ATtiny85 Function Generator

David Johnson-Davies build a tiny function generator based on ATtiny85 microcontroller. He writes:

This article describes a simple function generator based on an ATtiny85. It can generate triangle, sawtooth, square, and rectangular waves, a pulse train, and noise. The frequency can be adjusted using a rotary encoder between 1Hz and 5kHz in steps of 1Hz, and the selected waveform and frequency is displayed on an OLED display.

This project really puts the ATtiny85 through its paces; it’s generating 8-bit samples at a 16kHz sampling rate, decoding the rotary encoder, switching between waveforms, and updating the OLED display via I2C.

ATtiny85 Function Generator – [Link]

ESP32 Deep Sleep Tutorial for Low Power Projects

Our friends on uploaded a new video. Check it out.

Welcome to this ESP32 Deep Sleep tutorial with the Arduino IDE! Today we are going to learn how to put the ESP32 chip into the Deep Sleep mode in order to conserve power and make our projects battery friendly. There is a lot to cover so let’s get started! The ESP32 chip is a fantastic new chip with great features. It offers a lot of processing power, two 32 bit cores, a lot of memory, Bluetooth and WiFi in a small and easy to use chip. One of the most interesting things about the ESP32 chip is that it offers a low-power deep sleep mode which is very easy to use. Let’s see how to use it.

ESP32 Deep Sleep Tutorial for Low Power Projects – [Link]

Solar energy harvester IC that operates with indoor lighting

Saelig Company, Inc. ( has introduced the patented Sol Chip Saturn802 Energy Harvester IC – a unique photovoltaic (PV) cell which can produce output voltage levels of 0.75V, 1.5V, 2.25V, 3.0V, 4.5V, and 9V, which existing solar cells cannot do.  The maximum power which can be obtained in full daylight is around 10mW, or 55uW in office lighting, so the Saturn802 IC is targeted at low-power applications. The size of the die is approximately 1cm by 1cm, and the stable voltage levels are available from separate pins of the device.  The IC can be used with or without a back-up battery.

Sol Chip’s unique technology integrates solar energy conversion principles with very large scale integration (VLSI) techniques to produce a unique ambient light harvesting device that combines photovoltaic layer and microchip circuitry in layers on the same substrate.  Although solar cells have been around for a long time, with microchips being the mainstay of electronic devices, no company in the semiconductor industry has successfully integrated solar cells with standard chip manufacturing processes in a cost effective way.

The Sol Chip Energy Harvester allows designers to build low-powered products that can recharge themselves.  All that is needed is a small window in the product design or a transparent cover to allow light to reach the surface-mounted Saturn802 chip.  This eliminates the need for a battery in low power products, thus removing maintenance and environmental waste issues. Incorporating the Sol Chip Energy Harvester in product designs is ideal for hard-to-reach locations where battery use and routine replacement is inconvenient or prohibitively expensive.

Applications suited to the Saturn802 include wireless sensor networks, drip-irrigation systems, wearable electronics, smart city solutions like parking or security and utility meters, data loggers, shelf labeling, GPS emergency locators, animal tracking devices, GPS asset/container tracking,  autonomous environmental and pollution measurement devices, and RFID devices.   Saturn802 designs can operate continuously for more than ten years with no maintenance requirements.  In wireless products this also eliminates the significant costs and time associated with wiring connections for the deployed sensors, reducing system cost of ownership.

Forming an “everlasting battery”, the Saturn802 solar cells are available on an evaluation board, the Eval-802, allowing users to develop their own power regulation circuitry for handling differing light and load conditions.  For a ready-made solar solution using the Saturn802 cell, the SCP-2801 board provides all necessary circuitry to provide constant 24/7 output.

Made in Israel by Sol Chip Ltd., an innovative solar products manufacturer, the Sol Chip Saturn802 Energy Harvester IC and the SCP-2801 Evaluation Kit are available now from Saelig Company, Inc., Sol Chip’s authorized North American distributor.

Single board computer and software are development system for HMI

Creating a stable system and development ecosystem to reduce time to market for new applications

Densitron, a creator of display technologies and global leader in display, monitor and embedded computing solutions, has launched its new single board computer (SBC) appropriately named “Aurora SBX™” (derived from the Latin for first light), along with its extremely versatile application-specific software. Developed by the company’s Embedded division, this original board will help engineers using Densitron displays and electronics within new applications to accelerate the development process and bring their products to market faster.

