SocioNext MN87900 is a Single-Chip 24 GHz Radio Wave Sensor for the Internet of Things

The Socionext MN87900 from Socionext is a powerful and low-power single-chip microwave sensor at 24GHz with sophisticated sensing capabilities like motion detection, speed and direction detection and so many, that can quickly find applications in the Internet of Things sensing applications.

Socionext MN87900

Unlike PIR sensors like the popular HR-SR501 that can detect motion to about 3 meters at about 120 angles and based on the concept of detecting infrared energy emitted by an object while attempting to determine if it’s a motion or not, the Socionext MN87900 is a microwave sensor that sends out microwave signals and detects the bounce back signals to decide if it’s a motion or not. Microwave sensor uses what we call the Doppler’s Effect concept.

SocioNext MN87900 is a 24 GHz and very tiny, measures about 12mm x 7mm x 1mm making it ideal for the small size requirement in the most Internet of Things application and other applications in the areas of smart-home, automotive or driver assistance systems, medical applications, and many more. Based on a single-chip radio frequency IC (RFIC) that offers a multi-mode sensing capability for detecting stationary or moving objects and measuring the distance and direction of movement, including whether an object is approaching or leaving. This multi-mode sensor capability gives the device ability to re-adapt its functionality to different case scenario without making any single hardware changes.

The RFIC can be used to sense very slow movements (like breathing and heartbeats), and even detect the movement of multiple objects within a 160-degree radius to a distance of about 8 meters away. With slight modification, the RFIC can reach a range of up to 30 meters.

Apart from having powerful sensing capabilities, it is also power friendly. During continuous operation, the sensor can take up to 500mW, but this can be reduced to an intermittent operation where for example, during a one-sixth burst, the sensor can take about 80mW, a very drastic reduction in power. The MN87900 can pass through fabric or resin like materials, and unlike camera-based people detecting applications, the MN87900 doesn’t need to capture or display images to identify people or objects which is handy for privacy-concerned applications.

The MN87900 supports SPI as a form of interface to microcontroller system. Along with the hardware, a simple API system was developed to support the designs of CW, FSKCW, and FMCW mode capabilities to provide distance, direction, and relative velocity.

The following are the SocioNext MN87900 key specifications:

  • Sensing Modes – CW, FSKCW, FMCW (moving or stationary)
  • Detection
    • Motion direction – approaching or leaving
    • Motion speed – up to 200 km/h
    • Range – 0.15 to 8 meters 80°@-3dB, expandable to 30 meters
  • Variable frequency width –  24.15±0.1 GHz
  • Host Interface – SPI
  • High sensitivity – -110dBm
  • Transmission Power: 0.8mW
  • Fast frequency pull-in: 100 µs
  • Automatic adjustment: Built-in initial adjustment function (e.g. adjustment of RC filtering)
  • Power supply voltage: 2.5V
  • Current consumption: 200mA
  • Module size: 12mm x 7mm x 1mm
  • Weight – 145 mg
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to 85°C

The module pricing is currently not available, and more information about the product can be found here.

CAP-XX Thinline Supercapacitors Power Vibration Alerts

CAP-XX (LSE:CPX), developer of supercapacitors that deliver peak power to support or replace batteries, today announced that Spire has incorporated CAP-XX Thinline supercapacitors into the new Spire Health Tag to provide the peak power needed for delivering real-time wellness vibration alerts to consumers. Offloading this peak power role to the thin, flat supercapacitor allows Spire to keep the battery small to achieve the ultra-thin form factor of its new wearable fitness biosensor that attaches to clothes once, can be washed as normal, and needs no charging. Press release: https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=216739. Spire will demonstrate its Spire Health Tag at CES booth #43706. (more…)

Designing a Small Footprint, Low Profile 5v to 170v Nixie Tube Power Supply

Nixie Tubes are cool retro looking decimal digit displays useful for many modern DIY projects like the venerable Nixie Tube digital clock.   The Nixie Tube, invented in the 1950’s, can provide a great fusion of old display technology with new innovations.  Unfortunately, one major difficulty in using them is that Nixie tubes need voltages up to 170V to energize.  While this voltage can be made several ways, a convenient way and the subject of this blog is to generate this voltage from a 5v supply.  This will allow the use of the same 5v supply used to power the Raspberry Pie, an ESP8266, an Arduino or another microcontroller that controls the display or IOT project.

