New CPU Core Boosts Performance for Renesas MCUs

Renesas Electronics has announced the development of its third-generation 32-bit RX CPU core, the RXv3. The RXv3 CPU core will be employed in Renesas’ new RX microcontroller families that begin rolling out at the end of 2018. The new MCUs are designed to address the real-time performance and enhanced stability required by motor control and industrial applications in next-generation smart factory, smart home and smart infrastructure equipment.

The RXv3 core boosts CPU core architecture performance with up to 5.8 CoreMark/MHz, as measured by EEMBC benchmarks, to deliver industry-leading performance, power efficiency and responsiveness. The RXv3 core is backwards compatible with the RXv2 and RXv1 CPU cores in Renesas’ current 32-bit RX MCU families. Binary compatibility using the same CPU core instruction sets ensures that applications written for the previous-generation RXv2 and RXv1 cores carry forward to the RXv3-based MCUs. Designers working with RXv3-based MCUs can also take advantage of the robust Renesas RX development ecosystem to develop their embedded systems.
The RX CPU core combines a design optimized for power efficiency and a fabrication process producing excellent performance. The new RXv3 CPU core is primarily a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture that offers significant advantages over the RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture in terms of code density. RXv3 utilizes a pipeline to deliver high instructions per cycle (IPC) performance comparable to RISC. The new RXv3 core builds on the proven RXv2 architecture with an enhanced pipeline, options for register bank save functions and double precision floating-point unit (FPU) capabilities to achieve high computing performance, along with power and code efficiency.

The enhanced RX core five-stage superscalar architecture enables the pipeline to execute more instructions simultaneously while maintaining excellent power efficiency. The RXv3 core will enable the first new RX600 MCUs to achieve 44.8 CoreMark/mA with an energy-saving cache design that reduces both access time and power consumption during on-chip flash memory reads, such as instruction fetch.

The RXv3 core achieves significantly faster interrupt response times with a new option for single-cycle register saves. Using dedicated instruction and a save register bank with up to 256 banks, designers can minimize the interrupt handling overhead required for embedded systems operating in real-time applications such as motor control. RTOS context switch time is up to 20 percent faster with the register bank save function.

The model-based development (MBD) approach has penetrated various application developments; it enables the DP-FPU to help reduce the effort of porting high precision control models to the MCU. Similar to the RXv2 core, the RXv3 core performs DSP/FPU operations and memory accesses simultaneously to substantially boost signal processing capabilities.

Renesas plans to start sampling shipments of RXv3-based MCUs before the end of Q4 2018.

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

600-V GaN FET Power Stages Support up to 10 kW

Texas Instruments (TI) has announced a new portfolio of ready-to-use, 600-V gallium nitride (GaN), 50-mΩ and 70-mΩ power stages to support applications up to 10 kW. The LMG341x family enables designers to create smaller, more efficient and higher-performing designs compared to silicon field-effect transistors (FETs) in AC/DC power supplies, robotics, renewable energy, grid infrastructure, telecom and personal electronics applications.
TI’s family of GaN FET devices provides a alternative to traditional cascade and stand-alone GaN FETs by integrating unique functional and protection features to simplify design, enable greater system reliability and optimize the performance of high-voltage power supplies.

Dubbed the LMG3410R050, LMG3410R070 and LMG3411R070 TI’s integrated GaN power stage doubles power density and reduces losses by 80 percent compared to silicon metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Each device is capable of fast, 1-MHz switching frequencies and slew rates of up to 100 V/ns. The portfolio is backed by 20 million hours of device reliability testing, including accelerated and in-application hard switch testing. Additionally, each device provides integrated thermal and high-speed, 100-ns overcurrent protection against shoot-through and short-circuit conditions.

Devices for every power level: Each device in the portfolio offers a GaN FET, driver and protection features at 50 mΩ or 70 mΩ to provide a single-chip solution for applications ranging from sub-100 W to 10 kW.

These devices are available now in the TI store in 8-mm-by-8-mm split-pad, quad flat no-lead (QFN) packaging. The LMG3410R050, LMG3410R070 and LMG3411R070 are priced at US$18.69, $16.45 and $16.45, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

Tiny, Single-GbE Arm Networking SBC Runs Linux

Gateworks has spun a 100 mm x 35 mm, single-GbE “Newport GW6100” networking SBC, which follows a recent dual-GbE “GW6200” model. Both run Linux on a dual-core Cavium Octeon TX SoC and offer mini-PCIe expansion and -40 to 85°C support.

In Nov. 2017, when Gateworks unveiled its Newport family of Linux-driven, Octeon TX based SBCs with the 105 mm x 100 mm, dual GbE port Newport GW6300, it promised several more models in 2018. The 140 mm x 100 mm, 5-GbE port Newport GW6400 was announced in May along with a GW6404 sibling that swaps two of the GbE ports to SFP ports. Now, the company has launched the single-GbE port GW6100 model, which had been scheduled for a 2018 Q2 arrival. There was no announcement of the GW6100, which was discovered by CNXSoft, nor of the dual-port, 100 mm x 75 mm GW6200, which now has a product page (see farther below).

 
Newport GW6100 (left) and recent Newport GW6200
(click images to enlarge)
Like the other Newport SBCs, the new entries run OpenWrt or Ubuntu on Cavium’s networking focused Octeon TX SoC, which has Cortex-A53 like ”Thunder” cores. The embedded-oriented Octeon TX competes directly with NXP’s QorIQ line. Optimized to run multiple concurrent data and control planes simultaneously, the headless SoC integrates security architecture from Cavium’s Nitrox V security processors.

