Tag Archives: wireless

STMicroelectronics Introduces STM32WB – A SoC With 32bit Microcontroller And Bluetooth Low Energy 5

The new STM32WB from STMicroelectronics is a new wireless supporting System on a chip (SoC) that comes with a fully-featured ARM Cortex-M4 (@ 64 MHz) based microcontroller to run the main computing processes. It also has an ARM Cortex-M0+ core (@ 32 MHz) to offload the main processor and offer real-time operation on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 and IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The SoC can also run other wireless protocols as OpenThread, ZigBee® or other proprietary protocols. It opens many more options for connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT).

STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications
STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications

The Cortex-M4 combined with a Cortex-M0+ for network processing makes sure the STM32WB to be the latest ultra-low-power microcontroller to combine superior RF performance with longer battery life. The SoC also combines essential circuitry for connecting to the antenna. It also packs right amount user and system memory, hardware encryption, and customer-key storage for brand and IP protection.

These days, only a few manufacturers offer similar dual-processor wireless chips capable of managing the user application and the radio separately for maximum performance. Alternative chips typically utilize entry-level ARM Cortex-M industry-standard cores, which introduce technical limitations and very low amount of onboard flash memory.

The robust and low-power 2.4GHz radio consumes only 5.5mA in transmit mode of this new STM32WB and as little as 3.8mA when receiving. This device also include STM32 digital and analog peripherals that are engineered for low power consumption and complex functionalities, including timers, ultra-low-power comparators, 12/16-bit SAR ADC, a capacitive touch controller, LCD controller, and industry-standard connectivity including crystal-less USB 2.0 FS, I2C, SPI, SAI audio interface, and a Quad-SPI supporting execution in place.

STM32WB devices will be available in an array of 48-pin UQFN, 68-pin VQFN, or 100-pin WLCSP with up to 72 general-purpose I/Os (GPIO). Each can be specified with any of three memory configurations, giving a choice of 256KB Flash and 128KB RAM, 512KB-Flash/256KB-RAM, or 1MB-Flash/256KB-RAM.

More information is available at the official website.

Researchers Of RMIT University Develops Swalloable Gas Sensors That Can Improve Your Diet

Researchers led by Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have developed the first intestinal gas-diagnosing pill to be tested in human. During the study, which was published on January 8 in Nature Electronics, the swallowable gas sensors were tested in seven healthy participants who ate low and high-fiber diets.

Swallowable gas sensors can improve your diet
Swallowable gas sensors can improve your diet

This ‘smart’ capsule is capable of measuring levels of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Carbon dioxide as it travels through the intestines of human beings. It sends the data in real-time to a device like a smartphone. This electronic pill can shape custom diets for optimal stomach health. Also, it can help doctors to distinguish between the early signs of different Gastrointestinal disorders, such as malabsorption syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even colon cancer.

On its surface, the gas capsule looks like a swallowable capsule with the outer most layer made of polyethylene. But within its inch-long shell, there are two gas sensors, a temperature sensor, a microcontroller, a radio-frequency transmitter, and button-sized silver-oxide batteries. The gas sensors are sealed within a specialized membrane that allows gas in but completely keeps stomach acid and digestive juices out.

It determines gas profiles in the stomach by controlling the heating elements of the sensors. Since oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide all have heat conductivity, the sensors can accurately determine the levels of these gases by taking measurements at multiple temperature points.

The levels of oxygen-containing molecules picked up by the sensors told the researchers where the pill was located within the stomach. That’s because Oxygen concentrations drop over the journey of the 30-foot long digestive tract. The stomach is very oxygen-rich while the colon is nearly anaerobic. Kalantar-Zadeh and his team confirmed the accuracy of this results by imaging the pills directly with ultrasound.

Using an algorithm, the information coming from the sensors is processed and then the signal is relayed in real-time to a small receiver that has a range of up to 100 feet. The receiver can store or transmit the data via Bluetooth to a smartphone, which can post the data online for easy monitoring by users and doctors.

This trial not only revealed the safety and effectiveness of a swallowable sensor — it revealed something remarkable about the stomach itself as well.

Talking Pi is a Voice Control Module for The Raspberry Pi

Voice is the most simple and powerful medium. Everyone has it and it is the most personal way to convey our thoughts, messages, instruction, ideas, and questions. We have seen the rise of Voice Assistants like Alexa and Google Home; where someone can control things with only voice commands.

