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Posts Tagged ‘ces 2017’

Omron Project Zero 2.0 is a Thinner Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor & Smartwatch

January 11th, 2017 No comments

Omron Project Zero BP6000 blood pressure monitor & smartwatch / fitness tracker was unveiled at CES 2016. The device was due to be released at the end of 2016 pending FDA approval, but the launch has now been delayed to spring 2017, and it will be sold under the name “HEARTVUE”. The company has however showcased a new version at CES 2017, for now just called Omron Project Zero 2.0 that has the same functions but is more compact and lightweight.

omron-project-zero-2-0-1-0

Omron Project Zero 2.0 (left) vs Project Zero BP6000 “Heartvue” (right)

The watch will also work with Omron Connect US mobile app, and can record accurate blood pressure, as well as the usual data you’d get from fitness trackers including activity (e.g. steps) and sleep, as well as smartphone notifications. Blood pressure measurement can be activated by the user by pressing a button and raising his/her wrist to the height of the chest. The goal is the same as the first generation watch: to make people who need it measure their blood pressure in a more convenient fashion. The second generation device looks much more like a standard wristwatch as the company reduced the size of the inflatable cuff.

blood-pressure-smartwatchThe new model will also have to go through FDA approval, a time consuming process, and Omron Healthcare intends to release the device in 2018 for around $300. More details about the new model may eventually show up on the company’s Generation Zero page.

Via Nikkei Technology

Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core 64-bit ARM SoC is Designed for 4K HDR Android 7.1 & Linux TV Boxes

January 11th, 2017 11 comments

Beside RV1108 visual platform for applications, Rockchip also unveiled another processor at CES 2017 with RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor for 4K TV Box with H.265, H.264 and VP9 codecs support, HDR, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and more.

rk3328-tv-boxRockchip RK3328 STB SoC specifications:

  • Processor – Quad core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-450MP2
  • Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 with “large memory” support (4GB?)
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.x/1.4 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10/HLG support, CVBS output
  • Video Processor
    • 4K UHD H.264, 10-bit H.265 and VP9 video decoder
    • 1080p H.265/H.264 video encoder
  • Audio – Embedded audio DAC
  • Peripherals
    • embedded USB 3.0 interface
    • Dual Ethernet interface: RGMII (reduced gigabit media-independent interface) + Fast Ethernet PHY
    • 8 channel I2S interface supporting PDM/TDM
    • TS and smart card interface, with support for CSA 2.0
  • Security – TrustZone, Secure Video Path, Secure Boot, OTP

The new processor with support Android 7.1 and Linux, as well as OP-TEE secure OS and DRM support for Widewine L1 and Microsoft PlayReady. The TS interface will allow for tuner (DVB, ATSC…) support.

The processor is quite similar to Amlogic S905X. However the GPU is a bit weaker, which is not really that important for video applications, but not so good for games, and RK3328 also offer some extra interfaces with USB 3.0, dual Ethernet including one Gigabit Ethernet MAC, and tuner support.

The company did not provide any information about pricing or availability in their press release, and has yet to add RK3328 product page to their website.

Mediatek MT2533D is a Bluetooth 4.2 SiP for Smart Headphones & Hands-Free Systems

January 9th, 2017 3 comments

There used to be a time when most products were based on a general purpose MCU or processor that you would interface to over chips like audio codecs, memory chips, flash storage, etc…, but in order to cut costs, application specific SoCs have become quite common over the year, so we’ve had mobile application processors for several years already, but more recently we got “wearables” SoCs and “Smart Home” SoCs, and Mediatek has launched MT2533D “headphone” SiP (System-in-Package) combining a Cortex-M4 MCU, 4MB PSRAM, an audio codec, and a dual mode Bluetooth subsystem.

mt2533-block-diagramMediatek MT2533D specifications:

