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Posts Tagged ‘automotive’

Allwinner T2 Dual Core Processor is Made for Automotive Infotainment and Navigation

June 4th, 2015 1 comment

Allwinner already has several processor families, the most famous being the A-series for tablets, followed bythe H-series for home entertainment, the V-series for video application, the R-series for IoT as found in R8 module used in C.H.I.P $9 computer, and now I’ve just found out the company launched T-series with Allwinner T2 and T8 for “Transportation”/automotive applications.

Allwinner T2 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Allwinner T2 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

I don’t have any details about T8 processor, but the company kindly shared a product brief with the specs for Allwinner T2:

  • CPU – Dual core Cortex A7
  • CPU – Mali-400MP2 supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
  • Memory – DDR2, DDR3, and DDR3L controller, NAND flash controller with 64-bit ECC
  • Video Inputs – 4x AV Inputs
  • Video – H.264 2160p video decoding, multi-format decoding, h.264 encoding @1080p30 / 720p60.
  • Display – Multi-channel HD display with integrated HDMI 1.4 transmitter, CPU/RGB/LVDS display interface, support for VGA/CVBS/YPbPr, and integrated TV decoder.
  • Camera – Integrated parallel 8-bit interface YUV sensor, integrated 24-bit parallel YUV 444 I/F, supports 5MP CMS sensors, and dual sensors
  • Audio – Integrated HiFi 100 dB audio codec, dual analog MIC amplifier
  • Low speed I/F – 5x TWI, 4x SPI, 8x UART
  • 3x USB 2.0, 4x SDIO

The processor supports Android 4.2. Allwinner T2 can be used in dual-channel HD car DVR applications, including features such as around view parking (with 4x AV inputs), WiFi and AP hotspot, voice assistance, rapid reverse image function, 3G/2G voice and data, multimedia playback, radio, Bluetooth Voice/Music/Dial, DVD playback, GPS navigation, and keys and touch panels.

Armdevices.net also uploaded a video showing a few solutions featuring Allwinner T2.

There’s no product page yet, but according to the video above, Allwinner T2 solutions are already in mass production in China.

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Freescale Announces i.MX 6SoloX ARM Cortex A9 & Cortex M4 Processor

February 25th, 2015 7 comments

Freescale i.MX6 SoloX processor started to show up in the ARM Linux Kernel mailing list last year, and Cortex A9 + Cortex M4 processor showed up in some marketing documents, but so far all documentation was tied to a non-diclosure agreement. However, all resources are now publicly available, as the company officially launched i.MX 6SoloX processor at Embedded World 2015.

IMX6SX Block Diagram

IMX6SX Block Diagram (Dotted line are for optional features)

Freescale i.MX 6SoloX specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 up to 1 GHz with 512 KB L2 cache, 32 KB instruction and data caches and NEON SIMD media accelerator
  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4 up to 200 MHz with 16 KB instruction and data caches, 64 KB TCM, MPU and FPU
  • Memory Interface
    • 16/32-bit DDR3-800 and DDR3L-800, 16/32-bit LPDDR2-800
    • SLC/MLC NAND, 62-bit ECC, ONFI2.2
    • 2x DDR Quad SPI NOR flash, 16/32-bit NOR Flash
  • Display and Camera Interfaces
    • Parallel RGB
    • LVDS
    • 20-bit parallel CMOS sensor interface
    • NTSC/PAL analog video input interface
  • Multimedia
    • GPU – Vivante GC400T 3D GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0. 27Mtri/s & 133Mpxl/s and 2D GPU
    • PiXel Processing Pipeline (PXP) – Image re-sizing, rotation, overlay and CSC
  • I/O and Peripherals
    • 2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet with \hardware AVB and support for IEEE1588
    • 1x PCIe 2.0 (1 lane)
    • 2x 8ch 12-bit ADC
    • 3x USB 2.0 ports, 2x HS OTG + PHY, 1x HS Host HSIC
    • 4x SD/MMC 4.5
    • 5x SPI, 6x UART, 4x I²C, 5x I²S/SSI
    • FlexCAN
    • MLB 25/50
  • Power management – Partial PMU integration,Freescale PF0200 PMIC
  • Security
    • Multicore unit includes for multi-core isolation and sharing
    • Resource Domain Controller (RDC)
    • Secure Messaging Unit (MU)
    • Hardware Semaphores
    • High Assurance Boot, cryptographic cipher engines, random number generator, and tamper detection
  • Packages – 19 x 19 mm 0.8 mm BGA;  17 x 17 mm 0.8 mm BGA (two ball map options); or 14 x 14 mm 0.65 mm BGA
  • Temperature Range
    • Consumer (Extended Commercial) –  -20C to +105C
    • Industrial – -40C to +105C
    • Automotive – -40C to +125C)

