Mainline Linux on 64-bit ARM Amlogic SoCs, and TV Boxes such as Wetek Hub / Player 2, NEXBOX A1 / A95X, etc…

March 6th, 2017 28 comments

We’ve already seen Neil Armstrong, part of BayLibre, worked on adding Amlogic SoC (S905/S905X/S912) to mainline Linux via our virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2017. But at the time, although we could see some activity in Linux 4.10 including support for Nexbox A95X and Nexbox A1, they did provide that much details the work that had been done, but since then, ELC 2017 videos have been released, and BayLibre wrote a short post about 3D Graphics support in mainline Linux. We can see that I/Os, USB host, composite video output, Ethernet, eMMC/SDIO, and PSCI and SCPI features have already been added to Linux 4.10. but some important features have not yet including HDMI, Mali support, Audio, and high speed eMMC modes. HDMI is actually planned for Linux 4.12, which could be released in about 18 weeks if we keep the 10 weeks kernel release schedule we had in the past. WeTek Hub and Play 2…

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SD Association Introduces Class A2 Application Performance Class, and UHS-III Standard Supporting Up to 624 MB/s

March 6th, 2017 13 comments

Users of development boards booting from (micro) SD cards have often missed random I/O performance information to determine whether the device would performance well to run an operating system, but now that Google has implemented “adoptable storage” to let consumer run app from their micro SD cards, it has become an important differentiating factor for manufacturers, and the SD association announced A1 App performance class with minimum random I/O read/write performance and at least 10MB/s  sequential write speed last year. The SD association has now unveiled Class A2 with better I/O performance with minimum requirements of 4000 IOPS for random reads, and 2000 IOPS for random writes, with the same 10 MB/s minimum sequential write speed. That means the application performance table now looks as shown below. Note that Class A2 is not available right now, and test requirements will be explained in SD 6.1 part 1 physical specification to be released later this year.Compliant (micro) SD cards will be…

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Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: mwc 2017, sd card

GOLE 360 Video Camera Review & 360 Degrees Videos Desktop Experiments

March 5th, 2017 3 comments

GOLE has designed GOLE 360 video camera to connect to your smartphone via its micro USB, or USB type C port, and let you shot 360 degrees videos or photos.  The company has sent me a review sample with a USB type C port in order to test it with Vernee Apollo Lite Android smartphone. I’ve spent about two days playing with it, so I’ll report my experience with the 360° camera, and my attempts at playing the videos back on my computer. GOLE 360 Unboxing The camera is sent in a white retail box with “Micro USB” or “Type C” option, and as requested I got the latter. The camera comes with a pouch, a useful user’s manual in English, and a USB to USB type C cable. I did not use the latter since I instead charge the camera with my phone’s power adapter and cable. One side of device comes with a wide angle camera and the…

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HiKey 960 Development Board Powered by Hisilicon Kirin 960 Cortex A73/A53 Processor To Sell for $239

March 4th, 2017 19 comments

LeMaker is about to launch a successor to Hikey board with a new 96Boards compliant development board with HiKey 960 featuring the powerful Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor found in Huawei Mate 9 smartphone, as well as 3GB LPDDR4 memory, 32GB UFS storage, HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and so on. Hikey 960 board specifications: SoC – Kirin 960 octa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.4 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4 SDRAM Storage – 32GB UFS flash storage + micro SD card slot Video Output / Display Interface – 1 x HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p, 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI connector Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac? WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 with two antennas USB – 2 x USB 3.0 type A host ports, 1x USB 2.0 type C OTG port Camera – 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI, 1x 2-lane MIPI CSI…

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$12 AI Light ESP8266 based WiFi RGB Light Bulb Supports MQTT via ESPurna Open Source Firmware

