Archive

Posts Tagged ‘development board’

Onion Omega2S and Omega2S+ Linux WiFi Modules Launched for OEMs

July 21st, 2017 2 comments

Onion Omega2 and Omega2+ are tiny WiFi IoT development boards powered by Mediatek MT7688 MIPS processor running LEDE – OpenWrt fork – that sold for just $5 and up in Kickstarter, but are now selling for $7.50 and $9 respectively. The board also support various add-on boards, and a great for evaluation and various projects. But they may not be ideal for people who want to integrate the technology into their products, and that’s why the company have just launched Omega2S and Omega2S+ with about the same specifications, but in a package more suitable to be integrated into products for mass production.

Click to Enlarge

Onion Omega2S/2S+ specifications:

  • WiSoC – Mediatek MT7688 MIPS processor @ 580 MHz
  • System Memory / Storage
    • Omega2S – 64MB DDR2 / 16MB flash
    • Omega2S+ – 128MB DDR2 / 32 MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with u.FL antenna connector
  • Baseboard Interface – Half holes (aka castellated holes) with GPIOs, I2C, I2S, SPI, SDIO, serial, PWM, USB, Ethernet, PCIe, reset, antenna, and power signals: 3.3V VIN, 3.3V VINFLASH, GND)
  • Power Supply – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 34 x 20 x 2.8mm
  • Certifications – FCC and CE
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -10 to 55 °C; storage: -20 to 80 °C

Click to Enlarge

Software support will be the same as for the hobbyist boards with mainline LEDE support, the staging tree on Github, and Linux 4.4 kernel. You’ll also find Omega2S datasheet on the product page. Bear in mind that the download is integrated into their store system. so it’s a (free) purchase, and you’ll receive an invoice with the download link… The main differences between the modules and the boards are the smaller dimensions, higher number of I/Os (42 in total), no SD card slot on the plus version, and no WiFi chip antenna.

Since the customers for the module could use any of the interfaces for their product, the company also designed two versions of Omega2S Development Kit which differ only by their storage:

  • OM2S-DK-SD: SD Card Slot version (with 8GB Micro SD Card Included)
  • OM2S-DK-EM: 8GB eMMC Memory version

Click to Enlarge

The rest of the specification for the devkit are identical:

  • Easy insertion socket for the Omega2S Module
  • Wired Connectivity – Ethernet (RJ45) connector
  • USB – USB and Micro-USB ports
  • Expansion – Headers for all I/Os
  • Misc – Dual Reset Functions
  • Power Supply – Barrel power jack

The development kit will start selling for $249 on August 1st with the baseboard of your choice, two Omega2S modules, two Omega2S+ modules, an SD card (OM2S-DK-SD model only), a u.FL antenna, and various cables.

Pricing and availability for the module themselves have not been made public, so you’d have to contact the company for this type of information.

Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping Board Combines Cortex M4F MCU, Sensors, and Ethernet

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping board is a board designed – as its name implies – for the Internet of Things, with the company’s Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex-M4F micro-controller, various sensors, various I/Os including protected digital inputs and outputs, and Ethernet for network connectivity instead of a Bluetooth or/and WiFi module.

Renesas S5D9 board specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex M4F MCU @120MHz with 2MB flash and 640KB SDRAM
  • Storage – 256Mbits (32MB) QSPI NOR flash
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – 1x micro USB Full Speed port
  • Sensors
    • Bosch BMC150 6-Axis sensor (digital compass)
    • AMS ENS210 environmental sensor for temperature and humidity data
    • TE Connectivity MS5637-02BA03 barometric pressure sensor
    • Knowles SPU0414HR5H-SB amplified SiSonic microphone
  • Expansion
    • 1x PMOD connector (SPI)
    • 2x Grove Connectors (UART, I2C, GPIO)
    • 2x Protected Digital Input (5.1V to 24V) + 2x Buffered Digital Output (up to 1A) via Molex 12 position header
    • 2x RS232 via Molex 8 position header and Intersil driver
  • Debugging – 10-pin JTAG connector
  • Misc – 5V/3V output jumper; 3x LEDs (Red, Yellow, Green)
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; ~300 mA @ 5V max power consumption
  • Dimensions – TBD

Click to Enlarge

The kit is supported by Renesas IoT Sandbox, which helps with the “IoT Fast Prototyping” part, as it allows the user to create IoT applications using “cloud services and real-time workflows by aggregating all event data from any source, whether it’s sensors, mobile apps, or an existing cloud, and performs real-time processing to extract intelligence or implement automation”. The board can also be programmed using the APIs in Renesas Synergy Software Package (SSP), Qualified Software Add-Ons (QSA), and Verified Software Add-Ons (VSA).