There are 13 i.MX 6SoloX parts divided into consumer, industrial and automotive categories with or without GPU, and different peripherals options as shown in the table below.

Freescale i.MX 6SoloX Family (Click to Enlarge)

Freescale i.MX 6SoloX Family (Click to Enlarge)

Documentation including datasheets, migration guide, various applications, and the full Technical Reference Manual can be freely downloaded, as well as Android 4.4.3 BSP and Linux 3.10.53 documentation. The Yocto Project has also been ported to i.MX 6SoloX (IMX6SX). The Cortex M4 core can run MQX RTOS in parallel.

SABRE-SDB Board for i.MX 6SoloX (Click to Enlarge)

“SABRE for Smart Devices”- Board based on Freescale i.MX 6SoloX (Click to Enlarge)

The company also also launched an i.MX 6SoloX version of their SABRE development board with the following key features:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6SoloX Cortex A9 processor @ 1GHz with Cortex M4 MCU @ 200MHz
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 32 MB x2 QuadSPI Flash + 3x full-size SD/MMC card slots
  • Display
    • LVDS connector – Pairs with MCIMX-LVDS1 LCD display board
    • LCD expansion connector (parallel, 24-bit) – Pairs with MCIMXHDMICARD adapter board
  • Audio – Stereo audio codec; 1x 3.5mm audio ports
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports; optional Wi-Fi module
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Host Type A connector, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG connector
  • Other ports and I/O Expansion
    • mPCIe connector
    • 2x CAN (DB-9) connectors; Freescale MC34901 High-Speed CAN Transceiver
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG connector
  • Sensors – Freescale MMA8451 3-Axis Accelerometer, Freescale MAG3110 3D Magnetometer, ambient light sensor
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • Power Management – Freescale PF0200 PMIC
Back of SABRE i.MX 6SoloX Board (Click to Enlarge)

Back of SABRE i.MX 6SoloX Board (Click to Enlarge)

The board comes with a 5V/5A power supply, the printed quick start guide, a micro USB to USB cable, and a bootable SD card pre-loaded with a Linux image built with the Yocto Project. Android, Linux and Yocto BSP are available for the board, as well as hardware design files. Some optional hardware modules can be purchased with the board such as a 10.1″ touchscreen display (XGA resolution), an RGB to HDMI adapter, and a Wi-Fi radio card.

You can watch an overview of the board, and learn how to get started in the video below.

Freescale i.MX 6SoloX applications processors and SABRE board are both shipping in volume production, with the SoC selling for $10.84 to $13.99 in 1K quantities depending on exact SKU, and the development board priced at $399. For complete details, software and hardware documentation, visit Freescale i.MX 6SoloX and SABRE board product pages. Freescale also exhibits the solution at Embedded World, in Hall 4A, Booth 4A-220, on February 24-26, 2015.

