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Posts Tagged ‘development board’

SolidRun HummingBoard is a Raspberry Pi Compatible Board Powered by Freescale i.MX6

April 21st, 2014 No comments

Yesterday, I wrote about Banana Pi, an AllWinner A20 powered development board that’s mechanically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi so that you can keep using your existing R-Pi accessories. It turns out another company is working on a similar concept. Solidrun who has brought us Cubox and Cubox-i in the past, will soon launch HummingBoard, a Raspberry Pi compatible board powered by Freescale i.MX6 solo/dual/quad SoC, bring even more power than the AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 SoC found in the Banana Pi.

HummingBoardThe HummingBoard, previously known as Carrier One, is composed of a baseboard and SolidRun microSOM (micro System-on-Module) have comes with the followings specifications:

  • SoC = Freescale i.MX6 Quad @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU. The microSoM also comes in solo and dual flavors, and although it’s likely the HummingBoard will be sold with these variants too, it’s not 100% confirmed
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, mSATA connector, and optional eSATA (shared with USB?)
  • Video output – HDMI, and LVDS
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo jack, and Coax S/PDIF output
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module (BCM4329)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
  • Expansions
    • Raspberry Pi compatible headers (26-pin P1 header only), Camera connector (CSI), LCD connector (DSI)
    • 8-pin header for FlexCAN
    • mini PCIe connector
  • Misc – RTC, IR receiver, LEDs
  • Dimensions – Not explicitly specific, but they should be the same as the Raspberry Pi.

The microSOM features i.MX 6Q SoC, 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet PHY and BCM4329 Wi-Fi + BT module, and there may be different microSOM configurations, so these may end up being optional. You’ll lose one feature from the Raspberry Pi: composite video output, which has been replaced with coaxial S/PDIF. All other hardware features appear to be present with faster hardware. You’ll gain a much faster CPU, 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,SPDIF, an IR receiver, and a RTC. As with the Banana Pi, not all Raspberry Pi accessories, such as the camera, will work out of the box, as there’s some serious work to make them compatible. But enclosures should be re-usable, and most boards that simply connect via the 26-pin connector should work with just a little bit of work.

The good news is that software made for the Cubox-i will be compatible with HummingBoard, so various Linux distributions (Arch Linux ARM, Debian, Ubuntu, etc..), Android, and XBMC (Linux) should pretty much work out of the box. You can find some details about the hardware on the Wiki.

The board are not available yet, and pricing has not been announced either.  However, I’d expect the launch to take place some time in May, as the company is launching a competition to give away HummingBoards to the 30 best projects using the Cubox (or Cubox-i). You’ll need a 90-minutes (max) video demonstrating your project, and submit it before the 25th of April to get a chance to win. Winners will be notified on May 10.

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AllWinner A80 To Support 5 Operating Systems, Products To Become Available in May

April 21st, 2014 5 comments

AllWinner has released some more materials about their AllWinner A80 Ultracore octa core big.LITTLE SoC ahead of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2014, and we’ve learned more about OptimusBoard, as well as tablets and TV boxes availability through a video interview shot by Charbax at the exhibition.

AllWinner A80 System Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

AllWinner A80 System Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Part of the release was more detailed specifications:

  • CPU
    • Octa-Core big.LITTLE Cortex-A15/7
    • Low-power CoolFlex power management architecture
    • 2MB + 512 KB L2 Cache
  • GPU – Imagination Technologies PowerVR 64-core G6230 with support for OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0, OpenCL 1.x, RenderScript, DX 9.3/10.0
  • Memory
    • Supports dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR3/LPDDR2, up to 8GB
    • Supports Raw NAND with 72-bit ECC
    • Supports eMMC V4.5
  • Video
    • Supports UHD H.264/VP8 4Kx2K@30fps video playback
    • Supports multi-format FHD video decoding, including MPEG 1/2/4, H.263, H.264. WMV9/VC-1, etc
    • Supports H.265/VP9 1080p@30fps video playback
    • Supports H.264 HP/VP8 4Kx2K@30fps video capture
    • Supports 3840×1080@30fps 3D decoding, BD/SBS/TAB/FP supported
    • Supports 3840×1080@30fps 3D encoding
    • Supports RTSP, HTTP, HLS, RTMP, MMS streaming media protocolsDisplay
  • Display
    • Supports dual-channel LVDS 1920×1080@60fps
    • Supports RGB LCD 2048×1536@60fps
    • Supports 4-lane MIPI DSI 1920×1200@60fps
    • Supports 4-lane eDP 2560×1600@60fps
    • Supports HDMI 1.4
  • Camera
    • HawkView ISP
    • Integrated parallel and MIPI I/F sensor
    • Supports 5M/8M/12M/16M CMOS sensor
    • Supports 8/10/12-bit YUV/Bayer sensor
  • Connectivity
    • 2x USB Host, USB 3.0/2.0 Dual-Role (host/device)
    • Ethernet MAC
    • 4x SPI, 7x TWI, 7x UART
    • 4x SD/MMC
    • HSIC for LTE support
    • PCM/I2S

