Low-cost USB dongle for wireless designs

Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 USB Dongle is a small wireless hardware device with nRF connect for the desktop based on the nRF52840 System-on-Chip (SoC). The nRF52840 dongle provides support for programming the device and communication through USB. This dongle incorporates user programmable RGB LED, user programmable button, and 15 General Purpose Input / Output (GPIO) accessible from castellated solder points along the edge. The nRF52840 dongle is updatable through USB Device Firmware Update (DFU). This dongle is suitable for Bluetooth® low energy (BLE), Bluetooth mesh, Thread, ZigBee, ANT, and 2.4GHz proprietary applications using nRF52840.


  • Small and low-cost USB dongle
  • Supports BLE, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT, and 2.4GHz
  • 15 GPIO and interfaces available on castellated edge soldering points
  • 1 programmable RGB LED
  • 1 programmable green LED
  • 1 programmable button
  • Updatable through USB DFU


A secure AI and Edge IoT platform at Mouser

Distributor Mouser Electronics is now shipping the QueSSence Intelligent Connected Platform from Redpine Signals. The ultra-low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence (AI) application development platform consists of hardware, software and secure cloud technologies. [via]

Based on a low-power Arm Cortex-M4 processor with a floating point unit (FPU) and an AI accelerator, the platform features large computation capacity required by AI algorithms. The QueSSence platform’s 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope enables engineers to easily integrate sensor data, and with 400 Kbytes of RAM and up to 4 Mbytes of dedicated flash memory, the platform can store up to 25,000 sensor values. Support for voice activity detection (VAD) and up to eight capacitive touch sensor inputs enable AI applications that incorporate voice and touch interfaces. QueSSence can serve a wide range of IoT applications through certified support for multiple wireless protocols, including 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, dual-mode Bluetooth 5, 802.15.4 (capable of running Thread or Zigbee), and 802.11ah. The platform offers multiple levels of security, including physically unclonable function (PUF), crypto hardware accelerators, and secure bootloader to create a highly secure system.

Mouser Electronics – www.mouser.com

The TIN Audio T2 In-Ear Earphone & The KZ ZSA Hybrid In-Ear Earphones

No matter where you are in the world, music is the language we all understand and needs no interpretation. There is no such thing as bad music and it all depends on our perception, mood and the form the music that was passed out. It is a generally accepted fact that earphones tend to give one the full immersion of music. It is easy to feel every bit of the music being played and sometimes connects to the mind of the artist or vocalist and most importantly allows us to take our music outside without getting disturbed by the environment.

Earphones are great and are getting better day by day. The earphones of 3 years ago are different from the ones we have today. Introducing the Tin T2 Audio HiFi Double Dynamic Driver In-Ear Earphones and the KZ ZSA Dynamic and Balanced Armature Hybrid HiFi In-Ear Earphones that both offer a powerful music experience at a fraction of the cost.

TIN T2 Audio In-Ear Earphone

The Tin T2 In-Ear Earphone fully called the TIN Audio T2 HiFi Double Dynamic Drive In-Ear Earphone are $49.90 earphones that features a dual dynamic driver configuration, one dynamic 10-millimeter woofer and one 6-millimeter tweeter per ear. The earphones offer a crisp sound quality, and they are able to provide a powerful balance of high and low frequency. Comes in an attractive design to provide some class, although it doesn’t have any noise cancellation technology built in, but the canal design is made in a way to shut out noise quite well. 

Tin T2 Double Dynamic In-Ear Earphones

Most earbuds you will find around comes with just one dynamic driver, which tends to make them cheaper. While a single driver can produce sound between 20Hz and 20kHz, it does have its limitations. And that is where multiple drivers enter into the equation, and the TIN earphones come with a double dynamic driver build in, giving one a better sound experience.

One strong point of the earphones is in its detachable design concept. The earphone has a detachable MMCX cable that you can easily plug and unplug from the main body. Of course, it will have been nicer if, after detachment, the main body can be used as a wireless earphone.