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Embedded Linux Conference 2015 Schedule – IoT, Cars, and Drones

February 6th, 2015 No comments

Embedded Linux Conference 2015 will take place in San Jose, California, on March 23 – 25, 2015, and will focus on Drones, Things and Automobiles. The schedule has been published, and whether you’ll attend or not, it’s always interested to have a look at what will be talked about to have a peak into the future of Embedded Linux, or simply keep abreast with the progress in the field.

Embedded_LInux_Conference_2015So as usual, I’ve gone through the schedule, and made my own virtual program with talks that I find interesting.

Monday 23rd

  • 9:00 – 9:30 – Driving standards and Open Source to Grow the Internet of Things by Mark Skarpness, Director of Systems Engineering at Intel

Billions of devices are beginning to come online, and many of these devices, large and small, are running open source software.  To fuel this innovation, it’s more important than ever for these devices to use a common framework to communicate with each other and the cloud.  Intel is a founding member of the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which will use both open source innovation and standards specifications to drive interoperability across multiple operating systems and communication protocols to enable the Internet of Things. As one of the founding members of the Linux Foundation, a top external contributor to the Android Open Source Project, and a leader behind USB, WiFi, Bluetooth and other projects and standards, Intel has the depth of knowledge and a unique approach to move things forward to benefit developers and consumers.

  • 9:30 – 10:00 – Project Ara with Paul Eremenko, Head of Project Ara, ATAP at Google & Marti Bolivar, Project Ara Software Lead, Google

Marti and Paul will discuss Project Ara’s aim to develop an open hardware platform for modular smartphones, with the goal of creating a vibrant module developer community and a marketplace from which consumers can create an entirely custom mobile device.

  • 10:45 – 11:35 – Generalizing Android for Low-Cost 64-Bit ARM-Based Community Boards by Khasim Syed Mohammed, Linaro

Linaro is developing an open hardware platform specification to encourage software development on low-cost boards to lower the cost and accelerate the availability of maker and embedded products based on ARM SoCs. By end of 2015 there will be many compliant boards based on and adhering to this specification. The key challenge for the Android community is to enable and maintain Android for multiple platforms on a common code base. This presentation highlights the issues like non-standard SoC customizations, peripheral controller customizations from vendors and shares the possible solutions through Android software generalization.

  • 11:45 – 12:35 – Open Source Drones on Linux by Lorenz Meier

This presentation will summarize the current state in academia and industry using Linux on drones, which is by now already a widespread and common pattern.

  • 14:00 – 14:50 – IoTivity and Embedded Linux Support by Kishen Maloor, Intel

IoTivity is a new collaborative project, hosted at the Linux Foundation and sponsored by the Open Interconnect Consortium. Its goal is to facilitate interconnections across the billions of “things” to be on the Internet in coming years. A majority of these “things” would be low-power embedded devices. To satisfy their connectivity needs, IoTivity must support a variety of transmission media, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, 6LoWPAN over 805.15.4, etc. This session will present an overview of IoTivity’s current support for the Yocto Linux environment on embedded platforms, and how it allows us to be flexible for multiple purposes. It will also present how a developer can enable IoTivity on Yocto and make modifications.

  • 15:00 – 15:50 – Performance Analysis Using the perf Suite by Mans Rullgard

When faced with a performance problem, the initial steps towards a solution include identifying the sections of code responsible and the precise reasons they are time-consuming. To this end, the ‘perf’ profiling tools provide valuable insight into the characteristics of a program. The presentation will show, using real-world examples, how the ‘perf’ tools can be used to pinpoint the parts of a program in need of optimisation.

This presentation will be a version of that given at ELCE 2014 updated based on questions and audience feedback.

  • 16:20 – 17:10 – Poky meets Debian: Understanding How to Make an Embedded Linux by Using an Existing Distribution’s Source Code by Yoshitake Kobayashi, Toshiba

Poky has already become one of the most popular build system to make an embedded Linux environment. Poky refers to OpenEmbedded originally. However if you want to use other source code, how to do it? We have some experience we would like to share with you. For this study, We choose Debian source and already tried two ways to use it. The first try was probably an incorrect way and the second try may be a correct way.

