Using HealthyPi with a PC for ECG,Respiration & SpO2

Ashwin K Whitchurch, Venkatesh Bhat, and Manikandan S @ hackster.io build a PC based ECG,Respiration & SpO2 monitor.

We introduced the HealthyPi as a HAT add-on for the Raspberry Pi, turning it into a full-featured, medical-grade open patient monitor. However, we realized later that people also wanted to use the board standalone with a Windows/Linux/Mac PC. We already had an on-board USB port from the SAMD21 on the board.

Using HealthyPi with a PC for ECG,Respiration & SpO2 – [Link]

Meet BeagleBone Blue by Beagleboard

A new development board by BeagleBoard has been just unveiled: BeagleBone® Blue! The new board is dedicated for designers, hobbyists and professional featuring a Linux-enabled robotics controller complete with an extensive set of peripherals for building mobile robots quickly and affordably.

It is easier today to build your robot using BeagleBone Blue since it has onboard 2 cell (2S) LiPo battery management with charger and battery level LEDs, 8 real-time software controlled PWM/PPM outputs for 6V servo motors or electronic-speed-controllers (ESCs), 4 PWM-enabled DC motor drivers, 4 quadrature encoder inputs, on-board sensors including a 9-axis IMU and barometer, a wide array of GPIO and serial protocol connectors including CAN,4 ADC inputs, a PC USB interface, a USB 2.0 host port, a reset button, a power button, two user configurable buttons and eleven user configurable LED indicators.

BeagleBone Blue also has a pre-configured Wi-Fi access point that enables the process of connecting a battery and coding through a web browser. The board is compatible with Debian, ROS, and ArduPilot software, in addition to Cloud9 IDE on Node.js and other graphical programming options.

Key Features

  • Processor: Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
    • 512MB DDR3 RAM
    • 2×32-bit 200-MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs)
    • 4GB 8-bit on-board flash storage programmed with Debian Linux distribution
  • Connectivity and Sensors:
    • Battery: 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 9-18V charger input
    • Wireless: 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.1 and BLE
    • Motor control: 8 6V servo out, 4 DC motor out, 4 quadrature encoder in
    • Sensors: 9 axis IMU, barometer
    • Connectivity: HighSpeed USB 2.0 client and host
    • Other easy connect interfaces: GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs
  • Software Compatibility
    • Debian, ROS, Ardupilot, …
    • Graphical programming, Cloud9 IDE on Node.js
    • plus much more

Designed and developed in coordination with the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, BeagleBone Blue will the best board to use  for your next robot!

BeagleBone Blue is available today from Arrow, Element14 and Mouser for around $80. For more details, visit https://beagleboard.org/blue.

tinyTILE, An Intel Development Board Based on Intel Curie Module

In the past year, Intel announced the low power development board “tinyTILE” which was built based on Intel Curie Module, offering quick and easy identification of actions and motions, features needed by always-on applications.

tinyTile was designed for use in wearable devices and rapid prototyping. It is a 35 x 26 mm board and has an Intel Curie Module on the top and a flat reverse side. There are 20 general purpose I/O pins (four of them are PWM output pins) operate at 3.3V with a maximum of 20 mA current.

The Intel Curie Module is a low-power compute module featuring the low-power 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller with 384kB flash memory and 80kB SRAM, low-power integrated DSP sensor hub and pattern matching technology, Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), and 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope.

Intel Curie Module Block Diagram

Features of the tinyTILE include:

  • Intel® Curie™ module dual-core (Intel® Quark* processor core and ARC* core)
  • Bluetooth® low energy, 6-axis combo sensor and pattern matching engine
  • 14 digital input/output pins (four can be used as PWM output pins)
  • Four PWM output pins
  • Six analog input pins
  • Strictly 3.3 V I/Os only
  • 20 mA DC current per I/O pin
  • 196 kB Flash memory
  • 24 kB SRAM
  • 32 MHz clock speed
  • USB connector for serial communication and firmware updates (DFU protocol)
  • 35 mm length and 26 mm width

tinyTILE can be powered using the USB connection or by an external battery, and it is compatible with three development environments:

The board is available for around $40 on element14. All related documents, specifications, BOM, BSP and other needed information are available at the official page.

You can view this project that invades your dog’s privacy with impressive ease while you’re at work!

The Octopart Guide to IC Packages

@ blog.octopart.com tipped us with his latest article. He writes:

Continuing our series on how to select components, we will discuss different IC packages in this blog. ICs are the backbone of electronic devices, and choosing the right IC requires considering factors like price, reliability, performance, and package, among others. In this blog, we will focus on demystifying different IC packages, so that you can make an informed decision when you select the IC for your next project. We have also included some links to popular ICs.

