Checking out Hologram’s Developer SIM Card for Worldwide IoT Projects

August 20th, 2017 No comments

Hologram is a service that offers 2G/3G/4G cellular connectivity for the Internet of Things via a SIM card that works in over 170  countries, and with pricing starting at $0.40 per month. In order to promote their services, the company offers a free developer SIM card which I ordered when I first wrote about the service last month. I was pleased and surprised they would sent it to Asia for free, and I got the card in a bubble envelop. The back of the card includes a 18 to 22 digit SIM card number and bar code, that we’ll need to use for activation, and a link that redirects to https://hologram.io/docs/. I planned to try the card with Wio GPS tracker board which requires a nano SIM card, and there are convenient cutouts to convert the SIM card to micro SIM or nano SIM card formats. Before using the card in your board, you’ll need to activate it by logging…

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Categories: Hardware, Testing Tags: 2g, 3G, 4g, cellular, hologram, IoT, lte, review

Axiomtek NA362 Network Appliance Features Intel Atom C3538/C3758 Processors, Up to 10 LAN Ports

August 19th, 2017 3 comments

We reported about GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 motherboard powered by a 16-core Intel C3958 Denverton processor earlier this week, but that also corresponded to the official launch of Intel Denverton family, and many companies made announcements for their Denverton boards, products, or COM Express modules including SuperMicro, Kontron, Portwell, and others, such as Axiomtek NA362 Network Appliance powered by Atom C3538 or C3758 processors, and offering up to 10 LAN ports with six GbE RJ-45 ports, and up to four SFP+ cages. Axiomtek NA362 specifications: SoC (one or the other) Intel Atom C3538 quad core “Denverton” processor @ 2.10 GHz with 8MB cache; 15W TDP Intel Atom C3758 octa core “Denverton” processor @ 2.2 GHz with 16MB cache; 25W TDP System Memory – 2x or 4 x R-DIMM/U-DIMM non-buffer DDR4, up to 64/128GB Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA3 HDD; 1x mSATA Ethernet 6x 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 ports via Intel i210 4x 10 GbE SFP+ cages for C3758 model only One pair LAN Bypass…

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Videostrong VS-RD-RK3399 Development Board Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Kit Assembly, SDK and Documentation

August 18th, 2017 6 comments

Videostrong VS-RD-RK3399 development board is a full-featured development based on Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with up to 4GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC flash, and plenty of I/Os. The company has sent me a sample, and after getting some trouble going through customs with questions like “what is a development board?” and “is it a board for TV boxes or computers?”, I finally got hold of the parcel. Today, I’ll check out the board and its accessories, show how to assemble it, and since the company shared more info about documentation and software, quickly go over what’s available. Videostrong VS-RD-RK3399 Development Kit Unboxing The board was in a bland carton box, which is fine since it’s not a consumer product, with a stick showing I got the 4GB LPDDR3 / 32GB eMMC flash version. There’s also a board using 2GB/16GB configuration. The package includes the board, bottom and top acrylic plates for the “case”, some spacers, WiFi and Bluetooth antenna, USB…

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Single Core ESP32-S0WD WiSoC Datasheet and Price

August 18th, 2017 3 comments

I’m subscribed to Espressif Systems’ notification system so that I received an email each time there’s a documentation update on their website, and this morning they posted ESP32-S0WD Datasheet, the single core version of ESP32 processor, which we reported in our post about ESP32 5×5 packages. Beside the small 5x5mm 48-pin package, and single Xtensa 32-bit LX6 microprocessor, it looks to be the same as the frequently used ESP32-D0WDQ6 with a 6x6mm 48-pin package. The CPU & Memory part of the datasheet reads: ESP32-S0WD: Xtensa single–core 32-bit LX6 microprocessor, up to 200 DMIPS 448 KB ROM 520 KB SRAM 16 KB SRAM in RTC QSPI flash/SRAM, up to 4 x 16 MB Power supply: 2.3V to 3.6V While ESP32 datasheet shows a dual core up to 600 MIPS, so maybe the max frequency is also limited. I could not find any ESP32-S0WD module or board just yet, but GridConnect is selling ESP32-S0WD chip for $2.35, ESP32-D0DW(Q6) for $2.75, and ESPD2DW…

