Pipo X8 is a Windows 8.1 Mini PC with a 7″ Touchscreen

April 19th, 2015 3 comments

When it first launched, Pipo X7 was a $90 mini PC running Windows 8.1 with Bing tablet version, but Microsoft did not approve since that version is reserved for products with a 7″ screen or smaller, and now Pipo X7 sells for around $120 because it includes a $25 license for Windows 8.1 with Bing NTE (for mini PC). So in their cost saving efforts, Pipo decided to add a cheap 7″ 1024×600 touch screen display to their new Pipo X8 mini PC also powered by Intel Atom Z3736F or Z3735F Pipo X8 specifications: SoC – Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3736F up to 2.16 GHz or Atom Z3735F up to 1.83Mhz with Intel HD graphics. System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 32GB or 64GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB Display – 7″ 1024×600 touch screen with 5-points. Video & Audio Output – HDMI up to 1080p Audio I/O – HDMI, earphone jack Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet,…

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NodeMCU is both a Breadboard-Friendly ESP8266 Wi-Fi Board and a LUA based Firmware

April 18th, 2015 No comments

NodeMCU is a LUA based interactive firmware for Expressif ESP8622 Wi-Fi SoC, as well as an open source hardware board that contrary to the $3 ESP8266 Wi-Fi modules includes a CP2102 TTL to USB chip for programming and debugging, is breadboard-friendly, and can simply be powered via its micro USB port. Let’s checkout the hardware first. The latest version of the board (V1.0) has the following specifications and features: Wi-Fi Module – ESP-12E module similar to ESP-12 module but with 6 extra GPIOs. USB – micro USB port for power, programming and debugging Headers – 2x 2.54mm 15-pin header with access to GPIOs, SPI, UART, ADC, and power pins Misc – Reset and Flash buttons Power – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 49 x 24.5 x 13mm The hardware documentation for the board can be found on nodemcu-devkit repo, including schematics and PCB layout designed with Altium Designer, but they should also be compatible with the cheaper Altium…

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Ambarella Unveils SL2m IP Camera Reference Design Promising up to 6 Months of Battery Life

April 18th, 2015 1 comment

Ambarella S2Lm IP Camera SoC features a Cortex A9 CPU core, encodes video with H.264 up to 3Mp30 / 1080p30, and targets  consumer and entry-level IP Camera designs. The company recently launched a new battery-powered IP camera reference design based on the solution that promises up to 6 months battery life, and can record Full HD video in less than 500ms from wake up, making ideal for battery operated security cameras. A Linux SDK is also provided with reference implementations for low-power standby operation, wake-on-Wi-Fi and fast boot to Linux. Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about the reference design, so instead I’ll have a look at the processor, and SL2m IP camera evaluation board. Ambarella SL2m SoC specifications: CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 32KB/32KB I/D and 128 KB L2 Cache, NEON and FPU, Crypto Engine – AES/3/DES/SHA-1/MD5 DSP / VPU –  Ambarella Image and Video DSPs Sensor and Video I/O RGB Bayer sensor port: 8-lane SLVS/MIPI/HiSPI BT.601/656/1120 video…

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Popcorn Hour VTEN Review

April 17th, 2015 7 comments

Popcorn Hour VTEN a Linux based media player powered by Sigma Designs SMP8757 ARM Cortex A9 processor. Contrary to the many Android TV boxes I tested in the last few years, the device is dedicated to media playback, even though it has an App Store with 59 apps including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. I’ve already taken a few pictures of the device and board, so today, I’ll go through the user interface, quickly test the app store, go through my library of video test files, and check if HDMI audio pass-through is indeed working. Popcorn Hour VTEN User Interface I’ve connected VTEN to an Ethernet Gigabit switch, the HDMI port to Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver which itself is connected to LG 42UB820T 4K UHD TV, and the 5V/3A power supply. Pressing the On/Off switch at the back of the player will start it, and the boot takes just under one minute. The user interface (1280×720 resolution) is quite simple, not…

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Popcorn Hour VTEN 4K Linux Media Player Unboxing & Teardown