Talking Pi Module from JOY-iT

Mid 2017, Google released the Voice Kit – a voice recognition kit for the raspberry that makes it possible to add voice to any Raspberry Pi based projects. JOY-iT has released the Talking Pi, an intelligent, universal open source voice control assistant for the Raspberry Pi.

Talking Pi made by JOY-iT is a voice control module designed for the Raspberry Pi that will allow one to use voice commands to control home lighting devices, talk to machines, activate power outlets and so much more. Talking Pi gives you the possibility to add voice assistant to your raspberry pi.

Apart from taking Voice Commands, Talking Pi is equipped with some extra add-ons that could enhance the functionality of a Raspberry Pi at no extra cost. It is equipped with a bracket holding 433-MHz radio modules and an integrated motor control. With the radio module addition, you could possibly use your voice to remotely control objects – like switch on/off the bedroom lights, pilot your drone with only voice, pilot your RC car with voice commands and many more. The Talking Pi provides support for both the 433MHz radio sending and receiving unit, so not only can one send out you can also receive.

Talking Pi Pin Mappings

Talking Pi provides support for servo PWM control with a total of six addressable channels. The six-channel servo PWM can be used to control several robot’s motors and even make a complete six degree of freedom robotic arm. Furthermore, it is possible to address devices and circuits via the GPIO interface of the Raspberry Pi. The Talking Pi expansion module is also compatible with Google Home and the AIY project.

Measured at 64 x 10 x 54mm, the module will be ideal for size-sensitive applications. The module includes a stereo microphone added through an extra additional board and its integrated I2S sound output driver allows connection for a 3-watt loudspeaker.

Talking Pi plugged to the Raspberry Pi

This module is available and currently being marketed by Conrad Business supplies. The module is available for purchase on Elektor at a price of $42 and reduced price of $38 for its members. For more information about using the Talking Pi in your Raspberry Pi project, you can download the documentation pdf here.

WISP – Re-programmable Microcontroller That Runs On Energy Harvested From Radio Waves

A new research initiative between the University of Washington’s Sensor Lab and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands has created a microprocessor that can power itself through stray radio waves and receive programmable updates in the same fashion. While the RISC-derived 16-bit microcontroller CPU is very weak compared to modern standards, it’s much more powerful than any other device that’s powered by ambient energy in the environment with no battery required.

The WISP 5 - Microchips and sensors run from radio wave's energy
The WISP 5 – Microchips and sensors run from radio wave’s energy

This battery-free system is equipped with a sensor and a microchip, which can be powered entirely by radio waves harvested from the air and is up to 10 times faster than similar ambient-powered devices. Best of all, in contrast to similar devices, it can also download executables, allowing it be reprogrammed or upgraded to newer version of firmware whenever needed. This has significant implications for the Internet of Things development and for ambient computing as a whole.

The variety of handheld, portable technology, and wearable gadgets available today is truly amazing. In order to make devices even more compact and thinner, manufacturers typically try to shrink their designs as much as possible. Unfortunately, device size is ultimately limited by the batteries, all of which have a certain capacity before they dry out and must be recharged again. It is a challenge for engineers and designers to balance battery life with function and aesthetics.

The project of radio wave-driven microcontroller is dubbed WISP, or Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform. RFID (CRFID) technology is an example of  WISP. In particular, WISP is capable of being powered passively by converting radio frequencies emitted by conventional RFID (radio frequency identification) readers into electrical power. The project’s latest accomplishment is the addition of Wisent (short for “wirelessly sent”), a faster and more reliable downstream communication-oriented protocol for CRFIDs that can tolerate fluctuations in operating power.

The WISP is constructed out of an open source, open architecture EPC Class 1 Generation 2 RFID tag that incorporates a fully programmable 16-bit microcontroller, in addition to any add-on sensors. It differs from ordinary RFID tags as it is programmable, and can be multi-functional. The team writes in their research paper,

The novelty of Wisent is its ability to change adaptively the frame length sent by the reader, based on the length throttling mechanism, to minimize the transfer times at varying channel conditions. Wisent enables wireless CRFID reprogramming, demonstrating the world’s first wirelessly reprogrammable CRFID.

