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Infineon Getting Started Box IOT - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 9
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 10
The price to performance ratio was good: 9
TotalScore: 58 / 60
  • RoadTest: Infineon Getting Started Box IOT
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Semiconductors
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: I have tested a number of sensor kits and similar sensors from other manufacturers. In the write-up reference is made to several of them.
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: No major problems. This was the first time I used solderless pin connections and had some concern about the force needed to seat them.

  • Detailed Review:

    Infineon XENSIVTM Sensors – Getting Started Box IOT

    by Frank Milburn

     

    Introduction

     

    The Infineon XENSIVTM Sensors – Getting Started Box IOT was evaluated. Sensors are one of my main interests in electronics and this is the third RoadTest I have completed on them.  The sensors, microcontrollers, and accessories included in this kit were:

    • Two XMCTM 2Go - 32-bit Microcontroller based on ARM® Cortex®-M in Shield2Go Formfactor
    • ESP32 – 32-bit Microcontroller with BLE and Wi-Fi functionality and Shield2Go dual adapter with OPTIGATM Trust X
    • Infineon Joystick Add-On

     

    As well, a USB cable and solderless connections were in the box.

     

    The RoadTest consists of my observations during unboxing and setup of the microcontrollers as well as the following for each sensor in the package.

     

    • Brief description of sensor and operation
    • Evaluation plan
    • Evaluation results

     

    At the end of the RoadTest there is a summary.

     

    Unboxing and Setup

     

    The package arrived well packaged and undamaged.  The Infineon packaging was among the most aesthetically pleasing I have seen for such products.

    Infineon Getting Started Box IOT

    Infineon XENSIVTM Sensors – Getting Started Box IOT

     

    An initial observation was that the lettering on the silk screens of the XMC2Go is small and I found difficult to read the pin labels. This was also true for the shields to a somewhat lesser degree.

     

    The kit came with solderless pin and header connectors which I had not encountered before.  These connectors were to be used on the Arduino and Shield2Go PCBs only.  The XMC 2Go requires standard male 0.1” headers which were not included and needed to be soldered.  The Wemos ESP32 and associated Shield2Go adapter already had pins and headers soldered on.

    Shield2Go with 0.1" Solderless Pin Connectors

    Shield2Go and Solderless Pins

     

    No instructions were given on the solderless connections and the first board tried could not be finger pressed so a quick internet search was done.  Instructions found for similar connectors for the Raspberry Pi included an alignment jig and instructions to tap into place with a hammer!

     

    On one or two boards I was able to press the pins in with finger pressure (very firm finger pressure) alone. On the other boards the pins were aligned with a breadboard and then with considerable pressure forced into place. This was done with care but still trepidation.  A rounded screwdriver handle was needed to apply pressure in some cases so as not to press on components.  In the end they all worked and were quite snugly in place but I am not a converted fan of these connectors as it seemed possible to damage the PCB or components if not very careful (but see microphone test below where I am reassessing my opinion for these type uses).

     

    XMC 1100 (XMC 2Go)

     

    This is a small breadboard friendly development board with an Infineon XMC1100 ARM® Cortex™-M0 based microcontroller and on-board J-Link Lite Debugger.  Power is supplied by USB.  There are 16 pins broken out.

    XMC2Go

    XMC 2Go and associated Shield2Go pinout – Credit: Infineon

     

    Infineon offers the DAVETM software generation platform as well as support for the Arduino IDE.  The Arduino files installed without issue and will be used for this RoadTest since that is the code that was supplied with the kit.  The DAVETM platform was installed on a Windows 10 machine and a LED blinked but further exploration will be done at a later date.

     

    XMC 1100 (Arduino Form Factor) and Shield2Go Adapter

     

    The kit also contains a XMC 1000 Boot Kit in Arduino form factor with an Infineon XMC1100 ARM® Cortex™-M0 based microcontroller in a TSSOP38 package and on-board J-Link Lite Debugger.  Power is supplied by USB.  There are pins broken out in the standard Arduino arrangement plus six user LEDs.

     

    The kit also came with a Shield2Go adapter with sockets for 3 shields.  In the photo below the Shield2Go adapter has been fitted to the XMC 1100 Boot Kit and a 3DSense Shield2Go with the rotating knob provided with the kit placed on top to illustrate how easy it is to ready a test for the sensors.

    Infineon XMC1100 with Arduino Form Factor and 3DSense Shield2Go with Knob Add-On

    Similar to the XMC 2Go, Infineon offers the DAVETM software generation platform as well as support for the Arduino IDE.

