Netgem SoundBox is a Speaker with Built-in Set-Top Box Features

February 25th, 2017 No comments

Netgem, a company specializing in Connected TV & Home, has sent a press release about profit growth, and two new “innovations int its smart home roadmap” with voice control with Amazon, and SoundBox, a connected speaker which embeds set-top box technology. Netgem does not sell directly to consumers, but instead sell its products and solutions to service providers, and they have not provided a great deal of technical details. But we still know the company has improved Netgem Home Platform, a cloud service allowing the deployment and management of multi-screen features, content discoverability, with support for multi-room, multi-source music service through technology from Voxtok. SoundBox will then offer both video and audio service, and be controlled by voice using Amazon Alexa. The SoundBox will be customized for each Telco to adapt to the needs of local markets. A few more details may eventually surfaced on Netgem’s SoundBox product’s page. They’ll also demonstrate their solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017. Netgem,…

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NXP QorIQ LayerScape LA1575 Programmable Wireless SoC to Support 5G, 802.11ax & 802.11ad WiFi, and Wireline

February 24th, 2017 3 comments

NXP has recently announced QorIQ LayerScape LA1575 programmable wireless platform with two ARMv8 cores, and simultaneous multi-standard support for 5G, Wi-Fi (802.11 ac and 802.11ax) and Wireline systems for enterprise and high-end home gateways. QorIQ LayerScape LA1575 key features and specifications: Multicore ARMv8 Processors for user applications DDR4 with ECC Programmable accelerator engines for signal processing. Programmable low latency MAC layer processing engines Programmable high performance packet processing engines to over 10 Gbps Configurable cryptographic offload engines Simultaneous multi-standard support for 5G, Wi-Fi (802.11 ac and 802.11ax) and Wireline systems Multiple Ethernet interfaces including 10Gbps PCIe gen 3.0 Integrated Trust architecture Single source clocking The main benefit of this SoC is that is is programmable, so even if some standards evolve after the release, it can be re-programmed to reflects the changes in specifications. Just to refresh everybody’s memory: 5G is the successor of 4G/LTE scheduled to start (Wave 1) around 2018, with higher speeds(Wave 2) solutions coming in 2019-2020 with up…

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Review of MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub & MINIX A3 Air Mouse – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing and Teardown

February 24th, 2017 5 comments

MINIX showcased MINIX NEO U9-H TV box at IFA 2016 last year, but was not ready to launch the product or provide the full details yet. The company has now completed development of their Amlogic S912-H octa-core TV box, and sent a review sample for evaluation on CNX Software together with their latest MINIX A3 air mouse with voice command function. I’ll start by listing the specifications of the TV box, take some pictures, and tear it apart to check out how it’s been designed in the first part of the review, and test the firmware in the second part which I intend to post in a few days. MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub specifications One of the main difference over other Amlogic S912, is the -H suffix which means Dolby and DTS licenses have been paid for so all apps will handle those audio formats: SoC – Amlogic S912-H octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz…

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LEDE 17.01.0 “Reboot” Router Operating System Released

February 24th, 2017 8 comments

LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) is a fork of OpenWrt after some disagreements between developers, and while there are talks about merging OpenWrt and LEDE development, this is not done yet, and LEDE 17.01 has been released a few days ago. Some of notable LEDE 17.01 changes include: Linux kernel updated to version 4.4.50 (from 3.18 in Chaos Calmer) Update to dnsmasq 2.76, busybox 1.25.1, mbedtls 2.4.0, openssl 1.0.2k Improved Security Features Improved Networking Support Added new targets: apm821xx (AppliedMicro APM821xx) arc770 (Synopsys DesignWare ARC 770D) archs38 (Synopsys DesignWare ARC HS38) armvirt (QEMU ARM Virtual Machine) ipq806x (Qualcomm Atheros IPQ806X) layerscape (NXP Layerscape) zynq (Xilinx Zynq 7000 SoCs) Reorganized x86 target – Drop dedicated Xen DomU target, merged with x86/generic * Enable AES-NI support Build system improvements Image Builder / SDK – Rework library bundling to allow for better portability between different Linux distributions, added support for building kernel modules using the SDK You’ll find a complete list of change…

