Congatec Introduces Intel Atom x5-E8000 Thin mini-ITX Board, COM Express & QSeven Modules

February 11th, 2016 No comments

Following Intel’s announcement of their new Atom x5-E8000 quad core processor with 5W TDP/4W SDP and 7-year availability earlier today, Congatec published a press release for four new platforms based on the processor with conga-QA4 Qseven module, conga-MA4 COM Express Mini & conga-TCA4 COM Express Compact modules, as well as conga-IA4 industrial-grade Thin Mini-ITX board. All four products are actually variation of existing Braswell platforms, but Intel Atom x5-E8000 brings 64-bit computing even cheaper thanks to its $39 recommended customer price. So I’ll just look at the QSeven module specifications in details: SoC – Intel Atom x5-E8000 quad core “Braswell” processor @ 1.04 GHz / 2.00 GHz (Burst) with 2MB L2 cache, and Intel HD Gen8 graphics @ 320 MHz; 5 W TDP. System Memory – Up to 8GB onboard DDR3L with 1600 MT/s On-board Storage – Up to eMMC 4.5.1 onboard flash  (optional), 8 MB serial SPI firmware flash Connectivity – PCIe to GbE controller (Intel i211) Board Controller…

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MINIX NGC-1 Review and Benchmarks with Windows 10 Home

February 11th, 2016 8 comments

MINIX NGC-1 mini PC is powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 quad core “Braswell” processor with 4GB RAM and a 128GB M.2SSD, and pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home. While the product aims to provide a convenient alternative to Intel NUC kits, as everything is pre-assembled and pre-installed, I’ll also compare the experience to Bay Trail and Cherry Trail mini PCs such as MeLE PCG03 or Tronsmart Ara X5. I’ve already provided NGC-1 specifications and some pictures, so today, I’ll test the capabilities of the device, and run some benchmarks in the review. MINIX NGC-1 Setup Once you’ve connected a USB keyboard and mouse, and the power supply, you are ready to start. Press the power button, the blue power will lit on the front of the device, and you’ll hear a beep and the very first time system will boot to Windows 10 setup screen where you’ll be asked to set the language, read and accept Windows’ EULA, configure the…

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Henes Broon T870 is a Kids’ Electric Car Controlled by an Android Tablet

February 11th, 2016 No comments

If you ever wanted to played around with an electric car that’s a bit better than an RC toy, but don’t quite have the cash for a full-size Tesla model, Henes has designed an electric card for you your younger kids that’s controlled by an Android tablet and allows both manual and remote driving. Henes Broon T870 specifications: Tablet – 7″ Android 4.4.2 tablet PC smart system with HD resolution display, micro SD, HDMI and audio output ARM Cortex-M3 based main control system Bluetooth remote control Built-in stereo speakers Functioning hood & doors 4 wheel drive with high density urethane tires Spring suspension & shock absorbers Leather bucket seat and seat belt Foot pedal accelerator Bright Headlight / Aux Light / Turn Signal Light / Tail/Brake/BackUp Lights Motors – Dual 24V driving motors Battery – Rechargeable 24V 7Ah battery pack for a little over 2 hours drive, or up to 20 km. Dimensions – 134 x 73 x  63.5 cm…

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LoPy Tiny IoT Developer Board Runs MicroPython, Supports LoRa, WiFi and Bluetooth (Crowdfunding)

February 10th, 2016 7 comments

Pycom launched WiPy last year, a WiFi IoT board based on Texas Instruments CC3200 ARM Cortex M4 SoC, and a few months after sending rewards to their Kickstarter backers, they are back on the crowdfunding platform to launch LoPy, another IoT development board that runs MicroPython and offers LoRa, WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity. LoPy board hardware specifications: SoC – Dual processor @ 160 MHz with WiFi & BLE radio with 400 kB RAM, 1MB flash External Storage – 4MB flash Connectivity 802. 11b/g/n @ 16Mbps with WEP, WPA/WPA2 WiFi security; SSL/TLS support; AES encryption engine. Bluetooth Classic and Low Energy LoRaWAN Semtech LoRa transceiver SX1272 @ 868 MHz (Europe) or 915 MHz (North America). Range – Node: Up to 40km; Nano-Gateway: Up to 5 km Nano Gateway Capacity – Up to 100 nodes. Internal chip antenna and u.fl connectors for external antennas Headers – 2x 14-pin headers for: Up to 24 GPIOs (3.3V tolerant) 2x UART, SPI, I2C DMA,…

