Open-Q 845 HDK Development Board Integrates Snapdragon 845 SoC And Runs Android 8.0

Intrinsyc’s new Open-Q 845 HDK Development Kit has the same Mini-ITX (170 x 170mm) dimensions and sandwich-style design as the Open-Q 835 from the previous year. The main SoC, Snapdragon 845 is integrated into the board topped by a heatsink. This dev board includes a smartphone like 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560) touchscreen controlled via MIPI-DSI, as well as a camera board with dual rear-facing cameras and a front-facing camera.

Open-Q 845 Development Board with optional touchscreen
Open-Q 845 Development Board with optional touchscreen

The Open-Q 845 runs Android 8.0 on the Snapdragon 845 SoC with 6GB LPDDR4x RAM. The Snapdragon 845 SoC is equipped with 4X high-performance Kryo cores (up to 2.80 GHz) and 4X low-power Kryo cores (up to 1.8 GHz) and the graphics processing is handled by the new Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU. There’s also a microSD slot and a 128GB UFS 2.1 flash drive. Like the Open-Q 835, the board offers Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE along with 2.4/5GHz 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and the latest WiGig60 802.11ad WiFi with an onboard antenna.

This board is further enhanced with a GNSS daughter card with GPS, GLONASS, COMPASS, and Galileo support and a PCB antenna and SMA connector option. There are mini-PCIe and PCIe slots for further wireless and peripheral expansion.

Video ports include DSI-driven HDMI 1.4 port, USB 3.1 Type-C DisplayPort, and dual 4-lane MIPI-DSI connectors. There are also 3x 4- and 2-lane MIPI-CSI ports on a single 120-pin connector that support dual 16-megapixel or a single 32-megapixel front-facing camera. This kit supports the Snapdragon 845’s capability for 4K @ 60fps, 10-bit HDR video playback and capture using H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) compression.

Open-Q 845, front view (with optional touchscreen)
Open-Q 845Development Board front view (with optional touchscreen)

The audio department is handled by Qualcomm audio codec driver. It supports a headset jack and analog audio input and output headers. There are several I/O ports like DP-ready USB 3.1 Type-C, 2X USB 2.0 host ports, and a micro-USB serial port. Other additional features include NFC and sensor expansion headers with I2C, SPI, UART, and GPIO. The dev kit includes a power management function, as well as 12V/3A input from wall adapter and a 3000mAh Li-Ion battery.

Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 845 HDK Development Kit is available for pre-order at $1,079. No shipping date information was published to this date. More information may be found on the Open-Q 845 product page.

Low cost single cell L-Ion battery pack simulator

Mare @ e.pavlin.si designed a single cell Li-Ion battery pack simulator to facilitate the testing process of a new device.

Modern battery operated portable devices use smart battery packs. Every new development of an electronic medical device must follow strict design flow defined by world-wide or local regulatory
directives. The development process of any such device using smart battery pack requires specific operating conditions to meet the testing criteria. When smart battery pack is one of the main power sources the host system should be tested with several battery states. The testing is necessary during development, validation and later in production testing.

Low cost single cell Li-Ion battery pack simulator – [Link]

Oscilloscope, generator, debugger, multimeter and much more

The complete electronics lab on your desk. Oscilloscope, waveform generator, programmer & debugger, VCOM, host device and more.

OMNIBOARD is is a versatile, portable electronics workbench. I have created the OMNIBOARD to make electronics easier and more affordable, to put in your hands tools which are rarely accessible for hobbyists while still being easy to use for the beginners and powerful enough for the experts.

OMNIBOARD can be used as the USB device, connected to the computer or as a standalone device (limited functionality: oscilloscope, basic waveform generator, voltmeter, power supply & clock source).

Neutis N5 is a Tiny Quad Core System on a Module

Neutis N5 is a tiny quad-core system on a module from Emlid. Emlid which is known for its Navio2 Autopilot HAT for the Raspberry Pi and some other drone accessories is venturing into the mainstream embedded market with its Neutis N5 computer on a module.

Neutis
Neutis N5

Unlike the other previous boards and products, the Neutis N5 is expected to be a complete spinoff from Emlid mostly due to the fact it is on display on a new Neutis.io website and has no reference on the Emlid website.

