New Products Weekly Review: 19th February 2016

Not much happening in the world of embedded electronics, but a few surprises. There were also a couple of interesting KickStarter projects that were missed from last week that have been included. Read on…..
A new phone is set to be launched in India that is priced at 500 rupees, (US$7), called the Freedom 251 by manufacturer Ringing Bells. Not only is this a good thing for India, but if Makers can get their hand on them and they are hackable then they could form the basis of some really cool IoT tech.
ARM now has a new real time processor called, inventively, the Cortex-R8 processor aimed at tackling 5G market. This is a SoC that will “revolutionise mobile communications as it delivers the ability to increase data rates significantly, offering a far better mobile experience”. It also contains low latency memory, and power efficiency upgrades that are required for the 5G market. See them late 2016.


Skyblade 360
A consortium of companies in Singapore have successfully launched a UAV called the Skyblade 360 that is capable of a 300km / 6 hour flight using a 1L solid hydrogen fuel cell developed by HES Energy Systems. This is good news for Makers looking for long-flight UAVs.


MicroChip Xpress
MicroChip has now launched an 8bit MCU development environment. This seems to be a case of MicroChip saying “let’s do something before our sales of PIC drop to zero”. You can edit, compile and download your code onto the Xpress evaluation boards which are available for around US$10, which contain an integrated programmer, PIC16F18855 MCU, and mikroBUS header for Click board expansion. Personally, I think it might be a case of too little too late.


STMicroelectronics now has an energy efficient ARM Cortex-M4 processor – the STM32L4 family. This contains a programmably variable multi-speed internal clock, Batch Acquisition Mode(BAM) and Adaptive Real-Time Accelerator(ART Accelerator). Comes in 6 flavours: STM32L471, STM32L475, STM32L432, STM32L433, STM32L442 and STM32L443 with varying capabilities aimed squarely at the IoT market.



The ARM Cortex-M0+ STM32L0 family of processors are now into volume production capable of drawing only 320nA halt mode, and 3.5uS wake up from halt. Comes in various flavours: STM32L0x1, STM32L0x2, and STM32L0x3 with software development supported by the STM32CubeMX and the STM32CubeL0 middleware/firmware products.

Read on to Page 2 for KickStarter news….

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