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MYIR MYS-6ULX is a $25 Single Board Computer based on NXP i.MX 6ULL/6UL Processor for IoT and Industry 4.0

April 12th, 2017 8 comments

MYIR Tech has released MYS-6ULX single board computer based on  NXP i.MX 6ULL/6UL Cortex-A7 processor designed for either Industry 4.0 with MYS-6ULX-IND model, or the Internet of Things for MYS-6ULX-IOT. Both boards include 256MB DDR3 SDRAM, 256MB NAND flash, USB, USB, Ethernet, LCD interfaces and more, in a compact 70 x 55mm form factor.

“Industry 4.0” Board

Both boards have very similar specifications.

Features MYS-6ULX-IND MYS-6ULX-IOT
SoC NXP i.MX 6UltraLite (MCIMX6G2CVM05AA) with an ARM Cortex A7 processor @ up to 696 MHz and 2D graphics accelerator NXP i.MX 6ULL (MCIMX6Y2DVM05AA) with an ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 528 MHz and 2D graphics accelerator

DDR3

256MB (support up to 2GB)
NAND Flash 256MB (support 512MB/1GB)
eMMC DNP (Do Not Populate – Reserved design for optional 4GB flash)
Ethernet 10/100Mbps
USB 1x USB Host, 1x micro USB OTG
Micro SD Card 1x Micro SD card slot
Buttons 1x Reset Button, 1x User Button

LED

1x Power Indicator, 2x User LEDs
LCD Connector 24-bit RGB LCD & Touch Screen (50-pin FPC connector)
Debug Connector 2.5mm pitch 3-pin Headers, TTL
Expansion Headers Two 2.0mm pitch 2x 20-pin headers with 1x Ethernet, 8x UARTs, 4x I2C, 2x CAN, 4x SPI, 8x ADC, 4x PWM, 2x I2S, 1x 8-bit Camera, 1x JTAG, up to 46x GPIOs
WiFi Module USB based, 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards
Dimensions 70mm x 55mm
PCB Layer 8-layer
Power Supply 5V/1A
Power Consumption About 5V/0.25A (single board)
About 5V/0.4A (board + 4.3” LCD)
About 5V/0.8A (board + 7” LCD)
Working Temp. -40°C~85°C 0°C~70°C
Target Applications Industry 4.0 IoT

So the main differences between the industrial and IoT versions are the use of i.MX 6UL processor and a wider temperature range for the former, and NXP i.MX 6LL processor and an extra WiFi module for the latter. Both boards run Linux 4.1.15 with Debian or Yocto + Qt images and BSP. The company has also implemented a demo using Amazon Alexa Voice Service available to customers.

MYiR IoT Board

Sample price for the boards is $26.80 for MYS-6ULX-IND, and $24.80 for MYS-6ULX-IOT, which you can purchase directly via the product page together with optional optional 4.3″ or 7″ LCD modules.

Shenzhen Xunlong Releases Two Orange Pi Boards with 64-Bit ARM Processor, 2GB RAM

April 4th, 2017 21 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong has already been selling 64-bit ARM development board with their Orange Pi PC 2 & Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 boards based on Allwinner H5, as well as Orange Pi Win board powered by Allwinner A64 processor. However, so far none of them are equipped with much memory, with the only options being 512MB or 1GB RAM. The company has recently launched  two new boards with 2GB RAM, namely Orange Pi Win Plus featuring Allwinner A64 SoC, and Orange Pi Prime equipped with Allwinner H5 SoC.

Orange Pi Win Plus

That board is just an update to Orange Pi Win board with the only difference I could find being the 2GB RAM:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 2MB SPI flash, micro SD slot up to 64GB, footprint for optional eMMC flash
  • Video Output / Display interface – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz with CEC, 3D and HDCP; MIPI LCD interface
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6212)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI interface up to 5MP camera, up to [email protected] fps video capture
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi somewhat-compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header
  • Misc – IR receiver; reset and power buttons; power and status LEDs;
  • Power
    • 5V via power barrel or micro USB port
    • Lithium battery header
    • Power selection jumper (4-pin header)
    • AXP803 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 93 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 48 grams

The company has released Android, Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial” Server & Desktop, and Debian Jessie Server & Desktop images for the board on the resources page. Windows 10 IoT support is coming later thanks to a partnership between Allwinner and Microsoft. It’s also possible community images will also become available.

