Sony SPRESENSE Arduino Compatible GNSS + Audio IoT Board To Sell for $50 (in Japan)

Sony-Spresense-Arduino-Board

Last year,  we covered Sony Spritzer, an Arduino compatible with a Sony hexa-core Arm Cortex-M4F micro-controller, a built-in GNSS receiver, and an audio codec. The product page for this product is now gone, but it appears Sony only renamed it to SPRESENSE, made some design modifications, and is ready to launch the main board for 5,500 JPY (~$50), and the extension board for an extra 3,500 JPY ($32) on July 31, 2018. Sony SPRESENSE main board (CXD5602PWBMAIN1) specifications: MCU – Sony CXD5602 ARM Cortex-M4F ×6 micro-controller clocked at up to 156 MHz with 1.5MB SRAM Storage – 8MB Flash Memory GNSS – GPS & GLONASS Audio – 3.5mm audio jack Expansion I/Os Digital I/O Pins – GPIO, SPI, I2C, UART, PWM, I2S Analog Pins – 2ch (0.7V range) Camera interface USB – 1x micro USB port for programming and power Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 50 x 20.6 mm Sony SPRESENSE expansion board (CXD5602PWBEXT1) specifications: …

A Closer Look at Mediatek MT8516 Cortex A35 SoM / Devkit for Android Things

Mediatek-MT8516-SoM

Earlier this month, Google released Android Things 1.0, the first stable release for the IoT operating system, and announced several certified SoMs (systems-on-module) based on NXP i.MX 8M, Qualcomm SDA212 & SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 SoCs. However at the time, beside some information about the processor itself, there was not many details about MT8516 system-on-module. Since then, MediaTek wrote a blog post about their Cortex A35 solution for Android Things & Google Assistant, so let’s have a look. First the MT8516 SoM is not exactly what I had expected, but instead a complete single board computer, and this is why they call it virtual SoM (vSOM). Google defines the latter as reference design provided by the chip vendors and certified by Google. Mediatek MT8516 quad core Cortex A35 vSoM / development board specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT8516 quad core Cortex A35 processor without GPU System Memory – 4Gbit (512MB) DDR3L Storage – 4GB eMMC flash Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO …

Google Assistant Adds 6 New Voices, Supports Smart Displays, Will Expand to 80 Countries

Hey-Google

We’ve already seen announcements about Android P and Android Things 1.0 for Google I/O 2018, but the company also took the opportunity to provide an update to the new features coming to Google Assistant. Some of the improvements are specifically related to the audio features (voice assistant): Google Assistant is now naturally conversational so it can understand more complex requests such as asking the weather using expressions like “Will it be cats and dogs today?”. 6 new voices are now available, and John Legend’s voice is coming later this year. More voices should be supported in the future, thanks to improvements in AI and WaveNet technology from DeepMind that eliminates the needs for recording hundreds of hours of audio in a recording studio, and enabled adding new voices in just a few weeks. Continued Conversation – as its name implies – will allow Assitant and you to have a “natural conversation” without having to say “OK Google” for each request. …

Android Things 1.0 Released with Support for NXP i.MX 8M, Qualcomm SDA212/SDA624 and Mediatek MT8516 SoMs

Innocomm-WB10AT

Brillo Project was renamed to Android Things with the release of a developer preview back in December 2014, and the operating system enabling developers and companies to build and maintain Internet of Things devices at scale. The OS has now graduated so-to-speak with the release of Android Things 1.0 with long-term support for production devices, and this was to be expected as several Android Things devices were announced earlier this year. The new release adds supports for new system-on-modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 SoCs. These modules are certified for production use with guaranteed long-term support for 3 years, and development hardware and reference designs for these SoMs will be available in the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D boards and system-on-modules are still supported, but support for NXP i.MX6UL devices will be deprecated. Check out the hardware page for a full list of supported platforms. Google …

Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker Mini Smart Speaker is Selling for $27 (in China)

Smart speakers are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and in the US and some other countries, Amazon Echo Dot can be purchased for under $50. But Xiaomi has come up with an even cheaper model – for the Chinese market – with their Allwinner R16 based AI Speaker Mini that has just launched for 169 RMB, or about $27, in China. XIaomi Mi AI Speaker Mini specifications: SoC- Allwinner R16 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz System Memory / Storage – TBD Speaker 1.5″ 4Ω speaker Frequency Range – 140Hz – 20000Hz Speaker sensitivity – 78dB/m/W Maximum output power – 2W 4x Microphones Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP support Misc – Microphone on/off button, volume buttons, and play/pause button Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port Dimensions – 90 x 90 x 50 mm Weight – ~210 grams The speaker ships with a power supply, and a user manual. It is compatible with smartphones …

Google AIY Projects Kits are Easier to Use in 2018 with Raspberry Pi Zero WH and All Accessories Included

Google launched two AIY Projects kits last year with a Voice Kit that took a Raspberry Pi 3 to create a smart speaker, and a Vision kit for hardware accelerated computer vision using a Raspberry Pi Zero W board. Google reports the kits are popular, especially for STEM education,  but educators/parents had to buy the Raspberry Pi boards and micro SD cards themselves, as well as flash the firmware to the cards. So the company decided to redesign both kits to work with the Raspberry Pi Zero WH (RPi Zero W with headers), and include it inside the box with cable and pre-provisioned SD card, so kids can get started faster with experimentation with having to setup the kits. So that means we now have AIY Projects Voice Kit v2 with RPi Zero WH and micro SD card with firmware, as well as  AIY Projects Vision Kit v1.1 with RPi Zero WH, a Raspberry Pi Camera v2, and a micro SD …

Rockchip Reveals RK3308 & RK3326 Evaluation Boards for Smart Speakers and Smart Displays

Rockchip introduced RK3308 & Gemini quad core Cortex-A35 processors for smart AI solutions last month, and now the company has shared one more tweet about evaluation boards based on RK3308 and RK3329 (Gemini) processors for respectively smart speakers and smart displays. EVB-VA-RK3326 is a smart display evaluation platform powered by Rockchip RK3326 processor with four Cortex A35 core and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. It comes with a main board, a microphone array, some speaker, and a display. EVB-RK3308 looks very similar with instead feature a main board powered by RK3308 quad core Cortex A35 processor which supports  DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR2/DDR2 memory, and comes with an audio codec with 8x ADC/2x DAC, support for 8-channel I2S/TDM, and USB 2.0 host + OTG interface(s). That’s the only information we have since the company has not published any details on their website. If you represent a company and are interested in developing products based on those solutions, you should be able to contact Rockchip or …

ESP32-LyraT Speech Recognition Board Sold for 22 Euros

Just last week, we wrote about Espressif ESP-ADF Audio development framework that can be used to develop smart speakers and other audio applications with ESP32 boards. There was only one board with documentation at the time however: ESP32-Lyra-T. One tiny problem: it was not for sale just yet, but today Olimex has announced the board is in stock, selling it for 22 Euros. Main features: Wireless module – ESP32-WROVER module with WiFi and Bluetooth LE Audio Many audio inputs – Wi-Fi, BT-audio, DLNA, 3.5mm audio Line-in 3.5mm headphone jack 2x microphones Speaker connectors Storage – micro SD slot Debugging – JTGA header, USB UART Misc  – Touch sense buttons, function/boot/reset keys,  DIP switch for configuration Power – 5V via micro USB port; battery header + charger chip You’ll find documentation on Espressif website (user guide) as well as on Github’s ESP-ADF (getting started guide).