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Posts Tagged ‘arm’

Samsung Chromebook Plus / Pro with ARM Based OP1 / Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor to Sell for $449 and Up

January 9th, 2017 13 comments

Samsung Chromebook Pro was first discovered last October on some reseller’s website with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, 4GB RAM, and a $499 price tag. The company has finally announced two new Chromebooks at CES 2016 with Chromebook Pro actually based on an Intel Core m3-6Y30 “Skylake” processor, and Chromebook Plus powered by “OP1” hexa-core ARM Cortex-A72/A53 processor.

samsung-chromebook-pro-plusWe’ll that apart from the different processor, both new Chromebook have exactly the same specifications

Model Code XE513C24-K01US XE510C24-K01US
Chromebook Plus Chromebook Pro
Operating System Google Chrome
Processor / Chipset OP1, Made for Chromebooks.
Hexa-core (Dual A72, Quad A53)
Intel Core M3 Processor 6Y30
(0.90 GHz up to 2.20 GHz, 4 MB L3 Cache)
Graphic Internal Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 515
Display 12.3″ 2400×1600 LED Display (3:2 aspect ratio) with Touch Screen Panel
Memory 4GB LPDDR3 Memory (on BD 4GB)
Hard Drive 32GB e.MMC
Color Platinum Silver
Multimedia Internal Dual Array Digital Mic
Stereo Speakers ( 1.5 W x 2 )
720p HD Camera
Network 802.11 ac (2×2)
Bluetooth v4.0
Ports 1 Headphone out/Mic-in Combo
2 USB-C [up to 5Gbps*, 4K display out with optional adapter, Charging]
MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader
Input Clickpad
Touch screen
Island-type keyboard
Pen
Power 30 W USB-C™ Adapter
39Wh battery
Dimension 280.8 x 221.6 x 12.9 ~ 13.9mm (11.06″ x 8.72″ x 0.51″ ~ 0.55″)
Weight 1.08Kg (2.38lbs)
Software ※ Software can be changed without notice.
Google Play Store (Beta)
AirDroid Premium (free one-year subscription, full version)
ArtCanvas
Etc Accelerometer Sensor
Gyro Sensor

It’s very likely that OP1 processor is Rockchip RK3399, also using a 2xA72 + 4xA53 configuration, or a modified version, as Rockchip processor with Chromebooks used to have the “C” suffix, e.g. RK3288C. Charbax has a video of Chromebook Plus model showing the screen with an impressive viewing angle.

Chromebook Plus (ARM) is available now for $449 on Amazon US, while Chromebook Pro (Intel) will be released this spring at a yet-to-be-disclosed price.

Rockchip RV1108 Visual Processor is Designed for 1080p & 2K Camera Applications

January 9th, 2017 2 comments

Rockchip has joined other companies in developing camera SoCs with their RV1108 Visual Platform based on a single Cortex A7 core, a CEVA XM4 visual processing DSP, and capable of H.264 video encoding up to 1440p30 / 1080p60.

360 Camera Demo at CES 2017

360° Camera Demo at CES 2017 – Click to Enlarge

Rockchip RV1108 main features and specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex A7 @ up to 1.0 GHz
  • DSP – embedded CEVA XM4 vision processor up to 600MHz
  • Video Encoder – 2K/H.264, high definition & low bit rate
  • Camera – MIPI CSI and DVP interfaces
  • Image processing – Low-light-level night vision imaging: 8MP professional image processing unit
  • Audio Processing – Audio Codec supporting up to 8-way MIC array, 3A? phonetic algorithms, such as echo cancellation, noise suppression;
  • Video Out/Input – HDMI OUT, CVBS OUT, MIPI DSI, CVBS IN
  • Networking – 10/100 Ethernet PHY

The processor is expected to be used in drones, IP cameras, car dashcams, sports/action cameras, as well as other applications such as panoramic cameras, computer vision applications, or real-time WiFi video transmitter. The company also released some comparison pictures and videos against a competitor camera showing the wider dynamic range of its solution. The competitor is likely based on either Allwinner V-series SoC or Novatek SoC.

rockchip-rv1108-vs-allwinner-v3

The text is much clearer with RV1108 in the top picture, the building has much better details with RV1108 in the second picture. I’m not sure how much of that is related to the sensor used however, as the company did not mention anything about that, and instead explained that their ” advanced graph and image processing technology, WDR(Wide Dynamic Range)technology directly influences the video shooting effect”.