It comes in beautifully crafted metal housing ending red and blue plastic rings that differentiate the right earpiece from the left and comes with a 3.9-foot braided silver cable equipped with an MMCX connector out of the box

Tin T2 in-ear earphones

Below are some of the device specifications:

  • Drive unit: Dynamic 10MM woofer + 6MM Tweeter (2DD drive unit).
  • Earphone type: In-ear.
  • Impedance: 16Ω.
  • Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW.
  • Frequency range: 12-40000Hz.
  • Plug interface: 3.5mm Gilded.
  • Plug Type: Line type.
  • Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm.
  • Color: Gray.
  • Cable conductor: 1.25 5N oxygen-free copper plating silver.
  • Earphone interface: MMCX interface
  • Microphone Availability: No, microphones available.

The earphones are available for purchase on Amazon and Aliexpress for only $49.90

KZ ZSA In-Ear Earphones

The KZ ZSA is also In-Ear earphones just like the TIN T2 Earphones but features a different driver configuration. The KZ ZSA is a Hybrid HiFi In-Ear Earphones costs around $18.90 – 19.80 and features a mix of driver configurations. 

KZ ZSA Balanced Armature and Dynamic HiFi In-Ear Earphones
KZ ZSA Balanced Armature and Dynamic HiFi In-Ear Earphones

The KZ ZSA is built around a balanced armature driver for better sound experience and a supporting dynamic driver which I believe is to compensate the lack of bass response generally found on balanced armature drivers making it a full hybrid configuration. It is manufactured with an 8mm dynamic unit that offers excellent low-frequency output characteristics.

The earphones are built around a nicely high-end CNC crafted metal housing for the cavity ear shell. At a fraction of the cost, you get a feel of premium earphones with its aluminum alloy metal based earphone shell. Just like the TIN earphones, it comes in a detachable design for its cables. So you easily detach the wires from the main earphone body.

The below are some of the earphone specifications:

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Application: Apple iOS and Android, Portable Media Player
  • Audio Jack: Standard 3.5mm jack
  • Detachable Pin Type: 0.75mm
  • Cable Length (m): about 1.2m
  • Frequency response: 7-40000Hz
  • Impedance: 18ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB/mW
  • Microphone: Optional
  • Color: Grey/Black

The earphones are available for purchase on Aliexpress between $18.90 – 19.80. The KZ ZSA without microphones goes for $18.90, and the KZ ZSA with microphones goes for $19.80

There is a saying that crappy earbuds are killing music and the good earbuds, like speakers, aren’t cheap but the likes of TIN and KZ ZSA makes you enjoy good music without spending a fortune.

New Allwinner V5 Linux based SBC comes with Detection Capability

Lindenis Tech. Ltd, a Chinese startup has released a new 130 x 85mm single board computer called Lindenis Allwinner V5 which runs on Linux and comes packed with a new quad-core cortex A7 1.5GHz processor which is built for 4k 30fps (Linux) cameras, a custom VPU, a dual ISP, and an AIE intelligent analytic acceleration engine handling motion detection, perimeter defense, video diagnosis, face detection, flow statistics and binocular depth maps.

Compared to other Allwinner H3 boards and other various NanoPi and Orange Pi models, the price is quite high and thinking of the modest features such as 1GB RAM, and a lack of standard wireless or eMMC, it seems the high price comes from its camera and vision analytics capability.

The AIE feature comes with two vision Engines – the Embedded Vision Engine and Computer Vision Engine.

The Embedded Vision Engine comes with a 360p detection resolution, has a minimum single-image detection of 64 x 64 pixel and a maximum 4K resolution input and internal scaling which supports region detection.It is also designed for rigid target detection like the human face, head, shoulders.

While the Computer Vision Engine is designed to detect moving targets such as cars, pedestrians, animals and supports a minimum 8 x 8 pixel for small object detection and a maximum image of 720p and has a D1 rate of up to 10fps. The Perimeter Intruder detection supports maximum warning region numbers of 32 and combining calibration algorithm and it can classify people and cars. It also provides support for warning line single/dual direction detection.  