While the Newport GW6300 and GW6400 both offer a choice of dual- (800MHz) or quad-core (1.5GHz) Octeon TX configurations, the GW6100 and GW6200 are limited to the 800MHz dual-core models. Volume orders are required to switch to the quad-core SoC or make other customizations, including boosting the standard 1GB DDR4 to up to 4GB or the standard 8GB eMMC to up to 64GB.

The Newport GW6100 and GW6200 provide OpenWrt or Ubuntu Linux BSPs with U-Boot. A full development kit is available with a power supply, passive PoE injector, JTAG programmer, and cables.

Newport GW6100

The tiny new GW6100 offers 1GB DDR4, 8GB eMMC, and a GbE port with PoE support. You can also draw power from the USB Type-C port, and there’s a JTAG connection and an I/O connector. The latter offers serial, analog, and digital I/O, as well as I2C, SPI, and power.


Newport GW6100 front detail view
(click image to enlarge)
A single mini-PCIe slot accompanied by a nano-SIM slot supports third-party PCIe, USB 3.0, and mSATA cards. You can also choose from several Gateworks mini-PCIe options, including USB, DIO/analog I/O, microSD/USB/SIM, Femto, and IoT Radio (Sub-1GHz) modules.


GW6100 rear detail view
(click image to enlarge)
Like all the Newport SBCs, the GW6100 provides standard -40 to 85°C support. There’s an 8-60V DC jack in addition to the PoE, Type-C, and power header options. Other features include reverse power protection, programmable wake-up/shutdown, a watchdog, real-time clock, and more. A Ublox GNSS receiver is optional.


GW6100 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Newport GW6100 include:

  • Processor — Cavium Octeon TX (2x ARMv8 ThunderX cores @ 800MHz); networking and security extensions
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR4
    • 8GB eMMC
    • mSATA (SATA III) via mini-PCIe
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port with passive PoE 8-60V input
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 Type-C port with 1.5A, 7.5W power support
    • Application connector (serial I/O, digital I/O, analog, I2C, SPI, and power)
    • JTAG interface
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot with 8W power for “PCIe, USB 3.0 or mSATA with USB 2.0”; Nano-SIM slot
  • Other features – Watchdog; RTC with battery; LED, tamper switch support; voltage and temp. monitor; serial config EEPROM; programmable fan controller with tach support; Optional Ublox ZOE-MQ8 GNSS GPS Receiver with PPS
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Power:
    • 8-60V DC jack (or PoE or Type-C)
    • 0.13A @ 24VDC typical operating current
    • Voltage reverse protection
    • Programmable shut-down and wake-up
  • Dimensions — 100 x 35 x 21mm
  • Weight — 85 g
  • Operating system — OpenWrt or Ubuntu BSPs

Newport GW6200

The 100 x 75mm Newport GW6200 adds to the GW6100 feature set with a microSD slot, a second GbE port (both with PoE), plus a second mini-PCIe slot. In place of the Type-C port you get 2x USB 3.0 ports.

 
Newport GW6200 detail view (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The CW6200 is further equipped with side-mounted connectors for SPI, DIO, I2C, and either 2x RS232 or a single RS232/422/485 interface. A CAN bus controller is optional.

Further information

The Newport GW6100 and Newport GW6200 appear to be available now at undisclosed prices. More information may be found on Gateworks’ Newport GW6100and Newport GW6200 product pages.

Gateworks | www.gateworks.com

Linux-Driven SMARC Module Supports Up to Five Time-Sensitive GbE Ports

Kontron invented the ULP-COM standard that formed the basis of the SMARC form factor, and it has delivered numerous SMARC modules over the years, including Arm products such as the Nvidia Tegra K1 based SMC-NTKE1. Now it has unveiled the first module we’ve seen in any form factor with NXP’s dual-core, Cortex-A72 powered QorIQ Layerscape LS1028 SoC.

The 82 mm x 50 mm SMARC-sAL28 module runs a Yocto Project based Linux stack (with U-Boot) on the LS1028. The module exploits the SoC’s Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) support with up 2x or 5x TSN-capable Gigabit Ethernet ports.



SMARC-sAL28
(click image to enlarge)
The SMARC-sAL28 module is compliant with the IEEE 802.1 TSN standard, which offers guaranteed latency and Quality of Service (QoS) with time synchronization to enable “a timely and highly available delivery of data packets,” says Kontron. TSN Ethernet can replace more expensive, proprietary fieldbus technology while also offering the advantage of being able to “simultaneously communicate seamlessly to the IT level.”

No clock rate was listed for the LS1028 SoC, which NXP refers to as the LS1028A. The SoC integrates a four-port TSN switch and two separate TSN Ethernet controllers. Like NXP’s other networking oriented LSx QorIQ Layerscape SoCs, it supports NXP’s EdgeScale suite of secure edge computing device management tools. It’s the only LSx SoC that features a 3D graphics capable GPU.

 
SMARC-sAL28 (left) and NXP LS1028A block diagrams 
(click images to enlarge)
The SMARC-sAL28 ships with 4GB of soldered DDR3L with optional ECC, as well as 2GB to 64GB eMMC 5.1 storage. The 3V-5.25V module supports -40 to 85°C operation.

Two models are available. One has 2x TSN-capable, switched GbE controllers “that can be directly used by the carrier,” says Kontron. The second version supports 4x switched TSN-capable GbE ports via the QSGMII interface with an additional TSN-capable GbE controller. This second option provides a total of 5x TSN-ready GbE ports ports “using a quad-PHY on the carrier.” This 5x GbE model sacrifices one of the 2x PCIe x1 interfaces, which can also be deployed as a single PCIe x4 connection.

