Pros and cons of using Raspberry Pi 4 in IoT

Every fan of new technologies has heard of small single-board computers (SBC) in the form of Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry debuted on the market in many different versions, and the current model is Model 4B. A lot of people got infected with it for DIY, programming or Linux. But new board comes with variety of pros and cons, as compared to previous RPi3 versions.

Industrial use of market Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4

ModBerry M500 also utilizes many more SBC platforms, such as Orange Pi, NanoPi and Intel-based UpBoard. Find more information here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/

The ODROID-C4 is a new generation single board computer that is more energy efficient and faster than the ODROID-C2, which was introduced as the world’s first inexpensive 64-bit ARM computer more than four years ago. ODROID concept and format mimic Raspberry Pi 4 but features extended capabilities as a next level competitor to the most popular SBC on the market

The main ODROID-C4 processor is built on a Cortex-A55 quad-core cluster with a new generation Mali-G31 graphics processor. The A55 core uses basic heat sinks and operates at 2.0 GHz without thermal throttling, making it a solid and quiet computer. The performance of multi-core processors is about 40% faster than ODROID-C2, and the system DRAM memory performance is 50% faster.

RPi4 & ODROID-C4 comparison: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/04/24/raspberry-pi-4-vs-odroid-c4-features-comparison/

Benchmark comparison. Source: https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-c4/

Raspberry Pi increase in IoT significance

More and more engineers and technology providers believe that it is suitable for industrial applications in the real world. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of Raspberry Pi in industry, most of which emphasize that Raspberry Pi is a great tool for engineering experiments, but not so much for industrial applications in the real world. While it is true that the Raspberry Pi is not considered the best choice for mission-critical applications, it is also true that the Raspberry Pi is no longer a platform for experimentation.

Latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). can be chosen from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Raspberry Pi 4 continues the tradition of one of the most versatile and cheapest computer devices. It can be used for virtually anything from proprietary IoT solutions to a full-fledged desktop computer. The new Malinka has two micro-HDMI ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 type A ports and two USB 2.0 type A ports.

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi 4

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0
Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.

In March, sales of Raspberry Pi single-board computers totaled 640,000. The consumer find it the cheapest way to start tinkering and drove to the second-largest sales month since Raspberry Foundation began selling for home use.

Other uses of Raspberry Pi computers are more directly associated with the appearance of COVID-19. For example, in Colombia, efforts are underway to run a ventilator on a Pi computer, and if successful, it will help solve the problem of the lack of traditional ventilation equipment in this country.

I think what this is telling us is that we’re seeing genuine consumer use of the product. It’s not like your desktop PC – you’re not going to be able play Crysis on it – but if you want a machine you can use to edit documents, use the web, use Gmail and Office 365 and all the baseline use cases of a general purpose computer, the Raspberry Pi 4 is a product we’ve made to get over that bar.

Eben Upton, the Raspberry Pi’s co-creator for Techrepublic

When the Raspberry Pi Foundation asked to talk about how to deal with COVID-19 using Raspberry Pi devices, one of the most common uses he saw was 3D printing with use of Raspberry Pi, especially for 3d-printed faceshields.

Raspberry Pi 4
Raspberry Pi 4

Arduino-based ventilator to help coronavirus patients

A month ago we wrote about Arduino-based solution, similar to the one tested in Columbia. As far as manufacturing and using home-made medical equipment is not advised, the spread of the COVID-19 might push humanity to such solutions. Johnny Lee’s project involves a simple, low-cost ventilator controlled via Arduino.

The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one. Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.

Source: https://blog.arduino.cc/2020/03/17/designing-a-low-cost-open-source-ventilator-with-arduino/

New #CoronaIOT initiative from Industrial IoT manufacturer

Trends indicate a weakening of many sectors of the economy, including the IoT sector. However, we can prevent the upcoming crisis with products and technology keeping up with the inevitable changes in our daily lives.

TECHBASE Group took the challenge of gathering potential partners for projects that serve improvement of health safety and worldwide trend of Social Distancing. The program will periodically present new IoT projects, involving manufacturers, software and hardware developers, new technology influencers and media.

Industrial Raspberry Pi powered devices as a base of medical equipment?

When industrial IoT devices and edge devices, like medical equipment work together, digital information becomes more powerful. Especially in contexts where you need to collect data in a traditional edge context, or control the servo-motors of a ventilator. You can then remotely monitor the container using the sensor.

By introducing AI (artificial intelligence) into the device itself, edge computing can also make more context-sensitive, quick decisions at the edge. Data gathered from the sensors can be transferred to the cloud at any time after local work has been completed, contributing to a more global AI process, or archived. With the combination of industrial IoT devices and advanced technology, high quality analysis and small footprint will become the AI standard in 2020.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4 on-board

The creators of the Pi-oT module returned to Kickstarter and launched a new module based on ESP32. Thanks to this, users familiar with Arduino programming or preferring lighter architecture can enjoy all the advantages of the IoT module for enterprises.

