New Quad Core Cortex-A53 System-On-Module supports DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 memories from 1 up to 4GB

Our RK3328-SOM prototypes are testing now.

These are with dimensions of only 55 x 41 mm.

RK3328 SOC has:

  • 4x Cortex-A53 cores @1.5Ghz
  • DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 support 1/2/4GB
  • GPU: ARM Mali-450MP2
  • HDMI 2.0
  • CSI up to 5Mpix
  • Video decode H.264 H.265 4K@60Hz
  • Video encode H.264 H.265 1080p@30Hz
  • Audio: I2S, Codec
  • Gigabit 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Megabit 10/100 Ethernet with PHY
  • USB3.0 host
  • USB2.0 host
  • USB-OTG 2.0
  • SPI/eMMC Flash
  • SD-card

RK3328-SOM-EVB is evaluation board and reference design for RK3328-SOM:

Software support:

  • Android 10
  • Linux Kernel 4.4 is the official SDK of Rockchip. There is just basic mainline support with no drivers for USB3 although these SOCs are on the market for quite a lot of time.

The preliminary prices are:

  • RK3328-SOM-1G (1GB DDR3L) EUR 27.00
  • RK3328-SOM-2G (2GB DDR3L) EUR 37.00
  • RK3328-SOM-4G (4GB DDR4) EUR 57.00
  • RK3328-SOM-EVB (no SOM installed) EUR 18.00

RP2040-PICO-PC small computer made with the Raspberry Pi RP2040-PICO module first prototypes are ready

These who follow our account in Twitter know our small teaser posted on March 1st.

It’s small base board for RP2040-PICO the $4 module with the Cortex-M0+ processor made by Raspberry Pi foundation.

We were ready with the prototype for a long time but the RP2040-PICO modules were tricky to source 🙂

Raspberry Pi suffer from the same problems the semiconductor industry have now – no enough components to organize production and the PICO modules are hard to obtain.

From the picture above you can see what our idea is:

  • Small board taking power from the USB on the right just below the RP2040-PICO module.
  • LiPo battery charged for handheld operation and power backup.
  • Reset button.
  • Micro SD card
  • Audio output
  • HDMI connector with DVI signals to connect to monitor
  • UEXT connector with UART, SPI, I2C, 3.3V and GND to attach different sensors
  • JST2.0 4 pin I2C + power supply connector
  • Debug connector for Serial adapter

The price of RP2040-PICO-PC including the original RP2040-PICO module from Raspberry Pi with soldered headers all in one ready to use computer will cost EUR 12.00

As RP2040-PICO modules now are not available in production quantities for purchase, we decided that until we wait we could make our own version of RP2040-PICO, which to be pin to pin drop in replacement.

Fortunately some RP2040 processors are available now, so we can make our own DIL40 board, this is how our RP2040-Py board was born:

It’s mechanically same as size, with connector signals like the original RP2040-PICO.

Functionally RP2040-Py is same as RP2040-PICO, but has some imoprovements:

  • RP2040 SOC
  • 2MB of SPI Flash
  • USB micro connector on the right hand
  • Power supply DC-DC with 3.3V up to 2A (if the 5V source can provide)
  • Reset and Boot buttons
  • two 20 pin rows on the side with same signals making it drop pin to pin compatible.
  • uUEXT connector on bottom

As the board still had plenty of not used space we decided to add USB JTAG debugger, which will allow you to debug your RP2040 SOC with step by step execution, to watch variables and set breakpoints while you develop your code.

There will be three versions of the RP2040-Py:

Basic: same as RP2040-PICO but with higher current DCDC power supply (3.3V up to 2A output) additional UEXT connector and RESET button. The price of this module will be EUR 5.00

Basic+ same as Basic but with soldered headers and additional left hand side micro USB, which can be used to power the board while the left hand side micro USB can be used as USB device or USB host. The price of this module will be EUR 8.00

Debug: same as Basic+ but with populated JTAG parts, which allow real time programming and debugging. The price of this module will be EUR 19.00 The JTAG debugger is tested to work with OpenOCD/Eclipse/Visual Studio, ARM (Keil) IDE and IAR Systems EW.

Quad Core 64bit Open Source Hardware Linux computer A64-OLinuXino now have version with external antenna

A64-OLinuXino is Open Source Hardware Quad core 64 bit Linux Computer.

We also offer nice metal box for it named BOX-A64-BLACK:

The only problem was that A64-OLinuXino have option for on board WiFi-BT but it uses PCB antenna and when put in box the communication range was decreasing signiificantly.

