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Genuino 101 Found to Reset Under Bright Lights

Gareth Halfacree

Genuino 101 (Arduino 101)

The Genuino 101, known as the Arduino 101 in the US and designed to give makers easy access to Intel's latest Curie system-on-chip, is an impressive beast - but one which has also turned out to shy away from the bright lights of publicity, or any bright lights at all. The problem: a wafer-level chip included on the board for power management.

Typically, integrated circuits are packaged in a hard-wearing and protective layer. Depending on the chip, this may be anything from ceramic or metal to simple plastic. Some chips, though, are built in such a way that the silicon wafer is exposed as the upper surface - and this can result in a problem. Kevin Darrah has published a video demonstrating that a chip on the Genuino 101 exhibits just such an issue, resetting the board whenever it's exposed to bright light from a laser pointer or camera flash.

That's a minor problem in and of itself, but as Hackaday points out Kevin has published a second video which demonstrates that the board can reset itself when exposed to bright sunlight, meaning that there are scenarios in which a Genuino 101 used in a sunlit environment without an opaque casing could end up failing to operate correctly.

This isn't the first time a wafer-level chip has caused these types of problems, and as always the solution is relatively simple: either place the Genuino 101 in an opaque casing or put a small blob of epoxy or other covering over the tiny, shiny chip found in the middle of a column of seven surface-mount components to the right of the USB socket.

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