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22 May 2015


by Steven Keeping @ digikey.com

The wearables market is booming. Statistics aggregator web portal Statista, notes that the global market will be worth over $7 billion this year and $12.6 billion by 2018.

Although the potential rewards are high, this is not an easy market to enter. Designing smart watches or fitness bracelets is tough; consumers expect lots of functionality, smartphone connectivity, compact form-factor, light weight, and long battery life. The introduction of highly integrated, ultra-low-power microprocessors and wireless chips has eased the design process, but squeezing out all of the battery’s power remains key to a wearable product’s success.

This article takes a look at how silicon vendors help wearables designers extend battery life by offering power-frugal displays, microcontrollers (MCU), silicon radios, and power-management chips designed specifically for ultra-low-power applications.

Extending Battery Life in Wearable Designs – [Link]

21 May 2015

The design of the circuit is a DC to DC converter. It supports up to 1.5A on VCORE. It features a DC/DC converter that provides power to MCUs. It also deals with the optimization of energy consumption by using DC/DC linear regulators and ultra-low-power saving modes. The model contains a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), an advanced functional safety measure that allows control and diagnostics with the MCUs.

The KIT33907AEEVB and KIT33908AEEVB evaluation boards demonstrate the functionality of the SMARTMOS MC33907 and MC33908 power system basis chips, respectively. These ICs are equipped with an intelligent power management system including safety features targeting the latest ISO26262 automotive functional safety standard. The evaluation board is a standalone board that can be used either with a compatible microcontroller or with PC. In the latter case, it is necessary to use a KITUSBSPIDGLEVME accessory interface board. The MC33907 and the MC33908 are multi-output ICs with power supply and HSCAN transceiver. These devices have been designed specifically for automotive market. All features of thse two ICs are the same except that the MC33907 is designed to support up 800 mA on VCORE, while MC33908 will support up to 1.5A on VCORE.

The DC to DC converter that supports up to 1.5A on VCORE has the following applications: electrical power steering, engine management, battery management, active suspension, gearbox, transmission, electrical vehicle (EV), hybrid electrical vehicle (HEV) and advanced driver assistance systems

Safe DC/DC Converter up to 1.5 A – [Link]

20 May 2015


This project is a versatile, configurable, and cost effective development board available for the 16F628A or other 18 PIN Microcontroller from Microchip. The board has simplest form with all the Port pins terminating in a Relimate connector (Header Connector) for easy connection to the outside world.

16F628A Microcontroller development board – [Link]

18 May 2015

Designing a CC LED driver – Following on from Part 1, I design some code for a Microchip dsPIC33FJ16GS502 microcontroller to user the high speed PWM module to drive a high power LED at a constant current.

Constant Current DC-DC LED Driver Design – [Link]

18 May 2015


LAPIS Semiconductor has recently announced the development of a low power microcontroller that has an integrated 8-bit low power MCU core, speech synthesis circuit, highly efficient Class-D speaker amp, non-volatile memory and oscillator circuit on a single chip, making audio playback possible by simply wiring up a speaker.

The ML610Q304 has a typical audio power output of 450 mW operating at 3 V or 1 W at 5 V. The controller includes four 8-bit counters which can be combined to make two 16-bit timers, a three channel 10-bit A/D converter, a two channel SSIO, UART and I2C peripheral interfaces. The memory capacity of the ML610Q304 includes a 96 KB program flash, 2 KB data flash and 1 KB RAM. The dedicated hardware-based audio playback helps reduce CPU loading. Two suggested audio playback formats are 16 kHz 16-bit PCM and 16kHz HQ-ADPCM. The Class-D amp reduces current consumption during audio playback by approx. 40% compared to conventional solutions, making it a good choice for incorporation into mobile battery-powered devices. In recent years a growing number of electronic products are adding voice playback functionality, particularly battery-driven devices that require increased miniaturization and lower power consumption for longer operating life.

8-bit MCU with built-in 1 W Audio Amp – [Link]

14 May 2015


Praveen from CircuitsToday has written up an article on interfacing PIR sensor to 8051 microcontroller:

PIR sensors are widely used in motion detecting devices. This article is about interfacing a PIR sensor to 8051 microcontroller. A practical intruder alarm system using PIR sensor and 8051 microcontroller is also included at the end of this article. Before going in to the core of the article, let’s have a look at the PIR sensor and its working.

Interfacing PIR sensor to 8051 microcontroller – [Link]

30 Apr 2015


by LoganP2 @ instructables.com:

The GPS tracking device is composed of a microcontroller, GPS module, cell module, and batteries all housed in a 3D printed case. The microcontroller is programmed to communicate with both the cell module and GPS module. When the GPS module is not within a user-specified boundary, the device will send a text message alert. We made a device that can track people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia could greatly benefit the quality of life of both that person suffering and the caretaker.

GPS Tracker for Alzheimer’s Patients – [Link]

29 Apr 2015


by mygeekblog.net:

As any beginner electronics hobbyist I have recently came to conclusion that using Arduino (or even Mega328) for small projects is neither cost-effective or educational (I’ll explain why later).

Another reason for writing this article is that I came across few ATTiny13A-SSU chips @ less than $0.90 each, which is even lower the official retail price, so I just had to buy 5 of them, although I didn’t know at the time whattahellamigointodowithit what is it really capable of.

Starting with ATTiny13 – [Link]

29 Apr 2015


by silentbogo @ instructables.com:

If you previously worked(or currently working) with small 8-bit microcontrollers, like ATTiny or PIC12, you’ve probably encountered a fundamental problem of not having enough GPIO pins for your needs or project requirements.

Upgrading to a larger MCU is only one of the options, but as usual there is an alternative. In this article I will explain how to use shift registers in some common situations in order to expand the I/O capacity of your microcontroller. As an example I will use an ATTiny13A and a 74HC595 shift register.

Getting more I/O pins on ATTiny with Shift Registers – [Link]

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]





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