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Posts Tagged ‘allwinner’

Sub $100 Remix OS Laptops Powered by Allwinner A64 Processor Are Coming Our Way

April 23rd, 2016 24 comments

Remix OS is a fork of Android making the popular operating system more suitable for desktop use with a start-up menu, better handling of multi-tasking, multi-window support, etc… It’s found in several tablets and TV boxes including Jide’s own Remix mini. But Charbax has showcased a few Remix OS laptop prototypes based on Allwinner A64 processor, with the video apparently shot from Allwinner office.

Remix_OS_LaptopThe first model is a white 11.6″ laptop (1366×768) with Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor, looking quite similar to Olimex DIY laptop prototype also based on A64, with 1 to 2GB RAM, 8GB to 32GB flash, and a “nice keyboard and touchpad”.

The second model is based on the hardware, except the screen is larger (14.1″). It features HDMI output, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro SD slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Those two models are expected to sell between $80 and $100 depending on the final specs such as battery capacity, and overall build quality.

They don’t come with a touchscreen though, so they’ve come with a third 11.6″ 2-in-1 model with a touchscreen, and either Allwinner A64 or  Allwinner A83T octa-core processor that should be cost less than $100.

Those are probably reference designs, so the exact price will depend on the manufacturers themselves, and it’s also unclear when they’ll ship. Charbax also mentions that the Allwinner A64 Remix OS laptops may be crowdfunded later on.

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Linux 4.5 Released – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

March 15th, 2016 1 comment

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.5 on Sunday:

So this is later on a Sunday than my usual schedule, because I just couldn’t make up my mind whether I should do another rc8 or not, and kept just waffling about it. In the end, I obviously decided not to,but it could have gone either way.

We did have one nasty regression that got fixed yesterday, and the networking pull early in the week was larger than I would have wished for. But the block  layer should be all good now, and David went through all his networking commits an extra time just to make me feel comfy about it, so in the end I didn’t see any point to making the release cycle any longer than usual.

And on the whole, everything here is pretty small. The diffstat looks a bit larger for an xfs fix, because that fix has three cleanup refactoring patches that precedes it. And there’s a access type pattern fix in the sound layer that generated lots of noise, but is all very simple in the end.

In addition to the above, there’s random small fixes all over-shortlog appended for people who want to skim the details as usual.

Go test, and obviously with 4.5 released, I’ll start the merge window for 4.6.

Linux 4.4 added support for a faster and leaner loop device, 3D support in virtual GPU driver, TCP improvements, various file systems improvements for BTRFS, EXT-4, CIFS, XFS etc… Some notable changes made to Linux 4.5 include:

  • Copy offloading with new copy_file_range(2) system call – Performance improvements on local file systems are marginal, but for networked file systems such as NFS, you could copy a file internally on a server drive without transferring file data over the network.
  • Experimental PowerPlay for amdgpu driver
  • Btrfs free space handling scalability improvements – New, experimental way of representing the free space cache that takes less work overall to update on each commit and fixes the scalability issues for large drives (30TB+). It can be enabled with -o space_cache=v2 mount option, and you can revert to the one method with -o clear_cache,space_cache=v1.
  • Support for GCC’s Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (-fsanitize=undefined) UBSAN (Undefined Behaviour SANitizer) is a debugging tool available since GCC 4.9. It inserts instrumentation code during compilation that will perform checks at runtime before operations that could cause undefined behaviors. Linux 4.5 supports compiling the kernel with the Undefined Behavior Sanitizer enabled.
  • Next gen media controller whose “goal is to improve the media controller to allow proper support for other types of Video4Linux devices (radio and TV ones) and to extend the media controller functionality to allow it to be used by other subsystems like DVB, ALSA and IIO”. See lkml for details