In a very tiny (yes, really tiny) package, of about 41 x 29.5mm square with a 4.3mm thickness, the Neutis packed a host of features and power. At the heart of the Neutis is a 64-bit quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 processor with a max speed of 1.3GHz and based on the prevalent Allwinner H5. Also comes powered by the Mali 450 MP4 GPU. The Neutis N5 ships with a RAM of 512 MB DDR3, a storage option of 8 GB eMMC, has onboard Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth (Bluetooth 4.0 dual-mode BLE), and an extended temperature range. It has a tamper-resistant dedicated crypto chip for storing cryptographic keys, unique ID, random number generation and many more.

Neutis N5 Pinouts

This module runs modern Linux kernel based on the mainline version. It’s based on the industry-standard Yocto build which provides support to craft a custom Linux distribution or use the pre-configured Debian. Neutis comes with an OTA support, providing an easy and safe way to deliver updates to the devices in the future.

The Neutis comes with a dual 80-pin expansion connector with some I/O ports being multiplexed. It provides interfaces for Audio, Ethernet, HDMI, USB, OTG, SPI, I2C, UART, SDIO, PCM, Line-out/Line-in, and up to 38x GPIO ports. The module runs on 3.3V and core voltage of 1.1-1.3V power and supports a temperature range of -25 to 85°C.

Neutis Development Board

The module comes with FCC and CE certification (pending approval) which will help streamline product certification. Each module has a unique ID which allows convenient management of product patch and includes a time-saving parallel flashing tool. In addition to the module, Emlid is also offering a development kit that provides all the peripheral interfaces on standard ports and 0.1” (2.54 mm) pitch pins for quick prototyping. The kit extends out the following ports of the COM (Computer on a Module):

  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type A
  • 1 x USB 2.0 OTG Micro-B
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5 mm jack A/V out
  • 1 x MicroSD card slot
  • 1 x RJ45 10/100M Ethernet

The Neutis N5 will be available in April for $49 for single units, with volume discounts available. More information about the Neutis N5 product can is found on the product website.

STMicroelectronics Introduces STM32WB – A SoC With 32bit Microcontroller And Bluetooth Low Energy 5

The new STM32WB from STMicroelectronics is a new wireless supporting System on a chip (SoC) that comes with a fully-featured ARM Cortex-M4 (@ 64 MHz) based microcontroller to run the main computing processes. It also has an ARM Cortex-M0+ core (@ 32 MHz) to offload the main processor and offer real-time operation on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 and IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The SoC can also run other wireless protocols as OpenThread, ZigBee® or other proprietary protocols. It opens many more options for connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT).

STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications
STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications

The Cortex-M4 combined with a Cortex-M0+ for network processing makes sure the STM32WB to be the latest ultra-low-power microcontroller to combine superior RF performance with longer battery life. The SoC also combines essential circuitry for connecting to the antenna. It also packs right amount user and system memory, hardware encryption, and customer-key storage for brand and IP protection.

These days, only a few manufacturers offer similar dual-processor wireless chips capable of managing the user application and the radio separately for maximum performance. Alternative chips typically utilize entry-level ARM Cortex-M industry-standard cores, which introduce technical limitations and very low amount of onboard flash memory.

The robust and low-power 2.4GHz radio consumes only 5.5mA in transmit mode of this new STM32WB and as little as 3.8mA when receiving. This device also include STM32 digital and analog peripherals that are engineered for low power consumption and complex functionalities, including timers, ultra-low-power comparators, 12/16-bit SAR ADC, a capacitive touch controller, LCD controller, and industry-standard connectivity including crystal-less USB 2.0 FS, I2C, SPI, SAI audio interface, and a Quad-SPI supporting execution in place.

STM32WB devices will be available in an array of 48-pin UQFN, 68-pin VQFN, or 100-pin WLCSP with up to 72 general-purpose I/Os (GPIO). Each can be specified with any of three memory configurations, giving a choice of 256KB Flash and 128KB RAM, 512KB-Flash/256KB-RAM, or 1MB-Flash/256KB-RAM.

More information is available at the official website.

SODAQ Cellular IoT Development Kit Supports LTE-M, NB-IoT, GNSS and Arduino

SODAQ wants to provide you with the tools to build for the estimated 25 billion Internet of Things by 2020 using their set of Cellular IoT suite called SODAQ SARA Family.

