New Espressif ESP32 Single and Dual Core Processors in 5x5mm Package, Optional Embedded Flash Coming Soon

April 4th, 2017 8 comments

Espressif ESP32 was launched last year as a dual core Tensila processor with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, relying on external flash for storage, and packaged into a QFN48 6x6mm package. Espressif recently updated ESP32 datasheet, and the guys at ESP32net noticed three new versions of the processor with a QFN48 5x5mm package, one version including 2 MBytes embedded flash, and another version with a single core. The three new versions of ESP32 all come with the same WiFi 802.11b/g/n ad Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity and a QFN 5×5: ESP32-D0WD dual core processor without embedded flash ESP32-D2WD dual core processor with 16 Mbit embedded flash ESP32-S0WD single core processor without embedded flash ESP32-D0WD different with ESP32-D0WDQ6 is only the smaller package, while ESP32-D2WD brings 2MB embedded flash too possibly lowering the price of current solution with external flash, and ESP32-S0WD might be closer to ESP8266 price thanks to its single core, while still offering Bluetooth Smart support on top of WiFi….

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Categories: Espressif Tags: 802.11ac, ble, esp32, espressif, IoT, wifi

Shenzhen Xunlong Releases Two Orange Pi Boards with 64-Bit ARM Processor, 2GB RAM

April 4th, 2017 21 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong has already been selling 64-bit ARM development board with their Orange Pi PC 2 & Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 boards based on Allwinner H5, as well as Orange Pi Win board powered by Allwinner A64 processor. However, so far none of them are equipped with much memory, with the only options being 512MB or 1GB RAM. The company has recently launched  two new boards with 2GB RAM, namely Orange Pi Win Plus featuring Allwinner A64 SoC, and Orange Pi Prime equipped with Allwinner H5 SoC. Orange Pi Win Plus That board is just an update to Orange Pi Win board with the only difference I could find being the 2GB RAM: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 2MB SPI flash, micro SD slot up to 64GB, footprint for optional eMMC flash Video Output / Display interface – HDMI 1.4…

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Creality CR-10 3D Printer Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Setup, and First Prints

April 4th, 2017 9 comments

Today we are going to take a first look at the Creality CR-10 3D printer. This is a multipart series with the first part being unboxing and initial setup. I have no experience with 3D printing, and when I found out I would be doing this review I was ecstatic. It took a while to get shipped because of the wild popularity at Gearbest. I believe supply has caught up with demand. While waiting I read as much as I could about 3D printing. and I am glad I did. Creality CR-10 3D Printer Specifications 300 x 300 x 400mm build volume Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm Memory card offline print: SD card Prints up to 80mm/s (but slower is better) File format: G-code, JPG, OBJ, STL (I have only done g-code) 1.75mm Software – Cura; octoprint compatible CR-10 3D Printer Unboxing and Setup I had the CR-10 assembled and printing in about an hour. I had a completed successful cat a…

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Categories: Hardware, Testing Tags: 3d printing, creality, review

FriendlyELEC Introduces $12.99 1-bay NAS Dock Kit for NanoPi NEO & NEO 2 Boards

April 3rd, 2017 34 comments

NanoPi NEO is a tiny board with Fast Ethernet and USB 2.0 interface, so in theory it could make a nice low-end NAS as long as you don’t need the best performance. As always the problem is that there was no case for it, but FriendlyELEC changes that as they just launched a 1-bay NAS Dock Kit for NanoPi NEO / NEO 2 board selling for just $12.99 (promotional price at launch). The kit comes with the following: 1-bay NAS Dock expansion board with JMicron JM20329 USB to SATA bridge SATA connector for 2.5″ HDD drive Extra USB host port On/off switch, and dual color status LED Header to connect NanoPi NEO board 12V DC power input Dimensions – 151 x 89.7 mm NS-120 aluminum enclosure (154 x 100 x 47.5 mm, 4141 grams) Heatsink set for NanoPI NEO M3 6mm screws, M2.5 6 mm screws Four rubber pads Front and back covers The company provides an OpenMediaVault image and…

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Sen5 Dual Tuner Android Set-top Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