Lindenis Allwinner V5
Lindenis Allwinner V5

The board runs Linux 4.4 as well as Linbian OS based on Debian 9 stack which supports its AIE engine with compute library, Tensorflow, OpenCV and GStreamer with hardware acceleration. It also supports various applications such as panoramic, 3D/VR, as well as other smart cameras such as the smart IPC, VLPR, car DVR and various facial recognition applications.

The Lindenis V5 SBC comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port and optional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth for communications, microSD card and optional eMMC. It also has an audio jack, dual mic inputs, an MIPI-DSI interface for an optional 5-inch LCD – dual MIPI-CSI connectors for an optional 4K ready, 8- megapixel camera module with Sony IMX317 sensor and an HDMI 1.4 port which enables 4K 30fps video output.

The Lindenis V5 also has an RPi compatible 40-pin header and comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports, onboard headers for ADC and 12S, a micro USB port for power input (5V) and a 3.7V li-lion battery connector which makes it quite larger than the Raspberry Pi.

Lindenis V5 wiki, Lindenis V5 shopping page, Lindenis community site and Lindenis Tech. website provides further information.

The SBC is available for $73 in China.

Silicon Labs’ Wireless Xpress Modules help develop and run IoT applications in one day

Silicon Labs' Wireless Xpress helps developers get IoT applications connected and running in a day, with no software development necessary.
Silicon Labs’ Wireless Xpress helps developers get IoT applications connected and running in a day, with no software development necessary.

Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) offers a new Wireless Xpress solution to help developers get IoT applications connected and running in a day, with no software development necessary. Silicon Labs’ Wireless Xpress provides a configuration-based development experience with everything developers need including certified Bluetooth® 5 Low Energy (LE) and Wi-Fi® modules, integrated protocol stacks and easy-to-use tools.

“By using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Wireless Xpress, developers can move from product concept to prototyping in a matter of hours instead of weeks,” said Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “Wireless Xpress greatly reduces the design learning curve without compromising sophisticated Bluetooth or Wi-Fi functionality. Developers will spend less time learning how to add wireless connectivity to their IoT devices and more time designing innovative, distinctive products and getting them to market ahead of the competition.”

With on-board wireless stacks controlled through a high-level Xpress Command API for setup and control, Wireless Xpress devices require only modest resources from a host processor, enabling developers to add wireless connectivity to any microcontroller (MCU).

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi IoT products based on Wireless Xpress can be remotely managed and updated over the air (OTA) using native device management features. With Silicon Labs’ Zentri device management service (DMS), end users can easily install and update firmware, view real-time device health metrics and adjust product settings through mobile apps.

To ease the complexity of adding Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity to mobile applications, Wireless Xpress includes a mobile app SDK for Android and iOS. The mobile app framework comprises examples and libraries and offers simple communications and OTA APIs to accelerate app development and simplify wireless design for mobile platforms.

Wireless Xpress takes advantage of Silicon Labs’ Gecko OS, an intuitive, simple-to-use IoT operating system that accelerates the development of market-ready connected products. Silicon Labs plans to offer additional Gecko OS-based products and solutions in the future.

MAX1726x – Maxim Integrated fuel-gauge IC family

Maxim Integrated has developed an algorithm to accurately estimate the battery state of charge and safely handle most batteries.

Designers of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery-powered mobile devices such as wearables, electric bicycles, power tools and internet of things (IoT) products can improve the end-user experience by extending run-time and delivering accurate battery state-of-charge (SOC) data with the MAX1726x fuel-gauge IC family from Maxim Integrated. The low power fuel gauge ICs implement Maxim ModelGauge™ m5 EZ algorithm. The ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm makes fuel gauge implementation easy by eliminating battery characterization requirements and simplifying host software interaction.

