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Posts Tagged ‘google’

Google OnHub 802.11ac WiFi Router Also Supports Bluetooth 4.0, Zigbee/Thread, and Automatic Firmware Upgrades

August 19th, 2015 1 comment

Google has just announced OnHub, a $200 router designed in cooperation with TP-Link which the company claims will be “fast, secure, and easy to use”.  It should indeed be fast as it’s a Class AC1900 router capable of 600 Mbps with 802.11n and 1300 Mbps with 802.11ac. Router are gateways between home networks and the Internet, but most of them aren’t updated automatically, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, while OnHub should get its firmware regularly updated over-the-air and include a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), making it more secure. Finally, Android and iOS apps are available to easily manage the router.

OnhubOnHub (TGR1900) router specifications:

  • WiSoC – Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 dual core Krait processor @ 1.4 GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, 8MB NOR flash
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n 3×3 with smart antenna
    • 802.11 a/n/ac 3×3 with smart antenna
    • AUX wireless (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 1×1) – I don’t understand what this means/is for yet…
    • 10/100/1000M Mbps WAN and LAN port (QCA9337 Gigabit switch)
    • Compatible with Zigbee/Thread , Bluetooth 4.0
    • Wireless Security – WPA2-PSK
    • 13 antennas in total
    • Supports up to 128 devices over WiFi
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0
  • Audio – 3W Speaker
  • Security – Infineon SLB 9615 Trusted Platform Module
  • Misc – 6x tri-color array LEDs, ambient light sensor
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A DC, 100-240V 50-60Hz AC
  • Dimensions – 19.05 cm (H) x 11.68 cm ()
  • Weight – 860 grams

The router appears to run Gentoo Linux based on the open source licenses page. Android 4+ and iOS 7+ apps will be released in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, some  more details can be found on the router’s support site, which explains a little how to use the app, and that Bluetooth and 802.15.4 radios are currently turned off and inactive, but eventually they’ll be useful for home automation.
Onhub_AppThe router will launch on August 31, 2015 for $199.99 in various online and brick-and-mortar shops, such as Amazon US, Newegg or Walmart, but unfortunately it will only be available in the US, and soon in Canada. You may want to checkout OnHub router pages on Google and TP-Link websites for further details.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Android M Preview Images & SDK and Key Changes

May 30th, 2015 2 comments

Google formally announced Android M (Marshmallow?) at Google I/O, and released preview images for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and the Nexus player. If you don’t own any of these devices, you can also run Android M in the emulator using the preview SDK.

Android_MarshmallowSo what’s new in Android M? Google reports over 100 changes, but here are some of the highlights of improvements and new features:

Runtime App Permission

Runtime App Permission

  • User Control of Permissions – With Android M, apps can trigger requests for permissions at runtime, and let users choose whether to allow it. For example, if your flashlight app suddenly request access to your contact list, a window may pop up and you are free to decline it. Users will also have easy access to manage all their app permissions in settings.
  • Doze improves Battery Life – Android M will use motion detection to learn if a device has been used for a while, and automatically reduce background activity in other to save on battery life. Google calls this power management improvement “Doze”.
  • Now on Tap – This basically let you access Google Now features from any app. For example, if you are in a chat app, and your friends mention a restaurant, you can find details within the chat app, check the menu, book a table and so on. For details visit Inside Search.
  • Fingerprint Support – Flasgship phones come with a fingerprint scanner, but so far, it was not natively supported in Android, and manufacturers had their own implementation. Android M addressed this issue
  • Android Pay – Android users will now be able to use their phone to securely use their Android phone to pay in stores or in thousands of Android Pay partner apps. You can find more on Android Police article . I assume this only works in the US for now (TBC)
  • External Storage Support and A2DP Bluetooth streaming on Android TV. Check out Android Police article for more info.

Google also released some tools for developers such as Android Studio v1.3 preview which brings code editing and debugging for C/C++ code support among other things, an Android Design Support Library to make Material design apps easier, and Google Play services v7.5 which includes new features like Smart Lock for Passwords, new APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast, Google Maps API on Android Wear devices, and more.

For more changes, you may also want to read Liliputing post which also shows multi-windows mode, dark mode, auto-backup for apps, and more.

Thanks to Harley for links to various resources related to Android M Preview release.

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Categories: Android Tags: Android, battery, google, marshmallow, nexus

$149 Rockchip RK3288 Chromebooks by Haier and HiSense Launched

April 1st, 2015 8 comments

Just ten days ago, Asus C201 Chromebook powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor was spotted on a product catalog. Today, Google unveiled two Rockchip Chromebooks, except the Asus Chromebook is not there yet, but instead Haier Chromebook 11 HR-116R and Hisense Chromebook both available for pre-order for $149 respectively on Amazon US and Walmart.