Data Monitoring in Renesas IoT Sandbox with pre-installed firmware – Click to Enlarge

You’ll find more technical details, example projects, and hardware design files in Seeed Studio Wiki, as well as IoTCommunity.io.

The board sells for $34.95 in Seeed Studio, but if you are part of IoTCommunity, you can get a $20 coupon bringing the price down to $14.95 + shipping.

Manga Screen 2 is Smartphone Touchscreen Display with USB and HDMI Ports for Makers (Crowdfunding)

July 20th, 2017 6 comments

Most touchscreen displays aimed to be connected to a development board work through a display interface such as MIPI DSI or LCD RGB (and USB or I2C for touch support), and come with somewhat low resolution such as 800×480 which can be suitable for HMI applications. They also often don’t work with all boards due to the different interfaces used, and there’s no way to easily connect such small display to your computer. Taking those limitations into account, and since most boards and computers come with HDMI and USB ports, Elias Bakken and his team have added HDMI and USB ports to two smartphone displays, and Manga Screen 2 was born.

The two displays – made by Sharp – have the following hardware specifications:

Big (5.9”) Small (4.8”)
Resolution 1920×1080 1280×720
FPS (max) 60 57
Color mode 24-bit
PPI 376.2 307.9
Brightness 400 cd/m2 500 cd/m2
Contrast ratio 1000:1 800:1
Viewing angle 80 degrees
Power draw (max.) 600 mA 520 mA
Active area 129.6 x 72.9 mm 105.6 x 59.4 mm
Weight ~95 grams TBD
Outline size 150 x 82 mm TBD
Touch points 10

They added the electronics to convert HDMI signals to whatever interface the displays use, and a micro USB port for power and the touch screen interface. So those should pretty much be play and plug, and work with Raspberry Pi, ODROID, BeagleBone Black and other boards, as well as your computer, laptop, etc…
The project has launched on Kickstarter with the goal of raising 300,000 NOK (~$37,100 US). Rewards start at ~$83.5 US for the smaller 4.8″ screen, and ~$94 US for the 5.9″ screen. Those are early bird rewards, and retail price should be $99 for both displays? (Maybe a mistake on KS). Shipping adds 85 NOK ($10.5), and delivery is scheduled for October to the big screen, and December for the small one.

Potential projects include home automation interface, standalone Spotify player, pet food dispenser, 3D printer interface, and any project that may benefit from a ~5″ touchscreen display. The promo video demonstrates some of those applications.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

MYiR Introduces Z-Turn Lite Board Powered by Xilinx Zynq-7007S/Zynq-7010 SoC for $69 and Up

July 20th, 2017 9 comments

Xilinx launched a cost down version of their Zynq-7000 series with Zynq-7000S series SoC combining a single ARM Cortex A9 core with Artix FPGA fabric last year. We’ve already seen sub 100 Euros/Dollars board based on the new SoCs with ZynqBerry and MiniZed boards. MYiR Tech has now launched their own version, a cost-down version of their Z-Turn board, with Z-Turn Lite board featuring either the new cost-down Zynq-7007S or the “good old” Zynq-7010 SoC.

Z-Turn Lite specifications:

  • SoC
    • Xilinx XC7Z007S-1CLG400C (Zynq-7007S) with a single ARM Cortex A9 core @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with with 23K logic cells, 14,400 LUTs, 66 DSP slices OR
    • Xilinx XC7Z010-1CLG400C (Zynq-7010) with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with 28K logic cells, 17,600 LUTs, 80 DSP slices.
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 256MB, 32-bit)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, 16MB QSPI flash, and a micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Debugging – USB-UART debug interface, 14-pin JTAG interface
  • User I/O –1x 0.5mm pitch 120-pin connector for expansion interface on the bottom of the board
  • Sensors – 3-axis acceleration sensor and temperature sensor
  • Misc – 2x buttons (reset and user), boot selection jumpers, 5x LEDs, 1x Buzzer
  • Power – 5V/2A  via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 91 x 63 mm (10-layer PCB design)

Compare to Z-Turn, Z-Turn Lite comes with less memory (512MB vs 1GB), adds a 4GB eMMC flash, and removed HDMI, CAN bus, and motion / temperature sensors, and only comes with one expansion interface instead to two. Z-Turn Lite board runs Linux 3.15.0, and the company provides all drivers with source code, Sourcery GCC 6.1 toolchain, and a ramdisk image. Potential target applications include Zynq-7000S series evaluation, multi-axis motor control, machine vision, programmable logic controller (PLC), industrial automation, and test & measurement.

