Developing window security nodes with level shifting I/O – Part 2

The Part 1 of this two-article series discussed a new peripheral called multi-voltage I/O (MVIO), which is available on the AVR DB family of microcontrollers. In short, the MVIO is an internal level shifter on the die of the microcontroller that allows one I/O port to operate in a different voltage domain than the rest … Read more

HYPERRAM 3.0 memory doubles bandwidth for low pin-count

HYPERRAM—the expansion memory for scratchpad and data buffering—has reached its third generation and is ready to serve a wide range of applications such as video buffering, factory automation, artificial intelligence (AI) edge processing, and automotive vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The third generation of HYPERRAM devices from Infineon Technologies support the newly extended HyperBus interface to enable … Read more

Investigating a Volvo key fob: a knowledgeable reader shares his insights

It’s always been interesting to me to see which of my writeups particularly resonate with the readers (as measured by metrics such as online page views and the number of both posted public comments and private emails I receive in response), and to theorize why this might be the case. Unsurprisingly, for example, teardowns consistently … Read more

How to design a battery management system

Battery-powered applications have become commonplace over the last decade, and such devices require a certain level of protection to ensure safe usage. The battery management system (BMS) monitors the battery and possible fault conditions, preventing the battery from situations in which it can degrade, fade in capacity, or even potentially harm the user or surrounding … Read more

The AI-centric microcontrollers eye the new era of edge computing

Microcontrollers have dramatically evolved over the past years, and edge computing is at the heart of this MCU evolution. That’s what Ron Martino, executive VP and general manager of edge processing at NXP Semiconductors calls a new era of edge computing. “As we approach the milestone of 75 billion connected devices, we need to address … Read more

The design blueprint of a battery-powered smart alarm system

The reference design for a battery-powered smart alarm system (SAS) employs artificial intelligence (AI)-based sensor fusion algorithm that complements acoustic event detection (AED) processing with a wake detection engine. This reference design solution unveiled by Infineon Technology comprises the following major building blocks: A high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) analog MEMS microphone A digital pressure sensor … Read more

Covid-19, acquisitions, and the enigma of microcontroller market

The humble microcontroller (MCU) is roaring back into the limelight in the post-Covid world while continuing to be pervasive in embedded control and computing functions. Its growth is now mainly driven by embedded automation and the spread of sensors. Here, automotive is the elephant in the room, with MCU consumption in vehicle designs spanning from … Read more

LTE-M development kits connect to the cloud

Renesas offers two development kits for its RA and RX families of 32-bit MCUs that are outfitted with a Cat-M1 (LTE-M) module for cloud connection. The CK-RA6M5 and CK-RX65N kits allow users to evaluate and deploy mobile cloud applications for wireless IoT systems without having to design their own complex circuitry and software stacks. According … Read more

Tale from the production floor – the processor that starts and stops unexpectedly

Many years ago I worked in the R&D department of a company which developed and manufactured specialized consumer products. One of our products had a separate power supply which included an LCD display and programmable controls. Those were the days of 8-bit microcontrollers and monochrome LCD displays. I was tasked with designing a test jig … Read more

DIY Non Contact Hand Sanitizer Dispenser (Pro Version)

Features High stability and no sensitivity to the ambient light Laser-cut acrylic (plexiglass) enclosure Cost-effective Flow control capability of the hand-sanitizer/alcohol (efficiency) Through-hole components (easy to solder) Single-layer PCB board (easy to fabricate) Single and cheap ATTiny13 microcontroller Low standby current consumption As we all know, the COVID-19 outbreak hit the world and changed our … Read more