Azure Sphere, Internet of Things
Unlock new features in the MT3620 MCU with the Azure Sphere 19.05 release
By Ed Nightingale Partner Director of Engineering, Azure Sphere
3 min read
Each quarter, the Azure Sphere team works to open new scenarios to customers through new features on-chip and in the cloud. The Azure Sphere 19.05 release continues this theme by unlocking the real-time capable cores that reside on the MT3620. Co-locating these cores within the same SOC enables new, real-time scenarios on the M4 cores while continuing to support connectivity scenarios on the high-level core. This release also introduces support for DHCP-based Ethernet connections to the cloud.
We are also pleased to announce that the Azure Sphere hardware ecosystem continues to expand with new modules available for mass production and new, less expensive development boards. Finally, new Azure Sphere reference solutions are available to accelerate your solution’s time to market.
To build applications that take advantage of this new functionality, please download and install the latest Azure Sphere SDK Preview for Visual Studio. All Wi-Fi connected devices will automatically receive an updated Azure Sphere operating system that contain support for these new features.
Enabling new MT3620-based features
- Real-time core preview—The OS and SDK support development, deployment, and debugging SPI, I2C, GPIO, UART and ADC real-time capable apps on the MT3620’s two M4 cores. GitHub sample apps show GPIO, UART, and real-time core to high-level core communication.
- ADC sample—This real-time core sample app demonstrates how to use the MT3620’s analog-to-digital converters to sample voltages. See the ADC GitHub sample for more details.
Tools and libraries
- Improved CMAKE support—Visual Studio now supports one-touch deploy and debug for applications that use CMake.
- Application runtime version—Application properties specify the required application runtime version (ARV), and azsphere commands detect conflicts. See the online documentation for details.
- Random number generation (RNG)—The POSIX base API supports random number generation from Pluton's RNG.
- Easy hardware targeting—Hardware-specific JSON and header files are provided in the GitHub sample apps repository. You can now easily target a particular hardware product by changing an application property.
New connectivity options
- Ethernet internet interface—This release supports an Ethernet connection as an alternative to a Wi-Fi connection for communicating with the Azure Sphere Security Service and your own services. Our GitHub samples now demonstrate how to wire the supported Microchip part, bring up the Ethernet interface, and use it to connect to Azure IoT or your own web services.
- Local device discovery—The Azure Sphere OS offers new network firewall and multicast capabilities that enable apps to run mDNS and DNS-SD for device discovery on local networks. Look for more documentation in the coming weeks on this feature.
Support for additional hardware platforms
Several hardware ecosystem partners have recently announced new Azure Sphere-enabled products:
- SEEED MT3620 Mini Development Board—This less-expensive development board single-band Wi-Fi is designed for size-constrained prototypes. It uses the AI-Link module for a quick path from prototype to commercialization.
- AI-Link WF-M620-RSA1 Wi-Fi Module—This single-band Wi-Fi module is designed for cost-sensitive applications.
- USI Azure Sphere Combo Module—This module supports both dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The on-board Bluetooth chipset supports BLE and Bluetooth 5 Mesh. The chipset can also work as an NFC tag to support non-contact Bluetooth pairing and device provisioning scenarios.
- Avnet Guardian module—This module enables the secure connection of existing equipment to the internet. It attaches to the equipment through Ethernet and connects to the cloud via dual-band Wi-Fi.
- Avnet MT3620 Starter Kit—This development board with dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity features modular connectors that support a range of MikroE Click and Grove modules.
- Avnet Wi-Fi Module—This dual-band Wi-Fi module with stamp hole (castellated) pin design allows for easy assembly and simpler quality assurance.
There has never been a better time to begin developing on Azure Sphere, using the development kit or module which best fits your needs, or those of your customer, with highly customizable offerings available.
- Get started using the Azure Sphere SDK Preview for Visual Studio.
- Need help? Connect with experts through the Azure Sphere forum or on Stack Overflow.
- Share product feedback and requests.
- Stay current with the latest Azure Updates.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to kick off an Azure Sphere engagement with your Microsoft representative.