Last week mbed was at ESC Design West in San Jose. The conference hosted a number of distinguished speakers covering a range of interesting topics and 250+ exhibitors showcasing the latest in embedded technology.
We had a lot of interest in mbed for those looking to develop with 32-bit ARM MCU's. Most visitors were impressed by the ease of prototyping IoT applications using HTML5 websockets over Ethernet, Wi-Fi and 3G Mobile Internet.
Also a big congratulations to NXP for winning a UBM Electronics ACE Award for the Cortex-M0 LPC11U00 Microcontroller Family. The award winners were announced during the show and NXP took out the award in the Digital ICs (MCUs, FPGAs, microprocessors) section.
Thanks to all the mbed developers from the Bay Area that came by the stand and discussed the projects that they have been using mbed for. Particularly cool to see prototype eBible- great stuff.
mbed is going to be at ESC Design West, San Jose!
Where: San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Location: ARM Stand, Booth 1127
When: 27-29 March 2012
We will be exhibiting the multi-transport Internet of Things demo - this is a great demonstration of how to connect MCU's to the cloud utilising HTML5 Websocket technology.
If you're planning to attend this year's event, why don't you come over and see us!
operator of amateur radio station ON4ZI is an active ham radio user, and he's written about the second annual mbed ham radio competition.
A Belgian radio club in Jambes ON6NR, together with BYTECOM - an ARM representative in Belgium have organised the second official mbed Ham Radio Contest. The objective is to develop and document an innovative design with the mbed Microcontroller for use in an amateur radio application.
Each contestant must provide a project description including the motivation behind the project, the circuitry & associated peripherals and an outline/block diagram of the program (in C/C++, Basic for mbed or any other available solution). Submissions must be sent to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com no later than 12am (GMT) 22nd April 2012. A jury of ham operators, embedded specialists and engineers will review proposals for concept quality, possibility of realisation, reproducibility, interest and usability. It will not necessarily be the most impressive proposals that will be selected, so all participants have an opportunity to win! The top ten projects submitted will all receive a free mbed Microcontroller to build their project. The projects not selected, are still invited to participate but will be required to obtain their own mbed.
The final project reports should be submitted via abovementioned e-mail, no later than 12am (GMT) 30th June 2012. It is a requirement for all projects to be operational and duly documented including, a technical article (in French), a video (i.e.YouTube), jpeg images and any other material to confirm the effective functionality of the project. The winners list will be published in QSP Revue August edition. The winners will receive a prize offered by the sponsors of the competition and a prize ceremony is planned for September 2012.
Projects will be published in the French amateur radio publication “QSP Revue”, therefore text and descriptions associated with the project must be published in French. The editor of QSP revue will provide some assistance to correct and review the contributions to fit the publication.
As usual with Ham radio initiatives, everything is free of charge. Apart from investigating the use of ARM 32-bit microcontrollers in Ham applications, one of the main objectives is to provide QSP Revue with quality articles, therefore project authors will accept copyright resignation and free of charge publishing of their contribution. Although the QSP Revue practice is not to accept advertising, the editor may accept some commercial text advertisements from project sponsors, if deemed allowable.
The first prize last year was won by Xavier (ON5XAW) a student at the University of Liège (Belgium). Xavier implemented a versatile solution to permit digital communication using the D-STAR protocol associated to the Cubesat Project: Oufti-1.
The D-STAR Protocol The D-STAR protocol was developed by Japan Amateur Radio League to combine voice, data and video in a digital streaming protocol. D-STAR is currently able to establish radio links between portable transceivers via radio relays or connect via the internet. The Oufti-1 project implemented at the University of Liège is a world first; it is a functional miniature satellite (10cm cube) developed by students completing their Masters in Applied Science degrees, housing the electronics of a D-STAR satellite relay. The project is sponsored by the ESA and the launch of OUFTI-1 is expected in the course of this year.