Some new features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A80 support – IR receiver driver, NMI controller,PRCM driver, R_PIO support, and RSB driver
    • Allwinner H3 SoC support – H3 USB PHY clocks
    • A10/A20 Video Engine clocks
    • MIC1 capture for sun4i codec
    • Audio codec enabled on various boards
    • Added board – Orange Pi Plus
  • Rockchip:
    • Crypto module and io-domain driver enabled in multi_v7_defconfig
    • Tweaks for RK3368 SoC and eval board
    • Added Rockchip RK3228 SoC and eval board
    • New RK3228 subdriver in pinctrl
    • SPI driver fix
    • Added support for RK3399 in thermal driver
    • RK3036: Added SMP support, emac support
    • Expose USB PHY PLLs
  • Amlogic
    • Device tree changes – Add watchdog node to meson8b, add status LED for ODROID-C1
    • Watchdog timer modifications
  • Samsung
    • eMMC/SDIO minor fixes usage of bindings on Snow and Peach chromebooks.
    • Remove FIMD from Odroid XU3-family because on XU3 it cannot be used yet and on XU3-Lite and XU4 it is not supported.
    • Remove deprecated since June 2013 samsung,exynos5-hdmi.
    • Add support for Pseudo Random Generator on Exynos4 (Trats2 for now). This depends on new SSS clock.
    • Add rotator nodes for Exynos4 and Exynos5.
    • Switch DWC3_1 on Odroid XU3 and XU3-Lite to peripheral mode because  now it cannot be used as OTG.
    • Cleanup the G2D usage on Exynos4 and add it to a proper domain in case of Exynos4210.
    • Put MDMA1 in proper domain on Exynos4210 as well.
    • Minor cleanups
  • Qualcomm
    • New pinctrl subdrivers for Qualcomm MSM8996, PM8994,  PM8994 MPP support
    • Added Qualcomm PCIe controller driver
    • Qualcomm ARM64:  Add fixed rate oscillators to dts, fixup PMIC alias and properties, change 8916-MTP compatible to be compliant with new scheme, fix 8×16 UART pinctrl configuration, add SMEM, RPM/SMD, and PM8916 support on MSM8916
  • ARM SoC multiplatform code – “This branch is the culmination of 5 years of effort to bring the ARMv6 and ARMv7 platforms together such that they can all be enabled and boot the same kernel”
  • ARM64 – hugetlb: add support for PTE contiguous bit; perf: add support for Cortex-A72;
  • Other new hardware or SoCs – Sigma Designs ARM Cortex-A9 Tango4 “Secure Media Processor” platforms (SMP8756, SMP8758, and SMP8759), TI-based DM3730 from LogicPD (Torpedo), Cosmic+ M4 (nommu) initial support (Freescale Vybrid), Veyron-mickey (ASUS Chromebit), BCM2836 and Raspberry Pi 2 B.

MIPS changes:

  • Add support for PIC32MZDA platform
  • bcm963xx: Add Broadcom BCM963xx board nvram data structure
  • dts: Add initial DTS for the PIC32MZDA Starter Kit
  • math-emu: Add IEEE Std 754-2008 ABS.fmt and NEG.fmt emulation
  • math-emu: Add IEEE Std 754-2008 NaN encoding emulation
  • math-emu: Add IEEE Std 754 conformance mode selection
  • pci: Add MT7620a PCIE driver
  • ralink: add MT7621 support
  • zboot: Add support for serial debug using the PROM

If you want to get the full details, I’ve generated Linux 4.5 Changelog with comments only (12.2MB) using git log v4.4..v4.5 --stat, but it’s probably a better idea to simply check out Linux 4.5 changelog on kernelnewbies.org.

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Allwinner A64 Android 5.1 SDK and Linux Source Code

December 10th, 2015 11 comments

Allwinner A64 is likely to become quite popular as it will be used in PINE A64 board, Olimex open source hardware laptop featuring A64-OLinuXino board, and some low cost tablets. We’ve already got some documentation such as Allwinner A64 datasheet and user’s manual, but AFAIK, there was no source code released for the board.

Allwinner_A64_SDK_LinuxThe good news is that you can now download Android 5.1 SDK and Linux source code on Baidu with four files available:

  • lichee_A64_A5.1_V1.0.tar.gz – Linux source code
  • android_A64_A5.1_V1.0.tar.gz– Android 5.1 SDK
  • android_prebuilts_A64_A5.1_V1.0.tar.gz – Some pre-built binaries for Android
  • A64硬件资料.zip – Documentation including the datasheet, product brief, and user’s manual which we’ve already got, but also some hardware with reference schematics, PCB layout files, and BoM for an Allwinner A64 tablet.