April 16th, 2015 6 comments

Cloud Media (aka Syabas) sent me their latest Popcorn Hour VTEN media player. It supports HDMI output up to 4K, H.265 video codec, and features an eSATA connector, as well as optical and coaxial S/PDIF connectors. Today, I’ll show some pictures of the kit, and teardown the box to checkout the hardware, and in a few days, I’ll report on the user interface, video playback, and HDMI audio pass-through capabilities. Popcorm Hour VTEN Unboxing The unexpected device was sent via Fedex in the package shown below. It lists some of the key features such as H.265, DSD (Direct Stream Digital), FLAC, Matroska, UPnP, 3D, and 4K Ultra HD support, as well as the specs, and more features and package content in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish. The box comes with an IR remote control and two AAA batteries, an HDMI cable, a SATA cable, a 5V/3A power supply, a quick start guide, and a warranty document….

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RaidSonic Releases Firmware and Source Code for Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi Audio Streamers

April 16th, 2015 3 comments

RaidSonic is a German company releasing products such as media players and multimedia accessories under their ICY BOX brand. One of those products is ICY Box IB-MP401Air music streaming received based on Atheros AR9331, and that looks very similar to SoundMate M2 I reviewed last year. But if you look on their product page, you’ll find out a few download links: ICY BOX IB-MP401Air  (multilang) – The Quick Start Guide and User’s manual in English and German IB-MP401Air (Source code) – a 648 MB rar file with source code for U-boot and OpenWRT IB-MP401Air (Firmware) – The firmware IB-MP401Air (Open Source Software) – Just the open source licenses So I’ve downloaded the source code file (IB-MP401Air_Sources_and%20License_Terms.rar) to have a look. It has two compressed files, one with the license, and IB-MP401Air_Sources.tar.gz with the source code. tar xzvf IB-MP401Air_Sources.tar.gz cd dns320B_GPL20150212/ ls -l total 12 -rwxr–r–  1 jaufranc jaufranc 1400 Apr 16 16:49 building-the-firmware.txt drwxr-xr-x 14 jaufranc jaufranc 4096 Feb 12…

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AlphaScale ASM9260 ARM9 Processor Details and Development Board

April 16th, 2015 6 comments

Yesterday, as I wrote a Linux 4.0 Changelog, I noticed a new ARM processor called AlphaScale ASM9260, and I thought it might be interesting to find out more. A Google search would only return results from the Linux kernel mailing list and mirrors, so I checked out the code a bit to find out its an ARM9 processor made by AlphaScale Integrated Circuits Systems, Inc, based in Wuxi, China. The company website alphascale.com does not work, but I found out the processor is sold on Taobao for 38 RMB (~$6), and there’s also a development board (ASM9260DVK) for 498 RMB or about $80, and that’s basically the only two links were I could find any details. AlphaScale ASM9260T is arm ARM926EJS processor clocked at 240 MHz, 16GN I-cache and D-cache, 8KB SRAM, with the following peripherals: 32-bit SDRAM/NOR interface MLC NAND 24-bit ECC 2x USB 2.0 OTG, 2x USB 2.0 PHY 24-bit LCD interface Camera interface 10/100M Ethernet MAC 2x…

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Bubblegum-96 Development Board Complies with 96Boards, Features Actions Semi S900 64-bit ARM Processor

April 16th, 2015 2 comments

We’ve already have two 96Boards compliant boards formally announced with HiSilicon Hikey and Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c, and Actions Semiconductor was also expected to release theirs soon. Albeit it’s not been officially announced yet, the company has been showcasing their Bubblegum-96 board at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2015. Bubblegum-96 development board specifications: SoC – Actions Semi S900 quad core Cortex A53 with PowerVR G6230 GPU System Memory – 1 to 8GB LPDDR2 / LPDDR3(800MHz) / DDR3 or DDR3L Storage – 4 to 64 GB eMMC 4.5 flash + micro SD slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP up to 4K, MHL 2.1 up to 4K Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 port Expansion 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector – UART, I2C, 12x GPIOs, SPI, PCM, 1.8V, +5V, GND… 64-pin HS (High Speed) Expansion connector – DSI, CSI, SDIO, USB 2.0, I2C, etc… Misc – On/off button Power…

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