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Posts Tagged ‘development board’

Boardcon Compact 31S is an Allwinner A31s based Development Board with HDMI, VGA, and LCD Interfaces

October 25th, 2014 No comments

Boardcon Embedded Design, an ODM providing industrial Computer-on-Module, and board, announced Compact A31S powered by Allwinner A31s quad core Cortex A7 processor, with 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, HDMI, LCD and VGA video outputs, and various other ports.

Boardcon_Compact_A31sBoardcon Compact A31s hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A31s quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1 GHz with 256 KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache, and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU compliant with OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenCL 1.x, DX 9_3
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ 1866MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, VGA (up to 1280×800), and 40-pin FPC connector for LCD with capacitive touch screen support
  • Audio Output – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M/1000M Ethernet, Wi-Fi
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Camera – CMOS Camera interface
  • Expansion – 1x 20-pin expansion connector for GPIOs
  • Misc – Real Time Clock, powered by external lithium battery, IrDA, 3x User buttons, for Volume +/-, menu
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A, external battery support
  • Dimensions – 92 x 65mm

The company provides an Android 4.2.2/4.4 SDK with uboot 2011.09, Linux 3.3, various drivers, gcc toolchain, as well as the tools for development including SecureCRT.exe, Ubuntu 12.04-64bit (VM?), and PhoenixSuit.

Boardcon did not reply to my email request for availability and pricing information. More details may be found on Broadcon Compact A31S product page.

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Radxa Rock Pro / Lite Development Boards are Now Open Source Hardware

October 24th, 2014 14 comments

Many projects claim to be “open source hardware” (OSHW) after they’ve released the schematics in PDF format, and source code. But the definition of OSHW has a few more requirements, which is practise means you’ve got to release schematics and PCB layout in the native format, not only in PDF, as well as the gerber files, and the bills of materials. Open Source Hardware can also truly be useful, if you can source the components. and for example, Broadcom BCM2835 processor might be impossible to procure, especially in small quantities, and that makes the Raspberry Pi unsuitable as an open source hardware platform. Existing companies / associations dedicated to OSHW include Arduino, Beagleboard.org, Olimex, etc.., and today Radxa has joined the club by releasing all hardware designs files for Rockchip RK3188 based Radxa Rock Pro and Lite development boards (2014 version) under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This could be the very first Chinese company to do so, at least for ARM development boards.

Radxa_Rock_Schematics

You can get the hardware design files on Radxa’s oshw repository in github. Let’s see what’s they’ve released:

  1. Schematics in Orcad 16.5 and PDF formats
  2. PCB layout (.dsn) to be open with PADS 9.5
  3. Manufacturing files including the Gerber files, Bill of material (BOM), components placement, etc…
  4. Mechanical drawings in DXF format

It looks good to me, did they forget anything?

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AllWinner A80 based Cubieboard4 Development Board is Now Available for $100 (in China)

October 21st, 2014 24 comments

Allwinner and Cubietech announced they were working on Cubieboard8 in May, before we got to see some pictures of the first engineering samples. Cubieboard8 has now been renamed to Cubieboard4, also known as CC-A80 (CubieTech single board Computer A80), and the company has listed the board on Taobao for 620 RMB (~$102), with shipping scheduled for October 30.

Cubieboard_CC-A80_Board

Cubietech CC-A80 board specifications, which have changed since the first pictures were released in July:

  • SoC – AllWinner A80 octa core 4x Cortex A15 @ 2.0GHz,  4x Cortex A7 @ 1.3GHz, and Imagination PowerVR G6200 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC (25MB/s read and write speed), micro SD Card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, and VGA
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 2x 3.5mm audio jacks for audio output and microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n up to 300 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x Micro-B USB 3.0 port
  • Debugging – UART and JTAG (4 pins on top left of battery slot)
  • Expansion Header – 20-pin header with 2x UART, 3x I2C, GND, and VCC (5V)
  • Misc – IR receiver, RTC + battery slot, 2x user LEDs, 1x power LED, 3 push buttons for power, reset, and reboot (FEL).
  • Power – 5V/2.5A, USB 3.0, or 3.7V LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 146x142mm
Lubuntu running on CC-A80 Board

