AOZ128x EZBuck™ Simple Buck (Step-Down) Regulators

Alpha & Omega’s high efficiency and simple to use regulators are designed for automotive, telecom, and networking equipment

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor’s AOZ128x series are high efficiency, simple, step-down regulators ranging from 0.6 A to 4 A of continuous output current. These EZBuck regulators work from a 3 V to 36 V input range depending on the device. They also offer an adjustable output voltage down to 0.8 V. The fixed switching frequency of 1 MHz PWM operation in the AOZ1282 and 1.5 MHz PWM operation in the AOZ1281 allow for a reduced inductor size, while the AOZ1284 offers a switching frequency of 200 kHz to 2 MHz with an external resistor. The AOZ1284 also offers an integrated N-channel high-side power MOSFET.

These regulators feature internal soft start as well as an adjustable soft start (AOZ1284). The devices support fault protection including thermal shutdown, short-circuit protection, and cycle-by-cycle current limit. The EZBuck series are offered in SOT23-6L, DFN 2×2, and EPAD SO-8 packages making them ideal for automotive, telecom, and networking equipment.

Features

  • 3.0 V to 36 V operating input voltage range
  • 0.6 A to 4.0 A continuous output current
  • Up to 95% efficiency
  • Adjustable output voltage range from 0.8 V to 30 V
  • Cycle-by-cycle current limit
  • Short-circuit protection
  • Overvoltage protection
  • Overtemperature protection
  • Adjustable switching frequency from 200 kHz to 2 MHz (AOZ1284)
  • Internal soft start
  • Available in SOT23-6L, DFN 2×2, and EPAD SO-8 packages

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Tiny Solar Energy Module (TSEM)

A 1 square inch PCB module with 2 tiny solar cells, a highly efficient Li-Ion charger and with 3.3V and 1.8V output by Jasper Sikken:

This is a 1×1 inch PCB module with two tiny solar cells, a highly efficient Li-Ion battery charger and with two regulated outputs (3.3V and 1.8V). It is unique because it is an easy to manufacture tiny module that other hackers can drop in their PCB design or bread board. Bessides it harvests enough power from indoor light to power a simple BLE or LoRa sensor.

The challenge is to design a TINY module that easily interfaces to other projects. I selected tiny surface mount solderable solar cells, a highly integrated energy harvesting IC, and left out the battery. The board has castellated vias so it can be surface mount soldered onto a mother PCB as well as soldered onto 0.1″ headers to be used in a bread board.

Tiny Solar Energy Module (TSEM) – [Link]

Communication Between Two Arduinos Using NRF24L01

NRF24L01

While building Arduino or any other microcontroller platform project over time the need will arise to establish communication between two of the Arduino boards or microcontrollers for data exchange and/or control. This communication could be achieved using either wired or wireless process. For wireless communication between devices, quite a number of options exist including WiFi, GSM/GPRS, Bluetooth, RF and more recent technologies like LoRaWAN among others. All of these communication protocols have their pros and cons and the situation is in which they are the best fit. For mid-range communication between two microcontrollers, for example, one of the most suitable communication protocol is RF (radio frequency) as it has a good cost to performance ratio and a very good communication range can be attained using certain modules.

Today, we will look at the radio frequency based communication between microcontrollers using one of the most popular RF communication modules; the NRF24L01 communication module.

The NRF24L01 module is a low-cost (less than$3) ultra-low power, bi-directional transceiver module. It is designed to operate within the 2.4GHz ISM band which means it can be used for projects with industrial, scientific and medical applications.  The module can achieve data rates as high as 2Mbits! and uses a high-speed SPI interface in order to communicate with the Arduino and other kind of microcontroller and development boards.

Communication Between Two Arduinos Using NRF24L01 – [Link]

The UP AI Core – Mini-PCIe Board For Machine Learning

Popularized as the “first embedded ultra-compact artificial intelligence processing card,” and built around the same Intel Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 2450 VPU as Intel’s own Neural Compute Stick. UP’s AI Core is a mini-PCI Express module that enables Artificial Intelligence on the Edge.

