Tag Archives: ARM

Cheap ARM Cortex-m0 MCU Printed on Plastic Costs as low as 0.01$

Flexible electronics is one of the emerging technologies with the rise of connected things in IoT age. This increases the need of low cost electronics to use.

Photo Courtesy of PragmatiIC

PragmatIC the specialized company in low cost flexible electronics wants to enable trillions of “smart objects” to sense and communicate with their environment, but the problem is: to turn ordinary objects —like clothing, documents, or packaging of consumer goods— into smart objects, the price needed for this is far below the cheapest silicon chip. Moreover, the thickness of silicon represents another obstacle to integrate electronics seamlessly into products. The PragmatIC’s approach tries to solve these problems.

Photo Courtesy of PragmatiIC

Pragmatic print electronics on a piece of 10-µm-thick plastic which is thinner than a human hair.

PING (Printed Intelligent NFC Game cards and packaging) and a bottle with illuminating brand are examples of use cases of Pragmatic solution.

Back to the title of this news, PlasticARM is the new project started 2 years earlier in collaboration with ARM to implement a fully functional 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 MCU on 10-µm-thick flexible plastic.

Image Source: Charbax

Charbax from ARMDevices.net made an interview with the CEO, Scott, during IDTechEx Show. Scott said that the last version of PlasticARM is printed on 1 square CM area and the next version will have the half size.

Cris —a VP Technology in ARM— holding Plastic ARM. Image Source: Charbax’s interview

Source: ARMdevices

Open-Q™ 212 Single Board Computer for your IoT Device

Intrinsyc released it’s Open-Q™ 212 SBC, a full-featured, low-cost IoT computer based on a powerful quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (32-bit) 1.267GHz processor, with integrated GPU and DSP. This single board computer has some nice features such as Wifi, Bluetooth, LCD 720p support, HDMI 720p H.264/H.265 playback, an 8MP camera, four microphone inputs and amplified stereo outputs. It also features 4x USB ports, ethernet, serial interface, RTC clock and Li-Ion battery support. The board is ideal for creating voice controlled devices with noise cancellation technology and other internet enabled projects. The board can be used as a development kit or be embedded on final product. On the software side it supports Android 7 and there is a call for Linux support. This board packs some great features and looks promising in the IoT world.  [via]

“We expect our Clients to use the board first as a development kit and then subsequently as an embedded SBC in their final product. It’s also likely that some Clients would want to de-feature or de-populate the SBC to lower the cost or to fit in a particular enclosure. Our team has the experience in hardware, software and mechanical engineering, we can quickly take the SBC’s core technology as is, and adjust the peripheral set. It’s our Client’s choice on how to proceed.” Said Intrinsyc.

Open-Q™ 212 SBC Specifications:

• Quad-Core ARM Cortex A7 (32-bit) 1.267GHz, GPU, DSP
• 8GB eMCP Flash
• MicroSD card socket
• Pre-scanned Wi-Fi 802.11n 2.4Ghz, with chip antenna and U.FL antenna connector
• Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE
• Up to 720p LCD or up to 720p HDMI Type A
• Up to 8MP over 2-lane MIPI CSI
• 720p@30fps playback
• Up to 720p playback with H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC)
• Up to 720p H.264 (AVC) capture
• 4x microphone inputs
• 2x amplified speaker outputs
• 2x stereo line outputs
• PMIC and Li-Ion battery support
• 4x USB 2.0 Type A host mode, Ethernet, Serial, RTC, I2S, GPIO, sensor header
OS Support
• Android 7 Nougat, Call for Linux
Operating Environment
• Input 12V/3A or single-cell Li-Ion battery
• Operating Temperature 0° C to +70°C
• Nano-ITX 120mm x 120mm

Open-Q™ 212 Single Board Computer for your IoT Device – [Link]

ULINKplus, A Debug Adapter With Power Measurment

While building an ultra-low power application, sensitive hardware and software validation is required to reach system and long battery life. Testing will need an interaction with the tested parts, like simulating input pins of the target application.

These difficulties could be solved with ARM’s new debug adapter “ULINKplus“. It connects the target system with the PC through USB port using a 10-pin Cortex Debug connector. Its power measurement technology allows developers to program, debug, and analyze their applications and their power consumption.

