The UP AI Core – Mini-PCIe Board For Machine Learning

Popularized as the “first embedded ultra-compact artificial intelligence processing card,” and built around the same Intel Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 2450 VPU as Intel’s own Neural Compute Stick. UP’s AI Core is a mini-PCI Express module that enables Artificial Intelligence on the Edge.

The UP AI Core board
The UP AI Core board

The UP AI Core has 512MB of DDR SDRAM and 4 GB of onboard storage. It is a standard looking PCI-e board measuring 51×30 mm. The onboard Movidius™ chip supports the use of both TensorFlow and Caffe frameworks, both are symbolic math libraries used for machine learning applications such as neural networks.

In order to support the board, the host computer needs to have at least 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of free storage space. Right now, only 64-bit x86 boards running Ubuntu 16.04 are fully supported. None the less that is an only requirement for the Movidius™ VPU rather than something essential in the design of the UP board itself.

However, there’s been a lot of effort since the release of the Movidius™ Neural Compute Stick to get it working on the Raspberry Pi. It’s possible now that it can be used with an Arm-based board with an appropriate PCI-e slot like the Pine H64. But without official support, it is limited to an extent.

The UP AI Core is now available for $69. It is compatible with the UP Core Plus but should work with any single-board computer that has a mini-PCIe interface. Although the user has to be careful about toolchain support for the Movidius™ chip.

Specifications for the AI Core

  • SoC: Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 VPU 2450
  • Supported Frameworks: TensorFlow, Caffe
  • Form Factor: Mini PCI-Express
  • Dimension: 51 X 30 mm
  • System Requirements:
    • x86_64 computer running Ubuntu 16.04
    • Available mPCI-E slot
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4GB free storage space

More information about the board can be found at UP AI Core’s Order Page.

Full Guide on How to Play PC Games on Android

Learn the top games ported to Android and how to play the non-ported ones without streaming and extra hardware.

Mobile is our life. I personally have started to find myself using my smartphone both for business and for entertainment much more often then a PC, even if it is within my usual reach. What if I could also play my favorite PC games on Android, right here on my couch? So, that I don’t need to turn my computer or gaming console on? Would my life become happier? Definitely, yes. Especially in this world, where we can turn the things apart with a swipe of a single finger.

Well, it’s really hard to find PC games for Android, as quite a few game developers provide versions of their games for the Android platform. Not mentioning the industry of mobile gaming itself, which is currently so overwhelmed with the enormous amount of apps that the PC or console game developers have no room for competition left.

And just imagine how great it would be to enjoy our favorite strategies like Heroes 3 or Disciples 2 within the new environment and extraordinary experience with a mobile touchscreen.

Full Guide on How to Play PC Games on Android – [Link]

MicroSemi’s Precision Colour Sensor AS73211

Precision colour sensing made easy

Austrian MicroSemi recently divested itself of its transceiver portfolio, leaving standards such as AS-I stranded. Sensors were selected as the new main field of business, leading to the introduction of a few extremely interesting products such as the JENCOLOR colour sensor ICs.

In principle, the sensor is laid out according to the schemes shown in the two figures accompanying the screen. The main priority is that the part contains but three photo-diodes, all three of which are conveniently located behind a filter to eliminate unwanted spectral components.

The three diodes are located in seperate areas of the main die…

…AMS provides a relatively complex set of signal conditioning circuits

To clarify a few aspects: first of all, the AS73211 is strictly an one-pixel color detector – it has nothing to do with the traditional linear or two-dimensional CCD chips which are well-known from digital cameras. Secondarily, the chip’s intended usage is processes – think about quality control, sorting of goods and similar tasks where accurate color sampling is required.

Finally, the AS73211 is intended to reach extreme high accuracies – its internal DACs can work at 24bit if required.

When compared to a homebrew solution, benefits pop up. ADC linearity and temperature issues are handled by AMS – the chip contains various bits of logic which ensure that issues affecting resolution adversely are handled effectively.