The SMARC-sAL28 provides a dual-channel LVDS interface, one of which can be swapped out for eDP as a BOM option. The second LVDS offers a BOM option swap-out for either an HDMI or DisplayPort.

The module is further equipped with a single USB 3.0, 6x USB 2.0, and 4x RX/TX serial interfaces. Other I/O includes 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 12x GPIO, and single SDIO, CAN, and I2S connections. Options include a Wibu security chip with Kontron Approtect security software, as well as an RTC.

Further information

The SMARC-sAL28 is “coming soon” at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Kontron’s SMARC-sAL28 announcement and product page.

Kontron | www.kontron.com

CompactPCI Serial Board Delivers Four Gbit Ethernet Channels

MEN Micro has announced the G211X Ethernet interface card. It ensures fast data transmission with four X-coded M12 connectors connected to the backplane via an x4 link. The G211X is a new quad Ethernet card based on CompactPCI Serial. It can be used in combination with a CompactPCI Serial or CompactPCI PlusIO CPU board in a CompactPCI Serial or hybrid system. The four Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on the front panel are accessible via robust, X-coded M12 connectors.

All four interfaces are controlled by an Ethernet controller connected to the backplane via an x4 PCI Express connection. Each interface also supports a data transmission rate of 1 Gbit/s—even if all four channels are used simultaneously. For better control, two LEDs each indicate the connection and activity status of the interfaces. The G211X is designed for the extended operating temperature and prepared for conformal coating for use in harsh and mobile environments, in particular for rolling stock applications.

  • Four 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet channels
  • Intel i350 Server chipset with support for 8 virtual machines
  • Full-duplex or half-duplex
  • X-coded M12 connectors
  • 500 V insulation voltage
  • -40°C to +85°C operating temperature
  • Based on PICMG CPCI-S.0 CompactPCI Serial

MEN Micro | www.menmicro.com

Rugged PC/104 SBC Sports Dual Core Bay Trail SoC

Versalogic has announced “SandCat”, a low-cost rugged new PC/104-Plus SBC. Based on Intel’s dual-core Bay Trail SoC, SandCat is an entry level PC/104-Plus SBC that provides a cost optimized performance level and I/O capability. The SandCat is designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation and meets MIL-STD-202G specifications to withstand high impact and vibration. Latching connectors and fanless operation provide additional benefits in harsh environments.

SandCat’s I/O connectivity includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, four USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports (RS-232/422/485), I2C, and eight digital I/O lines. A SATA 3 Gbit/s interface supports high-capacity rotating or solid-state drives. A Mini PCIe socket with mSATA capability provides flexible solid-state drive (SSD) options.

The board’s SandCat’s Mini PCIe socket allows easy on-board expansion with plug-in Wi-Fi modems, GPS receivers, and other mini cards such as MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet and analog. For stacking expansion using industry-standard add-on boards, the SandCat supports PC/104-Plus expansion, including ISA and PCI based modules. The on-board expansion site provides plug-in access to a wide variety of expansion modules from numerous vendors, all with bolt-down ruggedness.

Like other Versalogic products, the SandCat is designed for long-term availability (10+ year typical production lifecycle). Customization services to help customers create unique solutions are available for the SandCat, even in low OEM quantities. Customization options include conformal coating, revision locks, custom labeling, customized testing and screening.

The SandCat single board computer, part number VL-EPM-39EBK, is in stock at both Versa;ogic and Digi-Key. OEM quantity pricing starts at $370.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com

SMARC SOMs Used for Walmart Robotic Retrieval System

Axiomtek has announced its ongoing collaboration with Alert Innovation. Alert Innovation has been tapped by Walmart to use its robotics technology to automate their grocery operations. The company has developed the Alphabot system, an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) that is also an Automated Each-Picking System (AEPS). Axiomtek’s embedded computers and SMARC System on Modules (SOMs) are used in the system.
For a period of almost two years prior to the announcement of the Alphabot pilot test in a Walmart Supercenter, the Axiomtek team worked alongside Alert Innovation’s engineering team, helping to identify and customize products for Alert’s use, participating in schematic reviews and supporting driver development to ensure seamless integration. Since then, Axiomtek has continued to invest in and support the Alert Innovation Alphabot system’s mission.

A number of products have been tailored to balance performance and cost effectiveness, mitigate the challenges associated with refrigerated and frozen environments by adding conformal coatings and integrate application-specific interfaces. According to Alert Innovation, said Matthew Coady, Senior Director of Electrical Engineering and Controls. “We chose them because their products and team consistently met our stringent project requirements, delivering quality, performance, support, and all the features our applications required,” said Matthew Coady, Alert Innovation’s Senior Director of Electrical Engineering and Controls, “The SMARC SOM that we selected fits in our space-constrained application and helped us come to market quickly. If (and when) our application needs more processing power, memory or storage, Axiomtek has a range of products in their portfolio and roadmap that will help keep our hardware platform viable for many years to come. Axiomtek was quick to provide us with a BSP for our QNX operating system, and carrier integration support.”

Axiomtek | us.axiomtek.com

New IDE Version Shrinks Arm MCU Executable Program Sizes

After a successful beta period, Segger Microcontroller has added the new Linker and Link-Time Optimization (LTO) to the latest release build of their powerful cross-platform integrated development environments, Embedded Studio for ARM and Embedded Studio for Cortex-M.