Designing a Small Footprint, Low Profile 5v to 170v Nixie Tube Power Supply – [Link]

Researchers Developed a Very Powerful Mini Synchrotron That Can Fit On A Tabletop

A synchrotron is a particular type of cyclic particle accelerator which is used to accelerate quantum level charged particles at a very high velocity, traveling around a fixed closed-loop path.

It is one of the first accelerator concepts to enable the construction of large-scale facilities because they are very efficient in beam focusing, bending, and splitting the beam into different components. The most powerful modern particle accelerators such as Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland uses bigger versions of the synchrotron design.

Scientists design mini synchrotron that is only 4m long

A synchrotron is mainly used for the production of X-ray in many medical, engineering or industrial fields. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology and Delft University of Technology will build and develop a new scaled down version of a synchrotron which will even fit on a tabletop. The intensity of the X-ray radiation of this device will be just as powerful as the larger ones. Smart*Light” is the name of this new synchrotron which they officially took under research on 23rd January.

With Smart*Light, the consortium wants to build a ‘scaled down synchrotron‘. A compact and tunable X-ray source which is less than 4 meters long, which can be used in any lab. The potential of application for such a device is huge in medical diagnostics, high-tech industries, aircraft, car, and ship manufacturing.

Using Smart*Light there is the opportunity to analyze the chemical composition of old or new artworks layer by layer. This does not only have importance for conservation but, also for research into authenticity too.

The operation of this revolutionary X-ray source is based on the physical concept where X-rays are produced from collisions between LASER light and accelerated electrons. The theory is known as Inverse Compton Scattering, and has already been recognized for decades, but only recently has the necessary technology been modern enough to be developed.

Op amps, comparators – smaller than ever

@ eeworldonline.com discuss about TI’s tiny OPAMP and comparators.

Texas Instruments introduced the industry’s smallest operational amplifier and low-power comparators at 0.64 mm2. As the first amplifiers in the compact X2SON package, the TLV9061 op amp and TLV7011 family of comparators enable engineers to reduce their system size and cost, while maintaining high performance in a variety of Internet of Things (IoT), personal electronics and industrial applications, including mobile phones, wearables, optical modules, motor drives, smart grid and battery-powered systems.

Op amps, comparators – smaller than ever – [Link]

Espressif ESP32-PICO-KIT WiFi/WLAN+Bluetooth Module

ESP32-PICO-KIT V4 is a mini development board produced by Espressif. At the core of this board is the ESP32-PICO-D4, a System-in-Package (SIP) module with complete Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionalities. Comparing to other ESP32 chips, the ESP32-PICO-D4 integrates several peripheral components in one single package, that otherwise would need to be installed separately. This includes a 40 MHz crystal oscillator, 4 MB flash, filter capacitors and RF matching links in. This greatly reduces quantity and costs of additional components, subsequent assembly and testing cost, as well as overall product complexity.

Espressif ESP32-PICO-KIT WiFi/WLAN+Bluetooth Module – [Link]

The behavior of electro-magnetic radiation of power inductors in power management

Application note form Würth Elektronik about EM radiation radiated from inductors in DC-DC converters.

This Application Note focuses on the Electro-Magnetic (EM) radiation behavior of power inductor(s) in DC-DC converters, which is dependent on several parameters such as ripple current, switching frequency, rise & fall time of a switching device, the core material and its permeability and suggests several design tips to mitigate these EMI effects.