Key advantages

  • High Accuracy: The ICs provide accurate time-to-empty (1%) and time-to-full SOC data across a wide range of load conditions and temperatures, using the proven ModelGauge m5 algorithm
  • Fast Time to Market: The ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm eliminates the time-consuming battery-characterization and calibration process
  • Extended Run-Time: Quiescent current of just 5.1µA for MAX17260/1; 5.2µA for the MAX17262 and 8.2µA for MAX17263 extends run-time
  • Integration: The MAX17262 includes the Rsense current resistor (voltage and coulomb counting hybrid) which reduces overall footprint and BOM cost, eases board layout
  • Small size: At 1.5mm × 1.5mm IC size, the MAX17262 implementation is 30 percent smaller in size compared to using a discrete sense resistor with an alternate fuel gauge; at 3mm × 3mm, MAX17263 is the smallest in its class for lithium-ion-powered devices
  • LED Support: The single-/multi-cell MAX17263 also drives LEDs to indicate battery status on a pushbutton press or system status on system microcontroller commands

ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm

The ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm makes fuel gauge implementation easy by eliminating battery characterization requirements and simplifying host software interaction. The algorithm provides tolerance against battery diversity for most lithium batteries and applications. The algorithm combines the short-term accuracy and linearity of a coulomb counter with the long-term stability of a voltagebased fuel gauge, along with temperature compensation to provide industry-leading fuel gauge accuracy.

The IC automatically compensates for cell-aging, temperature, discharge rate, and provides accurate state-of-charge (SOC) in percentage (%) and remaining capacity in milliampere-hours (mAh) over a wide range of operating conditions. As the battery approaches the critical region near empty, the algorithm invokes a special correction mechanism that eliminates any error. The IC provides accurate estimation of time-to-empty and time-to-full and provides three methods for reporting the age of the battery: reduction in capacity, increase in battery resistance, and cycle odometer.

Download Design Solution

Nuand’s Launches the BladeRF 2.0 Micro With FPGA Support

Everyone believes the future is going to be bright and a lot are betting that smart devices of the future will have the ability to self-adapt to its environment and that’s why some are backing on Cognitive Radios which are Software Defined Radios with AI. Our world is becoming crowded with several smart devices, and the explosion of IoT has made the demand and durability of robust radio networks high while still being security conscious, SDRs (Software-Defined Radios) is believed will make this a possibility.

Software Defined Radios are radios that enable one to change the transmitting or receiving radio frequency in software alone. Five years ago, the first bladeRF software-defined radio module was released in San Francisco. BladeRF was created by Nuand to help teachers, students, researchers, and even hobbyists learn while experimenting with Radio Frequency communication. The Nuand team has recently launched a new bladeRF SDR module which is called bladeRF 2.0, and it comes in two versions.

The first module is called BladeRF 2.0 micro xA4, while the other module is called the BladeRF 2.0 micro xA9. The bladeRF 2.0 micro is compatible with several third-party software like the GNU Radio, GQRX, SDR-Radio, gr-fosphor, SoapySDR, and others. They are expected to easy work comfortably with Windows, Linux and Mac Operating Systems.

The modules are very similar; however, the only major difference is that the latter comes with the Intel’s 301 KLE Cyclone V FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). The former, however, comes with the 49KLE Cyclone V FPGA. The FPGA which provides the interface between the FX3 and Analog Devices AD9361 RF transceiver has single-cycle access embedded memory, which is fully programmable. Other similar features between both modules are listed below:


  • 47 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range
  • 44 MHz sampling rate
  • 56 MHz filtered bandwidth (IBW)
  • Dimensions: 6.3cm by 10.2cm by 1.8cm
  • Weight: 90 grams
  • Operating temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • 128-tap digital FIR filtering
  • Has USB 3.0 support
  • 32-pin I/O header
  • 2×2 MIMO channels

The bladeRF comes at a punching price though; the micro xA4 costs $480 and it is available online for purchase here while the micro xA9 is being sold for a steeper $720 and also available for purchase as well. Due to the larger amount of logic gates found on the FPGA, the micro xA9 can do more signal processing without intervention or any sort of help. The RF shield cap protects the sensitive RF components from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) which means the bladeRF 2.0 micro can operate effectively in challenging environments.

The bladeRF 2.0 micro modules were not the only things released, and they came with additional equipment as listed below.

