Espressif Rolls out ESP32 Boards for Microsoft Azure IoT & Google Cloud IoT Core Services

ESP32 Azure IoT Kit

Espressif ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth processor is pretty versatile, and you could connect any ESP32 board to any cloud services with some efforts. But to make things even easier Espressif Systems worked with Microsoft and Google to release versions of ESP32 boards specifically designed to connect to Microsoft Azure IoT or Google Cloud IoT core. Meet ESP32-Azure IoT Kit and ESP32-DevKitC Google Cloud IoT. ESP32-Azure IoT Kit Hardware specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B WiFi and Bluetooth module Storage – MicroSD card socket Display – 0.96” blue and yellow OLED display driven by SSD1306 I2C driver chip Sensors InvenSense MPU6050 motion sensor NXP MAG3110 magnetometer FBM320 barometer STMicro HTS221 humidity & temperature sensor ROHM BH1750FVI light sensor Expansion – 16-pin header Debugging – USB to UART bridge for serial debugging & programming Misc – Reset button, user button, 2x charge LED’s, 2x user LED’s, 1x passive buzzer Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 3-pin header for LiPo battery; charging …

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Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 Gets a Linux Kernel, Faster File System, Docker Support

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 WSL 2

Microsoft first introduced Windows Subsystem for Linux in 2016 in order to let developers runs bash command from Ubuntu user space without having to install Ubuntu in a virtual machine or container. It relies on the Windows kernel with a library converting Linux system calls into ones compatible with Windows. Performance is great until you start to involve file systems calls, for example during code compilations, something that’s fairly common for developers… Microsoft has been working on solving this performance issue, and compatibility issues with software such as Docker, and is now close to releasing Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) featuring its own Linux 4.19 kernel instead of the Windows kernel plus a translation layer. WSL 2 uses virtualization technology to run its custom Linux kernel inside of a lightweight utility virtual machine (VM) which takes just 2 seconds to boot. That also means there will be separate (security) updates for the Windows kernel and the Linux kernel …

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Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit Features Two mikroBUS Sockets

Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit

Microsoft and MediaTek worked together to design MediaTek MT3620 Arm Cortex-A7 processor with Microsoft Pluton security sub-system required for Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT ecosystem. We’ve already covered boards from Seeed Studio including the just announced low cost MT3620 mini dev board. But Microsoft also cooperated with Avnet which has recently introduced Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit equipped with two mikroBUS sockets enabling the platform to leverage one of the 633 “click boards” available from MikroElektronika. Just like the latest Seeed Studio board, Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit is comprised as a baseboard with a soldered-on CPU module that can later be used for mass-production is a custom designed board. Specifications: Azure Sphere MT3620 CPU Module Mediatek MT3620AN single core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 500 MHz with 4MB SRAM, dual core Arm Cortex-M4F real-time core @ 200 MHz with 64KB RAM, Microsoft Pluton security sub-system, and WiFi. Storage – TBD Connectivity –  Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi with chip antenna …

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MT3620 Mini Dev Board is a Cheaper Microsoft Azure Sphere Board

MT3620 Mini Dev Board

Announced nearly one year ago, Microsoft Azure Sphere is an ecosystem comprised of Azure MCUs with Microsoft Pluton Security System, Linux based Azure Sphere OS, and a secure cloud service called Azure Sphere Security Service. The first official Azure development board – MT3620 Development Board for Azure Sphere – was launched last year for $84.95. The kit may not have attracted a large number of developers, so there’s now a cheaper version – MT3620 Mini Dev board – going for $34.90 on Seeed Studio. Note that’s a pre-order and shipping is scheduled for May 13, 2019. MT3620 Mini dev board specifications: CPU Module – AI-Link WF-M620-RSA1 module with Mediatek MT3620AN single core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 500 MHz with 4MB SRAM, dual core Arm Cortex-M4F real-time core @ 200 MHz with 64KB RAM, Pluton security sub-system, and WiFi. Storage – 2x 8MB dual channel quad SPI (TBC) Connectivity –  Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi 1T1R with main and aux PCB antennas, …