The behavior of electro-magnetic radiation of power inductors in power management – [Link]

WUX-3350 – 4×4-inch Mini PC Board

 

Portwell’s WUX-3350 small form factor (SFF) embedded system board features the Intel Celeron and Pentium processor series, supporting the low power Intel Gen9 graphics engine with up to 18 execution units for enhanced 3D graphics performance and greater speed for 4K encode and decode operations.

The WUX-3350 series (WUX-3350, WUX-3455, WUX-4200) of 4×4-inch mini PC board (Intel® NUC board form factor) is designed with Intel® Pentium® processor N4200, and Intel® Celeron® processor N3350/J3455 (codenamed Apollo Lake), and features dual-channel DDR3L up to 8GB, Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 expansion interface, and support for wide input voltage range from 12V to 19V. The WUX-3350 4×4-inch mini PC board series can be an ideal building block for designing ultra-compact embedded computing systems with configurability for an extensive array of applications.

Specifications

  • Intel® Pentium® processor N4200, Intel® Celeron® processor N3350/J3455
  • Up to 8GB DDR3L 1866/1600 MHz SDRAM
  • Dual displays via HDMI and DisplayPort
  • 1x M.2 (E+A key), 1x SATA III, 1x microSD 3.0
  • eMMC 5.0 flash, 32GB (64GB, option)
  • Support Gigabit Ethernet
  • Support 4x USB 3.0 or 2x USB 2.0
  • Support wide input voltage range from 12V to 19V

SensiBLEduino – A full fledge ‘hardware-ready’ development kit for IoT and supports Arduino

IoT which translates to the Internet of Things has been a significant buzz for the last five years while disrupting major Industries (from Agriculture, Energy, Healthy, Sports and several others).

SensiBLEduino
SensiBLEduino Development Kit

IoT adoption has seen rapid development in the makers’ world, with different makers and manufacturers producing various forms of boards, chips, software to facilitate quick IoT development. Boards like ESP8266 from Espressif System is used for rapid prototyping and a low-cost choice for Wi-Fi-based IoT applications. Israeli based IoT firm SensiEdge has launched the SensiBLEDuino, an off-the-shelf, hardware-ready development kit based on the open-source Arduino for rapid prototyping of IoT applications.

SensiBLE is a full fledge customizable solution for those wanting to design IoT products. It helps to fasten development with a variety of sensors onboard, along with Bluetooth LE 4.1 capabilities and a low-power ARM® 32-bit Cortex®-M4 CPU with FPU. Some of the main challenges when embarking on IoT product development are; what platform will I use? What sensors are available to achieve my goal(s)? How do I handle connectivity? What about the Cloud Platform to use, and so on. Developers or product designer always result in the use of several boards or modules to achieve this while also increasing the time to bring the product to life. The SensiBLE kit removes most of these fears; it combines hardware and software in tiny form factor to allow developers get their product to market quickly at lower development costs. (more…)

Tiny i.MX7 module runs both Linux and FreeRTOS

F&S announced their tiny PicoCore MX7ULP module, which is able to run Linux or FreeRTOS on an NXP i.MX7 SoC. The board comes with up to 32GB eMMC plus optional WiFi/BT and extended temperature support. The new board measures only 40 x 35mm and will be presented on Embedded World (Feb. 27-Mar. 1) with expected shipment in the third quarter 2018.  The PicoCore module doesn’t have an edge connector, instead interfaces with a 2x 80-pin Hirose DF40C plug connectors.

PicoCore MX7ULP Block Diagram

The PicoCore MX7ULP ships with up to 1GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64MB SPI NOR flash, up to 32GB eMMC, and an optional SD slot. There’s also an option for a wireless module with 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. For display, you get a MIPI-DSI interface that is accompanied with I2C-based resistive and capacitive touch support.

PicoCore MX7ULP, front and back

Additional I/O includes USB OTG, SPI, 2x I2C, 33x general purpose DIO, audio interfaces, and 2x UARTS. The 10-gram board runs on 5V DC power (or a 4.2V battery) and consumes a typical 1W. For more information, please visit F&S Elektronik Systeme’s PicoCore MX7ULP announcement and product page.