Lubuntu running on CC-A80 Board

The board is clearly called CC-A80 V1.1 on the PCB, but it will also be referred to as Cubieboard 4. Since the board still have about 10 days before shipping, CC-A80 Wiki is far from being complete (understatement of the month), but you  can find some resources on their FTP server including schematics (PDF), datasheets for A80T, AC100, AXP809 PMIC…, and Lubuntu rootfs. Most directory are currently empty, and there are more details on Baidu including Lubuntu (eMMC and SD card) and Android 4.4 (eMMC) firmware images, as well as instructions to use CC-A80 Linux SDK. There are also some images on http://dl.cubieboard.org/software/a80/, but these may not be up-to-date, or even for Cubieboard 4.

Beside Taobao, I also found it for pre-order on a UK site for 110.79 GBP excluding VAT (about $180), with delivery expected for November 3, 2014. The price delta versus Taobao is a bit excessive, so it may pay to wait a couple of weeks to get a better deal.

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Lark Board Powered by Altera Cyclone V SX ARM Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC

October 16th, 2014 4 comments

Farnell/Element14 has quietly announced Lark Board from their subsidiary Embest Technology in September. The board is powered by an Altera Cyclone V ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core + FPGA processor with high speed transceivers, runs Debian 7.4, and targets medical instruments, video surveillance and industrial control applications.
Lark_Board
Lark board specifications:

  • SoC – Altera Cyclone V SX (5CSXFC6D6F31I7N) with a dual core Cortex A9 processor (HPS – Hard Processor System) @ 800 MHz, FPGA fabric including up to 110K logic cells (LE), and high speed transceivers (2 PCIe hard IPs and 9 3Gbps transceivers)
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 SDRAM for HPS, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM for FPGA
  • Storage –  4GB eMMC Flash + micro SD card slot
  • Audio/Video Interfaces – HDMI, VGA, and 24-bit LCD interface supporting 4-wire touch screen
  • Data Transfer Interfaces:
    • High-resolution serial digital interface (SDI) that supports SMD standard interface and provides a SDI TX and a SDI RX
    • 12-bit digital camera input
    • 2x 12-bit high-speed ADC interfaces that support SMA input
    • PCIe x4 interface for PCIe x4, PCIe x2 and PCIe x1 adapter cards
    • RJ45 interface that supports RGMII gigabit Ethernet
    • 4x high-speed USB2.0 Host interfaces
    • 40-pin FPGA expansion interface for LVDS, RSDS, SLVS, mini-LVDS signals
    • 40-pin HPS expansion IO for I2C, SPI, QSPI, UART, GPIO signals
  • Debugging Interfaces
    • On-board USB Blaster II (Mini USB Type B)
    • 10-pin JTAG interface can be used to connect an external USB Blaster
  • Misc – Reset button and 5 user-defined buttons, RTC
  • Power – 12V~30V round DC power jack and ATX 4-pin standard power connector
  • Dimensions – 180 mm x 120 mm (10-layer PCB)
  • Temperature Range – 0~70°C (operating)

The company provides a binary image and source code based on Debian 7.4 with u-boot 2013.01.01, and Linux 3.10. The board can boot from either a micro SD card or the eMMC. Documentation includes a user’s manual, a quick start guide, schematics (PDF), sample applications, as well as datasheets for the SoC and other components.

Lark_Board_Block_Diagram

Block Diagram

Lark board is available now for $799 on Embest website where you can also find documentation, the OS image and source code. It’s also listed on Newark/Element14 and Aliexpress for around $900.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Mackerel Wi-Fi IoT Board Connects to goHACK.me Cloud Services

October 15th, 2014 No comments

ACKme Networks, a start-up specializing in embedded wireless solution, launched Mackerel evaluation board based on their AMW004 Wi-Fi networking module. The module is intend to interface to objects in standalone mode (SOLO), or controlled by a micro-controller (SLAVE), and features WiConnect software to interface with goHACK.me cloud services powered by sensors.com “OEM cloud solution”.

