Simple Energy Profiling for IoT Applications

Silicon Labs recently announced a new release of the Simplicity Studio development platform designed to make IoT system design easier and faster. Simplicity Studio—which enables concurrent microcontroller and wireless design—features an enhanced real-time Energy Profiler tool, faster execution speed, and an easier installation process. Featuring a easy to use UI and high accuracy, the Eenergy Profiler tool will enable you to optimize your IoT designs for ultra-low energy and long battery life.image002 Simplicity Silabs

The Energy Profiler’s Energy Score feature enables you to benchmark your IoT system’s energy efficiency. With it, you can score design iterations by overall energy efficiency.

Simplicity Studio’s features and specs:

  • An Eclipse-based IDE
    Graphical configuration tools
    Energy profiling and battery estimation tools
    Network analysis tools

The latest release of Simplicity Studio with the enhanced Energy Profiler is available at: www.silabs.com/simplicity-studio.

Source: Silicon Labs

Simplified IoT Connectivity with the Thread Networking Solution

Silicon Labs recently launched the Thread networking solution, which offers developers a straightforward way to develop Thread-compliant products for the Internet of Things (IoT), including thermostats, wireless sensor networks, and more. Thread provides a standards-based, low-power mesh networking solution based on IP. It enables secure and scalable Internet connectivity for battery-powered devices in connected environments. SiliconLabsThread

Silicon Labs offers a variety of mesh-networking SoCs and a common development platform for both ZigBee and Thread solutions. With the Silicon Labs Thread stack, EM35xx wireless SoC platform, and hardware and software tools, you can seemlessly migrate from ZigBee to Thread via over-the-air (OTA) upgrades. Silicon Labs’ hardware and software roadmap enable multi-protocol, multi-band 2.4-GHz and sub-GHz wireless connectivity for the IoT.

Silicon Labs offers essential development and debugging tools. Its AppBuilder tool simplifies and accelerates the development of IP-based mesh networking applications. With AppBuilder you configure mesh networking applications for Thread protocol using Silicon Labs’ application framework. A Silicon Labs Desktop Network Analyzer tool provides complete visibility of all wireless networking activity by using the unique packet trace port available in Silicon Labs’ mesh networking SoCs.

The Silicon Labs Thread software stack and sample application are available at no charge if you have a registered EM35x-DEV development kit. The EM35x-DEV kits provide a common platform for both ZigBee and Thread development, allowing you to address multiple markets. Thread modules are available now from Silicon Labs’s ecosystem partners, including California Eastern Labs (CEL) and Telegesis.

Source: Silicon Labs

Dual-Band Wireless M-Bus Evaluation Kit with LoRa capability

AMIHO Technology recently launched the AE093 evaluation kit intended to help customers connect their Smart Meters and Internet of Things devices.AE093-AMIHO

The kit provides a flexible development and evaluation platform to help test products and quickly provide a proof of concept. It features the AM093 radio modem module, which operates with both Wireless Meter-Bus and long range LoRa capability, as well as providing dual-band 169-MHz and 868-MHz for sub-gigahertz wireless communications.

The modules include an optimized software stack that enable you to focus on developing end applications and speeding up product development time. The evaluation kits are now available to order.

Source: AMIHO Technology

High-Efficiency Buck-Boost Regulator for Mobile Devices

Intersil Corp. recently announced the availability of the ISL9120 buck-boost switching regulator, which enables efficient power management of system power supplies and peripherals such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, memory cards, or LCD modules. Its adaptive current limit PFM architecture delivers high efficiency up to 98% in addition to providing smooth transitions from buck-to-boost to prevent glitches in applications where light load efficiency and fast transient response are critical. The ISL9120’s small form factor make it well suited for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as wearables, smartphones, smart thermostats, and point-of-sale devices that run on single-cell Li-ion or Li-polymer batteries, or 2-cell alkaline, NiCd or NiMH batteries. Intersil ISL9120

The ISL9120 addresses a wider Vin range and providing boost to avoid low voltage glitches that can cause a battery brownout when the Vin droops below the output voltage. Requiring only a single inductor and available in a 1.41 mm × 1.41 mm package, you don’t have to compromise efficiency or form factor.

The ISL9120 offers you  the flexibility to cover a variety of design needs by operating from a Vin of 1.8 to 5.5 V and an adjustable output voltage from 1 to 5.2 V. Its adaptive PFM operation with forced bypass mode and 2-A switches support both low load and high load currents with high efficiency, ensuring longer battery life and less heat buildup. The regulator also provides 800-mA current with 2.5-V input and 3.3-V output.