  • A clear Polycarbonate case for the bladeRF 2.0 micro – $20
  • Bias-tee powered Power Amplifier (TX) for the bladeRF 2.0 micro – $30
  • Wideband and general purpose Tri-band Antenna – $25
  • Bias-tee powered Low Noise Amplifier (RX) for the bladeRF 2.0 micro – $30

Software radio is gradually becoming an emerging technology for flexible radio systems and combined with the likes of Artificial Intelligence, and we might just be able to create a future-proof communication system that will easily see applications in several industries ranging from agriculture to security industry.

Clientron Releases its First ARM Based Thin Client

Clientron Corporation, a dedicated provider of intelligent solutions that offers high quality and high performance computing platforms including Thin Client, POS and intelligent systems has officially released its  first ARM- based Clientron thin client specifically designed for high performance and economic desktop virtualization solution for the education, SMB, finance, healthcare and enterprise market. The thin client dubbed the S-Cube Pi 3 B+ -the smallest and most power efficient model yet, running on less than 5 watts- is the first thin client that runs on the latest Raspberry Pi 3 B+ SBC and supports various Virtualization software providers like Microsoft RDP, Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon view with secure Linux operating system.

Compared with other Raspberry Pi 3 Model thin clients from ViewSonic, ClearCube, NComputing, the Clientron thin client is powered by a faster ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core 1.4GHz Broadcom 64-bit processor, it smoothly runs highly demanding functions including Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi wireless connection, optional PoE (Power over Ethernet), 1Gb LAN, one HDMI display output, an internal micro SD card expansion and comes in an ultra-compact credit card size form factor of 91.7 x 67 x 29.2mm- which is actually not a cube as the name suggests- with other enhancements.

The S-Cube Pi 3 B+ also comes in a fanless and noise free design with 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with Wifi speeds up 300Mbps and 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 4 USB 2.0 host ports, an audio jack, and a micro-USB port for power. Its HDMI port support up to 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution. In addition to these basic Raspberry Pi features, it supports a Kensington security lock connector and an optional VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association- A technical standard for Computer display) metal mounting kit and supports temperature ranges from 0 to 35oC degress.

The Clientron S-Cube Raspberry Pi 3 B+ comes with power efficient and cost-effective benefits, it offers the lowest endpoints acquisition cost of desktop virtualization solution for customers. Because of its PC- like working experience and capability to run virtual sessions from various workspace environments, it is suitable to enhance working environments in different markets.

Apart from running thin client solutions, the S-Cube Pi 3 B+ can be used for various applications such as digital signage and smart retail applications.

Clientron has also recently released other models based on the intel Braswell Q800 and R800 processor which runs Windows Embedded Standard 7, Win10 IoT Enterprise with Linux available per request.

The Clientron S-Cube Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is now available. More information can be found in Clientron S-Cube Raspberry Pi 3 B+ product and announcement page.

RUEF300 – A fuse which never blows

Surface-mount fuses do a good job at protecting components from burning up – sadly, exchanging them is not a simple task manageable by end users. LittelFuse‘s RUEF series provide an attractive alternative, which is not widely known.

Parts like the RUEF300 are based on the concept of the PTC. Designers switch them in series with the load, meaning that the parts normally have a pretty low resistance (less than 1 Ohm). Current flows through them, their substrate temperature increases by the well-known thermal effect.

While the normal PTC changes its value linearly or exponentially, the resettable fuse jumps when reaching a specific temperature. At this point, the resistance increases dramatically, thereby dissipating most – but not all (!!!) – current through the load. When the overload situation ceases, the substrate cools off and restores normal current flow.

This makes PTC resettable fuses ideally suited for all cases where stupidity can cause transient shorts. A classic example would be a USB port – users tend to plug in things which they should not. Protecting the hub with a PTC is the best course of action: once the offending peripheral is removed, normal operation resumes without customer service action.

Beware of the consequences

The large thermal capacitance of the part leads to a relatively slow switching process – while a normal fuse can switch out in less than a second, the part on hand can take up to 10 seconds in a worst-case scenario. Our figure shows the problem: as the ambient temperature changes, the jump point changes too – in some cases, the tripping current can half itself.

