Light Emitting Diodes (or LEDs) are perhaps one of the most overlooked technologies in a prototyping project, pun oh-so-definitely intended. Their functionality is so simple, yet so vital for basic interaction with a board. For today’s iteration of the deltas blog, I’ve grabbed a spec of each available color, and have decided to compare and contrast whatever there is to compare and contrast. Let’s get into it.
Every 2 years, the big guns in the technology world get together and predict what the building blocks of the future shall be. This workgroup is known as the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, and not only do they predict the number of transistors that you’ll be able to ~ahem~ count in a die, they also foresee the challenges to get there. Today, I’d like to take a look at the ITRS’s accelerometer and gyro predictions made in 2011, and compare them against state-of-the-art products.
Why bother with switch-case statements when you can have if-elses instead? After all, they’re easier to code… As with all things engineering, things aren’t that simple.
This past Monday, TI-friendly BeagleBoard announced the newest member to its family of quick prototyping boards, the Beagleboard Black. The deltas blog had already comparedthe BeagleBone against what seems to be the originator of the DIY-computing industry. It only seems fair to update this head-to-head comparison. Shall we?
Once upon a time, information systems’ architects divided memory into temporary storage and permanent storage. Temporary storage allowed for quick access to variables, but suffered from being erased when the power was cut; permanent storage would still be present after power-cycling, but access to data would be slow. The former we know today as RAM; the latter as ROM (or EEPROM, FLASH, or just simply as a hard drive). Well, guess what? The hard line between temporary and permanent storage is quickly becoming thinner.
Not three years ago, when thinking of a new electronics project, you had to plan for some breadboard configuration time where you were going to figure out how to hook-up the microcontroller of your choice to whatever signals were coming in. Personally, I always thought of this stage of a bit of a pain: “High” frequency signals would pollute other signals, devices would need to be either on daughter cards or have the right package to be hooked-up correctly… Arduino development boards changed that forever. The Raspberry Pi made it official. And now, others are jumping into the bandwagon. Today: APC’s Rock vs. what has become the baseline of low-power, low-cost, semi-custom computing, the Raspberry-Pi.
The writing is on the wall. NXP and Freescale have both ARM Cortex-M0+ that are advertised as the future for low-end microcontrollers. NXP’s LPC800 family’s web-page boldly states that the family is suited for “8/16-bit applications.” How true is it? Why not compare one of these next-gen low-cost MCUs against a well known contender in the arena, namely the MSP430?
Without question, the ARM architecture is the market tendency for microcontrollers. More and more, we find companies that own microcontroller architecture IP licensing ARM cores and developing their own solutions around them. The push is clearly towards 32-bit based solutions, and we can observe a tendency to leave 8- and 16-bit solutions behind. For today’s entry, the deltas blog will go completely counter-culture, and get rid of as many bits as possible. Today, we compare 4-bit MCUs!
No matter how much music lovers might want to fight it, we live in a digital world. Data integrity is becoming more and more important everyday. In almost any application, the system (whatever that may be) needs to be able to at least detect if there has been some kind of bit corruption. Enter Cyclic Redundancy Check. When seen as a black box, all CRC’s are equal in the sense that they must return the same result. However, not all implementations are the same.
Serial communication has been around since, well, forever. In this iteration, I’d like to really go old-school and compare and contrast two of the oldest serial protocols that are still around today: RS-232 and RS-422. Let’s get to it.