     

    ESP32 Wemos Form Factor and Dual-adapter Trust X

     

    The Wemos ESP32 that comes with the kit is a 32 bit microcontroller that comes with Wi-Fi and BLE and can run in the Arduino IDE. Infineon provides a dual Shield2Go adapter that fits on top of it.  This allows the ESP32 to use one of the sensors provided with the kit and the OPTIGATM Trust X Shield2Go simultaneously for secure Wi-Fi transmission.

     

    Sensor: TLV493D-A1B6 – 3D Magnetic Hall Sensor

    3D Magnetic Hall Sensor

     

    Description and Operation

     

    The TLV493D-A1B6 3D magnetic hall sensor is one of the more interesting sensors that I have tested recently. It does three dimensional reading of a magnetic field with 12 bit resolution and can be used in linear and rotational applications.  Current consumption is low and it connects with an I2C interface. It comes in a TSOP6 package which would be easy to solder.

    Block Diagram

    credit: Infineon

    Diagram showing Operation

    Credit: Infineon

     

    One of the things I really liked about this board was the add-ons that came with it and the others that Infineon uses to demonstrate various uses.  A joystick and rotating push knob come in the kit.  Downloads for 3D printers are also available for several of the add-ons.

    Example 3D Add-Ons

    Credit: Infineon

     

    The add-ons fit directly on to the Shield2Go and contain an embedded magnet which the 3D Hall Effect sensor can pick up.

     

    One comment common to all of the Shield2Go boards is that the lettering is small and was a bit difficult for me to read.  For the 3DSense Shield2Go the PCB is attached with a screw and care should be taken not to overtighten and stress the PCB.

     

    The Arduino libraries include examples with both Cartesian and Polar coordinates.  There are also examples that use Processing for GUI interaction on a PC.  Infineon supplies more Arduino examples with their sensor kit than the other manufacturers I have recently evaluated. 

     

    Evaluation Plan

     

    Equipment used:

    • Infineon Joystick Add-On
    • Infineon TLV493D-A1B6
    • Infineon XMC 2Go XMC1100
    • Windows PC
    • Arduino IDE

     

    Procedure:

    1. Modify the Arduino code by reducing the delay statement in the code and increase the Serial baud rate so as to get more responsive and higher resolution output. 
    2. Subjectively test the sensor and Arduino code in Cartesian mode for responsiveness and resolution.

     

    Evaluation Results

     

    The firmware, sensor, and add-on worked without issues.  A video describing the hardware and demonstration with the joystick follows:

     

    I also tried out the rotating pushbutton and it worked well.  The different add-ons with 3D printable files for several are a great idea and this was easily one of the most fun sensors I have tested in some time.

     

    Sensor: OPTIGA™ Trust E– Hardware Security Chip

    Security Shield2Go

     

    Description and Operation

     

    Infineon provides a large number of security related products.  The OPTIGA™ Trust E products are for smaller platforms and programmable solutions.  The stated uses include embedded authentication and brand protection.

     

    The security chip comes in a USON-10-2 package and operates in a range of 3.13 V  to 3.63 V and connects over I2C.  Features* include:

    • CC EAL6+ (high) certified high-end security controller
      • ECC NIST P-256/P-384
      • RSA® 1024/2048
      • SHA-256
      • TRNG/DRNG
    • I2C interface with shielded  connection
    • Hibernate mode for zero power consumption 
    • USON-10-2 package
    • Standard and extended  temperature ranges: -40 to + 105°C
    • Up to 10 kB user memory
      • Protected updates
      • Usage counters
      • Dynamic object (e.g. credentials) locking
    • Device security monitor
    • Lifetime of 20 years for industrial and infrastructure applications
    • Cryptographic toolbox
    • MIT licensed software framework  on Github

     

    *Feature list taken from Infineon Product Description

     

    Evaluation Plan

     

    Equipment used:

    • Windows PC
    • ESP32 Microcontroller
    • Arduino IDE

     

    Procedure: Run supplied Arduino sketches and make sure output is as expected.

     

    Results

     

    The security hardware and sketch worked as expected without issue.  The output for a randomly generated certificate is shown below.

    Random Certificate

    The security hardware was not extensively tested but ran as expected.  The inclusion of a WeMos ESP32 and dual shield adapter were a nice touch that allows for a secure project in a small package using one of the Infineon sensors.