  • MCU –  ARM Cortex-M4 @ up to 208MHz with 32KB L1 cache, FPU, MPU, AES 128/192/256 crypto engine and TRNG
  • Memory – 160kB SRAMs, 4MB pseudo SRAM
  • Storage – 4MB flash
  • Wireless Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 dual mode (classic and low energy)
  • Audio
    • AAC/SBC for Bluetooth audio
    • CVSD/mSBC for Bluetooth speech
    • PCM playback: 8-48kHz sample rate
    • PCM record: 8kHz and 16kHz sample rate
    • Dual-mic noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation
  • Display
    • Hardware 2D accelerator
    • DBI serial interface up to 320×320 @ 30 fps
    • 1-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 480×320 @ 30 fps
  • Camera – Mediatek camera serial interface up to VGA resolution @ 30 fps with YUV422 or RGB565
  • Other Peripherals
    • USB 2.0
    • 3x UARTs, 3x I2Cs
    • 6x PWMs, 4x SPI masters, SPI slave
    • I2S
    • SDIO v2.0
    • 5-channel ADC
    • Up to 38 GPIOs
  • Package – 172-ball TFBGA with 0.4mm pitch
  • Dimensions – 6.2 x 5.8 x 1.05 mm
  • Ambient temperature – -40°C to 85°C

There are interfaces for small displays and low resolution cameras, as well as a fair amount of I/Os, so it could certainly be use for audio applications outside of simple headphones, not matter how “smart” they may be.

One interesting part is that I did not get the news from MediaTek, but instead MediaTek Labs, Mediatek’s Internet of Things (IoT) developer program, and MT2533 is supported by the MediaTek LinkIt Development Platform for RTOS based on FreeRTOS. That means the SiP will be available to makers, and not only large companies, and development and debugging can be done in ARM Keil μVision, IAR Embedded Workbench and GCC like other LinkIt platforms. A development board or, like Mediatek calls it, an HDK (Hardware Development Kit), based on MT2533D could also be launched in the near future.

However Mediatek Labs only mentioned that MT2533D will be available to device makers in Q1 2017, and the developer documentation and tools will be released in Q3 2017, so we will have to wait for a while before being able to play with the platform. More details can be found on MT2533D product page.

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.

QNAP gets into dev board market with the QBoat Sunny at CES

January 8th, 2017 No comments
One surprise at CES was QNAP’s entry into the developer board market with the introduction of the QBoat Sunny developer board. It’s a rather odd beast to say the least and Qnap is even offering a cut-down version of its QTS OS for, simply named QTS Lite. The only thing we know about QTS Lite at this time is that it’ll support “basic server functions” as well as apps from the QNAP app center, such as the Container Station which will allow you to run the QIoT Suite which will apparently help you to build IoT solutions quicker.
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

But let’s go back to the board itself. The specs are as follows.
  • Processor – Intel AnyWAN GRX750 @ 2GHz (6W Dual Core Atom based)
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, two M.2 2260/2280 SATA only slots for SSDs (RAID-1 support)
  • Network connectivity – 3x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x WAN 2x LAN
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 OTG (micro USB 3.0 port), USB 2.0 DOM header
  • PCIe – 1x M.2 2230 for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
  • Others – Audio out, mic via 3.5mm jacks, I2C, UART, SPI, SDIO, GPIO via 40-pin connector, debug console via 3.5mm jack, RTC battery, indicator LED’s.
  • Power – 12V/3A
  • Size – 120x120mm

Besides the port listed on top, the board on display also had what looks like a USB-C port, but it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the specs.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The processor choice is a very unusual one to say the least. Apparently this family of processors from Intel is normally used in things like service provider gateways, although QNAP’s new TGX-150 NAS/Router combo device is based on the same processor. More details about the Intel AnyWAN GRX705 processor family can be found here.

The board seems to be targeting the DIY community rather than being offered as a platform to build commercial solutions on, which sort of makes sense, as it’s unlikely that QNAP is going to want to license it’s full OS to third parties.

The heatsink you see in the top picture is apparently part of the board and it covers the entire back of the board. This is also where the processor, memory and eMMC is located.

We’re not sure that this will be a winner though, as it’s an odd combination of hardware to say the least, and pricing will be $100 to $120 according to a QNAP’s project manager.