Key features and specs:

  • Accepts a wide input voltage range from 1.8 to 5.5 V
  • Works with multiple battery topologies
  • Ultra high efficiency up to 98% reduces power drain and heat buildup
  • Adjustable output voltage range from 1 to 5.2 V for use with multiple power rails
  • Output current up to 800 mA (Vin = 2.5 V, Vout = 3.3 V)
  • 2-A switches supports both high and light load currents with high efficiency
  • Ultra-small footprint with 1.41 mm × 1.41 mm package saves board space, requires only a single inductor
  • Quiescent current of 41uA maximizes light load efficiency for low power consumption
  • Automatic and selectable forced bypass power saving mode reduces quiescent current to less than 0.5 µA
  • Full protection for under-voltage, short-circuit and over-temperature

The ISL9120 buck-boost regulator is available in 9-bump WLCSP and QFN packages and costs $0.72 USD in 1,000-piece quantities. Two ISL9120 evaluation boards enable you to evaluate device features and performance. The ISL9120IIN-EVZ (3.3 Vout) costs $74.45 and the ISL9120IIA-EVZ (adjustable Vout) costs $73.35.

Source: Intersil Corp.

New Home Control & IoT Wi-Fi Module

MSC Technologies, a business group of Avnet Electronics, recently introduced the new WLAN-Module HDG820 for 802.11.b/g/n networks, designed by H&D Wireless AB (Sweden). The solution incorporates a complete IP protocol set running on an internal ARM Cortex core and is an ideal platform for advanced smart-home, IoT and M2M applications over Wi-Fi.MSC-H-and-D-WirelessWeb

H&D Wireless AB specializes in world class Wi-Fi solutions, combining a deep knowledge of embedded wireless systems, silicon design and system software for cloud services and mobile phone apps. The company’s range of WLAN is deemed best in class in terms of size, power consumption in all modes, transmit/receive range, data transfer speed and cost. Wi-Fi solutions from H&D Wireless are supported on leading MCU platforms allowing easy access to the Internet as well as data and audio for consumer electronics.

The new HDG820 SiP-Module from H&D Wireless includes the Controller, WLAN transceiver and Memory and is delivered in an extremely small SMD package of 8 × 8 × 1.2 mm3. It can be controlled via UART / SPI which is also the interface for data transfer. With a power consumption of max. 220 mA and 250 µA in Sleep mode and an RF performance of +17 dBm in Tx and –96 dBm in Rx, it fulfills all requirements for typical building and home applications. An extended temperature of –40 to +85°C also makes it an ideal platform for Wi-Fi enabled sensors in industrial applications.

The HDG820 module is pre-certified for CE and FCC and of course Wi-Fi certified. In addition to its compact size only very few components need to be added to the BOM list (e.g., antenna and capacitors), allowing for extremely competitive new designs with all the benefits of WLAN solutions.

Even more interesting is the list of supported software features. Protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP and more as well as features like Soft-Access Point, Wi-Fi Direct and also security features like WPA are available and fully integrated. The Pico oWL API is designed to be compiled and executed on multiple processor platforms from 8 bit to 32bit and makes configuration really easy, also enabling full control of the module. H&D Wireless even supplies a Linux design environment.

Furthermore the Griffin Software, also delivered by H&D Wireless, supports full cloud computing capabilities and easy app integration with several reference designs available. All software is available for free. Development kits, demo applications and of course the modules itself are available at MSC Technologies in Europe and Avnet Electronics worldwide.

Source: www.hd-wireless.sewww.msc-technologies.eu

Via audioXpress

Happy Gecko MCU Family Simplifies USB Connectivity for IoT Apps

Silicon Labs recently introduced new energy-friendly USB-enabled microcontrollers (MCUs). Part of its EFM32 32-bit MCU portfolio, the new Happy Gecko MCUs are designed to deliver the lowest USB power drain in the industry, enabling longer battery life and energy-harvesting applications. Based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core and low-energy peripherals, the Happy Gecko family simplifies USB connectivity for a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications including smart metering, building automation, alarm and security systems, smart accessories, wearable devices, and more.SiliconLabsEFM32

Silicon Labs developed the Happy Gecko family to address the rising demand for cost-effective, low-power USB connectivity solutions. With more than 3 billion USB-enabled devices shipping each year, USB is the fastest growing interface for consumer applications and is also gaining significant traction in industrial automation. In today’s IoT world, developers have discovered that adding USB interfaces to portable, battery-powered connected devices can double the application current consumption. Silicon Labs’ Happy Gecko MCUs provide an ideal energy-friendly USB connectivity solution for these power-sensitive IoT applications.

