ZiP (zGlue Integration Platform) Enables the Design & Manufacturing of Low Cost Custom Chips

When I first started to read about zOrigin on Crowdsupply, I was not really impressed. Meh… Yet another Bluetooth LE fitness tracker with a few sensors, and an Android app. But as I read further, I found out the interesting part was inside the device: ZGLZ1BA, a custom chip manufactured using ZiP (zGlue Integration Platform) chip-stacking technology, which produces something similar to SiP (System-in-Package) but at a much lower cost and manufacturing lead time. But let’s have a look at zOrigin tracker first, which acts as a demonstration / evaluation platform for ZiP technology. Key specifications & features: “SoC” – ZGZL1BA ZiP with Dialog Semiconductor DA14585 16MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 MCU with BLE Analog Devices AD8233 Heart Rate Analog Front End (AFE) Macronix MX25R4035F 2 Mbit Flash Memory MCube MC3672 Accelerometer Maxim MAX77734 Power Managment IC (PMIC) SiTime SIT1552 32 kHz Oscillator Vishay SI8466EDB MOSFET 30 passive components Package – 0.8-mm-pitch BGA package measuring 8.7 mm x 9.1 mm …

OSD3358-SM-RED Beaglebone Black Compatible Board Comes with Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, 4x USB Ports, and More

BeagleBone-Black-Compatible-Development-Board

Octavo Systems is known for their OSD335x system-in-packages (SiP) that integrate Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x Cortex A8 processor, memory, LDO, and some passive components into a single package, as well as related development kits such the $25 PocketBeagle which was introduced by the BeagleBoard foundation last September. The company has now launched OSD335-SM-RED development board featuring their OSD3358-512M-BSM SiP with 512MB RAM, with Gigabit Ethernet, micro HDMI, four USB 2.0 port, BeagleBone Black headers, some sensors, etc… OSD3358-SM-RED specifications: SiP – Octavo Systems OSD3358-512M-BSM with TI Sitara AM3358 Arm Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz, 512MB DDR3 Memory, power management Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – micro HDMI port Connectivity – 10/100/1000 Ethernet USB – 1x µUSB Client, 4x USB 2.0 ports (via USB hub) Sensors – 9-axis IMU, barometer, temperature sensor + header Expansion – 2x expansion connectors compatible with BeagleBone Black Capes Security Subsystem (Currently Not Supported) – TPM, secure NOR …

Silicon Labs WF200 WiFi Transceivers & WFM200 WiFi Modules are Designed for Battery Powered Devices

When it comes to power consumption, WiFi is not the best wireless standard around, and even the most power efficient WiFi SoCs/modules consume several times the power required for Bluetooth LE Tx or Rx. Yet we still have plenty of battery powered devices relying on WiFi, so companies are working on improving efficiency, and Silicon Labs has recently announced the WF200 transceivers and WFM200 modules that support 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and are said to slash power consumption in half. WF200 / WFM200 highlights: Low transmit (Tx: 138 mA) and receive (Rx: 48 mA) power 200 µA average Wi-Fi power consumption (DTIM = 3) Link budget of 115 dBm for long-range Wi-Fi transmissions Excellent antenna diversity and wireless coexistence in crowded 2.4 GHz environments Security – Secure boot and host interface, hardware cryptography acceleration supporting AES, PKE and TRNG Packages – 4 mm x 4 mm QFN32 transceiver and 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm LGA52 SiP module Certifications – …

AcSiP S76G/S78G SiPs Integrate LoRa, GPS, and MCU into a Single 1.3×1.1 cm Package

LoRa has been combined with GPS in several products such as Rakwireless RAK811 LoRa tracker board, or Dragino LoRa/GPS HAT board among others, with all designed for far based on a LoRa module, plus a GPS module. LoRa GPS tracker will soon even smaller as AcSiP has developed S76G and S78G systems-in-package (SiP) that combine LoRa, GPS and an MCU into a single 1.1 x 1.3cm package. The two new modules are not listed on the company’s IoT-LoRa products page yet, but they appear to be an evolution of their S76S / S78S LoRa + MCU SiP released in 2016, so the new modules should have the following features: MCU – STMicro STM32L073x Arm Cortex M0+ MCU with up to 192 KB of Flash memory and 20 KB of RAM LoRa AcSiP S76G – Semtech SX1276 supporting global 868 MHz or 915 MHz ISM-Bands. AcSiP S78G – Semtech SX1278 supporting global 433 MHz or 470 MHz ISM-Bands GPS I/Os – …