SODAQ SARA Board

Several industriy analysts have claimed that we will have 100 billion IoT devices connected and in circulation by 2050, with the majority of them running on the cellular network mostly due to its large-scale access and ease of deployment. We have already seen IoT deployments on 2G networks but the recent movement of Telecom operators into 4G networks and outfacing their 2G networks are paving ways for new IoT focused technologies to be integrated into the 4G networks. Some of these technologies being developed and deployed are the LTE-M and NB-IoT (Narrow Band IoT). NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and enabling a large number of connected devices. LTE-M will allow Internet of Things devices to connect directly to a 4G network, without a gateway, and on batteries.

To facilitate the development of these exciting technologies, SODAQ which previously launched their NB-IoT shield for Arduino last year is incorporating a range of u-blox SARA modules in its design. The SARA modules are available for NB-IoT, LTE-M but also for 2G and 3G. The following are the u-blox Sara modules used in their IoT cellular suite are:

  • SARA-N211 – NB-IoT, band 8 and 20, for the European and African market.
  • SARA-R410M – Dual mode LTE-M and NB-IoT module for all global bands.
  • SARA-R412M – Triple mode module with LTE-M, NB-IoT, and 2G for all global bands.

The SODAQ board is called the SODAQ SARA. The SARA is an Arduino sized and compatible development board running the Atmel SAM-D21 32 bit microcontroller, along with one of the three u-box modules. In addition to the cellular modules, the SODAQ SARA comes integrated with a u-blox SAM-M8Q GNSS module for precise geolocation. SODAQ claims the GNSS module offers more accurate positioning than conventional GPS because it utilizes the Beidou, Galileo and Glonass satellites. It also comes with an accelerometer/magnetometer chip.

SODAQ SFF Edition

SODAQ is also launching a small form factor (SFF) edition of the same board with a size of about 55 x 25mm and still maintains the same functionality on the bigger board. One significant feature of their boards is that you can power the board directly with a solar panel and further program the boards with the Arduino development tools (Arduino IDE).

SODAQ is currently crowdfunding the boards on Kickstarter. With the three different LTE IoT module and two types of boards, SODAQ is offering a total of 6 different versions of its boards:

  • SARA-N211 NB-IoT (Band 8/20) for 90 Euros
  • SARA-R410M NB-IoT  + LTE Cat M for 100 Euros
  • SARA-R412M NB-IoT + LTE Cat M + 2G fallback for 110 Euros with 1,200 mAh battery
  • SFF N211 for 95 Euros
  • SFF R410M for 105 Euros
  • SFF R412M for 115 Euros with 800 mAh battery

If all goes well in the Kickstarter campaign and SODAQ raises the required €25,000 over the remaining days of its campaign, the Internet of Things Development Suite will start shipping out to backers during March 2018.

Ikalogic logic analyzers come with open source protocol decoder scripts

The MicroUSB-connected ScanaQuad series of 4-channel logic analyzers from Ikalogic perfectly fit serial protocols debugging and diagnostic purposes for the like of I2C, SPI, RS232, CAN or 1-Wire. By Julien Happich @ eenewseurope.com

Smaller than a matchbox and available in four versions, the ScanaQuad Logic analyzer captures or generates signals or do both simultaneously, not only supporting protocol debugging but also useful to stimulate a circuit with test patterns and check its response.

The four versions include the SQ25 with a 25MHz sampling rate and 256k Pts per channel, the SQ50 with a 50MHz sampling rate and 1M Pts per channel, the SQ100 with a 100MHz sampling rate and 2M Pts per channel and the SQ200 with a 200MHz sampling rate and offering 4M Pts per channel. Complex multi-step trigger lets you target precise features of your data, like a specific I 2C address or a CAN frame ID. Trigger sequences can even be defined for proprietary protocols.

Over 30 open-source protocol decoder scripts are available, included by default, but intuitive ScanaStudio software allows users to modify existing protocol scripts or write their own proprietary decoder via an integrated IDE using (Java) scripts.