Z-Turn Lite board will start shipping on August 11st, but the company is already taking pre-order for $69 for the Zynq-Z7007S version, and $75 with Zynq-7010, including a 4GB SD card and product disk with documentation and source code. Alternatively, you can also get more complete kit with power supply, and cables for $89 and up. You’ll find purchase link and some hardware documentation like the PDF schematics on the product page.

NanoPi K2 Board Gets Ubuntu Core Firmware Image

July 19th, 2017 3 comments

FriendlyELEC NanoPi K2 is a board powered by Amlogic S905 processor, just like ODROID-C2 board, so while only the Android image was available at launch, it was expected to also support Ubuntu or other Linux distribution shortly after. This was put in doubt by comments on the company’s forums claiming the board would not get Debian images, and only Android was supported.

One alternative would be Armbian, but right now they only have ODROID-C2 images for download, no other Amlogic S905 hardware platform is supported either through stable or experimental builds. One user did manage to run Armbian on K2 with balbes150 help, but I’m not sure what’s the status of those firmware. Balbes150 also have a list of image for Amlogic platform in Github, which may be adapted to most hardware by using your board’s device tree binary (DTB) file.

The good news today is that FriendyELEC did not give up on Linux support for the board, as they’ve just released Ubuntu Core with Qt Embedded for NanoPi K2 (s905-ubuntu-core-qte-arm64-sd4g-20170718.img.zip), which you’ll find on mediafire with some changelog (currently in Chinese only) in the Wiki with translates to:

NanoPi-K2 Ubuntu Core system, including Qt-Embedded graphical interface library, the system features are as follows:

Supports HDMI output
Support WiFi connection
Supports Gigabit Ethernet
Support for Bluetooth transmission
Built-in Qt-Embedded

Thanks to the powerful performance of the A53 architecture processor, 2GB memory and Gigabit Ethernet, the NanoPi-K2 is ideal for use as an IoT server or DIY lightweight servers such as Nas.

That probably means they’ve not worked on 3D GPU acceleration, nor hardware video decoding support, or this would be proudly listed in the changelog… So if you’re interested in media playback in Linux this won’t be an option, and LibreELEC should work without too many modifications, maybe with just the right DTB file.

Thanks to boudyka for the tip.

ModBerry Industrial Automation Controllers Leverage Raspberry Pi, FriendlyELEC, and AAEON Boards and Modules

July 19th, 2017 No comments

TECHBASE’s ModBerry Linux based industrial controllers have been around since 2014 with their first model being ModBerry 500 powered by a Raspberry Pi compute module. Over the years, the company has kept adding new ModBerry controllers with now an interesting choice of Raspberry Pi 3 board or compute module, FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi M1 Plus board, or Intel Atom x5 based AAEON’s UP board.

Click to Enlarge

All programmable automation controllers (PAC) runs Linux 4.0 or greater, with Debian or Ubuntu Core rootfs including ready tools and pre-compiled packs including C/C++, JAVA, SQL, PHP, SSH, and VPN support. The firmware is upgradeable over the air, and the controllers can run the company’s iMod control software and interface with iModCloud cloud computing service for telemetry, remote control and data sharing. Typical uses include C-L-V functions with conversion to collect and transmit data over communication interfaces, logging via iModCloud or a SCADA, and visualization via a web browser.

Click to Enlarge

All models share many of the same features, with some models having more I/Os beside the different board, but to get a better idea of the systems, I’ll have a look at ModBerry M700 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 and 3.5mm jack for CVBS (composite + stereo audio)
  • Connectivity

    ModBerry M700 – Click to Enlarge

    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
    • Optional Zigbee, LTE/3G, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth cards
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x 4-pin USB 2.0 host header, 1x micro USB port (OTG/power)
  • Expansion I/Os
    • 4x digital inputs, 4x digital outputs up to 30V DC
    • 1x RS-232/RS-485
    • 1x PCIe slot
    • Optional 1-wire
    • Optional ExCard I/O modules for more RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, and more
  • Misc – RTC with battery, watchdog timer,
  • Power Supply – 7~30V DC up to 20-35W
  • Dimensions – 106 x 91 x 61 mm (ABS casing with DIN railin enclosure)
  • Weight – 300 grams
  • Operating Conditions – Temperature: -30 ~ 80°C; humidity: 5 ~ 95% RH (non-condensing)

The ExCard are DIN rail module that plugs into the ModBerry like LEGO’s, and up to 3 ExCard is supported per ModBerry.

