ULINKplus, A Debug Adapter With Power Measurment

While building an ultra-low power application, sensitive hardware and software validation is required to reach system and long battery life. Testing will need an interaction with the tested parts, like simulating input pins of the target application.

These difficulties could be solved with ARM’s new debug adapter “ULINKplus“. It connects the target system with the PC through USB port using a 10-pin Cortex Debug connector. Its power measurement technology allows developers to program, debug, and analyze their applications and their power consumption.

Main features of ULINKplus are:

  • Integrated power measurement synchronized to event tracing which makes it easy to optimize the overall energy envelope of a system.
  • Isolated JTAG/serial-wire connection to the target hardware is essential for testing applications such as motor control, power converters, or systems with sensitive analog processing.
  • Additional test I/O pins are accessible from the debugger and debug scripts to interact with the target and control automated test stands.

ULINKplus, together with MDK, provides extended on-the-fly debug capabilities for Cortex-M devices. You can control the processor, set breakpoints, and read/write memory contents, all while the processor is running at full speed. High-Speed data trace enables you to analyze detailed program behavior.

In addition to downloading programs to your target hardware, you will be able to examine memory and registers, single-step through programs and insert multiple breakpoints, to run programs in real-time, program Flash memory, and to connect to running targets (hot-plugging).

Live data from power measurement

ULINKplus offers a high speed connections that reach 50 Mbit/s for data and event trace for Cortex-M, 20 MHz JTAG clock speed, and 3 MBytes/s high-speed memory read/write.

ULINKplus technical specifications:

  • Compact case 62 x 44 x 11 mm (dust-protected)
  • JTAG/SWD: 20 MHz JTAG clock, 50 MHz serial-wire trace, 10-pin Cortex debug connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Memory access 3 MB/sec, serial-wire trace up to 50 Mbit/sec
  • Power measurement: 2 x 16-bit A/D, 400 KSamples/sec, 3-pin connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Test I/O: 9 digital in/out, 4 analog in, 1 analog out, 3.3 V switchable output voltage (11-pin connector)
  • Debug connection: USB2.0 (to host PC), CMSIS-DAP protocol

According to ARM, ULINKplus will be available from this month.

PCB Design for manufacture [PDF]

SeeedStudio has published a PCB design manual to help makers and engineers design better PCBs. The guide covers many aspects of PCB design for manufacture summarizing the experience of their PCB service over the last 9 years.

PCB Design for manufacture – [Link]

CP2615 USB-I2S Bridge – A New Solution from Silicon Labs

Apple said goodby to 3.5mm audio jack in Iphone 7 by adding the audio signal to USB plug besides the other functionalities. While Iphone is a pioneer brand, a lot of manufacturers in the near future will drop that analog jack. However, your ear responds to analog signals only. So either you buy headphones with built-in USB audio to analog converter, or you use your old headphones with an adapter. This “new” demand for converting between USB and analog increases the need for ready made solutions.

IPhone 6 and iPhone 7 ports comparison — By Rafael Fernandez (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Silicon Labs has a lot of solutions for USB fixed-function chips. A new IC from Silicon Labs called CP2615 serves as a digital audio bridge transferring digital audio data between the USB and integrated I2S serial bus interfaces with no firmware development needed.
CP2615 is available in 5mm x 5mm QFN-32 package and includes a USB 2.0 full-speed function controller, USB transceiver, on-chip oscillator, I2S audio interface, integrated I2C to communicate with DACs/codecs and embedded flash memory for storing device configurations.

CP2615 has a number of properties that need to be configured like Audio Sample Rates, selecting audio interfaces and others. They can all be configured using “Xpress Configurator” available in Silicon Lab’s IDE (Simplicity Studio).

CP2615 Datasheet
Source: Electropages

Pi Zero Gameboy = GameBoy Zero

moosepr @ hackaday.io writes:

My attempt to get the smallest, simplest GameBoy style device, based on the pi Zero.

Pi Zero Gameboy = GameBoy Zero – [Link]

Programmable LED dimmer

A Programmable LED dimmer from Soldernerd:

Around one and a half years ago I’ve designed and built various LED dimmers for both white and RGB LEDs. Then late last year someone approached me asking if I could make an RGB dimmer for him, too. But my designs were really tailored to their specific applications and built with home-made, i.e. milled PCBs which are time-consuming to make. So I decided to make a more universal version based on a proper, etched board which could be built in a small series and used for all kind of applications, both white and RGB. The result is this versatile, programmable 4-channel dimmer.

