Tag Archives: ATWINC1500

Atmel wireless connectivity supports industrial IoT revolution


The BTLC1000 exhibits the lowest BLE power consumption in the industry.


With both this year’s CES and Embedded World now behind us, it’ll be interesting to see which of the gadgets unveiled during these shows find a way to market — some will go to production, others won’t. I am skeptic about the smart shoe offering self-fastening mechanism… And during these two weeks, the IoT revolution has silently progressed in industrial automation. (You will be surprised if you read some very serious white papers extracted from the Internet of Things series published by Bosch.)

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While attendees flocked to Vegas, progresses were made in industrial automation thanks to hard work being done in Germany. In fact, these two worlds — consumer oriented and industrial — are both relying on wireless connectivity, including products from Atmel: the ATWILC1000, ATWILC1500 or ATWILC3000 supporting Wi-Fi and ATBLC1000 supporting BTLE 4.1,which  was recently crowned “Product of the Year” from Electronic Products.

According to Bosch’s white paper “Leveraging the Internet of Things: Companies can streamline business processes for stakeholders across the extended enterprise,” we realize that Bosch’s managers have brainstormed about the IoT to extract the added business value for the enterprise, like for example, “in manufacturing, data automatically collected from smart and connected products, give companies meaningful feedback as to how products should be reengineered, and provides opportunities for additional revenue through selling services.”

In order to become smart and connected, industrial products need to integrate either a Wi-Fi connection supported by ATWINC1500, or a Bluetooth supported by the very tiny (see above) ATBTLC1000.

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Shows the requirements for scalability on two current customer PoCs at Bosch Software Innovations. These PoCs start in year one with a very low umber of connected devices and sensors. However, in a short space of time, they scale massively upward for commercial launch and rollout.

From the above graphic, extracted from another white paper from Bosch, “Realizing the connected world-how to choose the right IoT platform,” we can derive two crucial information. The first is the fact that IoT is already a reality in the industrial market segment, not really known to be fashion driven like could be consumer electronic. The second information is about scalability. In both examples, the number of connected devices was very low, but in a short space of time they scale massively, reaching 500k devices for the first and up to 3 million for the other. A single industrial automation application can generate a very good semiconductor business, including sensors, MCU and wireless connectivity device. In our previous blog, we have investigated the ATWINCxx00 family bringing Wi-Fi connectivity to any embedded design. Let’s take a look at the award winner ATBTLC1000 device supporting BT 4.1 connectivity.

Atmel's BTLC1000

The BTLC1000 is an ultra-low power Bluetooth SMART (BLE 4.1) SoC with an integrated ARM Cortex-M0 MCU, a transceiver, a modem, MAC, PA, TR Switch, and a power management unit (PMU). It can be used as a BLE link controller or data pump with external host MCU, or as a standalone applications processor with embedded BLE connectivity and external memory. If we look at the key features list:

  • BLE4.1 compliant SoC and protocol stack
  • Lowest BLE power consumption in industry
  • Smallest BLE 4.1 SoC — Available in WLCSP (2.26×2.14mm) or QFN ( 32p 4×4 mm)
  • Optimized system cost — High level of integration on chip reduces external Bill of Material significantly
  • Wide operating Voltage range — 1.8 – 4.3V
  • Host Interface — SPI or UART
  • Certified modules — FCC, ETSI/CE, TELEC
  • Enterprise Development support & tools with the ATBTLC1000 Xplained Pro

The main reasons why the Atmel BTLC1000 has won the Electronic Design award are power, cost and certification. This chip not only exhibits the lowest BLE power consumption in the industry, it’s also the smallest BLE 4.1 SoC (see picture) offering optimized system cost, thanks to high level of integration. If companies like Bosch supporting industrial automation segment for years (if not centuries) start to be seriously involved into smart connected IoT systems, no doubt that ATBTLC1000 and ATWILC1000 devices have a bright future…


This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Eric Esteve is a principle blogger and one of the four founding members of the site. This blog first appeared on SemiWiki on January 10, 2016.

Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi combines a SAM D21 and ATWINC1500


Oh my, an Adafruit Feather with Wi-Fi! 


Makers, meet the Adafruit Feather M0 WiFiAs its name would suggest, the all-new board is Adafruit’s latest take on an Arduino-compatible, ‘all-in-one’ platform with high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, USB support and a built-in battery charger.

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Equipped with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 and ATWINC1500 SoC at its core, Makers will find it super simple to connect their Feathers to the Internet. The 802.11bgn-capable Wi-Fi module is the ideal add-on to existing MCU solutions bringing wireless and network capabilities through UART or SPI-to-Wi-Fi interface.

“This module works with 802.11b, g, or n networks and supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption,” Adafruit writes. “The datasheet says it can do Soft-AP mode but we don’t have any code to actually use that. You can clock it as fast as 12MHz for speedy, reliable packet streaming. And scanning/connecting to networks is very fast, a few seconds.”

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The ATSAMD21G18 Cortex-M0+ processor at its heart — which is the same chip used in the new Arduino Zero — is clocked at 48MHz and at 3.3V logic. It boasts a whopping 256K of Flash (eight times more than the Atmega328 or 32u4) and 32K of RAM (16 times as much). The MCU comes with native USB, as well as a USB bootloader and serial port debugging.

With portability in mind, Adafruit has included a connector for any 3.7V LiPo battery along with an integrated charger. Even without a battery, it will run just fine via microUSB. The Feather will even automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available.

“We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” Adafruit writes.

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The ‘M0 WiFi features a similar form factor as many of its other Feathers, measuring 2.1″ x 0.9″ x 0.3” in size and weighing 6.1 grams. (Note, however, that it is 0.1″ longer than its siblings.) Beyond that, the board has 20 GPIO pins with eight PWM pins, 10 analog inputs, a single analog output, a power/enable pin, four mounting holes and a reset button. Plus, there are a couple of LEDs and is compatible with a wide range of FeatherWings, including OLED, NeoPixels, servos, relays, seven-segment displays, etc.

Have any more questions? Watch below as Lady Ada herself unveils the Feather M0 WiFi, or stay tuned on its page here.

 

Adafruit’s new breakout board will connect your Arduino to the Internet


This 802.11bgn-capable module is the best new thing for networking your devices, with SSL support and rock solid performance.


Makers wishing to connect their Arduino Zero (or Uno) to the Internet can now do so with Adafruit’s new ATWINC1500 Wi-Fi Breakout Board.

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The ATWINC1500 found at its core is the ideal add-on to existing MCU solutions bringing wireless and network capabilities through UART or SPI-to-Wi-Fi interface. The Wi-Fi module features a fully-integrated power amplifier, LNA, switch and power management, as well as internal Flash memory.

“This 802.11bgn-capable WiFi module is the best new thing for networking your devices, with SSL support and rock solid performance — running our Adafruit.io MQTT demo for a full weekend straight with no hiccups (it would have run longer but we had to go to work, so we unplugged it),” Adafruit explains. “We like these so much, they’ve completely replaced the CC3000 module on all our projects.”

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The Adafruit ATWINC1500 Wi-Fi Breakout uses SPI to communicate, and supports a range of security protocols including WEP, WPA and WPA2, TLS and SSL encryption.

“Right now the Atmel-supplied library works great with Arduino Zero, and seems to work OK on Uno but may not work on other Arduinos. You can clock it as fast as 12MHz for speedy, reliable packet streaming. And scanning/connecting to networks is very fast, a few seconds,” Adafruit adds.

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Since this is the Adafruit crew’s new favorite SPI-protocol Wi-Fi module, and rightfully so, they’ve gone ahead and created a little breakout for it. This 1.3″ x 1.1″ x 0.16” board comes with level shifting on all the input pins so you can use it with 3V or 5V logic, a 3.3V voltage regulator, and a trio of LEDs that can be controlled either over the SPI interface (part of the library code) or by the Arduino library. They’ll light up when hooked up to an SSID, or transmitting data.

Interested? Head over to Adafruit’s official page to get your $24.95 board today!

