AES-128, RNG, Key GEN Power Management – Wake-up timer, pin monitoring Wireless – Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) 5.0 Transceiver with PHY & MAC Power Supply  – 3V or 1.5 V with battery support via on-chip LDO regulator and step-up/step-down DCDC regular Power Consumption – 5nA power disable mode Package – 6x6mm QFN48 package If you wonder what kind of application may benefit from …

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Nordic Semi nRF52833 WiSoC Supports Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding, Works up to 105ºC


Nordic Semiconductors had added a new member to their RF52 multi-protocol wireless SoCs with nRF52833 that supports Bluetooth 5.1 direction finding and can operate in a wider temperature range between -40ºC and +105°C. The company also introduced nRF52833 DK development kit for Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, Zigbee (802.15.4), and 2.4GHz proprietary applications, and some companies have already announced nRF52833 modules. Nordic Semi nRF52833 Bluetooth 5.1 SoC Key features and specifications: MCU Core – Arm Cortex-M4F @ 64 MHz Memory – 128 KB RAM Storage – 512 KB Flash Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1 @ 2 Mbps/1 Mbps/500 kbps/125 kbps 802.15.4 (Thread/Zigbee) @ 250 kbps 2.4 GHz proprietary @ 2 Mbps / 1 Mbps NFC-A tag TX power – Programmable from +8 dBm to -20 dBm in 4 dB steps Sensitivity Bluetooth 5: -103 dBm at 125 kbps; -98 dB at 500 kbps; -95 dBm at 1 Mbps; -92 dBm at 2 Mbps 802.15.4: -99 dBm at 250 kbps 2.4 GHz: …

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NXP i.MX RT1170 Arm Cortex-M7/M4 Microcontroller Clocks at One Gigahertz!

NXP i.MX RT1170 Gigahertz MCU

Microcontrollers used to be those cute little things that clock at 8 or 16 MHz, but in the last decade, Cortex-M3/M4 microcontrollers became more powerful with 100 to 200 MHz clocks being quite common. But with the introduction of Arm Cortex-M7 core about 5 years ago, microcontrollers are seriously starting to take over tasks that were previously reserved to faster microprocessors.  As I remember it,  the MCU frequency “race” started with STMicro STM32H7 in 2016 with an impressive 400 MHz, and NXP i.MX RT crossover processor clocked at 600 MHz a few years later.  But with i.MX RT1170 microcontroller, NXP has upped the ante as the new MCU combines an Arm Cortex-M4 core clocked at 400MHz with Arm Cortex-M7 core running at an amazing one Gigahertz (1 GHz). The documentation has not been released and we have limited information, but here’s what we know about NXP i.MX RT1170 key features and specifications so far: CPU Arm Cortex-M7 @ 1 GHz …

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NXP i.MX RT106F & RT106A/L Cortex-M7 Processors Target Offline Face Recognition & Smart Audio Applications

NXP i.MX RT crossover processors combine real-time capabilities of microcontrollers with the performance of application processors thanks to an Arm Cortex-M7 core clocked at 528 MHz and more. The performance is indeed impressive as shown by Teensy 4.0 benchmarks, but so far NXP i.MX RT processor targeted general purpose applications. The company has now introduced three new crossover processors designed for AI applications. NXP i.MX RT106F is designed for offline face recognition and expression Identification, while RT106L and RT106A are made for local and cloud-based embedded voice applications. NXP i.MX RT106F Processor Highlights of the processor: CPU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ 600 MHz (3020 CoreMark/1284 DMIPS) Memory – 1 MB On-Chip SRAM plus up to 512 KB configurable as Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) External memory interface options – NAND, eMMC, QuadSPI NOR Flash, and Parallel NOR Flash Real-time, low-latency response as low as 20 ns Industry’s lowest dynamic power with an integrated DC-DC converter Low-power run modes at 24 MHz …

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AndesCore N22 RISC-V Core Supports RV32IMAC or RV32EMAC Instruction Sets