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SkyStream X5 Android Streaming Media Player Also Includes an ATSC Tuner

February 10th, 2016 4 comments

While there’s now a decent choice of Android TV boxes with DVB-S2 or DVB-T2 tuners, devices with ATSC tuners are a little harder to come by, and the few Android devices I know of include WeTek Play, U4 Quad, and some Mygica (Geniatech) and Vygica ATSC Android set-top boxes. SkyStream X5 is now another option, based on Amlogic S812, mostly advertised as an Android streaming player, but still with one ATSC tuner to watch free-to-air television in North America, and a few smaller countries. SkyStream X5 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Mail-450 octa-core GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB flash + SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP support + 3 RCA ports for composite and stereo audio Video Codecs – MPEG, MPE, MPG, M2V, ISO, TS, VOB, DAT, AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, 3GP, 3GPP, FLC, WMV, FLV, RM Video Subtitles: SRT, SUB,…

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STMicro Releases Linux based STM32 MCU Development Tools

February 10th, 2016 3 comments

Until a few years ago, most development tools for micro-controllers were only available for Windows, but as Linux gained popularity among developers and engineers, community of developers designed development tools running in Linux, but only a few companies are providing tools that run on Linux operating systems. The good news is that STMicro has just announced the release of STM32CubeMX configurator and System Workbench for STM32, for both Linux and Windows, with Mac OS supporting coming on Q2 2016. Developped by Ac6 embedded systems company, System Workbench for STM32 relies on Eclipse IDE, supports the ST-LINK/V2 debugging tool under Linux through an adapted version of the OpenOCD project, and can be used with various STMicro STM32 boards including Nucleo boards, Discovery kits, and other Evaluation boards. You can give it a try by visiting OpenSTM32 Community, but for some reasons they ask you to register before accessing the installation instructions. If you already have a recent Eclipse installed, and you…

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Cypress Introduces PSoC 4 L-Series ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and Development Kit

February 9th, 2016 No comments

Cypress Semiconductor has recently unveiled PSoC 4 L-Series micro-controller family based on ARM Cortex M0 core with more programmable analog and digital blocks, expanded memory, new peripherals and higher number of I/Os, as well as the corresponding Arduino compatible CY8CKIT-046 PSoC 4 L-Series Pioneer Kit to evaluate their latest solution. Key features of PSoC 4 L-Series MCU ARM Cortex-M0 CPU @ 48-MHz with DMA controller, up to 256KB flash, up to 32KB SRAM and  up to 98 GPIOs CapSense with SmartSense auto-tunning – 2x Cypress Capacitive Sigma-Delta (CSD) blocks Programmable analog 4x configurable opamps 4x current DACs (IDACs) 2x low-power comparators (CMP) One 12-bit, 1-Msps SAR ADC Programmable digital 8x Universal Digital Blocks (UDBs) 8x configurable 16-bit TCPWM 4x independent serial communication blocks (SCBs) Full-Speed USB 2.0 controller 2x CAN Controllers Segment LCD Drive support up to a maximum of 64 output (commons or segments) Power 1.71 to 5.5 V Operation 20-nA Stop Mode with GPIO pin wakeup Hibernate and…

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Ugoos AM1 4K TV Box Review

February 9th, 2016 12 comments

Ugoos AM1 is yet another TV box based on Amlogic S905. I’ve already published specifications and uploaded some pictures of the nice looking cyan box and its board, so today I’ll report on my experience after actually playing with the device, where I mostly focused on known problems found on other S905 mini PCs, and some extra features added to Ugoos firmware. First Boot, Settings, and First Impressions I filled all three USB ports with a USB webcam, a USB hard drive, and a USB hub with RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse,  Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless gamepad, and a USB keyboard (convenient for screenshots), and connected Ethernet, HDMI and power cables. A boot will usually take around 30 seconds. Before going through the user interface, I’ll mention that OTA firmware upgrade worked very well, and it was one of the first thing I did before the review. Ugoos firmware version used for review is 0.0.3 as…

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