Get Sensor Data From Arduino To Smartphone Via Bluetooth

Hariharan Mathavan at allaboutcircuits.com designed a project on using Bluetooth to communicate with an Arduino. Bluetooth is one of the most popular wireless communication technologies because of its low power consumption, low cost and a light stack but provides a good range. In this project, data from a DHT-11 sensor is collected by an Arduino and then transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Required Parts

  • An Arduino. Any model can be used, but all code and schematics in this article will be for the Uno.
  • An Android Smartphone that has Bluetooth.
  • HC-05 Bluetooth Module
  • Android Studio (To develop the required Android app)
  • USB cable for programming and powering the Arduino
  • DHT-11 temperature and humidity sensor

Connecting The Bluetooth Module

To use the HC-05 Bluetooth module, simply connect the VCC to the 5V output on the Arduino, GND to Ground, RX to TX pin of the Arduino, and TX to RX pin of the Arduino. If the module is being used for the first time, you’ll want to change the name, passcode etc. To do this the module should be set to command mode. Connect the Key pin to any pin on the Arduino and set it to high to allow the module to be programmed.

Circuit to connect HC-05 with Arduino
Circuit to connect HC-05 with Arduino

To program the module, a set of commands known as AT commands are used. Here are some of them:

AT Check connection status.
AT+NAME =”ModuleName” Set a name for the device
AT+ADDR Check MAC Address
AT+UART Check Baudrate
AT+UART=”9600″ Sets Baudrate to 9600
AT+PSWD Check Default Passcode
AT+PSWD=”1234″ Sets Passcode to 1234

The Arduino code to send data using Bluetooth module:

//If youre not using a BTBee connect set the pin connected to the KEY pin high
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial BTSerial(4,5); 
void setup() {
 String setName = String("AT+NAME=MyBTBee\r\n"); //Setting name as 'MyBTBee'
 BTSerial.print("AT\r\n"); //Check Status
 while (BTSerial.available()) {
 BTSerial.print(setName); //Send Command to change the name
 while (BTSerial.available()) {
void loop() {}

Connecting The DHT-11 Sensor

To use the DHT-11, the DHT library by Adafruit is used. Go here to download the library. When the letter “t” is received, the temperature, humidity, and heat index will be transmitted back via Bluetooth.

circuit to connect DHT-11 with Arduino
circuit to connect DHT-11 with Arduino

The code used to read data from the DHT sensor, process it and send it via Bluetooth:

#include "DHT.h"
#define DHTPIN 2 
#define DHTTYPE DHT11 
void setup() {

void loop()
{ char c; 
 c = Serial.read(); 
void readSensor() {
 float h = dht.readHumidity();
 float t = dht.readTemperature();
 if (isnan(h) || isnan(t)) {
 Serial.println("Failed to read from DHT sensor!");
 float hic = dht.computeHeatIndex(t, h, false);
 Serial.print("Humidity: ");
 Serial.print(" %\t");
 Serial.print("Temperature: ");
 Serial.print(" *C ");
 Serial.print("Heat index: ");
 Serial.print(" *C ");

Developing The Android App

The flow diagram of the Android app is illustrated below,

Flow diagram of the Android app
Flow diagram of the Android app

As this app will be using the onboard Bluetooth adapter, it will have to be mentioned in the Manifest.

uses-permission android:name="android.permission.BLUETOOTH"

Use the following code to test if Bluetooth adapter is present or not,

BluetoothAdapter bluetoothAdapter=BluetoothAdapter.getDefaultAdapter();
if (bluetoothAdapter == null) {
Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(),"Device doesnt Support Bluetooth",Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

The following part of the code deals with reading the data,

int byteCount = inputStream.available();
 if(byteCount > 0)
 byte[] rawBytes = new byte[byteCount];
 final String string=new String(rawBytes,"UTF-8");
 handler.post(new Runnable() {
 public void run()

To send data, pass the String to the OutputStream.