Aurora SBX™ combines with, and supports, a variety of Densitron displays to provide a Human Machine Interface (HMI) package. Designed specifically to drive various displays from within Densitron’s vast range – with PCT multitouch or haptic input and up to full HD resolution – and to fit within a 5” display outline, the package provides an out-of-the-box, development-ready solution which can be integrated without substantial development resources. (more…)

Flex Power Modules launches 1000W DC/DC advanced bus converter

Based upon Flex Power Modules’ Hybrid Regulated Ratio (HRR) topology, the BMR480 DC/DC bus converter module delivers up to 1000W and 96.2A peak power.

The BMR480 DC/DC advanced bus converter targets high-end and high-power applications. It is available in an industry-standard and low-profile quarter-brick-format with dimensions of 58.4 x 36.8 x 12.19mm (2.30 x 1.45 x 0.48-inch), and operates from a wide input range of 40 to 60V and offers multiple tightly regulated (±2.5 per cent) pre-programmed outputs at 10.4, 12 and 12.5V but can be factory configured at any voltage between nine to 13.2V.

Flex’s Hybrid Regulated Ratio technology enables better use of the powertrain to deliver high-power conversion across its input voltage range. The BMR480 offers power conversion of up to 97 per cent efficiency – at 53V and half load – while also keeping power losses low, says Flex.

As well as suitable for intermediate bus conversion (IBC), dynamic bus voltage (DBV) and distributed power architectures (DPA), the BMR480 power module has been designed to power high-end and high-power applications powered by multi-cell batteries or rectifiers that are commonly used in ICT (information and communication technologies) applications. It can also be found in networking and telecommunications equipment, industrial equipment, and server and storage applications.

The BMR480 is reliable, says Flex, delivering higher useable power in high ambient temperature and limited-airflow environments. Although supplied with a standard baseplate, it can also be connected to a heatsink or coldplate for extremely challenging thermal environments.

Dynamic load compensation and support for the latest version (v1.3) of the PMBus communication specification and the Ericsson Power Designer software tool are significant features of the BMR480, together with droop load sharing capability, 1500V I/O isolation, monotonic start-up, remote control, and a range of protection capabilities including over-temperature, output-short-circuit and output-over-voltage.

Flex Power Modules, a division of Flex, designs and manufactures scalable power supply solutions that improve the operational efficiencies of advanced data centre, IT information and communications networks. Flex Coldwatt products provide a complete on-board system solution for cloud, storage and server applications.

Acconeer’s A111 – Pulsed Coherent Radar

Acconeer’s A111 radar sensor is based on a unique patented technology enabling mm accuracy with very low power consumption.

The Acconeer A111 is a low power, high precision 60 GHz pulsed SRD radar sensor with a footprint of 29 mm2, delivered in one chip system in package (SiP) solution with embedded RF and antenna. The small size and the low power consumption makes it suitable for integration into any mobile or portable battery driven device.

The A111 radar sensor is based on a unique patented technology enabling mm accuracy with very low power consumption. The 60 GHz unlicensed ISM band provides robustness not compromised by any natural source of interference such as noise, dust, color, direct or indirect light, and easy integration with no need of an aperture. The A111 radar sensor detects multiple objects at close range with single measurements as well as continuous sweeps set to any frequency rate up to 1500 Hz. Additionally, the unique characteristics of the radar sensor enables material recognition and motion detection for advanced sensing applications.


  • mm Accuracy – distance mm accuracy for one or multiple objects
  • Movement and speed measurement – continuous measurements up to 1500 Hz
  • Material identification – distinguish between materials with different di-electric constant
  • Microwatt – enables integration into any battery driven device
  • Optimized integration – small one chip solution with embedded RF and antenna solution that requires no need for aperture
  • Robustness – not compromised by any natural source of interference such as noise, dust, color, direct or indirect light


  • Range measurements with high accuracy
  • Configurable measuring update frequency, up to 1500 Hz
  • Material identification. Possible to distinguish between different materials
  • Movement, speed measurement and object tracking e.g. gesture control, vital signs
  • Radar assisted camera for high performing lateral measurement i.e. Depth mapping, computational photography, assisted AF
  • Proximity sensing with high accuracy. Possibility to define multiple proximity zones
  • Radar assisted biometrics for enhanced security e.g. face recognition, human fingerprint recognition

VL53L1X Time-of-Flight (ToF) Long Distance Ranging Sensor

STMicroelectronics’ VL53L1X is a state-of-the-art ToF laser-ranging sensor, enhancing the ST FlightSense product family. It is the fastest miniature ToF sensor currently on the market with accurate ranging up to 4 m and fast ranging frequency (up to 100 Hz). Housed in a miniature and reflowable package, it integrates a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) receiving array, a 940 nm invisible laser Class 1 emitter, and optics to achieve the best ranging performance in various ambient lighting conditions.

