The 2012 Embedded Systems Conference in Boston started September 17 and ends today. Here’s a wrap-up of the most interesting news and products.
Microchip Technology announced Monday morning the addition of 15 new USB PIC microcontrollers to its line of full-speed USB 2.0 Device PIC MCUs. In a short presentation, Microchip product marketing manager Wayne Freeman introduced the three new 8-bit, crystal-free USB PIC families.
The PIC16F145x family (three devices) features the Microchip’s lowest-cost MCUs. The devices are available in 14- and 20-pin packages, support full-speed USB communication, don’t require external crystals, include PWM with complement generation, and more. They’re suitable for applications requiring USB connectivity and cap sense capabilities.
Microchip’s three PIC18F2x/4xK50 devices (available in 28- and 40/44-pins) enable “easy migration” from legacy PIC18 USB devices. In addition to 1.8- to 5-V operation, they feature a Charge Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) for cap-touch sensing, which makes them handy for data logging systems for tasks such as temperature and humidity measurement.
The nine devices in the PIC18F97J94 family are available in 64-, 80-, and 100-pin packages. Each device includes a 60 × 8 LCD controller and also integrates a real-time clock/calendar (RTCC) with battery back-up. Systems such as hand-held scanners and home automation panels are excellent candidates for these devices.
Several interesting designs were on display at the Microchip booth.
- The M2M PICtail module was used in an SMS texting system.
- Microchip featured its PIC MCU iPod Accessory Kit in glucose meter design. It was one of several healthcare-related systems that exhibitors displayed at the conference.
Visit www.microchip.com for more information.
As most of you know, the entry period for the Renesas RL78 Green Energy Challenge ended on August 31 and the judges are now reviewing the entries. Two particular demos on display at the Renesas booth caught my attention.
- A lemon powering an RL78 L12 MCU:
- An R8C capacitive touch system:
Go to www.am.renesas.com.
I was pleased to see a reprint of Mark Pedley’s recent Circuit Cellar article, “eCompass” (August 2012), on display at Freescale’s booth. The article covers the topics of building and calibrating a tilt‐compensating electronic compass.
Two of the more interesting projects were:
- An Xtrinsic sensor demo:
- A Tower-based medical suitcase, which included a variety of boards: MED-BPM (a dev board for blood pressure monitor applications), MED-EKG (an aux board for EKG and heart rate monitoring applications), and more.
I stopped by the STMicro booth for a look at the STM32F3DISCOVERY kit, but I quickly became interested in the Dual Interface EEPROM station. It was the smartphone that caught my attention (again). Like other exhibitors, STMicro had a smartphone-related application on hand.
- The Dual EEPROMs enable you to access memory via either wired or RF interfaces. Energy harvesting is the new function STMicro is promoting. According to the documentation, “It also features an energy harvesting and RF status function.”
- According to STMicro’s website, the DATALOG-M24LR-A PCB (the green board, top left) “features an M24LR64-R Dual Interface EEPROM IC connected to an STM8L101K3 8-bit microcontroller through an I2C bus on one side, and to a 20 mm x 40 mm 13.56 MHz etched RF antenna on the other one side. The STM8L101K3 is also interfaced with an STTS75 temperature sensor and a CR2330 coin cell battery.”
I’m glad I spend a few moments at the Fujitsu booth. We rarely see Circuit Cellar authors using Fujitsu parts, so I wanted to see if there was something you’d find intriguing. Perhaps the following images will pique your interest in Fujitsu technologies.
The FM3 family, which features the ARM Cortext-M3 core, is worth checking out. FM3 connectivity demonstration
Check out Fujitsu’s System Memory site and document ion to see if its memory products and solutions suit your needs. Access speed comparison: FRAM vs. SRAM vs. EEPROM
The ESC conference site has details about the other exhibitors that had booths in the exhibition hall.