chiliSOM – ARM Cortex-A8 System on Module

chiliSOM is an ultra-small, extremely low-power, state-of-the-art module based on ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Modular design makes it easy to embed to your device without any connector. chiliSOM and chiliboard was created for those market participants who want to develop the product on a mass scale.

Specifications

  • AM335X – TI ARM Cortex-A8 1GHz with NEON™ SIMD Coprocessor
  • up to 512MB DDR2/DDR3 SDRAM
  • up to 256MB NAND Flash
  • Single 5V or 3.7V Li-Ion/Li-Po battery (integrated charger)
  • 40mm x 40mm x 3mm
  • 0°C to 70°C or -40°C to 85°C
  • Linux, Android
  • Real-Time Clock (RTC)
  • PowerVR SGX530 Graphics Engine, LCD controller
  • 2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 2x USB2.0 High-Speed OTG with PHY, 2x CAN, 6x UART, 2x McASP, 2x SPI, 3x I2C, 3x enhanced High-Resolution PWM, Modules (eHRPWM)
  • 12-Bit (SAR) ADC
  • Crypto Hardware Accelerators (AES, SHA, PKA, RNG)

35V hot swappable supercapacitor backup power controller

Analog Devices  announces the Power by Linear LTC3351, a supercapacitor charger and backup power controller IC that includes hot swap front-end protection and all the features necessary to provide a complete, standalone capacitor-based backup power solution. The LTC3351’s integrated hot swap controller and circuit breaker use N-channel MOSFETS to provide a low loss power path from the input to the output, plus foldback current limiting to reduce inrush current. The device enables reliable short term uninterrupted power in the event of a main power failure for applications such as solid-state drives (SSDs) and nonvolatile dual in-line memory modules (NVDIMMs) data backup, power fail alarms in medical and industrial applications and ‘dying gasp’ power fail indicators. The LTC3351 provides PowerPath™ control, capacitor stack charging and balancing, protection and capacitor health monitoring. Other applications include high current 12V ride-through supplies and short term uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for servers, mass storage and high availability systems. [via]

35V hot swappable supercapacitor backup power controller – [Link]

BigClown: The IoT Kit for Makers

BigClown is a Modular IoT kit that is live on indiegogo.com. It’s wireless, open-source, running from batteries for years and with technical support.

Meet BigClown – the best IoT kit in the galaxy. BigClown will help you to build your own electronics. The kit modular, wireless, open-source, running on batteries for years and with support. Start creating your smart gadgets. It is as simple as building a castle from LEGO® bricks or an IKEA® cabinet. Support our risk-free project – delivery guaranteed! Hardware design, supply chain, and manufacturing are all set.

The project is 49% funded and has 30 days to go.

ATtiny85 runs at 0.000011574Hz clock

What is the lowest possible clock frequency at which a microcontroller can still do useful work? Here’s a little project that attempts to explore this weird question. by @ idogendel.com:

ATtiny85 runs at 0.000011574Hz clock – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Physicists Of University of Rochester Have Created Polariton – A Particle With Negative Mass

A group of researchers led by Nick Vamivakas from the University of Rochester has successfully produced particles which have negative mass in an atomically thin semiconductor material. According to the researchers, they have created a device that can generate LASER light using a significantly small amount of energy. All made possible with the help of this so-called negative mass particles. Quantum physicist Nick Vamivakas from Rochester’s Institute of Optics says,

It also turns out the device we’ve created presents a way to generate laser light with an incrementally small amount of power. Interesting and exciting from a physics perspective,

Polariton – A new particle that has negative mass

Mass is often observed as a resistance or response to a force. It’s harder to push and to stop a bowling ball than a marble because of the inertia associated with the mass of the object. All objects that are made of matter must have the property of ‘mass’. Even elementary particles without rest mass have something called relativistic mass. They react to an externally applied force in the way you expect them to. Particles with ‘negative mass’ however exhibit the opposite reaction to an applied force. They tend to move toward the applied force direction than to move away from it.

“That’s kind of a mind-bending thing to think about because if you try to push or pull it, it will go in the opposite direction from what your intuition would tell you,” says Vamivakas.