The company expects AllWinner A80 to be used in tablets, android boxes, notebooks, Smart TVs, All-in-One PCs, and digital signage players. That’s probably they’ve done some work to officially support 5 operating systems: Android, Chrome OS (work in progress), Ubuntu, Firefox OS, and Windows RT (commercial negotiations and work in progress).

AllWinner UltraOcta A80 is said to achieve 41556 in Antutu showing it easily outperform Exynos 5420 Octa core processor found in Galaxy Note 3, but this result has been achieved with a development board featuring heatsink and fan, so it’s unlikely you’ll get such score in your AllWinner A80 based tablet and TV box.

In the video below, you see some demos with real-time 4K video decoding/encoding with a 16MP pixel and 4K TV, HEVC video playback, 3D face rendering to show off GC6230 GPU performance, and a network video recording demo that can be used in automotive applications. You’ll also a reference tablet, and some charts showing the performance / power consumption ratio.

There are some good news about the OptimusBoard as it should be available in May for less than $100 via Cubieboard and/or PcDuino teams. Android tablets will be available by the end of May, and TV boxes a little latter.

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Banana Pi is a Raspberry Pi Compatible Board fitted with an AllWinner A20 SoC

April 20th, 2014 6 comments

So you’ve got a Raspberry Pi board, an enclosure, and a few add-on boards. Your application would however do with some more processing power, or you’d like to run Android, but you don’t want to have to purchase accessories all over again for another board. Banana Pi could be the solution, as it’s apparently mechanically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi, and comes with a dual core Cortex A7 AllWinner A20 SoC with 1GB RAM, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a SATA port, among other things.

Banana Pi (CLick to Enlarge)

Banana Pi (Click to Enlarge)

The board does indeed look familiar, with all external connectors at the exact same positions, but the hardware specs are fairly different:

  • SoC- Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB RAM
  • Storage – SD card slot, SATA connector
  • Video output – HDMI, Composite, and LVDS/RGB
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo jack, and on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
  • Expansion – Raspberry Pi compatible headers (26-pin P1 header only), Camera connector (CSI), and LCD connector (DSI).
  • Misc – 3x on-board buttons, IR receiver
  • Dimensions – 92 x 60 mm (Raspberry board is reported to be 85.60 x 56 mm)
  • Weight – 48 g
Banana Pi with AllWinner A20 (Click to Enlarge)

Banana Pi with AllWinner A20 (Click to Enlarge)

The board is said to support sunxi Debian, Ubuntu, Android 4.2, XMBC, and FireFox OS (work in progress). You’ll notice the dimensions reported for Banana Pi and Raspberry Pi are different, but this may depend how they’ve measured it: PCB only, or including connectors. Most likely both board are the same dimensions, or Banana Pi would bring little to the table. I’ve just measured my board. PCB only: 84.85 x 56 mm. Including connectors: 92.25 x 64.67 mm. This is confusing, so if somebody has the board and tried with a Raspberry Pi enclosure, please let us know.

The board is also said to support 2160p capacitive touch screen, and designated camera modules, and even though it’s possible the board is electrically compatible to the Raspberry Pi, It’s not clear at all if the software is there to work with the Raspberry Pi camera module for example. So even if most R-Pi accessories will happily be connected to the Banana Pi, they may not work out of the box without substantial (software) work.

You can find a bit more information on Banana Pi website (most of the links do not work),  The board is available from Aliexpress starting at $57 including shipping, but the design, e.g. SATA port, seems to be different from the pictures above. [Update: As mentioned in comments, lemaker.org has more information, including download links and forums]

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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$249 Nitrogen6 MAX Development Board Features Freescale i.MX6 Quad, 4GB RAM, mPCIe Connector, and More

April 9th, 2014 No comments

There are now many low cost development boards based on Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processors with WandboardSabre Lite, UDOO, Nitrogen6X among others, all selling for less than $200. Boundary devices, the company behind Nitrogen6X board, has made a new version called Nitrogen6 MAX that maxes out the RAM to 4GB, adds a full mPCIE slot, a dual channel LVDS connector, and 4GB on-board eMMC.