Allwinner_A64_Tablet_SchematicsThat’s about 7.4GB to download, and apart from the documentation, the download is not quite complete yet, so I could not look into the details of the release yet.

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Allwinner A64 Datasheet and User Manual Released

November 10th, 2015 18 comments

Allwinner has two 64-bit ARM processors in the works: Allwinner H64 and Allwinner A64. Both are quad core Cortex A53 processors with a Mali-400MP2 GPU, H.265 4K video playback with basically the same interfaces and peripherals, but H64 also supports H.264 at 4K resolutions, while A64 is limited to H.264 @ 1080p, and H64 adds a TS interface.

A64 Block Diagram

A64 Block Diagram

The first good news is that two boards are in development:

  • Orange Pi Plus 3 with Allwinner H64
  • Olimex A64-OLinuXino update with Allwinner A64

Engineering samples have already been produced for the first board, but that’s about all the information we have now, as Shenzhen Xunlong has not built its reputation by releasing documentation early. One the other hand, A64-OLinuXino schematics have nearly been completed, but we already know more details, as not only Olimex boards are open source hardware, but the company defies conventional wisdom by involving the community in the development process early. So they published the first revision of the Kicad schematics on Github to get feedback.

And together with their own work, they’ve also released the datasheets of the main components including A64 datasheet and TRM:

The third good news is that A64-OlinuXino Allwinner A64 board should eventually be used in a 64-bit ARM DIY laptop made by Olimex themselves.

Body Considered for OLinuXino Laptop

Body Considered for OLinuXino Laptop

At some points, we’ll also need some bootloader and Linux source code for Allwinner A64, but that’s the next step.

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Linux 4.3 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

November 4th, 2015 2 comments

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.3 last week-end:

So it *felt* like the last week of the rc series was busy, to the point where I got a bit worried about the release. But doing the actual numbers shows that that really was just my subjective feeling, probably due to the kernel summit and travel back home from Korea. It wasn’t actually a particularly busy week, it’s just that the pull requests were more noticeable in the last couple of days.

We had a network update and a late fix for a x86 vm86 mode bug introduced by the vm86 cleanups, but other than that it’s just a collection of various small one-liners all over. Ok, the vm86 mode thing was a one-liner too, it was just slightly more nerve-wracking because it looked scarier than it was before people (Andy) figured out what was going on.

The changes from rc7 are dominated by the network stuff, but as you can tell from the appended shortlog it’s not anything particularly scary.

So on the whole, this remains a rather calm release cycle until the very end. And with the release of 4.3, obviously the merge window for 4.4 is open, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that that will be an equally calm release. Especially since apparently Greg has decided ahead of time (as an experiment brought on by discussion at the kernel summit) that 4.4 will be another LTS release.

Linus

Linux 4.2 brought us file systems and networking changed, new cryptography implementations, AMD GPU driver support for more graphics card, among other things. Some changes made to Linux 4.3 include:

  • Removal of EXT-3 file system (EXT-4 file system will handle EXT-3)
  • Various fixed for BTRFS, EXT-4, F2FS, and XFS file systems
  • IPv6 is now built into the kernel by default.
  • New driver framework for nonvolatile memory devices (e.g.EEPROMs). See nvmem.txt for details.
  • The networking layer added “lightweight tunnel” support.

More user visible and internal changes can be found on LWN’s merge window articles [1], [2] and [3].

