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Latest Samsung Artik module runs Tizen RT on a Cortex-M4

May 18, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,239 views

Samsung showed off the latest Artik module: a Cortex-R4-based, 40 x 15mm “Artik 053” COM with built-in WiFi that runs Tizen 4.0’s new Tizen RT RTOS variant.

As part of its Tizen 4.0 announcement this week at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco, Samsung revealed a v4.0 variant for IoT called Tizen RT. The RTOS will first appear on the newly announced Artik 053 module, which follows in the line of other microcontroller-based Artik 0 COMs such as the Artik 020 and 030. The 40 x 15 x 3mm module is now available for $7.10, and a Starter Kit goes for $35.

Artik 053, front and back (left) and Starter Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The 15 x 12.9mm Artik 020 and 030 were released with a Silicon Labs Simplicity Studio 4.0 IDE, based on Eclipse 4.5, but without a featured RTOS. The new Artik 053 runs Tizen RT, despite its apparently early beta status. The module also offers Ubuntu Linux and Windows desktop development tools include the Artik IDE and GNU ARM Embedded Toolchain (GCC C/C++). OpenOCD is available for debugging.

Tizen RT is built on a Nuttx-based RTOS called TinyAra. Samsung has layered on a variety of Linux-like features including IPv4/IPv6 network stack, a SmartFS file system, and support for Linux-style development environments like POSIX API. It also supports JavaScript via the lightweight JerryScript, and adds IoTivity support. (For more information, see our Tizen RT coverage.)


Like the earlier Artik 0 modules, but unlike Samsung’s Artik 710, 520 and 530, the Artik 053 cannot run Linux. The previous Artik 0 COMs were built around Silicon Labs’s Wireless Gecko, a 40MHz Cortex-M4F SoC with floating point and wireless stacks. By contrast, the Artik 053 moves up to a much more robust SoC, presumably built by Samsung, with a 32-bit, 320MHz Cortex-R4 MCU and two 32KB cache allotments.

Those who are worried about Tizen security can be assured that Samsung is at least locking things down on the hardware side. The device includes a Physically Unclonable Function (PUF) authentication unit that can generate unique key values locked to an individual module and enable fingerprint identification. There’s also a separate security subsystem with a variety of cryptographic technologies, including symmetric and asymmetric key engines.

Artik 053 block diagram (left) and pinout
(click images to enlarge)

The Artik 053 is loaded with 1.28MB of general usage RAM (or 1.4MB according to the press release), as well as 128KB global IPC data RAM and 8MB flash. While the Artik 020 and 030 offer Bluetooth and 802.15.4 (ZigBee and Thread), respectively, the Artik 053 offers neither, but provides a pre-certified, 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n radio with antenna.

Other features include 4x UART, 29x GPIO, 2x I2C, 2x SPI, and 4x ADC interfaces, as well as JTAG and PWM. The module has a 5-12V input range and an RTC.

A Starter Kit is available that can be powered by a micro-USB port or a user-supplied 5-12V power supply. The board offers Arduino-form factor interface headers, expanded GPIO headers with exposed SPI and UARTs, Arduino reset buttons, and test buttons and LEDs. A JTAG header is also available.

Samsung also announced new Artik features that appear to apply to its Linux-ready Artik 530 and Artik 7 COM families. These include end-to-end enterprise-grade security enhancements, secure services for device onboarding, device and user management, edge node management, and secure OTA update features. The Artik QuickStart program offers on-site workshops and training to help device developers on UX, UI, software, firmware, cloud, mobile app, and end-to-end integration.

Samsung has also updated its Artik Cloud platform to include fast device onboarding, edge node management, secure OTA, and integration with Amazon AWS Kinesis Stream. There are also new hooks to Google Assistant and the Amazon Alexa Smart Home Skill. Finally, Samsung has worked with VMware to add support for its Little IoT Agent (Liota) open source SDK to the Artik 053.

Further information

Samsung’s Artik 053 is available now for $7.10 with volume discounts, and the Starter Kit goes for $35. More information may be found at Samsung’s Artik 053 product page, and at Digi-Key’s Artik 053 and Starter Kit shopping pages. The systems are also available at Arrow and Mouser in the U.S.

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