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22 Apr 2015


This is a versatile, configurable, and cost effective Development Board designed for the 18F – 28 pin series of Microcontroller from Microchip. The board is simplest form with all the Port pins terminating in a header connector for easy connection to the outside world.

PIC 18F – 28 PIN PIC Development Board – [Link]

22 Apr 2015


This project provides you a simple and easy solution to connect / convert your Microcontroller input/output to be connected to the serial port of the Computer.

This projects build around popular MAX232 level shifter IC to do the Level Shifting (Voltage) between 5 V and 12 V DC.

An Onboard 9 pin female “D” connects this PCB to the Serial Port cable (not supplied with the Kit). Connector J1 connects to the Host for power supply and serial In/Out signals.

A – Provides data from the Computer to the Host (RXD)
B – Provides data to be sent to the Computer from the Host (TXD)

RS232 – MAX232 Interface Module – [Link]

26 Mar 2015


by Richard Quinnell @ edn.com

Texas Instruments has launched the MSP-432, a Cortex-M-based microcontroller that aims at providing developers with a higher-performance upgrade path for MSP-430 users while still retaining low-power operation. The 32-bit processor uses an M4F core with FPU and DSP extensions, achieving a CoreMark score of 3.41/MHz and a certified ULPBench score of 167.4, among the highest in its performance class.

The device can operate at full speed down to a supply of 1.62V, simplifying direct sensor interface. It specs an operating current of 95 µA/MHz and a sleep mode current of 850 nA with its real-time clock running. The device also contains a number of architectural features that support reduced power consumption while boosting performance.

MCU blends low power and high performance – [Link]

24 Mar 2015

by Dooievriend @ tweakblog.tweakblogs.net:

More than a year ago, a friend of mine asked me to write the software for his 3D Spectrum Analyser (3DSA): a device that takes as input an audio signal, and outputs its visualisation on a 3D matrix of leds. If the above description doesn’t quite ring a bell, simply watch the end result in action.

First things first though, the microprocessor to be programmed was an 80MHz Olimex PIC32, soldered to the PIC32-PINGUINO-OTG development board. (For those who ever tinkered with Arduino boards: it’s the same, only with a faster chip and fewer builtin libraries ) The Algorithm had to sample the input signal at regular time intervals, convert this signal to the frequency domain, and visualize the detected frequencies on a 16x16x5 LED matrix.

3D Spectrum Analyser – [Link]

6 Mar 2015


by elektor.com:

TEXAS Instruments has announced the new SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform. The platform has been designed to use so little energy it can be powered from harvested energy or will run for years on a coin cell. For versatility the platform supports multiple wireless connectivity standards using a single-chip and identical RF design. The SimpleLink ultra-low power platform supports Bluetooth low energy, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Sub-1 GHz, ZigBee RF4CE and proprietary modes up to 5 Mbps.

The first members of the SimpleLink devices to be introduced are the CC2640 which supports Bluetooth Smart and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. The CC2650 wireless MCU supports multiple 2.4 GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE. The support for such a wide range of radio standards helps future-proof designs and gives the ability to configure a chosen technology at the time of installation in the field. Planned for introduction later in 2015 are the CC1310 for Sub-1 GHz operation and the CC2620 for ZigBee RF4CE.

Ultra Low Power Wireless IoT Platform – [Link]

10 Feb 2015


by Jesus Echavarria :

Hi all! With a bit of delay, here’s my last work, a PICnano breadboard based on the PIC18F2550 microcontroller. I have in mind a new project and I want to use an small board, like the Arduino Nano board. This new project is battery powered (3,7V Li-Ion battery). After checking the schematics of the Arduino Nano, I see that the microcontroler is powered at 5V. Of course, I can unmount the linear regulator (U3) that is on the board, and bypass the VIN to the microcontroller power supply. But I think it’s funny try to develop a new module when you’ve access to the microcontroller power supply! Also, I want to work with PIC microcontrollers after many years, so here’s what I design!

PICnano breadboard based on PIC18F2550 – [Link]

4 Feb 2015


by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Researchers at IMEC have produced an 8-bit microprocessor that runs at 2.1 kHz. That is not a typing error for GHz; 2.1 kHz is a breakthrough speed in this instance because the transistors that make up the processor’s logic are entirely fabricated in low-temperature organic materials. Possible areas of application include high-volume printing of RFID tags.

