Home > Android, Linux > VIA Releases Kernel 2.6.32 and U-Boot Source Code for $49 APC Board

VIA Releases Kernel 2.6.32 and U-Boot Source Code for $49 APC Board

VIA Technology unveiled the low cost APC (Android PC) board based on WonderMedia WM8750 processor (ARM11) back in May, and started to ship the Android board this month (I think since that was their plan).

The company has just released KernelĀ 2.6.32.9 and U-Boot source on github. Here’s how to retrieve the code provided git is already installed on your machine:

git clone git://github.com/apc-io/apc-8750.git

You can then build U-Boot (provided you’ve already installed an ARM toolchain in your path):

cd $CURRENT_PATH/u-boot
make wmt_config
make all

and the Linux kernel:

cd $CURRENT_PATH/kernel
make 8710_defconfig
make ubin

The availability of the source means we should see Linux distribution like Debian, Fedora or Arch Linux ARM (separate from Arch Linux) running on the board very soon. In theory, it’s also possible to run a Linux distribution with the binary Linux kernel compiled for Android, but it causes some issues and also makes customization more difficult.

I think they should also have release the code they modified for Android, but apparently did not. The next step would probably be to release the OpenGL ES and VPU libraries (binaries) for Linux. We’ll see if that happens.

They also released the board 2D and 3D mechanical drawings (DXF and STP).

VIA has also setup APC-IO Forums as a communication platform for the user and developer community.

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  1. max
    July 27th, 2012 at 03:31 | #1

    I can’t understand what kind of business proposition is expected from this arm11 board priced at $49 knowing that on similar or lower price point similar or better hardware is available. Plus already established community of popular Allwinner A10.

    But if they still wanted to get into this APC thing then why not with VIA WM8850 Cortex-A9 SOC ? Which has an actual potential to gjve some tough competition to Allwinner A10 APC’s. Plus they could have threaded some community around it, which in turn could have helped them Garner some popularity, Which in turn could have made VIA WM8850 a popular SOC choice among manufacturers, Which in turn could have gave them good business.

    But Again, You guys know better.:l

  2. max
    July 27th, 2012 at 03:34 | #2

    ^^

    @max
    Delete “which” in above comment. Its a typo. Also want to know, How to edit my post?

  3. July 27th, 2012 at 09:32 | #3

    @ max
    At the time of the launch, there was no $40 Android TV Stick, low cost mini PCs just came out and were sold for over $70 at the time (right, that’s only 2 month ago…), so the APC could still have market.

    I suppose it can still have a market for people who need VGA. Ethernet and more USB ports, although the last two could be added cheaply to mini PCs with an Ethernet USB dongle and a USB hub.

    Maybe they chose the WM8750 over the WM8850, because of price. Not sure. WM8850 seems pretty cheap as well, since this is the one in my tablet (Cost $76).

  4. July 27th, 2012 at 09:34 | #4

    @ max
    I have “Advanced edit” at the top right of the comment, but that’s probably because I’m an admin :p.
    One guy (@different) seems to be able to post links with proper anchors, and I don’t know how to do that without editing the comment, so there must definitely be a way.

  5. Onebir
    July 27th, 2012 at 18:10 | #5

    Why such an old kernel, do you think? (& does it matter much?)

  6. July 27th, 2012 at 18:20 | #6

    @ Onebir
    Because they just support Android 2.3. It might be a problem to support newer Linux distribution such as Ubuntu 12.04, not sure.

  7. max
    July 28th, 2012 at 13:54 | #7

    @cnxsoft
    Agree,
    1. The goodies (vga, Ethernet, usb ports etc.) is getting nullified by the old kernel / old android version / arm 11
    2. ‘They are’ SOC makers and who is exactly stopping them to make such a board with top of the line processors with onboard Ethernet, USB ports, VGA and etcs..

    On a side note news: 1.Saw a under $149 tegra3 phone with JB /2GB ram on some Chinese site /forum.
    2. saw Ramos W17 amlogic 8726 MX series running 4.1.1
    3. Some unidentified QUAD SOC running dualboot Ubuntu /JB tablet board with compareble benchmark of this new qualcomm thing. under $99 (test board only) .

    So… Get ready nexus7 flaunting americans, Chinese Sh!tstorm is coming… :) This Christmas is going to be fun.

  1. July 28th, 2012 at 05:04 | #1