Category: Mircocontroller

Five innovations that caught our attention at Embedded World fair

This year, Embedded World welcomed around 1.000 exhibitors in Nuremberg, Germany. The fair was visited by more than 30.000 people from around the world. This year’s theme was “embedded intelligence”. At the fair, we exhibited our product and met with partners. But that’s not all.

As visitors, we explored multiple booths to select some of the best innovations of Embedded World. The main goal was to understand how these innovations would impact the industry and the final user. For that, we discussed with multiple experts of some of the most important actors in the electronics industry.


Toshiba : Implementing complex equations in a dedicated hardware

Toshiba e-bike showcased at the fair

Toshiba changed the concept of field-oriented control technique on e-bike. They implemented these mathematics calculations in a dedicated component instead of using the microcontroller for it. This special hardware is a specific system on chip.

We have interviewed a field application engineer from Toshiba during the fair. He explains us the innovation “ to drive the e-bike we generally use field-oriented control mathematics that date back from the 70s. It’s a lot of calculations that needs to be done. And at the level of a microcontroller, it’s done on software. It takes some time, and the microcontroller can’t do anything else instead of these calculations.”

For the engineer, implementing these calculations in a dedicated chip provides two advantages:

“-It’s faster than running it on a microcontroller processor. And the processor itself is completely free to do something else. The calculations are done in parallel to the operations of the microcontroller.

-We can do more calculations per second. And this will result in faster dynamic. For example, if there are changes in the system: if someone is going up or downhill, the system can react much faster, and there’s higher resolution. And it’s more precise.”

Rohm: The barometric pressure sensor from Rohm

Demonstration of a drone controlled using a barometric pressure sensor from Rohm

The barometric pressure sensor from Rohm gives more accurate control of drones. To showcase its product, Rohm made a demonstration for drone controlling.

For Dr Pauli Tikkanen, algorithm and embedded software engineer at Rohm, “The software is for using an open source system that controls the whole drone. What’s specific is that we’re using a barometric pressure sensor from Rohm to control the drone. We are also using Sony’s Spresence board for that.”

Micron: The launch of 1 TB microSD card

The Micron C200 1TB microSDXC UHS-I card is the world’s first 1TB microSD card

Micron launched world’s first 1TB microSD card. This microSD card can leverage Android Adoptable storage by allowing apps and games installed on the card to charge quicker.

For Gerard Risse, field application engineer at Micron, “This microSD card has the highest density in the world. Instead of storing the data on the cloud, we store it on the smartphone. It’s more secure, safer and you don’t have to transmit data all the time.”

With its high speed (R up to 100Mb/s – W up to 95Mb/s), the microSD card is able to store ~40 hours of 4k HDR video. Thanks to the Micron 96-Layer 3D QLC NAND, the card remains affordable while it still classifies for application performance Class 2 (A2).

Infineon / CEA Leti: Low-power fusion sensor solutions for cars

Leti’s demonstration of it low-consumption security solution for cars

CEA Leti presented its low-power fusion sensor solutions for cars. The combination of Leti SigmaFusion, working with Infineon AURIX, radar and safety power offers low-consumption security solution for vehicles like cars.

For Marie-Sophie Masselot, business development manager, “this system is based on a hardware mix that has an accelerator to process the data coming from the radar, mixes the different sources of data / sensors, and the power of the microcontroller”.

She adds, “Leti’s algorithm has been designed in an optimized way. It is a large number of data that has to be processed in real time to react. We managed to run it just on a microcontroller.”

Echoring: A wireless software technology for the industrial field

Demonstration showing how Echoring is able to control robots over the air even if the Wi-Fi is crowded

Echoring is an innovative wireless software technology for applications that require time-critical performance and high-robustness at the same time.

Mathias Bohge, managing director for Echoring, points out that “today we have a lot of problems with Wireless in the industrial field, because the wi-fi is not reliable and not deterministic enough. It’s hard to have robots control and safety functionality over the air. With Echoring this is possible.”

Mr Bohge gives more details about the product: “we have certain additional algorithms that secure the system to have more reliable behavior on the wireless channel. It’s a cooperation with Texas Industry. We’re using their chips with our own software”

Embedded World was the occasion for companies to reveal multiple exciting trends in the embedded systems industry. And it’s even more interesting to know that the fair broke records in terms of exhibitors’ numbers. In fact, there was an increase of 56 % in the proportion of international exhibitors. Wisebatt was among them, and we’re definitely ready to come back.  

How to read a potentiometer on a microcontroller

According to Ohm’s law, a resistor is an electrical component that controls or regulates the flow of current in an electronic circuit. Considering a given and fixed supply voltage, the lower the value of a resistor, the greater the flow of current will be.

Increasing or decreasing the resistance requires changes of the resistor itself. Instead, we can “alter” the resistance using a potentiometer.

A potentiometer assembled in a voltage divider topology can be used to control the voltage value read by a microcontroller (and thus, triggers actions). In order to read the potentiometer value on a microcontroller, we require three components.

  1. MCU with ADC peripheral and its available input PINs
  2. A resistor
  3. A potentiometer

This section shows how to hook up a potentiometer to the Analog/Digital converter (ADC)  input of a microcontroller.

Consider a potentiometer that has three pins. The first two pins are connected together to form one end and the last pin will be at the other end.

As shown in the diagram:

  • Connect the resistor ‘R1‘ to the potentiometer ‘P1‘.
  • Ground the other end of potentiometer ‘P1‘.
  • The circuit formed by R in series with P1 is known as “Voltage Divider”.
  • Connect the junction between R1 and P1 to the ADC input pin of the MCU.

Read the ADC value within your firmware.

The voltage at the ADC PIN is defined by the following formula :

VADC = VCC x (a x P1 / ((a x P1) + R1))

Where,

a‘ is the potentiometer value between 0 and 1.

P1‘ is the full potentiometer value in Ohm.

A potentiometer position can be derived with the formula:

a = R1 x VADC / (P1 x (VCC – VADC))

Regarding consumption, you may want to choose high value with P1 and R1 as the current within the voltage divider is expressed as follow :

i = VCC / (R1 + P1)

Thus, a potentiometer is used with a voltage divider to provide variable voltages to the ADC pin. They are often used as volume controls in audio equipment, light controls in LED, and cheap rotary controllers in cars.