512Gbyte embedded universal flash memory in production

Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of what the company claims to be the industry’s first 512-gigabyte (GB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) solution for use in next-generation mobile devices. by Julien Happich  @ eenewseurope.com:

The 512GB eUFS packs eight of Samsung’s latest 64-layer 512-gigabit (Gb) V-NAND chips together with a controller chip, doubling the density of Samsung’s previous 48-layer V-NAND-based 256GB eUFS in the same amount of space as the 256GB package. The new high-capacity eUFS enables a flagship smartphone to store approximately 130 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) video clips of a 10-minute duration. To maximize the performance and energy efficiency of the new 512GB eUFS, Samsung has introduced a new set of proprietary technologies. The 512GB eUFS’ controller chip speeds up the mapping process for converting logical block addresses to those of physical blocks. With its sequential read and writes reaching up to 860 megabytes per second (MB/s) and 255MB/s respectively, the 512GB embedded memory enables transferring a 5GB-equivalent full HD video clip to an SSD in about six seconds, over eight times faster than a typical microSD card.

512Gbyte embedded universal flash memory in production – [Link]

In-display fingerprint sensors to be integrated under glass cover

Synaptics has announced the mass production of its Clear ID FS9500 family of optical in-display fingerprint sensors, designed for smartphones with infinity displays. By Julien Happich @ eenewseurope.com:

The Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors activate in the display only when needed, offering a one-touch/one-step biometric authentication directly in the touchscreen display area of smartphones. The sensor offers one-touch high-resolution scanning through a full cover glass for sleek, button-free, bezel-free infinity displays, while being naturally protected against wet, dry and cold fingers.

In-display fingerprint sensors to be integrated under glass cover – [Link]

Perovskite solar cells stabilized at 19% efficiency

image: ibnservice.com

Researchers at EPFL in Switzerland have found that adding large organic compounds called guanidinium (CH6N3+) into methylammonium lead iodide perovskite solar cells can provide stable power efficiency of 19%, approaching that of silicon cells. by Nick Flaherty @ eenewseurope.com:

The lab of Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin at EPFL Valais Wallis, with colleagues at the University of Cordoba and the Helmholtz Institute in Berlin, has discovered that they can improve the perovskite stability, overcoming what is known as the “Goldschmidt tolerance factor limit.” This is an indicator of the stability of a perovskite crystal, which describes how compatible a particular ion is to it. An ideal Goldschmidt tolerance factor should be below or equal to 1; guanidinium’s is 1.03.

Perovskite solar cells stabilized at 19% efficiency – [Link]

Mini DC/DC converters integrate coil

Torex Semiconductor’s XCL223 and XCL224 series of step-down converters pack an inductor and control IC in a single 2.25×1.5×0.75-mm package, simplifying board layout. Despite their miniaturization and reduced height, the synchronous converters deliver an output current of 400 mA or 700 mA. by Susan Nordyk  @ edn.com:

An operating voltage range of 2.5V to 5.5V accommodates applications that require an internally fixed output voltage of 0.8 V to 3.6 V. Output voltage is selectable in 0.05 V steps, accurate to within ±2.0%. Both the XCL223 and XCL224 series use synchronous rectification at an operating frequency of 3.0 MHz. The XCL223 converters offer PWM control, while the XCL224 converters provide PWM/PFM auto-switching control.

Mini DC/DC converters integrate coil – [Link]

Hands-on with the PocketBeagle

Ken Shirriff shares his experience with a low-cost, compact Linux computer PocketBeagle:

The PocketBeagle is a tiny but powerful inexpensive key-fob-sized open source Linux computer. It has 44 digital I/O pins, 8 analog inputs, and supports multiple serial I/O protocols, making it very useful as a controller. In addition, its processor includes two 200-MHz microcontrollers that allow you to implement low-latency, real-time functions while still having the capabilities of a Linux system This article discusses my experience trying out different features of the PocketBeagle, along with some technical details.

Hands-on with the PocketBeagle – [Link]

Flight controller unit evaluation board for drones

The STEVAL-FCU001V1 board from ST is designed to support quadcopter drone designers with the latest solutions for motor control, sensors and and microcontroller.

A complete sample FW project allows the designer to begin flying small and medium size quadcopters (with brushed or brushless DC motors) immediately and evaluate the performance of the IMU sensors under real flight conditions. The FCU can be controlled by a standard external remote controller (PWM input interface) or by a smartphone or tablet through the Bluetooth low energy module present on board (CE, FCC, ARIB, BQE certified). Magnetometer and pressure sensors are also embedded to support 3D navigation applications. SWD, I²C and USART connectors are available for FW development and debugging, and to support additional external sensors or RF modules.