April 3rd, 2017 9 comments

There are only a few companies manufacturing Android TV boxes with tuners with names like VideoStrong and WeTek coming to mind. Shenzhen Sen5 Technology is another one, and the company sent me one of their DVB combo Android TV boxes for review without providing that many details. So let’s have a look at what I received. Sen5 Android Combo STB Unboxing The product might be not ready for retail just yet, as I received it in an old carton box. Once I remove all the bubble wraps, I ended up with the device, an IR remote control, and a 12V/1.5A power supply. Once the product is actually launched I’d expect you’d receive a retail package and a user’s manual too. The box itself is made of plastic with plenty of randomly arranged (ventilation) holes on the top. The front panel comes with an IR window and a “Standby button”, one of the side includes a “mirco” SD slot, two USB…

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Clarity Android Speaker with Touchscreen Display Supports Both Alexa and Google Assistant (Crowdfunding)

April 3rd, 2017 3 comments

Android speakers with a touchscreen display has been around for a while,  but Clarify speaker adds support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant’s “OK Google”. The 5W stereo speaker also comes with a quad core processor coupled with 16GB storage and 1GB RAM, a 7″ touchscreen display, and a battery. Clarity specifications: SoC – Unnamed Quad core processor System Memory – You wish you knew Storage – 16GB flash + micro SD slot Display – 7″ touchscreen display with 1280×800 resolution Video Output – HDMI output (added with $250,000 stretch goal) Audio – 2x 5W speaker, built-in microphone, AUX port Connectivity – Dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 Camera – 2MP front-facing camera USB – 1x mini USB port Misc – Control buttons Power Supply 12V/1.5A via power barrel 1.600 mAh / 7.4V LiPo battery good for 6 hours of music playback or 2.5 hours of video playback. Dimensions – 326 x 110 x 160 mm Weight – Around 1…

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Open Source ARM Compute Library Released with NEON and OpenCL Accelerated Functions for Computer Vision, Machine Learning

April 3rd, 2017 11 comments

GPU compute promises to deliver much better performance compared to CPU compute for application such a computer vision and machine learning, but the problem is that many developers may not have the right skills or time to leverage APIs such as OpenCL. So ARM decided to write their own ARM Compute library and has now released it under an MIT license. The functions found in the library include: Basic arithmetic, mathematical, and binary operator functions Color manipulation (conversion, channel extraction, and more) Convolution filters (Sobel, Gaussian, and more) Canny Edge, Harris corners, optical flow, and more Pyramids (such as Laplacians) HOG (Histogram of Oriented Gradients) SVM (Support Vector Machines) H/SGEMM (Half and Single precision General Matrix Multiply) Convolutional Neural Networks building blocks (Activation, Convolution, Fully connected, Locally connected, Normalization, Pooling, Soft-max) The library works on Linux, Android or bare metal on armv7a (32bit) or arm64-v8a (64bit) architecture, and makes use of  NEON, OpenCL, or  NEON + OpenCL. You’ll need an…

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NanoPi NEO 2 Board Benchmarks with Ubuntu 16.04.2 using Linux 3.10 and Linux 4.10

April 2nd, 2017 14 comments

I’ve received NanoPi NEO 2 boards, add-boards and sensor modules last week, where we could see how small the boards were, and how it could be suitable for IoT projects or “hardware hacking” education.  Before testing the board with the add-ons, I have to select the image to run on the board, and currently we have two choices: Ubuntu 16.04.2 FriendlyELEC image with Linux 3.10 “legacy” kernel, or Armbian Ubuntu 16.04.2 Xenial nightly build with Linux 4.10 “mainline” kernel. So I decided to try both: dfssf nanopi-neo2-ubuntu-core-qte-sd4g-20170329.img.zip (296 MB) is the image from FriendlyELEC (previously FriendlyARM) Armbian_5.27.170401_Nanopineo2_Ubuntu_xenial_dev_4.10.0.7z (222 Mb) is the image from Armbian, which I downloaded on March 31st despite the filename including “170401” string You can flash the image with Win32DiskImager (Windows) or dd (linux) to a micro SD card the usual way, and while I’ve never personally had troubles with dd, I’ve been told Etcher was better, as it verifies the SD card after flashing, and dd…

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