Why connect to the cloud with the Atmel | SMART SAM W25?


The “thing” of IoT does not have to necessarily be tiny. 


The Atmel | SMART SAM W25 is, in fact, a module — a “SmartConnect Module.” As far as I am concerned, I like SmartConnect designation and I think it could be used to describe any IoT edge device. The device is “smart” as it includes a processing unit, which in this case is an ARM Cortex-M0-based SAMD21G, and “connect” reminds the Internet part of the IoT definition. Meanwhile, the ATWINC1500 SoC supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n allowing seamless connection to the cloud.

What should we expect from an IoT edge device? It should be characterized by both low cost and power! This IoT system is probably implemented multiple times, either in a factory (industrial) or in a house (home automation), and the cost should be as low as possible to enable large dissemination. I don’t know the SAMD21G ASP, but I notice that it’s based on the smallest MCU core of the ARM Cortex-M family, so the cost should be minimal (my guess). Atmel claims the W25 module to be “fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”… sounds like ultra low-power, doesn’t it?

Atmel claims the W25 module to be “Fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”…sounds like being ultra low-power, isn’t it

The “thing” of IoT does not necessarily have to be tiny. We can see in the above example that interconnected things within the industrial world can be as large as these wind turbines (courtesy of GE). To maximize efficiency in power generation and distribution, the company has connected these edge devices to the cloud where the software analytics allow wind farm operators to optimize the performance of the turbines, based on environmental conditions. According with GE, “Raising the turbines’ efficiency can increase the wind farm’s annual energy output by up to 5%, which translates in a 20% increase in profitability.” Wind turbines are good for the planet as they allow avoiding burning fossil energy. IoT devices implementation allows wind farm operators to increase their profitability and to build sustainable business. In the end, thanks to Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT), we all benefit from less air pollution and more affordable power!

ATSAMW25 Block-DiagramThe ATWINC1500 is a low-power Systems-on-Chip (SoC) that brings Wi-Fi connectivity to any embedded design. In the example above, this SoC is part of a certified module, the ATSAMW25, for embedded designers seeking to integrate Wi-Fi into their system. If we look at the key features list:

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) for up to 72 Mbps
  • Integrated PA and T/R switch
  • Superior sensitivity and range via advanced PHY signal processing
  • Wi-Fi Direct, station mode and Soft-AP support
  • Supports IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA
  • On-chip memory management engine to reduce host load
  • 4MB internal Flash memory with OTA firmware upgrade
  • SPI, UART and I2C as host interfaces
  • TCP/IP protocol stack (client/server) sockets applications
  • Network protocols (DHCP/DNS), including secure TLS stack
  • WSC (wireless simple configuration WPS)
  • Can operate completely host-less in most applications

We can notice that host interfaces allow direct connection to device I/Os and sensors through SPI, UART, I2C and ADC interfaces and can also operate completely host-less. A costly device is then removed from the BOM which can enable economic feasibility for an IoT, or IIoT edge device.

The low-power Wi-Fi certified module is currently employed in industrial systems supporting applications, such as transportation, aviation, healthcare, energy or lighting, as well as in IoT areas like home appliances and consumer electronics. For all these use cases, certification is a must-have feature, but low-cost and ultra-low power are the economic and technical enablers.


This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Eric Esteve is a principle blogger and one of the four founding members of the site. This blog first appeared on SemiWiki on November 15, 2015.

Nuvap N1 detects health hazards in your home


A safer home and a healthier you. 


Being the bearer of bad news is difficult, especially when it brings vexation, but did you know that in the comfort of your own home, you are exposed to the leading environmental risk factor for death and disability in the world? What’s more startling is that it’s an invisible threat: household air pollution. The good news is that Italian company Nuvap has taken on the feat in creating a clean home energy solution to monitor air pollutants and further protect your health.

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Nuvap N1 is the first device with international patented technology, specific for monitoring the main sources of indoor pollution. With N1, Nuvap hopes to achieve its goal in providing people with an open and user-friendly gadget that can detect risks in one’s environment and recommend the solutions.