The complete source code of the Android application is attached here:  Arduino Bluetooth(Source)


Power up the Arduino and turn on the Bluetooth from your mobile. Pair with the HC-05 module by providing the correct passcode – 0000 is the default one. Now, when “t” is sent to the Arduino, it replies with the Temperature, Humidity, and Heat Index.

the application screen
the application screen

A multi-protocol SoC for ultra low-power wireless applications

Author: Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

The nRF52840 SoC of Nordic Semiconductor is based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F CPU running at 64 MHz with flash and RAM integrated on chip. Ultra low-power wireless applications can use this advanced multi-protocol SoC with different communication protocols.  The 2.4 GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth 5), 802.15.4, ANT and proprietary protocols. The transceiver also supports high resolution RSSI measurement and automated processes to reduce CPU load. Moreover, EasyDMA for direct data memory access and packet assembly provides full support for hardware (figure 1). The device maintains the compatibility with existing products such as nRF52, nRF51 and nRF24 series.

ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 1: Block diagram of the nRF52840 SoC

Bluetooth 5 and SoC

Bluetooth 5 (500kbs e 125kbs) is the latest version of the well-known wireless technology. It increases the range of four times and the throughput of eight times, making this technology much more suitable for ultra low-power wireless applications such as wearable, Smart Home and more generally for Internet-related applications (IoT, IIoT). The ultra low power consumption of the Bluetooth 5 protocol facilitates high performance, advertising extension and modulation schemes.

nRF52840 SoC uses power management resources to maximize job processes and achieve an optimal energy efficiency. The power supply ranges between 1.7V and 5.5V ensures a wide choice of batteries. In addition, SoC can also work with USB direct power supply without external regulators. Especially relevant, all devices have automatic clock management with adaptive features to maintain minimal power consumption.


  • multi-protocol SoC
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F Processor
  • 1.7v to 5.5v operation
  • 1MB flash + 256kB RAM
  • Bluetooth 5 support for long range and high throughput
  • 802.15.4 radio support
  • On-chip NFC
  • PPI –Programmable Peripheral Interconnect
  • Automated power management system with automatic power management of each peripheral
  • Configurable I/O mapping for analog and digital I/O
  • 48 x GPIO
  • 1 x QSPI
  • 4 x Master/Slave SPI
  • 2 x Two-wire interface (I²C)
  • I²S interface
  • 2 x UART
  • 4 x PWM
  • USB 2.0 controller
  • ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
  • AES 128-bit ECB/CCM/AAR hardware accelerator
  • Digital microphone interface (PDM)
  • Quadrature decoder
  • 12-bit ADC
  • Low power comparator
  • On-chip 50Ω balun
  • On-air compatible with nRF52, nRF51 and nRF24 Series

Development kit

The NRF52840-PDK is a versatile development kit based on nRF52840 SoC for the development of projects by using Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT, 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz protocols. Moreover, It is also hardware-compatible with the Arduino Uno R3 standard, allowing to use third-party compatible shields. Adding an NFC antenna, the kit enables the NFC tag feature (figure 2 and 3).

ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 2: NRF52840-PDK development kit


ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 3: block diagram of the NRF52840-PDK development kit


IkaScope: a wireless oscilloscope probe

Author: Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

IkaScope is a wireless oscilloscope probe that allows to observe the change of electrical signals over time. The probe is a handheld device, portable and fits perfectly in the hand and pocket. By using high-speed Wi-Fi connection, IkaScope wireless oscilloscope probe communicates with laptop, tablet or smartphone to share the acquired data on the screen. The IkaScope wireless oscilloscope probe is compatible with the most popular mobile and desktop operating systems. The probe has a 200 MSPs ADC, Spartan 3 FPGA and adequate battery capacity (450 mAh). Energy saving settings and downtime moments manage the energy efficiency. The probe comes with a ground clip and a USB charging cable. Especially relevant is the patented ProbeClick technology of IkaScope: all electronic circuits are powered only when the the probe is pressed (figure 1). The probe tip is also used to start the data acquisition. ProbeClick technology allows to save power and measure without remembering to press the run / stop button of a classic oscilloscope.

wireless oscilloscope probe
Figure 1: IkaScope wireless oscilloscope probe

The probe technology and user interface

ProbeClick represents a simple innovative mechanism to manage the data acquisition by probe tip. Simply by pressing the probe, the device starts data capturing and streaming process on the screen using the wi-fi connection. In addition, by releasing the probe, the acquisition stops and automatically the data is available in the storage/cloud (figure 2). IkaScope application is the user interface to capture, measure and analyze analog signals. From the download page you can download the latest version of IkaScope for your prefered Desktop OS.

wireless oscilloscope probe
Figure 2: IkaScope during a testing process


IkaScope can be configured as a wireless hotspot. It will remember access points and will connect instantly without having to enter your login password. Moreover, IkaScope application has a share button at the top left of the screen. Just click on it to share a screenshot of the measurement.