Andes N22 RISC-V vs Arm Cortex M3 / M0+

We covered Gigadevice GD32V general-purpose microcontroller with a RISC-V “Bumblebee” core last week, and I was informed that Andes Technology had recently introduced AndesCore N22 RISC-V “Bumblebee” IP core capable of supporting either RV32IMAC or RV32EMAC instruction sets. A web search did not reveal any specific information about what “Bumblebee” RISC-V cores are exactly, or maybe it’s in reference that many can be coupled in parallel. But that’s just a small detail, let’s check out in some details what AndesCore N22 core has to offer. The RISC-V core is designed for entry-level MCUs found in IoT devices and wearables, and is capable of deeply embedded protocol processing for I/O control, storage, networking, AI and AR/VR. Highlights of AndesCore N22: AndeStar V5 (RV32IMAC) / V5e (RV32EMAC) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), compliant to RISC-V technology plus Andes extensions architectured for performance and functionality enhancements 32-bit, 2-stage pipeline CPU architecture 16/32-bit mixable instruction format for compacting code density Branch prediction to speed up …

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GigaDevice Releases GD32V RISC-V MCU and Development Boards

GD32VF103 RISC-V General Purpose MCU

A few years ago, we came across GigaDevice GD32 microcontroller compatible with STMicro STM32F103, but with a higher 108 MHz clock, and zero wait state internal flash. The MCU was also a drop-in replacement for the STMicro alternative since beside being software compatible, it was also pin-to-pin compatible. The company is now back with a new microcontroller, but it’s not Arm-based. Instead, GigaDevice GD32V is based on RISC-V open source architecture. GD32V General Purpose RISC-V MCU GigaDevice GD32V is a 32-bit RISC-V general-purpose MCU that targets industrial and consumer applications such as IoT, edge computing, artificial intelligence and “vertical industries”. The new GD32VF103 series RISC-V MCU family features 14 models with the following key specifications: Core – GD32VF103 32-bit rv32imac RISC-V “Bumblebee Core” @ 108 MHz Memory – 8KB to 32KB SRAM Storage  – 16KB to 128KB flash Peripherals – USB OTG and CAN 2.0B I/O – 3.3V, 5V tolerant Supply Voltage – 2.6 to 3.6V Package – QFN36, LQFP48, …

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Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers


[Update August 24, 2019: Added information about expected release date and license] About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s. The new graphical toolkit will be capable of running on devices without operating system. This may be a game changer in the entire MCU world, since Qt for MCUs allows developers to create fluid user interfaces on cost-effective micro controllers. This means we will be able to see smartphone like GUI’s which are running on low-end  MCU’s with limited resources. With reference to their press release, assuring that Qt-GUI will consume less power to save the battery life. Qt for MCUs Software Stack While developing any applications for MCU,  developers still can use their powerful declarative UI language QML and rich set of ready-made Qt Quick controls.  And the C++ APIs, helps the user interface with C++  based back-end. applications are being rendered by Qt’s …

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Padauk PMS150C “3 Cents” MCU Supports SDCC Open Source Toolchain

PMS150C 3 cents MCU

Back in 2016, I tried to find the cheapest MCU, and discovered Holtek HT48R002 8-bit RISC MCU @ 8MHz with 1K x 14-bit OTP memory, and 64 bytes of RAM that was selling for around 8.5 cents per unit for 1k orders at the time, and about the same now. But this morning, I read a post about sub-10-cents microcontrollers where cpldcpu details offering of several mostly little known vendors including Bojuxing Industrial, Eastsoft Micro, or Puolop. But Paudauk PMS150C especially caught my attention since price starts at $0.033, or 3 cents, and EEVBlog community has been working on getting SDCC open-source toolchain to work on the MCU. PMS150C MCU specifications: CPU – Processing unit with 79 “powerful” instructions Memory – 64 Bytes data RAM Storage – 1KW (1K x 14-bit) OTP program memory Peripherals 1x hardware 16-bit timer; 1x hardware 8-bit timer with PWM generation 1x general purpose comparator Up to 6x I/O pins with optional drive/sink current and …

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