A practical example

Now that we got the classic principle of function sorted, let us look at a practical example. The RUEF300 mentioned in the introduction can handle 30V DC or AC and is guaranteed to survive to either 100A DC or 70A RMS.

Switching takes place at a trip current of 6A, with the hold current level being set at 3A. In clear words, 3A can flow through the part forever. A current of 6A causes the part to trip eventually. The emphasis is on eventually: When loaded with 15 Amps, LittelFuse promises that the switching will take less than 10.8 seconds – not a fast part by any means.

source: www.oemsecrets.com

Intel releases seven NUCs with Coffee Lake and 10nm Canyon Lake CPUs

Despite struggles and delays with its 10nm processor, Intel has finally released five NUCs (Next Unit of Computing) mini-PC kits that comes with 14nm, 8th Generation Coffee Lake CPU. It also released two NUCs that comes with its 10nm Cannon Lake chips and comes configured with Windows 10 with shipments to begin in October or November. The coffee lake NUC supports any Intel-ready OS including Linux and Windows and they come in barebones kits with RAM and Storage. The windows 10 Home powered crimson Canyon lake NUCs are among the first products that comes with a dual-core, 15W TDP core i3-8121U coffee lake CPU aside from a new version of a Lenovo IdeaPad 330 laptop.

Intel’s Bean Canyon NUC

The five new Coffee lake powered Bean Canyon NUCs comes with H-, M- and T- series Intel core chips and share many of the features as the Baby Canyon NUCs released earlier in April. They also have CPUs with 28W TDPs and supports up to 32GB dual channel DDR4-2400 RAM. They feature Intel’s fastest graphic chip- compared to the desktop models- known as the Iris Plus 655 graphics with 128MB eDRAM. The increased eDRAM stands out from previous parts that just supports 64MB eDRAM cache which delivers better graphic performance and can be used as general cache. The various options available for the five NUCs are:

  • NUC8i7BEH (Core i7-8559U)
  • NUC8i5BEH (Core i5-8259U)
  • NUC8i5BEK (Core i5-8259U)
  • NUC8i3BEH (Core i3-8109U)
  • NUC8i3BEK (Core i3-8109U)

The Bean canyon NUCs comes with an HDMI 2.0a host port with resolution up to 4096 x 2304 and 7.1 surround sound audio. There’s also a Thunderbolt 3 port which supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (with speed up to 10Gbps) and can be used as a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. It also includes four USB 3.1 host ports (one of the ports supports charging) and two USB 2.0 headers.

The Bean Canyon NUCs are also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, Intel Wireless AC 9560, dual GbE ports, a 12-19VDC input, power button, a MicroSD slot, 3.6mm audio jack and a support for Kensington lock.

The Crimson Canyon NUCs with Cannon lake chips no doubt gives us a glimpse of future Intel 10nm generation of chips. These game oriented NUCs comes in two models- Crimson Canyon NUC8i3CYSM (has 8GB of LPDDR4-2400) and NUC8i3CYSN (has 4GB of LPDDR4-2400) and it is built with windows 10 Home and like another windows PC, it can be swapped with Linux.

Intel’s NUC crimson canyon

The Crimson Canyon NUCs powered by Intel Cannon lake chips is accompanied by AMD’s discrete Radeon 540 GPUs with Integrated 2GB of GDDR5 Memory which makes it different from the Bear Canyon NUCs’ integrated Iris graphics.

Both Crimson Canyon Models are very similar to the Bean Canyon NUCs with the only evident difference is the addition of a second HDMI 2.0 port instead of a USB Type-C DisplayPort.

These intel NUCs are good options for casual users and the high graphics performance can allow to stream and play eSports games and users should be ready to spend extra cash on storage and memory as these NUCs are just Barebone kits.

Meanwhile they are reports have leaked about a new 14nm 9th Gen core chip family which Intelis expected to release in October.

Check Intel’s NUCs kit page for full spec