Security is the biggest challenge to developers bringing new IoT endpoint devices to market. To meet this need, technology solutions provider, Avnet introduced on Monday the Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit, which supports rapid prototyping of IoT implementations using Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, an end-to-end solution for creating highly-secured, connected Microcontroller (MCU) devices.
The Starter Kit leverages the Avnet-developed Azure Sphere module that is based on the MT3620 reference development board. The production-ready module is the fastest and easiest way to equip IoT endpoint devices to be highly secure, ensuring that developers can quickly move from prototype to production.
The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit includes a small form factor carrier board supporting Avnet’s production ready Azure Sphere MT3620 module with WiFi connectivity. Multiple expansion interfaces provide developers with easy integration of off-the-shelf sensors, displays, motors, relays and more. The downloadable “getting started” tutorial guides developers through the development steps from board setup to application coding.
The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit supports rapid prototyping of highly secure, end-to-end IoT implementations using Microsoft’s Azure Sphere. The small form-factor carrier board includes a production-ready MT3620 Sphere module with Wi-Fi connectivity, along with multiple expansion interfaces for easy integration of off-the-shelf sensors, displays, motors, relays, and more. The downloadable getting started tutorial guides developers through the development steps from board setup to application coding.
The production-ready Sphere MT3620 module is based on the MediaTek MT3620 SoC, which includes built-in Microsoft security, Wi-Fi connectivity and the combined versatility and power of an Arm Cortex-A7 processor with the low overhead and real-time guarantees of two Arm Cortex-M4F microcontrollers.
A suite of on-chip peripherals, real-time clock, Flash, and RAM are also available. In addition to the MT3620, the 33 x 22 mm module includes a dual-band Wi-Fi chip antenna and system clock. Up to 27 configurable GPIOs and three configurable serial ports (UART, I2C, or SPI) are provided as I/Os on the module.
The carrier board connects the Sphere module I/Os to two MikroE Click sockets, an I2C Grove connector, a connector supporting the addition of a 128 x 64 OLED graphical display, a 3D accelerometer, 3D Gyro, temperature sensor, and an ambient light sensor. Debugging is accomplished through a USB-to-UART interface, which also provides the necessary 5V power for the board.
User applications for the embedded Sphere controller are developed in C using Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE and the Azure Sphere SDK. Visual Studio provides an easy-to-use development environment for compiling and debugging application code.
The combination of Visual Studio, the versatile carrier card, and the production ready Sphere module delivers a powerful starting point for IoT developers interested in learning, prototyping, and deploying Azure Sphere based solutions.
Last spring, Microsoft named Avnet as a strategic partner for Azure Sphere and the first to distribute the solution. This introduction of the Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit further helps developers accelerate their IoT deployments while also addressing security holistically, from the silicon layer to the cloud.
The kit is ideal for creating secured IoT edge devices, such as consumer appliances, as well as smart retail, remote access, building and factory automation applications.
“Security is critical to continued growth within the connected devices market,” said Jim Beneke, vice president, engineering and technology, Avnet. “Microsoft has delivered significant advancements in connected security with Azure Sphere. Our new starter kit builds on that by offering an easy way for customers to accelerate prototyping, proof-of-concept development and time to market of their Azure Sphere powered devices, while providing confidence in the security of their solutions.”