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ODROID-XU4 Development Board Price Drops to $59, Now Supports Linux 4.9 LTS

February 23rd, 2017 38 comments

ODROID-XU4 development board powered by Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor launched in summer 2015, but even after two years, it’s one of the fastest, if not the fastest, low cost development board on the market. It is also equipped with Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports, but so far at $74, it was quite much expensive than slower peers. Hardkernel has now decided to lower the price to $59 plus shipping, which is really a good deal in terms of price/performance, and you’ll also benefit from close to two years development, as the board now supports Linux 4.9 with updates promised until early 2019. Here’s a reminder of the technical specifications: SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz + quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP (750 MHz, 12GB/s memory bandwidth, 2x32bit bus)…

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Beelink SEA I Android TV Box, OpenWrt NAS, and HDMI Recorder Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

February 23rd, 2017 6 comments

Realtek RTD1295 SoC is so far found in devices running Android & OpenWrt, and equipped with an HDMI input port for recording, PiP, and UDP broadcasting. I have already reviewed Zidoo X9S with an external SATA port, and Eweat R9 Plus with a 3.5″ SATA bay, and I’ve now received Beelink SEA I offering another option thanks to 2.5″ SATA bay, and a lower price of $98.99 and up using coupon GBSEA16 with the 2GB/16GB version, or GBSEA32 with the 2GB/32GB version. As usual, I’ll start with some photos and a teardown in the first part of the review, before testing the firmware in more details. Beelink SEA I Unboxing Photos I’ve received the box in the retail package below showing some of the features like 4K video playback, picture-in-picture thanks to the HDMI input, and supports for games and apps. Beelink SEA I comes with either 16GB or 32GB eMMC flash for storage, and I received the 16GB version….

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LibreELEC is Now Running on Ugoos UT3+ (Rockchip RK3288) TV Box

February 23rd, 2017 4 comments

Rockchip RK3288 may have launched over two years ago, but the quad core 32-bit processor is still much more powerful than many 64-bit platforms on the market, and ASUS selected the processor for their upcoming – and not officially launched – Tinker Board. The processor was found in several Android TV boxes, but people also installed Linux on the devices, and ported Kodi 14.2 Linux to RK3288 with hardware video decoding back in 2015. The news here is that Omegamoon has recently started working on LibreELEC 8.0 port for RK3288 with a Linux 4.4 kernel, and tested it on Ugoos UT3+ TV box. Full HD movie playback is said to be smooth, Ethernet, and sound work, but WiFi still needs to be worked on. Omegamoon has released an update.img firmware which can be flashed with upgrade_tool in Linux, or AndroidTool in Windows, replaces whatever operating system you have on the eMMC flash, and works only on Ugoos UT3+ at this…

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Samsung Launches Exynos 9 Series 8895 SoC with Custom ARMv8 Cores, Mali-G71 GPU, Gigabit LTE Modem, 10nm FinFET Process

February 23rd, 2017 No comments

Samsung Electronics has just announced the launch of its latest Exynos application processor (AP), with Exynos 9 Series 8895 octa-core processor with four second generation custom designed ARMv8  CPU cores, and four Cortex A53 cores, as well as a Mali-G71 3D GPU, and a Gigabit LTE modem. The LTE modem delivers data throughput at up to 1Gbps (Cat.16) downlink with 5CA (five carrier aggregation), and 150Mbps (Cat.13) uplink with 2CA. The SoC also embeds an “advanced MFC” (multi-format codec) for recording and playback at up to 4K UHD at 120 fps, a Vision Processing Unit for video tracking, image process, and machine vision technology, and another processing unit allows for mobile payments using iris or fingerprint recognition. Exynos 8895 is also the first application processor manufactured with 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology and improved 3D transistor structure, which according to Samsung, allows for up to 27% higher performance, while consuming 40% less power when compared to 14nm technology. Samsung Exynos…

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