The new product versions deliver on the promise of program size reduction, achieving a significant 5-12% reduction over the previous versions on typical applications, and even higher gains compared to conventional GCC tool chains. These savings are the result of the new LTO, combined with Segger’s Linker and Run-time library emLib-C. Through LTO, it is possible to optimize the entire application, opening the door for optimization opportunities that are simply not available to the compiler.

The Linker adds features such as compression of initialized data and deduplication, as well as the flexibility of dealing with fragmented memory maps that embedded developers have to cope with. Like all Segger software, it is written from scratch for use in deeply embedded computing systems. Additionally, the size required by the included runtime library is significantly lower than that of runtime libraries used by most GCC tool chains.

Segger Microcontroller | www.segger.com

Next Newsletter: Embedded Boards

Coming to your inbox tomorrow: Circuit Cellar’s Embedded Boards newsletter. Tomorrow’s newsletter content focuses on both standard and non-standard embedded computer boards that ease prototyping efforts and let you smoothly scale up to production volumes.

Bonus: We’ve added Drawings for Free Stuff to our weekly newsletters. Make sure you’ve subscribed to the newsletter so you can participate.

Already a Circuit Cellar Newsletter subscriber? Great!
You’ll get your
Embedded Boards newsletter issue tomorrow.

Not a Circuit Cellar Newsletter subscriber?
Don’t be left out! Sign up now:

Our weekly Circuit Cellar Newsletter will switch its theme each week, so look for these in upcoming weeks:

Analog & Power. (12/4) This newsletter content zeros in on the latest developments in analog and power technologies including DC-DC converters, AD-DC converters, power supplies, op amps, batteries and more.

Microcontroller Watch (12/11) This newsletter keeps you up-to-date on latest microcontroller news. In this section, we examine the microcontrollers along with their associated tools and support products.

IoT Technology Focus. (12/18) Covers what’s happening with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology–-from devices to gateway networks to cloud architectures. This newsletter tackles news and trends about the products and technologies needed to build IoT implementations and devices.

What are the 5 Biggest Myths About Developing Embedded Vision Solutions?

Are embedded vision solutions complex? Expensive? Strictly about software? Get answers to your top questions about developing embedded vision solutions, right from Avnet & Xilinx.


We’re at the moment of truth with embedded vision systems as scores of new applications means designs must go up faster than ever—with new technologies dropping every day.

But isn’t embedded vision complex? Lacking scalability? Rigid in its design capability?

Truth be told, most of those ideas are myths. From the development of the first commercially viable FPGA in the 1980s to now, the amount of progress that’s been made has revolutionized the space.

So while it can be complex to decide how you’ll enter an ever-changing embedded vision market, it’s simpler than it used to be. It’s true: Real-time object detection used to be a strictly research enterprise and image processing a solely software play. Today, though, All Programmable devices enable system architects to create embedded vision solutions in record time.

As far as flexibility goes, you’ll find something quite similar. In the past, programming happened on the software side because hardware was preformatted. But FPGAs are more customizable. They contain logic blocks, the programmable components and reconfigurable interconnects that allow the chip to be programmed which allows for more efficiency of power, temperature and design—all without the need of an additional OS.

Ready to bust some more myths around embedded vision? Watch our video breaking down the five biggest myths around embedded vision development.

WATCH NOW >

DC-DC Modules Boast Wide Voltage Range, Small Footprint

Maxim Integrated Products has announced four new micro-system-level IC (“uSLIC”) modules. The MAXM17552, MAXM15064, MAXM17900 and MAXM17903 step-down DC-DC power modules join Maxim’s extensive portfolio of Himalaya power solutions, providing the widest input voltage range (4 V to 60 V) with the smallest solution sizes.

While miniaturization remains the trend for an array of system designs, many of these designs also require a wide range of input voltages. For example, supply voltages in factory automation equipment are susceptible to large fluctuations due to long transmission lines. USB-C and broad 12 V nominal applications require up to 24 V of working voltage protection against transients due to hot plugging of supplies and/or batteries.
The newest Himalaya uSLIC power modules extend the portfolio’s range up to 60 V versus the previous maximum of 42V and come in a solution size (2.6 mm x 3.0 mm x 1.5 mm) less than half the size of the closest competitive offering. The modules feature a synchronous wide-input Himalaya buck regulator with built-in FETs, compensation and other functions with an integrated shielded inductor. Having the inductor in the module simplifies the toughest aspect of power supply design, enabling designers to create a robust, reliable power supply in less than a day.

The newest uSLIC modules are:

• MAXM17552, a 4 to 60V, 100mA module with 100 to 900kHz adjustable switching frequency, 82% efficiency (24V VIN at 5V/0.1A) and external clock synchronization in a 2.6mm x 3mm x 1.5mm package
• MAXM15064, a 4.5 to 60V, 300mA module with 500kHz fixed frequency, 82% efficiency (24V VIN at 5V/0.1A) and built-in output voltage monitoring in a 2.6mm x 3mm x 1.5mm package
• MAXM17900, a 4 to 24V, 100mA module with 100 to 900kHz adjustable switching frequency, 86% efficiency (12V VIN at 5V/100mA), external clock synchronization and built-in output voltage monitoring in a 2.6mm x 3mm x 1.5mm package
• MAXM17903, a 4.5 to 24V, 300mA module with 500kHz fixed switching frequency, 77% efficiency (12V VIN at 3.3V/300mA) and built-in output voltage monitoring in a 2.6mm x 3mm x 1.5mm package

The uSLIC modules can be purchased for the following prices: MAXM17552 for $2.53, MAXM15064 for $2.78, MAXM17900 for $1.39, and MAXM17903 for $1.48 (1000-up, FOB USA); they are also available from authorized distributors. The MAXM17552EVKIT#, MAXM15064EVKIT#, MAXM17900EVKIT# and MAXM17903EVKIT# evaluation kits are available at $29.73 each.