Ikalogic is actively working on new software updates as well as new products and supports its user base with a forum and downloadable code on GitHub.

website – www.ikalogic.com

Newly Developed Internal Temperature Sensor For Li-ion Battery Enables 5x Faster Charging

Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have developed sensors which measure the internal temperature and electrode potential of Lithium batteries. The technology is being developed by the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) as a part of a battery’s normal operation. More intense testings have been done on standard commercially available automotive battery cells.

Researchersdeveloped a sensor to measure the internal termperature and electrode potential of lithum batterry
Researchers developed a sensor to measure the internal temperature and electrode potential of lithium battery

If a battery overheats it becomes a risk for critical damage to the electrolyte, breaking down to form gases that are both flammable and can cause significant pressure build-up inside the battery. On the other hand, overcharging of the anode can lead to Lithium electroplating, forming a metallic crystalline structure that can cause internal short circuits and fires. So, overcharging and overheating of a Li-ion battery is hugely damaging to the battery along with the user.

The researchers at Warwick developed miniature reference electrodes and Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG) threaded through a strain protection layer. An outer coat of Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) was applied over the fiber, ensuring chemical protection from the corrosive electrolyte. The end result is a sensor which has direct contact with all the key components of the battery. The sensor can withstand electrical, chemical and mechanical stress faced during the normal operation of the battery while still giving accurate temperature and potential readings of the electrodes.

The device includes an in-situ reference electrode coupled with an optical fiber temperature sensor. The researchers are confident that similar techniques can also be developed for use in pouch cells. WMG Associate Professor Dr. Rohit Bhagat said,

This method gave us a novel instrumentation design for use on commercial 18650 cells that minimizes the adverse and previously unavoidable alterations to the cell geometry,

The data from these internal sensors are much more precise than external sensing. This has been shown that with the help of these new sensors, Lithium batteries that are available today could be charged at least five times faster than the current rates of charging.

This could bring huge benefits to areas such as motor racing, gaining crucial benefits from being able to push the performance limits. This new technology also creates massive opportunities for consumers and energy storage providers.

gen4-4DPi Series – Primary Displays for the Raspberry Pi

The gen4-4DPi range are Primary Display’s for the Raspberry Pi* A+, B+, Pi2, Pi3, Pi Zero and Pi Zero W, which display the primary output of the Raspberry Pi, like what is normally sent to the HDMI or Composite output. It features an integrated Resistive Touch panel or Capacitive Touch panel, enabling the gen4-4DPi to function with the Raspberry Pi without the need for a mouse.

Features:

  • Universal Primary Display for the Raspberry Pi
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi A+, B+, Pi2, Pi3, Pi Zero and Pi Zero W
  • 480×272 Resolution (4.3”)
  • 800×480 Resolution (5.0” & 7.0”)
  • TFT Screen with integrated 4-wire Resistive Touch Panel (T), or Capacitive Touch Panel (CT)
  • Display GUI output / primary output, just like a monitor connected to the Raspberry Pi
  • High Speed 48MHz SPI connection to the Raspberry Pi, featuring SPI compression technology
  • Typical frame rate of 20 Frames per second (FPS) – 4.3”, or 7 Frames per second (5” & 7”), higher if image can be compressed further by the kernel. Lower if no compression is possible
  • Powered directly off the Raspberry Pi, no external power supply is required
  • On board EEPROM for board identification, following the HAT standard

Available in:

  • gen4-4DPi-43T       (4.3” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-50T       (5.0” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-70T       (7.0” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-43CT    (4.3” Capacitive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-50CT    (5.0” Capacitive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-70CT    (7.0” Capacitive Touch)

website: www.4dsystems.com.au

PIC Arduino with RS485

This board created for makers, who wants to use various Arduino UNO shields using PIC microcontrollers from Microchip. Board facilitates the use of any 28 PIN SMD SO PIC microcontrollers without crystal (internal oscillator). Project also can be used to develop RS485 application with the help of on board SN75176 IC. Two regulators provide 3.3V and 5V DC outputs. ICSP connector provided to program the PIC IC using PICKIT2/PICKIT3 programmer. On board DC jack connector and additional CN2 Header connector helps to power up the board. Input supply 7V-15V DC. This board has been tested using PIC16F886 IC. Switch SW1 helps to reset the board. Please refer to PCB top layout for Arduino Vs. Microchip Pin configuration.

PIC Arduino with RS485 – [Link]