March 3rd, 2017 20 comments

AI-Thinker is famous in the maker world for their ESP8266 modules, but they’ve also recently launched a WiFi RGB light bulb that sells for about $12.5 and up on Ebay and Aliexpress (here and there). Some people noticed, and bought samples online, including Xose Pérez (aka Tinkerman), ESPurna open source firmware developer, who could confirm ESP8266 was used in the light bulb, did some investigations, and eventually added the light bulb into ESPurna, which means it can be managed using MQTT or a web interface. AI Light looks very similar to Philips Hue, but comes with WiFi instead of Zigbee. AI Light “M1636” key features: RGBW LED E27 bulb with 16.7M colors Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi Encryption – AES Voltage Range – 110-240V LED Power – 5 watts WiFi Power Consumption – ≤0.3W Temperature Range – -5~45degree Humidity – ≤80% Certifications – FCC, CE, ROHS If you’re going to use the stock firmware, you can control the LED with…

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Gemini PDA Pocket PC Runs Android & Linux on Mediatek X25 Deca-Core Processor (Crowdfunding)

March 3rd, 2017 5 comments

GPD Pocket 7″ portable computer running Windows or Ubuntu Linux is getting some competition, as Gemini PDA has a similar form factor with a 5.7″ display and a keyboard, but instead of featuring an Intel processor, it is equipped with Mediatek X25 deca-core ARM Cortex A72/A53 processor, and runs either Android or Linux. Gemini PDA specifications: SoC – Mediatek X25 deca-core ARM processor with 2x Cortex A72 @2.5GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @2.0GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @1.55GHz and Mali-T880 MP4 GPU @ 850 MHz System Memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 64GB flash, micro SD card slot (covered) Display – 5.7” QHD+ (2880×1440) multi-touch display; 18:9 aspect ratio Audio – Dual side mounted speakers, integrated ambient microphone, 3.5mm audio jack Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS with A-GPS, NFC 4G + WiFi model adds: GSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHz WCDMA – 900/2100MHz LTE – 1/2/3/4/5/7/17/20 VoLTE – Compatible SIM slot + eSIM (ready) Camera – 5MP front-facing camera USB – 2x USB-C…

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System76 Starling Pro ARM Server Powered by 2 Cavium ThunderX 64-bit Processors Sells for $6400 and Up

March 3rd, 2017 11 comments

64-bit ARM servers are starting to show up more and more for sale, and after servers such as Softiron Overdrive 1000, Avantek H270-T70, and Gigabyte MP30-AR0, System76, a company selling only Ubuntu powered computers and servers, has launched Startling Pro ARM server equipped with two Cavium ThunderX_CP 48-core processors, and a choice of two operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS 64-bit or Ubuntu 16.10 64-bit. System76 Starling Pro ARM “stap1” server specifications: Processor – 2× Cavium ThunderX_CP 48 core 64-bit ARMv8 processor @ up to 2.5 GHz (96 cores in total) System Memory – Up to 1024 GB quad-channel registered ECC DDR4 @ 2400MHz Storage – Up to 4x 3.5″ drives, 32 TB in total Video Output – VGA port Virtualization – ARM Virtualization Host Extensions Networking – 3x 40-Gigabit QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable+), 4x 10 Gigabit SFP+, 1x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) Expansion – 1x PCI Express x16 (Gen3 x8) USB –  4x USB 3.0 (2x front/ 2x back) Serial…

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Broadcom APDS-9500 Tiny Proximity & Gesture Sensor Supports up to 9 Gestures

March 2nd, 2017 1 comment

You can use advanced methods to implement gesture control using devices like Leap Motion, or a camera with a computer vision program like OpenCV, but if you have cost and size constraints, and can work with a limited number of gestures, Broadcom APDS-9500 proximity & gesture sensor might be a useful component as it comes in a 18-pin package, and supports up to 9 gestures. The chip also provides proximity detection for sensing objects approaching or departing. Avago / Broadcom APDS-9500 key features: Gesture output – 9 gesture recognition: g move up, move down, move left, move right, move forward, move backward, circle-clockwise, circle-counterclockwise and wave Proximity output – Object brightness output and size output Cursor mode output – X and Y output Range – up to 60 cm Image output – SPI output; 30 × 30 pixels / 60 × 60 pixels; 9-bit gray scale Ambient light immunity I2C-bus interface compatible with data rates up to 400 kHz Dedicated Interrupt pin Flexible…

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Categories: Hardware Tags: broadcom, motion control