Husarion launches CORE2 consumer robot controller

Robotic development platform creator Husarion has launched its next-generation dedicated robot controller CORE2. Available now at the Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform, CORE2 enables the rapid prototyping and development of consumer and service robots. It’s especially suitable for engineers designing commercial appliances and robotics students or hobbyists. Whether the next robotic idea is a tiny rover that penetrates tunnels, a surveillance drone, or a room-sized 3D printer, the CORE2 can serve as the brains behind it.

Husarion launches CORE2 consumer robot controller – [Link]

2-3A, 42-Vin Silent Switcher offers low-EMI regulation

LT8609S is a 2A (3A Peak), 42V input synchronous step-down switching regulator. The synchronous step-down Silent Switcher 2 Delivers 93% efficiency at 2 MHz with ultralow EMI/EMC emissions. By Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com:
The LT8609S design reduces EMI/EMC emissions due to very well controlled switching edges, its internal construction with an integral ground plane and the use of copper pillars in lieu of bond wires. This improved EMI/EMC performance is not sensitive to board layout, simplifying design and reducing risk even when using two-layer PC boards.
2-3A, 42-Vin Silent Switcher offers low-EMI regulation – [Link]

LoRaCatKitty: Build IoT Applications with LoRa in 3 steps!

Based on the ESP8266 module, “Andres Sabas” unite the best of WiFi and LoRa, Facilitating the development of IoT solutions.

LoRaCatKitty is designed to simplify the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications using the fabulous (but still underutilized) LoRa Technology. We have based our development on the ESP8266 WiFi module and the LoRa RN2903 or RN2483 microchip module, and we have designed it to allow you can create IoT applications without deep knowledge of technology.

White Paper: Cut the Cord with Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Providing AC power to each device individually is an extra cost especially for organizations when installing IP cameras, VoIP phones or network access switches and routers in the facilities. To help in this way some modern protocols, like USB and Ethernet, provide the power over the same data cable. However, USB is not designed for networking and long distance network applications. Besides that, the 900 mA at 5V in USB 3.0 is suitable for low-power devices like external hard disks but can’t provide enough power for high-power devices like switches and other network instruments. For these reasons, PoE (Power over Ethernet) can be the best choice.

CAT-5/5e twisted-pair Ethernet cable. Image courtesy of: CableOrganizer

PoE can provide power up to 30W beside data connectivity on any standard CAT-5/5e twisted-pair Ethernet cable, and supports 10Base-T, 100Base-T, 100Base-TX, and 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

The LEX Computech 3I390NX Series

As an example of an SCB (Single Computer Board) that provides PoE on its ports is a board called 3I390NX from LEX COMPUTECH which is based on the latest Intel Pentium Processor N4200/ N3350/E3950 Apollo Lake processor family. The Ethernet ports are provided by the Intel Ethernet controller i1211-AT.

3I390NX SCB features are:

  • Intel Apollo Lake N4200/N3350/E3950 CPU/chipset.
  • On Board 4GB DDR3L.
  • Display: HDMI, DP, VGA & eDP.
  • 5 x GbE (4 x PoE) LAN.
  • 2 x Mini PCIe.
  • 6 x USB.
  • HD Audio.
  • 2 x COM (1 x RS232 / 422 / 485 port (external), 1 x RS232 / 422 / 485 port (internal)).
  • Hardware digital Input & Output, 8 x DI / 8 x DO.

To know more about this SCB you can preview the full white paper published on IEEE Spectrum, or download it directly from here.

Renesas Electronics Achieves Lowest Embedded SRAM Power of 13.7 nW/Mbit

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the successful development of a new low-power SRAM circuit technology that achieves a record ultra-low power consumption of 13.7 nW/Mbit in standby mode. The prototype SRAM also achieves a high-speed readout time of 1.8 ns during active operation. Renesas Electronics applied its 65nm node silicon on thin buried oxide (SOTB) process to develop this record-creating SRAM prototype.

Renesas Embedded SRAM prototype with SOTB Structure
Renesas Embedded SRAM prototype with SOTB Structure

This new low-power SRAM circuit technology can be embedded in application specific standard products (ASSPs) for Internet of Things (IoT), home electronics, and healthcare applications. The fast growth of IoT is requiring all the devices be connected to a wireless network all the time. Hence, products must consume less power to prolong battery life. With this new technology applied, much longer battery life can be achieved enabling maintenance-free applications.

One essential part of the development of IoT applications is the miniaturization of end products. This can be achieved by lowering battery capacity requirement of ASSPs. As an effort to reduce the power consumption in ASSPs for the IoT, there is a technique in which the application is operated in the standby mode and only goes to the active mode when data processing is required.

Now, the conventional way of saving power is to store all important data to an internal/external non-volatile memory and cut off the power supply to the circuit. If the wait time is long enough, this method is effective. But in most of the cases, the device has to switch between standby mode and active mode very quickly causing data-saving and restarting process extremely inefficient. There are even cases where, inversely, this increases power consumption.

In contrary to above, the new technology by Renesas Electronics uses a method where power consumption in standby mode is reduced a lot enabling switching operation to be performed frequently without leading to increased power consumption. Hence, it’s no more required to save data to non-volatile memory. This improves the efficiency further.

The low-power embedded SRAM which is fabricated using the 65 nm SOTB process, achieves both the low standby mode power consumption and increased operating speed.  Such features were difficult to achieve with the continuing progress of the semiconductor process miniaturization.  Renesas plans to support both energy harvesting operation and development of maintenance free IoT applications that do not require battery replacement by enabling ASSPs that adopt the embedded SRAM with SOTB structure.

