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A Control Panel for IoT-Based Smart Home Automation System

Kernel and driver development
Embedded hardware development
IoT
Smart home
Linux

About

A home automation system is a complex network of items that typically involve lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems. To control various home automation systems, manufacturers provide a control panel which is operated intuitively by means of a touchscreen display. 

Request

A provider of a smart home system based in France was looking for a reliable supplier experienced in electronics engineering. They needed to build a custom control panel for their IoT-based home automation system.

Solution

Integra Sources developed a tablet-style smart home head unit based on the Allwinner A20 microprocessor. We made the schematics, designed the layout and provided prototype testing. The device has a 7-inch touchscreen, NFC module to control access to the system, and a radio frequency (RF) module for integrating the tablet into the IoT ecosystem. We also provided software development for a custom Linux build and driver development for different modules of the system. 

Technologies Used

We used Allwinner A20 SoC with 2 ARM cores as CPU in this project.
We built a custom Linux image for the device.
The device firmware was stored on SD Card flash.
CMOS sensor (camera) with CSI bus was used.
The device has an onboard WiFi module for networking and Ethernet connector.
All software was implemented in C/C++ language.
The device has several buttons, switches, LEDs, light sensor, microphone, and speaker.
For GUI device has LCD with touchscreen.
We ported Linux kernel driver from a different kernel version for NFC reader.
For LED-stripe backlight we implemented a special Linux kernel driver using an existing SPI driver.
The device has a special RF-module for custom communication protocol.
UI interface was implemented using the QT framework and compiled to support EGLFS.
The device has 2 power sources: internal LiPO battery and 5V wall adapter.
EAGLE CAD IDE was used for Schematics and PCB design.
Flexible PCB technology was used for LED-Stripe, NFC antenna and special LCD adapter PCBs.

Result

The smart home control panel is a custom tablet placed on the wall. It integrates all smart home devices to an all-in-one app. With this device, users have the flexibility to monitor and control their home’s temperature, locks, lights, and other items.

Make some noise

Broad network connectivity

Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Custom RF Network

Boot time

< 3 seconds

Scope of work

Developed PCB for the main board

Developed PCB for the LCD adapter board

Developed PCB for the LED backlight board

Customized Linux image

Developed drivers for a custom Linux image

Developed a console application for performance testing

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