Programmable LED dimmer – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Multichannel Wireless Light Dimmer

abhishek123 @ instructables.com writes:

This project aims to

Control the intensity of the dimmable lighting appliances via a trailing edge dimmer.

Provide the user , ability to control lightsindependently and wirelessly over the Wi-Fi network and the Internet!

Multichannel Wireless Light Dimmer – [Link]

Development board targets IoT and is Arduino compatible

Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com discuss about a new IoT board to the market.

Distributor Arrow Electronics has extended its range of IoT development boards with the SmartEverything Panther. The Panther board enables users to add pattern recognition capabilities to their products to allow them to recognise gestures, sound and vibration patterns and then to link them to the cloud via Wi-Fi for monitoring and control purposes.

Development board targets IoT and is Arduino compatible – [Link]

Nanoscale refrigerator helps quantum computers keep their cool

by @ newatlas.com:

The next big breakthrough for electronics is likely to be quantum computers, which will increase digitized memory capacity exponentially and allow scientists to start tackling problems that our classical computers have no hope of handling right now. Companies like IBM are starting to make some headway, but there are still plenty of hurdles to jump before practical quantum computers become a reality. A team from Aalto University in Finland may have cleared one of those obstacles, developing a nanoscale refrigerator to help cool components down.

Nanoscale refrigerator helps quantum computers keep their cool – [Link]

Firecricket – Bring your toys and costume props to life!

A tiny 32-bit Arduino compatible light, sound, & motion controller you can program yourself!

The Firecricket is an Arduino compatible light, sound, and motion controller featuring a 48MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller w/ 16K of RAM, a MicroSD slot so you can store sound effects, bitmaps, and configuration files, a 2.5W audio amplifier, and an N-MOSFET w/ flyback diode for driving high current inductive loads, like vibration motors or 3W LEDs.

ZeroPhone, A Raspberry Pi-Based Open Source Smartphone

Raspberry Pi is one of the most helpful innovations in the hardware industry. It has helped beginners and children learn programming and allowed the makers to develop powerful and cheap DIY projects. “ZeroPhone” is a new DIY smartphone that is built based on Raspberry Pi and cost about only $50.

ZeroPhone is an open source, Linux-powered smartphone, that has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining. It is user-friendly and will have the typical features of a phone, but with more advanced features. It also can be modified and repaired easily.

The phone is built using widely available components, and its open source hardware and software  will give you as much control over your phone as possible.

ZeroPhone can be used for calling and SMS, SSH, pen testing, and experimenting in addition to all basic functions like calendar, phonebook, music player, and web browser. As it is a linux-based phone, you can run ARM compatible programs. SDK will be provided so you can then develop your own apps.

Features & Specifications

  • Based on Raspberry Pi Zero, ESP8266 and Arduino
  • Has Wi-Fi, HDMI, full-size USB and a 3.5 mm jack (Bluetooth as an option)
  • 2G GSM connectivity (3G coming soon)
  • 128 x 64 1.3” OLED screen
  • GSM/Wi-Fi/microphone hardware switch option
  • RGB LED and vibromotor
  • Uses of Extension Ports:
    • IR receiver/transmitter
    • Additional displays and buttons
    • 5 MP / 8 MP Pi Camera
    • Extended batteries
    • Various sensors, both analog and digital
    • Wireless radios for IoT
    • GPS, Ethernet and MicroSD expansion
    • …and much more.

The OS of ZerPhone is Raspbian Linux, which is currently based on Debian Jessie. This is because it is suitable for all functions, and will still be upgradable in the future. The user interface (controlling screen and buttons) is written in Python.

Compared with other open-source phones, ZeroPhone, as the maker said, is the only one uses affordable parts which are available on eBay, and its software will be always updated if the phone’s development will stop.

To make your ZeroPhone you will need:

  • Pi Zero
  • SIM800 modules
  • ESP8266-12E
  • Two-layer PCBs (two 4x10cm boards, one 4x6cm board)
  • ATMega328P
  • LCD screen
  • Battery
  • TP4056 battery charger
  • Buttons for keypad
  • 2.54 headers

More details about this project is available on its hackaday page, in addition to the project description and frequently asked questions.