Happy Gecko USB MCUs feature an advanced energy management system with five energy modes enabling applications to remain in an energy-optimal state by spending as little time as possible in active mode. In deep-sleep mode, Happy Gecko MCUs have an industry-leading 0.9-μA standby current consumption (with a 32.768-kHz RTC, RAM/CPU state retention, brown-out detector and power-on-reset circuitry active). Active-mode power consumption drops down to 130 µA/MHz at 24 MHz with real-world code (prime number algorithm). The USB MCUs further reduce power consumption with a 2-µs wakeup time from Standby mode.

Like all EFM32 MCUs, the Happy Gecko family includes the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) feature, which greatly enhances overall energy efficiency. The six-channel PRS monitors complex system-level events and allows different MCU peripherals to communicate autonomously with each other without CPU intervention. The PRS watches for specific events to occur before waking the CPU, thereby keeping the Cortex-M0+ core in an energy-saving standby mode as long as possible, reducing system power consumption and extending battery life.

Happy Gecko MCUs feature many of the same low-energy precision analog peripherals included in other popular EFM32 devices. These low-energy peripherals include an analog comparator, supply voltage comparator, on-chip temperature sensor, programmable current digital-to-analog converter (IDAC), and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with 350 μA current consumption at a 1 MHz sample rate. On-chip AES encryption enables the secure deployment of wireless connectivity for IoT applications such as smart meters and wireless sensor networks.

The Happy Gecko family’s exceptional single-die integration enables developers to reduce component count and bill-of-materials (BOM) cost. While typical USB connectivity alternatives require external components such as crystals and regulators, the highly integrated Happy Gecko MCUs eliminate nearly all of these discretes with a crystal-less architecture featuring a full-speed USB PHY, an on-chip regulator and resistors. Happy Gecko MCUs are available in a choice of space-saving QFN, QFP and chip-scale package (CSP) options small enough for use in USB connectors and thin-form-factor wearable designs.

The Happy Gecko family is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development platform, which helps developers simplify low-energy design. The Simplicity Energy Profiler enables real-time energy profiling and debugging of code. The Simplicity Battery Estimator calculates expected battery life based on an application profile, energy modes and peripherals in use. The Simplicity Configurator provides a visual interface for MCU pin configuration, automatically generating initialization code. Code developed for other EFM32 MCUs can be reused with Happy Gecko applications. Developers can download Simplicity Studio and access Silicon Labs’ USB source code and software examples at no charge at www.silabs.com/simplicity-studio.

To help developers move rapidly from design idea to final product, the Happy Gecko family is supported by the ARM mbed ecosystem, which includes new power management APIs developed by Silicon Labs and ARM. These low-power mbed APIs are designed with low-energy application scenarios in mind, enabling rapid prototyping for energy-constrained IoT designs. ARM mbed APIs running on EFM32 MCUs automatically enable the optimal sleep mode based on the MCU peripherals in use, dramatically reducing system-level energy consumption. The Happy Gecko starter kit supports ARM mbed right out of the box. Silicon Labs has also launched mbed API support for Leopard, Giant, Wonder and Zero Gecko MCUs.  For additional ARM mbed information including access to mbed software, example code, services and the mbed community, visit www.silabs.com/mbed.

The Happy Gecko family includes 20 MCU devices providing an array of memory, package and peripheral options, as well as pin and software compatibility with Silicon Labs’s entire EFM32 MCU portfolio. Samples and production quantities of Happy Gecko MCUs are available now in 24-pin and 32-pin QFN, 48-pin QFP and 3 mm × 2.9 mm CSP packages. Happy Gecko MCU pricing in 10,000-unit quantities begins at $0.83. The Happy Gecko SLSTK3400A starter kit costs $29.

Source: Silicon Labs

ARTIK Platform to Accelerate Internet of Things Development

Samsung Electronics Co. recently announced the Samsung ARTIK platform to allow faster, simpler development of new enterprise, industrial, and consumer applications for the Internet of Things (IoT). ARTIK is an open platform that includes a best-in-class family of integrated production-ready modules, advanced software, development boards, drivers, tools, security features and cloud connectivity designed to help accelerate development of a new generation of better, smarter IoT devices, solutions and services.Samsung ARTIK10

All members of the Samsung ARTIK family incorporate unique embedded hardware security technology, on-board memory and advanced processing power in an open platform. Security is also a key element of the advanced software integrated into the platform, along with the ability to connect to the Internet for cloud-based data analytics and enhanced services. As an open platform, Samsung ARTIK can be easily customized for more rapid deployment of IoT devices and the services that can be delivered using them.