In this talk, we will show both of them and also describe why we choose Debian. If you are interested in this implementation, you can download the source code from GitHub (cnxsoft: empty for now). There are some implementations available for development boards such as pandaboard, minnowboard and etc. Let’s enjoy Bitbake!

  • 17:20 – 18:10 – Teaching More Fish to Fly by John Hawley, Intel

n 2013, at the Embedded Linux Conference in Europe in Edinburgh, there was a race between a dog and a blimp. It was said that despite the dogs win, that the blimp had participated in the miracle of flight. In 2014 we started showing how the MinnowBoard can be lofted and show useful. In 2015 we just want to give an update on where we are at and what interesting projects are being done both with the MinnowBoard and other platforms in the UAV space. The talk is mainly targeting taking an off the shelf embedded platform, Minnowboard Max, and it’s use in UAVs, specifically quad-copters. With the ability to do real time computer vision, as well as various GPIO capabilities we’ll explore the directions that significantly more autonomous UAVs can take with Linux and embedded platforms using, mostly, off the shelf components.

Tuesday 24th

  • 9:00 – 10:50 – Customizing AOSP for my Device by Rafael Coutinho, Phi Innovations

Android BSP gives you some tools to create your own device customizations. This can be achieved without changes on the Android main code, and just some customizations on the devices folder. It is possible to overlay some system apk configurations, ui and even services. In this tutorial I plan to show the step by step of creating a custom Android device using a AOSP. Setting up some Kernel parameters, customizing the lights HAL and sensors HAL, changing the look and feel of Settings apk etc.

  • 11:20 – 12:10 – Room For Cooperation: Bionic and musl by Bernhard Rosenkränzer, Linaro

A while after Android started Bionic, another interesting libc project was started: musl. Its licensing is compatible with Android’s – so there may be room for picking the best of both worlds. This talk investigates where musl outperforms Bionic and vice versa — and whether or not (and how) Android can benefit from pulling musl code into Bionic.

  • 13:40 – 14:10 – Dronecode Project and Autopilot With Linux by Andrew Tridgell, Technical Steering Committee Chair of Dronecode Project

Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell provides updates on the progress of Dronecode’s open source software project for commercial drones, and insight into the future of drone development. He will also delve into the specific task of running an autopilot directly on a Linux-based platform.

  • 14:10 – 14:55 – IoT Panel with Dominig Ar Foll, Intel (Tizen); Greg Burns, AllSeen Alliance; Bryant Eastham, Panasonic; Guy Martin, Samsung; Tim Bird, Sony Mobile (Moderator)
  • 15:40 – 16:30 – Linux for Microcontrollers: From Marginal to Mainstream by Vitaly Wool, Softprise Consulting OU

The story of a DRAM-less Linux-operated microcontroller delivered at ELC a year ago, which came as a surprise for many, wouldn’t be that surprising now. However, there are some important updates to share: moving to mainline-aligned 3.x baseline, compiling out VM-specific code, optimizing kernel XIP, and the last but not the least, starting to use picoTCP kernel networking stack.

Some size and performance benchmarks will also be presented, along with the Linux demo on the DRAM-less microcontroller board.

  • 16:40 – 18:20 – Building a General Purpose Android Workstation by Ron Munitz

In this tutorial, you will have a hands-on journey of customizing, building, and using a General Purpose Desktop variant of the Android-X86 project. The tutorial assumes previous experience with building Android off the AOSP, Android-IA, CyanogenMod, or any other build system, and describes the special additions of Android-X86, such as a Kernel build system, general X86 hardware detection based HAL’s/firmware and live cd/disk installer generation and more. Then, we will explore the Linux friendly busybox minimal image, and describe the way a fully fledged Android version can be spawned out of it (with similar techniques for any other Linux distribution with the Android patches!) using chroot, and provide a listing of the ultimate Android init process.

