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Thunderboard Sense

By Emily Coker / Jan 19, 2017

Thunderboard Sense

The Thunderboard Sense is one of the newest additions to the Silicon Labs Thunderboard family. The Sense does exactly what you might guess from the name: It senses the world wirelessly. This battery powered sensor node is another great tool to the ever growing world of IoT. Calling it a “sensor node” essentially means that it acts like a satellite off of another board — it can run like a small microcontroller hooked up to a bigger brain, but it can also be programmed and run on its own.

Thunderboard Sense offers tons of features in a small package. The board easily fits in the palm of your hand, measuring data such as temperature, air quality, light, pressure, and motion, amongst other things. The collected data is transmitted wirelessly to the cloud as well as monitored over a user-friendly app for iOS and Android.

Overall, the board is saturated with sensing possibilities for developing various connected IoT devices. The development platform is based on the Silicon Lab favorite EFR32 Mighty Gecko Wireless SOC. The board is Bluetooth and ZigBee ready with a demo to get you up and running with your smartphone, and includes a built in SEGGER J-Link debugger for easy development opportunities.

Specs
Thunderboard Sense Silicon Labs
Manufacturer:Silicon Labs
Type:Development Kit - Microcontroller / Wireless Node
Price:$36
Software:Simplicity Studio (runs on Linux, OSX, and Windows. The programming language is C/C++. They support both the IAR complier and GCC.)
Clock Speed:40MHz
Processor:ARM Cortex M4 core with 32 kB RAM and 256 kB Flash
I/O Pins Digital:20
I/O Pins Analog:20 (Each one of the 20 GPIO pins can be connected to the internal ADC, so technically each GPIO can be either digital or analog.)
Wi-Fi:Yes
Video:No
Bluetooth:Yes
Ethernet:Ethernet
Operating Voltage:2V–5.5V
Dimensions:30mmx45mm
Memory:8-Mbit Flash - 256 kB Flash
Additional Features:On-Board Sensors include: 6-axis accelerometer/gyro, Ambient Light, Digital Microphone, Humidity, Indoor Air Quality, Pressure, Temperature, Ultraviolet Radiation

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Why to Buy

The Thunderboard Sense could be a good option for you if you’re looking to build an IoT device that can sense the world around it and communicate via Bluetooth.

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