The Samsung ARTIK platform comes in a variety of configurations to meet the specific requirements of a wide range of devices from wearables and home automation, to smart lighting and industrial applications. Initial members of the ARTIK family include:

  • ARTIK 1, the smallest IoT module currently available in the industry at 12 mm × 12 mm combines Bluetooth/BLE connectivity and a nine-axis sensor with best-in-class compute capabilities and power consumption. It is specifically designed for low-power, small form factor IoT applications.
  • ARTIK 5 delivers an outstanding balance of size, power and price-performance and is ideal for home hubs, drones and high-end wearables. It incorporates a 1-GHz dual-core processor and on-board DRAM and flash memory.
  • ARTIK 10 delivers advanced capabilities and high-performance to IoT with an eight-core processor, full 1080p video decoding/encoding, 5.1 audio and 2-GB DRAM along with 16-GB flash memory. The Samsung ARTIK 10 includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth/BLE and ZigBee connectivity and is designed for use with home servers, media applications, and in industrial settings.

Additional technical highlights:

  • Security and privacy: The ARTIK platform offers a best-in-class, end-to-end security solution. At the hardware level, ARTIK contains am embedded secure element that goes beyond software-based encryption solutions alone. At the application level, ARTIK is equipped with a machine learning based anomaly detection system. This allows the user to identify abnormalities and unusual behavior in order to address possible hacking or intrusion activity.
  • IoT Software Stack: Samsung’s ARTIK platform comes with an extensive IoT software stack and tools needed to accelerate product development. Developers can go directly to application framework development, instead of spending time building low-level software libraries.
  • Local Storage and Computational Capability: ARTIK supports unique local storage and computational capabilities that in most current IoT environments are generally only addressable by large-scale cloud servers. Depending on user requirements, data can be managed locally or in the cloud in encrypted or unencrypted formats.
  • Low-Power Architecture: The ARTIK platform offers best-in-class power consumption to enable longer battery life for battery operated IoT devices like wearables. The platform includes a tiered architecture that allows applications and tasks to run at the right power-optimized performance and memory utilization.
  • Small Form Factor: All ARTIK modules offer the smallest form factor in their class. Certain ARTIK modules use Samsung’s next generation embedded Package-on-Package (ePoP) technology. Samsung Electromechanics, a global leader in component manufacturing, played a key role in developing advanced packaging technology for ARTIK.
  • Connectivity: Depending on the configuration, the ARTIK family offers all major connectivity protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (including BLE) and ZigBee. More information about the ARTIK platform and development tools may be found at www.artik.io.

Source: Samsung Electronics Co.

55-nm ULP Physical IP Solution for Energy-Efficient Applications

ARM and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) recently announced the availability of a new ARM Artisan physical IP solution on 55 nm to accelerate the development of ARM processor-based embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

UMC’s 55-nm ultra-low-power process (55ULP) technology is emerging as an ideal solution for energy-efficient IoT applications. The new physical IP offering will enable silicon design teams to speed up and simplify the bring-up of ARM-based SoC designs for IoT and other embedded applications.

For many energy-constrained applications, maximizing battery life is critical to a successful design. The Artisan physical IP platform will enhance the ULP technology from UMC with the intent to maximize power efficiency and reduce leakage. Features such as thick gate oxide support and long, multi-channel library options give SoC designers multiple tools to help optimize IoT applications.

The Artisan libraries will support:

  • The 0.9-V ultra-low voltage domain, thereby saving up to 44% dynamic power and 25% leakage power when compared to 1.2-V domain operation
  • Multichannel libraries with multiple Vts to offer SoC designers leakage and performance options. Long channel libraries can be used to further reduce leakage by up to 80%. The Power Management Kit (PMK) enables both active and leakage power mitigation.
  • Innovative thick gate oxide library will offer dramatically reduced leakage (350× lower than regular standard cells) for always ON cells. The ability of this library to interface with higher voltages (including battery voltages used in IoT devices) can also offer the advantage of negating the need for a voltage regulator.
  • Next generation high-density memory compilers offer multiple integrated power modes to save state while minimizing standby leakage. Utilizing these modes will allow SoC designers to realize up to 95% lower leakage when compared to regular standby.