The device they created to make negative mass consists of two mirrors. It is used to make an optical microcavity to capture light at different colors of the spectrum depending on the mirror spacing. An atomically thin Molybdenum diselenide semiconductor is then implanted into the microcavity. This interacts with the captured light. The small particles called excitons from the semiconductor combine with photons of the trapped light to form polaritons. This process of an exciton giving up its identity to a photon to produce a polariton results in an object with negative mass associated with it. Simply means when you try to push or pull it, it goes off in the opposite direction to the way you would assume.

The most probable practical applications according to the researchers would be:

  •  The physics of negative mass: It will enrich the understanding of the reaction behavior of polaritons on electric fields and external forces.
  •  As a laser fabrication substrate: Due to polaritons, lasers would function more efficiently than the conventional ones. They will require much lower power input.

Further information is available in the journal Nature Physics, with the title Anomalous dispersion of microcavity trion-polaritons.

3 in 1 Temperature Sensor Shield For Arduino Nano

This 3 in 1  shield for Arduino Nano helps to develop various temperature measuring applications. Arduino Nano shield consists of 3 different types of temperature sensors.

  1. MLX90614 non-contact temperature sensor
  2. 10K NTC Analogue Temperature Sensor
  3. Programmable Resolution 1-Wire Digital Thermometer

With this board is easy to make a contactless temperature meter using the earlier published 4 Digit display Nano shield,

Note : Only MLX90614 sensor can be used with display shield , DS18200 and NTC has to be removed as display uses those port pins.

3 in 1 Temperature Sensor Shield For Arduino Nano – [Link]

RDA5981 is a $1 Fully Integrated WiFi Chip with an ARM Core

RDA’s RDA5981 is a fully integrated low-power WiFi chip from RDA Microelectronics. RDA5981 is a fully built WiFi chip highly intended for applications in the areas of a smart home, audio applications and IoT applications. The RDA5981 is being used in devices running Baidu DuerOS, the Chinese alternative to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

RDA5981 WiFi Module

During the annual event of China’s semiconductor industry IC China 2016, RDA Microelectronics announced the RDA5981 during the event with promises of it reducing the size, power consumption, development costs of a smart device.

The RDA5981A is a low power MCU with IEEE802.11b/g/n MAC/PHY/radio integrated into one chip. The RDA5981 is powered by the ARM Cortex M4 plus FPU/MPU core running at 160MHz speed, a high performing processor for that application type. It has up to 288KByte of internal SRAM and additional 160Kbyte SRAM for Wi-Fi stack and flash cache but with only about 192Kbyte available for the user. It has up to 8MB of Flash, 2x ADC with a 10bit resolution, 8x PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), 4x SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) with a maximum clock frequency of about 20MHz, one I2C, 2x I2S, 2x UART and a total of about 14 GPIO Pins.

RDA5981 Block Diagram

Concerned about Security, the RDA5981 has an onboard hardware cryptographic accelerator supporting AES/RSA, and a True Random Number Generator (not the one you use software to generate), and lastly a CRC accelerator for improved performance. It includes an onboard TCP stack which could either support SSL, TLS or even both.

Unlike the ESP8266, one the maker’s favorite Wi-Fi module, the RDA5981 includes USB2.0 features.

RDA5981 A/B/C processor specifications:

  • CPU – Arm Cortex-M4 +FPU/MPU core @ up to 160 MHz
  • Memory –
    • Up to 448 KB SRAM for network stack and application
    • User available memory is 192Kbyte
  • Storage –
    • Up to 32Mbit SPI flash
    • Support 64M PSRAM expansion
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi
      • 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps with 20/40 MHz bandwidth
      • WPA, WPA2, WEP, TKIP, CCMP security
      • STA, softAP, P2P, STA+softAp, STA+P2P modes
      • A-MPDU, A-MSDU, HT-BA
    • TCP/IP stack with SSL and/or TLS
  • Host Interfaces – SPI / UART (AT command set) / USB2.0
  • Peripherals – 14x GPIO, 2x UART, 2x I2S, 1x I2C, 8x PWM, 4x SPI, 1x SDMMC, 1x USB2, 2x ADC
  • Security –
    • Hardware crypto accelerator AES/RSA,
    • True random number generator (TRNG)
    • CRC accelerator
  • Misc – Watchdog, 16×16 bits eFuse configuration
  • Package – 5×5mm2 QFN package, 0.4mm pitch QFN-40
  • Temperature –
    • -30oC to +80oC
  • Voltage – 3.0V – 3.5V

The board can be programming with AT commands or using mBed and the company provides support for FreeRTOS and mbedOS5.1 for the chip. More information about the device specification can be found on the Electrodragon Wiki

The RDA5981A IC is expected to sell for around $1 and an RDA5981A Wi-Fi module is available for sale at $1.92 from Electrodragon.