RV1108 runs Linux OS with an optional MiniGUI, drivers for WiFi, Bluetooth, or GPS, and support for Android/iOS apps.

Rockchip was also at CES 2017 demonstrating RV1108 capabilities with a 360° camera demo pictures in the top picture, a streaming media rearview mirror, and a 2K VR camera. There’s no product page for RV1108 on Rockchip website yet.

$10 RTLDuino is an Arduino Compatible WiFi IoT Board based on Realtek RTL8710AF WiSoC

January 4th, 2017 1 comment

Last summer, we discovered a cheap RTL8710AF WiFi module with many of the same function as ESP8266, but with an ARM Cortex M3 core instead. The only problem is that it was not quite as easy to play with as ESP8266 boards, as at the time I started by playing with AT commands with B&T RTL00 RTL8710AF module, and later on, I got a more convenient PADI IoT Stamp with breakout board, but if you wanted to change the firmware you had to play with the SDK and a J-Link SWD debugger. Realtek RTL8710AF did not offer the convenience of Arduino IDE program like its big brother “RTL8195AM” from the same Ameba family. I know mbed is being worked on, but in the meantime things have changed for the better, as kissste informed me that RtlDuino implementation added Arduino support to RTL8710AF and RTL8711AM modules, and an NodeMCU-like board with the same name was also sold for less than $10 including shipping.

rtlduinoRTLduino board specifications:

  • WiSoC – Realtek RTL8710AF ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller @ 83 MHz
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for programming and power
  • Expansion – 2x 16-pin breadboard friendly headers with GPIOs, UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, I2S, power signals….
  • Misc – Reset and test button, RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or Vin pin
  • Dimensions – 49 x 24.5 mm (same as NodeMCU)

As you can see from the picture above,the board is actually based on the B&T RTL-00 module I previously tested. This is obviously quite easier to use since you don’t need to solder any cables to connect a USB to TTL board since RTLduino is equipped with CH340g and a micro USB port.

rtlduino-board-rtl8710af

The Aliexpress page has some claims about 5 function that accordingly to kissste are not quite all correct:

  1. Function 1 – “Mbed debugging mode” over micro USB cable -> you won’t get – this is a different board (at least for now)
  2. Function 2 – “JTAG debugging mode” over micro USB cable -> you won’t get – this is a different board
  3. Function 3 – “Simple & fast by OTA to upgrade debugging” -> you will get partially – no debugging, but you can OTA upload new sketch
  4. Function 4 – “Serial data directly to the network transceiver function” (serial console via UART) -> OK
  5. Function 5 – “Smartconfig mode” -> yes, will work – OTA upload new sketch

If you want to do debugging, I understand you’ll still need a JTAG or SWD programmer. If you want to get started with Arduino on the board:

  • Install Arduino IDE and Ameba SDK
  • Go to Arduino IDE installation directory
  • Clone github.com/pvvx/RtlDuino into hardware/development/rtl87xx directory
  • Restart Arduino

I could not find anything in English where other people tested the implementation, but you’ll find a forum thread (in Russian) on esp8622.ru, and other person mentioned the project on hackaday.io, but has not reported on details about it yet.

Beside Aliexpress, RTLduino board can also be found on ICStation for $9.99, and Amazon US for $10.99.

Qorvo GP695 “Smart Home” SoC Integrates 802.15.4, Zigbee 3.0, Thread, and Bluetooth LE

January 4th, 2017 No comments

GreenPeak Technologies ultra-low power, short range RF communication technology company was acquired by Qorvo last year, and Qorvo has recently announced a GP695 system on chip (SoC) for smart home devices part of GreenPeak’s previous family of devices, and supporting multiple short range RF protocols.

qorvo-gp695GP695 key features:

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex M4
  • Connectivity
    • IEEE 802.15.4
    • ZigBee 3.0
    • Thread
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
    • Qorvo Wi-Fi interference mitigation technology

GP695 has been designed to be used in device such as a door locks, smart HVAC, smart security systems, connected video doorbells and intercoms, lightbulbs, smoke alarms, and leak detectors, and complements GP712 multi-protocol SoC designed for smart home gateways.

