mbed Blog

Say hello to NXP Freedom boards

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Exciting things are happening at NXP. Last year’s merger with Freescale brought together a robust portfolio of development boards, software and tools. NXP and Freescale were the first two semiconductor companies to embrace the ARM mbed platform and we are excited about the future for ARM mbed with the new NXP! We have exciting plans for bringing mbed-based solutions to embedded developers, but the first step is to consolidate the familiar Freescale Freedom development board platforms under the NXP brand. Note, there is no impact to existing/former NXP platforms like LPCXpresso, LPC1768, LPC800 and LPC11U24 boards.


NXP Freedom Boards – Rebranding Efforts Underway

These (formerly Freescale) Freedom platforms are being rebranded to “NXP Freedom boards”, with a new company name, but the same part numbers.

Looking ahead, new NXP Freedom boards are coming to the mbed developer environment, and we look forward to announcing those as they become available. Stay tuned…

Considerations and Impacts

With the new NXP brand associations for the existing mbed Enabled Freedom boards, we want you to know that your mbed experience may be slightly impacted, but we’re doing everything we can to minimize the impact.

Here are a few things for consideration when using developer.mbed.org:

  • Platform/Target Vendor - All of the Freedom platforms are now (or will be soon) associated with “NXP Semiconductors” silicon partner. When you search for a platform, be sure to look under NXP Semiconductors for your Freedom board.
  • Platform pages – Each Freedom platform page will undergo a rebranding to replace “Freescale” with “NXP” in text, images, and other contextual spaces.
  • Example Programs & Discussion Topics – Will move over to the "NXP Semiconductors" page as well.

How to Report Problems or Suggestions

If you are experiencing broken links or other issues related to these NXP Freedom platforms, please email support@mbed.org or post in the Bugs and Suggestions forum.

We’ll Get There Together

Thanks for being an ARM mbed valued member! Your patience as we rebrand these boards is appreciated, and we look forward to providing you with great products now and in the future.

Guest Blogger: Megan Hansen, MCU Software and Tool Marketing, NXP Semiconductors

Introducing the Semtech NAMote72

Introducing the 915MHz NAMote72 platform based on the Semtech SX1272 LoRa™ Transceiver. This platform represents a completely programmable LoRa end device solution with a built in ARM® mbed™ compatible programming interface, a LiOn battery and charger. This platform provides the developer with a number of built in sensors including a GPS receiver, pressure transducer, touch sensor, accelerometer, and thermometer. The intent is to provide the developers with a platform to demonstrate the capabilities of LoRa and LoRaWAN in both private and public networks when used with a LoRaWAN concentrator. Developers can easily download and install existing code examples as well as develop their own custom code.


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SX1272 LoRa Transceiver

The heart of the platform is the SX1272 LoRa transceiver and features the LoRa long range modem that provides ultra-long range spread spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimizing current consumption. Using Semtech’s patented LoRa modulation technique SX1272 can achieve a sensitivity of over -137 dBm using a low cost crystal and bill of materials. The high sensitivity combined with the integrated +20 dBm (on device) power amplifier yields industry leading link budget making it optimal for any application requiring range or robustness. LoRa also provides significant advantages in both blocking and selectivity over conventional modulation techniques, solving the traditional design compromise between range, interference immunity and energy consumption. The NAMote72 platform can be configured to allow the user to select the SX1272 on device RF power amplifier port output providing from approximately 0dBm to +19dBm transmit power at the antenna port. In addition it is possible to select an external (on board) power amplifier output that can provide between +23 dBm to +30 dBm. A printed circuit board antenna is also included, as well as a PCB footprint for populating a SMA RF connector that permits the use of an external antenna.

Cortex-M3 MCU

The NAMote72 platform incorporates a STM32L152RC Ultra-low-power ARM Cortex®-M3 MCU with 256 Kbytes Flash operating at 32 MHz. In addition the NAMote72 platform incorporates the mbed interface debugger and programmer. The ST-Link allows the platform to be programmed easily from the online mbed compiler. The mbed compiler provides a lightweight online C/C++ IDE that is pre-configured to let you quickly write programs, compile and download to run on the The NAMote72 platform. Since the mbed compiler is a web application, you can log in from anywhere and are free to work on all Windows PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux platforms.

