Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash is no longer the stuff of headlines. Consumer markets are chasing the latest nodes and densities in Multi Level Cell (MLC), Tri-Level Cell (TLC), or the up and coming 3D NAND memories, leaving SLC NAND to the smaller “high reliability” market. However, in the world of embedded systems where product life cycles are measured in decades rather than years, SLC NAND is still in heavy use. Despite continued use in applications requiring long life or high-reliability solutions, NAND manufacturers have quietly made changes to their SLC NAND offerings that have slowly decreased the endurance of SLC NAND. Continue reading “SLC NAND: Secrets Exposed”
I’d like to take a moment to shine some light on an area of our business that is generally unthought of and under appreciated — packaging and shipping. The stuff that happens to get your product from the shelf to your doorstep. If you’ve ever received a package from us, I think you’ll fully agree that great pride and care has been put into the packaging to ensure your product arrives undamaged. The packing department has obviously learned quite a lot over the course of 35+ years of business and developed a fantastic process for creating robust packaging. They’ve thought of everything from perfectly sized, double-walled boxes and foam lining down to extra heavy duty packaging tape. Before moving on, let’s take a moment to really appreciate the time and attention the packing department puts into it. The team truly deserves it and I’m genuinely impressed every time I get a package from them. The Amazon smile packages got nothing on them!
Technology has become more than just a battle of sheer numbers. It has somewhat morphed into a “less is more” philosophy to see what’s possible with less. We pitted these three ARM CPUs together to find out if there are any positive impacts to using a slower clock speed CPU:
What we found is very promising in that in most tests, the 696 MHz i.MX 6UltraLite provided a huge advantage over the 800 MHz PXA166 and even the 1066 MHz PXA168. Let’s take a quick look at our findings.
Servos are a ubiquitous and versatile part of everyday electronic gadgetry. From unlocking doors to dropping a soda out of the vending machine, nearly anywhere a computer needs motion you will probably find a servo. Servo control is an important trick in any embedded systems software engineer’s repertoire.
The TS-7180 SBC makes a conveniently apt servo controller, however there are some caveats that might surprise the uninitiated.
The basis of this project is to provide a solution to any resource monitoring applications that involve sharing a limited resource for increased productivity or throughput optimizing. The solution involves use of a single board computer to monitor remote sensor nodes, manage a queue for any assets waiting to use the resource, and notifying the assets. This specific example is monitoring and managing a queue for use of company bathrooms and notifying employees when they become available. Employees can subscribe to the bathroom status using SMS text messaging and become alerted when it’s available and their next in the queue. The code, schematics, and documentation in this practical (and entertaining) example will allow for better time management of resources in a variety of serious applications (human resources, assembly lines, industry, etc.).
Radiation tolerance, power efficiency, and fast write performance also characterize F-RAM non-volatile storage technology.
Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (F-RAM) is a non-volatile storage technology that offers low power, fast write performance, and a greater write endurance when compared to EEPROM or flash technologies. For example, the write endurance of F-RAM from Cypress Semiconductor is 10^14 (100 trillion) write cycles. Presuming the device takes 4 ms to rewrite every cell, it would take a minimum of 126 years for a failure to occur. However, EEPROM and NOR Flash have write endurance of just 10^6 (1 million) write cycles. Additionally, F-RAM data retention is very robust, supporting a minimum of 10 years, and more than 121 years of data retention at + 85 °C, depending on the individual product.
The high-speed nature of the device combined with its non-volatility and data retention makes this memory device useful in many applications. The F-RAM used in Technologic Systems’ products is an AT25 compatible SPI device. The TS-7553-V2 board support package implements the F-RAM as an extra EEPROM-like memory and presents the whole device as a flat file.
I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes
Green-thumbed techno junkies rejoice! For today, we’re going to take an introductory, prototype look at what it takes to digitally monitor the soil moisture content of a common houseplant so we know when to water it. We’re talking about using a single board computer to read from a soil moisture sensor from an Analog to Digital Convertor (ADC) and toggle an indicator LED using Digital Input and Output (DIO). Specifically, we’re going to be using a TS-7250-V2, but this guide can apply to many different boards.
As you may have seen in my TS-7970 Home Security Systems video on YouTube, I took a TS-7970 quad core single board computer and built it into my very own home security system using the open source software Zoneminder. This product works very well for the two camera system that I have hooked up. In case you didn’t get a chance to see the video, I wanted a security system that was cost effective and still worked well with the capability to expand if I so desired. I was referred to Zoneminder by a good friend and coworker of mine. Since I work at Technologic Systems I thought it would be cool to be able to use one of our boards to build up this camera system. After getting approval to use one of our boards my journey began on making my very own security system a reality.
This practical guide gives us an opportunity to take a relaxed approach to getting started with the TS-4100 computer. We’re going to take a look at how to make our first connections, and setup the network. These are usually the first things we do before starting development. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a friendlier extrapolation from the official TS-4100 manual, so be sure to keep it handy for more advanced topics and specific details. The only assumption being made is that you’ve purchased the TS-4100 with a development kit, including the pre-programmed microSD card and TS-8551 reference board. Right then, let’s get started!
This practical guide gives us an opportunity to take a relaxed approach to getting started with the TS-7800-V2 single board computer. We’re going to take a look at how to make our first connections, and setup the network. These are usually the first things we do before starting development. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a friendlier extrapolation from the official TS-7800-V2 manual, so be sure to keep it handy for more advanced topics and specific details. The only assumption being made is that you’ve purchased the TS-7800-V2 with a development kit, including the pre-programmed microSD card and necessary cables.
For you TS-7800 users upgrading to the TS-7800-V2, you’re in for a treat. There’s a migration guide specifically created to help you with some of the nuances in upgrading. For this, take a look at the “Migration Path” section of the TS-7800-V2 Manual.
When you’ve finished, be sure take a look at PWM Primer with the TS-7800-V2. Good stuff there about working with dimming LEDs and controlling servo motors.