IoT sensor-node board for smart sensing

09 March 2017

Avnet Silica developed a new sensor node board for Internet of Things (IoT), smart sensing and cloud applications.

Avnet Silica has combined processing, sensing and connectivity from STMicroelectronics with the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform, which provides a complete solution including an advanced OS to run hardware, device management in the cloud and advanced security.

Powered by ST’s ultra-low-power STM32L4 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, which features 1-MB of Flash memory and 128-KBytes of SRAM along with safety and security features, the new ‘Sensor Node’ board from Avnet Silica enables customers to quickly develop smart-sensor applications that can make use of several connectivity options. Choices include Bluetooth low energy connectivity, which enables an easy connection with smartphones, and sub-GHz 6LoWPAN connectivity for long-range communications.

Key hardware on the new board includes the highly integrated ‘ST SensorTile’ module, which measures only 13 x 13mm. The module integrates the STM32L4 MCU, plus ST’s very-low-power BlueNRG-MS Bluetooth low energy (BLE) single-mode network processor, together with a wide selection of ST’s environment-sensing devices including accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer and microphone. The sensor-node board also offers some additional on-board sensors from ST that provide support for humidity, temperature, proximity and ambient light.

The board also offers additional connectivity:
Sub-GHz connection through the ST SPSGRF-888 Spirit sub-GHz low-power programmable RF-transceiver module.

The TESEO-LIV3, a GNSS receiver module, which supports the major global navigation satellite systems for location services including GPS/Galileo/Glonass/BeiDou/QZSS.
And lastly, an NFC/RFID dynamic tag that offers easy pairing and configuration via any NFC smartphone.

Additional features of the mbed compatible board include the ST Qi 1.0 wireless battery charger and an embedded ST-LINK interface for programming and debugging.

In addition to the integration of ARM mbed OS 5, the board also supports STM32Cube middleware and is further supported by software demos and libraries provided for both mbed OS and STM32Cube.

In collaboration with ARM mbed, Avnet Silica will be holding customer hands-on workshops across Europe, based on the new Sensor Node Board, beginning in May 2017. Avnet Silica also offers additional support including technical resources, easy-to-use development boards and hands-on training, enabling engineers to develop projects on already available prototype boards and build applications effortlessly from the hardware up to the cloud.

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