Qorvo will feature live demonstrations of its smart home and IoT solutions at its booth during CES 2017, at Sands Expo, Halls A-D Booth #42114. There’s very limited public information, and no product page could be found in their website.

Allwinner V3s Dual Camera SoC Comes with 64MB DRAM

December 30th, 2016 10 comments

Most SoCs have a very limited amount of internal SDRAM just enough to load the bootROM code, but a few integrated a few MB of RAM on-chip such as Renesas RZ/A1H with 10MB on-chip DRAM, in order to reduce costs for some applications that may not require external RAM. Allwinner V3s, designed for dual camera solutions, appeared to be such an SoC with 64MB (512Mbit) on-chip DDR2 RAM, but the block diagram seems to imply it is a System-in-Package (SiP) instead. Nevertheless you still get a single chip with an ARM Cortex A7 processor, two ISPs, a video engine, 64MB RAM, and more.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Allwinner V3s main features & specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A7 @ up to 1.2 GHz
  • Memory – Integrated 64MB DDR2 DRAM
  • Storage I/F – SD 2.0, eMMC 4.41, SPI NAND flash, SPI NOR flash
  • Audio Codec – 92dB audio codec supporting 2x ADC channels and 2x DAC channels, 1x low-noise analog microphone bias output, 1x microphone input and 1x stereo microphone output
  • Video Processing Unit
    • Encoding – [email protected] or [email protected] + [email protected] H.264
    • Decoding – [email protected] H.264 and MJPEG
  • Video Input/Output
    • 8/10/12-bit parallel CSI and 4-lane MIPI CSI2
    • Up to 5M CMOS sensor
    • RGB/i80/LVDS LCD up to 1024×768 resolution
  • Peripherals
    • 3x SD card controllers
    • LRADC/SPI/TWI/UART/PWM
    • USB 2.0 OTG
    • EMAC+PHY
  • ISP
    • Integrated “Hawkview” ISP up to 5M pixels
    • Supports 2x channel outputs for display and encoding respectively
    • Supports various input and output formats
    • Supports AE/AF/AWB
    • Supports saturation adjustment/ noise reduction/ defect pixel correction/distortion correction
  • Package – 128-pin eLQFP

The processor supports Camdroid, a lightweight operating system based on Android, as well as Linux just like its more powerful sibling (minus the built-in memory) Allwinner V3.

Block Diagram for a Typical Allwinner V3s Dashcam with Two Cameras

Block Diagram for a Typical Allwinner V3s Dashcam with Two Cameras

Beside Allwinner V3s product page, and the datasheet, there’s no that much info and talk about V3s in the Internet. Searching a bit more, I found out that Q3H-2 Sports Action Camera is based on the processor, and somebody did a short review of the thing with photo and video samples. Some people also did some hacking of the previous Q3H model based on Allwinner V3, but I’m not sure how much of that is usable on Q3H-2.

The makers of Lichee Pi One board have also designed an Allwinner V3s board named Lichee Pi Zero to sell for $6 in China, but I don’t have the full details, and only know some members of linux-sunxi have started to work on it. That still means there may be decent Linux support for the processor in a few months time.

Vorke Z3 Rockchip RK3399 TV Box to Launch in February 2017

December 20th, 2016 8 comments

I was expecting devices based on Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor to launch by the end of this year, that is about right now, but finally it looks like products will only start the show by the end of Q1 2017, as Firefly-RK3399 development board is scheduled to ship to backers in March 2017, while GeekBuying has started teasing us with their Vorke Z3 TV box powered by Rockchip RK3399 with 4GB RAM slated to launch in February 2017.

vorke-z3Vorke Z3 preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with  2x ARM Cortex A72 cores at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores, and an ARM Mali-T860MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash, external SATA interface (hopefully implemented via the PCIe interface), micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Video Decoder – 4K H.265 and VP9
  • Audio Output – HDMI, 3.5mm audio port, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi up to 1200 Mbps (300 Mpbs + 867 Mbps)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB type C port (for data and power external devices?)
  • Misc – IR receiver, mechanical power switch
  • Power Supply – TBD
  • Dimension & Weight – TBD

rockchip-rk3399-android-tv-boxThe box will run Android 6.0, and currently gets about 72,500 points in Antutu 6.x with 16,519 points for 3D graphics, 25,805 points for UX, 25,905 points for CPU, and 4254 points for RAM tests. There’s hope a good Linux support on Rockchip RK3399, as Google and Rockchip are working on RK3399 Chromebooks, actively committing code to mainline kernel, and Firefly has ported Ubuntu 16.04 to their RK3399 development board with 3D graphics acceleration, and hardware video decoding is coming.