     

    Sensor: DPS310 – Barometric Pressure

    Barometric Pressure Shield2Go

     

    Description and Operation

     

    The DPS310 comes in a small 8 pin LGA package.  Features include:

    • Pressure: 300 –1200 hPa.
    • Temperature: -40 – 85 °C.
    • Pressure sensor precision: ± 0.002 hPa (or ±0.02 m) (high precision mode).
    • Relative accuracy: ± 0.06 hPa (or ±0.5 m)
    • Absolute accuracy: ± 1 hPa (or ±8 m)
    • Temperature accuracy: ± 0.5°C.
    • Pressure temperature sensitivity: 0.5Pa/K
    • Measurement time: Typical: 27.6 ms for standard mode (16x). Minimum: 3.6 ms for low precision mode.
    • Average current consumption: 1.7 µA for Pressure Measurement, 1.5uA for Temperature measurement @1Hz sampling rate, Standby: 0.5 µA.

     

    The sensor has capacitive pressure and temperature sensors and both I2C and SPI interfaces.

    Block Diagram

    Credit: Infineon

     

    Evaluation Plan

     

    Equipment used:

    • Infineon DPS310
    • Infineon XMC 2Go XMC1100
    • tape measure
    • Windows PC
    • Arduino IDE
    • MIDE altitude pressure online calculator

     

    Procedure:

    1. Modify the Arduino code by reducing delays and increasing Serial output speed.
    2. Observe the resolution of the sensor using the Arduino output and check for 5 cm resolution
    3. Measure and record average pressure at bottom stair case
    4. Measure and record average pressure on second floor directly above the first measurement.
    5. Measure distance from top to bottom of stair case with a measurement tape
    6. Measure outdoor temperature
    7. Use Mide online calculator to obtain elevation distance from top to bottom of stair case
    8. Compare calculated distance due to pressure change and measured distance with tape

     

    Results

     

    The firmware and sensor worked without issues.  In the video that follows the high resolution of the sensor is demonstrated.

     

    The sensor was responsive with high resolution. 

     

    The following data was recorded in order to evaluate ability to determine elevation changes:

    • Ground Floor:  99134 Pa
    • Upper Floor:    99103 Pa
    • Outside Temperature: 17.8 deg. C

     

    Using the MIDE calculator the elevations were then calculated as shown below:

    MIDE Calculations

    The difference in the measured and the calculated values differ by only 0.1 m.  This is within the datasheet value and compares well with other sensors I have tested.  While this test contains limited data points and was not repeated under other conditions I was impressed with the sensor.

     

    Sensor: TLI4970-D050T4– Current

    Current Sensor

     

    Description and Operation

     

    The TLI4970-D050T4 is a precision current sensor using Hall technology that comes in a 7x7 mm package.  No external calibration is needed.  The key features include:

    • AC & DC measurement range up to ±50A
    • Low offset error (max. 25mA)
    • High magnetic stray field suppression
    • Fast overcurrent detection with configurable threshold
    • Galvanic isolation up to 2.5kV max. rated isolation voltage (UL1577)
    • 16 bit digital SPI output (13 bit current value)

     

    Current flowing through the primary side (terminals marked IP+ and IP-) induce a magnetic field measured by two differential Hall sensors.  After digitalization by the ADC the signal is filtered and fed to a digital signal processor. Compensated values are transmitted to a SPI interface.

    Current Sensor Block Diagram

    Credit:  Infineon TLI4970-D050T4 datasheet

     

    The full scale primary current range is -50 to 50 Amps.  Primary resistance is 0.6 mOhms typically with 1.0 mOhm max.  The absolute total error (gain, offset, linearity, including lifetime drift) is +/- 20mA/A.  Update rate is 80 kSPS with resolution of 12.5 mA/LSB.

    Current Sensor Error Distribution

    Credit:  Infineon TLI4970-D050T4 datasheet

     

    Evaluation Plan

     

    Equipment used: 

    • Tenma 72-2685 DC Power Supply
    • Extech EX330 DMM
    • Keysight DSOX1102G Oscilloscope
    • 10 W 1 Ohm Resistor
    • Infineon TLI4970-D050T4
    • Infineon XMC 2Go XMC1100
    • Windows PC
    • Arduino IDE

     

    Procedure:

    1. Connect power supply in series with 1 Ohm resistor and the TLI4970-D050T4.
    2. Set multimeter to record voltage across 1 Ohm resistor and thus current
    3. Increase voltage on DC power supply up to 2.5 Amps and take 25 readings at intervals
    4. Copy and paste readings from the Arduino output to an Excel spreadsheet and plot results

     

    Results

     

    The firmware installed and ran without issue. The Arduino output prints single readings over and over.  The test setup is shown below:

    Setup on Bench

    Data transferred to Excel and the data in tabular form is shown below.

