Arch Linux ARM Can Now Be Installed on Rockchip Based Hisense Chromebook

July 3rd, 2015 5 comments

Hisense Chromebook C11 is one of the $149 Chromebooks powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor recently launched. So far, I could not find instructions to install any Linux desktop distributions on this type of platform, but now Hisense Chromebook (codename: veyron_jerry) appears to be the first Rockchip platform officially supported by Arch Linux ARM (ALARM). Hardware video decoding won’t work, 3D graphics acceleration is most probably not working either, and it’s not clear if all hardware parts are supported, and the built-in wireless module is said to break under high throughput, so a USB WiFi dongle or Ethernet adapter is recommended instead. But at least if you follow the installation instructions, you won’t modify your Chrome OS installation on the eMMC flash, as Arch Linux ARM will boot from external storage, either from an SD card or a USB flash drive, so it should be completely safe to try it out. If you happen to own a Hisense Chromebook and gave…

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CTL H4 is a $200 Rockchip RK3288 Chromebook with 4GB RAM

July 2nd, 2015 5 comments

Several Chromebooks with Rockchip RK3288-C processor were launched last quarter, but most models come only with 2GB RAM, and other laptop with 4GB tend to cost over $200. But CTL has now announced CTL H4 Chromebook for Education also based on RK3288 and featuring 4GB RAM for just $199. CTL H4 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3288-C Quad-Core Cortex-A17 processor up to 1.8GHz with Mali-T764 GPU System Memory – 4GB DDR3L RAM Storage – 16GB storage + Micro SD slot Display – 11.6’’ HD wide screen LED-backlit display; 180 Degree Lay Flat Design/Hinge Video Output – 1x HDMI Audio – headphone jack; stereo speakers; built-in microphone Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0. USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports Camera – Built-in Battery – Up to 10 hours battery life Misc – Multi-gesture touchpad Dimensions  – 2.54 cm thick Weight – 1.09 kg The laptop also comes with a carry handle, has a rugged design supporting drops up to 70cm, and its…

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Zidoo X9 Android HDMI Recorder & Media Player Gets Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Support

July 1st, 2015 4 comments

Zidoo has released another firmware for their X9 Android mini PC with HDMI input, which implements Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support, on top of the existing HDMI video recording. That’s the first Android TV box that I know of that supports it, although I’ve seen Geniatech demo HDMI input and PiP with their ATV1810 last year, but it does not seem to be available for sale anywhere. Changelog for Zidoo X9 firmware version 1.0.3.5: Added PiP function, You can press the TV button on the IR remote to enable it. Optimized audio compatibility. Fixed various Player bugs – Audio compatibility, OSD timeout, typos fix, etc… Fixed various File Manager bugs I don’t have the box with me right, so I could not try it, and Zidoo did not reply to my request for pictures and demo in time for this post, so I’m not sure if there are any shortcomings with the current implementation. But if you own X9, make sure you…

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Grain Media 8136S / 8138S are Low Cost HD IP Camera SoCs

June 30th, 2015 3 comments

A few times, my readers told me they really like comments on this blog, and they liked to check recent comments on the left sidebar, and some even subscribed to the Comments RSS Feed, although it might quite busy at times, especially during giveaways. Recently, an interesting conversation started in the comments section about low cost IP camera chips by Grain Media 8136S and 8138S SoCs respectively supporting 720p and 1080p video recording, and cheap enough to make a sub-$10 IP camera board (BoM cost). Beside the maximum resolution supported, GM8136S and GM8138S are mostly similar except the later also supports Gigabit Ethernet against Fast Ethernet for the lower end version, different clock speeds, and some other (minor?) differences. There’s also GM8135S with 512 Mbit RAM (SiP) against 1Gbit RAM (SiP) for GM8136S, and GM8138 including a DDR controller for external memory, while GM8138S including 1Gbit RAM (SiP). Grain Media GM813x specifications: Processor GM8136S / GM8135S – 32-bit ARM CPU…

