David Vescovi's blog

Visual Studio 2017 support for Google Android Things

Well it looks like Google is getting into the IoT business also. Microsoft has its IoT core platform that is basically a slimmed down version of its desktop Windows 10 offering targeted to the embedded Internet of Things market. Visual Studio 2015/2017 supports development for Windows desktop as well as IoT core using its universal platform strategy. Also included in VS is support for mobile phone development using Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired awhile back. Visual Studio through Xamarin has the ability write and debug IoS and Android mobile running on tablets and phones. Now that Google is in the IoT game also it will be interesting to see how their strategy pans out. Google, as expected, is leveraging all the Androids frameworks and middleware that makes sense for the IoT market. It is also extending libraries adding I2C, GPIO and UART interfaces to support user supplied hardware. As a simple test I built and tried to deploy a simple "hello world" Android mobile app, built with Visual ...

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Gumstix gets 1Gb flash support

Many of you know I am the author of a Windows Embedded Compact Board Support Package (BSP) for the Beaglebone development board. This is an open source project hosted on Codeplex at http://beaglebonebsp.codeplex.com/. I also have a sister project targeting the Gumstix COM modules. I have made a recent change to its BSP to support 1GB Flash memory which is now included on newly purchased Gumstix OVERO modules. I have several video posted. See https://gumstixbsp.codeplex.com/

Microsoft Band Altimeter Now for something completely different

  The new Microsoft Band 2 incorporates 11 sensor which includes the usual GPS, heart rate, and step sensors needed for health monitoring but also included are some hidden features that make this embedded platform ideal for other activities. I am not going to get into the reviews, there are plenty of other bloggers out there for that. I do like the fact that is an open platform and you can write your own apps using Microsoft’ s published SDK for the Band 2. The Band SDK works with, and runs on your smart phone be it Android, Apple Phone or Windows Phone. You can write your app to run on one or all the targeted phones.You will need the Microsoft Health App initially installed on your phone as it will use this to connect and manage the features on the Band. The Band establishes a Bluetooth connection to your phone and basically acts as a head-end display unit and a sensor provider publishing data to the phone. You have several host development platform options available to write your app. You can use ...

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QP on Windows Embedded Compact part2


As promised here is some more info on QP running on WEC2013.

I published all the source code including two of the classic state machine examples: The “blinky” example

and the “Dining Philosopher Problem” on the Codeplex site.

The following are the graphical models of the state machine constructed for the examples with the QM tool.








After creating the model you can press the “generate code” button to get the C/C++ output files which can then be compiled with

Visual Studio.

See my BSP project site for WEC2013 demo image and SDK which are also needed if you plan on deploying to the BeagleBone Black target. (Note: the examples also run the PC and the VS solution targets both platforms.)

QP framework running under WEC2013

I was able to compile the QP framework and have it run on a Windows Embedded Compact 2013 ARM device (i.e. the Beaglebone). For those not familiar with this framework I invite you to look at the following website http://www.state-machine.com/

In a nutshell QP is a great framework for event-driven application development based on Hierarchical State Machine (HMS) model. While this framework has great utility mostly on “bare-metal” single-chip microcontrollers it can be applied (and works very well thank you) on OS based and PC processors.

There is also a nice PC based modeling tool (QM) that allows you to graphically construct your state charts and generate C/C++ code from such.

QP was actually named one of 2015’s Top Innovative Products by Embedded Computing Design.

Source code and more on this topic coming soon.

Avago buys Broadcom for $37 billion

Broadcom is best known for its wireless and connectivity chips used by the likes of Apple and Samsung in their smart phones.

It also makes the ARM processor used in the highly popular Raspberry Pi platforms. As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, Microsoft is targeting this platform as one of the Windows 10 IoT core platforms. It will be interesting to see how things shakeout.

Windows 10 Iot of Raspberry Pi 2 First look

Windows 10 IoT version is the latest lightweight flavor directed at small embedded devices. Previewed at Build 2015 and prereleased as “Windows Core Insider Preview”. it will be interesting to see just how this product will be received. This initial released is directed at the “Maker” community which is quite a change for Microsoft as this segment is not perceived as a large profit center unlike its traditional targets. While the Raspberry Pi is a very popular platform in the Maker community it is still mostly used for small “one of” type projects. It is popular in academic circles and used by many institutions as an introduction platform for beginner programmers. Unfortunately the hardware is very “closed source”, there are no schematics or PCB layout information available and virtually no information on the SoC chip used. True it is a powerful quad core 900Mhz ARM Cortex-A7 processor from Broadcom but if you look on their web site you won’t find any mention of the part nor any information on the part what ...