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Bqeel MVR9 (NT-N9) TV Box Review – Part 2: Android Nougat Firmware, RKMC, YouTube 4K, and More

August 18th, 2017 No comments

Bqeel MVR9 is another TV box powered by Rockchip RK3328, but that model comes with Gigabit Ethernet and 2GB RAM contrary to the cheaper A95X R2 TV box I previously reviewed. If you want to check thsee some pictures read “Bqeel MVR9 TV Box Review – Part 1: Specifications, Unboxing and Teardown“, as in this second part I’ll focus on the firmware, and we’ll see if the claims of better 4K video playback thanks to DDR4, optimized RKMC with HD audio pass-through, YouTube 4K, and DRM support are true. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions One good thing about Bqeel MVR9 is that it comes four 4 USB port, so I did not need to use a USB hub to connect my two RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad, a Seagate USB 3.0 hard drive, and a USB keyboard I normally use to take screenshots. I completed the hardware setup with Ethernet,…

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$14 Orange Pi R1 Allwinner H2+ Board Comes with Two Ethernet Ports, 256 MB RAM

August 18th, 2017 9 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong has introduced the new Orange Pi R1 board with Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor that’s a bit different from their other models, as it includes two 10/100M Ethernet port, and should be suitable for intelligent controllers, or simple IoT gateways. Orange Pi R1 board specifications: SoC – Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 256 DDR RAM Storage – micro SD card slot, 16 MB SPI flash Connectivity – 2x 10/100M Ethernet (including on via RTL8152B USB to Ethernet) + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Realtek RTL8189ETV) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna USB – 1x micro USB OTG port Expansion headers Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals Debugging – 3-pin header for serial console Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 60 x 45 mm Since it’s based on the…

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Raspbian for Raspberry Pi Boards Gets Upgraded to Debian Stretch

August 17th, 2017 9 comments

While Raspberry Pi boards support many different operating systems, Raspbian is by far the most popular option, and in the last two years the distribution was based on Jessie (Debian 8), the Raspberry Pi foundation has just announced it was now replaced by an update to Stretch (Debian 9). The Jessie version is completely gone from Raspbian Download page, and you’ll only be offered to download “Raspbian Stretch with Desktop” or “Raspbian Stretch Lite”. So what has changed compared to Jessie? Debian 9 changelog will list the main differences compared to Debian 8, but some modifications have also been made in Raspbian itself: Version 3.0.1 of Sonic Pi “Live Coding Music Synth” app – See changelog Chrome 60 stable with improved memory usage and more efficient code Bluetooth audio is supported by the bluez-alsa package by default instead of PulseAudio Better handling of “non-pi users”, as previously many applications assumed to be run by pi user. SenseHAT extension added to…

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NutsBoard Pistachio 3.5″ Embedded SBC is Powered by NXP i.MX 6Dual/Quad Processor

August 17th, 2017 2 comments

I don’t write about i.MX6 solutions much anymore, since there are so many options available on the market, but Pistachio SBC has been designed by a company I had never heard of before: NutsBoard, and they’ve released documentation and software publicly, which does not always happen in the industrial/embedded space. Pistachio single board computer specifications: SoC – NXP ARM Cortex-A9 IMX6 Quad/Dual @ 800MHz System Memory –  Up to 2GB LPDDR3 Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, 1x SATA interface, 1x micro SD card slot Display I/F / Video Output 2x LVDS (6 or 8 bit) 1x 24-bit VGA output 1x HDMI port up to 1920×1080 (FHD) 1x I2C AR1021 touch controller Audio – SGTL5000 audio codec with class D amplifier; 1x audio header for speaker and microphone Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Qualcomm AR8035), industrial grade wireless module  (Jorjin WG7833) with dual band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 USB – 4x USB 2.0 host interfaces with two USB type A ports,…

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