Mackeral Board

Mackerel Board

Mackerel (AMW004-E03) board specifications:

  • AWM004 (Wallaby) Wi-Fi module:
    • MCU – ARM Cortex M4 @ 120MHz with integrated 1MB flash and 128kB RAM, onboard 8Mbit (1MByte) SPI-serial flash
    • Networking Standards – IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/h/i/j
    • 802.11 data rates – 802.11b: 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps; 802.11g: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps; 802.11n: MCS0 – MCS7
    • Wi-Fi Security – Open, WEP-40, WEP-104, WPA, WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2-mixed
    •  Network Protocols –  ARP, ICMP, DHCP client/server, DNS, NTP, SMTP, UDP, TCP, HTTP client/webserver, Sensors.com
    • Network Security –  SSL3.0/TLS1.1, HTTPS
    • I/Os – UART (up to 4Mbit/s), SPI (up to 10Mbit/s), I2C, USB, JTAG/SWD, I2S, GPIO, ADC, DAC, and PWM
    • Power consumption – Standby: 1.85uA; Sleep: 28uA; Wi-Fi Powersave: 0.77mA; Active Rx: 6.9mA (1Mbit/s UDP); Active Tx: 12.5mA (1Mbit/s UDP);
    • Supply voltage – 3.3V
    • Dimensions – 17.8 x 31.8 x 3.1 mm
  • USB UART – Up to 3 Mbit/s with hardware flow control (optional)
  • Breakout header – 2 x 2×10-pin header (connects to every pin on the AMW004 module)
  • Sensor – Thermistor
  • Misc – 2 x push buttons, 2 x LEDs
  • Power supply – +5V from USB (500mA max.)
  • Temperature Range – 0 – 70°C

The board is pre-loaded ACKme WiConnect serial Wi-Fi application, so you can just connect it to your PC via USB, and access the serial via a terminal program (minicom, PuTTy, hyperterminal, etc…).

gohackme_network_diagramFrom there you can enable networking, and register your board with three command lines:

network_up -s
ghm_capabilities download -s
ghm_signup  [email protected]  YourSecretPassword

You can then monitor the board temperature on your smartphone and computer by logging in gohack.me with your chosen email/password. You’ll also be able to control the LEDs on the boards via the webpage. The whole setup is quite similar to the one I tried with Texas Instruments Connected Launchpad board and Exosite cloud services, except the board uses Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.

GoHACKme website will let you monitor (Temperature, Humidity / Moisture, Light / Motion, door & window open/close…). and control (Servo motors, Fountains, Fans, Lights,Heaters…) your devices, as well as receive notifications by email, SMS, etc…  There are also many other Wiconnect commands that can be used in the serial console to control GPIOs, ADC, Wi-Fi connection, etc…

Mackerel evaluation board can be purchased directly on Ackme Store for $82, or via distributors such as Adafruit or Mouser.

 

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ITEAD Core AW204X AllWinner A20 SoM and Core EVB Baseboard

October 14th, 2014 1 comment

ITEAD Studio has been making systems-on-module based on Allwinner processors for a little while which are found in the company’s IBOX mini PC, MOD Duo guitar pedal, and more. They’ve now launched a new system-on-module with a 204-pin SO-DIMM connector instead of the headers used in the earlier modules.

AW2042_AllWinner_A20_System-on-Module

AW2042 SoM (Click to Enlarge)

ITEAD Core AW2041 / AW2042  SoM specifications:

  • SoC- AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1 GHz + ARM Mali 400 MP2
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 RAM (AW2014: 1GB, AW2042: 2GB).
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, micro SD card slot (on the back), SATA connector.
  • Connector – 204-pin SO-DIMM edge connector with UART, I2C, SPI, LCD, I2S, LVDS, GPIO, etc.. signals
  • Misc – Built-in RTC, reset, FEL and power buttons.
  • Power – 5V supply, 3.3V I/Os. AXP209 PMIC.
  • Dimensions – 67.60 x 48.25 x 1.6 mm
  • Weight – 35 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial

To facilitate development, the company is also providing an open source hardware baseboard (Kicad) simply called “EVB Core”.