Bttn is a Sigfox Connected IoT Button Going for $2 a month

January 7th, 2017 2 comments

The Button Corporation, a company specializing in… buttons as you may have guess, has introduced a new version of their bttn connected button with Sigfox connectivity in the US. It works a little like Amazon Dash, but mostly targets businesses, offers more features, and works anywhere with a Sigfox network.

sigfox-buttonbttn & bttn mini specifications:

  • Button functions – Short press, long press and “not pressed”
  • LED feedback – Green (positive), red (negative) and yellow (wait)
  • Connectivity – Mobile data (2G GPRS), SIGFOX (868 MHz ETSI / 915MHz for US), or Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n)
  • USB – 1x miro USB port for charging
  • Power Supply
    • bttn mini – Rechargeable Li-Po battery
    • bttn – 4 x AA alkaline batteries
  • Dimensions – bttn mini: 69mm Ø x 40 mm; bttn: 100 mm Ø x 73 mm
  • Weight – bttn mini: 90 grams; bttn: 190 grams
bttn devices send data to bt.tn cloud server, or for WiFi bttns to a local server, and support HTTP(S), REST API, IFTTT, Zapier, email, SMS, social media, and more. my.bt.tn website allow for remote management,group configuration, and status monitoring, automatic alerts, usage statistics and analytics for your bttns. Companies can also ask the company to customize the bttns with their own logos.
Creating actions at my.bt.tn

Creating actions at my.bt.tn

Some use cases include pressing the button to re-order a product, for example a bttn provided by your heating oil supplier may allow you to press it to get a refill, or bttn could also be used to rate the service at government offices: short press service was good, long press service may need improvement, etc… The system will also monitor the battery level, and send an email once it’s below 15% so that the battery can be replaced or recharged. The battery lasts for about 2000 presses.

The company is now taking pre-order with the service launching in March for $1.99 per month in the US. The press release does not mention it, but bttn is also available in Europe for 1.99 Euros per month right now based on the specs, and information on bttn Sigfox page and the online shop, with more countries and regions to be supported as Sigfox coverage expands around the world. The initial costs is actually 69.00 Euros including a 2-year free subscription to the service.

Categories: Hardware Tags: ces 2017, IoT, lpwan, sigfox

ECS Liva Z / ZE Apollo Lake mini PCs Showcased at CES 2017

January 6th, 2017 7 comments

We first heard about ECS Liva Z mini PCs based on Intel Apollo Lake processors at Computex 2016, but at the time there was very little information about the platforms. Since then Intel has officially launched Apollo Lake processor, and ECS is now at CES 2017 where they showcased ECS Liva Z and Liva ZE mini PCs powered by Intel Celeron N3350, N3450 or N4200 processor.

ecs-liva-z

Both models are pretty similar, but Liva ZE adds a 2.5″ SATA bay, a digital microphone input, and four RS232 COM ports.

LIVA Z LIVA ZE
CPU Intel Apollo Lake SoC
(Intel Celeron Processor N3350 / N3450 / N4200)
(6W TDP)
PCH Integrated
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 500 / 505
Memory 2x DDR3L SO-DIMM Slots
Storage 1x eMMC 32G/64G
1x M.2 2242 SATA III
1x eMMC 32G/64G
1x M.2 2242 SATA III
1x 2.5″ SATA III
Wi-Fi Intel AC3165 1×1 802.11ac + BT 4.0
Ethernet 2x Gigabit LAN with RJ-45
(Realtek RTL8111H)
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI (confirmation required for 1.4b or 2.0 + HDCP 2.2)
1 × mDP 1.2
Audio 1x Combo Jack (Realtek ALC283) 1x Combo Jack (Realtek ALC283)
1x Digital Microphone Input
USB 3 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C (5 Gbps)
Dimensions 117 mm × 128 mm × 33 mm 117 mm × 128 mm × 51 mm
PSU External – 19V @ 2.1A
(40 W)
External – 19V @ 3.42A
(65 W)
VESA Mounts 75 mm / 100 mm, one bracket included
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Linux-based OS (UEFI mode)
Microsoft Windows 10

Another difference is that while ECS LIVA Z appears to be only available with Windows 10, Liva ZE will be sold with Linux or Windows 10.

ECS Liva ZE mini PC

ECS Liva ZE mini PC

We’ll see have to wait for availability and pricing information.

Via Anandtech