We will continue the discussion with day to day uses, and a joint brainstorming of Linux developer uses, and justify Android-X86 as yet another X-less Linux distribution – until the time we add X to it… As a special bonus, we will address how to make any app run using a user-QEMU based ARM translator.

  • 18:20 – 19:20 – BoFs: Yocto Project / OpenEmbedded by Jeff Osier-Mixon

Got a question, comment, gripe, praise, or other communication for the Yocto Project and/or OpenEmbedded? Or maybe you’d just like to learn more about these projects and their influence on the world of embedded Linux? Feel free to join us for an informal BoF.

Wednesday 25th

  • 9:00 – 9:30 – Embedding Openness in the Connected Car by Matt Jones, Jaguar Land Rover

A future vehicle will be a “thing” on the Internet, but how can industry and community come together to accelerate the future concepts into production. The keynote will explore the platforms and standard needed for the future, and relate them to open prototypes from Jaguar Land Rover and the Automotive Grade Linux projects.

  • 9:30 – 10:00 – Community Involvement: Looking Forward and Looking Back by Deepak Saxena

Linux has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade, finding its way into billions of mobile devices and also into the core of cloud based services that we rely on for business, entertainment, and increasingly, security. With this explosion of devices, we have seen more companies get involved with the kernel community, some successfully, and some struggling. In this talk, we will look at some of the challenges that the industry and the community continue to face in working with each other and also more importantly think about what is next? The adoption of Linux will continue to increase throughout all market segments, bringing in numerous new organizations and new developers. How do we move forward and what changes need to happen within the industry and community cultures to work better together?

  • 10:45 – 17:50 – Embedded Android Workshop by Karim Yaghmour, Opersys

While Android has been created for mobile devices — phones first and now tablets — it can, nonetheless, be used as the basis of any touch-screen system, whether it be mobile or not. Essentially, Android is a custom-built embedded Linux distribution with a very elaborate and rich set of user-space abstractions, APIs, services and virtual machine. This one-day workshop is aimed at embedded developers wanting to build embedded systems using Android. It will cover Android from the ground up, enabling developers to get a firm hold on the components that make up Android and how they need to be adapted to an embedded system. Specifically, we will start by introducing Android’s overall architecture and then proceed to peel Android’s layer one-by-one.

That’s a just a small selection of the talks, and there are many other interested sessions if you are interested in IoT, automotive or drone applications.

If you’d like to attend, you can register online with a single fee for the Embedded Linux Conference and Android Builders Summit 2015, as well as breakfasts and breaks, a T-shirt, and access to evening events:

  • Early Bird Registration Fee – US$500 through January 30, 2015
  • Standard Registration Fee – US$650 through March 5, 2015
  • Late Registration Fee – US$750 after March 5, 2015
  • Student Registration Fee – US$150
  • Hobbyist Registration Fee – US$150

If you attend as a hobbyist, you need to contact events [at] linuxfoundation.org to receive a discount code.

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Nvidia Announces Tegra X1 64-bit Octa-core Processor with 256-Core Maxwell GPU

January 5th, 2015 16 comments

CES 2015 has started, and the first company to present their innovations is Nvidia. Last year their introduced Tegra K1, the first mobile processor with a desktop GPU with support for OpenGL. They’ve now raised the bar with Tegra X1, an octa-core 64-bit ARM processor with a 256-core Maxwell GPU delivering 1.5x to 2x the performance of Tegra K1, and supporting 4K60 video playaback with H.265 and VP9 codecs.

Tegra_X1Some geekbench benchmark comparing X1, K1, and Apple A8x.

Tegra_X1_BenchmarkNvidia CEO also claiemd Tegra X1 is the first mobie SoC delivering over 1 Teraflops, something that was achieved around year 2,000 with 20,000 Pentium pro processor consuming 1 millions Watts, while X1 SoC only consumes about 10 Watts.