Nitrogen6 MAX Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

Nitrogen6 MAX Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

Nitrogen6 MAX specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6Q quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor at 1GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 532MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, SATA connector, two micro SDHC card slots, 2MB Serial Flash
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1G Ethernet, TiWi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth BLE module
  • Display Output – HDMI, 2x LVDS, Parallell RGB
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, Analog (headphone/mic) audio and 2W amplified audio
  • Camera I/F – Parallel camera port with OV5642 Interface, MIPI camera port with OV5640 Interface
  • USB – 3x High speed USB ports (2xHost, 1xOTG)
  • Headers
    • 2 RS-232 Serial ports + 1 Selectable RS485/RS232
    • 10-pin JTAG interface
    • I2C/GPIO/SPI signals
    • CAN port
  • Expansion Slots – PCI express port
  • Misc – Real Time Clock with battery
  • Dimensions – 5.25″ x 3.5″ (13.33 x 8.89 cm)

Several accessories are available with the board: MIPI and Parallel Cameras, 7” 1280×800 LVDS display with PCAP multi-touch, 10.1″ 1280×800 display with PCAP multi-touch, Android Button board, etc… This is not only a development board, but it is also suitable for mass production, an industrial temperature version is available, and they can make custom versions on requests. Android 4.3 and Embedded Linux (Yocto) images, source and support are available for the board.

Nitrogen6 MAX is one of the few ARM based products available with 4GB RAM, and a usable mPCIe slot. Other boards such as Nitrogen6X and Sabre Lite also feature a PCIe slot but require a daughter board, and may not contains the full PCIE signal set, with USB signaling, allowing for 3G modems or WLAN mPCIe card.

The board is available for pre-order now for $249, with mass production scheduled for the first week of June. You can more information and/or pre-order on Boundary Devices’ Nitrogen6 MAX page.

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Raspberry Pi Compute Module is a $30 Raspberry Pi Compatible System-on-Module

April 9th, 2014 No comments

Albeit the initial goal of the Raspberry Pi board was to address computer science education, it has become extremely popular with hobbyists, has made its way in many different kinds of hardware, and is now clearly the number 1 low cost ARM Linux development board. The Raspberry Pi foundation has then decided to design and sell a system-on-module called Raspberry Pi Compute that people can use in actual products.

Raspberry Pi Compute (Left) and Raspberry Pi Board (Right)

Raspberry Pi Compute (Left) and Raspberry Pi Board (Right)

Since the module will be mostly software compatible with the original Raspberry Pi board, the specs are similar:

  • 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 main difference is they’ve replaced the SD card slot found in the board, by an eMMC module which is more appropriate, and should provide better performance, for products. The foundation has also made a baseboard called “IO Board” for the Compute Module, in order to kickstart development while your custom PCB is being designed. It includes an HDMI output, a full sized USB port, 2 micro USB ports, some flat headers for camera and LCD displays, and two 2×30 pin headers to easily access the signals available via the SODIMM connectors.

Raspberry Pi IO Board and Compute Module

Raspberry Pi IO Board and Compute Module

The module will most probably support all distributions available for the RPi (Raspbian, Fedora, Arch Linux ARM,  etc..) as source code and tools should be identical too. The IO board will be open source. For now the foundation has only released the schematics of the IO Board and Compute module in PDF format, but more documents will be released soon.

A “Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit” comprised of the Compute Module and IO Board should be available from RS and Element14 in June. The price of the devkit has not been disclosed, but the Compute Module will start selling in the summer for $30 per unit in batches of 100. Individual orders will also be possible at an higher price.

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Microsoft Announces Intel Shark Cove Windows Development Board

April 8th, 2014 No comments

There are now plenty of affordable ARM based Android and Linux development board which you can use to develop apps that access hardware drivers, and a few Intel based ones have also started to pop-up such as Galileo and Minnowboard MAX. The problem, for Microsoft, is that none of them currently support Windows. You could always use a PC to develop Windows apps, but this may become a problem once you start dealing with embedded devices and want to access undiscoverable buses such as GPIOs, serial interfaces and so on, as PCs are also protected by secure boot which limits developing and testing third-party drivers. So Microsoft has decided to join the affordable development boards bandwagon, starting with Intel Shark Cove development board for Windows developers.