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Low power operation on the community IoT Beaglebone BSP (Part 1)

One of the areas left incomplete in the Texas Instruments AM335x BSP when they ended Windows Embedded support was the whole power management and low power operation. TI turned over support to a third party, which will remain nameless, and from what I can gather not much work has been done since. This is a shame as the AM335x processor, as used on the Beaglebone, has some fantastic low power features. In general, ARM processors have always had superior low power characteristics over the x86 family. This is do, in part, to the fine granularity ARM gives you over clock and power domain control as distributed within the chip itself. You have the ability to shut down different sections of the chip, or even run them at a reduced voltage. You also have the ability to slow down or cut off clocks to different internal peripherals within the part. All these can have a cumulative effect on lowering the current draw and thus the power consumed by the chip. These things become very important if you are doing a battery op ...

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Power management on Beaglebone part 3-Battery cont.

  This is a follow on to my previous two posts Power managment on Beaglebone AM335x platform part 1 and Power management on Beaglebone part 2-Battery for the community IoT BSP at BeagleBone BSP. The first two parts I discussed the background of battery support and some of the hardware modifications that are needed for the BeagleBone Black platform. I also talked about the AM335x’s on chip analog to digital converter (A/D or ADC) and how it can be used to measure voltage signals like battery voltage. We developed an A/D converter driver and test program and integrated it into the BSP. The next step in the process is to pull it altogether by developing a battery driver. The battery driver will, of course, be dependent on the A/D driver so we must make sure the A/C driver is loaded first. We can do this by modifying the drivers “Order” setting. For example here are the ADC registry setting: IF BSP_AM33X_ADC [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\BuiltIn\ADC1]     "Prefix"="AD ...

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Yet Another Gotcha: Compact 7 Update

It has been well documented in the news group the Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) tool is pretty much broken in Windows Embedded Compact 7.  Many times it will show this message stating there are no updates needed when in fact there are newer updates available.     You can still relaunch the installer from the Windows Control Panel installed programs or use the WindowsEmbeddedCompact7.exe install launcher to kick off a re-install/update. This seems to work and initially it will find what level install you have existing and what is available as indicated with the slider at the top of the screen, It will then ask you to accept some eula’s:   It will try to download the component and update packages from the internet. You also have the option to create an offline layout. All fine and good so far but then comes the gotcha. It will stall asking for a SharedSource component.   You can try clicking the “Allow downloading for all files.” but it will not work and it ...

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Recent Comments

  1. Re: Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Beaglebone gets IoT sample

    Please contact me regarding a full installation of this BSP for WINCE2013, and what is necessary for...

    -- Aaron Peterson

  2. Re: BeagleBone BSP code clean up

    Hi David, Interest in the fully version of the image. Please let me know the commercials. I need clarification...

    -- CB

  3. Re: BeagleBone BSP gets several improvements

    Hi David, How can I get a full version (without reboot) of your image available for demonstration?

    -- Marco Aurélio Braun

  4. Re: Low power operation on the community IoT Beaglebone BSP (Part 1)

    Hello , dvescovi . Because of Job , I use your Beaglebone black BSP which is helpful for me . I want...

    -- KevinHsu

  5. Re: Yet Another Gotcha: Compact 7 Update

    Hi David, Would you please contact me regarding the wince7 BSP for the BBB? I have a few LCD Capes...

    -- trialsrideraz

  6. Re: Yet Another Gotcha: Compact 7 Update

    Seems MS may have posed a new updated ISO on MSDN. For those without a subscription, you are still out...

    -- dvescovi

  7. Re: Power management on the Beaglebone part 2–Battery

    Hi David, First of all thanks for this, blog it's been very useful. Before I go ahead and solder anything...

    -- Juanes1220

  8. Re: More improvements for Beaglebone BSP

    Thank you for the fixes. The latest version builds under WEC7! Yay! Next .. have to try deploying it...

    -- OzFlipper

  9. Re: Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Beaglebone gets IoT sample

    Of course, I meant the WEC2013 SDK ... see what happens when you work with too many bits at the same...

    -- OzFlipper

  10. Re: Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Beaglebone gets IoT sample

    Hi David. First, thank you for what must have been a huge amount of work. I have been trying to install...

    -- OzFlipper

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