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PROGRAMING TOOLs & DESIGN KITS Open source wearables reference platform supports multiple applications Freescale Semiconductor has launched an open-source, scalable reference platform for OEMs to develop a wide range of wearable product designs from a common platform. The wearables reference platform (WaRP) is based on Freescale’s single core i.MX6 and Kinetis processors for multiple vertical segments such as sports monitors, smart glasses, activity trackers, smart watches and healthcare/medical applications. Unlike other wearable solutions, the platform is not limited to just one form factor or product category. The system-level design kit supports embedded wireless charging, processors and sensors within a hybrid architecture for scalability and flexibility, and comes with open-source software. “Wearables represent one of the ultimate edge node sensors for the Internet of Things, and hold tremendous promise for equipment makers, service providers and consumers alike,” said Rajeev Kumar, director of worldwide marketing and business development for Freescale’s Microcontrollers business. “This new solution is engineered to dramatically streamline wearables products. It allows designers and OEMs to go from concept to prototype as quickly as the market is changing.” WaRP speeds and simplifies development by addressing many of the top technology challenges of the wearables market – connectivity, usability, battery life and miniaturization – thereby freeing developers to focus on creating differentiated features. The platform is built on Freescale’s i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex- A9 apps processor as the core processing unit, supports the Android OS, and integrates production-grade silicon, software and hardware. The BOM-optimized hybrid architecture also features Freescale’s Xtrinsic MMA9553 turn-key pedometer, award-winning FXOS8700 electronic compass and ARM Cortex-M0+ Kinetis KL16 microcontroller. WaRP is a result of collaboration between Freescale, Kynetics and Revolution Robotics. Kynetics provides the expertise for the platform’s software, and Revolution Robotics supplies the solution’s hardware. Freescale, Kynetics and Revolution Robotics worked together to develop a platform that is both scalable and modular for various usage models in the wearables market. This hybrid architecture-based platform enables customers to address different and new verticals as the market evolves, and to scale and customize their designs from both a hardware and software perspective to develop a product, or even an entire portfolio. A nonprofit, community-based organization will provide service and support for the wearables reference platform. The solution’s hardware and software will be open sourced and community-driven. No closed development tools or licensing fees are required when used in conjunction with open source resources. In addition, WaRP will have its own .org community to drive innovation in the market. The wearables reference platform kit includes the main board, a daughter card, an LCD display battery and a micro USB cable. Freescale Semiconductor www.warpboard.org Starter Kit for nanoRISC Processor modules based on the TI AM335x The MSC NANORISC-SK-MB2 starter kit from MSC Vertriebs GmbH consists of the versatile MSC nanoRISC-MB2 baseboard with a power supply, a 7” WVGA TFT display and a 7” PCT touch panel. A Debian Linux operating system installation on a bootable SD card or downloadable or free is ensuring immediate operation of the starter kit. Even though the carrier board MSC nanoRISC-MB2 used for the starter kit provides an input for resistive 4-wire touch panels, a controller for projected capacitive touch (PCT) panels was added to the most recent board revision, enabling users to follow the general trend to user-friendly iPhone-style user interfaces which are increasingly found in industrial applications. Along with the starter kit, the user can choose the 70x50mm nanoRISC module from the MSC NANORISC-AM335x family from MSC. These boards are based on the Texas Instruments AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor. The AM3352-based module is clocked at 300MHz and draws 1.7W, while the entry-level module based on the AM3354 CPU board is clocked at 800MHz and provides hardware 3D graphics acceleration. This more powerful nanoRISC module consumes less than 2W of power and can also be operated without any cooling. These processor modules can hold up to 512 Mbyte of DDR3 DRAM, up to 512 Mbyte of SLC NAND Flash and optionally up to 64 Gbyte eMMC Flash. They come with Ethernet, USB, CAN, UART, SPI, I2C and I2S audio and support direct LCD drive (16/18/24 bit RGB) at a resolution of up to HD. Further options include a versatile Programmable Realtime Unit (PRU) allowing fast response to real-time events and Industrial Ethernet for industrial field bus applications. MSC Vertriebs GmbH www.mscembedded.com the design and development of exciting new Bistable RFID relay can be activated in range up to 1.5m The TITAN from Farsens S.L. is a battery free RFID bistable relay tag compatible with commercial EPC C1G2 readers. The relay can be wirelessly activated and deactivated via its unique ID and keeps its latest status even when the RFID reader is gone. The device has a 96-bit EPC number, a 32-bit TID and a password protected Kill command. Built in a PCB format, it is available in different sizes. The device operates in the -30 to +85°C temperature range. The actuator tags are available in a variety of antenna design and sizes, depending on the specific application. They can be encapsulated in an IP67 or IP68 casing for usage in harsh environments. TITAN tags are used in energy scarce applications where the stored energy is limited and the system’s circuit can be opened and closed using a commercial RFID reader. Farsens S.L. www.farsens.com 42 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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