Belgium’s Holst Centre, IMEC and their partner Evonik have fabricated a general-purpose 8-bit microprocessor using complementary thin-film transistors (TFTs) processed at temperatures up to 250 °C, compatible with plastic foil substrates. The “hybrid” technology integrates two types of semiconductors – metal-oxide for n-type TFTs (from materials companies iXsenic and Evonik) and organic molecules for p-type TFTs – in a CMOS microprocessor circuit, operating at a clock frequency unprecedented for TFT technologies of 2.1kHz. The results were published online in Scientific Reports.

30 Jan 2015


by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

Microinverters provide an effective solution to solar-energy harvesting by providing power conversion at the individual panel level. The emergence of highly integrated MCUs offers an attractive approach to microinverter design, providing an option that reduces the cost of complexity which limited widespread adoption of microinverters in the past. Today, designers can build highly efficient microinverter designs using available MCUs from semiconductor manufacturers including Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Microchip Technology, Spansion, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Solar-energy-harvesting systems have continued to evolve away from traditional centralized solutions (Figure 1). Unlike systems based on a single central inverter or even multiple string inverters, microinverters convert power from a single panel. In turn, the AC power generated by microinverters on each panel is combined on the output to the load.

Integrated MCUs Enable Cost-Effective Microinverters for Solar Energy Designs – [Link]

29 Jan 2015


Silicon Labs introduced a new family of high-precision temperature sensors offering industry-leading power efficiency. Silicon Labs’ ultra-low-power Si705x temperature sensors consume only 195 nA (typical average current) when sampled once per second, which minimizes self-heating and enables multi-year coin cell battery operation. Unlike traditional digital temperature sensors, the Si705x devices maintain their accuracy across the full operating temperature and voltage ranges and offer four accuracy levels up to +/-0.3 °C. The sensors are ideal for HVAC, white goods, computer equipment, asset tracking, cold chain storage, industrial control and medical equipment. AEC-Q100-qualified versions are also available for automotive applications.

Traditional approaches to temperature sensing that use thermistors or embedded MCU temperature sensors suffer from poor accuracy and higher power consumption. Although improved accuracy can be achieved through end-of-line calibration, this technique presents additional manufacturing costs and challenges while accuracy is still susceptible to variations in power supply voltage. In contrast, the Si705x sensors’ patented signal processing technology provides stable temperature accuracy over the entire operating voltage and temperature ranges without the need for costly end-of-line production calibration. In addition, the integrated low-power analog design delivers an optimal price/performance solution with up to 35 times better power efficiency than competing temperature sensor products.

New Vishay Intertechnology IHLP® Inductors in 2020 Case Size Offer High-Temperature Operation to +155 °C – [Link]

27 Jan 2015


If you´re deciding whether it´s worth to use a backup battery, we bring you a few remarks why to go for it or not.

Lithium battery Xeno Energy with a lifetime of over 10 years and rules for their usage were brought to you in our article „10 years of operation for 1 battery?”. They´re usable as a “main” power source for low power consumption devices and the second main field of their usage is a power supply backup. In contrast to the smallest cells used for PC memories backup (BIOS) for example, the types, which we keep in stock feature capacity of several Ah and they´re also able to provide a relatively decent current. That enables to use such battery also for a real operation of the device (MCU) during the power supply dropout.

Probably the main reason why not to use a backup battery is a doubt about higher production costs of a given device. However, when we look at the sales price in our e-shop, we find, that common PCB types like for example XL-050F AX (LS14250CNA) or XL-060F AX (LS14500CNA) are available for the price of max. 4 Eur/pce. At the same time, using this type of batteries eliminates the need for a battery holder, charging chip, etc.

The newest contribution on the field of PCB lithium batteries in our stock is the type XL-210F/STD 5,5mm, what´s the disc with 33mm diameter and only 6.6mm height, with leads to be soldered to PCB (THT). Low profile enables usage even in slim devices and everywhere, where common cylinder types are not suitable.

Further information will provide you the Xeno short form catalogue as well as detailed datasheets of Xeno batteries. In the Xeno production portfolio can also be found special batteries with a higher pulse capacity and type for extra high temperatures -55 to +130°C.

Backup battery soldered directly to a PCB? – [Link]





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