Haier Chromebook

Haier Chromebook 11

Both laptops have very similar specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288-C quad core Cortex A17 processor @ 1.8 GHz with ARM Mali-T764 GPU. (Wallmart claims a 2.5GHZ processor frequency, but this has to be an error).
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC Flash Storage + micro SD slot + 100GB Google drive storage, free for 2 years
  • Display – 11.6” HD wide screen LED-backlit display; 1366 x 768  resolution
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio – HDMI, stereo speakers, headphone jack,
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 2×2 (MIMO) a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Battery – 10 hours (Haier); 8h30 (HiSense). No capacity reported
  • Dimensions – Haier: 17.9mm thick; Hisense: 29 x 20.4 x 1.93 cm
  • Weight – Haier: 1.09 kg; Hisense: N/A

HiSense_ChromebookEven though, Asus Chromebook was not officially announced, Google mentioned the company for two upcoming products: Asus Chromebook Flip made of aluminum and with a flippable display that will sell for $249, and Chromebit, a new category of Chrome OS products that are basically HDMI TV sticks running Chrome OS.

Chromebit

Chromebit

I’ve not exactly sure which processor is used in these, but Rockchip RK3288 could be a possibility as well as long as  it’s under-clocked, and they are expected to sell for less than $100. Update: Engadget got hold of a sample and it’s indeed based on Rockchip RK3288.

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Google Summer of Code 2015 is Now Open for Student Applications

March 19th, 2015 2 comments

Google has now announced that students applications for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) are now open. Students can get paid up to $5,500 to work on various open source projects selected for the event.

GSoC_2015Fewer companies have been accepted this year, and even big names like the Linux Foundation and Mozilla got their application rejected. There are still over 137 open source projects to work on including:

  • MinnowBoard  project – Potential software projects for the Intel Atom embedded board include making low speed I/O buses more accessible via intermediate open source libraries (e.g. SMBus/PMBus/Wiring libraries), and improving the open source firmware.
  • lowRISC SoC project – Potential projects: Schematic Viewer for Netlists (SVG/JavaScript), open source FPGA compilation flow using Yosys, accessing the OpenCores ecosystem, etc…
  • BeagleBoard.org – Lots of project ideas relying on the BeagleBone Black board, dealing with Linux kernel support for embedded devices and interfaces, ARM processor support in open source operating systems and libraries, Heterogeneous co-processor (PRU) support in open source operating systems and libraries, and more.

Interested students can browse the projects, and submit their own proposals based on the “idea pages” or not, before Friday, March 27 at 19:00 UTC on the application page.

Students who are accepted will work on an actual open source software project over the summer, be paired with a mentor, and get paid for their work.  You need to be at least 18 years old, and be enrolled in an accredited academic institution anywhere in the world. You don’t necessarily need to be follow a Computer Science or Electronics Engineering program to apply, as past students Shave also come from disciplines such as Ecology, Medicine and Music. Getting accepted to GSoC and having worked on an open source project for several weeks is certainly something nice to have on your CV. Good luck!

Thanks to Alex (lowRISC) for the tip.

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Android 5.1 Released, Adds multiple SIM Cards Support, HD Voice, and More

March 10th, 2015 6 comments

Google has just announced the release of Android 5.1, still called Lollipop, which mostly improves performance and stability, but also adds a few features.

Android_5.1There are at least 4 main additions or improvements on Android 5.1:

    • Multiple SIM slots support – Allows to use 2 or 3 SIM cards in your phone to better manage your mobile costs.
    • Device Protection –  Your lost or stolen device will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account – even if someone resets your device to factory settings. Google says it will be available on most Android phones and tablets shipped with Android 5.1, implying it might not be supported on all.
    • High Definition voice calling
    • Join Wi-Fi networks and control of your paired Bluetooth devices directly from Quick Settings.

Factory images can already be downloaded for Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (nasaki), but Android 5.1 firmware should eventually become available for other recent Nexus devices too.

You should be able to get the source code from AOSP with the commands:

repo init -u https://android.googlesource.com/platform/manifest -b android-5.1.0_r1
repo sync
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Categories: Android Tags: Android, aosp, google, lollipop, nexus

Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015 Schedule and Demos

January 27th, 2015 2 comments

Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015 will take place on February 9 – 13,2015 in Hong Kong, and the organization has released the schedule for the five days events with keynotes, sessions, and demos.

