During the 2018 Embedded World conference held in Germany earlier this year, some people from the Zephyr Project hooked up with some PHYTEC representatives to bring about a development and evaluation board to highlight the Zephyr OS capabilities. Several months later, the Zephyr reel board was born, just in time for Zephyr’s hackathon happening right now at the OpenIoT Summit in Edinburgh.
The Zephyr Project is a specialized group of Linux fans united in developing a small, scalable RTOS optimized for resource-constrained devices (think IoT platforms) and multiple architectures, making it perfect for the reel board.
The reel board is packed with a ton of hardware, and features a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC (Arm Cortex-M4 CPU, FPU, 256Kb of RAM, 1Mb of Flash), ePaper display (250 X 122), environment sensors (temp, humidity, light, accelerometer), and an integrated 2.4GHz transceiver with support for Bluetooth LE and IEEE802.15.4.
Additional specs include built-in debug adapter (access via micro USB), on/off power switch, DC/DC power converter, reset/user-defined button, battery holder (AAA), RGB LED, edge expansion connector, and several GPIO for I2C, SPI, UART, RTC, and PWM. Power is delivered in two forms — micro USB and AAA battery, with the on/off switch choosing which source is used.
As far as applications are concerned, Zyphyr envisions using the eval/development board as a battery-powered sensor node, a low-cost/power HMI (Human Machine Interface) for remote control or environmental monitoring, and an interactive lanyard/badge for meetings or conferences. The reel board is now available for about $62 US direct from PHYTEC, and all documentation can be found on Zephyr’s reel board project page.