Orange Pi Prime

Orange Pi Prime required a new PCB layout, but it still shares many of the features found in Orange Pi PC 2 (changes highlighted in bold):

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with an ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot up to 64GB, optional 8Mbit SPI NOR flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with CEC support, AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 with u.FL antenna
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI Interface for up to 5 MP camera sensor
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver; Power & reset buttons; Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack or micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 98 x 60 mm (Orange Pi PC 2 was 85 x 55 mm)
  • Weight – 48 grams (38 grams for Orange Pi PC 2)

Click to Enlarge

Xunlong has released four OS images on their resources page: Android, Ubuntu Desktop, Arch Desktop, and Debian Desktop. Since the board is so similar to Orange Pi PC 2, except for the extra memory, wireless module, and reset button!, and Orange Pi PC 2’s Armbian Ubuntu Xenial server & desktop nightly build images with Linux 4.10 are available, I’d expect an Orange Pi Prime build soonish. Note that while Armbian image with mainline Linux may have improved security and potentially better performance, a few things like GPIOs may not be working yet.

Orange Pi Win Plus is sold on Aliexpress for $29.99 shipping, and Orange Pi Prime for the exact same price.

CubieBoard6 Development Board Powered by Actions Semi S500 Processor Comes with SATA, LiPo Battery Support

March 24th, 2017 19 comments

CubieTech launched Cubieboard with Allwinner A10 processor in 2012, and while they may not be as popular as some other boards like Raspberry Pi, ODROID, or Orange Pi boards in 2017, the company is still around after around 5 years, and their latest board is Cubieboard6 powered by Action Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, HDMI, wired & wireless connectivity, SATA, battery support and more.

Click to Enlarge

Cubieboard6 specifications:

  • SoC – Actions Semi S500 quad core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with Imagination PowerVR SGX544 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage
    • 8GB eMMC flash
    • SATA 3.0 port for 2.5″ HDD/SSD up to 4TB
    • micro SD card slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output  – HDMI 1.4b up to 1080p60
  • Audio I/O – Via HDMI output, 3.5mm audio output (HP) jack, 3.5mm audio input (MIC) jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (AP6212) with u.FL antenna connector
  • USB – 2x USB host ports, 1x mini USB device
  • Expansion – 2x 48-pin headers with I2C, CSI for camera, FM-IN, ADC, CVBS output, Audio output, RGB, LVDS, MIPI DSI, SPI, HSIC, INT GPIO…
  • Misc – IR receiver, RTC with battery, power and ADFU key (to flash firmware), Power LED, 2x User LEDs
  • Power Supply
    • 5V @ 2.5A via power barrel
    • 5V via mini USB input
    • 3.7V Li-Po battery support via 2-pin header
  • Dimensions – 100mm x 60mm x 18mm
  • Temperature Range –  -20℃ ~ 70℃
  • Certifications – FCC, CE & RoHS

Click to Enlarge

The company provides Android 5.1.1 and Debian Jessie Desktop with 3D graphics acceleration (OpenGL ES 2.0) and hardware video decoding support. Software and hardware files, as well as documentation is available on MEGA outside of China, and on Baidu for people located in China.

Actions Semi S500 does not support SATA, so it’s important to look at the schematics to see how it was implemented, and while many boards are simply limited by their USB 2.0 interface, CubieTech used the USB 3.0 interface for the SATA implementation, which should lead to much better performance than most non-native solutions on the market. It’s disappointing that networking is limited to Fast Ethernet.