Platform RF Operation

The SX1272 NAMote72 platform can operate over a wide frequency range, including the 868 MHz European and the 902-928 MHz North American ISM bands. An appropriate antenna must be used for the selected operating band. Although primarily intended for LoRa applications, the user can also enable FSK mode for conventional or legacy applications. Coupled with a link budget in excess of 135 dB in FSK and in excess of 155 dB in LoRa, the SX1272 based NAMote72 platform really offers the possibility of two modems in one single package. The NAMote72 platform can comply with both ETSI and FCC regulatory requirements.

Interfacing

An Arduino compatible interface is provided which enables the developer to incorporate any of the widely available 3.3V shields into their application. The SX1272 based NAMote72 platform requires only a PC with a USB interface for programming and a USB compatible charger to recharge the internal battery.

Check out the NAMote72 Platform page


Guest Blogger:

Loren Geilen, Sr. Field Applications Engineer, Semtech.

AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon 2016 Wrap-Up

This year at the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon in Las Vegas just after the new year began, hackers, coders, and engineers gathered to build innovative solutions that aimed to tackle some of the challenges of smart homes, smart cities and connected health.

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The enthusiasm at the event from the participants to gain and share knowledge was inspiring. We held a bootstrap session to teach developers how to get started using AT&T M2X IoT backend with mbed to be able to connect devices to the cloud. Check out our video to find out how for yourself.

After a long sleepless 48 hours, 20 teams were selected as finalists to present their projects on stage. With over $300K in prizes available at the event, the anticipation was high. We offered our own Sponsor Kicker Prize of $5K for the best use of ARM mbed. The Best use of ARM mbed IoT Device Platform

Memory Lane was selected as the winner of our kicker prize. MemoryLane created an application that improves the quality of life for those affected by Alzheimer and their caregivers. This was shown through the use of a connect pill bottle that utilized and NXP FRDM-K64F board to track when and how much medication a patient takes, with the ability to remotely notify the caregiver.

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Big thanks to our partners NXP and ST Microelectronics who attended the event as well and provided the developers with hardware and connectivity shields.

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Swisscom Hackathon Wrapup

Swisscom Zurich Hackathon 2015 Wrapup : ARMmbed + ST Nucleo + Semtech LoRA + Actility cloud

Last weekend the ARM mbed team attended the LoRa-focused Swisscom Hackathon at Impact Hub Zurich. With 100 hackers organized into 14 teams and a tremendous amount of support from the mentors some truly amazing projects were created.

The Swisscom Hackathon was focused on using the low power LoRa radio network that Swisscom are piloting in Zurich and Geneva using 30 LoRa gateways. Hackers used the ARM mbed ecosystem (www.mbed.com or developer.mbed.org/ ?) to build code for the Semtech LoRA shield on a ST Nucleo board that connected to the Actility front end for the Swisscom cloud platform. Prior to the event the mbed team had hosted a series of workshops on Getting started with LoRA using Semtech shields and Getting started with the Actility cloud. With over 110K packets sent and less than 0.00001% packet drop the LoRa network really shone through as a stable backbone for enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). /media/uploads/mbedAustin/swisscomhackathonbp_qIIwZT6.png

Friday: Ideas, team building, and start of the hack!

Friday night was a huge rush of ideas, presentations and team forming. Kicking off the night was a presentation from Christian Stammel from Wearable Technologies (www.wearable-technologies.com/) on the future of IoT, wearable devices on and in your body, and how LoRa is poised to be a key enabling technology in the future. Following the intro, presentation of challenges from Swiss Rail and others to use IoT to increase customer happiness, and dinner, teams formed up and the hacking began.

The mbed team started the hack with a ton of Semtech Lora shields, ST Nucleo boards, and Seeed Grove sensors. By Sunday night every piece of hardware was used in epic hacks!