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Android 5.1 SDK Release for Rockchip RK3128 Based FirePrime Board

June 29th, 2015 No comments

T-Firefly has just announced the release of Android 5.1 SDK for their newly announced Fireprime development board powered by Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor. You can get the SDK (fireprime_android5.1_git_20150612.tar), a 6.1GB download with full source code for the board via Baidu or Google Drive, and then upgrade it to the latest version with git pull on the company’s bitbucket account as explained in the Wiki. The SDK must be specific to Fireprime board, but it should be feasible to use to create / modify Android 5.1 firmware for other RK3128 products. If you don’t need the source code, but would just like to install the firmware for Android 5.1, and the other image recently released (Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop or Server, or Android 5.1/Ubuntu 15.04 dual boot image)  via the links provided in the announcement. Thanks to Nanik for the tip. T-Firefly has just announced the release of Android 5.1 SDK for their newly announced Fireprime development board…

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AMD Announces 96Boards Enterprise Edition Server Board Powered by Opteron A1100 Processor

June 28th, 2015 11 comments

When Linaro announced the 96Boards initiative, they started by launching “Consumer Edition” boards with a target price of around $100, but they also had plans to launch more powerful and feature-packed “Enterprise Edition” board in the $300 to $400 range. The first Enterprise Edition is based on AMD Opteron A1100 quad core Cortex A57 processor. The company has not released the full specs yet, but the press release mentions the board features a 4-core AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor with two SO-DIMM memory slots, PCIe, USB, SATA (3x), and Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. It measures 160×120 mm. CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview are the main operating systems planned for the board but additional software and operating systems will be available later on. The board is should become available in H2 2015, and will be supported through the Linaro Enterprise Group’s 96Boards.org site. Exact price has not been announced, bu it should be much cheaper…

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Tronsmart Pavo M9 is a $90 Android HDMI Recorder and 4K Media Player

June 27th, 2015 16 comments

If you need your Android TV box to record external video via HDMI, few options are available on the market, and one of them is Zidoo X9. It works relatively well, and gets frequent firmware update. It now costs around $120, but Tronsmart has now launched a model based on the same Mstar MSO9810 processor with HDMI recording function that costs $89.90 shipped on GeekBuying or Ebay. Tronsmart Pavo M9 specifications: SoC – Mstar MSO9180D1R quad core Cortex A9 processor up to 1.5GHz with a Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Video Output / Input –  HDMI output up to 4K, HDMI input with PVR and Time Shifting support (up to 1080p), and AV port (Composite + stereo audio) Audio I/O – HDMI Out and In, AV, and optical S/PDIF (Main) Video Codecs – H265, VC-1, WMV-HD, MPEG1/2/4 up to 4Kx2K, etc.. Audio Codec – MP3, AAC, AC3, DTS-HD Master,…

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Linaro 15.06 Release with Linux 4.1 and Android 5.1

June 26th, 2015 1 comment

Linaro 15.06 has been released with Linux 4.1-rc8, Linux 3.10.80 and 3.14.44 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1. Highlights of this release: Linux Linaro 4.1-rc8-2015.06 linaro-android topic updated to 4.1-rc8 and recent aosp/android-3.18 included GATOR version 5.21.1 updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT Linaro builds of AOSP 15.06 is released CI bring up: setup AOSP master build on Emulator implemented boot-to-gui test for Emulator CI bring up: setup AOSP 5.0 headless build for APM X-Gene Mustang Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.06 updated linux-linaro to ll-20150616.0 (based on 4.1-rc8) updated linux-linaro-stable to 3.10.79 workaround meta-virtualization breakage upstreaming fixed bootimg.bbclass to work with all kernel image types imported xorriso v1.4.0 from luvOS cloud-image-*: catch up with OE-core class rename Linaro Ubuntu 15.06 – updated packages: fvp-pre-boot (FVP firmware), LSK 3.10.79/3.14.44/3.18.16 and linux-linaro 4.1-rc8 kernels CI bring up: uprobes/systemtap enabled build Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1506/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android,…

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