Intel_SharK_Cove

Intel Shark Cove

There are very few technical details about the board, but we do know it will based on an Intel Atom processor, and provide access to GPIOs, I2C, I2S, UART, SDIO and USB.

Microsoft highlighted 5 key features of their upcoming development boards:

  • Affordable, easy to purchase over the Internet, and without any need for licensing, quotes or purchase orders.
  • Ability for developers to download a copy of Windows OS from MSDN.
  • Visual Studio support and Windows Development Kit (WDK) tools for developing drivers. Available free from MSDN.
  • Ability to test and certify drivers and devices against the developer’s tests and Microsoft device tests.
  • Ports for attaching common PC peripherals, including HDMI, USB, I2C, GPIO, UART and SDIO.

Intel Shark Cove (pictured above) does not exactly looks cheap, so I’m assuming Microsoft may sponsor it to keep it at a reasonable price (below $200?).

You can visit http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/hardwaredevboard to find out more about Microsoft’s development boards initiative.

Via Liliputing

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MYIR MYD-AM335X Development Boards & MYC-AM335X CPU Modules

April 4th, 2014 No comments

MYIR has recently introduced MYD-AM335X development boards and MYC-AM335X CPU modules powered by Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex A8 SoCs, (AM3352, AM3354, AM3356, AM3357, AM3358, and AM3359) that come with 512 MB RAM, 512 MB Flash, and a Gigabit Ethernet PHY. The boards and modules target home automation, industrial automation, enterprise/educational tablets, portable navigation devices and networking applications.

MYC-AM335X CPU Modules

MYC-AM335X_CPU_Module
MYC-AM335X CoM specifications:

  • SoCTexas Instruments AM3352, AM3354, AM3356, AM3357, AM3358, AM3359  ARM Cortex-A8 up to 1GHz with SGX530 GPU (AM3354/AM3358/AM3359 only)
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 512MB NAND Flash
  • Connectivity – On-board Gigabit Ethernet PHY
  • Headers:
    • 2x  2.0mm pitch 60-pin expansion connectors to connect the SoM to a baseboard with the following signals: 2x USB2.0 OTG ports, 6x Serial ports, 2x I2C, 1x SPI, 7x ADC, 2x PWM, 3x SDIO
    • 1x 2.0mm pitch 26-pin expansion interface
    • 1x 2.54mm pitch 10-pin expansion interface
  • Misc – 1x power indicator (Red LED), 1x  user LED (Green)
  • Power supply – +3.3V/0.8A
  • Dimensions – 70×50 mm (6 layer PCB)
  • Operating Temperature Range – 0~70 Celsius (commercial grade) or -40~85 Celsius (industrial grade)

The company provides Linux 3.1.0, Android 2.3.4 and Windows Embedded CE 7 BSPs for these modules.

MYD-AM335X development boards

MYIR also provides a baseboard, which when used with their MYC-AM335x CoMs is called MYD-AM335x.

MYD-AM335X Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

MYD-AM335X Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

MYD-AM335X development boards comes with the following ports and headers:

  • Serial ports – 1x 3-wire RS232 Debug serial port (DB9), 1x 3-wire RS232 serial port (UART1), 1x RS485 (with isolation)
  • CAN – 1x CAN interface with isolation
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet interfaces
  • Storage – 1x TF card slot
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI interface, 1x LCD interface (16-bit true color, supports optional 4.3-inch and 7-inch TFT LCD), 1x 4-wire resistive touch screen interface
  • Audio I/Os – 1x Audio input port (3.5mm jack), 1x Stereo Audio output port (3.5mm jack),
  • Expansion headers – 2 x 2.0mm 20-pin expansion connectors with 7x ADC, 1x SPI, 2x I2C, 4x UART
  • Misc – 1x reset button, 3x user buttons, 1x power indicator (Red LED)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 130 mm x 100mm (4 layer PCB)

The board is sold as part of MYD-AM335X development kit that also includes  an Ethernet cable, a USB cable, a 5V power adapter, and a product DVD. Optional 4.3″ or 7″ LCD/TSP are also available.

The development kits and CPU modules are available now starting at $68 per unit for the CoM and $139 for the development board per 1k order. You can visit MYIR’s MYC-AM335X CPU module page for more information about the CoMs and development boards.

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