Main features of ULINKplus are:

  • Integrated power measurement synchronized to event tracing which makes it easy to optimize the overall energy envelope of a system.
  • Isolated JTAG/serial-wire connection to the target hardware is essential for testing applications such as motor control, power converters, or systems with sensitive analog processing.
  • Additional test I/O pins are accessible from the debugger and debug scripts to interact with the target and control automated test stands.

ULINKplus, together with MDK, provides extended on-the-fly debug capabilities for Cortex-M devices. You can control the processor, set breakpoints, and read/write memory contents, all while the processor is running at full speed. High-Speed data trace enables you to analyze detailed program behavior.

In addition to downloading programs to your target hardware, you will be able to examine memory and registers, single-step through programs and insert multiple breakpoints, to run programs in real-time, program Flash memory, and to connect to running targets (hot-plugging).

Live data from power measurement

ULINKplus offers a high speed connections that reach 50 Mbit/s for data and event trace for Cortex-M, 20 MHz JTAG clock speed, and 3 MBytes/s high-speed memory read/write.

ULINKplus technical specifications:

  • Compact case 62 x 44 x 11 mm (dust-protected)
  • JTAG/SWD: 20 MHz JTAG clock, 50 MHz serial-wire trace, 10-pin Cortex debug connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Memory access 3 MB/sec, serial-wire trace up to 50 Mbit/sec
  • Power measurement: 2 x 16-bit A/D, 400 KSamples/sec, 3-pin connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Test I/O: 9 digital in/out, 4 analog in, 1 analog out, 3.3 V switchable output voltage (11-pin connector)
  • Debug connection: USB2.0 (to host PC), CMSIS-DAP protocol

According to ARM, ULINKplus will be available from this month.

ARM CoreSight SoC-600, The Future of Debug

Debugging is an important part of the design process that is necessary to identify and fix errors. Over the decades, debug tools had evolved providing easier and simpler solutions. Today, ARM introduces CoreSight SoC-600 as the next-generation debug and trace tool that speeds up finding the root of the problem, with less iterations and lower risks.

Addressing the requirements of the increasingly connected world characterized by faster product-development cycles, this new technology offers debug and trace over functional interfaces such as USB, PCIe or wireless, reducing the need for hardware debug probes while increasing data throughput.

Key benefits include:

  • Debug access available and accessible throughout the product lifecycle, from production and manufacture, to remote access in the field
  • Remote debug access (e.g. via Ethernet or wirelessly)
  • Increased data bandwidth for improved system visibility
  • Multiple debug agents can simultaneously access debug memory space (e.g. for concurrent external and self-hosted access)
  • Interface peripherals (such as USB and PCIe) share a common access to APs, together with any existing JTAG DP or resident software
  • Self-hosted, cross CPU debug access

CoreSight SoC-600 comes with a new Debug Access Port (DAP) architecture. It introduces standard APB connectivity between Debug Port (DP) and Access Port (AP), making it possible to have multiple DPs connected to multiple APs.

CoreSight SoC-600 also includes an enhanced Embedded Trace Router (ETR) functionality. In additional to removing the need for a separate Trace Memory Controller (TMC) license, enhancements to the Embedded Trace Router (ETR) configuration make it possible to supply a trace interface with four times the amount of bandwidth previously possible.

There are two approaches to host the link protocol when building a CoreSight SoC-600-based system:

  1. Protocol on dedicated CPU: this approach comes at a cost of additional dedicated resources, however, it is the least intrusive approach and provides bare metal debug capabilities.
  2. Protocol on main CPU: this approach does not require additional hardware, yet it is invasive and relies on CPU not being halted.

For further information and details about SoC-600 you can visit the official page, and the official article on ARM website.

ARM Compiler 6 With A Safety Package

Developed by ARM, the latest C/C++ compiler “ARM Compiler 6” had been announced with a safety package in a move to help developers to meet functional safety requirements.

ARM Compiler 6 is based on the modern LLVM framework and Clang technology, in close collaboration with processor and architecture projects to best utilize every new hardware feature. LLVM is a set of open-source components that allow the implementation of optimizing compiler frameworks. Clang is a compiler front end for LLVM, providing support for the C and C++ programming languages.

The ARM Compiler 6 comprises the following components:

  • ARM C, C++, and GNU assembly language compiler, armclang
  • ARM and Thumb assembler, armasm
  • ARM linker, armlink
  • ARM librarian, armar
  • ARM image conversion utility, fromelf
  • supporting libraries.