The Octopart Guide to IC Packages – [Link]

Keysight adds 50/70/100 MHz oscilloscopes for educators, small labs

Martin Rowe @ edn.com writes:

Taking aim at rivals Rigol and Tektronix, Keysight Technologies has introduced a series of four oscilloscopes aimed at educators, small labs, and perhaps individuals. The InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series of two-channel oscilloscopes has bandwidths of 50 MHz, 70 MHz, and 100 MHz (upgradeable from 70 MHz with a software key) with prices starting at $449 (see table).

Keysight adds 50/70/100 MHz oscilloscopes for educators, small labs – [Link]

From Maker to Production tools by Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics, a global provider of products, services, and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions, is now joining the Embedded World 2017 exhibition and conference. Embedded world is the trade fair for the security for electronic systems and distributed intelligence, started on 14 March 2017 until 16 March in Nuremberg, Germany.

At Embedded World Arrow Electronics is showcasing a range of products and services that can assist members of the maker community in transforming their innovative ideas into production. Start-ups and established companies can all benefit from a suite of online tools that, combined with Arrow’s breadth of suppliers and global logistical capabilities, enable time-to-market to be shortened.

Visitors can learn how to benefit from Arrow’s relationship with crowdfunding pioneer, Indiegogo. Working with Indiegogo, Arrow is able to put critical resources in the hands of entrepreneurs, such as components procurement and online design tools, and also to share its expertise in the journey from design to production.

Arrow will also demonstrate a free, integrated, cloud-based version of the Cadence OrCAD Capture design solution that makes it easier for design engineers and makers to integrate component research and selection within their design environment. OrCAD Capture Cloud saves significant development time, helping entrepreneurs get their products to market more quickly and cost effectively.

At Embedded World 2017 Arrow will introduce several new 96boards to the market: Meerkat, Chameleon96, Oxalis!

The Chameleon96 board from Arrow Electronics is featured prominently at Embedded World 2017.

Meerkat has NXP® i.MX7D processor, a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A7 at up to 1.2GHz clock speed per core and ARM Cortex-M4. The connectivity on the board is: WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.1, One USB 2.0 OTG micro AB, Two USB 2.0 HOST, On-board BT and WLAN antenna.

Chameleon96 has Intel® Cyclone V SoC  FPGA, a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 at up to 800MHz clock speed per core, capable of 32-bit operation. It supports Linux at launch and offers advanced processing power, WLAN, Bluetooth, and USB, all packed into a board the size of a credit card.

Oxalis, the 96Boards EE (Enterprise Edition) carrier board which held the SoM based on NXP Network Processor QorIQ® LS1012A processor, optimized for battery-backed or USB-powered, space-constrained networking and IoT applications, integrates a single ARM Cortex-A53 core running up to 800 MHz with a hardware packet forwarding engine and high-speed interfaces to deliver line-rate networking performance in an ultra-small size envelope at 1W typical power dissipation.

More details about Arrow’s “From Maker to Market” philosophy check this article.

You can still visit Arrow during Embedded World at booth 340 in hall 4A to know more about the offers, products and online tools. Also check Arrrow Electronics website for more information.

How Do NASA’s Apollo Computers Stack Up to an iPhone?


By David Grossman @ popularmechanics.com:

How Do NASA’s Apollo Computers Stack Up to an iPhone? – [Link]

Advancing power supply solutions through the promise of GaN

by Michael Seeman and Dave Freeman from Texas Instrument:
One important innovation that promises to contribute significantly to meeting this goal is the use of gallium-nitride (GaN) in power applications. GaN is already an established semiconductor material, employed extensively in LED lighting and increasingly important in wireless applications. Now, with process advances and defect rate improvements, GaN is providing a number of advantages in electronic power supplies that convert electricity between alternating and direct current, change voltage levels and perform a number of functions to ensure the availability of reliable electric power.

Advancing power supply solutions through the promise of GaN – [Link]

Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos

Ken Shirriff writes:

The revolutionary Intel 8008 microprocessor is 45 years old today (March 13, 2017), so I figured it’s time for a blog post on reverse-engineering its internal circuits. One of the interesting things about old computers is how they implemented things in unexpected ways, and the 8008 is no exception. Compared to modern architectures, one unusual feature of the 8008 is it had an on-chip stack for subroutine calls, rather than storing the stack in RAM. And instead of using normal binary counters for the stack, the 8008 saved a few gates by using shift-register counters that generated pseudo-random values. In this article, I reverse-engineer these circuits from die photos and explain how they work.

Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos – [Link]

Embedded IoT gateway, in a 17 x 25 mm footprint

Lantronix, Inc. has added the xPico 200 family of embedded IoT gateways that measure 17 by 25 mm, to rpvide secure Ethernet, Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity for smart IoT solutions. by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

The xPico 200 series will feature enterprise security, networking intelligence, and pre-integration with Lantronix’s MACH10 management software platform in a compact footprint that enables the functionality of a powerful IoT device gateway to be integrated into machines not previously practical.

Embedded IoT gateway, in a 17 x 25 mm footprint – [Link]