Ambiq Micro’s Apollo Platform Selected for Fossil Smartwatches

Ambiq Micro recently announced that its patented Apollo Platform with Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) was selected for Fossil Group’s hybrid smartwatches. According to Ambiq, the Apollo platform will manage smartwatch operations such as processing sensor inputs and controlling wireless communication.

The energy-efficient Apollo microcontroller is based on the 32-bit ARM Cortex M-4 with FPU. It provides a high level of performance per watt, which enables designers to extended a systems battery life, incorporate smaller or fewer batteries, and add new features. Furthermore, the Apollo Platform consumes  34 µA/MHz when executing instructions from flash memory, and it features Sleep mode currents as low as 140 nA.

Source: Ambiq Micro

New I/O-Rich Embedded Computing Solutions

Diamond Systems recently unveiled the Eagle family rugged ARM SBCs and carrier boards.  Intended to work with the Toradex Apalis family of ARM computer-on-modules (CoMs), the Eagle family comprises two models—the full-size, full-featured Eagle and the smaller low-cost Eaglet.DiamondEagle

You can purchase a fully-configured off-the-shelf solution comprsing a select ARM module and heatsink. Anoher option is to the baseboard and ARM module separately for greater configuration flexibility and lower unit cost. Development kits are available that include the fully configured SBC, preconfigured Linux OS on a microSD card, and a full cable kit.

The Eagle/Eaglet family units feature long product lifetimes, configuration flexibility, and a wide range of I/O. The Eagle/Eaglet family with the Toradex Apalis family of ARM modules provides a scalable platform for embedded computing applications with interchangeable processors similar to the CoM Express concept. All CoMs in the Apalis Family are pin-compatible to ensure seamless platform upgrades. With Eagle, you can extend a product’s lifecycle by upgrading to a new Apalis module and installing Eaglet compact ARM Baseboard new driver software.

The Eagle SBC with installed ARM module and heatsink starts at $650. The Eaglet SBC in a similar configuration starts at $420. The Eagle baseboard single unit pricing is $450. The Eaglet baseboard single unit prices is $220. Shipments are expected to begin in December 2016.

Source: Diamond Systems

Ultra-Small hSensor Platform for Wearable Apps

Maxim Integrated Products’s ultra-small hSensor Platform enables you to quickly develop wearable fitness and wellness-related prototypes. With it, you have all the necessary hardware on one PCB along with readily-accessible hardware functionality with the ARM mbed hardware development kit (HDK).Maxim health sensor

The hSensor Platform (MAXREFDES100# reference design) comprises an hSensor board that comes complete firmware with drivers, a debugger board, and a graphical user interface (GUI). The platform enables you to load algorithms for different applications.

The hSensor Platform includes the following: a MAX30003 ultra-low power, single-channel integrated biopotential AFE; a MAX30101 high-sensitivity pulse oximeter and heart-rate sensor; a MAX30205 clinical-grade temperature sensor; a MAX32620 ultra-low power ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller optimized for wearables; a MAX14720 power management integrated circuit (PMIC); inertial sensors (three-axis accelerometer, six-axis accelerometer/gyroscope); a barometric pressure sensor; flash memory; and a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio.

The MAXREFDES100# costs $150. Hardware and firmware files are free.

Source: Maxim Integrated Products

New ARM Technologies for Secure IoT Applications

ARM recently released a new product suite of technologies for designers of secure Internet of Things (IoT) applications.The product suite comprises procesors, cloud-based services platform, radio technology, subsystems, and comprehensive security.

Cortex-M Processors Integrated with TrustZone

The ARM Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 are built on the ARMv8-M architecture featuring ARM TrustZone security and digital signal processing. TrustZone CryptoCell-312 offers security features that protect the authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of code and data. The Cortex-M23 is a compact, energy-efficient processor well-suited for constrained embedded applications. The highly configurable Cortex-M33 features a variety options including a coprocessor interface, digital signal processing and floating-point computation. Both new Cortex-M processors are backwards compatible with ARMv6-M and ARMv7-M architectures.

ARM System IP Optimized for Cortex-M Processors

ARM CoreLink SIE-200 is already licensed by ARM silicon partners and provides the interconnects and controllers that extend TrustZone to the system. The ARM CoreLink SSE-200 IoT subsystem reduces time to market by integrating Cortex-M33, CryptoCell, and Cordio radio along with software drivers, secure libraries, protocol stack, and the mbed OS.

IoT Connectivity

Connectivity is enhanced by next-generation ARM Cordio radio IP with Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4-based standards ZigBee and Thread. Developers can choose from a standard radio implementation across a range of process nodes from multiple foundries. The Cordio architecture supports ARM and third-party RF.

