What’s new in China? New maker products roundup August 2017
Here are new maker products recently released which are worth looking at:
ESP32 is love
Keyan Technlogy has a DOIT ESP32 board for $7.50. They are a big reputable shop on Aliexpress and it’s a good price for an ESP32 board. Good board to join the train hype around the ESP32.
I2C Bus voltage level converter
Reland Tech has a I2C bus level converter, for $3.00. It’s based off Texas Instruments’ PCA9306 Dual Bidirectional I2C Bus and SMBus Voltage-Level Translator IC so it’s definetely not some sort of hack. It’s a nice chip if you need to shift 3.3V/5V I2C.
High frequency 3.3V buck converter
Still at Reland Tech, they have 3.3V/3A buck rectifier based of the MP2307. It’s a solid alternative to the LM2576 and I personally like the SOIC8 form factor. Note that there’s a tiny potentiometer on the board so that you can adjust the output voltage. It’s a very nice demo of the chip.
High performance STM32
At TxHangElectronic, they’re betting a lot on the blue pill’s STM32 MCU with a board embarking the STM32F407ZET6 chip. It’s a beefy ARM Cortex M4 running at 168. At $12 it is incredibly cheap, but it seems that ESP32s have already won the high performance market. Still a nice product to explore!
Make your own resistance
Module Sky has quite the quirky product in the form of an array of resistors, allowing you to program any resistance of your choice; starting at 1 Ohm. Interesting idea but the monstrous size of this thing makes it hard to use, even for prototyping. Feel free to forge your own opinion!
Low end STM32
XM Electronic has a Cortex M0 STM32F030F4P6 board for $1.70. It runs at 48Mhz and as such is a direct competitor to Microchip’s SAMD21 line of MCUs. For this price, it would be wrong not to try it.
That’s it for now. It’s exciting to see makers slowly moving away from 8 bit ATMEGA chips and the market reacting to it. Arduino needs to react fast if it wants to stay relevant! For now, enjoy your new toys!