Maxim Integrated | www.maximintegrated.com

December (issue #341) Circuit Cellar Article Materials

Click here for the Circuit Cellar article code archive

p.6: IoT Door Security System Uses Wi-Fi: Control Via App or Web, By Norman  Chen, Ram Vellanki and Giacomo Di Liberto

References:
[1] Sharp, “GP2Y0A21YK0F Datasheet,”
<https://www.pololu.com/file/0J85/gp2y0a21yk0f.pdf>
[2] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Serial to Wi-Fi Tutorial Using ESP8266,”
< http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/863.14/tutorials/Programming/serialwifi.html>
[3] fuho, “ESP8266 – AT Command Reference,” room-15, March 26, 2015.
< https://room-15.github.io/blog/2015/03/26/esp8266-at-command-reference>
[4] Espressif Inc., “ESP8266 AT Command Examples,” 2017.
< https://www.espressif.com/sites/default/files/documentation/4b-esp8266_at_command_examples_en.pdf>
[5] JetBrains, “Reference,”
<https://kotlinlang.org/docs/reference/>

Microchip Technology, “PIC32 Peripheral Libraries for MPLAB C32 Compiler,” 2007.

Espressif Systems, “ESPRESSIF SMART CONNECTIVITY PLATFORM: ESP8266,” Oct. 2013. < https://nurdspace.nl/images/e/e0/ESP8266_Specifications_English.pdf >

Matthew Ford, “Using ESP8266 GPIO0/GPIO2/GPIO15 pins”, Apr. 2018.
< http://www.forward.com.au/pfod/ESP8266/GPIOpins/index.html >

Bill of Materials:

Part Name

Part Number

Manufacturer

PIC32 Microcontroller

PIC32MX250F128B

Microchip Technology

Wi-Fi Module

ESP8266-01

Makerfocus

Distance Sensor

GP2Y0A02YK0F

Sharp

Piezoelectric Speaker

CEP-1141

CUI

Digital-To-Analog Converter

MCP4822

Microchip Technology

PIC32 Microcontroller
MCP4822 Digital-To-Analog Converter
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module
Espressif Systems | www.espressif.com

GP2Y0A21YK0F Distance Measuring Sensor
Sharp Corporation | www.sharp-world.com

CEP-1141 Piezoelectric Speaker
CUI | www.cui.com

p.12: FPGAs Provide Edge for Convolutional Neural Networks: Deep Learning Solution, By Ted Marena and Robert Green

References:
[1]  Y. Lecun, L. Bottou, Y. Bengio and P. Haffner: “Gradient-based learning applied to document recognition,” in Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 86 No. 11, pp. 2278-2324, Nov 1998.
[2] T. Dettmers: “8-Bit Approximations for Parallelism in Deep Learning,” Computing Research Repository, Vol. abs/1511.04561, 2015.
[3] P. Gysel, M. Motamedi and S. Ghiasi: “Hardware-oriented Approximation of Convolutional Neural Networks,” Computing Research Repository, Vol. abs/1604.03168, 2016.

ASIC Design Services | www.asic.co.za
Microsemi | www.microsemi.com

p.20: Designing a Display System for Embedded Use: Noritake Notes,
     By Aubrey Kagan

References:
[1] Hierarchical Menus in Embedded Systems, Circuit Cellar, Issue #160, November 2003
[2] gen4 Display Module Series 7.0” Diablo16 Integrated Display Module datasheet
[3] GT-C9xxP series “General Function” Software Specification (requires registration)  GT800X480A-C903PA Hardware Specification (requires registration)

Cypress Semiconductor | www.cypress.com
Noritake | www.noritake-elec.com

Links to more of Aubrey’s publications on/in Circuit Cellar, Planet Analog and Embedded.com at are available at: http://bit.ly/2m26MJB

p.26: Self-Navigating Robots Use BLE: Signals and Servos, By Jane Du and Jacob Glueck

References:
[1] S. Carroll, “PIC32MC250F128B small dev board.”.
[2] L. Jinan Huamao technology Co., “HM-10 Bluetooth breakout module and firmware.”.
[3] Arduino Forums, “How to flash genuine hm-10 firmware on cc2541 (make genuine hm-10 from cc41).”
[4] Cheong, “CCLoader.ino.”.
[5] K. Benoit, “CCLoader.exe.”.
[6] Arduino Forums, “Firmware file for flashing BLE module.”.
[7] L. Jinan Huamao technology Co., “HM-10-2541-v603 firmware.”.
[8] InvenSenses, “MPU-9250 product specification revision 1.1.” 2016.
[9] InvenSenses, “MPU-9250 register map and descriptions revision 1.4.” 2013.
[10] A. K. M. Corporation, “3-axis electronic compass.” 2013.
[11] D. Caulley, N. Nehoran, and S. Zhao, “Self-balancing robot.”.
[12] L. Peneda, A. Azenha, and A. Carvalho, “Trilateration for indoors positioning within the framework of wireless communications,” in 2009 35th annual conference of IEEE industrial electronics, 2009, pp. 2732–2737.