[…continue reading]

Raspberry Pi Model Comparison Table

There are quite a few Raspberry Pi boards on the market today and sometimes it’s not that clear on the differences between them. I’ve made this table for a more visual representation of what’s on-board. Hopefully it will help you to choose the right board for you! [via]

You will need to login to access the PDF file.

Raspberry Pi Model Comparison Table – [Link]

Reflow Master – Graphical reflow controller

An easy to use graphical reflow controller for your toaster oven. Source files available on github. by Unexpected Maker:

Reflow Master really started out as a microcontroller-based graphing experiment… I wanted to visualise the temperature in my toaster oven when I manually reflowed my PCBs.

I had a K-Type probe in my oven connected to my digital multimeter, and though I could see the temperature, unless I also used a stopwatch, I had no real idea of how long I was reflowing for and at what temperature… it was VERY scientific.

So I thought about using a MAX31855 module connected to a micro-controller to read the temp from my probe and simply drawing this as a graph of temperature over time on a small TFT screen also connected to the micro-controller.

Reflow Master – Graphical reflow controller – [Link]

AAEON’s Latest 4” Motherboard Is Built for Speed

(Taipei, Taiwan – August 14, 2018) – AAEON, an industry-leading developer of embedded computers, proudly launches the EPIC-KBS9, the world’s only 4” SBC built to accommodate 65W Intel® Core™ i socket-type processors. Fitted with these incredibly powerful CPUs, the board is ideal for data encryption, video streaming, and advanced machine vision applications.

The EPIC-KBS9’s high-powered specifications don’t end with its CPU capabilities – everything on this board has been designed for accelerated computing. Two SODIMM sockets enable a 32G dual-channel memory platform, and thanks to its PCIe [x4] slot, the board also supports NVMe SSDs for significantly faster boot times and response rates.

As a solution for LAN applications, the EPIC-KBS9 is fitted with four GbE LAN ports. It also features two USB3.0 ports, two USB2.0 internal connectors, an HDMI port, and two COM connectors, so it can easily handle multiple peripherals. The motherboard can be expanded through its PCIe [x4] slot and an additional full mSATA/Mini-PCIe slot.

The EPIC-KBS9 completes AAEON’s range of EPIC SBCs. Featuring Intel Core i socket-type processors, the series offers a level of computing performance usually only seen with Mini-ITX products,” said Alicia Wang, AAEON embedded computing division product manager. “The EPIC-KBS9 is the most powerful of these boards, and it produces computing speeds that simply can’t be matched by any other 4” SBC.

for more information visit: www.aaeon.com

PCBWay Referral Program is an Avenue to Earn Coupons and Cash

PCBWay, a company that provides printed circuit board manufacturing and assembly is offering an incentive invite deals for users of its platform. PCBWay has been an avenue for makers, engineers, students and even teachers to make things; they provide sponsorship opportunities for exciting open-source projects, gifts and money for makers sharing their technical experience, creating exciting, challenging competitions, and many more.

PCBWay is continuing its quest to support the maker’s community especially its existing members with their referral program that aims to gift coupons and cash to the ever increasing members. Of course, the referral program is not limited to only existing, new users in the platform can also get on the wagon.

Getting Started

PCBWay referral program is quite easy and straightforward to get started with, and the steps below shows how to start earning with the PCBWay referral program.

  1. Users (both new and existing users) need to visit the referral program here
  2. Copy their referral link as shown below and send it to friends.
  3. Share the URL with your fiends and visitors.
  4. That is it. Still down and wait for the money to start flowing in.

Rewards

For every new user that gets added through your referral link, you will get a $20 discount coupon after any successful payment from that friend. Also, you will earn 10% of the amount they spend on their first order (Note – the 10% earning is only applicable for their first order only).