Key Features

  • Compact Flight Controller Unit evaluation board complete with sample firmware to a small and medium size quadcopter
  • Lipo 1-cell battery charger on-board
  • Possibility to drive directly 4 DC brushed motors through low voltage on-board MOSFET or alternatively use external ESC for DC brushless motor configuration
  • Main components:
    • STM32F401 – 32-bit MCU with ARM® Cortex®
    • LSM6DSL – iNEMO intertial module: 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope
    • LIS2MDL – High performance 3D Magnetometer
    • LPS22HD – MEMS pressure sensor: 260-1260hPa absolute digital output barometer
    • SPBTLE-RF – Very low power module for Bluetooth Smart v4.1
    • STL6N3LLH6 – N-channel 30 V, 6 A STripFET H6 Power MOSFET
    • STC4054 – 800 mA Standalone linear Li-Ion battery charger
  • RoHS compliant

Le Potato: Fastest 4K SBC under $50 for Makers

Le Potato Single Board Computer – Raspberry Pi Form Factor, 2GB RAM, HDMI 2.0, eMMC, Latest Android 7.1 Nougat, and Linux 4.9 LTS.The project is already funded and you can order your unit now.

Our first Libre Computer Board, code name Le Potato, is designed as a drop in hardware replacement for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and offers faster performance, more memory, lower power, higher IO throughput, 4K capabilities, open market components, improved media acceleration, removal of the vendor locked-in interfaces, and Android 7.1 support. This platform uses the latest technologies and is built upon proven long term available chips. It is supported by upstream Linux and has a downstream development package based on Linux 4.9 LTS that offers ready-to-go 4K media decoding, 3D acceleration, and more.

It can be used to tinker with electronics, teach programming, build media centers, create digital signage solutions, play retro games, establish bi-directional video, and unlock imaginations. It is available in 1GB and 2GB configurations while utilizing a large existing collaborative ecosystem of parts for creators to build new and exciting products and services.

Le Potato: Fastest 4K SBC under $50 for Makers – [Link]

Renegade ARM Computer with USB 3 on Android Linux

Libre Computer launched a campaign about it’s open source, $35 “Renegade” SBC which is a Raspberry Pi clone that runs Linux or Android 7.1 on a Rockchip RK3328 with up to 4GB DDR4. They claim to be the first SBC with up to 4GB of DDR4, 4K, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.0 for the ultimate experience. The indiegogo campaign is offering packages with 1GB ($35), 2GB ($45), and 4GB ($70) of DDR4 RAM and has 19 days to go.

Specifications

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • RAM — 1GB, 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage:
    • MicroSD slot
    • eMMC 5.x interface
  • Multimedia:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • 3.5mm TRRS AV jack
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • Micro-USB port with power support
    • IR Receiver
    • UART header
    • ADC headers
  • Expansion — 40-pin RPi 3 Model B style header (PWM, I2C, SPI, GPIO)
  • Power — 5V 2.5A DC via Micro-USB
  • Other features — U-Boot button
  • Operating system – Ubuntu 16.04 with Rockchip’s Linux 4.4 Kernel and Mainline Linux 4.14 LTS Kernel; Android 7.1 Nougat

USB To 12V Boost Converter

This project provides 12V output from any USB power source, like PC USB port, USB adapter or power banks. LM2577ADJ boost converter IC is the heart of the project. The IC can handle load up to 800mA, it’s advisable to use only 200mA load on output to be on the safe side. The LM2577 are monolithic integrated circuits that provide all of the power and control functions for step-up (boost), fly back, and forward converter switching regulators. The device is available in three different output voltage versions: 12V, 15V, and adjustable. Requiring a minimum number of external components, these regulators are cost effective, and simple to use. Listed in this data sheet are a family of standard inductors and fly back transformers designed to work with these switching regulators. Included on the chip is a 3.0A NPN switch and its associated protection circuitry, consisting of current and thermal limiting, and under voltage lockout. Other features include a 52 kHz fixed-frequency oscillator that requires no external components, a soft start mode to reduce in-rush current during start-up, and current mode control for improved rejection of input voltage and output load transients.

USB To 12V Boost Converter – [Link]

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

This completely open-source LTE shield uses the latest and greatest CAT-M NB-IoT technology optimized for low-power IoT devices! by Timothy Woo @ hackster.io:

With the emergence of low-power IoT devices with cellular connectivity and the phase-out of 2G (with only T-mobile supporting 2G/GSM until 2020), everything is moving toward LTE and this has left many people scrambling to find better solutions. However, this has also left many hobbyists facepalming with legacy 2G technology like the SIM800-series modules from SIMCOM. Although these 2G and 3G modules are a great starting point, it’s time to move forward and SIMCOM recently announced their new SIM7000A LTE CAT-M module at a developer’s conference. How exciting! 🙂

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino – [Link]