Whitecat ESP32 N1 Board Combines ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth SoC with a LoRa Transceiver, Runs Lua RTOS

May 2nd, 2017 4 comments

Espressif ESP32 SoC is gaining traction right now as prices have come down, and there’s still an on-going fight among LPWAN standards with LoRaWAN being fairly popular in Europe. Whitecat, a group of engineers from several companies based in Citilab, Barcelona, Spain, has designed a board that combines both ESP32 and a LoRA transceiver, bringing an alternative to Pycom LoPy board, but instead of running MicroPython, they have developed Lua-RTOS. Whitecat ESP32 N1 hardware specifications: SoC – Espressif ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 microprocessor @ up to 240MHz with 520kB internal SRAM Storage – 4MB flash memory Connectivity LoRa WAN transceiver working in the 868 (EU) MHz / 915 (USA) MHz with on-board antenna, and u.FL connector for external antenna Integrated 802.11b/g/n WiFi transceiver with on-board antenna, and u.FL connector for external antenna Integrated dual-mode Bluetooth (classic and BLE) I/O Headers – 2x 16-pin with SPI, I2C, I2S, SDIO, UART, CAN, ETHERNET, IR, PWM, DAC, ADC. Power Supply 3.3 to 5.5V…

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Yundoo Y8 Rockchip RK3399 mini PC Review – Part 2: Android Firmware, Audio & Video Playback in Kodi

May 2nd, 2017 11 comments

Yundoo Y8 is one of the first Android TV boxes / mini PCs powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor to be launched. GearBest sent me a review sample, and since I’ve already taken it apart in the first part of the review, I’ll report my experience with the firmware in terms of stability and performance, as well as audio & video capabilities with TVMC (Kodi fork), and more. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I’ve first connected a few peripherals Seagate USB 3.0 drive to the USB port, a USB keyboard to one of the USB 2.0 port, and a USB hub to the other one with two USB RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse, and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad. After adding Ethernet and HDMI cable, I pressed the power button on the unit to start it up. Please note that the remote control cannot turn on the box, so if you are comfortably seated in your…

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MQMaker MiQi & ASUS Tinker Boards Get Linux 4.11 with 3D Graphics Acceleration

May 2nd, 2017 6 comments

One day after the release of Linux 4.11, developer “Miouyouyou” has released Linux 4.11 for Rockchip RK3288 platforms such as MQMaker MiQi and ASUS Tinker boards with some patchsets for ARM Mali r16p0 kernel drivers, ARM fbdev, and to improve performance. The kernel has been tested with the Mali User-space r12p0 drivers for fbdev and wayland written for Firefly-RK3288, and some OpenGL ES 3.1/3.2 samples could successfully run on the board. 3D graphics acceleration does not work in X11 however. Miouyouyou also plans to add support for Rockchip VPU code, as well as ARM gator, and document how to use ARM DS-5 Streamline for OpenGL ES 2.x/3.x debugging. If you have a MiQi or Tinker board running Debian, you can try the kernel by adding beta.armbian.com Debian repository to your apt source file, and installing the following packages:

Via linux-rockchip G+ community. One day after the release of Linux 4.11, developer “Miouyouyou” has released Linux 4.11 for Rockchip RK3288…

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SavageBoard Open Source Hardware Board Powered by NXP i.MX 6 Processor Offers Multiple Display Options

May 1st, 2017 2 comments

While it’s hard to keep track of all NXP i.MX6 boards and modules on the market, few can claim to be open source hardware, with the exception of OpenRex, and now SavageBoard, which I just found in Linux 4.11 release log. The board comes in three variants with Solo, Dual, and Quad versions, is equipped with 4 to 8GB flash, 512MB to 1GB RAM, HDMI, TFT LCD, MIPI DSI, and LVDS ports, Ethernet, SATA (Quad only), lots of I/O headers, and more. SavageBoard Solo/Dual/Quad specifications: SoC Solo – NXP i.MX 6Solo Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU Dual – NXP i.MX 6Dual dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU Quad – NXP i.MX 6Quad quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU System Memory Solo – 512 MB 32-bit DDR3 @ 400 MHz Dual & Quad – 1GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 800 MHz Storage…

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Does That Crane or Drilling Rig Run mainline Linux?

May 1st, 2017 2 comments

Linux 4.11 has just been released, and as usual I looked into the changelog especially checking out work done on ARM architecture, and some newly supported SoCs or board. One line in the log caught my attention:  “Liebherr (LWN) monitor 6 based on i.MX6 Quad, no idea what this is”. So I had a look, and Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH is a swiss company specializing in construction machines and maritime cranes such as “crawler cranes, duty-cycle crawler cranes, as well as piling and drilling rigs”. The DTS file for LWN Monitor 6 shows an NXP i.MX 6Quad processor is used in a product with an LVDS display and various interfaces such as I2C, PWM, SPI, and so on. So it could be some kind of control panel for one or more of their equipment. After looking into some PDF documentation, we can see  on page 10 that the company mentions Litronic control system based on a CANBUS system with “all information,…

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Linux 4.11 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architecture

May 1st, 2017 9 comments

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.11: So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm, and I’m much happier releasing a final 4.11 now. We still had various smaller fixes the last week, but nothing that made me go “hmm..”. Shortlog appended for people who want to peruse the details, but it’s a mix all over, with about half being drivers (networking dominates, but some sound fixlets too), with the rest being some arch updates, generic networking, and filesystem (nfs[d]) fixes. But it’s all really small, which is what I like to see the last week of the release cycle. And with this, the merge window is obviously open. I already have two pull request for 4.12 in my inbox, I expect that overnight I’ll get a lot more. Linux 4.10 added Virtual GPU support, perf c2c’ tool, improved writeback management, a faster initial WiFi connection (802.11ai), and more. Some notable changes for Linux 4.11 include:…

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GPU Accelerated Object Recognition on Raspberry Pi 3 & Raspberry Pi Zero

April 30th, 2017 5 comments

You’ve probably already seen one or more object recognition demos, where a system equipped with a camera detects the type of object using deep learning algorithms either locally or in the cloud. It’s for example used in autonomous cars to detect pedestrian, pets, other cars and so on. Kochi Nakamura and his team have developed software based on GoogleNet deep neural network with a a 1000-class image classification model running on Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 3 and leveraging the VideoCore IV GPU found in Broadcom BCM283x processor in order to detect objects faster than with the CPU, more exactly about 3 times faster than using the four Cortex A53 cores in RPi 3. They just connected a battery, a display, and the official Raspberry Pi camera to the Raspberry Pi boards to be able to recognize various objects and animals. The first demo is with Raspberry Pi Zero. Raspberry Pi Zero version pic.twitter.com/5ALlnvFEe8 — Koichi Nakamura (@9_ties) April…

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$24 Sunvell R69 Android 4.4 TV Box is Powered by Allwinner H2 Processor

April 28th, 2017 41 comments

We’ve fist seen Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor in cheap development boards such as Orange Pi Zero, but the processor main market is actually “Basic OTT TV boxes” for 1080p video playback, and Sunvell R69 TV box is one of the first of those, and comes with 1GB RAM & 8GB storage. Sunvell R69 TV box specifications: SoC – Allwinner H2 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz (TBC) with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 output up to 1080p60, AV port (composite video + stereo audio) Video Codec – H.265 / H.264 up to 1080p Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (via XR819 chipset) USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports Power Supply – 5V/2A Dimensions – 9 x 9.5 x 1.8 cm Weight – 200 grams The box runs Android 4.4, which means Kodi…

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