Connecting with an orbiting satellite is not straightforward since the signal is affected by a frequency shift caused by the Doppler Effect. The D-STAR compatible transceivers sold by ICOM have technical limitations that are affected by this shift. Xavier’s project intends to offer Ham radio amateurs the ability to connect with OUFTI-1 while it orbits above the horizon. Further to this, the mbed/D-STAR module will not only solve the Doppler Effect restriction, but it will also allow most digitally enabled transceivers - not D-STAR compatible -to communicate with other D-STAR partners via terrestrial ways. In other words, it will motivate Ham around the world to actively participate in D-STAR communications and more interestingly with the soon to be launched OUFTI-1 experiment.
Building your own D-STAR Decoder
One of the contest rules imposed was that the contesting projects had to be fully operational and that all necessary information (in French) had to be provided to permit any interested readers to realise their own version of the design.
Project files and associated documentation for Xavier’s module can be found here. The design files contain all information for building the Printed Circuit Board, the mbed source code and the necessary PC software to activate the D-STAR communication. Issue #20, April 2012 of QSP Revue features an article by Xavier providing an explanation about DSTAR protocol, theory of operation, implementation and circuit production. The mbed/D-STAR module roughly 100 Euros.
As shown in the videos, Xavier’s project is fully operational. All aspects of the mbed/Ham contest were upheld: A clearly described project, suitable for many potential users, an exceptionally well documented realization with all necessary resources and a proven fully functional system. Congratulations Xavier!
Last year the contest achieved great innovation of the ARM mbed module from the French speaking ham radio community. Several articles were published in QSP Revue describing the various projects. Thanks to the sponsorship from ARM and Plantronics, the participants have been rewarded for their implementations. The initiative will be going on again this year and will allow global contributions.
Detailed information about the mbed QSP Revue Contest 2012 is published in the February issue. For inspiration, you can read all about last year’s entries, in past editions of QSP Revue and mirroring publications.
Luc Smeesters – Amateur Radio Station : ON4ZI
Managing Director BYTECOM sprl/bvba
Thanks Luc, sounds like last years competition generated some really interesting projects. We encourage all mbed developers to get involved in the competition and look forward to seeing what contestants come up with!
The team are taking part in the Formula Hybrid International Challenge where college and university students to design, build, and compete high-performance hybrid and electric vehicles. He writes about how the THR12 features four independent mbeds: a Control Node, a Human-Computer Interaction Node and two Sensor Nodes all communicating over a CAN Bus.
Great to see mbed being used for such a crucial part of their racecar. We wish them the very best for the race!
Read more about the project on William's blog here
For the past week we have been at Embedded World showcasing some great demos using mbed on the ARM stand. We had two main themes at this years show for mbed - Connecting MCUs to the Cloud and the new mbed NXP LPC11U24 Microcontroller .
We used our IoT application to demonstrate sending real-time sensor data over the internet using HTML5 websockets using multiple network transports. Ethernet, Wi-Fi and even previewed a sensor connected using 3G Mobile Internet - which we'll have more details to follow soon!
We had some good interest in the USB Mouse, USB Keyboard, and USB HID demos we did for the LPC11U24 mbed. A lot of people were impressed at the ease of prototyping USB devices. We're hoping to see a lot more awesome USB device applications developed using mbed!
NXP had the USB Slingshot that we developed on their stand as part of their promotion of the LPC11Uxx MCU family. Lots of feedback about how amazing everyone thought the concept was. At times they had some pretty big crowds around their stand of people wanting to give it a go.
We also developed an NFC demo for NXP using one of their new evaluation kits. Smart payment is making NFC technology quite popular at the moment - but we wanted to show another application for it. We came up with a clever NFCLamp that could have it's colour modified using an NFC-enabled Android - a contact-less lighting controller.
mbed was also featured on some of our partners stands as well. As we mentioned, RS Components announced the Synergy range of breakout boards for the mbed Microcontroller. They previewed the AudioCODEC board and the DisplayBoard, which will be available later this year.
Farnell included the mbed in one of their dev kit display cabinets as well.
We're all a bit exhausted after standing for almost 3 days straight, but it was well worth it. Thanks to Nuremberg for hosting us, we managed to drop by some pretty cool places for a few quiet drinks in the evenings as well.
So it was a pretty good show for us - lots of positive feedback from a lot of visitors. Thanks to the mbed users that came over to say hi as well - it was great to meet you!