    Excel Spreadsheet

    When the individual current readings are grouped by current setting and plotted the following results are obtained.

    Individual Current Results Plotted

    The deviation between readings was more than expected with as much as 180 mA difference between readings.  Thinking it might be ripple from the power supply two “C” type 1.5 V batteries in series were substituted for the power supply. Similar deviation between readings was obtained.

     

    However, plotting the average of 25 readings resulted in outcomes very close to the expected values and were linear over the abbreviated range tested as shown below.

    Averaged Current Data

    The sensor has nice range with reasonable resolution and can handle AC and DC.  The deviation between individual readings was greater than expected but at this point error introduced by the testing method / equipment cannot be ruled out.  Only the lower range of sensor was tested and only DC was tested.

     

    Sensor: IM69D130– Digital MEMS Silicon Microphone

    Microphone

     

    Description and Operation

     

    The IM69D130 is an omnidirectional dual MEMS microphone with 105dB dynamic range that comes in a 4mm x 3mm x 1.2mm package.  Analog to digital conversion speed is 6us at 1kHz.  Total harmonic distortion is less than 1% up to 128dBSPL. 

    Block Diagram

    Credit: Infineon datasheet

     

    Evaluation Plan

     

    Equipment used: 

    • Infineon IM69D130
    • Infineon XMC 2Go XMC1100
    • Windows PC
    • Arduino IDE

     

    Procedure: The supplied Arduino sketches include I2S input and sound pressure level plotting routines.  Ease of use and subjective response will be tested using the provided sketches for microphone output and SPL.

     

    Results

     

    The sensor failed to output anything but zeros on my first attempt.  After putting some debug print into the code and failing to find the problem I put it away and came back the next day.  As it happens I stuck the male pins into the wrong side of the board and had placed it on the microcontroller upside down with pins in the wrong location.  This came about due to carelessness on my part and the fact that all the soldered parts are on the underside of the board – the mics are ported through holes to the top of the board.

     

    Once the pins were correctly inserted the sensor and firmware worked without issues.  It was fairly easy to remove the pins and put them in properly on the other side which gave me cause to think that the solderless pins weren’t such a bad idea after all :-).

     

    I recently had problems with Arduino firmware using the Knowles SPH0645LM4H mic supplied by Omron so it was nice that the Infineon examples worked so well.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the XMC1100 could do serial at 1000000 baud.

     

    In the following screenshots the output from a quiet room, normal speaking voice, and whistling can be seen.

    Quiet Room

    REPLACE THIS TEXT WITH YOUR Speaking

    REPLACE THIS TEXT WITH

    Whistle

     

    This short video has a demonstration of the Sound Pressure Level output.

     

     

    The microphones were not extensively tested but the supplied firmware demonstrated that a normal speaking voice, loud sounds close to mic, and high pitches like whistling can be handled.

     

    Conclusion

     

    My observations are almost all positive:

    • More and better Arduino examples for individual sensors than most
    • Four microcontroller boards to set up and run sensors
    • Arduino examples all ran without issues
    • Lightweight free DAVE IDE for professional development
    • Innovative 3D Hall sensor with Add-ons that demonstrate use cases
    • OPTIGA™ Trust E hardware and open source software easy to use
    • DPS310 barometric pressure sensor compares well again competitors for accuracy and has very high resolution
    • TLI4970-D050T4 current sensor has large range and gave good accuracy when several measurements were averaged
    • IM69D130 MEMS microphones has good specifications and Arduino sketches were useful for demonstrating capabilities.

     

    I had some trouble inserting the solderless pins at first due to unfamiliarity but no problems after insertion. Some of the silkscreens were hard to read and the current sensor had more deviation between readings than expected. The deviation in readings may be due to my testing procedure however and high level current capability was not tested.

     

    In summary, all of the sensors were of high quality and the evaluation boards worked as expected. The example code worked without issue. This is one of the best sensor kits I have tested.  The 3D Hall sensor was a particular favorite.  The XMC1100 microcontroller also impressed me and I plan to use it in another project shortly.

     

    Edits and Corrections

     

    6 Oct 2020 Edit:  Replaced table with correct averaged current graph in TLI4970-D050T4 section


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