Cloud-Based SaaS for Secure IoT Device Management

The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform has been expanded to include mbed Cloud, a new standards and cloud-based SaaS solution for secure IoT device management. Through mbed Cloud, OEMs can:

Simplify connection, provisioning, updating and securing of devices across complex networks
Enable faster scaling, productivity and time to market, allowing developers to use any device on any cloud
Enhance device-side capabilities with mbed OS 5, supported by a global community of 200,000 developers and more than 1 million device builds per month.

Implementation with IoT POP on TSMC 40ULP

Designers can quicken the development of SoCs featuring the latest Cortex-M processors with Artisan IoT POP IP now available for TSMC 40ULP process technology. ARM Artisan IoT POP IP enables low-power designs and optimizing for IoT applications.

Source: ARM 

IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM Supports IoT-Targeted MCUs

IAR Systems recently announced that IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM now supports microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex-M3/M4 and ARM Cortex-A15 that are targeted for connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT).

IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM is a complete C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain for developing embedded applications. The toolchain generates efficient code, which makes it well suited for developing energy-efficient, time-critical IoT applications.

Because the IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM toolchain is continuously updated with new microcontroller support, you are free from having to consider the choice of software in your selection of a microcontroller. Instead of using different tools for different microcontrollers, you can use the same toolchain from start to finish. IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM is available in several versions, including a product package for the ARM Cortex-M core family.

Source: IAR Systems

Imperas ARMv8 Support Advances Embedded Software Development

Imperas Software recently announced the availability of models and virtual platforms for the Cortex-A72 ARMv8 processors (in addition to the earlier models). Now the Imperas Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) processor model library comprises more than 160 models across a wide range of IP vendors. More than 40 ARM cores—including the Cortex-A, Cortex-R, and Cortex-M families—are supported.

The Imperas Cortex-A72 ARM processor models are available in single-core, multi-core, and multi-cluster configurations enabling high-performance simulations of platforms ranging from simple single cores to many core systems. Imperas also offers a model of the ARM GICv3 interrupt controller.

Also available are Extendable Platform Kits (EPKs)—which are virtual platforms of the target devices—for ARMv8 processor cores running Linux. Available on the OVP website, the EPKs enable you to run high-speed simulations of ARM-based SoCs and platforms on any suitable PC. You can extend and customize the functionality of the virtual platform. The platform and the peripheral models are open source.

Note that OVP models also work with the Imperas advanced tools for multicore software development, analysis, verification, and debugging, including M*SDK advanced software development solutions and key tools for hardware-dependent software development. The tools use the Imperas SlipStreamer patent-pending binary interception technology. SlipStreamer enables the analytical tools to operate without modification or instrumentation of the software source code.

Source: Imperas Software

Arduino Primo Features Nordic Semiconductor SoC

Nordic Semiconductor recently announced that Arduino’s new Arduino Primo features its nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy SoC. The IoT-targeted Arduino Primo PCB features native Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity and includes Near Field Communication (NFC), Wi-Fi, and infrared (IR) technologies. In addition to being able to wirelessly connect to a wide array of Bluetooth low energy sensors, the Arduino Primo uses the nRF52832 SoC’s integrated NFC for secure authentication and Touch-to-Pair (a simple BLE pairing function requiring no user interaction), and has embedded IR for traditional remote control. Nordic_Arduino_Primo_PRINT

The Nordic nRF52832 SoC’s ARM processor has ample computational overhead to manage the Arduino Primo’s on-board accelerometer, temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors. The Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832’s features and specs include:

  • 64-MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F processor
  • 2.4-GHz multiprotocol radio that’s fully compatible with the Bluetooth 4.2 specification and features –96-dB RX sensitivity and 5.5-mA peak RX/TX currents
  • 512-KB flash memory and 64-KB RAM, and a fully-automatic power management system to optimize power consumption.

You can program via the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) programming interface. If you want to access the Arduino Prio’s most advanced features and functionality, you can use any Nordic nRF52 Series-compatible Software Development Kit (SDK) or programming tools. For example, the nRF5 SDK for IoT enables you to develop IPv6 over Bluetooth low energy applications on the nRF52832 SoC.

Source: Nordic Semiconductor

IAR Embedded Workbench Integrates the NXP S32 Design Studio

IAR Systems recently announced that IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM is now integrated with the NXP Semiconductors S32 Design Studio, which is an integrated development environment (IDE) for NXP’s automotive and ultra-reliable microcontrollers. In addition to functionality such as pin configurator, bootloader and motor control toolbox, it provides AUTOSAR Microcontroller Abstraction Layer (MCAL) support and AUTOSAR OS for the S32K product line tailored for automotive applications.