EVB Core (Click to Enlarge)

EVB Core (Click to Enlarge)

Baseboard specifications:

  • SoC / Memory / Storage – Via AW204x modules.
  • Eternal Storage – SATA port on module, 5V SATA power on EVB, 1x micro SD slot on EVB, 1x micro SD slot on module.
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, 18/24-bit single or dual channel LVDS
  • Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm audio jack supporting 8 Ohm speakers @ 3W via included amplifier.
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 OTG ports, 1x USB OTG port (full size)
  • Expansions Headers:
    • 32-pin connector (beige) with access to UART, I2C, SPI, I2S, and GPIO signals, that can be used with some add-on boards made by ITEAD Studio.
    • 40-pin headers compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B+ (UART/I2C/SPI/GPIO)
  • Misc – IR receiver, bicolor LED, power, reset, FEL buttons,
  • Power – 7-23V DC via 2.5mm power jack
  • Power Consumption – 200mA typical, 300mA max. @ 5V? (without devices attached to EVB)
  • Dimensions – 140.2 x 90 mm
  • Weight – 82 grams
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0 to 60℃; storage: -40 to 80℃

The evaluation board can be fitted into IBOX metallic enclosure. The company provide supports for ITEAD OS based on Debian 7.0 (Link to SDK), and Android 4.2 for their modules. Some documentation, mostly the pinout diagrams. can be found on the Wiki for AW204x modules, and EVB Core.

Both the modules and baseboard appear to be available now. AW2041 SoM (1GB RAM) sells for $45, AW2042 (2GB RAM) for $60, and EVB Core for $29.99, so a complete development kit would start at $75.

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Allwinner H64 based Nobel64 Could the First Affordable 64-bit ARM Development Board

October 13th, 2014 9 comments

Based on the comments I read on this blog many people are early waiting for 64-bit ARM boards. There are already ARMv8 server boards by Applied Micro, AMD and others, but these cost several thousand dollars and are not sold to individuals, and ARM recently launched Juno development board, but it should be well over the budget of most hobbyists too. But the wait may soon be over, as Padnews found out Allwinner and Merrii Technology showcased Nobel64 development board powered by a yet to be announced Allwinner H64 64-bit ARM SoC at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

Low_Cost_64-bit_ARM_development_board

Nobel64 development board specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H64 quad core 64-bit ARM processor, most probably based on Cortex A53 cores.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD card slot
  • Video / Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 + AV port.
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports (Including on OTG port)
  • Camera – Camera connector (below 3814 marking on the pic) for 5MP sensor
  • Expansion – 2x headers
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Dimensions – 118 x 70 cm

Allwinner SoC roadmap published about a year ago mentioned an Octa-core 64-bit processor (A9X) for Q4 2015, so there must have been changes in their plan, and the company decided to speed up their 64-bit roadmap. Allwinner have A-series (Application), V-series (Automotive Video (camera)), and H-series (Home Entertainment?) processor families, so H64 could be specifically designed for TV boxes and game consoles, just like the recently announced Allwinner H8 processor. Having said that, Allwinner claims “Nobel64 board is suitable for development projects such as tablets, OTT boxes, notebooks, digital signage and AIOs, etc.” The board will support Android L.

The company has not released any pricing or availability information, but based on the features, and PCB dimensions, I would  expect the board to cost a couple hundred dollars at most.

Via Tom Cubie

Update: I’ve received an email from Allwinner with an explanation for different series:

A series processors are used for mobile applications, mainly referring to tablet application here;
H for “Homlet”, mainly used in home entertainment applications, including smart OTT boxes, HDMI mini PCs, gaming boxes, etc;
V for video-related applications, including video surveillance, automotive DVR, etc;
F series are processors based on Allwinner’s melis OS, mainly used in smart video radios, video MP5, etc;

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