The UMC-based physical IP for 55ULP is available immediately via ARM’s DesignStart portal.

Source: ARM

Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi Platform for IoT Applications

Atmel and MXCHIP recently announced that they’re jointly developing an ultra-low power Internet of Things (IoT) platform with secure Wi-Fi access to the cloud, enabling designers to quickly bring IoT devices to market. The platform combines Atmel’s ultra-low power SMART SAM G ARM Cortex-M4-based MCUs and its SmartConnect WILC1000 Wi-Fi solution with MXCHIP’s MiCO IoT operating system (OS), servicing a full range of smart device developers for IoT applications. The integrated platform is intended to give IoT designers the confidence that their battery-operated devices will have longer battery life and their data will be securely transferred to the cloud.

Atmel’s WILC1000 is an IEEE 802.11b/g/n IoT link controller leveraging its ultra-low power Wi-Fi transceiver with a fully integrated power amplifier. This solution delivers the industry’s best communication range of up to +20.5-dBm output, ideal for connected home devices. Integrated in packages as small as a 3.2 mm × 3.2 mm WLCSP, the Atmel WILC1000 link controller leverages in this platform Atmel’s SAM G MCU, an ideal solution for low-power IoT applications and optimized for lower power consumption, incorporating large SRAM, high performance and operating efficiency with floating-point unit in an industry-leading 2.84 mm × 2.84 mm package. When combined with secure Wi-Fi technology, the joint IoT platform connects directly to each other or to a local area network (LAN), enabling remote system monitoring or control. For increased security, the platform comes with an optional Atmel ATECC508A, which is the industry’s first crypto device to integrate ECDH key agreement, making it easy to add confidentiality to digital systems including IoT nodes used in home automation, industrial networking, accessory and consumable authentication, medical, mobile and other applications.

 

To accelerate the IoT design process, the platform includes the MiCOKit-G55 development kit, technical documentation, application notes and a software development kit.

Source: Atmel

Cost-Effective, Long-Range, Low-Power Internet of Things Connectivity

SIGFOX and Texas Instruments  recently announced that they’re working together to increase Internet of Things (IoT) deployments using the Sub-1 GHz spectrum. Customers can use the SIGFOX network with TI’s Sub-1 GHz RF transceivers to deploy wireless sensor nodes that are lower cost and lower power than 3G/cellular connected nodes, while providing long-range connectivity to the IoT.TI - SIGFOX

Targeting a wide variety of applications ranging from environmental sensors to asset tracking, the SIGFOX and TI collaboration maximizes the benefits of narrowband radio technology. It also reduces barriers to entry for manufacturers interested in connecting their products to the cloud. Using the SIGFOX infrastructure reduces the cost and effort to get sensor data to the cloud and TI’s Sub-1 GHz technology provides years of battery life for less maintenance and up to 100 km range.

SIGFOX’s two-way network is based on an ultra-narrowband (UNB) radio technology for connecting devices, which is key to providing a scalable, high-capacity network with very low energy consumption and unmatched spectral efficiency. That is essential in a network that will handle billions of messages daily.

TI’s CC1120  Sub-1 GHz RF transceiver uses narrowband technology to deliver the longest-range connectivity and superior coexistence to SIGFOX’s network with strong tolerance of interference. Narrowband is the de facto standard for long-range communication due to the high spectral efficiency, which is critical to support the projected high growth of connected IoT applications. The CC1120 RF transceiver also provides years of battery lifetime for a sensor node, which reduces maintenance and lowers the cost of ownership for end users.

Sub-1 GHz networks operate in region-specific industrial scientific and medical (ISM) bands below 1 GHz including 169, 315, 433, 500, 868, 915 and 920 MHz. The networks are proprietary by nature and provide a more robust IoT connection, which is why the technology has been used for smart metering, security and alarm systems and other sensitive industrial systems. Additionally, the technology is low power, enabling years of battery life to reduce service and maintenance requirements.

Availability

SIGFOX-certified modules based on TI’s CC1120 were demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2015 and are currently available.

