Weekly Roundup – Top Links for the 2nd Week of October 2017

From the Editor

This week on the ElectroSchematics blog, we are really picking up the pace.  We are working towards our goal of bringing you a new blog post every day.  In this effort, we have been able to welcome a new author.  Kelcie, an English as a second language teacher, has picked up the micro;bit and started to learn the world of embedded electronics.  Part 1 talks a little about her experience with the micro:bit, and what she has in store for it this Halloween.


The micro:bit displaying a programmed light pattern


Similarly, TK has continued in his efforts to introduce us to new hardware and designs with the introduction to the ESP32.  This is a little IoT board that I really need to get my hands on and take for a spin myself.

ESP32 breakout board



In our efforts to better interact with the community, we are in the process of working with some new authors, as well as bringing in content from authors that have shared with us their knowledge in the past.  If you are interested in contributing for ElectroSchematics, drop me a line here.  Let me know what you are interested in writing about, and we will see if it can fit within the site’s mission.  Now on to the show…

SiFive Releases First Open-Source, 64bit RISC-V Application Processor

Last week we brought you the news that you could purchase the 32bit FE310 RISC-V microcontroller as individual units.  This week SiFive has really turned it up a notch or ten!  This new application processor is a quadcore device that will run at 1.5+GHz and will have Linux support.  A development board will be available in the first quarter of next year.  This will be an interesting device, I am looking forward to trying to get my hands on one.


SiFive U54 architecture map


Silego to be Purchased by Dialog Semi

It was announce this week that these two companies intend to merge.  Dialog Semi two years ago attempted to acquire Atmel but was unable to win in a bidding war with Microchip.  For those not familiar with Silego, they make a neat line of configurable logic devices that the Magnificent Max Maxfield has written about.  These tiny glue logic devices can be easily configured with their GUI configuration tool, and really help create space and cost saving solutions.  It will be interesting to see the two companies post-merger.


Silego’s graphical configuration tool

Texas Instruments Releases the MSP430 with Integrated Ultrasonic Sensing Front End

This new little device from Texas Instruments is targeted towards smart water meters, but is begging to be used in an off use application.  I could see a device like this being paired to work in watercraft for speed sensing, or even in weather stations for wind speed and rain sensing.


MSP430FR6047 ultrasonic sensing evaluation module board


DIY Build of Magnetic Flux Current Sensor

Element14 community member going by Shabaz has posted his effort to build a current sensor that operates by measuring the magnetic flux.  This device can measure DC to kHz range dynamic signals.  It uses a Texas Instruments DRV425 Fluxgate Magnetic Field Sensor Development Board.  This looks like a fun build and a useful tool to have around the workshop.


DRV425 based fluxgate current sensor on the breadboard


Kionix Releases KX220 Analog Inductrial Accelerometer

Kionix has released a new line of medium g, 3DoF, analog accelerometers.  It may seem odd to see a new release of an analog accelerometer when fully integrated digital solutions have become the norm in the consumer space.  Despite this, these devices are targeted at the industrial market where there is a large install base of analog based sensors.  This new design will allow for easy integration to current designs while providing the benefits of process advances in sensor design.


Kionix industrial KX220 accelerometer

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