I’ve also compiled some of the new features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture with a focus on Allwinner, Rockchip, Amlogic and /Mediatek processors often featured in this blog:

  • Allwinner:
    • A10 / A13 / A20 / A23 / A31 – Enabled OTG controller
    • A10 / A10s / A13 / A20 – Support for DMA engine
    • A23 / A33 – Support for USB controllers
    • most of Allwinner SoC – Support for Allwinner Security System crypto accelerator (sunxi-ss)
    • AXP152 – AXP152 mfd support
    • Added boards – Iteaduino Plus A10 board, Ippo-q8h-a33 v1.2 tablet board
  • Rockchip
    • Audio – Machine drivers for Rockchip systems with MAX98090 and RT5645 and RT5650
    • Added USB PHY support for RK3066 and RK3188, enabled on Marsboard
    • Reserve unusable memory region (0xfe000000~0xff000000) on RK3288 and RK3368
    • Fixed suspend issues on RK3288
    • Added support for phase inverters
    • Added support for Rockchip RK3368 including clock-controller
    • Added support for Netxeon R89 board, two Chromebooks (Veyron family), and R88 board (RK3368)
  • Amlogic (Minor changes)
    • meson6: DTS: Fix wrong reg mapping and IRQ numbers
    • meson8b: Properly include clk.h
  • Mediatek
    • Added basic support for Mediatek MT6580
    • Added SMP support for Mediatek MT6795
    • Mediatek MT8173: cpuidle-dt updates, watchdog device, misc other additions
    • Added MT6397 PMIC support to MT8173 eval board
  • Qualcomm
    • Qualcomm MSM8916 and APQ8016 updates for USB
    • Pinctrl driver updates for Qualcomm SPMI-MPP, and Qualcomm Technologies QDF2xxx ARM64 SoCs
    • Qualcomm driver for SMM/SMD (Shared Memory Driver)
    • Regulator driver for the Qualcomm RPM
    • Device tree updates for Compulab QS600, Inforce 6410 & 6540,  APQ8074 Dragonboard, etc…
  • Samsung
    • Various defconfig and device tree updates for Exynos processors
    • cpufreq driver updates
    • clk driver updates for Exynos 3250, 4210, 4412, and 5250 SoCs
  • Xilinx – ZynqMP: A bunch of devices added to the existing DTSI (sdhci and watchdog on ep108, DWC3 usb, SMMU, CANs node…)
  • Other new ARM SoCs & hardware platforms – Broadcom North Star 2 (ns2), Marvell Berlin4CT,  Freescale i.MX6UL boards, SocioNext (previously Panasonic) UniPhier, Texas Instruments DM814x, Gumstix Overo platforms

There have also been some changes for MIPS architecture mostly committed by Imagination Technologies themselves:

  • Fixed JZ4740 build
  • Cavium Octeon CN68XX improvements
  • Some work on the clock framework
  • Added uprobes support
  • Support for the I6400
  • Moved ath79 GPIO driver to drivers/gpio
  • Various fixes

Finally, I’ve generated Linux 4.3 Changelog with comments only (12.3MB) using git log v4.2..v4.3 --stat. Normally I would also recommend checking out the changelog on KernelNewbies here, but they have not even updated Linux 4.2 changelog yet.

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$64 Allwinner V3 Action Cameras Support 4K Video Recording (or Not?)

October 27th, 2015 7 comments

An “Allwinner V3 4K Ultra HD DV Sport Camera” just appeared in GeekBuying product feed which the company sells for $84.39, and searching for alternative sellers led me to Soocoo F60 4K action camera sold for $63.34 on GearBest. Both cameras look the same, and the price appears amazing cheap as 4K cameras such as GoPro Hero4 or Sony X1000V normally sell for $500 and more. But one of the tricks is that both “4K” camera are likely based on Sunchip 4K camera design, which does support 4K video recording, but only at 15 fps.

Cheap_4K_cameraSoodoo F60 camera specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner V3  ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2GHz
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – micro SD card up to 64GB
  • Display – 2″ LCD
  • Camera
    • Omnivision OV4689 image sensor (4MP according to sensor page, but 16MP on camera description, probably achieved with extrapolation).
    • 170 degree wide angle
    • Recording time up to about 90 minutes at 1080P 30fps
    • Video recording – 4K @ 15fps, 2.7K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60/30fps, 720p @ 120/60/30fps
    • H.264  codec, MOV container
    • Built-in microphone/speaker recording to AAC codec
  • Video Output – micro HDMI output and 3.5mm AV jack
  • Connectivity – WiFi
  • USB – micro USB port for charging and use as webcam
  • IP Rating – IP68 waterproof up to 30 meters (with waterproof case)
  • Battery – Detachable 900mAh battery good for about 90 minutes at 1080p30.
  • Power Supply (Charger) – 5V/1A
  • Dimensions – 5.9 x 4.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Weight – 58 grams with battery
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -10ºC~+55ºC
Allwinner V3 Camera Accessories

Allwinner V3 Camera Accessories

The camera will ship with lots of accessories including a waterproof case, the Li-ion Battery, a charger, a USB cable, a user’s manual, and various mount options.

