Waijung Development Status Updates – May 2014
It may seem that there has not been much developments on Waijung during the past few months, no new hardware, no new software etc. We feel it appropriate and may be beneficial to share with our customers about what are going on inside our LAB during the past few months, in terms of research and development, and what may be available in the very near future, especially, the new Cortex-M0 core wired FiO Mote – ST (STM32F0) and wireless ANT/BLE FiO Glide (nRF51422) evaluation boards.
Limited initial quantity will be available – Pre-Order now!!!
We suggest that you place your pre-order now to receive these products when they become available – from end of June 2014.
With these news and updates articles, we hope to directly communicate with our customers, to create momentum for discussions, and to gain more understanding and inputs, so that we can deliver solutions that can really help solve our customers’ problems and make a difference.
Here we go…
We have some very exciting developments awaiting to be released.
Major features in this release include:
- STM32F0 Target
- nRF51 Target
STM32F0 Target will only support STM32F072CB MCU for now. Yes!!! 07x you read it right and we didn’t type it wrongly. This MCU will be fitted in our brand new board code name FiO Mote – ST.
This family of MCU (STM32F0) by our great partner STMicroelectronics is one of the most feature rich Cortex – M0 in the market. STM32F0 Target will have a lot of interesting peripherals similar to STM32F4 Target, e.g. ADC, PWM, Digital IO, etc. See here for detail specifications of STM32F072CB MCU.
For nRF51 Target we plan to support mainly nRF51422 MCU which is another great Cortex-M0 core MCU, by Nordic Semiconductor, with very low power wireless capability, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ANT concurrently in one chip. The following is another brand new board code name FiO Glide. (FYI, In principle, nRF51422 is the same as nRF51822. But nRF51422 has one main extra feature i.e. the ANT protocol.)
We are very excited about FiO Glide because it means:
“Low-power Xbee-like wireless + Cortex – M0 MCU in one small board + accessible via mobile devices (android, iphone, windows phones or even a PC.)”
Early release of nRF51 Target will not have support for Nordic SoftDevice (Nordic’s ANT and BLE stacks). These features will definitely be added in the future.
Our initial evaluation showed that with current design (short rubber duck antenna), the RF communication range is around:
- 100 meters for outdoor line-of-sight and
- 40 meters inside buildings with walls in between.
Not bad at all. We think.
Why nRF51422 and STM32F0?
In a nutshell, we plan to provide a complete set of tools that helps users create seamless connectivity between Internet/Ethernet with such wired and wireless network as CAN, LIN, BLE and ANT.
We hope our solutions will be an appealing rapid prototyping tool for anyone who wants to create any kind of network-based monitoring and control systems or low-cost low-power sensor networks.
We hope, the uses of Matlab and Simulink graphical programming will allow non-programmers (even undergraduate students major in mechanical engineering) to easily create such systems, without the need to know or write a single line of code, while more advanced users in academic or industry can take full advantages of Matlab model-based design capability to create more complex systems, which is its core strength.
We believe these Cortex – M0 core MCU is the right addition to our existing Cortex-M4 (STM32F4) target, to create any kind of low-cost, low-power wired/wireless web-based network monitoring and control systems as mentioned earlier on.
We choose ANT mainly for the following reasons:
- Low power (because of its Time Division Multiple Access nature)
- Mesh network capability
For those who don’t need low level debugging, programming the FiO Mote – ST, can be done via native STMicroelectronics’ UART Flash Programming channel. For FiO Glide, we will provide a special bootloader to program via UART too. Both boards can be connected to aMG USB Connect to facilitate easy USB-UART interface with automatic compile and download from Matlab as usual. The following picture shows FiO Mote – ST stacked on top of aMG USB Connect allowing simple flash programming.
For users requiring low-level debugging capability, SWD interface is readily available.
You may notice that this new family of mini FiO boards are smaller than its more powerful partners, FiO 2 or STM32F4DISCOVERY.
We intentionally make these boards smaller so that they can be integrated in real systems in tight spaces more easily. The stackable nature add flexibility to adaptation to various applications. The following picture shows a range of add-on module we are testing.
We are considering adding STM32F3 (Cortex-M4 core with excellent analog features) MCU for this mini FiO family too.
These add-on modules are expected to help you not only to create and test a wide range of applications (data logger, network or stand-alone monitoring and control systems), but some module, for instance, the current sense module are also expect to help you analyse power consumption in power-sensitive applications.
It can be seen that we plan to go the whole length to support serious customers in their design and development cycle.
In addition to the new family of mini FiO’s, we have also completed the testing of aMG GSM Module based on the famous SIM900 module. aMG GSM Module, pictured below, is a directly stackable to FiO 2 and STM32F4DISCOVERY.
This module will allow you to send email, SMS, and more from your STM32F4 target.
When will these board become available?
We hope by end of June 2014 a small number of initial production run will become available.
The retail prices for FiO Mote – ST and FiO Glide are expected to be around 450 and 750 Thai Baht respectively.
For customers from automotive industries
We also have an exciting news for customers in automotive industries. We are implementing CCP protocol and expect to finish prototype soon. The initial version will not have a2l file generation or data acquisition capabilities yet. It will have ability to read register and update firmware via CCP. Of course we will upgrade it in future releases. If you are interested to test CCP blocks when they become available, please email us at email@example.com.
Additionally, there is a new interesting feature for W2D (Waijung Webpage Designer), our Drag-and-Drop web application for designing web-based monitoring and control website. This new Draw feature allow you to draw vector graphics (SVG), for example, a map and easily add monitoring spots on the map with a simple – customizable color map.
Last but not least
Before closing, let me show you what may be possible with the new family of mini FiO’s board. The setup in the picture below is a sample wireless temperature/humidity/light/pressure sensor node that can accept input voltage as high as 40VDC.