Microchip Technology Inc., has announced the first in a series of modules for the LoRa technology low-data-rate wireless networking standard. The system is designed to allow Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) wireless communication offering a range of more than 10 miles (suburban), a battery life of greater than 10 years, and the ability to connect millions of wireless sensor nodes to LoRa technology gateways. The 433/868 MHz RN2483 is a European R&TTE Directive Assessed Radio Module measuring 17.8 x 26.3 x 3 mm and with 14 GPIOs to provide connections and control for a large number of sensors and actuators.
The RN2483 is also supplied with the LoRaWAN™ protocol stack, allowing connection with the LoRa Alliance infrastructure—including both privately managed local area networks (LANs) and telecom-operated public networks—to create Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) with nationwide coverage. This stack integration also enables the module to be used with any microcontroller with a UART interface. The RN2483 also uses Microchip’s simple ASCII command interface for easy configuration and control.
Microchip LoRa Network Module - [Link]
Microchip Technology Inc. announced from the SPS IPC Drives Conference in Germany a new family of 16-bit dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) with the dsPIC33 “EV” family. This new family provides 5V operation for improved noise immunity and robustness, ideal for devices operating in harsh environments such as appliance and automotive applications. The dsPIC33EV family is the first dsPIC DSC with Error Correcting Code (ECC) Flash for increased reliability and safety. For safety-critical applications, the dsPIC33EV devices also include CRC, Deadman Timer (DMT), and Windowed Watchdog Timer (WWDT) peripherals as well as a backup system oscillator and certified Class B software.
Microchip Introduces New 5V dsPIC33 “EV” Family for Enhanced Noise Immunity and Robustness in Harsh Environments - [Link]
These days I was thinking about a better PIC programmer that can work with Microchip MPLAB IDE software so that I can write my own programs or edit someone else’s programs. I found that there are numerous versions of the famous Microchip PICkit 2 on the web.
Some of them are using the original schematic published by Microchip and some are lite versions – with different parts or simplified schematics. None of them satisfied my requirements. So I got the original schematic, removed the memory chips and the input ICSP connector (which I didn’t plan to use anyway) and made a new single sided PCB. I used mostly SMD parts.
Original PICKIT-2 microcontroller programmer - [Link]
Microchip Technology have announced a computer peripheral 6” touchpad which it claims is the first able to resolve 2D multi-touch and free-space 3D gestures. To detect gestures up to a distance of 70 mm from the pad surface Microchip have used their MGC3130 single-chip gesture recognition and motion tracking controller released in 2012. It works on the principle of electrical near-field sensing. The 2D touch functionality is handled by a PIC32-based PCAP controller type MTCH63104. It handles 12 Rx and 16 Tx nodes, which are located in the centre, on the top layer of the TouchPad PCB between the 3D GestIC Rx electrodes. Microchip’s MTCH652 line driver is used to provide the necessary Tx drive signal up to 18V. The 2D touch pad allows tracking of up to ten simultaneous contacts. Besides the 2D multi-finger tracking functionality, a variety of surface gestures are implemented. These surface gestures can be used, for example, for two-finger scrolling.
3D TouchPad from Microchip - [Link]
If your design contains Microchip’s MCP79XXX series RTC chips and you are running into troubles using them, this technical brief is intended to resolve several of the commonly-asked questions regarding developing stand-alone serial interface real-time clock/ calendar devices with MCP79XXX. Similarly, there’s also another application note from Microchip which provides detail assistance and guidance in using these RTC devices.
Q&A concerning Microchip’s MCP79XXX RTC chips - [Link]
Microchip Technology Inc has introduced a PIC32 Bluetooth starter kit. The kit includes a board with a PIC32 microcontroller, HCI-based Bluetooth radio, Cree high-output multi-color LED, 3 standard single-color LEDs, an analog 3-axis accelerometer, analog temperature sensor and 5 push buttons for user-defined inputs. In addition the PICkit™ On Board (PKOB) eliminates the need for an external debugger/programmer and supports USB connectivity and GPIOs for rapid development of Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP), USB and general-purpose applications. To support Bluetooth audio the starter kit also includes an interface for a plug-in audio CODEC daughter card set for release at a later stage.
Microchip Bluetooth Starter Kit - [Link]
By Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:
For people who don’t already know, here’s the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes: the body produces little or no insulin in the case of type 1, and isn’t able to utilize the insulin that it does produce in type 2. It’s a significant difference, so it’s important that patients are diagnosed correctly. Thanks to a new microchip developed by a team at Stanford University led by Dr. Brian Feldman, doing so could soon be quicker, cheaper and easier than ever before.
New microchip promises to streamline and simplify diabetes diagnoses - [Link]
David Szondy @ gizmag.com writes:
If it weren’t for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it’s one of the three earliest “chips” ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million.
One of the world’s first integrated circuits goes up for auction - [Link]
Anticipating the need for secure communications for the next level of device connectivity Microchip have integrated a complete hardware crypto engine into their PIC24F family of microcontrollers. Computers normally use software routines to carry out data encryption number crunching but for low power microcontrollers this method will generally use up too much of the processor’s resources and be too slow.
Microchip have integrated several security features into the PIC24F family of microcontrollers (identified by their ‘GB2’ suffix) to protect embedded data. The fully featured hardware crypto engine supports the AES, DES and 3DES standards to reduce software overheads, lower power consumption and enable faster throughput. A Random Number Generator is also implemented which can be used to create random keys for data encryption, decryption and authentication to provide a high level of security. For additional protection the One-Time-Programmable (OTP) key storage prevents the encryption key from being read or overwritten.
Microchip PICs with Integrated Crypto Engine - [Link]
Want to run Arduino code in a PIC MCU?
Here’s an approach that enables Arduino code to be configured for execution with the Microchip Technology PIC32MX250F128B small-outline 32-bit microcontroller. It uses the Microchip Technology MPLAB X IDE and MPLAB XC32 C Compiler and the Microchip Technology Microstick II programmer/debugger.
Execute Arduino code in a PIC MCU using MPLAB IDE - [Link]