3D Printed Objects that can connect to Wi-Fi without any Electronics

The world has seen an exponential growth of the Internet of things, where things are becoming connected. Every physical object is giving the chance to be connected to the internet and emit some data about itself with just the addition of some chips, and some form of wireless interface. Your Electric kettle can basically tell you when it’s ready or even prepare itself down for you.

Researchers have estimated will we have billions of connected objects in the coming years which are already creating security and privacy concerns. Concerns like; what if my device gets hacked, infected with malware or my mission-critical device suddenly losses it’s power. What if we still could achieve this connectivity possibility without having to rely on much electronics? Researchers at the University of Washington have created a range of 3D-printed plastic objects that can communicate with a router even though they’re not connected to the internet and don’t contain any electronics.

The researchers at the University of Washington have found ways to create connected objects with only 3D printed parts and an antenna. They receive funding from the National Science Foundation and Google.

First; they design and 3D printed a combination of plastics like springs, switches, knobs, gears and copper filaments to serve as an antenna. Then, they leverage a technique called “Backscatter Techniques” to transmit the signal to Wi-Fi enabled device. Backscatter systems use an antenna to transmit data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a Wi-Fi transmitting device or a router. Information can be embedded in those reflected patterns and can be decoded by a Wi-Fi receiver. In this case; the antenna is used to reflect the radio signals back to a Wi-Fi receiving device which could by a smartphone and physical motion on the antenna, like a regular tapping cause some form harmonics on the transmitted signal, where this harmonic will serve as the embedded information.

The 3-D printed gears (in white) and spring (blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with a grey surface) made of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey data to a WiFi receiver. Mark Stone/University of Washington

For example – as you pour a fluid ( a liquid detergent, water or even fuel) out of its containing bottle, attached to it a 3D printed gear on the outlet. The speed the gears turns will tell how much fluid content is left and if connected to some form of a switch that can bounces on and off an antenna due to the movement of the gears will make the antenna transmit those changes out with the reflected Wi-Fi signal. The receiver can track how much fluid is left and when it dips below a certain amount, it could possible automatically send a message to your Amazon app to order more or an SMS to notify you of current status.

The team has printed several objects and tools that were able to sense and send information to other connected devices: a button, a wind-speed measuring device, a dial, and a movable gear. When they’ve moved – such as when the button is pressed, the dial is turned, the wind blows through the devices, and so on – the antenna will transmit this change to receiving unit and some actions can be taken. Those devices can then be used to interact with the internet – the button turned on a computer, the dial scrolled a web browser, and a slider controlled a digital slider.

 

This whole communication is unidirectional, means it can only transmit information and not receive back. The team’s work opens up the possibility of adding internet connectivity to everyday items. You can have a water flow measurement device that could, in theory, be incorporated into the design of any bottle, so if you’re running out of juice, detergent, or milk, the speed at which liquid is flowing over the sensor could alert the web to reorder that item for you.

The team is making their 3D models available to the public so that anyone can utilize these objects at home.

Rohde & Schwarz RTB2004 10-Bit, 2.5GS/s MSO Oscilloscope Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the Rohde & Shwarz RTB2004 10-Bit oscilloscope. With its high-resolution touch-screen, intuitive and capable GUI as well as excellent analog/digital performance this scope competes very well against other 2000 series instruments from Tektronix and Keysight. This extensive review includes instrument teardown, overview and dedicated experiments as follows

Rohde & Schwarz RTB2004 10-Bit, 2.5GS/s MSO Oscilloscope Review, Teardown & Experiments – [Link]

Writing to flash and EEPROM on the tinyAVR 1-series

Update your tinyAVR code to access memories when using 1-series tinyAVRs. Link here (PDF)

On tinyAVR® 1-series devices, access to Flash memory and EEPROM has been changed from that on previous tinyAVR devices. This means that existing code for writing to Flash and EEPROM on older devices must be modified in order to function properly on tinyAVR 1-series devices. This application note describes what has changed and how to adapt code to these changes.

Writing to flash and EEPROM on the tinyAVR 1-series – [Link]