The September issue of Circuit Cellar is coming out on Friday! Just for you, a sneak peek at what’s inside the next issue. Technologies for connected car, COVID test drone project, open-spec SBCs, AirTag teardown, solutions for wearable devices, hacking MCU pins more! This 84-page mag takes you on a smooth ride over to a great read of top-notch embedded technology articles.
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Here’s a sneak preview of September 2021 Circuit Cellar:
IT’S ALL ABOUT MICROCONTROLLERS
MCUs Enable the Connected Car
By Jeff Child
From advanced infotainment systems to driver assisted vehicle controls, the embedded electronics in today’s new cars require net-connected designs. To meet these evolving design challenges, MCU vendors are developing innovative solutions for automotive systems. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child looks at these technology trends.
Hacking Microcontroller Pins
By Stuart Ball
Today’s MCUs integrate a rich assortment of functionality. But sometimes there are one or more you wish you had that aren’t available on the device you’re using. Here, Stuart explains how to configure MCU pins to enable you to use on-chip peripherals to perform tasks for which they weren’t intended.
Solutions for Wearable Designs
By Jeff Child
Wearable devices continue to rank among today’s most dynamic segments of electronics design. Devices spanning across fitness, consumer and medical markets all need highly-integrated processing and advanced power management technologies to perform as expected. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines how today’s MCU and power electronics are enabling today’s wearable electronic products.
RESOURCES FOR EMBEDDED SYSTEM DESIGNS
Datasheet: Open-Spec SBCs
By Jeff Child
The number of available open-spec single board computers (SBCs) continues to multiply. For our purposes, we loosely define “open spec” as boards ranging from those with community resources to strong open-source software support to open schematics and open licensing. This Datasheet section updates readers on these trends and provides a product album of the most popular open-spec SBCs.
Getting Started with AI at the Edge: Using QuickFeather and SensiML
By Raul Alvarez-Torrico
The QuickFeather development board and SensiML toolkit—both from QuickLogic—are open-sourced solutions for developing IoT devices with ML and AI. In this article, Raul steps through the QuickFeather board and SensiML toolkit specs. He then explains how to collect sensor data and train an ML model to recognize arm motion patterns with a wristband wearable prototype.
COM Boards Enable Smart Warehouse Robots
Dan Demers, congatec
Offering high compute-density in a modular form, computer-on-modules (COMs) offer a powerful solution for embedded systems. In this article, congatec’s Dan Demers shares how pharmaceutical distributor Transpharm used COM boards and the Xito development platform to build autonomous robots that perform warehouse material-handling duties
Building a COVID Test Drone (Part 2): Building the System
By Andrei Florian
Andrei continues his two-part article series about his CovidTestDrone project—a drone delivery system that allows individuals to receive a self-administered lower nasal swab COVID-19 test at home via a drone and then return the sample to the lab via the same drone after administering the swab. In Part 2, he describes the construction steps, the code architecture and the dashboard development.
… AND MORE FROM OUR EXPERT COLUMNISTS
Build a CNC Pendant for Mach3
By Brian Millier
So called “pendants” are used by most CNC milling machine operators to make manual adjustments. In this article, Brian discusses his project building a comprehensive CNC pendant around a new rotary encoder. The pendant supports the Mach3 CNC controller program.
AirTag Teardown and Security Analysis
By Colin O’Flynn
In this article, Colin takes a look at a recently demonstrated fault injection attack on the AirTag device. While the AirTag alone has a limited attack surface, it opens the door for a variety of additional analysis. He looks at the process of going from consumer device, to identifiable vulnerability, to full bypass of the hardware security measures.
How Gun-Style IR Thermometers Work (Part 1)
By Jeff Bachiochi
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most all of us have encountered the gun-style infrared thermometer. In this article, Jeff explains how thermopiles and thermocouples work and how they enable those thermometers to determine temperature without physical contact.