Pi-oT ESP module key features and specification:

  • Board – ESP32-DevKitC-D32 based on ESP32-WROOM-D32 module with ESP32 dual-core processor, 32Mbit SPI flash
  • Relays – 4x Panasonic SPDT relays controlled via GPIO pins
  • Screws terminals for
    • Relay outputs
    • 6x analog inputs configurable as GPIO if needed
    • 2x analog outputs configurable as GPIO if needed
    • 2x GPIO
    • 5V input, 3.3V, and GND
  • Power Supply – 5V input via terminal or Micro USB port?; 5V circuitry protection
  • Dimensions – DIN rail enclosure

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/05/04/pi-ot-esp-module-leverages-esp32-screw-terminals-iot-automation/

The ESP Module is a microcontroller based IoT Module which offers the same great features as our Pi-oT Module, but based off on an ESP32 platform. The ESP Module is powered by an ESP32 DEVKITC-32D microcontroller which is included in each reward.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pi-ot/esp-module

Additionally 10 GPIO pins are routed to the housing terminals to utilize the power of ESP32 in a wide range of applications. The flexibility of the ESP32s system allows easy configuration of 6 of these pins as analogue inputs and 2 as analogue outputs.

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

Sequent Microsystems has introduced the Raspberry Pi „4-relay” add-on to the Industrial IoT market. Four relays switch lines for loads up to 10 A and 250 V, can be stacked up to 8 times with max. 32 switched relays.

It can be used to control loads of up to 10A and 250V. You can control directly all your lights and appliances. Pluggable connectors accept 18 to 22 AWG wires and simplify the installation, specially if you are planning to use more than one card. The cards are stacked with 18mm male-female standoffs. All the hardware required for the installation is provided. Relays are controlled through I2C IO Expanders, using only 2 pins on the GPIO interface and leaving all the other pins available for the user.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/279405789/4-relays-for-raspberry-pi-8-level-stackable-10a-250v-each/

Some industrial IoT devices, based on Raspberry Pi platform already offer Relay expansion modules. One of them is ModBerry 500/9500 series, introduced in 2014 – later upgraded with latest Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 3+. ModBerry standard configurator offers up to 12x Relay expansion, with additional customizable options available for larger orders.

ExCard modules to peak the performance

Every TECHBASE’s industrial computer is supported by ExCard add-on modules for extra RS-232/485 serial ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, opto-isolation, accelerometer, etc. To provide specific communication paths, ModBerry can be rigged with additional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT, LoRa, ZigBee, GPS and Wireless M-Bus.

The latest options for ModBerry series are:

  • SuperCap expansion, to provide constant power supply as a UPS option
  • OLED 0.96” & new OLED 1,3″ screen, allowing the control without the need of connecting into the device
  • ESP32 module as a security chip, to add a firewall into control installation and ensure constant operation of the device, even with power drops and random events
  • Aluminum case, to grant much higher durability for extra harsh industrial conditions
  • Mentioned earlier SATA/M.2 SSD controller for extra data storage

The Colombian medical team tests a fan made with the Raspberry Pi and easily available parts. Robotics engineer Marco Mascolo said he made the project because he knew that machines were in great demand to handle Covid-19. The design and code was published online in March by a Californian, stating that he had ‚no previous experience creating medical devices’.

The ventilator control computer is the most important part. Raspberry Pi can set the air pressure, open and close the valves to adjust if the patient needs full or partial breath support, and Mascorro has integrated the code with open software so that anyone can use or change it for free.

Arduino-based ventilator to help coronavirus patients

A month ago we wrote about Arduino-based solution, similar to the one tested in Columbia. As far as manufacturing and using home-made medical equipment is not advised, the spread of the COVID-19 might push humanity to such solutions. Johnny Lee’s project involves a simple, low-cost ventilator controlled via Arduino.

The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one. Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.

Source: https://blog.arduino.cc/2020/03/17/designing-a-low-cost-open-source-ventilator-with-arduino/

New #CoronaIOT initiative from Industrial IoT manufacturer

Trends indicate a weakening of many sectors of the economy, including the IoT sector. However, we can prevent the upcoming crisis with products and technology keeping up with the inevitable changes in our daily lives.

TECHBASE Group took the challenge of gathering potential partners for projects that serve improvement of health safety and worldwide trend of Social Distancing. The program will periodically present new IoT projects, involving manufacturers, software and hardware developers, new technology influencers and media.

Industrial Raspberry Pi powered devices as a base of medical equipment?

When industrial IoT devices and edge devices, like medical equipment work together, digital information becomes more powerful. Especially in contexts where you need to collect data in a traditional edge context, or control the servo-motors of a ventilator. You can then remotely monitor the container using the sensor.

