Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

In this Crowd Supply update, Kevin Neubauer describes project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe:

Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

Here is a handy list of project ideas that CircuitBrains could be used in:

  • Attach some sensors and make an environmental monitor
  • Home automation sensor brains
  • Hook it into some stepper drivers and move some motors
  • Add an antenna circuit and use it to send or receive RF data
  • Do some 3D printing around CircuitBrains and a servo to dispense hand sanitizer
  • Use the DAC on it to produce some sound through an amplifier
  • Build a reflow oven with a PID and a solid state relay
  • Attach it to a computer and use it as a HID device
  • Attach a couple buttons and a display and make a scoreboard for a game
  • Make an electronic badge
  • Make a digital alarm clock
  • Build a quirky random number generator
  • Add a GPS breakout and capture positioning data
  • Add a display and a couple of buttons and make a retro game system
  • Add a liquid flow meter, hook it onto a sink or toilet and record how much water you use
The board is a tiny, CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module:
Screenshot from 2020-04-09 12-47-51

 

Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

An update from our Dorkbot PDX friend, Piotr Esden:

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

iCEBreaker Production

As you read in our last update in November, we finished fulfilling the campaign, but that does not mean work on iCEBreaker has stopped. We keep producing iCEBreakers and Pmods to keep 1BitSquared US and 1BitSquared DE, as well as Crowd Supply and Mouser, stocked.

For those of you who are patiently waiting for your shipments, don’t worry. A package with additional inventory is going out to the Mouser warehouse today!

Continuing Work on iCEBreaker

We are continuing work on new examples and additional iCEBreaker hardware. If you are not following 1BitSquared or Piotr on Twitter, you might have missed some stuff that Piotr is working on. Since January, Piotr started streaming on Twitch on a fairly regular basis. You can follow him on Twitch and be notified every time he goes live. Piotr is also announcing upcoming streams at least a day in advance on Twitter as well as on the 1BitSquared Patreon page.

As a result of the Twitch streams, we’ve had a few interesting new developments for the iCEBreaker platform. A few weeks ago, we published Litex RISC-V SOC generation examples that you can find in the iCEBreaker GitHub Organization. Piotr gave a Twitch stream presentation about the build system and how to use it. You can watch the stream Archive on Twitchdiode.zone, and YouTube. This example gives you the foundation to create your own SOC for the iCEBreaker, start adding your custom hardware to the RISC-V core, and program it in C or Rust. We are also working on MicroPython and maybe even CircuitPython support in the not too distant future.

Upcoming Twitch Stream

Piotr has scheduled a Twitch Stream for Tuesday, April 13th, 2020 at noon PDT. He will be working on a new Pmod for the iCEBreaker that will allow us to connect NES or SNES controllers from two very popular 8-bit game entertainment systems. 😉 That same Pmod will also contain a stereo audio output. This Pmod together with a DVI output, LED Panel output or VGA output will be an ideal combination to recreate old or build new custom game consoles and a wide range of emulations, for entertainment, preservation, and education.

electronics-lets-play-stream

If you are curious when the stream will happen in your timezone you can either check on Twitch itself, as there is a countdown timer till the next stream below the video streaming window, or you can check timeanddate.com.

Keep Supporting our iCEBreaker work

If you like to see continuing work and content creation for the iCEBreaker platform, and you already have all the hardware you need, then consider supporting us through Patreon. We keep adding perks for Patrons, like KiCad panel templates and behind the scenes news. We have a few very generous supporters that make the Twitch streams possible, but any additional support is appreciated.

Stay in Touch

And don’t forget, the continuing development and support for iCEBreaker keeps on rolling on the 1BitSquared Discord server, and iCEBreaker forum! So join the fun and show off your iCEBreaker projects! 🙂

Stay safe and healthy,
Piotr and Danika

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

CircuitBrains Deluxe launches on Crowd Supply

A tiny, CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module  Kevin Neubauer has launched on Crowd Supply:
Screenshot from 2020-04-09 12-47-51

CircuitBrains Deluxe

Easily Add a Powerful Microcontroller To Your Next Project

CircuitBrains Deluxe is the smallest soldererable ATSAMD51 module. Skip on all the tedious work of adding a 32-bit microcontroller to your next project. We’ve taken care of the tough work of pin mappings, power & decoupling layout, clock, flash, assembly, bootloader, and firmware. All you need to do is drop a footprint into your next PCB design project, connect your peripherals and USB connector, then solder it on and write your code.

Just Solder It On

Save time and frustration on your next project. We’ve taken care of the finicky fine-pitch surface mount assembly for you. CircuitBrains comes in an easy-to-solder castellated module format. You can either incorporate it into your project PCB design, or solder wires directly to it via the extra holes in each castellated pad. We’ve also made it easier to hand solder these modules by including a larger “hand solder” PCB footprint for your design.

Add Some Power to Your Project

The core of CircuitBrains Deluxe is the Microchip ATSAMD51J19 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller, which can run up to 120 MHz. In addition to a powerful microcontroller, each CircuitBrains Deluxe module has 8 MB of Quad SPI flash onboard. You’ll have plenty of space for your project code and media files.

Easy to Program

CircuitBrains comes preloaded with CircuitPython. Who doesn’t love Python on microcontrollers? Plug your device into USB, modify your code, and see the changes take effect as soon as you hit Save.

Small Form Factor

CircuitBrains Deluxe won’t take up a lot of space. It was designed to be used in small projects. At just over 1 square inch (29 mm), there aren’t many places this thing won’t fit into.

