Arduino

Arduino is an open source hardware and software platform, which can be used for building electronics projects. It consists of an electronics board and a software to work with that board. It also comes with an IDE (integrated development environment) which runs on your PC.

What all things Arduino can do?

Arduino can interact with buttons, LEDs, sensors, motors and several other electronic devices. You will need separate connector and cables though. To state some sample projects – 3D Printer, Robots, Drones, Home Automation etc.

Arduino Uno - R3

Arduino is a brand name, however, their hardware and software are available under open-source. Even the circuit diagrams are available, in case someone wants to create the board themselves! As a result, there are other clones also available for Arduino hardware.

Each board can work independently after loading the program initially. Or it can work in tandem with other Arduino boards to provide additional functionality. Or it can also remain connected with a computer to carry out tasks which need access to data from sensors. A board contains following components:

  • USB connector – power as well as connectivity with computer
  • Various pins such a Ground, 3.3V, 5V, analog and digital
  • RESET button
  • Power Indicator
  • Transmitter and Receiver
  • Main IC (Integrated Circuit)

Arduino family contains multiple boards:

  • Uno
  • LilyPad
  • RedBoard
  • Leonardo

Some of the projects that you can build using this board:

  • Smart blind stick – one can use sensor to detect the obstacles and give feedback using a buzzer
  • Metal Detector
  • Measure Sound Level
  • Club it with Thermistor and you can control temperature in your room

You can find a huge list on the internet for such projects and also quite a few videos on youtube.

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Related Keywords

Hardware, Electronics, DIY

 

ASIC

ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuits. Almost everyone is aware of what is an integrated circuit (IC) – it is a set of multiple electronic circuits placed on a single small flat piece. By making ICs specific to a given application, one can reap benefits of enhanced performance and optimized power consumption. A common example is a chip designed to run a digital voice recorder.

What are the latest uses of ASIC?

Bitcoin uses blockchain technology and needs a lot of computational power to mine new bitcoins. There have been multiple ASIC developed for mining the bitcoins and have varied performances. Some of them have also been developed which mine Bitcoin as well as Litecoin. You can check this list for Bitcoin mining ASICs.

More Information about ASIC

ASIC - VLSI VL82C486 Single Chip 486 System Controller HV
In general, you will find such ICs in almost every electronic device. Typically, it does one thing and it does it well! These circuits embed custom logic and hence are considered as proprietary┬ádevices. An extension on ASIC is ASSP – Application-specific standard product. ASSP implements a specific function that in itself is a product.

Since ASICs are custom made, the design team focuses on speed optimization and also ensure lowest power consumption. It usually involves a lot of R&D work. This pushes the cost northwards, however, you tend to gain on mass production and long-term benefits to retain market position.

Reasons why it is used:

  • Compact size
  • Power and performance
  • IP Protection
  • Speed
  • Reliability

Types if ASIC

  • Gate-Array Design
  • Full-custom
  • Semi-custom
  • Platform

Related Keyword

Hardware

Graphic Processing Unit (GPU)

Graphic Processing Unit or GPU as we know it for several years now, has gained a new importance in the light of Artificial Intelligence. GPU is a specialized circuit designed to manipulate memory rapidly to create faster images.

GPUs are highly efficient in manipulating computer graphics and image processing. However they have now gained importance due to their efficiency in fast computing in a parallel fashion. GPU has parallel architecture consisting of several thousand smaller yet efficient cores designed to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This is where they differ from CPU, which has only a few cores designed for sequential processing.

GPU in Artificial Intelligence

GPUs have been found to be tremendously powerful as compared to CPUs. In one of the project, 12 NVIDIA GPUs delivered deep-learning performance of 2000 CPUs. That is phenomenal! NVIDIA GPUs are speeding up the DNNs (Deep neural Networks) by 10-20x, resulting in reduction in the training times for the Artificial Intelligence. NVIDIA has also provided rich platform for developers (CUDA) which improved developers’ productivity helping them innovate quickly.

Other Uses of GPU

We had known GPU long only for their graphics related use such as gaming. Several gaming consoles were powered by GPUs. However, as explained above GPUs are now very popular in the field of Artificial Intelligence. They have also been extremely useful and popular in several other areas such as:

  • Self Driving cars – to train the algorithm to detect the vehicles even in difficult conditions
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences – deep genomics studies
  • Robots

It is evident that the parallel processing that GPUs offer are going to dominate the near future and can be seen from the investor interest in this field. In last year itself there have been several investments from key VCs in the area of hardware.

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Related Keywords

Artificial Intelligence, DNN, CNN, NVIDIA, CUDA