BLE 4.0 Module (TI CC2541) HM-10
Texas Instruments, Inc. | www.ti.com

Continuous Rotation Robotic Servo (FEETECH FS90R)
Pololu | www.pololu.com

9-Axis Gyroscope Acceleration Magnetic Sensor (MPU-9250)
TDK InvenSense | www.invensense.com

PIC32MX250F128B Microcontroller
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

p.31: Applying WebRTC to the IoT: Peer-to-Peer Comms, By Allie Mellen

WebRTC’s Github https://github.com/webrtc

WebRTC | webrtc.org

Tutorials
Google Developer CodeLabs
HTML5Rocks: Getting Started with WebRTC
BlogGeek.Me Advanced WebRTC Architecture Course

Expert Blogs
WebRTC Hacks
BlogGeek.Me
WebRTC by Dr Alex

callstats.io | www.callstats.io
WebRTC | www.webrtc.org

p.36: Chip-Level Solutions Feed AI Needs: Embedded Supercomputing, By Jeff Child

Achronix | www.achronix.com
AMD | www.amd.com
Flex Logix Technologies | www.flex-logix.com
Intel | www.intel.com
Lattice Semiconductor | www.latticesemi.com
Microsemi | www.microsemi.com
Nvidia | www.nvidia.com
Quicklogic | www.quicklogic.com
Xilinx | www.xilinx.com

p.42: Module Solutions Suit Up for IIoT: Compact Connectivity, By Jeff Child

Digi | www.digi.com
Espressif | www.espressif.com
Jorjin Technologies | www.jorjin.com
Rigado | www.rigado.com
Telit | www.telit.com
U-blox | www.u-blox.com

p.46: PRODUCT FOCUS DC-DC Converters: Expanding Options, By Jeff Child

Analog Devices | www.analog.com
CUI| www.cui.com
Maxim Integrated | www.maximintegrated.com
MINMAX Technology | www.minmaxpower.com
Murata Power Solutions | www.murata-ps.com
RECOM | www.recom-power.com
TDK-Lambda Americas | www.us.tdk-lambda.com
Vicor | www.vicorpower.com

p.50: EMBEDDED IN THIN SLICES: Internet of Things Security (Part 6):
Identifying Threats, 
By Bob Japenga

References:
[1] OWASP Top 10  – 2017 
[2] CVE-2018-5383 https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/304725
[3] OWASP Internet of Things Top Ten —and  Top 10 IoT Vulnerabilities:   Infographic

Bob’s IoT Checklist Can Be Found Here (updated 11/20/2018)

p.54: THE CONSUMMATE ENGINEER: Real Schematics (Part 1): Passives and Parasitics, By George Novacek

References:
[1] 3-Part articles series: “Transformers 101”, George Novacek, Circuit Cellar issues 302, 303 and 304

The Humble Resistor, George Novacek, Circuit Cellar issues 289

Not So Humble Capacitor, George Novacek, Circuit Cellar issue 291

Inductors, George Novacek, Circuit Cellar issue 292

Electromagnetics Explained by Ron Schmitt, published by Newnes, ISBN 0-7506-7403-2

p.58: THE DARKER SIDE: Do You Speak JTAG?: Up Your Test Game, By Robert Lacoste

JTAGLive controller & Buzz software
https://www.jtaglive.com/

OpenOCD
http://openocd.org

SN74BCT8244A
Scan test devices with octal buffers
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/sn74bct8244a.pdf

SN74BCT8374A
Scan Test Device With Octal D-Type Edge-Triggered Flip-Flops
http://www.ti.com/product/SN74BCT8374A

STM32L100RB-A
Ultra-low-power 32-bit Value Line ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JTAG

JTAG standards and links to IEEE website
https://www.jtag.com/en/content/standards

IEEE Std1149.1 (JTAG)Testability
Texas Instruments 1997
http://www.ti.com/lit/an/ssya002c/ssya002c.pdf

JTAG tutorial
CORELIS
https://www.corelis.com/educationdownload/JTAG-Tutorial.pdf
https://www.embedded.com/electronics-blogs/beginner-s-corner/4024466/Introduction-to-JTAG
https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/test-methods/boundary-scan-jtag-ieee1149/boundary-scan-description-language-bsdl.php

Instructions on doing (semi-)manual JTAG boundary scan with OpenOCD
Paul Fertser
https://sourceforge.net/p/openocd/mailman/message/31069985/

Architecting a Multi-Voltage JTAG Chain
Hossain Hajimowlana , Analog Devices
http://www.analog.com/en/analog-dialogue/articles/architecting-multi-voltage-jtag-chain.html

JTAG Technologies | www.jtag.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com
SEGGER Microcontroller | www.segger.com
STMicroelectronics | www.st.com
Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

p.65: FROM THE BENCH: Sun Tracking Project: Using PIC18 MCU, By Jeff Bachiochi

PIC18F2413
Flash Microcontroller with High Performance PWM and A/D
Microchip Technology
www.microchip.com

EAALST05RDMA0
Ambient Light Sensor
Everlight America
Toll Free: 844-352-6786
www.everlightamericas.com

LCD117
Serial LCD Board
Modern Device
www.moderndevice.com

Figure 2:  www.didel.commicrokitencoderEncoder.html

Everlight America | www.everlightamericas.com
Modern Device | www.moderndevice.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

p.79: The Future of IIoT Sensors: Rethinking the IIoT Sensor Domain for the Smart Factory, By Justin Moll

PICMG | www.picmg.org

Slim Signage Player Features Radeon E8860 GPU and 6 HDMI Ports

By Eric Brown

Ibase’s new SI-626 digital signage and video wall (VW) player combines high-end functionality with a slim 30 mm height—1.5 mm thinner than its AMD Ryzen V1000 based SI-324 player. Like the SI-324, the SI-626 features hardware based EDID remote management with software setting mode to prevent display issues due to cable disconnection or display identification failures.