The UP AI Core board
The UP AI Core board

The UP AI Core has 512MB of DDR SDRAM and 4 GB of onboard storage. It is a standard looking PCI-e board measuring 51×30 mm. The onboard Movidius™ chip supports the use of both TensorFlow and Caffe frameworks, both are symbolic math libraries used for machine learning applications such as neural networks.

In order to support the board, the host computer needs to have at least 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of free storage space. Right now, only 64-bit x86 boards running Ubuntu 16.04 are fully supported. None the less that is an only requirement for the Movidius™ VPU rather than something essential in the design of the UP board itself.

However, there’s been a lot of effort since the release of the Movidius™ Neural Compute Stick to get it working on the Raspberry Pi. It’s possible now that it can be used with an Arm-based board with an appropriate PCI-e slot like the Pine H64. But without official support, it is limited to an extent.

The UP AI Core is now available for $69. It is compatible with the UP Core Plus but should work with any single-board computer that has a mini-PCIe interface. Although the user has to be careful about toolchain support for the Movidius™ chip.

Specifications for the AI Core

  • SoC: Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 VPU 2450
  • Supported Frameworks: TensorFlow, Caffe
  • Form Factor: Mini PCI-Express
  • Dimension: 51 X 30 mm
  • System Requirements:
    • x86_64 computer running Ubuntu 16.04
    • Available mPCI-E slot
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4GB free storage space

More information about the board can be found at UP AI Core’s Order Page.

Full Guide on How to Play PC Games on Android

Learn the top games ported to Android and how to play the non-ported ones without streaming and extra hardware.

Mobile is our life. I personally have started to find myself using my smartphone both for business and for entertainment much more often then a PC, even if it is within my usual reach. What if I could also play my favorite PC games on Android, right here on my couch? So, that I don’t need to turn my computer or gaming console on? Would my life become happier? Definitely, yes. Especially in this world, where we can turn the things apart with a swipe of a single finger.

Well, it’s really hard to find PC games for Android, as quite a few game developers provide versions of their games for the Android platform. Not mentioning the industry of mobile gaming itself, which is currently so overwhelmed with the enormous amount of apps that the PC or console game developers have no room for competition left.

And just imagine how great it would be to enjoy our favorite strategies like Heroes 3 or Disciples 2 within the new environment and extraordinary experience with a mobile touchscreen.

Full Guide on How to Play PC Games on Android – [Link]

MicroSemi’s Precision Colour Sensor AS73211

Precision colour sensing made easy

Austrian MicroSemi recently divested itself of its transceiver portfolio, leaving standards such as AS-I stranded. Sensors were selected as the new main field of business, leading to the introduction of a few extremely interesting products such as the JENCOLOR colour sensor ICs.

In principle, the sensor is laid out according to the schemes shown in the two figures accompanying the screen. The main priority is that the part contains but three photo-diodes, all three of which are conveniently located behind a filter to eliminate unwanted spectral components.

The three diodes are located in seperate areas of the main die…

…AMS provides a relatively complex set of signal conditioning circuits

To clarify a few aspects: first of all, the AS73211 is strictly an one-pixel color detector – it has nothing to do with the traditional linear or two-dimensional CCD chips which are well-known from digital cameras. Secondarily, the chip’s intended usage is processes – think about quality control, sorting of goods and similar tasks where accurate color sampling is required.

Finally, the AS73211 is intended to reach extreme high accuracies – its internal DACs can work at 24bit if required.

When compared to a homebrew solution, benefits pop up. ADC linearity and temperature issues are handled by AMS – the chip contains various bits of logic which ensure that issues affecting resolution adversely are handled effectively.

