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design & products Prototyping & Development boards The bare WiFiThing master and slave side by side. in the case they lose their Internet connection). The company has created 60 built-in functions in the master and slave devices and each function has up to four parameters. All these are configured via the company’s secure webserver, using simple drop down menus. These functions give end-users full control over the devices, including controlling the radios, setting up and reading/writing to pins, storing and doing calculations on data, conditional functions, timers and communications with the web server. Beyond the initial hardware purchase, the code-free aspect comes at a cost, that of using WiFithing’s website and web App for a small monthly fee, £1 per month after the first 3 months free of charge. Web-based configuration for over-the-air updates. But since all the code on WiFiThing and controlling the slaves is open source and documented, there is still the option for any confident programmer to recode their WiFiThing units to point to their own website, or alternatively to use the company’s secure API to send and receive settings and data from their WiFiThing and slaves, either from a desktop application or another website. You could even modify the original code or create your own and update your devices over the air. For developers, the company provides an Emulator software program (and its source code) which can emulate either a Master device or can communicate through the API. GPS tracker leverages SigFox’ network French startup HidnSeek has made the first customer deployments of its GPS tracking solution launched through Kickstarter last year. Deployed and tested for several months across multiple European countries, the small HidnSeek tracker does not require an expensive GSM connection, or proximity to Bluetooth devices which would limit range. It communicates its position to the end-user through SigFox’s IoT network. The device comes with customizable open apps, allowing users to geolocate objects in real-time, to define parameters to track movement and boundaries, and to set alerts. Applications include tracking lost equipment, detecting possible accidents and motionless states, tracking drone paths or landing sites, or securing property by detecting unauthorized movement. There is a €19.90 annual service charge. For the makers out there, the 100% Arduino compatible GPS is also available as a board with USB cable. The open source design is built around Atmel’s AVR 328p CPU (12Mhz), Telecom Design’s TD1207 Sigfox modem, and a GlobalTop PA6H GPS module. HidnSeek www.HidnSeek.com Nucleo development boards support ST’s 32‑bit Flash MCUs With the introduction of the STM32 Nucleo-144 series of low-cost, compact development boards, STMicroelectronics has further extended its support for its STM32 family of 32‑bit Flash microcontrollers. The new 144-pin boards enhance the existing STM32 development ecosystem through increased connectivity that enables customers to quickly develop applications using any STM32 microcontroller, from the most powerefficient to the highest-performing devices. The new boards are fully compatible with the existing STM32 development ecosystem, including the range of dedicated plug-in application expansion boards that allow specialized features ranging from motor drives to motion and environmental sensors to be easily incorporated into the final application. The offer unlimited extension capability via three types of connector: in addition to the Arduino Uno and ST morpho connectors provided by existing Nucleo-64 boards, the new boards include an ST zio connector. Together, these three connectors give complete access to all of the STM32 general-purpose I/O pins, allowing easy implementation of any creative function. Selected STM32 Nucleo-144 boards include Ethernet, as well as USB FS OTG ports to ease connections to local/wide area networks. All of the STM32 Nucleo 144 boards include an integrated ST-Link debugger/programmer, which eliminates the need for a separate debug probe, and are compatible with the most popular development toolchains. The new boards will be ARM mbed-enabled during Q2 2016, giving customers free access to ARM mbed online tools that do not require any software installation. STMicroelectronics www.st.com 30 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2016 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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