Nvidia_Tegra_X1_TeraflopsPower efficiency is said to have improved too, as Maxwell GPU is said to delivers more performance with similar power efficiency.

Nvidia_Tegra_X1_power_efficiency

They also introced Drie CX mini computer for automotive application featuring Tegra X1. It can handle 16.6M pixel, or 2x 2K displays @ 60 Hz, and runs QNX, Linux, or Android.
Nvidia_Drive_CX_mini_ComputerThe company also showcase a Cockpit demo during the presentation.

And they’ve also announced Drive PX board with two Tegra X1 processors, 12-camera inputs for autonomous cars that drive themselves.

Nvidia_Drive_PXThe board uses a new technology called Deep Neural Networks for better object detection.

More information should be published soon on Nvidia Tegra page.

Update. Some specs:

Tegra X1 supports all major graphics standards, including Unreal Engine 4, DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, CUDA®, OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack, making it easier for developers to bring PC games to mobile.
Tegra X1’s technical specifications include:

  • 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • 8 CPU cores (4x ARM Cortex A57 + 4x ARM Cortex A53)
  • 60 fps 4K video (H.265, H.264, VP9)
  • 1.3 gigapixel of camera throughput
  • 20nm process
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F&S Electronik Systeme Introduces eFus A9 Industrial Computer Modules Powered by Freescale i.MX6 SoC

October 7th, 2014 No comments

F&S Electronik Systeme, a German embedded systems company, has announced their efus A9 Computers-on-Module (CoM) based on Freescale i.MX6, are now in mass production. The CPU comes in two variants A9V2 for i.MX6 Solo, and A9V3 with i.MX6 DualLite, both of which are certified for automotive and industrial applications, and support commercial, extended, and industrial temperature ranges.

eFus_A9_CoM

eFuse A9 computer-on-module specifications:

  • SoC –  CPU Freescale i.MX6 Solo (eFus A9V2) or DualLite (eFus A9V3) @ up to 1.2 GHz + Vivante 2D and 3D GPUs
  • System Memory – 512MB (Up to 1GB RAM)
  • Storage – 256 MB NAND flash (Up to 1GB), 2 GB eMMC (eFus A9V3 only. up to 32GB), optional SPI NOR, optional I2C EEPROM
  • Display I/F – 18-bit RGB, 2x 24-bit LVDS, and DVI
  • Other interfaces available via 230 pins MXM-2 edge connector:
    • 2x SD card I/F
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet
    • 1x USB Host, 1x USB Device
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x UART
    • 2x I2C, 2x SPI
    • I2S
    • Touch Panel ext. via I2C
    • 1x digital camera interface
    • 1x PCIe
  • Power Supply – +5VDC/ ±5%
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0°C – +70°C, optional:-20°C – +85°C or -40°C – +85°C.
  • Dimensions – 47×62.1x11mm
  • Weight – 15 grams

eFus A9 modules come with BSPs for either Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Compact 2013, or Linux 3.3 operating systems. Wireless modules (Bluetooth, WLAN, ZigBee, Z-Wave, EnOcean) can also be connected to the CoM without changing the layout of the CPU area.

eFus A9 Starter Kit

eFus A9 Starter Kit

For evaluation and development, the company provides Starter kits composed of eFus A9 CoM and eFus Start Interface baseboard with the following hardware details:

  • CoM Connector – 230-pin MXM-2 socket
  • External Storage – 1x micro SD card slot, 1x SD card slot, 1x SATA (AFAIK not usable with i.MX6 Solo / DualLite modules)
  • Video Output – DVI/HDMI connector, digital RGB connector, backlight, resistive and capacitive touch headers
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, Line In, Line Out, Mic IN
  • Connectivity – 2x Ethernet RJ45 ports
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB device port
  • Camera – Analog and digital camera interfaces (analog not supported by current eFus A9 modules)
  • Expansion Headers:
    • 2×29-pin “feature” connector with SPI, I2C, PWM, UART, VBAT, etc…
    • 2×5-pin CAN headers
    • Three 2×5 serial headers
  • Expansion slots – mini PCIe socket
  • Misc – Reset button, RTC with battery slot
  • Power Supply – 5V power barrel