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Bonsai Algorithm Enables Machine Learning on Arduino with a 2KB RAM Footprint

Bonsai Machine Learning

Machine learning used to be executed in the cloud, then the inference part  moved to the edge, and we’ve even seen micro-controllers able to do image recognition with GAP8 RISC-V micro-controller. But I’ve recently come across a white paper entitled “Resource-efficient Machine Learning in 2 KB RAM for the Internet of Things” that shows how it’s possible to perform such tasks with very little resources. Here’s the abstract: This paper develops a novel tree-based algorithm, called Bonsai, for efficient prediction on IoT devices – such as those based on the Arduino Uno board having an 8 bit ATmega328P microcontroller operating at 16 MHz with no native floating point support, 2 KB RAM and 32 KB read-only flash. Bonsai maintains prediction accuracy while minimizing model size and prediction costs by: (a) developing a tree model which learns a single, shallow, sparse tree with powerful nodes; (b) sparsely projecting all data into a low-dimensional space in which the tree is learnt; and …

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Microsoft Surface Go Tablet Based on Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Processor to Sell for $399 and Up

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface devices are powerful but usually expensive ($2,000+) tablets and laptops, but the company has now launched an entry-level model called Surface Go, powered by an Intel Kaby Lake Pentium processor with 4 to 8GB RAM, 64 to 256 GB storage, and a 10″ high resolution display, and selling for $399 and up. Microsoft Surface Go specifications: SoC – Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y dual core/four thread Kaby Lake-Y processor @ up to 1.6 GHz (base frequency), with  24EU Intel HD Graphics 615 @ 300 / 850 MHz; 6W TDP System Memory – 4 or 8GB LPDDR3-1866 Storage –  64GB eMMC flash, 128GB or 256GB SSD, micro SD card slot Display – 10″ 1800×1200 PixelSense display; 3:2 aspect ratio; built-in kickstand with full friction hinge that extends to 165 degrees Cameras – 8MP Rear camera, 5MP Front-facing camera with Windows Hello facial recognition Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack Connectivity – 802.11.ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1; LTE model(s) to be announced …

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Visual Studio 2017 with an Embedded Linux Arm Device

This is a non-sponsored guest post written by Marc Goodner: Principal Program Manager, Microsoft, and Jeremias Cordoba: Innovation Engineer, Toradex. Today many embedded devices run some flavor of Linux as their primary operating system. This poses a challenge to developers who run Windows on their development machine. This article explains a new way to use the latest Visual Studio for C++ development on an embedded Arm Devices from a Windows Host PC using containers for the build environment. The device we are deploying to is from the Toradex Colibri Family of System on Modules using the NXP i.MX 6ULL SoC, which features an Arm Cortex A-7. As a demo project we will connect a Bluetooth Sensor with the Toradex Colibri Module. Please note that Visual Studio support for this case is in an early state, you will see improvements from Microsoft and Toradex in the coming months. Prerequisites Colibri i.MX 6ULL with Wi-Fi/BT and an Aster Carrier Board TI SensorTag (Bluetooth low energy) …

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HP t430 Thin client Works with a Single USB Cable

Gemini Lake mini PCs are starting to sell and ship, and from the look of it, HP t430 appears to be yet another Gemini Lake mini PC based on an Intel Celeron N4000 processor. But the device is actually a thin client that has been designed to work with a single USB type C cable for power, video and audio. HP t430 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N4000 dual core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.4 GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 600 System Memory – Up to 4GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 16 GB to 32 GB Flash memory Display – HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, USB type C DisplayPort Alt-mode Audio – Headphone/microphone mini-jack Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, and WLAN USB – 3x USB type A ports, 1x USB type C (DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1, charging) Misc – Power button, Kensington lock Power Supply – 19V DC, 45 W, worldwide auto-sensing, 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz, energy saving automatic power-down, surge tolerant external …

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