N1 can monitor up to 24 different environmental parameters such as electromagnetic pollution, radon gas, radioactivity (ionizing radiations), carbon monoxide, methane, noise and water pollution (through outside filters), temperature, humidity, air quality, fine dust, fire and smoke presence and more. The unit works by transmitting this data over Wi-Fi to the Nuvap platform, which provides real-time alerts on your home’s air quality.

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Using its accompanying mobile app, N1 remotely informs you of simple precautions to improve home living. Some useful features are: detecting fires or gas leaks, or helping you choose the best position for your beds to avoid exposure to dangerous electromagnetic sources while sleeping.

What’s more, N1 will even notify you locally through a series of LED lights that constantly reveal the quality of your surroundings: green is ideal, yellow brings attention to one or more pollutants, and red signifies danger. Whenever you feel like it, simply touch the device’s top button and it will provide an audible message about its findings over the last 24 hours.

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In terms of hardware, N1 boasts a 100 MHz 32-bit CPU at its core with 2 MB of Flash, 4 MB of SDRAM and 1GB of storage, along with an ATWINC1500 Wi-Fi module for connectivity. It runs off a 5V power supply and a 2200mAh battery.

Ready to “know your home and protect your health?” N1 is now available for purchase, starting at $499.

The Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 is now available


This Wi-Fi shield is based on the ATWINC1500 module, and wirelessly connects your Arduino to the Internet.


A year after breaking the news at Maker Faire New York, the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 is now available for purchase on the Arduino Store.

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The low-cost ($49.90) shield is an easy-to-use extension that can be seamlessly attached to any Arduino or Genuino board enabling high-performance Wi-Fi connectivity. This device provides the design community with more opportunities to securely connect their IoT applications, ranging from consumer goods to wearables and robotics.

“In this increasingly connected world, the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 will help drive more inventions in the IoT market,” Massimo Banzi explained. “Expanding our portfolio of Arduino extensions, this new shield can flawlessly connect to any modern Arduino board giving our community more options for connectivity, along with added security elements to their creative projects.”

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The Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 makes connecting with a wireless network super simple, with no further configuration in addition to the SSID and password required. What’s more, it comes with an easy-to-follow Wi-Fi library that allows you to write sketches that link to the Internet using the shield.

The board itself is based on the Atmel SmartConnect WINC1500 module, compliant with the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standard. This network controller features an integrated TCP/IP stack, TLS security and SoftAP for seamless provisioning. On top of that, the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 boasts an ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication chip for enhanced security.

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It should be noted that this is the first Arduino product fully supporting SSL, as well as all the communication between your board and their secured server. With the power of the Arduino Zero (SAMD21) and the Wi-Fi Shield 101, Makers can now develop secure IoT applications using the highly popular Arduino Language.

“A working example and instructions on how to get started are available on Arduino Cloud, a work-in-progress project that gives you access to a pre-configured MQTT server for your IoT sketches using only your Arduino account. More examples and features will be available in the next months,” Arduino adds.

Interested? Head over to the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101’s official page here.

Building a realtime temperature sensor with Atmel and PubNub


PubNub’s Bhavana Srinivas demonstrates how to build a realtime temperature sensor with PubNub and Atmel.


With the buzzword being Internet of Things (IoT), PubNub recently wanted to build something simple, yet powerful, that could extend beyond the hackerspace and be applied to the real world. It had to combine software and hardware, and allow people at home to build it and try it themselves.

Arduino came to mind, but seeing as though the team has already written a great deal of realtime tutorials using the Arduino board, they sought out to try something a bit different. Instead, the group decided upon employing Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Xplained Pro and PubNub to devise a realtime temperature sensor.

Project Overview

The Atmel temperature sensor monitors temperatures and streams the data to a live-updating dashboard, in realtime, anywhere in the world. The temperature sensor measures the ambient temperature and publishes it as a data stream to a channel via the PubNub Data Stream Network. A web browser that subscribes to this channel displays the data stream on a live visualization dashboard.