Click to Enlarge

We’ve see both a USB 3.0 switch and USB 3.0 to SATA bridge (JMicron JMS578) in the schematics in order to provide good performance between the processor and the SATA drive, while also allowing to use the board as an external USB 3.0 hard drive from your computer. Actions Semi S500 is not quite a new processor, and if you want to check out what it’s capable you may want to check out my hands-on posts about Roseapple Pi and Allo Sparky.

You’ll find more pictures and a few extra details on the product page. The official price of the board is $69 without shipping, but Cubieboard6 is only sold on a couple of website, including Amazon US for $98, and an Australian website for $115 AUD. Note that the board is sold as part of kit with several accessories namely USB to power jack cable, USB to mini USB cable, a WiFi antenna, a SATA cable, and a heatsink. There’s also an optional case, but I could not find it for sale yet.

GnuBee Personal Cloud 1 Low Cost Linux NAS Supports Up to Six 2.5″ SATA Drives (Crowdfunding)

March 23rd, 2017 41 comments

Networked Access Storage (NAS) with a large number of SATA bays usually cost several hundreds dollars up to thousands of dollars depending on the features set and performance, but there’s a new a project called GnuBee Personal Cloud 1, or GB-PC1, that delivers a MIPS Linux system supporting up to six 2.5″ SATA drives for less than $200.

GB-PC1 NAS specifications:

  • ProcessorMediaTek MT7621A dual core, quad thread processor @ 880 MHz, overclockable to 1.2 GHz
  • System Memory512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot tested up to 64 GB, 6x 2.5” SATA HDD or SSD
  • Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Serial port – 3-pin J1 connector or 3.5 mm audio-type jack
  • Power – 12 VDC @ 3 A via 5.5 mm x 2.1 mm, center-positive barrel jack
  • Dimensions –  21.6 cm (L) x 7 cm (W) x 14 cm (H)
  • Weight – ~210 g (without drives)

The case is comprised of two anodized aluminum side plates assembled with six threaded brackets and screws, and comes with 24 drive screws (four per drive).

The NAS supports Debian, OpenMediaVault, LEDE, as well as the lesser-known (at least to me) LibreCMC distribution. Source code including Linux 4.9 and U-boot, some documentations, as well as the BoM & schematics (PDF) can be found on Github.  Potential applications include network storage and backup, file server,home media server, download server, web server, or remotely accessible private cloud.

A comparison table has also been provided by the developer with GB-PC1, QNAP TS-431 ($294.22 on Amazon US) and Synology DS416slim ($289.99 on Amazon US).

Click to Enlarge

TS-431 might have an implicit price advantage with support for 3.5″ SATA drives, as you may need less 3.5″ drives to achieve the same amount of storage as with 2.5″ drives. One clear advantage of GB-PC1 is that you should have better control over the software than the two competing commercial solution. One clear disadvantage however is the mechanical design, as GB-PC1 has been designed to offer as low a cost as possible.

GB-PC1 launched on Crowdsupply a few days ago with the goal of raising at least $75,000. Rewards start at $168 for a diskless GB-PC1, but you may also want to add $19 to get a 12V/3A power supply, and potential $6 for a 2 GB micro SD card preloaded with Debian. Shipping is free to the US, and $12 to the rest of the world, with delivery planned for August 2017.

Via Orange Pi’s Facebook Group

NanoPi NEO2 Development Board Powered by Allwinner H5 64-bit ARM Processor Sells for $15

March 14th, 2017 45 comments

NanoPi NEO is a cool little board, and I’ve been using it with Armbian as a 24/7  MQTT + Domoticz server for several weeks without any issues so far. FriendlyElec has now an update with NanoPi NEO2 featuring Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor instead of Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor, a faster Gigabit Ethernet connection, and a new audio header.

NanoPi NEO2 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with an ARM Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (via RTL8211E-VB-CG chip)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port, 2x USB via headers
  • Expansion headers
    • 24-pin header with I2C, 2x UART, SPI, PWM, and power signals
    • 12-pin header with 2x USB, IR pin, I2S
    • 5-pin audio header with microphone and LINE out signals
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or VDD pin on headers.
  • Dimensions – 40 x 40 mm

One of my reader (Willy) also noticed they included a low-profile Ethernet jack that was asked by some. The company provides an image based on U-boot + Ubuntu Core, as well as hardware and software documentation on their Wiki. That’s not the first Allwinner H5 board we’ve seen, as Shenzhen Xunlong introduced Orange Pi PC 2 at the end of last year, but NEO2 is the first H5 board in such as small form factor.