ESP32-PICO-KIT v4 Board Based on ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP Now Available for $10

A little while ago, I received a bunch of ESP32 PICO Core development boards which were based on Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package with ESP32, 4MB SPI Flash, and other components. The advantage of such chip is that is requires less external component, and allows for smaller designs. For example, the boards I received would leave two row of pin on each side of the board, while most other ESP32 boards will only expose one row on each side. I used the board to play with Micropython ESP32 port, and later-on when I launched a giveaway of 8 of the boards, I found out the name had changed to ESP32-PICO Kit, with the documentation listing v3 with all pins connected to male headers, and v4 with 6-pin not connected to a male header as shown in the photo below. Both versions of the board also have a different pin layout. But you don’t need to care since AFAIK v3 was never …

SAMA5D2 Based SiPs Combine ARM Cortex-A5 Processor With Up to 128MB DDR2

Atmel SAMA5D2 ARM Cortex-A5 processor was released about two years ago with extended temperature range and lower power consumption compared to previous SAMAD5 processors, with the new SoC still targeting industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), wearables and point of sale applications. In recent years, we’ve seen companies packing main components into systems-in-package (SiP) with products such as Octavo Systems OSD3358 and Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 with integrate an existing processor with memory, storage, and/or PMIC. Microchip (previously Atmel) has now done the same for their SAMA5D2 processors with SiPs combining the Cortex A5 SoC with DDR2 memory. Four SAMA5D2 SiPs have been launched: ATSAMA5D225C-D1M based on ATSAMA5D22C MPU with extra SD/SDIO, QSPI, FLEXCOMs (2x), I2S, and timers (2x) and: 128 Mb (16 MB) DDR2 DRAM 90 Peripheral I/Os 196 BGA Package Designed for RTOS/bare metal development ATSAMA5D27C-D5M based on ATSAMA5D27C MPU with: 512 Mb (64 MB) DDR2 DRAM 128 Peripheral I/Os 289 BGA Package Designed for small Linux OS applications ATSAMA5D27C-D1G …

$25 PocketBeagle is a mini BeagleBone Board based on Octavo OSD3358-SM SiP

Earlier this year, Qwerty Embedded designed PocketBone board, an Eagle & KiCad open source hardware board software compatible with BeagleBone, but much smaller and based on Octavo OSD3358 system-in-package. This was never an official BeagleBoard.org board, and AFAIK it was not made broadly available. But the BeagleBoard foundation has now introduced PocketBeagle with a similar form factor, but based instead on the latest Octavo OSD3358-SM SiP that embeds TI Sitara AM3358, 512MB RAM, a PMIC, and various passive components into a 21×21 package, and exposing more I/Os thanks to 72 through holes. PocketBeagle board specifications: SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358-SM with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  PowerVR SGX530 GPU, 2x PRU, ARM Cortex-M3 for power and security management functions 512MB DDR3 800 MHz 4kB I2C EEPROM TPS65217 PMIC + LDO with integrated 1-cell LiPo battery support Storage – micro SD slot USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port Expansion – 2x 36-pin …

ESP32-PICO-D4 System-in-Package Combines ESP32, 4MB SPI Flash, a Crystal Oscillator, and Passive Components

Espressif Systems has revealed another ESP32 variant, but this time it’s not an SoC, but a 7x7mm system-in-package (SIP) that comes ESP32 dual core processor, a 4MB  SPI flash, a crystal oscillator and various passive components, so that you don’t need to include those in your design, and create an ultra-compact PCB for wearables and other space-constrained applications. ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP specifications: SoC – ESP32 with two Tensilica LX6 cores, 448 KB ROM, 520 KB SRAM (inc. 8KB RTC memory), 1kbit eFuse On-module Flash – 4MB SPI flash Connectivity WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n/e/i (802.11n up to 150 Mbps) Bluetooth – Bluetooth V4.2 BR/EDR and BLE specification; ; class-1, class-2 and class-3 transmitter; Audio: CVSD and SBC SIP Interfaces SD card, UART, SPI, SDIO, LED PWM, Motor PWM, I2S, I2C, IR GPIO, capacitive touch sensor, ADC, DAC, LNA pre-amplifier Sensors –  On-chip Hall sensor & temperature sensor Clock – On-module 40 MHz crystal Power supply – 2.3 ~ 3.6V Operating current – Average: …