rk3399-sataPrice has now been announced yet, but for reference, Firefly-RK3399 development board with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage is now offered with all accessories for $199 on Kickstarter, and Remix IO+ TV Box also sells with 4GB/32GB configuration sells for $139 shipped, so I’d expect Vorke Z3 to sell for about the same price.

Ambiq Micro Introduces Ultra-Low Power Apollo 2 Cortex-M4F MCU Consuming Less than 10 μA/MHz

December 18th, 2016 1 comment

Last year Ambiq Micro unveiled their Apollo Cortex-M4F MCU with Cortex M0+ energy efficiency thanks to operation in sub-threshold voltage (< 0.5 V), and the MCU is said found in Matrix Powerwatch, a fitness tracker powered by body heat that you never need to charge. The company has recently announced a new version of the micro-controller with Apollo 2 MCU with better maximum performance thanks to a higher maximum clock speed (48 MHz vs 24 MHz), and higher efficiency (10 μA/MHz vs 30 μA/MHz @ 3.3V).

apollo-2-mcu

Apollo 2 MCU key features and specifications:

  • Ultra-low supply current
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V
  • ARM Cortex-M4 Processor up to 48 MHz with FPU, MMU, wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts
  • Ultra-low power memory
    • Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
    • Up to 256 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
    • 16kB 1 or 2-way Associative Cache
  • Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors
    • 14 bit, 15-channel, up to 1.2 MS/s ADC
    • Voltage comparator
    • Temperature sensor with +/-2ºC accuracy
  • Serial peripherals – 6x I2C/SPI master,1x I2C/SPI slave,2x UART, PDM for mono and stereo audio microphone
  • Clock sources
    • 32.768 kHz XTAL oscillator
    • Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
    • High frequency RC oscillator – 48 MHz
    • RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families
  • Wide operating range – 1.8-3.6 V, –40 to 85°C
  • Package –  2.5 x 2.5 mm 49-pin CSP with 34 GPIO; 4.5 x 4.5 mm 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO

The MCU promises weeks, months, and years of battery life thanks to Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) Platform. Apollo 2 will be suitable for battery operated devices, or even batteryless devices leveraging energy harvesting such as wireless sensors, activity and fitness trackers, consumer medical devices, smart watches, and smart home/IoT devices.

Documentation and devkits are available but you’d need to contact the company to learn more. Ambiq Micro’s Apollo 2 is currently sampling to some partners, and will be sampling more broadly in the coming months. A few more details may be found on Ambiq Micro Apollo 2’s product page.

Arduino MKRZero is a Smaller Arduino Zero Board

December 14th, 2016 2 comments

Arduino Zero was unveiled over two years ago with an Atmel SAMD21G18  ARM Cortex M0+ MCU in Arduino Uno Rev.3 form factor, the company has now launched Arduino MKRZero with the same MCU but using the much smaller Arduino MKR1000 form factor.

mkrzeroArduino MKRZero specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel/Microchip SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader)
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Digital I/O Pins – 22x GPIOs with 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts
  • Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC)
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Debugging – USB via Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) on-board debugger, and JTAG
  • Misc – reset button, 1x LED (pin 32), 32.768 kHz RTC
  • Power
    • 5V via micro USB port or Vin pin
    • Battery connector for LiPo battery (3.7V, 700mAh minimum)
    • 5V and 3.3V pins can support up to 600 mA
    • I/O Operating Voltage – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – MKR1000 board form factor

arduino-mkrzeroThe board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE or Arduino Web Editor, and the board is fully open source hardware (Eagle CAD) like all other official Arduino boards. You’ll find relevant info and documentation on the product page.

Arduino MKRZero can be purchased now for $21.90 or €20.90 plus tax and shipping on Arduino store.