Click to Enlarge

Applications for such systems include PLC, telemetry module with data logger, serial port server, protocol and interface converter, programmable controller, MODBUS Gateway/Router, SNMP Agent, Web server with PHP and SQL database support, SMS Gateway, LTE/3G/GPRS router and more.

TECHBase has not released pricing for the controllers, but you can find more details, including detailed PDF product briefs and links to purchase the controllers and expansions (you’ll still have to ask for the price), on the products page.

Via LinuxGizmos

Le Potato Development Board Review – Part 1: Hardware and Accessories

July 17th, 2017 15 comments

Libre Computer launched AML-S905X-CC “Le Potato” board on Kickstarter last month, and since then there have been some updates such as worldwide shipping, so the board will now ship to most countries, not only in Europe or the US, and various designs of the case have been proposed. You can check the updates on Kickstarter for details.

Libre Computer Le Potato Kit Unboxing

The company also sent me a Le Potato board, but not only, as I received a complete kit…

… similar to the $99 “2GB eMMC kit” reward on KS with a board with 2GB RAM, a 64GB eMMC flash module, a HDMI cable, and a 5V/2.5A power supply with on/off switch, but a different case, cooling fan, and corresponding rubber pad and screws.

Click to Enlarge

The case exposes all external ports, and has holes on top for the fan.

Click to Enlarge

The other side includes the micro SD slot, plenty of ventilations holes, and some opening for jumper wires connected to the debug port, or some other headers.
The side of the 40-pin “Raspberry Pi” GPIO headers also has the same opening, so you could keep the case close even if you connect external hardware.

The bottom of the plate has two openings to allow for wall mounting, and four circles for the rubber pads.

The case came loose, but for good reasons, since you have to setup your board the way you want to before tightening the case. So I took about the board to have a look. I’ve already listed the specifications in the announcement post so I won’t go through hit again.

Click to Enlarge

The main change here is that the board is fitted with a small heatsink on top of Amlogic S905X processor. Note that board-only rewards in Kickstarter may not include that heatsink.

Click to Enlarge

The bottom side of the board has the remaining DDR3 memory (for the 2GB RAM board), the micro SD card slot, and if you have ordered an eMMC kit, a 64GB eMMC flash module, which you can take away.

Click to Enlarge

I visually compared it to ROCK64 flash module, and Hardkernel eMMC to micro SD card adapter, and the design is different with the two rows of pins closer on Libre Computer module.
The next step is to assemble the heatsink with four of the shorter screws, and add the rubber pads. A single longer screw will be used to keep the case tightened.

Click to Enlarge

But before that I connected the fan to 5V and GND on the 40-pin header, as well as my own USB to TTL debug board to the 3-pin serial header.

I assembled the case, and tightened it with the single screw, and it fits well. The jumper wires from my USB debug board can easily pass through the openings, and I can still move the wires around, so it’s not tight here.

Since I have an eMMC flash module likely pre-installed with an operating systems, I connected the power, HDMI and Ethernet cables. The fan works, and while it’s not that noisy, it still makes a little more noise than what I’ve used to on actively cooled mini PCs or TV boxes. Personally, it does not disturbs me, but some people may be annoyed by the noise. The easily solution is not to connect the fan, as many use cases won’t require it.

Click to Enlarge

Within around 30 seconds, the board booted to a familiar TV box launched in Android 7.1.

I’m waiting for the latest Android or Linux images before completing the second part of the review. I’ll likely test the Linux images if they are ready, rather than the Android one, since I’ve tested several Android TV boxes based on Amlogic S905X previously.

If you are interested in the board, there are still 6 days before the campaign ends, with pricing started at $25 with the 1GB RAM version of the board. I understand that even if the crowdfunding campaign fails, the board will go ahead, but possibly at a slightly higher price, as they’ve committed half a million dollars to the project according to the latest update in Kickstarter.

