µGFX – embedded library for Displays and Touchscreens

uGFX

µGFX is a library to interface all kinds of different displays and touchscreens to embedded devices. The main goal of the project is it to provide a set of feature rich tools like a complete GUI toolkit while keeping the system requirements at a minimum.

µGFX can either be run on top of an operating system like ChibiOS/RT, FreeRTOS and many others or on a bare-metal system.

The library is entirely written in C. It can be used in C++ applications without any modifications.
It’s free to use without any usage restrictions for non-commercial products and open hardware projects. Commercial licenses are available at low prices.

µGFX – embedded library for Displays and Touchscreens – [Link]

Measure Capacitance with Arduino

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by Maximous @ instructables.com:

This tutorial provides a guide on how to set up an Arduino to measure the capacitance of a capacitor. This can be useful if the capacitor is unlabeled or if it is self-built.

Capacitance is an object’s ability to store an electric charge. Reasonably, this object is referred to as a capacitor. A capacitor that stores this charge in an electric field between two conductive plates is known as a parallel plate capacitor.

Measure Capacitance with Arduino – [Link]

IBM shows working devices fabricated at 7nm node

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

An alliance led by IBM Research, together with New York academic institution SUNY Polytech and with Samsung and GlobalFoundries, has produced 7nm (nanometer) node test chips with functioning transistors.

Continuing semiconductor scaling down to feature sizes of 7 nm is expected to yield further gains in performance, and lower power levels, but in IBM’s words, “[its] researchers had to bypass conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches”. The finFET-style transistors in the demonstrator were constructed with silicon-germanium (SiGe) channels, and the lithography that defined them employed Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) technology, “at multiple levels”. [That is, the use of EUV was not reserved for definition of a single critical part of the transistor structure.]

IBM shows working devices fabricated at 7nm node – [Link]

Writing a python module to simulate a LCD

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by Prashant Mohta:

So recently I got a Raspberry pi and a 16×2 character LCD screen , I thought , lets make a simple game that can be played on the lcd. my first instinct was to code directly for the lcd on the pi , but as I started coding I realized that the clutter of having the lcd connected wasn’t really necessary while i am programming the game’s logic .

I decided to make a python module that gives me the lcd output on my monitor , this way i no longer need to work with my lcd connected and can even code the game on my laptop and test the results quickly . Moreover once im done with the coding , i can simply replace the module code , for the lcd control code , and my game is ready to deploy.

Writing a python module to simulate a LCD – [Link]

App note: Eliminate noise through proper supply bypass filtering

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Power supply filtering, an application note from Maxim Integrated:

If sensitive analog systems are run from one supply without the sufficient bypassing to eliminate noise, undesired degradation in a system’s performance will result. This application note provides insight into suitable techniques to overcome this roadblock.

App note: Eliminate noise through proper supply bypass filtering – [Link]

Research Points the way to Safer Lithium Batteries

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by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

A paper published in the June 17th edition of Nature Communications describes how the addition of two chemicals to the electrolyte of lithium metal batteries can prevent the formation of dendrites. These are needles of lithium which grow in the battery and eventually puncture the barrier between the two battery halves. Their formation can cause short circuits in the battery which leads to overheating and sometimes combustion.

According to the paper this breakthrough could help remove a major barrier to the future development of lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries. These promising new battery technologies could store up to 10 times more energy per weight than batteries in use today in consumer electronics and electric cars.

Research Points the way to Safer Lithium Batteries – [Link]

Current-sense amp integrates precision shunt resistor, in single package

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Texas Instruments says it is making, “high-accuracy measurement more attainable with the first current-sense amplifier to integrate a high-precision, low-drift 2 mΩ shunt resistor,” – the device can cut calibration effort, system cost, and footprint for test and measurement, communications load monitoring, and power supplies.

For highly accurate measurements over a wide temperature range, TI’s INA250 integrates the shunt resistor with a bi-directional, zero-drift current-sense amplifier to support both low-side and high-side implementations. It enables high-accuracy current measurements at common-mode voltages that can vary from 0 to 36V. The family of devices will be available in four output scales; 200, 500 and 800 mV/A, and 2 V/A; the maximum current through the shunt resistor is 10A at the full rated temperature of 125C, or 15A at up to 85C. Its accuracy and low drift reduce or may even eliminate designers’ calibration effort for many systems. This integration also enables lower system cost and a smaller board footprint compared to alternative solutions.

Current-sense amp integrates precision shunt resistor, in single package – [Link]

Fingerprint Scanning garage Door Opener

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by albedozero @ instructables.com:

This is an electronic garage door opener designed around a SparkFun GT-511C1R fingerprint scanner. There is already a very good instructable by user nodcah that describes how to build almost this exact device, from which I took 99% of my inspiration. I’m posting this to easily share with my local makerspace, and for anyone who likes to see things done slightly differently.

Fingerprint Scanning garage Door Opener – [Link]

Guidelines for reading an optocoupler datasheet

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by Markus Appel @ edn.com:

Optocouplers, also known as opto-isolators, are components that transfer electrical signals between two isolated circuits by using infrared light. As an isolator, an optocoupler can prevent high voltages from affecting the side of the circuit receiving the signal. Transferring signals over a light barrier by using an infrared light-emitting diode and a light-sensitive product, such as a phototransistor, is the main structure of an optocoupler. On the first page, datasheets provide the main product description, its features, suggested areas of applications, ordering information, and agency approvals, as shown in Figure 1 for the VO617A optocoupler with phototransistor output. Following pages provide key technical specifications, operating conditions, and graphs showing the behavior of the product.

Guidelines for reading an optocoupler datasheet – [Link]

Waffle implant supplies drugs

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by Rob Matheson @ MIT News Office:

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years.

Invented by Microchips Biotech co-founders Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, the microchips consist of hundreds of pinhead-sized reservoirs, each capped with a metal membrane, that store tiny doses of therapeutics or chemicals. An electric current delivered by the device removes the membrane, releasing a single dose. The device can be programmed wirelessly to release individual doses for up to 16 years to treat, for example, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis.

Waffle implant supplies drugs – [Link]