Saturday : coffee and tea and cucumber soda oh my!

Saturday was a flurry of activity from early in the morning to late in the evening. With an active coffee bar open at Impact Hub all day and evening everyone was fully fueled and hacking all day long.

Various Prototypes started, fell and evolved over the course of the day. Lots of the coolest discussion happened on the DribDat forums that were spun up for the event.

Smart Train pass

These guys put together an automatic train ticket system that relays the position of the user back to the main base using LoRA, thus enabling the back end to determine if the person has entered a train or not and charge them appropriately. They had some really cool error detection algorithms that accounted for pedestrians walking near but not on the train and likewise for users in cars near the train but not on it.

Umbrella.io : the umbrella corporation

These guys had an awesome vision and implementation for connected umbrellas that took two forms, one personal and one commercial.

The personal application used the low power LoRA radio to connect to the internet and visually display the expected weather for the day on the hilt of the umbrella, so the user could know if they would need the umbrella that day depending on the color of the hilt. In the morning with just simple touch on your umbrella, you’ll know if you need it for that day or if you're good to go.

The commercial application was an umbrella rental / loaner system that would encourage customer and brand loyalty by giving the user an umbrella for free, and in return periodically reminding them to come into the store. There was even a suggested idea for gamification to use the umbrella as a rewards card / interactive system for user engagement at stores and around town.

GrosiAlarm - Non-invasive elder care for dementia patients

The GrossiAlarm team put together a wonderful elder care device that both gave piece of mind to those responsible for the elder patient while still respecting the personal privacy and dignity of the patient. The basic premise of the device was a watch that would use LoRA to report the location of the user back to a home-base server. The location however would not be given to the care-givers unless the patient wandered outside of a set safe zone boundary, because as one hacker said he "didn’t want to know when grandma was going on her dates". The only exception to this privacy rule would be if the patient activated a special emergency button mode that then would report the patient’s precise location to loved ones and if no response was received in a set amount of time, emergency services would be notified.

iPusher - BLE notifications for delays using LoRA backend

The iPusher team developed base stations that connect to the backend over LoRA and notify those around the base stations via Eddystone of events pertinent to their location. The idea was to have one in every train station, so if a delay was affecting a particular station, the message would be sent out over Eddystone beacons to notify those at the station with up-to-date information on their cellular devices. Think interactive in depth reports and real-time updates as they actually occur.

Sunday : Sleepless Swiss Shenanigans and Presentations

On Sunday everyone got an early start and worked on polishing their demos and presentations for judging. After a tremendous amount of effort, caffeine and nerves all the presentations concluded and the judges announced the following winners:

In first place:

Team MechartLab+ with their Grosi Alarm - A tracking and alarm watch for dementia sufferers, allowing a geofence to be defined that triggers the alarm, if the wearer strays outside. They took home first price for their excellent total concept presentation.

In second place:

Dr. M & Friends’ - LoRa-connected smart ticket sharing its position and speed through the LoRa network, allowing automatic charging when you travel on a train.


In third place:

Mila’s Umbrella-as-a-service - Showing that as a service business models can be applied to low cost products.


And, the audience award (measured by applause):

Team Panda’s SBB Chill - allowing you to find a suitable train seat based on the profiles of travelers – quiet, working, listening to music etc.

All in all, a very good event with lots of innovative prototype products using LoRa and the other technologies and really good feedback at the end – all questions about event support and technologies etc received close to the highest grades. As all us people offering technology and support got to work very close together, and we are all looking forward to the next event!

TLDR;

Awesome 48 hour LoRA focused Hackathon hosted by Swisscom at Impact Hub Zurich. Using the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform, ST Nucleo boards, Semtech LoRA radios, and Actility frontend for the Swisscom Cloud 100 hackers build awesomeness. Some won, some lost, some walked away with venture capital connections, but everyone had a great time and learned a lot about how to use LoRA to enable IoT in products and projects going forward. For a full list of groups and their projects see the DribDat page for the Hackathon.

