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      • Win an EFM8 8-bit MCU starter kit!

        Nari Shin | 03/84/2015 | 12:22 PM

         

        We've launched the new EFM8 Bee family last month and would like to invite some community users to test out its development kit! The EFM8 Bee family is based on popular 8051 core and is ideal for IoT systems with unparalleled performance.

         

        For this contest, we are looking for project ideas that take advantage of EFM8 features. Visit the product page to learn more about the EFM8 and also note that the the family includes three MCU lines optimized for specific developer needs and applications:

         

        5 winners with the best ideas will receive an EFM8 kit from us and will be invited to write a review blog post about the kit to help other developers get started easily.

         

        So, how to participate the contest?

         

        Just leave a comment below on what you want to build/test with one of the EFM8 STKs above and why. (Only 1 entry per user) Our MCU team will be judging the entries based on relevance and creativity.  

         

        # of winners: 5 

        Prize: 1 x EFM8 STK (winners can pick one of the three EFM8 STKs) 

        Contest Period: 25 Mar - 8 Apr, 2015

         

      • Win an EFM8 8-bit MCU starter kit!

        Nari Shin | 03/84/2015 | 12:22 PM

         

        We've launched the new EFM8 Bee family last month and would like to invite some community users to test out its development kit! The EFM8 Bee family is based on popular 8051 core and is ideal for IoT systems with unparalleled performance.

         

        For this contest, we are looking for project ideas that take advantage of EFM8 features. Visit the product page to learn more about the EFM8 and also note that the the family includes three MCU lines optimized for specific developer needs and applications:

         

        5 winners with the best ideas will receive an EFM8 kit from us and will be invited to write a review blog post about the kit to help other developers get started easily.

         

        So, how to participate the contest?

         

        Just leave a comment below on what you want to build/test with one of the EFM8 STKs above and why. (Only 1 entry per user) Our MCU team will be judging the entries based on relevance and creativity.  

         

        # of winners: 5 

        Prize: 1 x EFM8 STK (winners can pick one of the three EFM8 STKs) 

        Contest Period: 25 Mar - 8 Apr, 2015

         

      • EFM8 Space Invaders Demo - Not Your Standard 8 bit MCU!

        Tabitha | 03/68/2015 | 09:15 AM

         

        We thought Space Invaders is a great demonstration of all the things the EFM8 microcontrollers (MCUs) can accomplish at once. Just like a real world application, the EFM8 demo device can monitor its environment, do a bunch of calculations and report its findings while retaining the fast and responsive feel of the game.

         

        Project Members:

        Tabi, Chris, Dewald 

         

        Project description:

        si-v2.png

         

        Space Invaders is one of the new demos for the EFM8 8-bit microcontroller products. It was created as proof of the concept that these devices could handle graphics on the 128 x 128 pixel Memory LCD display along with doing everything else. Not only did the smallest devices (BB1 and SB1 with 8 KB of flash and 512 bytes of RAM) handle it just fine, they perform really well. The game feels really responsive, even at the higher levels where the sprites are moving very quickly across the screen. A screen buffer in RAM can’t be kept and modified, since there isn’t enough memory, so everything has to be recalculated in real time each time before drawing a line on the screen.

         

        Here’s a quick rundown of everything the device is doing at once in this game:

         

        • Calculating alien sprite changes and movement across the screen
        • Calculating projectile sprite changes and trajectory
        • Calculating player sprite position
        • Detecting collisions between projectiles and player/alien sprites
        • Transmitting the calculated screen information to the Memory LCD over SPI line by line
        • Generating a PWM signal to change the color of the LED depending on the “threat level,” or how close the sprites are to the player
        • Measuring the joystick using the ADC and calculating joystick direction
        • Detecting push button presses to fire the player projectiles

         

        If you are a long-time gamer, you will be particularly impressed that even such a small and low cost EFM8 MCU can do all this simultaneously without any problems.

         

        Materials used:

        Source files:

      • EFM8 8-bit Microcontroller Oscilloscope Demo

        Tabitha | 03/68/2015 | 09:07 AM

         

        The purpose of this project is to demonstrate cool analog features of the EFM8 microcontrollers (MCUs). The EFM8 oscilloscope demo highlights the ADC speed and performance of the EFM8 MCUs in a clever way that also enables basic oscilloscope debugging.

         

        Project Members:

        Tabi, Josh and Chris

         

        Project description:

        A Busy Bee board was used in this demo, but it is available on any of the EFM8 starter kits. This demo uses the ADC running at up to 500 ksps and outputs the measured voltage to the 128 x 128 pixel display on the kits. Most of the kits can measure between 0 to 3.3 V using the 1.65 V internal reference with a 0.5 gain. The other kits use VDD, so they’re not as accurate and are limited to 0 to VDD. It keeps up to two screens worth of buffered data and supports single capture, triggers, and other common oscilloscope features.

         

        oscilloscope-1.png

         

        In order to demonstrate the oscilloscope, we’re using a mobile device (phone, iPad, etc.) and any standard function generator App. For example, the video demonstrates Function Generator by keuwlsoft for Android. These applications are meant for audio use and output a small tone to the headphone jack that’s ~500 mV peak to peak centered around zero. Since most of the EFM8 ADCs are single-ended, we put together a little EXP board for the kits that would add offset and bias to the mobile device output to make the signal 0 to 2.4 V.

         

        Oscilloscope_Schematic_gray-v2.png

        Figure 1. Gain and Bias Circuit

         

        Oscilloscope_Waveform3_gray-v2.png

        Figure 2. Mobile Device Function Generator Output

         

        Oscilloscope_Waveform3_gray-v2.png

        Figure 3. Output after the Gain and Bias Circuit

         

        The component values can be tuned to work with whatever kind of signal you’re working with. These were picked mostly because they are what were in the lab when the board was being built. It’s really cool to be able to debug 115200 UART traffic on one of the kits!  

         

        figure-4.jpg

        Figure 4. UART Traffic at 115200 Baud

         

        Materials used:

        Source files:

      • MP3 player demo using EFM32GG

        amenleung | 03/64/2015 | 10:10 AM

        Hardware

        EFM32GG_DK3750

        MP3 file in uSD card or internal flash, audio output at I2S or DAC.

         

        EFM32GG_STK3700

        MP3 file in internal flash, audio output at DAC, external audio power amplifier is required.

         

        Software

        Unzip the attached file to below path:

        C:\SiliconLabs\SimplicityStudio\v3\developer\sdks\efm32\v2\kits\EFM32GG_DK3750\examples

        It supports IAR, Keil and Simplicity IDE.

        The program searches all MP3 files (up to 320 Kbps) in root directory of uSD card and plays continuously.

         

        Note
        Helix MP3 decoder source code is open source and is governed by the license described in files that accompany the source code.

        It should be noted that even though the Helix MP3 decoder is free to use and is open source, the MP3 algorithm itself is not free and has royalties associated with it.

        These royalties must be paid in order to use the algorithm.
        For more details, visit www.mp3licensing.com.
         

        mp3.jpg