There are four versions of the starter kit depending on the operating system (Linux or Windows), and the version (V2 or V3) or the eFus CoM. The kit includes the baseboard and module, as well as a cable kit, and access data to documentation and software. V3 kit also adds a 7“ WVGA TFT display.

F&S eFus A9 computer-on-modules are available now starting at 39 Euros, Starterkit efus A9 Linux/Windows (V3 module) for 399 Euros including the display, and Starterkit 2 efus A9 Linux/Windows (V2 module) for 169 Euros. The company commits to long term availability of the modules until 2027. Further details about the modules and devkits, including some publicly available hardware and software documentation,  can be found on F&S Electronik Systeme’s eFus A9 product page.

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ARM Introduces Cortex-M7 MCU Core for IoT, Wearables, Industrial and Automotive Applications

September 24th, 2014 5 comments

ARM has just announced Cortex-M7 processor based on ARMv7-M architecture, with double the compute and digital signal processing (DSP) capability of ARM Cortex M4. The latest ARM MCU core targets IoT and wearables applications for the automotive, industrial, and consumer markets including motor control, industrial / home / factory automation, advanced audio, image processing, connected vehicle applications, and so on.

Cortex-M7 Block Diagram

Cortex-M7 Block Diagram

Cortex-M7 comes with enhanced DSP instructions, a better FPU (FPv5 with single and double precision support), and tight coupled memory compared to Cortex-M4, according to an Anandtech article. ARM Cortex-M7 also achieves 5 CoreMark/MHz against 3.41 CoreMark/MHz for Cortex M4, and up to 3.23 DMIPS/MHz against up to 1.95 DMIPS/MHz.

ARM Cortex-M7 features listed in the press release:

  • Six stage, superscalar pipeline delivering 2000 Coremarks at 400MHz in a 40LP process.
  • AXI interconnect (supports 64-bit transfer) and fully integrated optional caches for instruction and data allowing efficient access to large external memories and powerful peripherals.
  • Tightly coupled memory interfaces for rapid, real-time response.
  • Extensive implementation configurability to enable a wide range of cost and performance points to be targeted.
  • Optional full instruction and data trace via the Embedded Trace Macrocell enabling greater system visibility.
  • An optional safety package and built-in fault detection features contribute toward ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) and SIL 3 (Safety Integrity Level) compliance.
  • Third-party tools, RTOS, middleware support of any architecture, provided by the ARM Connected Community of complementary partner companies.

Cortex-M7 remains binary compatible with older Cortex-M processors, so system designers can take advantage of code reuse in order to lower development and maintenance costs. Available tools include Keil microcontroller development kit (MDK) and ULINK debug adapter, and various real-time operating systems will be supported such as Express Logic ThreadX, FreeRTOS, Mentor Graphics Nucleus, or Micrium µC/OS-III.

Atmel, Freescale and ST Microelectronics will be the first companies to release MCUs based on Cortex-M7.

You can find more details on the Anandtech article, or ARM Cortex-M7 product page.

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Freescale To Give Away StarterTRAK Development Boards for Automotive Applications

September 5th, 2014 No comments

Freescale StarterTRAK development boards are based on the company’s Kinetis EA Cortex M0+ MUCs or Qorivva 32-bit MCU targeting automotive applications with support a wide temperature range (–40° to +125°C) and interfaces such as LIN (Local Interconnect Network) and CAN. These development boards can be used for body and security, powertrain, and safety & chassis applications. Freescale has decided to giveaway 60 StarterTRACK development board to random winners, so if you are knowledgeable in this field it could be an opportunity to try the platform. There will be 5 different kits given away, all based on Kinetis MCU: TRK‐KEA8, TRK‐KEA64, TRK‐KEA128, KEA128LEDLIGHTRD and KEA128BLDCRD. Let’s have a closer look at TRK-KEA128 development board.