New revision of A64-OLinuXino board now supports both internal PCB antenna and U.FL externally attached 2.4Ghz antenna.

So A64-OLinuXino can be put inside the metal box and have the antenna outside:

New Open Source Hardware OSHW board with ESP32-S2 have native USB-OTG allowing USB host and device functionality with ESP32-S2 low power modes down to 20uA are possible

ESP32-S2 is new SOC from Espressif, compared to ESP32 it has no Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity, but offers plenty of GPIOs and has native USB-OTG interface.

Our first version uses USB to Serial converter as Espressif IDE at that time didn’t support programming via the native USB interface, but now their SDK supports USB programming, so we released new version without the not necessary USB-Serial converter.

To the best of our knowledge this is the first board to the market where USB-OTG is implemented and the board can work both in device and host mode ( at least as hardware 🙂 )

The hardware now is ahead of software as USB host functionality in SDK is missing yet, but at least we provide hardware platform for the future.

ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo-USB is OSHW so the CAD files are available on GitHub if someone want to see how we implement the USB-OTG. It’s really complicated as we wanted to keep the handheld battery operation and keep the LiPo charger and battery circuit. This leads to quite some over engineering around the power supply as the battery should charge when USB-OTG works in Device mode, and source 5V to the USB-OTG when it’s in Host mode!

It took us 2 revisions until we made it right, so thanks for your patience, now the board is in stock and orderable.

ESP32-S2-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo-USB with WROVER module with 2MB RAM is also available for these who want to write big applications.

The popular Olimex ARM OpenOCD JTAG programmer debugger ARM-USB-OCD-H gets better, now has a modification which works with targets from 0.65 up to 5.5V

ARM-USB-OCD-H is a low-cost ARM OpenOCD debugger. It supports targets from 1.65V up to 5.0V. Many SOC manufacturers like Intel, Intel/Movidius, nVidia and others use it in their development work. Intel quotes ARM-USB-OCD-H and ARM-JTAG-20-10 in their appnote “Source Level Debug using OpenOCD/GDB/Eclipse on Intel® Quark™ SoC X1000”.

A few month ago we got an interesting question. A new SOC manufacturer was trying to debug their SOC with ARM-USB-OCD-H, but the problem was that their target was working on 1.2V. They asked us if we could modify our JTAG to be able to work at lower than 1.65V targets.

Our engineers identified a couple of components which we could upgrade to support lower voltages. The final result was that the ARM-USB-OCD-HL new modification of the JTAG can now work with targets from 0.65V up to 5.5V.

This pretty much covers all existing SOCs on the market.

New Board with ESP32-S2 with LiPo charger unleash the native USB-OTG functionality

We recently released our ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo development board with ESP32-S2 SOC. It has the same functionality and pinout as Espressif ESP32-S2-Saola-1, but in addition it has a LiPo charger and battery management and is designed for Ultra low power – only 30uA consumption when on battery and deep sleep. This allows handheld battery operated applications. The LiPo part can power external sensors/circuits. This board has a built-in programmer with a CH340T USB-Serial convertor.

Many have noticed that ESP32-S2 has a native USB-OTG. Then why did we put the CH340T on it? The reason is that the Espressif SDK didn’t support USB back when we designed this board.

Now Espressif SDK adds support for a USB bootloader and the programming of the ESP32-S2 can be done by the native USB interface, we decided to make a new revision where the native USB-OTG interface is used.

We wanted to keep the LiPo battery functionality and this created an interesting technical challenge: the USB-OTG port can be used both as device and host. When used as a device, the board is powered by the USB and LiPo battery is charging. When used as a USB host (i.e. you can attach USB devices to the port) the USB port must supply 5V to the USB devices connected. Our first prototype had a power supply problem: when the ESP32-S2 works as a host the battery is powering the USB-OTG port with 5V, but there is attached also the LiPo charger circuit, so infinite loop is made: battery -> step up to 5V -> USB -> LiPo chgarger -> battery 🙂

This issue was preventing us from releasing this board earlier, but now on Rev.B all of these issues are fixed so we are about to run production.

Needless to say we kept the ultra low power design and the new board also consumes as low as 30uA in deep sleep.

Searching on the net it seems that no one else has implemented a USB-OTG functionality to the ESP32-S2 yet so this one will be the first. Also to the best of our knowledge there is still no software support for a USB host on the ESP32-S2 but we hope after our hardware is released this will push and accelerate the software development further.

ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo-USB is going to be released as Open Source Hardware like other IoT solutions we have.

New OSHW board with STM32F303 now can have CAN and USB working at same time, operates from -40+85C and with power supply from 4.2-40VDC

OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 is re-design of our popular OLIMEXINO-STM32 board.

What is new?

  • STM32F303RCT6TR is used which allow CAN and USB to work at the same time. The F1 Series of STM32 shared same buffer for both USB and CAN which leads to not be able to work with both CAN and USB at the same time. This is solved in F3 series
  • Increased amount of memory: 256KB Flash, 40KB RAM
  • Power supply is now from 4.2VDC up to 40VDC which allow OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 to work in Automotive applications without special power converters
  • Industrial temperature grade -40+85C
  • Real Time Clock backup battery holder for CR2032 Li battery
  • Lower cost

The price of OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 is EUR 14.95 for single unit and drops to EUR 11.96 for 50+ pcs order.

New Open Source Hardware IoT ESP32-S2 development boards with LiPo Battery Charger and consumption of only 30uA in deep sleep target handheld WiFi apps

ESP32-S2 is new SOC from Espressif which fills the gap between ESP32 and ESP8266.

It has the same memory model as ESP32 but has cut the Ethernet and Bluetooth parts, so only WiFi connection is possible – same as ESP8266, but offers more power, secure boot and encrypted firmware. Also support of decent SSL connection, something which lacks in ESP8266.

Pricewise now S2 is a bit lower cost than ESP32 and more expensive than ESP8266, but there is very strong competition in this niche coming from the new Bouffalo BL6XX chips, so my prediction is that to stay ahead Espressif will further lower the prices of ESP32-S2 to match ESP8266 very soon.

For comparison with ESP32 and ESP8266 the new ESP32-S2 has plenty of GPIOs up to 43!

Initially Espressif has announced that their ESP32-S2-WROVER modules will have as low as 2-4uA consumption, but later they increased this value to 20uA. Not quite well as their target but still very good achievement.

Our ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo is pin to pin compatible with ESP32-S2-Saola-1:

To keep compatibility with SAOLA-1 we add RGB LED, but also add LiPo battery charger and ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo can operate even without external power supply only on LiPo battery, there is battery level monitoring and external power supply sense. ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo can power external circuits with 3.3V up to 200mA when operate on battery.

ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo has build in programmer with CH340T. There is possibility the programmer part to be excluded and to use ESP32-S2 directy USB connection.

When operating on battery if the RGB LED is enabled the power consumption is ridiculous 700uA as the RGB LED appear to use lot of current even when not in operation, but there is RGB disable solder jumper which if opened you will not be able to operate the RGB LED on battery but will decrease the power consumption to total less 30uA in deep sleep.

For these who need more memory there is variant ESP32-S2-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo with 2MB of PSRAM.

The prices start from EUR 5.56 for ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo and EUR 6.36 for ESP32-S2-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo .

PWR-SWITCH is optically isolated EU style power load switch for up to 3500W, 230VAC/16A and can be driven with any microcontroller, Arduino, EPS32, or Linux computers directly with 3-24V

PWR-SWITCH hides the high voltage problems from the Arduino, ESP32, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, OLinuXino developers. It has 1500VAC optically isolation and can drive high voltage up to 230VAC / 16A loads safely.

To switch On or Off the loads from 3 to 24VDC can be used, so you can drive the loads with any microcontroller only 1mA is necessary to trigger the switch.

PWR-SWITCH is with EU stype plug and receptacle, so to use it in US or in UK you will need some of these:US to EU adapter, EU to US adapter or UK to EU adapter.

 PWR-SWITCH has CE-EMC and LVD certification.

Green LED show the switch status.

LIME2-SHIELD adds CAN, second SD-card, two UEXT connectors, Audio IN and OUT, breadboard friendly GPIOs to A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 Open Source Hardware Linux computer

A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 is with small compact design, this is why we couldn’t put on it all connectors for the functionality this board offers.

The existing 0.05″ step connectors are OK for cables and shields, but are pain when you want to breadboard something or to attach UEXT module.

This is why we made LIME2-SHIELD open source hardware shield. It has these signals available:

LIME2-SHIELD User manual explains how to prepare your SD-card for booting Linux on A20-OLinuXino-LIME2, then how to setup the board with different scripts and device tree.

Demo codes how to work with GPIO, I2C, SPI, CAN with C, Python and console are included:

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