By letting S32 Design Studio generate a project connection with IAR Embedded Workbench, the IAR C/C++ Compiler and the extensive C-SPY Debugger can be used to develop the application. Adding a project connection will automatically include the generated code to the IAR Embedded Workbench project. If the files are changed from S32 Design Studio, they are updated automatically in IAR Embedded Workbench. Due to an integration of the build chain of IAR Embedded Workbench into the Eclipse-based S32 Design Studio, you can also opt to continue development within the S32 Design Studio while utilizing the IAR C/C++ Compiler.

The C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM features comprehensive debugging possibilities and smart integrated profiling tools. It is available with build chain certification according to the automotive functional safety standard ISO 26262. In addition, IAR Systems offers fully integrated static and runtime analysis tools for complete code control.

Source: IAR Systems

ARM Tools with Extended Static Analysis and Flash Breakpoints

IAR Systems recently announced an updated version of its C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain for developing ARM-based embedded applications. IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM Version 7.60 adds flash breakpoints functionality and extended static analysis in C-STAT, which performs an analysis on the source code level. In addition to helping developers in ensuring the code quality early in the development cycle, it also detects defects, bugs, and security vulnerabilities as defined by CERT C/C++ and the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE). It also helps keep code compliant to coding standards such as  MISRA C:2004, MISRA C++:2008, and MISRA C:2012.

C-STAT is fully integrated in the IAR Embedded Workbench IDE. The new update extends the tool with approximately 150 new checks, including 90 new MISRA C:2012 checks and two new packages of checks. Furthermore, there are new options for enabling or disabling the false-positives elimination phase of the analysis and excluding files from the analysis.

The flash breakpoints enable developers to set an unlimited number of breakpoints when debugging the flash memory. With the C-SPY Debugger in IAR Embedded Workbench, you can set various types of breakpoints in the applications you’re debugging. If you use IAR Embedded Workbench with IAR’s I-jet debug probe, you can add an unlimited number of flash breakpoints for selected ARM Cortex-M devices. By setting breakpoints, investigating the status of an application and speeding up the debugging phase is straightforward.

IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM is a handy tool that incorporates a compiler, an assembler, a linker and a debugger into one easy-to-use IDE. It provides advanced and highly efficient optimization features and is tightly integrated with hardware, RTOS products, and middleware. C-STAT is available as an add-on product.

Source: IAR Systems

Ultra-Energy-Efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ STM32L0 Microcontrollers

STMicroelectronics recently announced volume production of its ultra-energy-efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ STM32L0 microcontrollers, which are well suited for applications including wearables, medical monitors, industrial sensors, and smart-living devices. Three new product lines are:

  • STM32L0x1 Access Line
  • STM32L0x2 USB Line with crystal-less USB2.0 Full Speed
  • HMI-ready STM32L0x3 USB/LCD Line

The memory densities range from  8- to 192-KB flash memory, up to 20-KB SRAM, and up to 6-KB true EEPROM. The devices’ energy-saving features include:

  • Low-power ADC that draws only 41 µA at 12-bit resolution and 10 kilosamples per second
  • Energy-saving modes including 340-nA Stop with full RAM retention and auto wake-up
  • Low-power pulse counter (16-bit timer) that remains available in ultra-low power mode
  • 3.5-µs wake-up from Stop
  • An interconnect matrix allows data handling to continue while the CPU is idle

Software development is supported by STM32CubeMX and the STM32CubeL0 middleware and firmware suite. The former’s initialization code generator and MCU configurator has easy-to-use wizards, including a power-consumption calculator. STM32CubeL0 includes a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that simplifies porting to other devices within the pin- and code-compatible STM32 family. STM32Snippets provides optimized code samples. STM32Cube provides over 200 free code examples. All STM32Cube tools are available free of charge, as are the ST-Link debugger and the DfuSe and Flash Loader tools that simplify using and testing the ROM bootloader.

Pricing for the STM32L0 series starts at $0.37 for the STM32L011 with 8-KB flash memory, 2-KB SRAM, and 512 bytes of true EEPROM for high-volume orders.

Source: STMicroelectronics

Technical Preview of Windows 10 IoT Core on ARM Platform

Toradex recently announced the availability of a technical preview of the Windows 10 IoT Core on an ARM-based System on Module (SOM). The technical preview enables embedded developers to evaluate the new features of Windows 10 IoT Core on an industrial-grade embedded computing platform. According to Toradex, a starter kit—available for a limited time at a promotional price—is available with a Colibri T30 SOM and Iris carrier board with required accessories.

The technical preview is based on Colibri T30 powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core embedded processor. Part of the Azure IoT Certified Program, the Colibri T30 supports accelerated DirectX graphics and provides low-level hardware access.

Although the technical preview’s has a limited number of features, Toradex announced that it intends to gather customer feedback and later extend features and add Windows 10 IoT Core support for its other ARM-based SOMs.

