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

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

Transceivers Ease HD Video Upgrades Using Existing Vehicle Cabling

Analog Devices has announced a transceiver series that enables high-definition (HD) video over existing Unshielded Twisted Pair cables and unshielded connectors. This allow OEMs to upgrade easily from standard-definition cameras to HD cameras and provide the superior resolution and image quality required for today’s automotive camera applications. The new ADV7990 and ADV7991 transmitters and ADV7380 and ADV7381 receivers use ADI’s Car Camera Bus (C2B) technology to enable significant savings in weight, bulk, cost and reduce cable-routing constraints when compared to other automotive link solutions.

The C2B transceivers are defined and designed specifically for automotive applications, which means that along with supporting excellent visual quality over the unshielded infrastructure, significant care was also taken with on-chip EMC/EMI mitigation techniques enabling full compliance to the rigorous industry mandates for EMC, EMI, and ESD robustness. The performance of the innovative cable-compensation design supports 30-meter cable runs with multiple in-line connections for resolutions up to 2 megapixels at 30 Hz or 1 megapixel at 60 Hz.

The ADV7990/91 and ADV7380/81 transceivers feature negligible latency along with uncompressed transmission; the bidirectional control channel uses the same cable and thus incurs no additional costs. These devices support a 75-MHz pixel rate (75 MHz Y, 75 MHz C), “frozen frame” detection while the bidirectional control function supports I2C, interrupt/status and general-purpose I/O (GPIO).

Analog Devices | www.analog.com

Signage-Oriented Mini-STX SBC Taps Ryzen V1000

By Eric Brown

Sapphire, which makes AMD-based graphics cards and motherboards, offers a 147.3 mm x 139.7 mm Mini-STX (5×5-inch) form factor SBC that runs Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows on AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. AMD’s Ryzen V1000 is highly competitive on CPU performance with the latest Intel Core chips, and the Radeon Vega graphics are superior, enabling four 4K displays to run at once.


FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
The only other Ryzen V1000 based SBC we’ve seen is Seco’s open-spec, 120 x 120mm Udoo Bolt, which ships to Kickstarter backers in December. Sapphire’s commercial FS-FP5V is available for sale now with shipments beginning later this month, according to the Tom’s Hardware post that alerted us to the product.

The FS-FP5V starts at $325 for a model equipped with the dual-core, quad-thread V1202B version of the Ryzen V1000 with lower-end Vega 3 graphics. The three models with the quad-core, octa-threaded versions of the SoC go for $340, $390, and $450, with ascending clock rates and graphics ranging from Vega 8 to 11.



AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 models, all of which are available with the FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
Pricing, which does not include RAM or storage, seems to be a bit higher than the Udoo Bolt. The Bolt also adds an Atmega32U4 MCU for Arduino and Grove compatibility but is limited to the two lower-end V1000 SoC models. The Bolt seems more like a general purpose embedded board while the FS-FP5V, which has up to 4x DisplayPorts, is more directly aimed at digital signage and other media-centric applications including electronic gaming, medical imaging, thin clients, and POS terminals.

Unlike the Udoo Bolt, there’s no microSD slot or eMMC. There is however, a SATA III slot with power headers, as well as an M.2 M-key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe. A separate M.2 E-key 2242 connection supports PCIe devices including WiFi modules.

 
FS-FP5V portside views
(click images to enlarge)
It’s unclear if the cited prices include all four DP++ ports, which are listed as “up to 4x.” The board is further equipped with an audio jack, 2x GbE ports, serial and GPIO headers, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports. There’s also a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which does not appear to be used for DP. It’s unclear if it’s used for power.

 
Bleujour Kubb enclosure for FS-FP5V (left) and upcoming FS-FP5V-based 2×2 display wall from Seneca Data
(click images to enlarge)
This is Sapphire’s first Mini-STX SBC. Its other AMD-based motherboards include AMD R-Series based Mini-ITX boards and some 4×4-inch eNUC form factor boards such as the G-Series based LX 210.

In the YouTube video farther below, a Sapphire rep says his company can make custom boards based on the Ryzen V1000. The video also shows a Kubb enclosure for the FS-FP5V from Bleujour, as well as an upcoming 2×2 digital signage display wall from Seneca Data that taps the FS-FP5V to generate 4x 4K displays.

Specifications listed for the FS-FP5V include:

  • Processor — AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 (see chart above)
  • Memory — 0GB to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM up to 3200MHz with ECC support via 2x sockets
  • Storage:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe x4)
    • SATA III connector with 5V SATA power
  • Wireless — M.2 E-Key 2242 for WiFi and other PCIe x1
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8111G)
  • Display/media:
    • Up to 4x DisplayPort++ available via 2x dual-role USB 3.0 Type-C ports
    • 4x simultaneous 4K@60 displays
    • Radeon Vega 3, 8, or 11 graphics with DirectX 12, EGL 1.4, IOMMU 2.0, OpenCL 2.1, OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.x, and 3.x (Halti), OpenGL Next (Vulkan), OpenGL 4.6, 10-bit HEVC decoder (H.265), VP9 decoder, up to 10-bit, limited profile 2, Eyefinity
    • 3.5mm audio jack (ALC262 HD 4CH)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.1 Type-C port
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • RS232/422/485 header
    • GPIO headers
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions — 147.3 x 139.7mm
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.9 or 4.14.14; Windows 7/8.1/10 etc.


