The “terrible” 3 cent MCU – a short survey of sub $0.10 microcontrollers

Tim (cpldcpu) writes: Like many others, I was quite amazed to learn about a microcontroller sold for only 0.03 USD via the EEVblog last year. How was this possible? Many assumed this was a fire sale of an old product. Digging a bit further, it became apparent that there is an entire market segment of […]

Arduino interface for TFA9842AJ power amplifier

Dilshan Jayakody writes, “I tested a couple of TFA9842AJ based amplifiers in the last couple of years. The main reason I liked TFA9842AJ is its simple, clean design, wide operating voltage, and high-quality bass-rich audio output.  Thanks to it’s built-in DC volume control circuit this audio amplifier can easily interface with MCU. In this article, […]

Low cost single cell battery pack simulator

Mare writes: There are many battery cell simulators available which could simulate battery cell(s). Unfortunately, none is emulating any of the digital protocols used by fuel gauge devices. Optimal solution to efficiently emulate given smart battery pack is to use custom solution based on battery cell simulator and fuel gauge protocol emulator. Both parts could […]

Development board for PIC16F1938

Raj over at Embedded Lab has designed a development board for PIC16F1938: The PIC16F1938 is a versatile 28-pin MCU belonging to Microchip’s extreme low power microcontroller family featuring nanoWatt XLP technology, 28KB of programming memory, 1KB of RAM, 11 ADC channels, and tons of other peripherals. A while ago, I designed a development board for this MCU and […]

SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform

Allie informs us of TI’s new SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless platform for Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, Sub-1 GHz and ZigBee RF4CE Today, TI is helping manufacturers throw out the battery for their IoT devices with its new SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform. This new wireless MCU family brings a first to the industry, a single-chip […]

App note: Minimizing power consumption when sensing switch inputs

An app note (PDF!) from Renesas  on how to minimize power consumption when sensing switch inputs A switch input is one of the simplest interfaces to an MCU. However, when very low power designs are needed the pullup or pulldown resistor for the switch can draw a significant current. If the switch input is a momentary […]

Defcon 21 video: Hardware hacking with MCUs

At last years Defcon conference in Las Vegas, NV, hardware hackers Joe Grand, Mark ‘Smtty’ Smith, LosT, RenderMan and FirmWarez discussed their experiences in using various microcontrollers. Interesting stuff, particularly If you’re just getting started with electronics and are trying to navigate the sea of available microcontrollers, microprocessors, and modules.

Breakout module for Si7005 temperature and humidity sensor

Raj of Embedded Lab has written up documentation on his  Si7005 breakout board: The Si7005 is a digital relative humidity and temperature sensor from Silicon Labs. It integrates fully factory-calibrated humidity and temperature sensor elements with an analog to digital converter, signal processing and an I2C host interface in a single monolithic CMOS sensor IC. The Si7005 […]

MCU controlled spot welder

Hercules Trapierakis over at Electronics-Lab writes: “This project is a controller for a dual pulse spot welder that has some nice features that are controlled using a LCD interface.” I always wanted a spot welder, so I decided to built one. I wanted to build a capacitance discharge one but I couldn’t afford for the capacitors […]

Breaking copy protection in MCUs: then and now

When you decide to copy protect the firmware on your MCU, how effective are efforts such as setting a lock bit or enabling chip erase modes? Sergei P. Skorobogatov’s article provides an overview of the methods he’s tried against MCUs from various manufacturers. He outlines both invasive and non-invasive techniques such as chip depackaging, microprobing […]