One thing is sure, PCBWay is not going to stop with this referral program, they are inevitably going to add more supporting incentives like this in the future. PCBWay is hoping to build a better maker’s community and fostering the next-gen technology with programs like this. For more information about the PCBWay Referral Program, visit the referral page (must be signed in to see the referral content)

SinoVoip Unveils Open-spec Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero SBC

SinoVoIP is going to launch their inexpensive Raspberry Pi Zero compatible, Allwinner H2+ powered board Banana Pi-P2 Zero. This is going to be the successor to Banana Pi M2 Zero. The new Banana Pi-P2 Zero combines support for PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) as well as a CSI camera interface.

Sinovoip Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero
Sinovoip Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero

The Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero is almost identical to last year’s $21 Banana Pi BPI-M2 Zero with a few significant enhancements. The board attaches 8GB eMMC storage, as well as a 10/100 Ethernet port with Power-over-Ethernet support available via an optional PoE module. The new board doubles the weight to 30 grams and extends the smaller dimension by 22.5mm giving it a 65 x 52.5mm footprint.

Other features are almost the same as the M2 Zero, which itself is an emulation of a Raspberry Pi Zero W. The P2 Zero board can run Linux and Android on a 1.2GHz, quad -A7 Allwinner H2+, which is like an Allwinner H3, but with HD instead of 4K video support. The SoC integrates a Mali400 MP2 GPU.

The Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero comes with 512MB DDR3, a microSD card slot, and a WiFi/Bluetooth module. Other features include MIPI-CSI, 40-pin RPi expansion, a mini-HDMI port, a USB 2.0 host port, and a power-only micro-USB OTG port.

Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero specifications:

  • SoC: Allwinner H2+ quad-core Arm Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP GPU.
  • Memory:
    • 512MB DDR3 SDRAM.
    • 8GB eMMC flash
    • Micro SD card slot
  • Video Output: mini HDMI port
  • Connectivity:                    
    • 10/100M Ethernet with PoE support
    •  WiFi & Bluetooth via AP6212 module
  • The camera I/F: CSI camera interface
  • USB: 1x USB OTG port
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin GPIO header with UART, SPI, I2C, etc…
    • 3-pin UART header for serial console access
  • Power Supply:                    
    • 5V/2A via micro USB port
    • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)
  • Dimensions: 65 x 52.5mm
  • Supported OS: Linux, Android

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Banana Pi BPI-P2. More information may be found on SinoVoip’s Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero wiki page.

Exen Proto – A Tiny 32-bit Arduino Compatible Board

The Exen Mini was categorized as one of the world’s smallest 32-bit Arduino compatible boards that was launched by Nerdonic, although the board was able to get the job done in some areas it still had limited capacity, it had only 8 I/O pins. Based on the success and limitations of the Exen Mini, Nerdonic has launched a new similar board, but with improved I/O options called the Exen Proto.
Exen Proto
Just like the Exen Mini, the Exen Proto is based on Microchip SAMD21 Cortex M0+ microcontroller allowing projects previously built for the Exen Mini board to easily migrate to the new board.

The Exen Proto is a small 32-bit Arduino compatible board based around the Arduino Zero bootloader, so projects built for the Arduino Zero won’t have problems working on the Exen Proto. The Exen Proto board is also breadboard compatible, meaning it will comfortably fit into a standard breadboard without the need for any extra connectors or manipulation.

The board is pretty small as compared to the likes of Arduino Zero and big as compared to its predecessor Exen Mini, it measures for about 14.9 x 29.8 mm and weighs just about 1.1 grams. It comes with 256KB of ROM (Program Memory), 32KB of RAM, processing speed of up to 48MHz, and up 20 I/O pins. The I/O pins include 19x PWM, 11x ADC (Analog), Serial, SPI, I2C and Digital pins. The Exen Proto can be powered by either the Micro USB port, 3.3v to 20v input pin (regulated to 3.3v with a 3.3v output pin), or directly to the 3.3v pin.

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE thanks to the pre-flashed Arduino Zero bootloader . The Exen Proto board is expected to come with some add-ons board or shields like a Li-Ion/Li-Po charge and discharge shield that can be charged by either the power pin or the USB port on the Exen Proto.