By introducing AI (artificial intelligence) into the device itself, edge computing can also make more context-sensitive, quick decisions at the edge. Data gathered from the sensors can be transferred to the cloud at any time after local work has been completed, contributing to a more global AI process, or archived. With the combination of industrial IoT devices and advanced technology, high quality analysis and small footprint will become the AI standard in 2020.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4 on-board

Some time ago, we wrote about the premiere of Espressif’s ESP32-S2 chip. Check out the summary from Adafruit team on the ESP32-32 features.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

Aries Embedded announced one of the first computing modules with the SoF PolarFire function. It is equipped with a Linux RISC-V SoC chip with a Microchip Microsemi FPGA processor. The M100PFS has the same dimensions of 74 x 42 mm as the similar M100PF module from Aries and is equipped with PolarFire FPGAs without RISC-V core for Linux.

The two major M100PFS SKUs are:

  • M100PFS-025ADA0 — MPFS025T FPGA with 23K LE, 68 math blocks, 4x SERDES; 1GB LPDDR4 RAM for HMS (RISC-V/Linux); 4GB eMMC
  • M100PFS-250AECC — MPFS250T FPGA with 254K LE, 784 blocks, 16x SERDES; 4GB LPDDR4 each for HMS and FPGA; 8GB eMMC

Source: http://linuxgizmos.com/linux-powered-module-charges-up-the-risc-v-polarfire-soc/

Aries’ M100PFS a competition for Raspberry Pi 4 in IoT
M100PFS

PolarFire SoC from Microchip combines the previously introduced PolarFire FPGA card with 4x RISC-V U54-MC SiFive core. Microchip claims that PolarFire SoCs are superior to hybrid SoCs with an arm / FPGA, such as Xilinx Zynq, with more configurable and open RISC-V designs, lower power consumption and much better real-time deterministic functions. I am In December, the company called it „the first FPGA SoC chip with deterministic and consistent RISC-V processor clusters and the deterministic L2 memory subsystem enabling the use of Linux and real-time applications.”

Industrial use of market Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4

ModBerry M500 also utilizes many more SBC platforms, such as Orange Pi, NanoPi and Intel-based UpBoard. Find more information here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/

Boosted Raspberry Pi 4 with SSD support

Many developement boards can be used in home and industrial applications to control and manage data. Check out latest video from open-tech infuencer, Andreas Spiess, in which he uses Raspberry Pi and SSD drive with Berryboot to enhance Raspberry Pi data storage capacity.

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi 4

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Raspberry Pi 4

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.

Coming up ESP32-S2 to fill the ESP32 and ESP8266 gap

In March 2019, photos of the new Espressif‚s chip „7 2-2-A” leaked. Since then, speculation has come up. It includes BLE5, USB, 5 GHz Wi-Fi and so on. Speculation ended last month when Espressif announced the new ESP32-S2. There is still some confusion about the ESP32-S2, but the specification has become clearer.

With state-of-the-art power management and RF performance, IO capabilities and security features, ESP32-S2 is an ideal choice for a wide variety of IoT or connectivity-based applications, including smart home and wearables.

Source: https://www.espressif.com/en/news/espressif-announces-%E2%80%A8esp32-s2-secure-wi-fi-mcu
First look of ESP32-S2

CPU and Memory

  • Xtensa® single-core 32-bit LX7 microcontroller
  • 7-stage pipeline
  • Clock frequency of up to 240 MHz
  • Ultra-low-power co-processor
  • 320 kB SRAM, 128 kB ROM, 16 KB RTC memory
  • Up to 1GB of external flash and SRAM support
  • Separate instruction and data cache

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 1×1 transmit and receive
  • HT40 support with data rate up to 150 Mbps
  • Support for TCP/IP networking, ESP-MESH networking, TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 and other networking protocols over Wi-Fi
  • Support Time-of-Flight (TOF) measurements with normal Wi-Fi packets

IO Peripherals

  • 43 programmable GPIOs
  • 14 capacitive touch sensing IOs
  • Standard peripherals including SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC/DAC and PWM
  • LCD (8-bit parallel RGB/8080/6800) interface and also support for 16/24-bit parallel
  • Camera interface supports 8 or 16-bit DVP image sensor, with clock frequency of up to 40 MHz
  • Full speed USB OTG support

Security

  • RSA-3072-based trusted application boot
  • AES256-XTS-based flash encryption to protect sensitive data at rest
  • 4096-bit eFUSE memory with 2048 bits available for application
  • Digital signature peripheral for secure storage of private keys and generation of RSA signatures

Optimal Power Consumption

ESP32-S2 supports fine-resolution power-control through a selection of clock frequency, duty cycle, Wi-Fi operating modes and individual power control of its internal components. 

  • When Wi-Fi is enabled, the chip automatically powers on or off the RF transceiver only when needed, thereby reducing the overall power consumption of the system. 
  • ULP co-processor with less than 5 uA idle mode and 24 uA at 1% duty-cycle current consumption. Improved Wi-Fi-connected and MCU-idle-mode power consumption.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.