Linaro_Connect_Hong_Kong_2015Each day will start with the keynote including speakers such as:

  • George Grey, Linaro CEO, who will welcome attendees to Linaro Connect, and provide an update on the latest Linaro developments
  • Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect, Redhat, who will present Red Hat update and latest ARMv8-A demonstrations
  • Dejan Milojicic, Senior Researcher & Manager, HP Labs
  • Bob Monkman, Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager, ARM, will discuss about  the impact of ARM in next generation cloud and communication network infrastructure
  • Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation Fellow, will introduce the Greybus Project (Linux for Project Ara modular phones)
  • Warren Rehman,  Android Partner Engineering Manager, Google

The agenda also features sessions covering Android, ARMv8-A, Automation & Validation, Digital Home, Enterprise Servers, LAVA, Linux Kernel, Networking, Power Management, Security, Toolchain, Virtualization and multiple training sessions. I’ve gone through the full schedule to make my own virtual list of sessions.

Monday 9th

  • 14:00 – 14:50 – maddog: ARMv8 Optimization (No abstract)
  • 15:00 – 15:50 – ACPI Power Management on ARM64 Servers (No abstract)
  • 16:10 – 17:00 – Standardizing Linux Kernel Power Management on ARM 32/64-bit

The 32-bit ARM kernel supports a wide variety of processors harking back to ARM v4 architecture up to the latest v7 SMP processors. This huge legacy forced kernel developers to adapt the power management code for the newest processors (eg v7 multi-cluster systems) to an infrastructure that was developed to support simpler uniprocessor (UP) ARM architectures, resulting in code fragmentation and lack of unified drivers.

The brand new ARMv8 architecture provides kernel developers a clean slate to start developing new code, a nice opportunity to learn lessons from the past and bring about a kernel power management (PM) subsystem completely generic and up to the latest standards. This talk will provide details of the undergoing effort carried out at ARM to develop a kernel PM framework for ARM v8 systems, with kernel design details of the respective DT and ACPI implementations.

Tuesday 10th

  • 10:10 – 11:00 – UMEQ (User Mode Emulation Quest)

UMEQ (user-mode emulation quest) and has been developed to eliminate the functional deficiencies of qemu in user mode (multi-threaded applications, signal handling, etc). Umeq primarily targets ARM 64-bit. The presentation will focus on the architecture principles of umeq and on its implementation.

  • 11:15 – 12:05 – Solving the year 2038 problem in Linux

The concept of ‘time’ in Linux is encoded in many different ways, but the most common one is based on the ‘time_t’ type that counts the number of seconds that have passed since Jan 1, 1970. This type is currently defined as ‘long’, which on 32-bit systems is a signed 32-bit number that will overflow on Jan 19 2038 and likely cause all systems existing today to stop working.

In our presentation, we give an introduction to range of problems that we see across user space and kernel, and we talk about the work that we are doing to address some of these issues.

  • 12:10 – 13:00 – Browser Testing Framework for LHG

The purpose of this talk is to provide the audience with an introduction to the testing framework used in Web browser performance testing as implemented by LHG (Linaro Home Group). The browser test suite is used to compare browser performance and compliance by using a series of benchmarks in key test categories. Sample browser results for both Android and RDK will be presented.

  • 14:00 – 14:50 – Training 1 – FOSS
  • 15:00 – 15:50 – Training 2 – Upstreaming 101
  • 16:10 – 17:00 – Training 3 – Upstreaming 200

Wednesday 11th

  • 10:10 – 11:00 – Art’s Quick Compiler: An unofficial overview

One of the important technical novelties introduced with the recent release of Android Lollipop is the replacement of Dalvik, the VM which was used to execute the bytecode produced from Java apps, with ART, a new Android Run-Time. One interesting aspect in this upgrade is that the use of Just-In-Time compilation was abandoned in favour of Ahead-Of-Time compilation. This delivers better performance, also leaving a good margin for future improvements. ART was designed to support multiple compilers. The compiler that shipped with Android Lollipop is called the “Quick Compiler”. This is simple, fast, and is derived from Dalvik’s JIT compiler. In 2014 our team at ARM worked in collaboration with Google to extend ART and its Quick Compiler to add support for 64-bit and for the A64 instruction set. These efforts culminated with the recent release of the Nexus 9 tablet, the first 64-bit Android product to hit the market. Despite Google’s intention of replacing the Quick Compiler with the so-called “Optimizing Compiler”, the job for the the Quick Compiler is not yet over. Indeed, the Quick Compiler will remain the only usable compiler in Android Lollipop. Therefore, all competing parties in the Android ecosystem have a huge interest in investigating and improving this component, which will very likely be one of the battlegrounds in the Android benchmark wars of 2015. This talk aims to give an unofficial overview of ART’s Quick compiler. It will first focus on the internal organisation of the compiler, adopting the point of view of a developer who is interested in understanding its limitations and strengths. The talk will then move to exploring the output produced by the compiler, discussing possible strategies for improving the generated code, while keeping in mind that this component may have a limited life-span, and that any long-term work would be better directed towards the Optimizing Compiler.