To learn about all the complex technical information which is not covered in the scope of this article, visit the press release page of Renesas Electronics.

Quantum Internet Is Coming!

Secure and unhackable Internet is a goal of many researchers around the world. This is possible using an invisible quantum physical connections as networking links known as “quantum entanglement“. The main challenge is building  large networks that share entangled links with many particles and network nodes, because adding a node will weak the entanglement.

Researchers from Delft and Oxford have successfully found a way to form a strong entangled link. Their solution relays on merging multiple weaker quantum links into one to build a trustworthy quantum network between several quantum nodes.

The research group in known for its effort on implementing quantum entanglement to realize networking links. Now, they are working to pave the way for constructing the first quantum internet. They used photons to reach up to one kilometer macroscopic distance of quantum information link. They also show that this type of link is safe because the entanglement is invisible to intermediate parties, and the information is safe against eavesdropping.

We could now entangle electrons in additional quantum nodes such that we can extend the number of networking links towards a first real quantum network. Scientifically, a whole new world opens up. In five years we will connect four Dutch cities in a rudimentary quantum network.
– Ronald Hanson, The research group leader

This video demonstrates the new method and how it works:

The research paper was published in Science magazine, you can read it for more information.

Sources: TUDelft, elektor.

Next-generation Bluetooth Low Energy SoC from ST

Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com introduces BlueNRG-2, the latest BLE solution from ST. He writes:
Introducing its latest-generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) System-on-Chip, ST Microelectronics highlights low power, small size, and high performance to enable widespread deployment of energy-conscious, space-constrained applications with BLE connectivity. The device provides state-of-the-art security and is Bluetooth 5.0-certified
Next-generation Bluetooth Low Energy SoC from ST – [Link]

High Voltage-Current Half Bridge Driver Using IR2153 & IGBT

IGBT based half bridge board has been designed for multiple applications, like induction heater driver, tesla coil driver, DC-DC converters, SMPS etc. High current and high voltage IGBTs are used to serve high power requirements.

IGBT NGTB40N120FL2WG from ON semi and IR2153 from Infineon semiconductor are important parts of the circuit, IR2153 is a gate driver IC including inbuilt oscillator, 40A/1200V IGBT can handle large current. Gate driver circuit works with 15V DC and load supply 60V DC to 400V DC.

High Voltage-Current Half Bridge Driver Using IR2153 & IGBT – [Link]

Bluey, BLE Development Board Supports NFC

Development boards are assistant tools that help engineers and enthusiasts to become familiarized with hardware development. They simplify the process of controlling and programming hardware, such as microcontrollers and microprocessors.

Electronut Labs, an embedded systems consulting company, had produced its new BLE development board “Bluey” with a set of useful sensors and NFC support.

Bluey is an open source board that features the Nordic nRF52832 SoC which supports BLE and other proprietary wireless protocols. Bluey has built-in sensors that include temperature, humidity, ambient light and accelerometer sensors. Also, it supports NFC and comes with a built-in NFC PCB antenna.

The nRF52832 SoC is a powerful, ultra-low power multiprotocol SoC suited for Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. It is built around a 32-bit ARM Cortex™-M4F CPU with 512kB + 64kB RAM.

Bluey Specifications:

  • Nordic nRF52832 QFAA BLE SoC (512k Flash / 64k RAM)
  • TI HDC1010 Temperature/Humidity sensor
  • APDS-9300-020 ambient light sensor
  • ST Micro LSM6DS3 accelerometer
  • CREE RGB LED
  • CP2104 USB interface
  • 2 push buttons
  • Coin cell holder
  • Micro SD slot
  • 2.4 GHz PCB antenna
  • NFC PCB antenna

Bluey can be programmed using the Nordic nRF5 SDK. You can upload the code with an external programmer such as the Nordic nRF52-DK, or the Black Magic Probe firmware on STM32F103 breakout. But, within the built-in OTA (over the air) bootloader, you can upload the code directly using a PC or a phone.

The sensors on the board require a minimum of 2.7 volts to function properly, and the maximum power is 6 volts. Bluey’s design offers three different ways to power it, all of them have a polarity protection:

  1. Using the 5V micro USB connector (which also gives you the option to print debug messages via UART).
  2. The + / – power supply pins which can take regular 2.54 mm header pins, a JST connector for a 3.7 V LiPo battery, or a 3.5 mm terminal block.
  3. A CR2032 coin cell for low power applications.

You can use Bluey for a wide range of projects. The BLE part is ideal for IoT projects, or if you want to control something with your phone. The nRF52832 SoC has a powerful ARM Cortex-M4F CPU, so you can use this board for general purpose microcontroller projects as well.

Bluey is available for $29 for international customers from Tindie store. Indian customers can purchase it from Instamojo store. There are also discounts for bulk purchases. For more information about the board visit its github repository, where you will find a full guide to start and a bunch of demo projects.

Cell Phone Can Make Calls Without a Battery

Vamsi Talla at the University of Washington in Seattle build a mobile phone that can rely only on energy that it could harvest from its surroundings. Imagine if you can send SMS or make a call when you are out of battery. That’s what’s the team trying to achieve.

Ambient light can be turned into a trickle of electricity with solar panels or photodiodes. Radio-frequency TV and Wi-Fi broadcasts can be converted into energy using an antenna. A hybrid system using both technologies might generate a few tens of microwatts.

Cell Phone Can Make Calls Without a Battery – [Link]