General specifications

  • Model name: WS200.
  • Communication: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/e/i 2.4GHz.
  • Connection: Access Point or Station.
  • Battery charging connector: Micro USB.
  • Input contact: ProbeClick.
  • Operating Temperature: 10°C to 35°C.
  • Altitude < 2000m.
  • Protection Input level: Sample test voltage: 253 VAC 1 min.
  • Input to charging port isolation: Saple test voltage: 1100 VAC 1 min.
  • Battery: Built in Lithium / 420mAh
  • Application compatibility: Windows / Mac / Linux / Android / iOS.

Measurement specifications

  • Max sample rate: 200MSps.
  • Analog Bandwidth(-3dB compression): 30MHz at -3dB.
  • Input Voltage: +/-40V range CAT1.
  • Galvanic isolation: Between Input and Charging port.
  • Coupling: AC (true) / DC.
  • Input Impedance: 1MOhm || 14pF.
  • Voltage resolution: 100mV/div up to 10V/div.
  • Max Trace refresh rate: 250 FPS.
  • Sample resolution: 8 bits.
  • Analog Offset range: +/-20V to +/-40V.
  • Memory depth: 4K Points (4 x 1000 points burst buffers).
  • Channel: 1

Sonnet Off-Grid Device, The Smartphone Walkie-Talkie

At Sonnet Labs, a group of avid outdoor enthusiasts aim to democratize mobile communication with technologies that enable smartphones to send text messages, image data, and GPS locations without Internet connectivity, cellular coverage, or satellite reception.

No need for cellular grid with Sonnet

Therefore, they launched their product, Sonnet, the smartphone walkie-talkie! Sonnet is a wireless device that brings the long-range wireless communication capability of the 2-way radio (walkie-talkie) to smartphones. In addition, it enables device-to-device data transfer through low-power, long-range radio frequencies dependently on cellular grids and infrastructures.

Accordingly, Sonnet can connect wirelessly to any smartphone. Also, it allows sending data up to many miles in distance to other smartphones that already are using Sonnet.

More features to come…

Sonnet uses mesh networking in order to reach users out-of-point relaying on sending data privately through other users in area. This data travelling through Sonnet is already end-to-end encrypted with AES. At the same time, the Sonnet Wi-Fi connection is protected with WPA/WPA2.

It also has the ability to charge your phone. Thanks to the 4000mAh battery capacity, Sonnet can charge your smartphone through its USB port.

Moreover, you don’t need to install software in your smartphone. It is enough to have an access to the app through your browser. The team tailored this feature to allow users who don’t have internet access to use the device easily.

Above all, one of the amazing features included is SOS mode. In case of emergencies. you can press the panic button. Next, Sonnet will send your GPS location and your message to all users in range.

Full specifications of Sonnet below:

In conclusion, Sonnet is the wireless device that enables you send instant messages, voice recordings, image data and GPS coordinates even if you don’t have cellular coverage or Internet access.

Sonnet is now live on a Kickstarter campaign and has already achieved 290% of its required funds. The campaign still has 28 days to go, where you can pre-order two pair of Sonnet for $89! Also check the official website for more details.

Twiz – Tiny Wireless IMUs

Tiny Wireless IMUs – 100% open & autonomous 9DoF motion sensor using BLE to control anything from your [objects] motion ! by Drix @ hackaday.io:

We looked for tiny, autonomous, easy to use, and 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU, but none of the available wireless motion sensors were affordable enough to really unlock creativity, so we built one.

Twiz – Tiny Wireless IMUs – [Link]

LoRa IOT Home Environment Monitoring System

RodNewHampshire @ instructables.com writes:

The LoRa IOT Home Environmental Monitoring System consists of an Arduino Mega based IOT-to-Internet gateway and Arduino Feather based remote stations with environmental sensors. The remote stations communicate wirelessly with the gateway using LoRa radios.

LoRa IOT Home Environment Monitoring System – [Link]