Source: Texas Instruments; SIGFOX

 

EtherCAT Slave Controller with Integrated PHYs for the Internet of Things

Microchip Technology’s LAN9252 is a stand-alone EtherCAT slave controller with two 10/100 PHYs. Its dual 10/100 Ethernet transceivers support both fiber and copper, along with cable diagnostics capabilities. In addition, the LAN9252 supports traditional Host Bus and SPI/SQI communication, along with standalone digital I/O interfaces, enabling you to select from a wide range of microcontrollers when implementing the real-time EtherCAT communications standard. Additionally, the LAN9252 reduces system complexity and cost for developers using EtherCAT in factory-automation, process-control, motor/motion-control and Internet of Things (IoT) industrial-Ethernet applications.Microchip LAN9252 EtherCAT

The LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller includes 4 KB of Dual-Port RAM (DPRAM) and three Fieldbus Memory Management Units (FMMUs). It also includes cable diagnostics support that allows field service technicians to rapidly and effectively diagnose line faults and provides for fiber connectivity. This EtherCAT slave controller is available in commercial, industrial and extended industrial temperature ranges, in low pin count and small body size QFN and QFP-EP packages.

To enable development with the LAN9252, two Microchip evaluation boards supporting various system architectures are available. The systems demonstrate how to interface to the LAN9252 through basic I/O connections or to microcontrollers such as the 32-bit PIC32MX family via serial communications. A Software Development Kit (SDK) is also available. The boards—EVB-LAN9252-HBI and EVB-LAN9252-DIGIO—cost $300 each.

The LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller is available for sampling in 64-pin QFN and QFP-EP packages, starting at $7.01 each, in 10,000-unit quantities.

Source: Microchip Technology

Toshiba Expands TX04 Range of ARM Cortex-M4F-Based Microcontrollers

Toshiba Electronics Europe has announced a new ARM Cortex-M4F based microcontroller for use in secure systems control. The TMPM46BF10FG expands its existing TX04 range and adds enhanced security features that are well-suited to applications in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, energy management systems, sensor technology, and industrial equipment.Toshiba TMPM46BF10FG

Users of secure communications control systems increasingly require mass memory data for firmware generation management, failure analysis, and high-precision consecutive data storage. The TMPM46BF10FG meets these requirements for high-level security features, such as tamper detection and information concealment. The IC also meets the need to reduce the number of parts on system circuit board by supporting large capacity memory.

Featuring an ARM Cortex-M4F core, with a maximum operating frequency of 120 MHz, the TMPM46BF10FG incorporates 1,024 KB of flash memory and 514-KB SRAM required for secure communications control, four types of security circuits for network communications. The microcontroller also integrates an SLC NAND flash memory controller and 4- and 8-bit error correction circuitry (BCH ECC) that supports memory expansion with 1-to-4-Gb SLC NAND flash memory chips.

To provide additional levels of safety, the IC includes a 16-channel interrupt input and a clock-independent watchdog timer, which operates separately from the system clock, improving the safety of system functions. In the case of a system clock malfunction, the watchdog timer is still capable of detecting errors.

The TMPM46BF10FG incorporates a true random number generator (TRNG: SP800-90C standard) through the combination of a random entropy seed generation (ESG) circuit and Hash-DRGB created by the secure hash processor (SHA) and software program. This meets the robust standards of security that are required in network communications. The hardware based AES encryption/decryption process meets FIPS180-4 and FIPS197 standards and reduces the load on the CPU, in combination with a random seed generation circuit (ESG), and a multiple-length arithmetic (MLA) used to calculate elliptic curves for asymmetric ciphers.

The TMPM46BF10FG features direct memory access (32 channel), a 12-bit AD converter (8 channel), 16-bit timer (8 channel), SPP (3 channel), SIO/UART (4 channel), full UART (2 channel) I2C (3 channel), with an operating voltage of 2.7 to 3.6 V. Housed in an LQFP100 package, the IC measures just 14 mm × 14 mm, with a 0.5-mm pitch.

Samples are now available. Mass production will begin in October.

Source: Toshiba

 

 

Microcontroller-Based Sentry System

David Penrose’s “Sentry” project comprises an array of passive IR sensors placed throughout a building to track motion. The microcontroller-based system comprises an RF link to a processor along with an Ethernet module to unobtrusively monitor motion and activity levels.

The Sentry system uses commercial IR motion sensors (lower left) together with a customer vibration sensor (lower right) to determine where an individual is within a building. The base unit (top) integrates reports from these sensors to generate alerts to a caregiver.

Photo 1: The Sentry system uses commercial IR motion sensors (lower left) together with a customer vibration sensor (lower right) to determine where an individual is within a building. The base unit (top) integrates reports from these sensors to generate alerts to a caregiver.

Penrose writes:

My Sentry System is designed to assist those folks living alone who desire the peace of mind provided by a caregiver looking after them without the caregiver having to be present. Its implementation was facilitated by the WIZnet WIZ550io Ethernet module, which provides a rich yet simple interface to the Internet. With a simple microprocessor, the system allows the status of a resident to be continuously monitored in a minimally intrusive fashion.

