New PIC32MM family consumes as little as 500 nA

by Clemens Valens @

The new PIC32MM family, currently Microchip’s lowest power 32-bit PIC32 family, features sleep modes down to as little as 500 nA. Filling the gap between the PIC24F XLP and PIC32MX families, the new family also offers so-called core independent peripherals that once initialized can function without intervention of or loading the MCU core.

New PIC32MM consumes as little as 500 nA – [Link]

Hall-effect current sensing replaces shunt-resistive measurements

These high speed isolated calibrated current sensors are presented as an effective alternative to conventional shunt based solutions; standard-footprint packaged ICs simultaneously offer 100 kHz bandwidth, high accuracy and crosstalk resilience. By Graham Prophet @

Melexis (Tessenderlo, Belgium) has added the MLX91210 family of integrated sensors; operating from a 5V supply, the ICs have current sensitivity levels down to 26.7 mV/A and support linear current measurement ranges that span as far as ±75A corresponding to 30 ARMS current. Available in SO8 and SO16 package formats, these fully integrated Hall-effect current sensors have extremely low resistive curent-path losses (0.8 mΩ for the SO8 and 0.7 mΩ for the SO16) and provide high voltage isolation ratings (2.1 kVRMS and 2.5 kVRMS respectively), as well as accelerated responsiveness (within 5 µsec). The sensor output of each IC is factory-calibrated for a specific current range and compensated for optimal stability in relation to temperature and over the course of its working lifespan, so that long term accuracy is maintained.

Hall-effect current sensing replaces shunt-resistive measurements – [Link]

How To Select an Inductor


Sanket Gupta pointed us to his latest article, on how to select an inductor and discuss about the various types of them.

Inductors are two-terminal components used for filtering, timing and power electronics applications. They store energy in the form of magnetic fields as long as a current is flowing. Inductors oppose a change in current by inducing an electromotive force (or e.m.f) according to Lenz’s Law. The inductor can be approximated as an open circuit for AC signals and as a short circuit for DC signals.  The unit of inductance is Henry (H) .  

How To Select an Inductor – [Link]

ArduCAM Introduces tiny Raspberry Pi compatible board


ArduCAM has introduced a tiny Raspberry Pi compatible module based on Broadcom’s BCM2835 Processor, the same chip found in the original Raspberry Pis A, B, B+ and Zero. This module is tiny, measuring only 24 x 24mm and it is compatible with all of the software that makes the Raspberry Pi so popular. It comes with 256MB/512MB LPDDR2 Memory, Camera CSI Interface x2, USB, AV output, SPI, UART, I2C, GPIO and weights only 2g. The board isn’t finalized and it isn’t for sale yet.

ArduCAM team now is developing a coin size Raspberry Pi compatible compute module. The total size of the SOM is 24mm x 24mm, compared to the offical Raspberry Pi compute module and new Pi ZERO, it will be the smallest Raspberry Pi compatible module in the world. The coin size pi compute module is fully customizable and can offer the extra features that wasn’t provided by the standard Raspberry Pi boards. User can run the system on a small 36mm x 36mm adapter mother board with camera support. It is ideal for battery powered portable device like smart watch, action camera etc. The highlight feature of this coin size pi module, it supports dual camera interface and stereo vision which can be used in robots for machine vision applications or high definition drone camera.

ArduCAM Introduces tiny Raspberry Pi compatible board – [Link]

VXO – based PLL frequency synthesizer for 7 MHz


Vasily Ivanenko made a VXO-based synthesizer:

To make a VXO to mix with a ~7 MHz VCO, you’ll need a crystal that is higher in frequency than the highest frequency you want to synthesize. Some rummaging revealed a bag of 21.4773 MHz crystals that I could divide by 3 to garner 7.159 MHz.
To afford a reasonable delta F, three were placed in the super VXO fashion and I applied the smallest amount of series inductance that would ensure a reasonable delta F with solid frequency stability.

VXO – based PLL frequency synthesizer for 7 MHz – [Link]

The future of IC design


R Colin Johnson @ discuss about the future of IC design and the different technologies that can extend Moore Law. Such technologies include 3D memories, superconducting, quantum, neuromorphic and photonic mixed-signal devices.

To celebrate 60 years of EDN, we’re looking into the future to predict what advancements will be made in IC Design in the next 60 years. By 2076 3-D room-temperature, superconducting, quantum, neuromorphic, and photonic mixed-signal devices will be the common denominator for all integrated circuit designs. Design tools will be so sophisticated that even novice designers will be able to mix and match these technologies into system-in-package designs that solve all application problems behind the scenes. Users will be so used to extensions to their innate brain capabilities that the technologies which perform the tasks will be taken for granted, leaving the engineering community—and its robotic assistants—on a unique echelon of society that actually understands how the world works.

The future of IC design – [Link]

Memory upgrade for ESP8266


Pete show us how to upgrade your ESP8266 with 32Mbit memory chip.

Some time ago I passed comment in here about converting an ESP-01 to 32Mb  (or 4MB).  And here it is in the flesh – a 32Mb ESP-01 – and also – at last – Sonoff Upgrades.

Now, why would you want to do all of that? I would suggest only if you happen to have lots of ESP-01 units lying around – and I’ll bet quiet a lot of you do. As for the Sonoffs – well, put it this way, I just ordered another 10 chips!

Memory upgrade for ESP8266 – [Link]

Build an Arduino boost converter


Lucas Reed has a tutorial on how to build a boost converter using an Arduino.

Have you ever needed to power a project that’s not near an outlet? Have you needed to test using different voltages? Are you curious about analog circuits and power? Using Autodesk Circuits and a lead-acid battery, you can create a circuit that will act as a variable power supply, outputting a range of voltages from 5V to 20V.

Build an Arduino boost converter – [Link]

HC-12 433MHz wireless serial communication module configuration


HC-12 are cheap 433MHz wireless serial port communication modules with a range up to 1800m in open space. Each costs about $5 when bought from China, and 2 of them can create wireless UART link that can be used, for example, to transfer telemetry data from UAV. Or drive IoT device. Or connect sensors. Or whatever else one can think of.

HC-12 433MHz wireless serial communication module configuration – [Link]

Optogenetic hardware setup


How electronics and neural systems can work together, amazing!

Arthur English’s group at Emory has developed a custom device that they have used for stimulating peripheral nerves optically in anesthetized mice using a standard optical fiber. The device is compact, rechargeable battery-operated, and controlled either manually or by computer using an analog input.

Optogenetic hardware setup – [Link]