Software support for H5 was not quite that good last November, but now Armbian community has released nightly builds for Orange Pi PC 2 based on Linux 4.10, which do seem to work fine for headless operation, but there’s little hope to have Mali drivers, hardware video decoding, and HDMI audio output support any time soon. None of those should matter for NanoPi NEO2 since it does not come with any video output ports, and I’d expect Armbian images to be released for the board soon.

NanoPi NEO2 is sold for $14.99 + shipping together with 2×12 and 1×12 headers directly on FriendlyARM website. Note that the heatsink is not included by default, and depending on your target application you may want to spend the extra $2.97 to add the heatsink + thermal pad to your order.

$80 BeagleBone Blue Board Targets Robots & Drones, Robotics Education

March 14th, 2017 3 comments

Last year, we reported that BeagleBoard.org was working with the University of California San Diego on BeagleBone Blue board for robotics educational kits such as EduMiP self-balancing robot, and EduRover four wheel robot. The board has finally launched, so we know the full details, and it can be purchased for about $80 on Mouser, Element14 or Arrow websites.

Click to Enlarge

BeagleBone Blue specifications:

  • SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358 with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  2×32-bit 200-MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs), PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PMIC, and 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 LE (TI Wilink 8) with two antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 client and host port
  • Sensors – 9 axis IMU, barometer
  • Expansion
    • Motor control – 8x 6V servo out, 4x DC motor out, 4x quadrature encoder in
    • Other interfaces – GPIOs, 5x UARTs, 2x SPI, 1x I2C, 4x ADC, CAN bus
  • Misc – Power, reset and 2x user buttons; power, battery level & charger LEDs; 6x user LEDs; boot select switch
  • Power Supply – 9-18V DC input via power barrel; 5V via micro USB port; 2-cell LiPo support with balancing,
  • Dimensions & Weight – TBD

The board ships pre-loaded with Debian, but it also supports the Robot Operating System (ROS) & Ardupilot, as well as graphical programming via Cloud9 IDE on Node.js. You’ll find more details, such as documentation, hardware design files, and examples projects on BeagleBone Blue product page, and github.

The board is formally launched at Embedded World 2017, and Jason Kridner, Open Platforms Technologist/Evangelist at Texas Instruments, and co-founder and board member at BeagleBoard.org Foundation, uploaded a video starting with a demo of various robotics and UAV projects, before giving a presentation & demo of the board at the 2:10 mark using Cloud 9 IDE.


If you attend Embedded World 2017, you should be able to check out of the board and demos at Hall 3A Booth 219a.

$25 Orange Pi Win Development Board To Run Windows 10 IoT (and Linux, and Android)

March 13th, 2017 26 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong Software must already have over a dozen of Orange Pi boards, but this is not stopping them from launching more, and the company has just introduced Orange Pi Win, powered by Allwinner A64 processor, and beside supporting Linux and Android like other models, it’s rumored to run Windows 10 IoT too.Orange Pi Win specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 2MB SPI flash, micro SD slot up to 64 GB, footprint for optional eMMC flash
  • Video Output / Display interface – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz with CEC 3D and HDCP support,, MIPI LCD interface
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6212)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI interface up to 5MP camera, up to [email protected] fps video capture
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi somewhat-compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header
  • Misc – IR receiver; reset and power buttons; power and status LEDs;
  • Power
    • 5V via power barrel or micro USB port
    • Lithium battery header
    • Power selection jumper (4-pin header)
    • AXP803 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 93 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 48 grams

Supported operating systems includes “Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Raspberry Pi image, and Banana Pi image”. The latter is possible since Orange Pi Win is quite  similar to Banana Pi M64, except it has less RAM. “Raspberry Pi image” likely means Raspbian with Linux + Uboot for Allwinner A64 processor, and Raspbian image for Raspberry Pi won’t work. Linux support should now be relatively good due to the work done on other Allwinner A64 boards such as Pine A64 and Banana Pi M64, and I suspect Armbian builds should come soon enough.