It is easy to integrate into devices, allowing creative ID since it can be hidden behind various cover window materials and colors. Unlike conventional IR sensors, the VL53L1X uses ST’s latest generation ToF technology which allows absolute distance measurement whatever the target color and reflectance. It is also possible to program the size of the ROI on the receiving array, allowing to reduce the sensor FoV.


  • Long distance and accurate ranging up to 4 meters
  • High speed ranging frequency (up to 100 Hz)
  • Very small package for easy integration (single module combining laser emitter, SPAD receiving array, and microcontroller in a reflowable package)
  • Can be hidden behind various cover window material and colors (creative ID)
  • Not affected by target reflectance, material and color, unlike traditional IR proximity sensors

Raspberry Pi Plus Cloudio – A Personal IoT Computer with Drag and Drop Programming

Everybody loves the Raspberry (at least the makers does) and has seen several applications from being blasted to space or powering a self-driving car. Raspberry Pi in its natural state is an ideal platform for IoT development mostly due to its connectivity interfaces like the Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet but no significant development has been done in this space apart from some pretty hacks in the last years. GraspIO in partnership with Farnell Element14 distributor has released the GraspIO Cloudio, a Raspberry Pi add-on board with Drag and Drop programming interface for full suite IoT applications development.
GraspIO Cloudio
Cloudio offers the ability to do drag and drop programming instead of the conventional text-based python programming and is supported on iOS and Android devices. So with just an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, you can start programming and controlling your raspberry pi cloudio based applications. Cloudio incorporates Voice Assistant Capabilities, Internet of Things cloud service, sensor monitoring and dashboard, custom notifications, and even provides off the shelf support with the beautiful IFTTT (“If This Then That”) platform. With the integration of IFTTT, you can easily automate some actions like for examples – if an email is received then send sensor reading or feed the fish for a while, another interesting case is – if a weather forecast states there is a likelihood of rain then closes the cage. Cloudio also provides support for upload program to multi-board at once, a perfect option if you will be managing a large number of boards.
Cloudio and Raspberry Pi
At the heart of the Cloudio board is the Atmel 8-bit AVR Atmega32U4 controller and comes in a portable size that makes it compatible with Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/Zero and ZeroW. It comes with a 0.96″ OLED Screen, a display that can be used for displaying real-time sensor values, custom messages and even supports emojis. The board includes proximity, light and temperature sensors and an extra 3 ADX ports for interfacing with external sensors. The board consists of a proximity, light, and temperature sensors plus 3x ADC interfaces for connecting other sensors such as humidity and motion. With the Cloudio, you will never run out of 5V ports as it comes with three digital 5V output ports. Cloudio does not require any external power supply unit and gets its power from the underlying Raspberry Pi. Other features of the board are a mini 5V servo motor port, a buzzer, RGB LED and tactile switch.
According to Steve Carr, the Global Head of Marketing at Premier Farnell and Farnell element14, he says –
“The versatility of GraspIO Cloudio along with its ease of use will make it popular with makers and innovators in a wide range of application environments. Cloudio, when combined with a Raspberry Pi, is a Full Stack IoT platform meaning that you can programme IoT devices simply and quickly with drag and drop programming on a mobile app. The combination of built-in hardware facilities and access to innovative application software will make Cloudio a valuable addition to the range of tools available to developers of projects involving voice, motion, imaging and cloud interaction.”
Cloudio lets you build and create your own voice assistants using the inbuilt speech recognition feature to control it from your smartphone. It comes with an unlimited cloud service from GraspIO to connect, program, monitor, and manage Cloudio from your mobile device. It is preloaded with 50,000 free Cloud Calls and which a daily 100 non-cumulative calls will be credited to the user’s account for life. Cloudio drag and drop based approach to IoT development is undoubtedly going to help limit the barriers in commencing IoT development.

The GraspIO Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board is now available to purchase, priced at $40 and is exclusively manufactured and distributed by Premier Farnell UK Limited and other companies that are members of Premier Farnell Group. You can buy the Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board here.

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano

This is my second project for LED Driver based on CAT4101 IC. The first project was for single White LED. This project has been designed to drive 3 channels of RGB LEDs with PWM signal which helps to create multi-color LED light. Arduino Nano is used to generate PWM signals for RGB LEDs and board has 3 tactile switches and Analog signal input to develop various RGB LED related applications. Each channel can drive load up to 1A and input supply up to 12V DC. 1A X 3 Constant current LED driver shield for Arduino Nano has been designed for verity of LED related applications. The shield provides accurate LED current sink to regulate LED current in a string of LEDs. The LED current is mirrored and the current flowing from the RSET is set by PR1. On board 2W X 3 LED are used for testing purposes.

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano – [Link]

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more info

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.