The WiFi connection can be used to transfer images and videos, for remote control function, to sync and share albums and manage the settings, and the company recommends to use Youmera or FinalCam apps to use with WiFi. Other use cases for the camera include car DVR and PC camera.

To answer the question in the title, whil the camera technically supports 4K recording it is limited to 15 fps, so most people will probably stick to recording at 1080p30 or 1080p60, and possibly at 720p120 for slow motion effects. Moreover, the sensor used is only 4MP (2688×1520), so 4K resolution is only possible by using extrapolation.

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Linux 4.2 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

September 2nd, 2015 No comments

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.2 last Sunday:

So judging by how little happened this week, it wouldn’t have been a mistake to release 4.2 last week after all, but hey, there’s certainly a few fixes here, and it’s not like delaying 4.2 for a week should have caused any problems either.

So here it is, and the merge window for 4.3 is now open. I already have a few pending early pull requests, but as usual I’ll start processing them tomorrow and give the release some time to actually sit.

The shortlog from rc8 is tiny, and appended. The patch is pretty tiny too.

Go get it,

Linus

Some notable changes made to Linux 4.2 include:

  • File systems
    • New features for F2FS including per file encryption
    • CIFS support SMB 3.1.1 (experimental)
  • Cryptography – Jitter Entropy Random Number Generator, Chacha20 stream cipher and Poly1305 authentication (RFC7539),New RSA implementation. See lwn.net for details.
  • AMD GPU driver added support for AMD “Tonga,” “Iceland,” and “Carrizo” systems. That driver has now over 400,000 lines of code…
  • Networking

Some of the new features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture include (With a focus on Allwinner/Rockchip/Amlogic/Mediatek processors often discussed in this blog):

  • Allwinner:
    • A10/A10s/A13/A20/A31/A23 – SRAM Controller
    • A23 – SMP support, architected timer support
    • A31/A31s – CPUFreq support
    • A33 – Machine support, Bring-up sharing most drivers with A23, pinctl driver, PIO controller
    • A80 – Architected timer support, USB support
    • AXP221 PMIC driver
    • New boards and devices: LinkSprite pcDuino3 Nano, Cubietech Cubieboard4, Gemei G9, Auxtek T004, Utoo P66, Wexler TAB 7200, MK808C, Jesurun Q5, Xunlong Orange Pi, Xunlong Orange Pi Mini, Sinlinx SinA33
  • Rockchip
    • Fixes for GPU DRM driver
    • RK3368 – Added pinctrl and Ethernet (dwmac) support
    • Device tree – Files relicensed under GPLv2/X11 dual-license, Enable A12 HW PMU events in RK3288 boards, and TSADC for Firefly and PopMetal boards
    • Fixed IR receiver bug and modify some GPIO code in RK3288
  • Amlogic – Added documentation to the clock controller… nothing else.
  • Mediatek
    • Fixed clock registration in MT8135
    • Small changes and fixes to pinctrl driver
    • Added driver for Mediatek MT8173 I2C controller
    • Some fixes for PMIC
    • MT7601U driver (WiFi device)
    • Pinctrl driver for MT8127, MT6397,
  • Qualcomm
    • Added SPMI PMIC Arbiter device tree node for MSM8916
    • Added 8×16 chipset SPMI PMIC’s nodes
    • Added MSM8916 restart device node
    • Added initial set of PMIC and SoC pins for APQ8016 SBC board
  • Samsung
    • Fix exynos3250 MIPI DSI display and MIPI CSIS-2 camera sensor
    • Bring back cpufreq for exynos4210
  •  ARM64
    • New processors: Hisilicon ARM64 SoCs (e.g. Hi6220)
    • Various fixes for ARM64 for ACPI, MMU, SMP, perf, and more.
    • Enabled EDAC on ARM64
    • Support for Hikey board, ARM Juno r1 board
  • Various changes to some Atmel and Marvell processors, see Free Electrons blog post for details.
  • Other new ARM SoCs & hardware platforms – Freescale i.MX 7Dual, ZTE ZX29670, Buffalo WXR-1900DHP, ASUS RT-AC87U, SmartRG SR400ac, Compulab CM-A510, and more