Gearing up for ARM TechCon 2015 – ARM mbed Highlights

ARM TechCon is fast approaching and with only less than a week away, we wanted to share some of the ARM mbed highlights to make sure you put them on your calendar.

mbed Zone at ARM TechCon

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Join us at the ARM mbed Zone (Booth #512) on the ARM TechCon show floor from Nov 11-12 in Santa Clara, CA. Our lead engineers will be onsite to take you through our latest products and how we are enabling developers to focus on their key value add features and ease deployment of IoT devices at scale. Demos will include mbed OS, mbed Device Connector, Thread, yotta and not to mention more than 20 mbed partners showcasing their own mbed supported products and services.

You will find these partner pods on the mbed Zone: 1248, Advantech, Alcatel-Lucent, Atmel, ForgeRock, Freescale, IBM, Maxim Integrated, NXP, Silicon Labs, SpinDance, STMicroelectronics, Qualcomm, u-blox, wot.io, and Zebra.

Rotating mbed Partner Showcase at the mbed bar: See live demos on both Wednesday & Thursday at the mbed bar.

  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Western Digital
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Accenture
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm: PixArt
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: LTEK
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm: SK Telecom
  • 5:00pm-6:30pm: Nexus

Come to the booth to celebrate ARM’s 25th Anniversary

  • When: Wed Nov 11 from 5-6:30pm
  • Where: ARM TechCon Expo theater and floor
  • Champagne and cake to be served from the mbed Zone (#512)
  • Commemorative cocktails served from the ARM booth (#300)
  • Around the world food stations

Lastly, make sure you book these sessions in your calendar.

mbed Session at ARM TechCon

Wednesday November 11

Accelerating Internet of Things with ARM mbed - Presented by ARM

  • Krisztian Flautner | General Manager, ARM Internet of Things
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

Hands on Workshop: Building an end-to-end IoT Application with ARM mbed and IBM IoT Foundation the Freescale FRDM-K64F platform

  • Sam Grove | Staff Engineer, ARM
  • Location: Great America J
  • Time: 10:30am - 12:20pm

Don’t forget to get your Software Developer’s Workshop Pass so you can join us for the talk! Use the discount code ARMSDW50 for a 50% discount.

Secured Communication Between Devices and Clouds with LinkIt ONE and mbed TLS - Presented by Mediatek

  • Steve Si | Technical Director, MediaTek Labs
  • Location: Ballroom B
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

ARM mbed powering the Internet of Things that really matter

  • Pelle Svensson | Product Marketing Manager, u-blox
  • Location: Ballroom E
  • Time: 11:30am - 12:20pm

Making IoT Scalable, Robust and Easy to Deploy - Presented by ARM

  • Zach Shelby | VP of Marketing, ARM Internet of Things
  • Michael Norman | Technical Marketing Manager, Freescale
  • John M Cohn | IBM Fellow, Internet of Things, IBM
  • Pilgrim Beart | Founder, 1248.io
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 11:30am - 12:20pm

Improving Business Agility with ARM mbed for Connected Devices

  • Derek Wallace | Product Management, MultiTech
  • Location: Expo Theater
  • Time: 3:30pm - 4:00pm

Building mbed together: an overview of mbed OS and how to get involved - Presented by ARM

  • Hugo Vincent | mbed OS Product Lead, ARM Internet of Things
  • Paul Bakker | Product Strategy, ARM Internet of Things
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 4:30pm - 5:20pm

Introducing mbed 3.0 Thread Platform - Presented by NXP Semiconductors

  • Shashank Goel | Global Product Marketing Manager - Smart Home Solutions, NXP Semiconductors
  • Ian Morris | Pricipal Applications Engineer, NXP Semiconductors
  • Location: Ballroom C
  • Time: 4:30pm - 5:20pm

Thursday November 12

Learn to Develop Your Next IoT Project Using ARM mbed IoT Kit for Zatar

  • Valik Solorzano Barboza | Snr Director Engineering Zatar, Zebra Technologies
  • Santiago Romero | Product Owner, Zebra Technologies
  • Location: Ballroom F
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

Good reads prior to ARM TechCon: