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Posts Tagged ‘debian’

Lemaker.org is Giving Away Banana Pi Development Boards to Developers and Fans

July 26th, 2014 No comments

Banana Pi is a development board powered by AllWinner A20 dual core SoC with 1GB RAM, and with expansion headers and a form factor very similar to the Raspberry Pi. It can run Debian, Lubuntu, Android 4.2, Arch Linux ARM, Scratch OS, and OpenSuse, but Lemarker.org community would like more educational materials such as open source software or hardware projects, tutorials, etc.., so they’ve launched a program to give away boards to developers and people who can help writing and maintaining documentation.
Banana_Pi_Board

There are three categories of projects:

  • STEAM – “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics” educational, open source projects running on the the Banana Pi
  • Hardware or Software Project -  Open source projects based on Banana Pi which could be helpful to the community, including open source hardware peripherals projects;
  • Banana Pi Fans – You don’t need to be as technical as for the two others categories, but you must be committed to write tutorials or user guides, participate to the Wiki, upload video guides, etc.., under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

To apply, you just need to create a poll in the forums in the category that matches your project, describe the project, the licenses used, links to existing documentation if any, etc…Other members of the community can then comment or/and vote for your project for two weeks, and you’ll be send a board if accepted.Current projects include a Self-Managing Uninterruptible Power Supply for Banana Pi, and WTherm web connected thermostat.

Selected applicants will have to bear the cost of shipping via SF-Express, DHL (Priority), UPS, FedEx, or China Post depending on the applicant’s preference.

All details and conditions are available on Apply for Banana Pi page.

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PcDuino8 Octa-core Development Board Revealed (Video)

July 24th, 2014 8 comments

Two AllWinner A80 powered development boards are currently expected. We’ve already seen some pictures of the Cubieboard8, and today we can gt more details about PcDuino8 development board thanks to Charbax who visited Linksprite, and interviewed the company.

PcDuino8

Here are PcDuino8 (Beta) specifications based on the interview and pictures:

  • SoC – AllWinner A80 octa core big.LITTLE processor with 4 ARM Cortex A15 cores, 4 Cortex A7 cores, and Imagination PowerVR G6200 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB
  • Storage – 4GB flash + micro SD Card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x Micro-B USB 3.0 port
  • Debugging – 14-pin header for JTAG
  • Expansion Header – 32-pin header
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power – Round DC power jack (5V?)

The hardware specs are a bit lower compared to the Cubieboard8, notably when it comes to RAM, and USB ports. LinkSprite is currently working on Android and Debian for the board, but they also said some developers are also working on Chromium OS. The board is expected to be available next month, and they hope to keep the price below $100.

The video below is 19 minutes long, but only the first 1 minute and 30 seconds are about their new Octa-core board. The rest of the video includes:

  • History of PcDuino boards including a new PcDuino3 Nano soon to be available
  • A version of Scratch for PcDuino board with an hardware tab to program GPIOs using the program’s graphical user interface.
  • Quick demo of a Robot powered by a PcDuino board
  • PcDuino for education used in schools in Colorado, USA, Germany, and China. Resources are available at learn.linksprite.com
  • Visit of linksprite’s R&D office
  • Quick talk with the developer of Papilio DUO FPGA board, as it happens to be manufactured by Linksprite.

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VolksPC mini PC runs Debian and Android Simultaneously Thanks to MicroXwin Framework

July 20th, 2014 9 comments

It’s been possible to run Linux or Android on ARM based board and producs for a while, with some firmware providing dual boot support, or even simultaneous use running a chroot with a VNC server and client combination. Some developers have come up MicroXwin, a X-windows implementation using a custom Xlib library that communicate directly with the graphics drivers, and not using a client/server implement. This provides much faster performance compare to X11, as shown on Raspberry Pi and Cubieboard2 development boards, and it has given them the ability to run Debian LXDE and Android Jelly Bean simultaneously on their upcoming VolksPC, a mini PC based on Rockchip RK3066 with 16GB flash.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE

The first VolksPC will have the following specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core ARM Cortex A9 CPU @ 1.4Ghz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB NAND flash + SD/MMC/MS card reader (Up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3 and VGA
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports

The hardware is pretty standard, except for the 16GB flash as you need enough space to run the two operating systems from flash with some extra space for user’s data. As you’ll see from the video below, the system is very smooth both in Android and Debian, and the same file system is shared between the two operating systems. For example, provided the video has not been edited, LibreOffice is shown to start in less than 10 seconds, and they also showed a YouTube video playing in Debian, albeit not in full screen. Since both operating systems are running at the same time, switching between the two are instantaneous. You can kill Android, and still run Debian, or you can logout of Debian, and still run Android if you need to some free RAM. The demo is apparently running on MK808.

VolksPC mini PC is not available right now, and it’s unclear when it will be released. The unified distribution shown in the video above can not be downloaded either, and MicroXWin does not seem to be open source, or least not yet, so it’s not something you can currently use or port to your device. Nevertheless, it’s probably something to keep an eye on, and you can do so on VolksPC.org.

Via Liliputing and Phoronix

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The World’s Cheapest Linux Computer? Pogoplug Mobile Now Sells for $7

July 19th, 2014 10 comments

Somebody asked “Anyone knows a computer cheaper than a Raspberry Pi with a network interface?” on Google+ mini PCs community. Some OpenWRT routers such as TPLink WR703N selling for about $20, or the VoCore Wi-Fi module selling for about the same price (Wi-Fi only) were parts of the answers, and I also mentioned some HDMI TV dongles that now sell for around $35, which is still a little cheaper than the Raspberry Pi model B when one considers shipping. But I found the answer by dhead666 particularly interesting:

Pogoplug Mobile goes for 7$ on Amazon and that includes psu and network cable.
It run Linux great (I’m using Arch) but you will want to have a ttl-usb cable and soldering iron available in case you manage to mess u-boot (go to the doozan’s forums for more info about the u-boot).

Let’s have a look.

PogoplugPogoplug Mobile is not a new device, as I wrote about it as far back as 2011, but it was certainly not selling for $7 at the time.

Pogoplug Mobile has the following specifications:

  • Processor – Marvell Kirkwood 88F6192 ARMv5TE compliant processor @ 800 MHz
  • System Memory – 128 MB RAM
  • Storage – 128 MB NAND + SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port

You can find a review of the device, including board and device pictures, on SmallnetBuilder. The product is sold as a backup device connected to a cloud service, but as we’ll see below, you can also install Arch Linux ARM. There are also other Pogoplug models with USB 3.0 and SATA II, but obviously they cost more.

Pogoplug_Mobile_Rear

What about the $7 claim? Pogoplug Mobile can indeed be found on Amazon for about $7, and it’s actually one of the best selling items in the NAS category. I’ve also looked for other models with SATA and USB 3.0, and gotthe following price list

If Amazon US won’t ship to your country, it’s also available on Ebay, but you’ll have to shop around as shipping costs may be prohibitive…

Even at $7, it’s not really a Raspberry Pi killer, as there’s no video output, and it does not seem you have easy access to GPIOs, yet for headless non-embedded applications it looks certainly interesting especially for storage application as it provides Gigabit Ethernet which should be much faster than the 10/100M Ethernet via USB you get with the Raspberry Pi, and it’s a very cheap way to connect any USB hard drive to the network. At this price it’s almost like they sell you the Ethernet cable and power supply, and give you the device for free. The Series 4 are also cost effective if you want SATA, more USB ports, and extra performance with USB 3.0.

To say the least the reviews on Amazon are mixed, with many people saying the device does not work as expected, and they lost their files. Luckily the Pogoplugs are hackable, and instructions to run Arch Linux ARM from SD card are indeed available for Pogoplug Mobile and Pogoplug Series v4, and somebody also managed to boot Debian. There are various instructions from people who played with this extra cheap device on the net.

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33 Euros Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME Open Source Hardware Board Supports Linux and Android

July 9th, 2014 No comments

Last year, Olimex launched A10-OLinuxXino-LIME powered by AllWinner A10, and it became quite popular due to its Linux and Android support, its open source hardware, and a price tag of just 30 Euros that made it cost competitive with BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi boards. The company has now designed an upgrade with A20-OLinuXino-LIME powered by AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor, that sells for just 3 Euros more.

A20-OlinuXino-LINE

A20-OLinuXino-LIME specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – microSD card slot, SATA, and optional 4GB NAND Flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 1080p
  • USB -  USB-OTG + 2x USB Hosts
  • Connectivity – 10/100Mbit Ethernet
  • Expansions – 200 GPIOs on 0.05″ connectors
  • Misc – Lipo battery management and connector, buttons
  • Power – 5V
  • Dimensions – 84 x 60 mm

A20-OlinuXino-LIMEThe specifications are exactly the same expect for the processor. The company will provide images and source code for Android 4.2.2 and Debian. Source samples, some tools, and hardware designs file are available in Olimex’s OlinuXino github repo. You’ve find any A20-OLinuXino-LIME hardware design files directly, simply because the board is the same for A10-OLinuXino–LIME as AllWinner A10 and A20 are pin-2-pin compatible. There’s supposed to be a Wiki for A20-OlinuXino-LIME (currently empty), but this will be very similar to the A10 version. U-boot and Linux kernel source code are mostly leveraging the work done by linux-sunix community.

Two versions of the board are now available: A20-OLinuXino-LIME without flash (boot from micro SD card) for 33 Euros ($45), and A20-OLinuXino-LIME-4GB that will include a 4GB NAND flash and sell for 43 Euros ($59).

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CubieTruck’s DVK570 Daughter Board and Add-ons (GPS, Zigbee, Sensors, RS485, and SPI Flash)

June 24th, 2014 1 comment

CubieTruck is one of the development boards made by CubieTech. It is powered by AllWinner A20 with 2GB RAM, Gb Eternet, various ports, and supports Android and multiple Linux distributions. Waveshare Electronics has just launched DVK570 daughter board for the CubieTruck which adds support for TV in and out, a buzzer, and headers to connect modules such as GPS, RS485, an SPI flash, a Zigbee module, a magnetometer, or a temperature sensor.

Cubietruck_DVK570_Devkit

DVK570 Devkit Connected to CubieTruck

Hardware features of DVK570 daughter board:

  • CubieTruck Headers – 1x 30-pin header and  1x 24-pin header for connection with the CubieTruck
  • Video – TVIN in, and TV Out interfaces (CVBS)
  • Audio – 3.5mm Line IN interface
  • Debugging – UART interface, micro USB port with USB to UART chip (Profilic PL2303)
  • Expansions for add-on modules:
    • 1x 4-pin I2C interface to connect I2C modules such as PCF8563 RTC Module, MAG3110 Board, and more
    • 2x 6-pin UART interfaces (UART4 and 7) for RS485 and GPS modules.
    • 1x SPI interface (SPI2) for SPI module (AT45DBXX Dataflash)
    • 16-pin and 10-pin connector for Core2530 Zigbee module (Not connected on picture above)
    • 3-pin ONE-WIRE interface to connect a temperature sensor (DS18B20), an electronic registration number (DS2401), and more
  • Misc – Buzzer, 4x user LEDs, Power LEDs, 7 keys (for Android), various jumpers to enable/disable options.
  • Power – 5V/3.3 V power input/output

CubieTech and Waveshare provide documentation, schematics (PDF), tools, source code, and bootable images (Android, Debian, and Lubuntu) for the CubieTruck and DVK570 module via Cubieboard.org FTP or DVK570 product page, where you can buy the daughter board for $27.99, and a bit less in quantities. Add-ons are available on the company’s “accessory boards” page with prices ranging from $3.99 for an RS485 board to $21.99 for the GPS board.

It’s actually not the first time I feature Waveshare Electronics here, as I wrote about their Raspberry Pi kit previously, and they have daughter board and accessories for several other boards too including the BeagleBone Black, and Cubieboard2.

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Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit Is Now Available for $200

June 24th, 2014 2 comments

The Raspberry Pi foundation announced a computer-on-module which they called the (Raspberry Pi) Compute Module that will be mostly software compatible with the Raspberry Pi board, and sell for $30 in quantities. They have now announced the availability of the development kit that includes a baseboard (called Compute IO board), display & camera adapter boards, as well as a 5V power adapter, jumper wires, and a USB cable.

Raspberry_Pi_Compute_Module_Devkit_640px

Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit (Click to Enlarge)

As a reminder the Compute Module has the following hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARM 11 processor @ 700 MHz with Videocore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash
  • SoM Connector – DDR2 200-pins SODIMM
  • Dimensions – 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector

The Compute IO Board come with two micro USB connectors (one reserved for power), a USB 2.0 host port, two DSI ports for display, two CSI ports for a camera, a full size HDMI port, headers for various IOs, and a SO-DIMM socket to insert the Compute Module. Both the Compute Module and IO board are FCC certified, but apparently no CE (yet?), which will allow them to be included in products to be sold in the US.

Raspberry_Pi_Compute_Module_IO_BoardThe schematics are provided in PDF format for all three boards: compute module, IO board, and camera and display adapter, as well as a hardware design guide, and instructions to flash the board’s eMMC and play with the Raspberry Pi camera module can be downloaded from Raspberry Pi Compute Module documentation page. It seems a little odd they did not release the IO board schematics in the original to let developer modify to their needs.

Currently, the Compute Module only supports Raspbian for now, and anything that can be done on the Raspberry Pi should also be achievable with the CoM, but new capabilities like dual displays or dual cameras won’t work out of the box right now.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module has been designed for people wanting to make products, so low price has not been a focus for the development kit, which can be purchased for about $200 via RS Component or Element14.

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