ARM Compiler enables you to build applications for the ARM family of processors from C, C++, or assembly language source. So, the ARM Compiler toolchain will be a safe option for you, whether you are a semiconductor company or you just like to know that you will be covered on your ARM projects no matter what.

“ARM Compiler is already widely used in functional safety. ARM engineering has built on that expertise and further tuned the compilation toolchain for an increasingly diverse range of safety-related applications across ARM Cortex-A, -R and -M processors.”

Tony Smith, the senior director of marketing with ARM’s Development Solutions Group.

The safety package will include the certificate and related reports from TÜV SÜD confirming that ARM Compiler 6 meets the highest tool qualification levels required by ISO26262, 61508, 62304 and EN50128. This means that you can begin developing safety-related applications with ARM Compiler 6 today, while we get the final safety artifacts ready for you.

Cortex-M-based MCUs Set Pace For Automotive Design

AUTomotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) is a worldwide automotive consortium trying to create and establish an open and standardized software architecture for automotive electronic control units (ECUs). However, as is always the case with industry consortiums and standards, they are not endorsed by all interested parties, and, to complicate matters even more, not all applications require AUTOSAR.

With this in mind NXP has launched its S32K1 family of scalable ARM Cortex-M devices together with a suite of automotive grade tools and software. Initially the family will span 128KB-2MB of flash memory. All family members include ISO CAN FD, CSEc hardware security, ASIL-B support and ultra-low-power performance. Check out the demo video.

Block Diagram

In applications where the use of AUTOSAR is not mandated, the S32K platform provides a path for self-development with a free-of-charge, pre-qualified, automotive-grade software development kit (SDK) that enables rapid prototyping with simple drag and drop functionality. For AUTOSAR applications, NXP’s MCAL and OS support has been expanded with new Complex Device Drivers (CDD) and a new S32K starter kit is available free of charge for evaluation.

You can learn more about NXP’s S32K1 product line and the suite of automotive-grade tools and software that support ARM Cortex-based MCUs at the official website.

Source: Elektor

Jump Over The Limits of ARM With ExaGear Desktop

While the most of Linux programs are compiled to run on Intel x86 processors, the virtualization softwares appear to give the ability to run Intel x86 application on ARM-based Mini PC such as Raspberry Pi.

In this way, Eltechs, a high-tech startup company, had produced a new binary translator called “ExaGear Desktop”. It runs applications for the conventional desktop and server x86 processors on energy-efficient ARM CPU without recompilation.

ExaGear Desktop creates a second system known as the ‘guest’ system. Once installed, you can switch between the guest and your regular (‘host’) system using the ExaGear and exit commands. Inside the guest system, apt-get and dpkg are used to install Intel x86 software. The guest system is a transparent operation so there is no difference between running x86 applications on x86-based or ARM-based platform. It also gives you the ability to run Windows applications by installing Wine.

ExaGear is compatible with many of ARM-based Mini PCs such as Raspberry Pi 1, Raspberry Pi 2, ODROID, CubieBoard, CuBox, Utilite, Jetson TK1, Wandboard, Banana Pi etc. It also can run on Chromebook with Linux.

Compared with QEMU, another open-source virtualization software, ExaGear is  5 time faster and has  much better performance with CPU and memory as the benchmark results shown when running on Raspberry Pi 2. You can see the benchmarking details and results here.

ExaGear is available for ordering through the official website with a price range between $16.45 and $56.45 according to the hardware used. You can find more information at the product page. And it may be useful to take a look at this review.

SmartPID, The New Open Platform For Your Projects

ARZAMAN Smart Engineering is a small innovative Italian startup company that develops smart hi-tech solutions, by working on specific ideas for a specific hobbyist market. ARZMAN has just launched a new product: SmartPID!
SmartPID Controller is a hi-tech product that facilitates temperature and process control. It has the ability to control any thermos-regulated process, heating or cooling, and also it can control any application in your home. In addition, it is compatible with Arduino, so you have the chance now to move your applications to the next step!

It is provided with two apps: smart thermostat app and the smart brewing app. The smart thermostat app can be used for any thermal regulated process, while the brewing app is is a vertical application that is dedicated to brewing process automation from mashing to boiling.

SmartPID is IoT-ready,cloud-connected, and runs PID algorithm. In addition, it has the  following features:

SmartPID is powered by SAMD21 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M0+ by Atmel and it has 8 Mb EEPROM and ESP8266 WiFi module with many other specifications and advantages as shown in the picture.

