DIY Power Measurement Board

July 23rd, 2014 1 comment

When I review media player or development boards, I’m often asked about power consumption figures. One way to measure power consumption is to use a Kill-a-Watt, but for low power devices it’s not always accurate enough, and it also includes the heat dissipation from the power adapter, which may or may not be useful depending on what you want to measure. For USB powered devices or boards, an easy way to measure power consumption is to use CHARGER Doctor, a small $5 USB dongle that displays both voltage and current alternatively. Unfortunately, most products I’ve received lately use barrel type connectors, so this little tool has not been as useful as I hoped. The only solution is then to measure voltage and current with a multimeter. Voltage is measured in parallel, so you just need to point the multimeter’s leads…

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Categories: Hardware Tags: how-to, power, tutorial

ARM TechCon 2014 Schedule – 64-Bit, IoT, Optimization & Debugging, Security and More

July 23rd, 2014 No comments

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2014 will take place on October 1 – 3, 2014, in Santa Clara, and as every year, there will be a conference with various sessions for suitable engineers and managers, as well as an exposition where companies showcase their latest ARM based products and solutions. The detailed schedule for the conference has just been made available. Last year,  there were 90 sessions organized into 15 tracks, but this year, despite received 300 applications,  the organizers decided to scale it down a bit, and there will be 75 session in the following 11 tracks: Chip Implementation Debugging Graphics Heterogeneous Compute New Frontiers Power Efficiency Safety and Security Software Development and Optimization Software Optimization for Infrastructure and Cloud System Design Verification There are also some paid workshops that take all day with topics such as “Android (NDK) and…

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Nvidia Announces Tegra K1 based Shield Tablet with Game Controller and Stylus

July 23rd, 2014 No comments

After the Shield game console, Nvidia has now announced the Shield Tablet powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core processor, and specifically designed for gamer with a kickstand to adjust the inclination of the 8″ display, and a Wi-Fi Direct game controller with low latency, including a built-in stereo headphone jack and microphone. Shield tablet specifications: SoC – NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad core Cortex A15 @ 2.2 GHz processor with a 192 core Kepler GPU System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 32 GB (WiFi+4G LTE) or 16 GB (WiFi-only), and micro SD slot Display – 8″ multi-touch display; 1920×1200 resolution Video Output – 1x mini HDMI output Audio I/O – Front facing stereo speakers, dual bass reflex port with built-in microphone, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support Connectivity – Wireless 802.11n 2×2 Mimo 2.4 GHz and 5…

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Imagination Technologies Unveils Low Power Low Footprint PowerVR GX5300 GPU for Wearables

July 22nd, 2014 No comments

Up to now most wearables are based on MCU solutions or derived from mobile platforms, which may either not provide the advanced features required by users, or consume too much power and take more space than needed. With Ineda Dhanush and Mediatek Aster, we’ve already seen silicon vendors design wearables SoCs, and now Imagination Technologies has just announced PowerVR GX5300 GPU targeting wearables with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, 480p to 720p resolution, and using 0.55mm2 silicon area based on 28nm process. PowerVR GX5300 GPU will be support Android, Android Wear, and Linux based operation systems, and according to the company has the following key features: Unified shaders – The TBDR graphics architecture offers unified shaders where vertex, pixel and GPU compute resources are scaled simultaneously. Low power and high precision graphics – All PowerVR GPUs offer a mix of…

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Probox2 EX Quad Core Android Box Comes with an Air Mouse Designed for Gaming

July 22nd, 2014 4 comments

Probox2 EX is an Android TV Box with an enclosure similar to MX3, but with better hardware including Amlogic S802-H, 16GB eMMC Flash, 2GB RAM, dual band Wi-Fi, and more, and an interesting RF air mouse dubbed “Remote+” that can also be used for playing games, and audio chat. Probox2 EX specifications: SoC – AMLogic S802-H quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU up to 600 MHz System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC Flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4b  and AV Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and S/PDIF Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports + 1x micro USB OTG Misc – IR Sensor, Power LED, power button, and recovery/update switch via AV…

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Tronsmart Mars G01 Wireless Gamepad Review on Android

July 21st, 2014 1 comment

One way to play games in Android TV Box with a gamepad is to use a Sony Playstation 3 Controller with Sixaxis Controller app. It can work, but you need a device that supports Bluetooth, with the right drivers, and most games require you to do the mapping manually which is not that user-friendly. Now, they make Android compatible Bluetooth Gamepad such as G910 which seems really nice, but I’ve been told it’s rather hit or miss, and some people have problem with the Bluetooth connection. GeekBuying instead recommends Tronsmart Mars G01, based on 2.4 GHz technology, that requires an external USB RF dongle, but which alledgly does not  have connection problems. It works with Android, Windows, and Playstation 3. The company sent me a sample, so I’ve taken some pictures and tried a few games with Tronsmart Vega S89…

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Thread is a New IP-based Wireless Protocol Leveraging 6LoWPAN and 802.15.4 Standards

July 21st, 2014 2 comments

Wi-Fi is a neat way to connect devices to Internet, but it has two main inconveniences: relatively high cost and power consumption. Luckily there are standards that addresses the cost and power consumption issues. Radio chips based on IEEE 802.15.4, a standard which specifies the physical layer and media access control for low-rate wireless personal area networks, are common place and found in many existing devices relying on higher level wireless protocols such as ZigBee, ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, and MiWi. AFAIK, Zigbee is the most popular of the aforementioned protocols, but is hindered by the requirements of the license for commercial products (annual fee), Zigbee membership requirements conflict with many open source license such as GPL, and the standard suffers from lack of interoperability and IPv6 support, and power requirements that are too high for some applications. So a consortium of…

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