The new EM500 module is the first in an all-new family of affordable programmable modules which break away from the "more is better" paradigm. Dubbed "MiniMo", the new family attempts to provide all of the essentials for smart network-enabled "edge" equipment. Since not all projects require features such as a flash disk or RTC, these can be connected externally as needed.
Allowing the EM500 to be paired with a standard RJ45 jack is another "back to basics" shift in the MiniMo family. "By not forcing our customers to pair the EM500 with Tibbo's own RJ45 jack (module), Tibbo is saving them money while allowing for greater freedom of choice. There are literally thousands of suitable RJ jacks on the market -- some very low-cost, and some with sophisticated extras -- and each customer is free to choose the jack that best fits their specs and budget," said Dmitry Slepov, the Managing Director of Tibbo Technology.
Dual-function LED control is another space- and budget-saving innovation: In the past, Tibbo devices relied on two pairs of status LEDs -- one for device status, the other one for link status. The EM500 uses a single pair of LEDs (standard on many RJ45 jacks) for both purposes. Module states are displayed using traditional flashing patterns common to all Tibbo devices, while link status is indicated by the brightness of the LEDs.
In the near future, the EM500 will also support Wi-Fi communications (using the GA1000 add-on board), as well as external LCD, keypad, and flash disk (via an SPI flash IC).