Sony Spresense Board Review with NuttX based Spresense SDK

Sony Spresence Kit Assembled

Sony Spresense Arduino compatible board with audio and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) support and its extension board launched in Japan this summer. The company has now expanded markets, and is offering the boards in the United States and Europe as well. They also tasked an agency to send samples to various reviewers, and I got selected to receive one as well. I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, shortly discuss software development options, and report my experience with Spresense SDK. Sony Spresense Unboxing I received two packages… … one the main board, and the other for the extension board. The main board package only comes with CXD5602PWBMAIN1 board and an information sheet. The top of the board includes a reset button, four user LEDs, a power LED, a boot recovery button, the camera interface, Sony CXD5247 power management and audio analog interface chip (Black on the photo below, but in reality it’s a reflective surface), Sony CXD5602 hexa …

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Atmel SAM S70 and SAM E70 Cortex M7 MCUs, SAM V71 Xplained Board Are Now Shipping

ARM Introduced Cortex M7 IP in September, and ST Micro simultaneously announced its STM32F7 Cortex M7 MCU clocked up to 200 MHz, and boards are now available, including some running Linux. But two other companies have licenses Cortex M7, Freescale with its Kinetis KV5x micro-controllers which are yet to be mass-produced, and Atmel which has recently announced their SAM S70 and E70 micro-controllers are now in mass production. SAM E70 and S70 have similar features, but E70 offers some extra interface like CAN and Fast Ethernet: ARM Cortex-M7 core running at up to 300MHz (1500 CoreMark) Up to 2MB Flash and 384kByte SRAM Floating point unit (FPU) for high-precision computing and accelerated data processing High-performance internal memory architecture with user configurable Tightly Couples Memories and System memory, and 16kB I and D-cache High Speed USB Host and Device with on-chip high-speed PHY CMOS image sensor interface AES hardware encryption engines, TRNG and SHA-based memory integrity checker Advanced analog front end …

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Fernvale Open Source Hardware IoT Board Based on Mediatek MT6260 SoC with GSM Connectivity

Andrew Huang (Bunnie), an hardware engineer, known for hacking the original XBOX, and more recently for Novena open source laptop, has decided it could be interesting to reverse-engineer Mediatek MT6260 processor, as in China, it’s difficult to get documentation, SDK, and tools if you don’t commit to purchase X chips, where X is a rather large number. He and others also checked whether their work could be open sourced legally, and assert their “fair use” rights to reverse-engineer hardware and firmware. And so Fernvale project was born both as a technical challenge and to make a point. MT6260 is a $3 ARM7EJ-S processor clocked at 364 MHz with 8MB built-in RAM, interfaces such as I2C, SPI, PWM, UART, as well as LCD and touchscheen controller, and audio codec, battery charger, USB,  Bluetooth, and GSM support, which make the $6 Atmel MCU used in Arduino board look expensive. The main differences is that Atmel provides proper documentation to anyone who can …

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