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Raspberry Pi Model Comparison Table

There are quite a few Raspberry Pi boards on the market today and sometimes it’s not that clear on the differences between them. I’ve made this table for a more visual representation of what’s on-board. Hopefully it will help you to choose the right board for you! [via]

You will need to login to access the PDF file.

Raspberry Pi Model Comparison Table – [Link]

Reflow Master – Graphical reflow controller

An easy to use graphical reflow controller for your toaster oven. Source files available on github. by Unexpected Maker:

Reflow Master really started out as a microcontroller-based graphing experiment… I wanted to visualise the temperature in my toaster oven when I manually reflowed my PCBs.

I had a K-Type probe in my oven connected to my digital multimeter, and though I could see the temperature, unless I also used a stopwatch, I had no real idea of how long I was reflowing for and at what temperature… it was VERY scientific.

So I thought about using a MAX31855 module connected to a micro-controller to read the temp from my probe and simply drawing this as a graph of temperature over time on a small TFT screen also connected to the micro-controller.

Reflow Master – Graphical reflow controller – [Link]

AAEON’s Latest 4” Motherboard Is Built for Speed

(Taipei, Taiwan – August 14, 2018) – AAEON, an industry-leading developer of embedded computers, proudly launches the EPIC-KBS9, the world’s only 4” SBC built to accommodate 65W Intel® Core™ i socket-type processors. Fitted with these incredibly powerful CPUs, the board is ideal for data encryption, video streaming, and advanced machine vision applications.

The EPIC-KBS9’s high-powered specifications don’t end with its CPU capabilities – everything on this board has been designed for accelerated computing. Two SODIMM sockets enable a 32G dual-channel memory platform, and thanks to its PCIe [x4] slot, the board also supports NVMe SSDs for significantly faster boot times and response rates.

As a solution for LAN applications, the EPIC-KBS9 is fitted with four GbE LAN ports. It also features two USB3.0 ports, two USB2.0 internal connectors, an HDMI port, and two COM connectors, so it can easily handle multiple peripherals. The motherboard can be expanded through its PCIe [x4] slot and an additional full mSATA/Mini-PCIe slot.

The EPIC-KBS9 completes AAEON’s range of EPIC SBCs. Featuring Intel Core i socket-type processors, the series offers a level of computing performance usually only seen with Mini-ITX products,” said Alicia Wang, AAEON embedded computing division product manager. “The EPIC-KBS9 is the most powerful of these boards, and it produces computing speeds that simply can’t be matched by any other 4” SBC.

for more information visit: www.aaeon.com

PCBWay Referral Program is an Avenue to Earn Coupons and Cash

PCBWay, a company that provides printed circuit board manufacturing and assembly is offering an incentive invite deals for users of its platform. PCBWay has been an avenue for makers, engineers, students and even teachers to make things; they provide sponsorship opportunities for exciting open-source projects, gifts and money for makers sharing their technical experience, creating exciting, challenging competitions, and many more.

PCBWay is continuing its quest to support the maker’s community especially its existing members with their referral program that aims to gift coupons and cash to the ever increasing members. Of course, the referral program is not limited to only existing, new users in the platform can also get on the wagon.

Getting Started

PCBWay referral program is quite easy and straightforward to get started with, and the steps below shows how to start earning with the PCBWay referral program.

  1. Users (both new and existing users) need to visit the referral program here
  2. Copy their referral link as shown below and send it to friends.
  3. Share the URL with your fiends and visitors.
  4. That is it. Still down and wait for the money to start flowing in.

Rewards

For every new user that gets added through your referral link, you will get a $20 discount coupon after any successful payment from that friend. Also, you will earn 10% of the amount they spend on their first order (Note – the 10% earning is only applicable for their first order only).

One thing is sure, PCBWay is not going to stop with this referral program, they are inevitably going to add more supporting incentives like this in the future. PCBWay is hoping to build a better maker’s community and fostering the next-gen technology with programs like this. For more information about the PCBWay Referral Program, visit the referral page (must be signed in to see the referral content)