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9 Oct 2014


by Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:

Tired of digging through the collection of credit, debit and loyalty cards in your wallet? Well, if you are, then you’re the sort of person who might like the Plastc Card. It’s a new electronic card-format device, that can store the information for up to 20 other cards on it at once. You just select the card that you want to access via the e-ink screen, then use Plastc as if it were that card.

Plastc – one card to rule them all? - [Link]

9 Oct 2014


embedded-lab.com writes:

TI’s MSP430 family of MCUs are low-power and RISC-based powerful mixed-signal processors that require a Flash Emulator Tool (FET) for in-system programming. The official MSP430 FET from TI costs about $100. Vincete describes a way to construct a MSP430 FET using TI’s popular and in-expensive Launchpad board.

MSP430 FET using TI Launchpad - [Link]

9 Oct 2014

Edison-vs-Raspberry-Piby Michael Hord @ edn.com:

A lot of people have been (usually unfavorably) comparing the Edison to single board computers like the Raspberry Pi. Let’s do a little A:B comparison, shall we?

The Edison is not a Raspberry Pi - [Link]

9 Oct 2014


by Glen Chenier @ edn.com:

What I asked for was a general purpose 5GSa/s 1GHz four-channel bench scope. What I got was a 1GSa/s 100MHz two-channel. Still, it is somewhat usable, and less expensive than a fancy temperature-controlled soldering station. But it has bugs – many bugs.

I have been negotiating with the manufacturer to get a firmware update to fix these bugs. After five months, no results. This scope has been designed to accept firmware updates. Good planning. It needs them – desperately. (“Ship now and fix the bugs later. We have a schedule to keep!”)

Before listing all the functional problems, let me elaborate on what I actually like about this scope. The advertised bandwidth is 100MHz, but when feeding in a 300ps edge (ECL directly into the scope with a BNC-T 50 ohm terminator), the measured scope risetime indicates the bandwidth is more like 140MHz. Hurrah for the analog designers!

The scope…from Hell! - [Link]

8 Oct 2014


With the Bolymin BE635 graphic embedded module it´s possible to focus only on software development – hardware is done.

A possibility to interactively adjust various parameters and at the same time to see a “result” of our settings (for example a status of a given device) considerably increases safety and reliability in various industry sectors. That´s probably one of reasons why a graphic output becomes a standard even in devices, where they were recently used very rarely so far.

From the development point of view, one of the key deciding factors is a platform, on which a given system is built (processor, OS).
PIC32 family certainly belongs to popular microcontrollers (32 bit RISC CPU), that´s why the new graphic embedded module Bolymin BE635 addresses all, who know PIC32, or they want to become familiar with it. For everyone, who´ve ever worked with PIC32 family, a development of application will be much easier with BE635, as practically all necessary hardware is on one board and at the same time we get a support in a form of various drivers for communication as well as graphic output. For programming purposes a new Microchip PICkit3 is suitable and SW development can be done in the known environment Microchip MPLAB IDE. BE635 is designed as a universal module, where only a designer decides, how much computing power of a processor will use on which activity (displaying, data processing, external HW control, communication, …), that´s why possibilities of its usage are really very wide.

Compact module (93x67x15mm) with a 3,5“ TFT LCD display (320x240px) is equipped sufficiently, to become attractive. For example:

  • built-in 512kB ISP flash/ 64 kB SRAM/ 16 kB EEPROM
  • support of microSD
  • 1x RS232, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
  • selectable 1x RS232/422/485/USB (depending on a version)
  • 1x 10bit ADC, 12x GPIO
  • libraries for successful programming, drivers for interfaces and a touch panel

BE635 is available in 4 versions, differing by an additional RS232/485/422/USB port. Single supply 5V and easy mechanical assembly by means of a metal frame with mounting holes also belong to pluses of a new BE635. Soon, there will be available also other similar modules with the same functionality but with bigger displays, for example BE657 with a 5,7“ (640x480px) display, thus an application for BE635 will be usable for the BE657 alike.

Detailed information can be found in BE635, BE657 flyers and in the BE635 user manual .

Bolymin BE635 – for all PIC32 lovers - [Link]

8 Oct 2014


by DENNIS OVERBYE @ nytimes.com:

Three physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for revolutionizing the way the world is lighted.

The 2014 physics award went to Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”

The three scientists, working together and separately, found a way to produce blue light beams from semiconductors in the early 1990s. Others had produced red and green diodes, but without blue diodes, white light could not be produced, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday morning in its prize citation.


American and 2 Japanese Physicists Share Nobel for Work on LED Lights - [Link]

8 Oct 2014


by Nancy Owano @ phys.org:

Technology from a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry is to bring considerable benefits in performance and power efficiency to big.LITTLE implementations, in the name of FinFET. Hsinchu, Taiwan-based TSMC announced last month it had successfully produced the first fully functional ARM-based networking processor with FinFET technology and explained how TSMC’s 16FinFET process promises speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction.

TSMC, ARM see impressive results with FinFET process - [Link]

8 Oct 2014


Voice Module 60 Sec project will playback and record up to 60 seconds of voice message. This circuit is an excellent choice to add voice to your project.

60 seconds Voice Record – Playback module - [Link]

8 Oct 2014


by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:

STMicroelectronics’ MP23AB02B MEMS microphone maintains ultra-low distortion at less than 10% up to very high external sound-pressure levels, enabling equipment such as smartphones and wearable devices to perform better when placing calls or recording audio in loud environments.

With acoustic overload level of 125 dB SPL and signal-to-noise ratio of 64 dBA, the 3.35 x 2.5 x 0.98-mm microphone employes ST’s dedicated preamplifier design, which prevents saturation of the output signal even when background-noise levels are high, such as in concert venues, bars or clubs, or if the user is speaking loudly close to the microphone. In addition, omnidirectional sensitivity ensures overall performance and versatility in mobile applications.

Smart MEMS mic hears better in loud environments - [Link]

7 Oct 2014


by JColvin91 @ instructables.com:

Whether we care to admit it or not, motors can be found all over in our everyday lives; they just tend to be hidden. Motors are present in cars, printers, computers, washing machines, electric razors, and much more.

However, there are a number of people (which until recently included myself) that would be uncertain of how to make a motor run if they were handed one. So, let’s learn something today. Let’s learn how to use a stepper motor!

How to use a Stepper Motor - [Link]





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