Thursday, December 27, 2007

AT91SAM7S microcontroller and eval board

Recently I came across the AT91SAM7S microcontroller from Atmel (Wikipedia article). It's a very cool gadget and is affordably available at Digikey. Here is Atmel's ad copy:
The AT91SAM7SE512 is a Flash microcontroller with external memory bus based on the 32-bit ARM7TDMI RISC processor. It features 512K bytes of embedded high-speed Flash with sector lock capabilities and a security bit, and 32K bytes of SRAM. The integrated proprietary SAM-BA Boot Assistant enables in-system programming of the embedded Flash. The external bus interface supports SDRAM and static memories including CompactFlash and ECC-enabled NAND Flash.

Its extensive peripheral set includes a USB 2.0 Full Speed Device Port, USARTs, SPI, SSC, TWI and an 8-channel 10-bit ADC. Its Peripheral DMA Controller channels eliminate processor bottlenecks during peripheral-to-memory transfers. Its System Controller manages interrupts, clocks, power, time, debug and reset, significantly reducing the external chip count and minimizing power consumption.

In industrial temperature worst-case conditions, the maximum clock frequency is 48MHz. Typical core supply is 1.8V, I/Os are supplied at 1.8V or 3.3V. An integrated voltage regulator permits single supply at 3.3V. The AT91SAM7SE512 is supplied in a 128-lead LQFP Green Package, or a 144-ball LFBGA Green Package. It is supported by an Evaluation Board and extensive application development tools.

The AT91SAM7SE512 is a general-purpose microcontroller, particularly suited to applications requiring high performance, USB connectivity and extended on- and off-chip memory.
So that's already pretty cool, but even better, there is a great little evaluation board which is also available at Digikey. Software resources abound.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Other great nanotech (and related) blogs

I guess if I say "other great" nanotech blogs, the implication is that my blog is itself great, but many of these listed are much better than mine. The people doing them put in more work and more thought. Not all of these are relevant to long-term nanotech, but anyway here's the list.
  • Tom Moore's Machine Phase blog -- Tom is now working for Nanorex, and doing a lot of pretty, brilliant nanomachine design work.
  • Damian Allis's Somewhereville blog -- Damian is Nanorex's consulting quantum chemist, and a fascinating guy in general. He doesn't play a scientist on TV, he's an actual real scientist.
  • Gina "Nanogirl" Miller's blog needs no introduction for those who've been around nanotech discussions for a while
  • Blog of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
  • Howard Lovy's NanoBot blog
  • Foresight Institute's Nanodot blog
  • Rocky Rawstern's blog
  • A list of nanotech blogs
  • An explanatory website (not a blog per se) by one of the authors of "Nanotechnology for Dummies"
  • A blog about nanocrystals, though I'm not sure what differentiates a nanocrystal from any other crystal
  • The Singularity Institute is primarily about artificial intelligence rather than nanotechnology but there is a lot of common ground.
  • The IEEE has an automation blog about present-day industrial robots.
  • Another present-day robot blog, this one with more of a hobbyist spin.
  • Emeka Okafor's Timbuktu Chronicles blog is not about nanotechnology or robotics, it's about technologies that help and empower people in developing regions of the world. When not blogging, Okafor sometimes plays basketball, unless it's another guy with the same name.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Roadmap Report is published!

The report is now available in PDF format. If you are a Digg subscriber, PLEASE vote up the digg story about it so it reaches the front page. Publicizing the report is a step toward a rational and benign development policy for advanced nanotechnology. I have the privilege of knowing a few of the people who've been involved with the Roadmap project, and they are the kind of people you hope will be involved: very bright, and very ethical.

I haven't gotten far in reading the report yet myself. It's rather thick, in two sections of about 200 pages each. Don't be put off by that, as the language is quite accessible, even in the more technical second half.