Top 10 articles of 2016

The audience has spoken. From development kits to data analytics to the Internet of Things, these were your top ten favorite articles from 2016.

1. Raspberry Pi and Arduino in industrial applications

Do hobbyist tools have a place in industrial settings? Jeremy Cook presents his case for DIY ingenuity beyond the garage.

2. Bluetooth’s third trick – Mesh networking for IoT

In this Q&A, Erret Kroeter, VP of Marketing at Bluetooth SIG discusses range, power consumption, and backwards compatibility of Bluetooth SIG’s new mesh networking specification.

3. ‘C’ lands on FPGAs to make embedded multicore computing a reality

With today’s applications demanding integration of high-speed cameras or a high-speed ADC/DAC, an FPGA is required, but with the explosion in their popularity, ever-increasing complexity, and an entirely new language to code them with, a skills and resource vacuum has quickly ensued. Xilinx seized the opportunity by commercializing an all-programmable system-on-chip (SoC) solution, the Zynq SoC with SDSoC development environment, which allows FPGA fabric programming in more traditional C/C++, allowing any developer to leverage the massive potential of FPGAs.

4. Tear down: Garmin Forerunner 230 GPS Running Watch

Garmin manages to get the maximum performance from the ARM M4 processor without requiring users to lug around a battery pack – but the masterful, low-power design of this wearable still falls short of end-user expectations.

5. Fundamentals of IoT device management

The four fundamental functions of remote device management are provisioning and authentication, configuration and control, monitoring and diagnostics, and software updates and maintenance. These features are essential to maximum uptime and device security, but because they aren’t exciting to the consumer, they’re often treated as an afterthought in the development process.

6. An IoT development kit comparison

With out-of-the-box connectivity, cloud access, and low-cost or no-cost development environments and debuggers, IoT development kits have become a popular choice for quick and affordable development and prototyping. See this initial comparison of five IoT development kits ­– then compare more using our interactive development kit selector.

7. Developers are choosing Java for their intelligent IoT gateways

Recent survey data suggests Java is gaining strength for development of embedded IoT applications. Find out why in this data drilldown.

8. Picking a portable Internet of Things operating system

Can an IoTopia where common operating systems run as seamlessly on sensor modules as network servers exist? No – but the modular, scalable design of an RTOS may be the next best thing.

9. Analytics-driven embedded systems, an introduction

Are your analytics software tools compatible with your data sources and formats? How (and where) should your system clean and prepare data to make it useful in analysis? Best practices for the acquisition and pre-processing of IoT data are reviewed in part one of this three-part series on designing analytics-driven embedded systems.

10. The amazing ESP8266 Wi-Fi module

The $2 ESP8266 Wi-Fi module contains an 80 MHz processor that can be overclocked to 160 MHz, making it capable of running Charles Lohr’s ColorChord algorithm. Jeremy Cook discusses how MakerPros can get the most out of this impressive, affordable little module.