CircuitBrains Deluxe launches on Crowd Supply

CircuitBrains Deluxe coming to Crowd Supply

The CircuitBrains Deluxe, a CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module, by Kevin Neubauer is coming to Crowd Supply:

microchip-circuitbrains-hero-edit_jpg_project-main

CircuitBrains Deluxe

CircuitBrains Deluxe is a 1 in² ARM Cortex-M4 module with castellated edges and through holes. This configuration allows you to design a CircuitPython project without having to worry about complex microcontroller board layout, flash storage, bootloader, or firmware. “Just add solder”. It’s even small enough for wearables.

cbdeluxe-front-back-01_png_project-body

Specifications

  • Microcontroller: Atmel ATSAMD51J19 Microcontroller (32-bit ARM Cortex-M4)
    • 120 MHz
    • 192 KB SRAM
    • 512 KB flash
  • Memory: 8 MB SPI flash on module
  • Power: Onboard 3.3 V LDO regulator
  • I/O
    • Dedicated breakouts for SPI and I²C
    • 13 analog I/O broken out
    • 19 digital I/O broken out
  • Form-factor:
    • Castellated edges for direct PCB mounting
    • 29 x 29 x 3.5 millimeters / 1.15 x 1.15 x 0.15 inches
  • Indication: Power and status LEDs

 

CircuitBrains Deluxe coming to Crowd Supply

Open Laptop Soon to be Open For Business

How better to work on Open Source projects than to use a Libre computing device? But that’s a hard goal to accomplish. If you’re using a desktop computer, Libre software is easily achievable, though keeping your entire software stack free of closed source binary blobs might require a little extra work. But if you want a laptop, your options are few indeed. Lucky for us, there may be another device in the mix soon, because [Lukas Hartmann] has just about finalized the MNT Reform.

Since we started eagerly watching the Reform a couple years ago the hardware world has kept turning, and the Reform has improved accordingly. The i.MX6 series CPU is looking a little peaky now that it’s approaching end of life, and the device has switched to a considerably more capable – but no less free – i.MX8M paired with 4 GB of DDR4 on a SODIMM-shaped System-On-Module. This particular SOM is notable because the manufacturer freely provides the module schematics, making it easy to upgrade or replace in the future. The screen has been bumped up to a 12.5″ 1080p panel and steps have been taken to make sure it can be driven without blobs in the graphics pipeline.

via Open Laptop Soon to be Open For Business — Hackaday

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CircuitBrains Deluxe packs CircuitPython into 1 square inc

Kevin Neubauer designed this tiny module that makes it easy to add CircuitPython to a project:

CB-Deluxe-Diagonal_800x800

CircuitBrains Deluxe

CircuitPython on an ARM Cortex M4 in almost 1 square inch! This “Just Add Solder” castellated module is perfect for incorporating into your own project. The CircuitBrains Deluxe board footprint is small enough to fit into narrow spaces and wearable projects.

Rolling your own microcontroller board is time consuming. You have to make sure your design has proper power, decoupling, flash storage, and clock. Then you source all of the parts. After that you lay out the PCB and have it fabricated. When the PCB and parts arrive, you have to deal with finicky small-pitch surface mount assembly. Finally, you need to download the sources for the UF2 bootloader and CircuitPython and define your board, compile, and flash. CircuitBrains Deluxe aims to save makers and hackers some time & frustration. Using it in your project is as simple as importing the footprint libraries, adding those libraries to your schematic and layout (along with your USB port of choice), and soldering it on once your board arrives.

Kevin is aiming to launch a Crowd Supply campaign soon:

CircuitBrains Deluxe packs CircuitPython into 1 square inc

Teardown 2020: hardware hacking con in Portland this June

Teardown 2020, the hardware hacking conference organized by Crowd Supply, will be June 19-21 at PCC Cascade in beautiful Portland, Oregon!

Screenshot from 2020-01-25 11-04-12

Teardown 2020

Teardown is about the practice of hardware: prototyping, manufacturing, testing, disassembling, and circumventing, all while having fun. Leave the marketing glitz and talk of venture capital at the door and come prepared to learn and teach.

Helen Leigh wrote a great Hackaday post about what happened at Teardown 2019!

Teardown 2020: hardware hacking con in Portland this June

iCEBreaker, The Open Source Development Board for FPGAs

From  on the Hackaday blog:

iCEBreaker, The Open Source Development Board for FPGAs

The Hackaday Superconference is over, which is a shame, but one of the great things about our conference is the people who manage to trek out to Pasadena every year to show us all the cool stuff they’re working on. One of those people was [Piotr Esden-Tempski], founder of 1 Bit Squared, and he brought some goodies that would soon be launched on a few crowdfunding platforms. The coolest of these was the iCEBreaker, an FPGA development kit that makes it easy to learn FPGAs with an Open Source toolchain.

The hardware for the iCEBreaker includes the iCE40UP5K fpga with 5280 logic cells,, 120 kbit of dual-port RAM, 1 Mbit of single-port RAM, and a PLL, two SPIs and two I2Cs. Because the most interesting FPGA applications include sending bits out over pins really, really fast, there’s also 16 Megabytes of SPI Flash that allows you to stream video to a LED matrix. There are enough logic cells here to synthesize a CPU, too, and already the iCEBreaker can handle the PicoRV32, and some of the RISC-V cores. Extensibility is through PMOD connectors, and yes, there’s also an HDMI output for your vintage computing projects.

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Teardown 2018 session videos

Teardown: Portland 2018 session videos

Between the talks, workshops, presentations, demos, and installations at Teardown 2018, there was a lot of intense information to absorb at once. Luckily, we were able to record some of the speakers doing their thing so attendees could reflect back and those who weren’t able to come physically are still able to participate. Videos are embedded in the sessions page. Here are shortcuts to each video:

Teardown 2018 session videos