Native (C/C++) programming with unique neonious one microcontroller board

With the neonious one we created a revolutionary microcontroller board. When we build it, we thought the key selling points are its software: It runs low.js, and thus JavaScript/TypeScript and the Node.JS API, and also has a on-board web-based IDE and debugger on-board. Take a look at the product website for more information.

We were surprised about the praise we got for the hardware design. Because many found the hardware attractive, we have received many requests as to whether the neonious one can also be programmed natively in C/C++.

The basic specs

  • 58 mm x 27 mm (2.28 inch x 1.06 inch), tightest posible design with chips mounted on top and bottom. Breadboard compatible!
  • ESP32-WROVER Module with 240 Mhz Dual Core Processor, 4 MB Flash and 4 MB PSRAM

The unique features of the mainboard

  • We added 10/100-MBit Ethernet in addition to 150-MBit Wifi and Bluetooth provided by the ESP32. For this, a LAN8720 Phy chip is mounted on the bottom.
  • As the ESP32 user program runs from Flash, any write to the main Flash pauses your user program. Bad if you want to continuously monitor sensors. To fix this, we added a 8 MB additional Flash chip connected via high-speed Quad SPI (it says 4 MB on product website, as with low.js only 4 MB is usable for user, but for native programming the whole 8 MB can be used). This Flash can be written to without stopping the program.
  • With Ethernet and Flash many pins of the ESP32 are no longer available. So we added a LPC822 co-processor to the bottom of the board. With this the board provides 27 I/O pins of which 23 are handled by the LPC822. These are more pins than can be used freely on the bare ESP32.
  • The ESP32 still does not provide linear ADC. Good that 11 of the I/O pins provided by the LPC822 support accurate ADC.
  • Side note: The ESP32 and the LPC822 communicate via UART or high-speed SPI
  • Side note: Support of voltages up to 50 V

We now support native programming!

We made low.js Open Source (with exception of the ESP32 adaption) and now we are also opening up the neonious one.

Because of the high costs of developing the boards, the things you need to program the neonious one natively are sold in our neonious Store as “neonious C/C++ Hacking Kit”. The kit includes:

  • Access to repository with a template project. This project includes a ESP32 code base based on ESP-IDF and a LPC822 code base based on LPCOpen
  • To flash: FTDI USB-to-TTL board, a cable to connect FTDI to neonious one’s 5 pin JST-SH programming connector and the required resistors
  • Manual on how to connect and flash your own native project and also low.js, in case you want to switch back
  • neonious one schemantics (not needed for low.js, as low.js hides the hardware details, but good to have for native programming)

With both, you can try out low.js and the great on-board IDE. Maybe we can get you hooked on it. And if not, you can now switch to native programming!