It is totally compatible with Arduino since it
has SAMD21 processor, a dedicated USB bootloader and board definition, can be programmed with Arduino IDE and can use the libraries available.

SmartPID comes with a mobile app to control and monitor the project installed. Check this video to see the app in action.

“SmartPID is not a simple controller or thermostat, is more an “open platform” powerful and flexible where the resources and I/O can be used for different applications, different environments and integration. My idea is to develop an ecosystem of “vertical” applications on top of a common set of features” -Davide Arzarello, founder of ARZAMAN Smart Engineering.

SmartPID is now live in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and it has only one week to go. You can pre-order it now preloaded with the thermostat app for around €89. Check SmartPID website and the campaign page to know more details and specifications. You can see SmartPID in action in this promo video:

JeVois, The Open-Source Smart Vision Camera

JeVois, which can be translated from French as: I see, is an open-source quad-core camera that can be connected easily with your project whether you are using Arduino, Raspberry Pi or just running it on your PC. JeVois contains a video sensor, quad-core CPU, USB video and a serial port in only 1.7 cubic inches. To start working with your JeVois you only need to insert a microSD card loaded with the provided open-source machine vision algorithms and then connecting it to your computer. It will work immediately just by opening a camera software.

The process is as follows: video captured by the camera sensor, processed on JeVois processor, and results are sent over USB to the host computer or to the micro controller.

On your computer, you can use any camera software to see the results, also you can check different vision algorithms by selecting different resolutions and frame rates.

It has the following software and hardware frameworks:

“For ease of programming and configuration, all of the operating system, core JeVois software, and any necessary data files are stored on a single high-speed Micro-SD card that can easily be removed and plugged into a desktop or laptop computer.  The JeVois software framework combines custom Linux kernel drivers for camera sensor and for USB output, written in C, and a custom high-level vision processing framework, written in C++-17. “

Easy to integrate  with other open-source libraries, including tiny-dnn, OpenCV, boost, zBar, Eigen, turbojpeg, etc.  This framework is scalable since the operating system infrastructure is built using the buildroot framework where adding and using different libraries is easy. New vision modules can be added to the core of JeVois thanks to the fact the core software is managed by cmake. Thus, you can customize the vision algorithm you would like to run your JeVois.

In addition, it is easy to use, for example only 4 Wires are needed to connect it with Arduino: 5 or 3.3 V, GND, Tx and Rx!

JeVois is now live in a Kickstarter Campaign, check this video for better understanding:

For more information about the specifications and technical details, check the campaign page. You can pre-order your JeVois now for $45, there are still 20 days to go.

JeVois started as an educational project, to encourage the study of machine vision, computational neuroscience, and machine learning as part of introductory programming and robotics courses at all levels (from K-12 to Ph.D.). It is funded by Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

If you are interested in developing the core of JeVois check the documentation provided here.

Controlling A Robotic Arm By Gestures Using Kinect Sensor & Arduino

B.Avinash and J.Karthikeyan had developed a robotic arm that mimic their moves using a Kinect sensor with MATLAB Simulink and an Arduino. The arm was built based on servo motors that replicate the right arm shoulder, elbow and hand movements.


ic568992The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar of motion sensing input devices which enable users to control and interact with their computers through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands.

The sensor consists of a RGB camera, depth sensor, and multi-array microphone running proprietary software. It provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities.

MATLAB Simulink is a graphical programming environment for modeling, simulating and analyzing multidomain dynamic systems. It supports simulation, automatic code generation, and continuous test and verification of embedded systems.

Simulink is developed by Mathworks, and it offers integration with MATLAB environment, enabling developers to incorporate MATLAB algorithms into models and export simulation results for further analysis. Simulink is widely used in automatic control and digital signal processing for multidomain simulation and Model-Based Design.

To build a similar gesture-controlled arm you need these components:

Thanks to Simulink support for Kinect, the computer collects data from the connected kinect device and translates them into servo angles in MATLAB. These angles are sent to the servos through the arduino via TTL device, resulting movement of the arm with a slight delay.

TTL - Arduino & Arduino - Servo Connection Schematic
TTL – Arduino & Arduino – Servo Connection Schematic
Simulink Model
Simulink Model

This project has been chosen in the week’s (29/10/2016) Pick of the Week during Matlab Simulink Hardware Challenge 2016, and it also had won the 4th place in “MATLAB International Simulink Hardware Challenge 2016“.

Arduino code, other files and resources are reachable at this instructable and this hackster.io page.