TRK-KEA Boards Description (SCI port not available on TRK-KEA128)

TRK-KEA Boards Description (SCI Selector is not available on TRK-KEA128)

Key features and specifications of  TRK-KEA128 board:

  • MCU – Kinetis KEA128 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48MHz with 16KB RAM and 128KB flash in a 80 LQFP package
  • On-board openSDA debugging and programming circuit using the PK20DX128 MCU
  • LIN communications interface
  • Analog interface with ambient light sensor
  • 4 high efficiency LEDs
  • 2 push buttons
  • SCI serial communication interface (sharing the openSDA interface)
  • CAN communications interface
Kinetis EA MCU Block Diagram

Kinetis EA MCU Block Diagram

The development kit includes a TRK-KEA128 board, a DVD with CodeWarrior software, a USB cable, TRK-KEA Quick Start Guide, and Freescale Warranty Card. Schematics, BoM, as applications notes are also provided by the company. Automotive application possible with this board include HVAC, doors, window lift and seat control, parking breaks, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and more. They can also be used to control brushless DC motors. Full details can be found on TRK-KEA128 page.

If you’d like the board you can either spend $49, or try your luck for with giveaway. The constest is open to individuals who are at least 18 years old and resident in a non‐U.S.‐embargoed country, expect residents of Canada. To enter, simply fill that form with your name, email, and country of residence. That’s all, no question about your potential project is even asked. The draw will take place on September 24, 2014.

Thanks to Nanik!

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Navdy is an Android Head Up Display for your Car Controlled by Voice and Gestures

August 9th, 2014 3 comments

Following up on yesterday’s Android rear view mirrors (ARVM), where I and others mentioned safety of such devices in comments, it has been brought to my attention that there’s a possibly safer alternative with Navdy, a 5.1″ Head-Up Display (HUD) running Android 4.4, that’s placed right in front of your eyes on the top of the dashboard, and coming with both common and different features compared to ARVM.
Navdy_Android_Automotive_HUD

Navdy’s preliminary specifications:

  • Processor – Unnamed dual core processor
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – N/A
  • Display – 5.1″ wide transparent Head-Up Display (HUD) with high quality projector
  • Camera – IR camera for touchless gesture control
  • Connectivity – WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0/LE
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, e-compass, ambient light sensor
  • Audio – Via Bluetooth or 3.5mm minijack mini-USB port, Internal speaker and microphone with noise canceling DSP
  • Data / Power interface – OBD-II power and data connection to car computer, with optional 12 volt power adapter
  • Mount – Portable, bendable, non-marking, powered friction mount, with magnetic connection to the device
  • Dimensions – 130x140x95 mm (excluding mount, and including display)
Navdy GPS Application

Navdy GPS Application

Navdy can also be paired with your smartphone (Android or iOS) to access your apps and data. It is fully controlled by gestures and voice input, and I could not see any buttons on the device, which allows to answer/give calls, read/write SMS, control your music, and drive with GPS instructions right in front of your eyes. To better understand what Navdy does, watch the promo/demo video below.

The apps are not displayed as-is on the HUD, but a simplified version is shown to make it more HUD friendly. Compared to Android rear view mirrors, it has the advantage of sitting right in front of your eyes, it does not hide anything on the rear view mirror, supports gesture control, and has built-in support for ODBII, but does not come with cameras for DVR functions or parking assitance, and it looks like you may only be able to run a subset of Android apps.

Navdy is available for pre­-order for 30 days at the introductory price of $299, at 40% discount from the expected $499 retail price, and will ship “early 2015″.

Thanks to Connolly for the tip.

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