Every once in a while something comes along that changes the way you look at things. A project posted last week by Dmitry Grinberg was such a thing for me. The project in itself is already pretty strange: porting a 32-bit operating system (OS) to an 8-bit microcontroller lacking most of the features needed to actually run the OS. Why would you want to run Linux on an AVR? “Because you can”, would answer George Obama (or was it Barack Mallory?) and now also Dmitry. Yes, apparently you can (I didn’t try it myself), it only takes two hours to boot Linux on the AVR, with an effective clock speed of a dazzling 6.5 kHz. It is fun as in academic demonstration.
Yet for me this demonstration, working or not, useful or not, shows more. Emulating one platform on another more powerful platform is common practice these days, but I had never thought about doing the opposite. Emulating a 32-bit ARM processor on an 8-bit microcontroller is actually quite a cool idea. Maybe Dmitry is not the first to have done this, I don’t know, but it is an excellent example of thinking the other way around, outside the box. The result may be useless for now, but who knows what one day may come from this? [via]
Run 32-bit Linux on an 8-bit MCU - [Link]
BBC News – Arm’s latest processors aim to stretch internet’s reach – [via]
The firm says that microcontrollers based on the “Flycatcher” architecture will pave the way for the “internet of things” – the spread of the net to a wider range of devices.
ARM’s “internet of things” processor - [Link]
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets, but the consumer device giant recently started receiving a critical component in its iPad and iPhones from closer to home – Texas.
The A5 processor – the brain in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 – is now made in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin owned by Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics, according to people familiar with the operation.
One of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States, the A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line that reached full production in early December.
Nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory – which is the size of about nine football fields – is dedicated to producing Apple chips, one of the people said. Samsung also produces NAND flash memory chips in Austin…
Made in Texas: Apple’s A5 iPhone chip - [Link]
ARM today disclosed technical details of its new ARMv8 architecture, the first ARM architecture to include a 64-bit instruction set. ARMv8 broadens the ARM architecture to embrace 64-bit processing and extends virtual addressing, building on the rich heritage of the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture upon which market leading cores such as the Cortex™-A9 and Cortex-A15 processors are built.
The ARM architecture is unique in its ability to span the full range of electronic devices and equipment, from tiny sensors through to large scale infrastructure equipment. Building on the industry standard 32-bit ARM architecture, the new ARMv8 architecture will expand the reach of ARM processor-based solutions into consumer and enterprise applications where extended virtual addressing and 64-bit data processing are required.
The ARMv8 architecture consists of two main execution states, AArch64 and AArch32. The AArch64 execution state introduces a new instruction set, A64 for 64-bit processing. The AArch32 state supports the existing ARM instruction set. The key features of the current ARMv7 architecture, including TrustZone®, virtualization and NEON™ advanced SIMD, are maintained or extended in the ARMv8 architecture.
“With our increasingly connected world, the market for 32-bit processing continues to expand and evolve creating new opportunities for 32-bit ARMv7 based processors in embedded, real-time and open application platforms.” said Mike Muller, CTO, ARM. “We believe the ARMv8 architecture is ideally suited to enable the ARM partnership to continue to grow in 32-bit application spaces and bring diverse, innovative and energy-efficient solutions to 64-bit processing markets.”
ARM Announces 64-bit ARMv8 Platform - [Link]
Signal Wizard 3.0 is a very powerful audio signal processor that features multichannel synchronous processing. It can mix, amplify, filter, delay and adjust the phase of individual input signals, selected by using the included intuitive PC software. Signal Wizard 3.0 features a 24-bit, 96 kHz codec with six analog input and eight analog output channels, and an internal DSP processing speed of 0.6 GMACs. Signal Wizard 3.0 also incorporates two digital audio (S/PDIF) inputs and outputs. Like its two channel equivalent Signal Wizard 2.5, the software requires no knowledge of mathematics or programming.
Signal Wizard 3.0 includes very powerful mixer functions – any channel can be blended with any or all of the other channels in any proportion, since the system incorporates mixer units at the input and output signal stages. Signal Wizard 3.0ʼs unique filter design engine enables standard filter types to be created using the easy-to-use graphical software, but it also allows completely arbitrary frequency responses, both in amplitude and phase, to be realized via a simple text file import. Read the rest of this entry »
Scientists at the University of Glasgow have created an ultra-fast 1,000-core computer processor. The core is the part of a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) which reads and executes instructions. Originally, computers were developed with only one core processor but, today, processors with two, four or even sixteen cores are commonplace. [via]
1,000 cores on one chip – [Link]
ZigBee module with 32-Bit ARM Processor – high level of integration. This highly integrated set up is great because it reduces component count making the PCB layout simpler as well decreasing power consumption and overall system cost. Zigbee point-to-multipoint networks can be developed with this single package and only an external crystal, an optional 50 Ohm antenna can be connected. The processor is an ARM7 with 128k serial flash, 96-kbyte RAM, 80k ROM, AES 128-bit encryption and a JTAG debug port. Also included are 2 12-bit analog to digital converters (ADCs), serial peripheral interface (SPI), UARTs, timer and 8 general purpose I\Os. [via]
ZigBee module with 32-Bit ARM Processor - [Link]
This is a rather simple project. Cypress Semiconductors manufacture a microcontroller called CY7C68013. It is based on a 8051 processor, and has a lot of special functions and built-in peripherals, the most interesting one being its USB interface.This project is supposed to result in a CCD camera for astronomical purposes. developing software for the controller is VERY easy. The code is written on a PC, then downloaded to the CY7C68013’s internal 8 kB SRAM through the USB interface. No hassle with EEPROM burners or slow Flash memory. [via]
Interface card for Cypress CY7C68013 USB microcontroller - [Link]
This project devised by two Cornell students in 2003,they wrote: For this endeavour, we first built an input stage that will amplify the input signal, as well as bias it to 2.5V (since the ADC can only sample positive signals). The ADC (MAX1111) is controlled by the microprocessor (Mega 32) using the SPI interface which was much easier than manually configuring a port to interface with the ADC(believe me, we tried that). We set the Mega 32 to sample the input at about 12 KHz which is fast enough to meet the Nyquist requirement for analog to digital sampling. The digital effects were done using by manipulating the input (which will be discussed in the Design page) and the output is passed to a R-2R DAC to a output amplifier stage and finally, to the speaker. [via]
AVR Sound Effects Processor - [Link]