There has also been some interesting changes for the MIPS architecture:

  • many bug fixes: LLVM build issue, KVM fixes, fix seccomp MIPS64, fix for oprofile (get_c0_perfcount_int), Fix JR emulation for R6, etc…
  • Some code cleanups (fixed misspellings, removes some code)
  • Added support for appended DTP
  • Improvements for R12000, R3000, Broadcom BCM47xx and BCM63xx,  ATH79
  • Large patchset for Ingenic JZ4740 SoC
  • Added support to Pistachio SoC
  • New MIPS platforms: MIPS Creator CI20 board and XWR-1750 board

A complete changelog for Linux 4.2 should soon be published on Kernelnewbies.org, and you’ll probably also want to look at their ARM architecture and drivers sections for more details about to various platforms including ARM and MIPS. I’ve also generated a complete Linux 4.2 Changelog with comments only (13.9MB) using git (git log v4.1..v4.2 --stat)

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Allwinner R58 Octa-core Processor Targets 2-in-1 Android Laptops

June 5th, 2015 3 comments

Allwinner R-series processor family, such as Allwinner R8, is supposed to target “IoT applications”, but IoT must have recently taken a whole new meaning as the latest Allwinner R58 octa-core processor targets 2-in-1 laptops running Android. Allwinner website however lists R58 as an high-end IoT platform for virtual reality and robotics.
Allwinner_R58_Block_DiagramAllwinner R58 specifications:

  • CPU – Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU up to 2.0 GHz
  • GPU – PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ 600 MHz with support for OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9_3
  • Memory
    • 32-bit DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR3/LPDDR2
    • SLC/MLC/TLC/EF NAND with 64-bit ECC
    • eMMC V4.5
  • Video
    • [email protected] video playback
    • multi-format video playback, including H.264, MPEG1/2, MPEG4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263 including Sorenson Spark, WMV9/VC-1, JPEG/MJPEG, etc
    • H.264 [email protected] or [email protected] video capture
  • Display
    • LVDS up to 1366×[email protected] or RGB LCD up to 2048×[email protected]
    • 4-lane MIPI DSI up to 1920×[email protected]
    • HDMI up to [email protected], HDCP V1.2 supported
    • Dual display supported with LCD up to [email protected] and HDMI up to [email protected]
  • Camera
    • 5MP parallel CMOS sensor
    • 8MP MIPI CSI controller
    • 8MP ISP
  • Peripherals
    • USB Host, USB Dual-Role (host/device), HSIC
    • Ethernet MAC
    • 2x SPI, 4x TWI, 6x UART, RSB
    • 3x SD/MMC
    • 2x I2S/PCM
    • CIR, LRADC
  • Package – FCBGA 345; 14mm x 14mm size

Eva Wu, Allwinner marketing manager, explains that Allwinner R58 is similar to Allwinner A83T, which I tested in a Foxconn tablet, but alledgedly with higher frequencies for the CPU and GPU. However, Allwinner A83T was also clocked at 2.0GHz in the tablet I tested. Go figure… Anyway, you should not expect amazing performance from that processor (Antutu probably around 30,000), but it should still be usable.

The operating system appears to be a customized version of Android called “Double OS”, and optimized for work to make it “perfectly compatible with office” and with some “adaptation of the keyboard and mouse”. Further improvements are also scheduled for Q3 2015 such as multi-window and Google Work support. A 64-bit version of the processor, (Allwinner R88) will be launched on Q4 2015 supporting either Double OS 3.0 or Windows 10.

Charbax is a Computex 2015, and he filmed the Android laptop in action, and got a few more details about the solution.

Via armdevices.net

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