Source: Toradex

SEGGER Announces Embedded Studio PRO Development Platform

SEGGER recently released Embedded Studio PRO, which is an advanced platform that combines the company’s user-friendly Embedded Studio development environment, along with a selection of its key embedded software components, an industry-leading J-Link PLUS debug probe, plus an emPower evaluation board. Segger ses-pro-500x

SEGGER Embedded Studio (which was launched last year) is a streamlined but powerful IDE for ARM-based microcontrollers. It is designed to provide all tools needed for professional embedded development. Supporting all major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux), it presents a comprehensive solution for the implementation of embedded applications (with source code editing, compiling, and debug functionality all encompassed).

Further components from SEGGER’s portfolio of middleware that are incorporated in the Embedded Studio PRO package help to expand the scope of development possibilities and reduce time to market. These include the embOS high-performance RTOS with zero latency, the emFile robust file management system, the emWin GUI for any application that operates with a graphical LCD, the embOS/IP TCP/IP stack for Internet connectivity and the emUSB USB stack with host and target side support.

The package also contains a J-Link PLUS debug probe, with J-Flash software and sophisticated features such as unlimited flash breakpoints, SystemView analysis tool andMonitor Mode function. This is complemented by emPower, SEGGER’s new demonstrator board, which is designed to enhance software evaluation, prototyping and proof of concept. Embedded Studio PRO is supplied with sample projects to ensure a quick and easy start (including one for the emPower board which contains all the necessary middleware components).

SEGGER Embedded Studio package is available for  $12,400 as a Single Developer License for unlimited products on all Cortex-M cores.

Source: SEGGER

Free, Commercial-Quality IDE for the ARM Development Community

Atollic recently launched the new TrueSTUDIO Lite, which is a free, commercial-quality IDE without code-size or microcontroller family limitations.  TrueSTUDIO Lite offers the ARM development community a high-quality tool to standardize on. Based on an open standard tools platform of Eclipse/GCC/GDB, that TrueSTUDIO Lite features commercial-quality modifications, start-up wizards, and target support for ARM-based microcontrollers. ATC020 AtollicTrueSTUDIO

Atollic is also introducing a low-cost upgrade path to TrueSTUDIO Pro, which includes static code analysis and advanced debugging capabilities such as event-, data-, and instruction-tracing, live variable watch, crash analysis, and RTOS-aware debugging. The Pro edition includes full technical support. You can add these capabilities with a low-cost, pay-as-you-go subscription option.

You can download TrueSTUDIO Lite for free. TrueSTUDIO Pro starts at $59 per month for a 12-month prepaid subscription license.

Source: Atollic

STM32 Family Enabled for the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform

STMicroelectronics has announced that the STM32 family of ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers is now enabled for the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform with the latest public version of the ARM mbed OS. The mbed platform adds a standard OS, cloud services, and development tools for creating new IoT applications.

By adding mbed to its handy design ecosystem, STMicro is encouraging more productivity and collaboration in IoT development. Using the mbed OS with STM32 development hardware enables you to innovate while reducing your product’s time to market. You can easily incorporate STM32 microcontrollers with STMicro’s sensor and power-management products to deploy “smart,” secure IoT designs.

Source: STMicroelectronics

STMicro Introduces STM32F7 MCUs with Advanced ARM Cortex-M7 Core

STMicroelectronics has begun producing microcontrollers with the new ARM Cortex-M7 processor, which is the newest Cortex-M core for advanced consumer, industrial, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. The new STM32F7 microcontrollers combine the Cortex-M7 core with advanced peripherals. STMicro_STM32_Volume_Disc_Kit

The STM32F7 Discovery Kit includes the STM32Cube firmware library along with support from software-development tool partners and the ARM mbed online community. The $49 Discovery Kit includes a WQVGA touchscreen color display, stereo audio, multi-sensor support, security, and high-speed connectivity. In addition to an integrated ST-Link debugger/programmer (you don’t need a separate probe), you get unlimited expansion capability via the Arduino Uno connectivity support and immediate access to a wide variety of specialized add-on boards.

STM32F7 devices are available in a range of package options from a 14 mm × 14 mm LQFP100 to 28 mm × 28 mm LQFP208, plus 10 mm × 10 mm 0.65-mm-pitch UFBGA176, 13 mm × 13 mm 0.8 mm-pitch TFBGA216, and 5.9 mm × 4.6 mm WLCSP143. Prices start at $6.73 for the STM32F745VE in 100-pin LQFP with 512-KB on-chip flash memory (in 1,000-unit orders).

The STM32F7 development ecosystem includes both the Discovery Kit and two evaluation boards (STM32746G-EVAL2 and STM32756G-EVAL2) that cost $560 each. The STM32F7 Discovery Kit (STM32F746G-DISCO) gives full flexibility to fine-tune hardware and software at any time. You also benefit from the associated STM32CubeF7 firmware, and the ability to re-use all STM32F4 software assets due to code compatibility.

Source: STMicroelectronics