 
SI-626 from two angles
(click images to enlarge)
The system is notable for providing AMD’s Radeon E8860 graphics, which can drive six HDMI 1.4b displays. There’s also hardware EDID emulation for remote operation, as well as a “flexible VW display configuration setting.”

Like Ibase’s recent SI-614 and OPS-compatible IOPS-602
players, the SI-626 supports Intel’s 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” Core processors, and like the IOPS-602, it also supports 6th Gen Skylake parts. The system supports 7th and 6th Gen chips with FCBGA1440 sockets and Intel QM170 or HM170 chipsets by way of a “MBD626” mainboard.


SI-626 front view
(click image to enlarge)
The product page notes that the Core CPUs have 35 W TDPs or lower. Yet, the press release notes only one model: the quad-core 2.8 GHz/ 3.5 GHz Core i7-6820EQ from the Skylake family, which has a 45 W TDP. OS support is listed as “Win7 64-bit, Win10 64-bit Enterprise, and Linux Ubuntu 64-bit (Installation).”

The SI-626 can load up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 RAM and offers an M.2 M-Key 2280 slot for storage. There’s also a 2.5-inch SATA bay and an M.2 E-Key 2230 slot, as well as a full-size mini-PCIe slot for WiFi/BT, 4G LTE, and capture cards.

The SI-626 is equipped with 6x HDMI 1.4 ports with independent audio output and “ultra-high resolution” support. You also get 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x RS-232 serial ports with RJ45 connectors, and dual GbE ports (Realtek RTL8111G). The system is further equipped with an audio jack, watchdog, mounting brackets, and 2x LEDs.

The 290 mm x 222 mm x 29.9 mm, 2.2 kg signage player provides a 0 to 45°C range with 5 grms, 5~500 Hz, random vibration resistance (with SSD). A segregated ventilation system is said to reduce internal dust.

The SI-626 offers a 12 V DC jack with a 150 W power adapter supported with Ibase iControl power management and Observer remote monitoring technologies. These work together to provide automatic power scheduling, power failure detection, and restoration to default state in the event of a system crash. You can even boot up the system “under low ambient conditions,” says Ibase.

Further information

The SI-626 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price with a standard configuration of 16 GB RAM and a 128 GB SSD. More information may be found at Ibase’s SI-626 product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on September 20..

Ibase | www.ibase.com.tw

SBC Showcases Qualcomm’s 10 nm, Octa-core QCS605 IoT SoC

By Eric Brown

In April, Qualcomm announced its QCS605 SoC, calling it “the first 10nm FinFET fabricated SoC purpose built for the Internet of Things.” The octa-core Arm SoC is available in an Intrinsyc Open-Q 605 SBC with full development kit with a 12V power supply is open for pre-orders at $429. The products will ship in early December.

 
Open-Q 605, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
The fact that Qualcomm is billing the high-end QCS605 as an IoT SoC reveals how demand for vision and AI processing on the edge is broadening the IoT definition to encompass a much higher range of embedded technology. The IoT focus is also reinforced by the lack of the usual Snapdragon branding. The QCS605 is accompanied by the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform, a set of mostly software components that includes the Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK and camera processing software, as well as the company’s 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and security technologies.

The QCS605 can run Linux or Android, but Intrinsyc supports its Open-Q 605 board only with Android 8.1.

Intrinsyc also recently launched an Open-Q 624A Development Kit based on a new Open-Q 624A SOM (see farther below).

Qualcomm QCS605 and Vision Intelligence Platform

The QCS605 SoC features 8x Kryo 300 CPU cores, two of which are 2.5GHz “gold” cores that are equivalent to Cortex-A75. The other six are 1.7GHz “silver” cores like the Cortex-A55 — Arm’s more powerful follow-on to Cortex-A53.

The QCS605 also integrates an Adreno 615 GPU, a Hexagon 685 DSP with Hexagon vector extensions (“HVX”), and a Spectra 270 ISP that supports dual 16-megapixel image sensors. Qualcomm also sells a QCS603 model that is identical except that it offers only 2x of the 1.7GHz “Silver” cores instead of six.

Qualcomm sells the QCS605 as part of a Vision Intelligence Platform — a combination of software and hardware starting with a Qualcomm AI Engine built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) software framework. The NPE provides analysis, optimization, and debugging tools for developing with Tensorflow, Caffe, and Caffe2 frameworks. The AI Engine also includes the Open Neural Network Exchange interchange format, the Android Neural Networks API, and the Qualcomm Hexagon Neural Network library, which together enable the porting of trained networks.

The Vision Intelligence Platform running on the QCS605 delivers up to 2.1 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of compute performance for deep neural network inferences, claims Qualcomm. The platform also supports up to 4K60 resolution or 5.7K at 30fps and supports multiple concurrent video streams at lower resolutions.

Other features include “staggered” HDR to prevent ghost effects in high-dynamic range video. You also get advanced electronic image stabilization, de-warp, de-noise, chromatic aberration correction, and motion compensated temporal filters in hardware.

Inside the Open-Q 605 SBC

Along with the Snapdragon 600 based Open-Q 600, the Open-Q 605 is the only Open-Q development board that Intrinsyc refers to as an SBC. Most Open-Q kits are compute modules or sandwich-style carrier board starter kits based on Intrinsyc modules equipped with Snapdragon SoCs, such as the recent, Snapdragon 670 based Open-Q 670 HDK.