Any abnormal conditions can immediately be alerted to a remote caregiver for action. In this way, a caregiver’s smartphone acts as an alert system by letting them know when a resident’s activity deviates from a normal pattern. The system is designed to be simple to set up yet very flexible in its application so the needs of different residents can be addressed. A resident with minimal needs can be monitored by a set of relaxed rules, while a resident in need of more continuous observation can be assigned a set of strict rules. In all cases, the overarching design approach was to provide a system that augments the caregiver’s capability.

Penrose goes on to describe the system:

The Sentry System integrates motion sensors, a microprocessor, and the WIZ550io Ethernet interface to monitor a resident and report abnormal activity patterns to a remote caregiver (see Photo 1). The relationship of these subsystems is illustrated in Figure 1.

Up to eight sensors transmit activity to a base unit processor, which checks for abnormal behavior of a resident. Alerts to a caregiver are generated and communicated over the Internet.

Figure 1: Up to eight sensors transmit activity to a base unit processor, which checks for abnormal behavior of a resident. Alerts to a caregiver are generated and communicated over the Internet.

The primary sensors are IR motion sensors. These can be augmented by vibration sensors, pressure mats, ultrasonic, and other devices capable of detecting a person’s presence. These sensors are placed at key locations in a resident’s home to monitor movement from room to room or within rooms. The vibration sensors are placed in favorite chairs/couches or in the bed to determine if the furniture is occupied and if there is normal activity. All of these sensors are battery powered and report over an RF link. The RF reports from these devices are received by a base unit which then compares the resident’s location and activity to a set of rules that define normal behavior for different times of day. Any deviation from normal results in an SMS text message or e-mail being sent to the caregiver along with information about how to contact the resident. In most cases, it is expected that the caregiver would respond by phoning the resident to check on them.

The system is designed to be easy to install and operate. The WIZ550io’s Internet interface is used to communicate to a browser allowing the caregiver or resident to configure the system. This configuration consists of identifying sensors and rooms and describing a set of rules for each room for periods in the day. This local interface also allows for a review of all past activity once the system is operational. This history data is valuable for refining the rules to reduce false alarms and ensure security. Since the interface is behind the resident’s firewall, the system is secure from improper modification. The key output from the system is the alert to the caregiver, which relies on the WIZ550io module communicating to a service site such as Exosite. The site generates the alerts sent to the caregiver.

The base unit incorporates the WIZ550io, an 89LPC936 processor, a MCP79401 real-time clock, and a serial EEPROM to process reports received from the 433-MHz receiver.

Photo 2: The base unit incorporates the WIZ550io, an 89LPC936 processor, a MCP79401 real-time clock, and a serial EEPROM to process reports received from the 433-MHz receiver.

The system’s hardware consists of a base unit and multiple sensor/reporting units. The base unit (see Photo 2) comprises a WIZ550io Ethernet interface, an inexpensive microprocessor, an RF receiver, a battery backed-up real-time clock, and a serial EEPROM. All of these pieces are integrated into a small form factor case and powered by a plug-in transformer (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: The microprocessor accomplishes all of its tasks while using only a few of the available port pins.

Figure 2: The microprocessor accomplishes all of its tasks while using only a few of the available port pins.

The remote units can be one of many different sensor/reporting devices depending on the needs of the resident. The basic sensor is the IR motion sensor, which is available from a number of different sources.  I used Bunker Hill Security sensors, which I purchased from Harbor Freight Tools (Item 93068). A sensor plus receiver is very inexpensive. Some cost only $11. The item consists of a sensor/transmitter and a receiver/alarm device. The receiver/alarm device is not used in this project although the RF receiver was lifted from one of these units to provide the receiver for the base unit. These sensor units are powered by 9-V batteries and report on an RF link at 433 MHz with a unique address code.  The code allows multiple sensors to be deployed and recognized by the base unit.

The complete article appears in Circuit Cellar 296 (March 2015).

Embedded SIM Controllers for Secure M2M Communication

Secure cellular Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication enables automated data exchange. Infineon Technologies recently announced the SLM 97 and SLI 97 security controller families. The new products stand out with unique features required for M2M communication in industrial as well as automotive applications such as emergency Call (eCall) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication.Infineon SLI97-SLM97

For the past 10 years, Infineon has provided high-quality security controllers used for M2M applications in the industrial and automotive sectors. For instance, Infineon supplies leading European car manufacturers with security controllers for eCall and other connectivity solutions for vehicles.