Getting Started with MediaTek X20 Android Development Board

July 17th, 2017 No comments

Thanks to CNX for helping me get a hand on the 96Boards compliant Mediatek X20 board that was generously donated by Seeed Studio. In this article, I will walk through the steps to get the board up and running and also compile Android from the source code. The current Android is version 6.

Unboxing the Beast

Figure-1 : DHL Packet

Figure-2 : MediaTek X20 Box

Figure-3 : Standoff, board and instructions

Figure-4 : Front Facing

Figure-5 : Powerful tiny MediateTek chip

Figure-6 : Side Shot

Figure-7 : Backside Shot

Figure-8 : Multiple Antenna

First Boot Up

The board boots up from the eMMC, and the first time you boot up you will get Android screen as shown in Figure-9. This is the default Android image from the factory, which surprisingly looks like it was setup for a phone screen mode, which is not sufficient for a HDMI monitor. It would be better to install the images that are made available at Linaro website or build your own. See the other section to flash the board with different images.

Figure-9 : Out-of-the-box Android

Figure-10 : Partition mount information

Switching to Fastboot Mode

Flashing image files are done using fastboot tool in bootloader mode. There are 2 ways to switch to bootloader mode. To prepare the board to be flashed it will need pin 3 (USB Host Set) located at the back of the board as shown in Figure-11 to be set to OFF

Figure-11 : Switch OFF pin 3

Method 1

The first method requires that you boot your board into Android. Power the board and let it boot to Android. Once it boots to Android you can switch to bootloader mode by typing

Once it switch to bootloader mode you can use the fastboot to flash the image

Method 2

The 2nd method require the xflash tool which can be downloaded from the following link http://builds.96boards.org/releases/helio-x20/mediatek/aosp/16.10/mediatek-x20-aosp-16.10.tar.xz. Unzip the file and you will see something like Figure-12.

Figure-12 : Tools and Image files

Extract xflash.tar.gz and you will see something like Figure-13.

Figure-13 : Inside xflash.tar.gz

Unplug the power supply, and plug your computer USB cable to the micro USB cable of the board and run the xflash tool as follow

The location of MT6797_Android_scatter.txt can be found inside the <your_unzip_mediatek>/Images/Normal Image/ as shown in Figure-14

Figure-14: Scatter File

Power up your board after running the xflash tool. You will see print out on the screen as shown below.

Once you see the text ‘END’ the board has been switched to bootloader mode, and is ready to be flashed.

Flashing Android Image

Before flashing the new Android image make sure your board is indeed in bootloader mode by running the following command

You know that you are in bootloader mode, once you get a reply like the following

You can either flash using the image files provided by Linaro or build your own custom image. You can download a ready made image file from http://builds.96boards.org/releases/helio-x20/mediatek/aosp/16.10/mediatek-x20-aosp-16.10.tar.xz (the image file are inside the <directory>/Images/Normal Image).

The extracted mediatek-x20-aosp-16.10.tar.xz wil look like Figure-15.

Figure-15: All image files

Copy all the different files inside /Normal Image and /Special Image to a separate folder and flash the files using the fastboot command as follows:

Building From Source

Android 6.0 is supported on the X20 board. Use the following command to checkout the AOSP source code

You will need to download the binary drivers from Linaro website. The driver binary can be downloaded from https://builds.96boards.org/releases/helio-x20/mediatek/aosp/latest/. Download the file called sla.tar.gz and unzip it. You will see something like Figure-16.

Figure-16 : Content of sla.tar.gz

Copy the contents of device/, prebuilts/ and vendor/ into the AOSP directory. After completing the copy steps follow the steps below to start compiling

  1. source build/envsetup.sh
  2. lunch
  3. You will be shown the selection like Figure-17

    Figure-17 : Lunch menu

  4. Select 8 (or even 9)
  5. make -j10

Once the build process is complete, you will see list of files as shown in Figure-18.

Figure-18 : Local image files

The image files are now ready to be flashed to the board. Use the same flashboot commands as above to flash the new compiled image.

Mediatek X20 Board Info and Antutu Benchmark

I’ll complete this guide by showing the info provided by CPU-Z and Antutu benchmark for the board for people wanting such details.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

If you’re interested in the board, you can purchase it for $199 plus shipping on Seeed Studio.

References:

  1. http://builds.96boards.org/releases/helio-x20/mediatek/aosp/16.10/
  2. http://www.96boards.org/documentation/ConsumerEdition/MediaTekX20/Downloads/ThirdParty/AOSP/LinuxFastboot.md/