Open-Q 605 
(click image to enlarge)
The 68 x 50mm Open-Q 605 ships with an eMCP package with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM and 32GB eMMC flash, and additional storage is available via a microSD slot. Networking depends on the 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and Bluetooth 5.x radios. There’s also a Qualcomm GNSS receiver for location and 3x U.FL connectors.

The only real-world coastline port is a USB Type-C that supports DisplayPort 1.4 with 4K@30fps support. If you’d rather use the Type-C port for USB or charging a user-supplied Li-Ion battery, you can turn to an HD-ready MIPI DSI interface with touch support. You also get 2x MIPI-CSI for dual cameras, as well as 2x analog audio.

The Open-Q 605 has a 76-pin expansion header for other interfaces, including an I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface. The board runs on a 5-15V DC input and offers an extended -25 to 60°C operating range.

Specifications listed for the Open-Q 605 SBC include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm QCS605 with Vision Intelligence Platform (2x up to 2.5GHz and 6x up to 1.7GHz Krait 300 cores); Adreno 615 GPU; Hexagon 685 DSP; Spectra 270 ISP; Qualcomm AI Engine and other VIP components
  • Memory/storage — 4GB LPDDR4X and 32GB eMMC flash in combo eMCP package; microSD slot.
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2×2 dual-band WiFi (Qualcomm WCN3990) with planned FCC/IC/CE certification
    • Bluetooth 5.x
    • Qualcomm GNSS (SDR660G) receiver with Qualcomm Location Suite Gen9 VT
    • U.FL antenna connectors for WiFi, BT, GNSS
  • Media I/O:
    • DisplayPort 1.4 via USB Type-C up to 4K@30 with USB data concurrency (USB and power)
    • MIPI DSI (4-lane) with I2C touch interface on flex cable connector for up to 1080p30
    • 2x MIPI-CSI (4-lane) with micro-camera module connectors
    • 2x analog mic I/Ps, speaker O/P, headset I/O
    • I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface with 2x DMIC ports (via 76-pin expansion header)
  • Expansion — 76-pin header (multiple SPI, I2C, UART, GPIO, and sensor I/O; digital and analog audio I/O, LED flash O/P, haptic O/P, power output rails
  • Other features — 3x LEDs; 4x mounting holes; optional dev kit with quick start guide, docs, SW updates
  • Operating temperature — -25 to 60°C
  • Power — 5-15V DC jack and support for user-supplied Li-Ion battery with USB Type-C charging; PM670 + PM670L PMIC; 12V supply with dev kit
  • Dimensions — 68 x 50 x 13mm
  • Operating system — Android 8.1 Oreo

Open-Q 624A
Development Kit

Open-Q 624A Development Kit

Back in May, Google preannounced the Open-Q 624A Development Kit as an official Android Things 1.0 development board along with Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 212 based Open-Q 212A, Innocomm’s i.MX8M based WB10-AT, and a MediaTek MT8516 development platform. Now, Intrinsyc is pitching the Open-Q 624A Development Kit, as well as the Open-Q 624A SOM module it’s based on, as an Android 8.0 platform aimed at the home hub market. There is no longer any mention of Android Things.

The Open-Q 624A SOM offers 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, and an octa-core -A53 Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 SoC based on the Snapdragon 625. The kit is equipped with a USB 3.0 Type-C port, 2x USB host ports, micro-USB client and debug ports, MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, sensor expansion and haptic output, and an optional GPS receiver. You also get extensive audio features, including I2S/SLIMBUS headers.

Available for $595, the sandwich style kit will ship in mid-December. For more details, see our earlier Android Things development board report.

Further information

The Open-Q 605 SBC is available for pre-order in the full Development Kit version, which costs $429 and ships in early December. The SBC will also be sold on its own at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 605 announcement, as well as the product page and shopping page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on November 14.

Intrinsyc | www.intrinsyc.com

Nordic’s BLE SoC Selected for IIoT Energy Monitor Device

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that OneMeter, a Lublin, Poland-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) startup, has selected Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its “OneMeter Beacon”, a device that provides companies with the ability to monitor and manage their energy usage data in real time.

Designed for use in a broad range of industrial and commercial environments—for example production facilities, manufacturing plants, and food service companies—the OneMeter Beacon is simply plugged in to an existing electronic electricity meter via an optical port interface, enabling the beacon to receive energy usage data from the meter using the IEC 62056-21 / IEC 1107 protocol. Once installed, the beacon is paired to a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) Android smartphone or tablet, where from the OneMeter app the user can initialize and synchronize the beacon.

Once synchronized, the beacon reads data from the meter every 15 minutes, and stores it in the Nordic SoC’s Flash memory, from where the beacon automatically transmits the data to the user’s smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the nRF51822 SoC. From the app the user can review data from the most recent readout (including active and reactive energy consumption parameters), as well as view daily, weekly and monthly energy usage charts and more.

OneMeter Cloud provides a comprehensive platform from which a company can not only monitor its metering data, but also perform accurate energy usage cost estimation, conduct effective energy audits, avoid penalties for exceeding contracted power by defining power parameter alerts, as well as manage its photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure. Certified measurement data can be shared with energy vendors enabling invoices to be settled based on actual usage instead of forecasts. The OneMeter beacon is powered by a 3V CR2032 coin cell battery, providing up to 12 months battery life before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the nRF51822 SoC which has been engineered to minimize power consumption.

Nordic’s nRF51822 is a multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit Arm Cortex M0 CPU, 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio, and 256kB/128kB Flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S130 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 4.2 qualified concurrent multi-link protocol stack solution supporting simultaneous Central/Peripheral/Broadcaster/Observer role connections.

Nordic Semiconductor | www.nordicsemi.com