With the launch of the new SLM 97 and SLI 97 product families, Infineon strengthens its position in the growing industrial M2M and connected car markets. The new products enable the full implementation of embedded SIM as defined by GSMA and ETSI, increasing flexibility and simplifying the deployment of new M2M solutions.

Both SLM 97 and SLI 97 provide the following:

  • an extended temperature range from –40° to 105°C and high endurance for operation in demanding industrial and automotive environments
  • up to 1-MB SOLID FLASH memory, allowing fast prototyping and shortening time-to-market for device manufacturers
  • a set of hardware crypto-coprocessors supporting all relevant crypto schemes
  • a wide range of interfaces including ISO7816, SWP, USB, I2C, SPI to address a large variety of industrial and automotive applications
  • Common Criteria EAL 5+ (High) certification

The SLM 97 security controllers are tailored to industrial M2M applications requiring high endurance and robustness. They are qualified according to internationally recognized industrial standards and delivered in standard embedded M2M packages as well as in standard SIM card module.

The SLI 97 security controllers are qualified according to the high quality automotive standards (AEC-Q100) and tailored to the difficult environmental conditions of automotive applications. They pass through exhaustive quality processes to minimize failure rates. This makes them the perfect products for SIM cards or embedded security products in connected cars. Both families are based on field-proven products deployed in traditional Smart Card markets worldwide.

Source: Infineon Technologies

Gecko Bluetooth Smart Solutions for Low-Power Wireless Connectivity

Silicon Labs today has launched a Bluetooth Smart solutions portfolio intended to minimize the energy consumption, cost, and complexity of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) designs. Silicon Labs’s new Blue Gecko solutions include ultra-low-power wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices, embedded modules, and Bluegiga’s software development kit (SDK) and Bluetooth Smart software stack. Blue Gecko wireless SoCs and modules help you simplify design and speed time to market for a wide range of applications (e.g., connected home, wearable, and automotive).

The Blue Gecko portfolio addresses the largest, fastest-growing low-power wireless connectivity opportunity in the IoT market. It provides developers with the flexibility to begin development with modules and transition to SoCs when needed with little to no system redesign.SiliconLabs-Blue-Gecko

The first in a family of wireless SoCs optimized for IoT applications, Blue Gecko SoCs combine Silicon Labs’ energy-friendly EFM32 Gecko MCU technology with an ultra-low-power Bluetooth Smart transceiver. This innovative, single-die solution provides industry-leading energy efficiency, the fastest wake-up times, superior RF sensitivity and no-compromise MCU features combined with the Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart software stack to help developers reduce system power, cost and time to market. Unlike other Bluetooth Smart IC alternatives, a Blue Gecko SoC can transmit +10 dBm or higher output power with its fully integrated power amplifier and balun, further reducing design complexity.

Blue Gecko SoCs are based on the ARM Cortex-M3 and M4 cores and offer 128- to 256-KB flash sizes and 16- to 32-KB RAM sizes. The SoCs integrate an array of low-energy peripherals as well as Silicon Labs’s Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) for autonomous peripheral operation. The Blue Gecko SoC family also offers a roadmap of enhanced flash and RAM memory sizes and additional package options to meet future application needs.

Bluegiga modules based on Blue Gecko SoCs are designed to help developers accelerate time to market and reduce development costs and compliance risks by providing a precertified, plug-and-play RF design. Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart modules incorporate all features of Blue Gecko SoCs and are certified for use in all key markets including North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Bluegiga modules include the Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart software stack and profile toolkit and come with 256 kB flash and 32 kB RAM, providing ample available memory for onboard applications. Flexible hardware interfaces enable easy connection to a variety of peripherals and sensors, and an integrated antenna makes RF operation consistent and straightforward for the design engineer. Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart modules provide very low power operation, enabling wireless system designs to be powered from a standard 3-V coin cell battery or two AAA batteries.

Samples of Bluegiga modules based on Blue Gecko SoCs are scheduled to be available in late Q2 2015. Samples of Blue Gecko wireless SoCs are planned to be available in early Q3 in 5 mm × 5 mm QFN32 and 7 mm × 7 mm QFN48 packages. Pricing for Blue Gecko-based Bluegiga modules starts at $4.99 in 10,000-unit quantities. Blue Gecko SoC start at $0.99 in 100,000-unit quantities. The Bluegiga SDK and Bluetooth Smart software stack will be available to Silicon Labs customers at no charge.

Source: Silicon Labs