Monday, September 10, 2012

Creating Bluetooth 4.0 accessory - How to start?

We predicted that the Bluetooth 4.0 will be the technology that will revolutionize the gadget and accessory market for mobile devices. The trigger for the avalanche of wireless gadgets could be the upcoming release of iPhone 5 / iOS 6. At the same time as the next generation wireless connectivity finds its way to mobile devices, the world of gadget making has been revolutionized by the crowd-funding sites such as the kickstarter or the Indiegogo. These sites give opportunity to anyone to start manufacturing gadgets of their liking, as long as their idea appeals to large enough audience.

We roundup Bluetooth 4.0 modules from different manufacturers to see what they have to offer for a gadget maker that needs to get
  1. Get their project on a Crowd-funding site
  2. Quick proof-of-concept ready as fast as possible (no one wants to fund slideware)
  3. Final product has decent manufacturing cost (no one wants to buy expensive gadget event for iPhone)
  4. Final product has to have global certifications (FCC and CE minimum)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bipolar microstepping motor driver roundup

Bipolar stepper motors are easy to drive using a microcontroller, but using a separate driver chip can arguably be a simpler and a safer option. Using a dedicated chip is especially convenient when controlling multiple steppers or using micro stepping.

There are currently a huge selection of stepper motor driver chips on the market, a single vendor may carry over a dozen slightly different versions.

A list of interesting stepper motor drivers after the break.