Wearable technology is one of the hottest trends in the IoT right now. From smart watches to GPS-enabled smart shoes, wearables are well on their way to helping IoT service providers earn billions in revenue. MediaTek, a Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor company, is helping developers meet this demand with it’s LinkIt One board.
The maker of system on chip (SoC) products offers an innovative all-in-one development board called LinkIt ONE. This new microcontroller operating system is packed with development features and APIs designed to help IoT developers get their ideas into production faster.
Powerful performance in a tiny chip
LinkIt ONE is actually the first platform release from MediaTek Labs, the company’s central hub for developers to collaborate on everything from hobby projects to enterprise devices. Through Labs, MediaTek offers SDKs and HDKs, documentation, sample code, and discussion forums.
LinkIt ONE is based on the Aster 2502 chipset, a diminutive but powerful SoC that has 4MB of RAM and 4MB of flash memory, in addition to support for Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, and GSM cellular connectivity. At 5.4 x 6.2 mm, the Aster 2502 is smaller than a fingernail, but it provides enough room to add in lots of hardware. With the Aster 2502, LinkIt ONE offers high performance and low power consumption to wearables and IoT devices.
Running on top of the Aster and GNSS and WiFi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE dev platform is based on a real-time operating system (RTOS) kernel. On top of the RTOS kernel is a set of drivers, middleware, and protocol stacks that expose the chipset features to a framework. A run-time environment provides services to a porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping platform. The API is then used to develop Arduino sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK.
Fast, easy, cost-effective development
So what’s in it for IoT developers? Plenty, as it turns out. Here are some of the biggest advantages of LinkIt ONE:
- Rapid development. MediaTek’s new LinkIt Smart 7688 development platform gives developers a wide variety of programming options that enable fast development of advanced WiFi devices such as IP cameras, smart appliances, and surveillance devices.
- Reduced costs. The highly integrated SoC design of the Aster chipset eliminates the need for multiple chips, so developers can create smaller devices that cost less.
- Arduino support. Through an API and the LinkIt ONE SDK, the platform helps developers quickly port existing Arduino apps to LinkIt ONE. Additionally, the LinkIt ONE developer board has a similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO, which enables a broad range of peripherals and circuits to be connected to the board.
- Comprehensive communications options. The platform offers an impressive array of communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC audio, as well as WiFi and GNSS.
Golgi and LinkIt ONE: Leveraging the power of web APIs
Developers can also take advantage of the LinkIt ONE board’s integration with the Golgi Programmable Device Cloud Platform to easily create embedded devices that take advantage of the power of web APIs.
For example, devs can connect their embedded device to their own custom web service using the LinkIt ONE’s built-in WiFi antenna. Golgi’s C/C++ implementation then allows you to expose the functionality of the LinkIt ONE board via HTTP and access third-party web APIs using the hosted Golgi web service.
Get on board
MediaTek Labs makes it ridiculously easy for developers to get going with LinkIt One. Just visit the Get Started page for instructions on getting the hardware and software, installing the Arduino IDE and LinkIt ONE SDK, updating firmware, and configuring the Arduino IDE.
Once you’ve completed all those steps, you can easily create and run your first sketch, following these instructions:
Step 1: Create a Project
- In Arduino IDE on the File menu, point to Examples and then Basics, and click Blink. This opens the Blink example, as shown below.
Step 2: Upload the Sketch to Your Board
- Confirm that your board is in SPI mode by checking the SPI/SD Card switch shown below. The switch should be in the position closest to the LED.
- On the File menu, click Upload, or click the upload icon as shown below.
- Wait for a moment. If everything is correct, a Done Uploading message will display in the Arduino IDE.
Step 3: Watch the LED Blink on the Board
Now, the LED for the digital pin 13 on the LinkIt ONE development board, shown below, will start blinking on and off every second.
Once this final step is complete, you’ve successfully run a LinkIt ONE sketch.