Below are some of the specifications for the Exen Proto board:

  • MCU – Microchip SAMD21 Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • I/Os via 2x 12-pin 2.54mm pitch headers
    • Up to 20x digital I/O
    • Up to 19x PWM
    • Up to 11x analog (ADC) up to 12-bit resolution
    • 2x UART
    • Up to 5x I2C
    • 1x reset
    • Limits – 3.3V, 7mA
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Programming – Via micro USB port or SWD header
  • Misc – Power LED, user LED, button
  • Power Supply
    • 3.3-20V (regulated to 3.3v) via power Pin 1
    • 3.3V via power pin 2
    • 5V (regulated to 3.3v) via Micro USB port
    • Current Draw = ~10mA
  • Dimensions – 29.8 x 14.9 x 4.4mm
  • Weight – 1.1 grams

The Exen Proto board is currently being crowd-funded on Indiegogo and has surpassed its 1000 GBP goal, although that doesn’t matter since the campaign is a flexible campaign. The board is available for purchase from 8 GBP for a single unit excluding shipping. More information about the product can be found on the campaign page.

ATtiny1607 – A TinyAVR MCU Family For Real-Time Control Systems

In continuation of the development of microcontrollers for a real-time control system, Microchip unveils a new set of microcontroller family based around the known Atmel ATtiny family called the ATtiny1607 family. Microchip is hoping to continue support for the Atmel’s famous AVR set of microcontrollers.

Microchip recently launched the PIC18 Q10 family of MCUs earlier on that features multiple intelligent Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) and was tailored for real-time control systems. The ATtiny1607 family of AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) offers similar features like the PIC18 Q10 MCUs, it is equipped with high-speed integrated analog, hardware-based Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) and low-power performance for efficient, real-time control and sensor node applications in a small physical footprint to help optimize board layout.

The family offers a lot of options; it is made up of about ten different MCUs coming in different package type from DIP to QFN, which makes it ideal for space-constrained closed-loop system especially the 3 x 3 mm 20-pin QFN package. The family offers a broad range of memory, pin and package configurations, program memory from  2KB to 16KB, SRAM from 256 Bytes to 1024 Bytes, pin count from 8 to 24 pin packages, and MCUs in the family all have 12 ADC input.

The family offers an accurate and temperature-stable 20 MHz internal RC oscillator, a configurable custom logic (CCL) and core independent peripherals. These inbuilt features nullify the need for external components which will help it in reducing the cost of the final product.

Below are some of the ATtiny 1607 key attributes:

  • Internal 20 MHz oscillator
  • Up to 16 KB of FLASH memory
  • Up to 12-channel, 115 ksps 10-bit ADC
  • Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) scan
  • 16-bit Real-Time Clock and Periodic Interrupt Timer
  • Configurable Custom Logic (CCL) peripheral
  • 3-channel Peripheral Event System
  • Analog Comparator with a scalable reference input
  • Configurable, internally generated reference voltage
  • USART / SPI / dual-mode TWI
  • Available with up to 22 I/O

Getting started to work with the ATtiny 1607 is straightforward. An evaluation kit called ATmega4809-XPRO Evaluation Kit is available for getting starting with the family. It is the ideal platform for rapid prototyping of the new tinyAVR and even megaAVR® MCUs. The kit is a USB powered kit and features an onboard programmer and debugger that seamlessly integrates with Atmel Studio and other peripherals. The board also has a MikroBUS™ -compatible socket, allowing you to easily add sensors, actuators or communications interfaces from Mikroelektronika’s extensive library of click boards™.

ATmega 4809 Evaluation Kit

Development time for the ATtiny1607 can be greatly reduced by using Atmel START, an intuitive web-based graphical configuration tool for embedded projects. Atmel START generates factory-validated C-code to help get an embedded design started. More informaton about Atmel START can be found here.

The tinyAVR® microcontrollers are well-suited for a wide range of applications including industrial, consumer, appliance, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) sensor nodes. More information about the product family is available on the product page.