Windows 10 IoT is not part of that list, but should eventually be supported according to a forum post, and Shenzhen Xunlong confirmed it by email. Not really surprising considering Windows 10 IoT has been ported to Pine A64 and Banana Pi M64 boards. You can check officially supported Allwinner boards directly on Microsoft Azure IoT device catalog, and Orange Pi Win is not there yet.

The board has just started to sell for $25 + shipping on Aliexpress.

Thanks to Tomaz, Aleksey, and tkaiser for the tip.

$6 LicheePi Zero ARM Board Runs Linux 4.10, Supports Lots of Add-On Boards (Crowdfunding)

March 10th, 2017 87 comments

We’ve already covered LicheePi One board powered by Allwinner A13 processor, but it was not for sale out of China, and the developers are now back with LicheePi Zero board/module, slightly bigger than an SD card, featuring Allwinner V3s processor, and offered for as low as $6, or $8 with WiFi via an Indiegogo campaign.

LicheePi Zero specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner V3s ARM Cortex A7 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400 GPU, 512Mbit (64MB) DDR2 on-chip
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, SPI flash (not 100% clear if it will be populated when shipped to backers)
  • Display – FPC40 RGB Connector with support for 800×480 RGB LCD
  • Audio – Audio codec
  • USB – micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion
    • 2x 15 headers with 2.54mm pitch, breadboard friendly with GPIOs, 2x UART, 1x SPI, 2x I2C,ADC, 1x PWM
    • 2x  30 half-holes with 1.27mm pitch with OTG USB,MIPI CSI,EPHY,RGB LCD, more GPIOs
    • RGB connector can take add-on boards for GPIO, LVDS, HDMI, VGA, etc…
  • Misc – RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, or 5V/GND header
  • Dimensions – 44.6×25.5mm

Pinout Diagram

Most development board come with SDK using older version of Linux, but LicheePi Zero supports the latest Linux 4.10 kernel, as well as buildroot, Debian, and Raspbian Jessie with Pixel (experimental). The source code and hardware documentation can be found on Github.

Another selling point of this tiny board is the number of add-boards, with a WiFi board that be either plugged into the micro SDcard slot, or soldered along some of the 2.54mm pitch header, several converter using the RGB interface for VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DVP camera) or even some extra GPIOs.

The developer also provides a baseboard for LicheePi Zero module giving access to a 3.5mm audio jack, a built-in microphone, and Ethernet, as well as I/O ports for even more add-ons such as cameras, OLED or TFT displays, speakers, LoRa modules, and so on.

The modularity and options of Lichee Pi Zero is well summarized in the diagram below.

To get started easier, the developers also worked on some projects or bundles like a portable Linux handheld computer, a mini DIY laptop, VGA or HDMI computer bundles, “LoRa Netgate”, wireless speakers, etc… You can watch the demo of some of those, and more details about the board and modules in the video below.

While LicheePi Zero and ZeroW models are respectively $6 and $8 per unit, you can’t buy one only at price, as the minimum order is two, so $12 for Zero, and $16 for ZeroW, except for the developer edition (shipped ASAP) that’s $12 for one ZeroW. ZeroW mini laptop DIY suit rewards with a LicheePi Zero, a micro SD wifi card, an OTG adapter, a 5″ 800×480 LCD, a wireless keyboard, a LiPo battery, and other accessories as shown at the start of the video above is just $39, while the LoRa Netgate suite with 2 A.I Thinker LoRa modules and a custom protocol (not LoRaWAN) goes for $40. There are many other rewards that you can checked in the Indiegogo page. Shipping is not included by only adds $5, and delivery is planned for May to June 2017 depending on perks. You can ask your question on on Indiegogo, as well as iLichee Forums.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.