The Concept

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  • The Atmel I/O1 Xplained Pro sensor measures the ambient temperature.
  • This connects to the Wi-Fi using the ATWINC1500 module.
  • The PubNub code running on the Atmel chip enabled the team to publish the temperature in realtime to anyone subscribing to the same channel as a data stream.
  • Through the PubNub Developer Console, you can receive this stream of information from as many sensors as you like in realtime.

What Will You Need?

Hardware

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Software

  • Windows PC
  • To get your unique pub/sub keys, you’ll first need to sign up for a PubNub account. Once you sign up, you can get your unique PubNub keys in the PubNub Developer Dashboard. PubNub’s free Sandbox tier should give you all the bandwidth you need to build and test your messaging app with the web messaging API.
  • Install Atmel Studio 6.2
  • Install updates to Atmel Studio as suggested during installation
  • Install terminal software like putty or teraterm

A prerequisite is that you upgrade the firmware for SAMD21 using the .bat file provided with the PubNub Atmel example before you run this demo. Make sure no other software like putty or teraterm is using the com port). Close Atmel Studio and the putty terminal. The firmware upgrade is successful if you see a PASS sign on the terminal after running the code.

Connecting the Hardware, the Right Way

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  • Connect WINC1500 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT1
  • Connect I/O1 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT2
  • Connect OLED1 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT3
  • Connect SAMD21 XPRO to a free USB port on your PC (make sure no other USB port on your PC is in use)
  • Connect the power to the port that says “DEBUG USB”

The Software

Open the PubNub example: pubnubAtmel/PubNub_EXAMPLE.atsln (included in the code download) in Atmel Studio and you will see the following page. Make sure you choose the debugger/programmer and interface as shown below.

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Include the following lines in pubnubAtmel/src/main.h:

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#define TEST_MODE_SSID “Enter-your-SSID” (choose THE Wi-Fi access point you want the chip to connect to)
#define TEST_MODE_PASSWORD “Enter-the password-for-the-SSID” (enter the password for the same Wi-Fi connection)
#define TEST_MODE_WITHOUT_PROVISION

In pubnubAtmel/src/main.c, add the channel name and pub, sub keys.

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Build (F7 / Build -> build solution), run(continue/ green arrow/ F5/ debug -> continue).

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Open PubNub Developer Console, use the same channel name and pub,sub keys as in the code and SUBSCRIBE.If all is well, you should see a constant stream of messages in the following format: {“columns”:[[“temperature”,”55.00″]]}

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From there, the PubNub crew was able to collect and stream temperature data in realtime. But what’s next, you ask? Well, they needed to do something with that data, right? Visualize it!

Visualizing the Data Stream

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Bhavana and the PubNub bunch didn’t just want to display raw data off the sensor as a live-updating number; instead, their partner-in-crime Tomomi built the beautiful temperature visualization, which mocks nursery or greenhouse monitor (a typical realworld use case for realtime temperature sensors).

The interface runs in the browser, and the technology behind is quite simple, using PubNub JavaScript APIs to subscribe the data sent from the Atmel chip. It’s simple, lightweight, built entirely in JavaScript, and accessible from anywhere in the world with any kind of device – mobile phones, tablets, and any smart device, as long as you have a web browser. The main purpose behind this is to present information in most efficient manner without losing its accuracy.

In this scenario, the UI shows the current temperature, also a simple line graph, updating in realtime so that you can tell the relative changes of the temperature, raising and dropping. This particular data is simple, but when you have multiple, more complicated data, data visualization plays more crucial role.

Go Conquer IoT

This demo is read-only and reads the ambient temperature, but in reality, you want to develop products that lets your users monitor and control, i.e, bidirectional communication between devices. For instance, if you have a smart A/C, not only monitoring the current room temperature, but you need to make it controllable from a remote devices.

“With the power of PubNub APIs, you can achieve this with no hassle. I hope I am leaving you guys with enough excitement to try this demo out, and also build cooler ones,” Bhavana concludes.

In the meantime, be sure to follow our friends at PubNub and Bhavana Srinivas on Twitter!