 

AMD’s promo video for FS-FP5V
Further information

The FS-FP5V is available now starting at $325, with shipments due later this month. More information may be found at Sapphire’s FS-FP5V product page, which links to an order form.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on July 9.

Sapphire | www.sapphiretech.com

Tuesday’s Newsletter: IoT Tech Focus

Coming to your inbox tomorrow: Circuit Cellar’s IoT Technology Focus newsletter. Tomorrow’s newsletter 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.

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 IoT Technology Focus 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:

Embedded Boards.(11/27) The focus here is on both standard and non-standard embedded computer boards that ease prototyping efforts and let you smoothly scale up to production volumes.

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.

NanoPi Neo4 SBC Breaks RK3399 Records for Size and Price

By Eric Brown

In August, FriendlyElec introduced the NanoPi M4, which was then the smallest, most affordable Rockchip RK3399 based SBC yet. The company has now eclipsed the Raspberry Pi style, 85 mm x 5 6 mm NanoPi M4 on both counts, with a 60 mm x 45 mm size and $45 promotional price ($50 standard). The similarly open-spec, Linux and Android-ready NanoPi Neo4, however, is not likely to beat the M4 on performance, as it ships with only 1 GB of DDR3-1866 instead of 2 GB or 4 GB of LPDDR3.

 
NanoPi Neo4 and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

This is the first SBC built around the hexa-core RK3399 that doesn’t offer 2GB RAM at a minimum. That includes the still unpriced Khadas Edge, which will soon launch on Indiegogo, and Vamrs’ $99 and up, 96Boards form factor Rock960, in addition to the many other RK3399 based entries listed in our June catalog of 116 hacker boards.

NanoPi M4

Considering that folks are complaining that the quad -A53, 1.4 GHz Raspberry Pi 3+ is limited to only 1GB, it’s hard to imagine the RK3399 is going to perform up to par with only 1GB. The SoC has a pair of up to 2GHz Cortex-A72 cores and four Cortex -A53 cores clocked to up to 1.5GHz plus a high-end Mali-T864 GPU.

Perhaps size was a determining factor in limiting the board to 1 GB along with price. Indeed, the 60 mm x 45 mm footprint ushers the RK3399 into new space-constrained environments. Still, this is larger than the earlier 40 mm x 40 mm Neo boards or the newer, 52 mm x 40mm NanoPi Neo Plus2, which is based on an Allwinner H5.

We’re not sure why FriendlyElec decided against calling the new SBC the NanoPi Neo 3, but there have been several Neo boards that have shipped since the Neo2, including the NanoPi Neo2-LTS and somewhat Neo-like, 50 x 25.4mm NanoPi Duo.

The NanoPi Neo4 differs from other Neo boards in that it has a coastline video port, in this case an HDMI 2.0a port with support for up to 4K@60Hz video with HDCP 1.4/2.2 and audio out. Another Neo novelty is the 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface for up to a 13-megapixel camera input.


 
NanoPi Neo4 with and without optional heatsink
(click images to enlarge)
You can boot a variety of Linux and Android distributions from the microSD slot or eMMC socket (add $12 for 16GB eMMC). Thanks to the RK3399, you get native Gigabit Ethernet. There’s also a wireless module with 802.11n (now called Wi-Fi 4) limited to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The NanoPi Neo4 is equipped with coastline USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 host ports plus a Type-C power and OTG port and an onboard USB 2.0 header. The latter is found on one of the two smaller GPIO connectors that augment the usual 40-pin header, which like other RK3399 boards, comes with no claims of Raspberry Pi compatibility. Other highlights include an RTC and -20 to 70℃ support.

Specifications listed for the NanoPi Neo4 include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.5 GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 1GB DDR3-1866 RAM
    • eMMC socket with optional ($12) 16GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot for up to 128GB
  • Wireless — 802.11n (2.4GHz) with Bluetooth 4.0; ext. antenna
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Media:
    • HDMI 2.0a port (with audio and HDCP 1.4/2.2) for up to 4K at 60 Hz
    • 1x 4-lane MIPI-CSI (up to 13MP);
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 Type-C port (USB 2.0 OTG or power input)
    • USB 2.0 host port
  • Expansion:
    • GPIO 1: 40-pin header — 3x 3V/1.8V I2C, 3V UART, SPDIF_TX, up to 8x 3V GPIOs, PCIe x2, PWM, PowerKey
    • GPIO 2: 1.8V 8-ch. I2S
    • GPIO 3: Debug UART, USB 2.0
  • Other features — RTC; 2x LEDs; optional $6 heatsink, LCD, and cameras
  • Power — DC 5V/3A input or USB Type-C; optional $9 adapter
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70℃
  • Dimensions — 60 x 45mm; 8-layer PCB
  • Weight – 30.25 g
  • Operating system — Linux 4.4 LTS with U-boot 2014.10; Android 7.1.2 or 8.1 (requires eMMC module); Lubuntu 16.04 (32-bit); FriendlyCore 18.04 (64-bit), FriendlyDesktop 18.04 (64-bit); Armbian via third party;

Further information

The NanoPi Neo4 is available for a promotional price of $45 (regularly $50) plus shipping, which ranges from $16 to $20. More information may be found on FriendlyElec’s NanoPi Neo4 product page and wiki, which includes schematics, CAD files, and OS download links.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on October 9.

FriendlyElec | www.friendlyarm.com

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 >