  • 11:15 – 12:05 – Secure Media using DMA-buf

Secure data path for media streams involve lots of differents software and hardware elements and is very complexe. The goal of this talk is to expose an hardware independent proposition using open-TEE and dmabuf. Feedback from all SoC experts is more than welcome.

  • 12:10 –  13:00 – OP-TEE for Beginners and Porting Review

Explains the building blocks involved in Security including TrustZone, OP-TEE, Trusted Firmware etc. Goes into detail on how Secure Boot Works.. and Why. Explains how a simple secure Trusted Application interacts with OP-TEE and works. Brief overview on how to port OP-TEE to an ARM platform. Opens discussions for Potential Challenges and Hardware limitations and how they can be overcome.

  • 14:00 – 18:00 – Hacking sessions or training (no description provided)

Thursday 12th

  • 10:10 – 11:00 – Chromium Blink on Wayland with HW accelerated video playback using Gstreamer

Linaro and STM implemented an integration layer between Chromium and Wayland/Gstreamer. The solution allows HW accelerated video playback, high performance GPU accelerated HTML5 rendering. The approach uses hole punching mechanism to compose the UI layer on the top of the video content. The Gstreamer Chromium plugin is implemented trough the Pepper API. The presentation will provide implementation details on the Wayland/Chromium/Gstreamer integration.

  • 11:15 – 12:05 – EME implementation in Chromium: Linaro Clear Key

An example of a key system from a Clear Key point of view. Linaro implemented a sample CDM plugin for Chromium capable to exercise the EME implementation of the browser. The presentation gives an insight to the EME/CDM implementation in Chromium and the guidelines to integrating various DRM systems. We will present call flows with example classes, experiences learned, and example of things to watch out for.

  • 12:10 – 13:00 – ARM v8-A NEON optimization

With FFT optimization as an example, the following topics are discussed:

  1. Performance boost using ARM v8-A NEON
  2. NEON-optimization workflow for Ne10
  3. Some tips with example of Ne10 FFT and Android libraries
  4. Performance comparison between assembly and intrinsic
  • 14:00 – 18:00 – Hacking sessions or training (no description provided)

Friday 13th

  •  10:10 – 11:00 – Toolchain Performance Analysis and Investigations

This session will present a workflow of analyzing application or benchmark performance and ways investigate how performance can be increased by improving the toolchain. The session will cover use of profiling tools, reading of compiler optimization dumps, reducing optimization problems using compiler debug counters, and submitting optimization request/bug report to compiler developers

  • 11:15 – 12:05 – Power Management interactions with OP-TEE and Trusted Firmware

Understand what use cases related to Power Management have to interact with Trusted Firmware via Secure calls. Walk through some key use cases like CPU Suspend and explain how PM Linux drivers interacts with Trusted Firmware / PSCI (Power State Coordination Interface).

That’s it for the schedule, I find there are a lot of sessions about security, mainly OP-TEE, so this should become something important.

Linaro 2015 Demos

Beside keynotes, sessions, and training, there will be several demos during the event including:

  • Linaro Clear Key CDM
  • Chromium on Wayland with Gstreamer
  • Linaro Web Browser Test Framework
  • Demo of VLANd
  • l2fwd (See code on github)
  • OVS – x86 – ARM
  • ODP on Cavium platform
  • OpenJDK running on ARMv8 hardware
  • OpenStack running on ARMv8 hardware
  • Android support for clang 3.6 and gcc 5.0
  • Ceph on remote server cluster
  • UEFI on BeagleBone Black

If you want to attend Linaro Connect HK 2015, you can register online for £941.50 (~$1420 US). Live and recorded sessions should also be available for free via Linaro OnAir YouTube account.

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Project Ara Modular Phone Update

January 15th, 2015 1 comment

The modular phone concept started with PhoneBloks, whose founders shortly got to work with Motorola Project Ara, and since Google bought parts of Motorola, the concept is now part a Google’s project. Project Ara Developers Conference 2015 has taken place yesterday in California, but if you’ve missed it, another one is planned in Singapore on January 21, and it will also be live-streamed.

Ara Phone MDK 0.2 (Click to Enlarge)

Spiral 2 Hardware  (Click to Enlarge)

We’ve now got a bit more information, a neat video has been uploaded to YouTube showing how a battery, a (broken) display, speakers, and camera modules would slide into the phone, and a pilot project has started in Puerto Rico.

Google has very recently shipped Spiral 2 developer hardware enable prototyping and development of modules for the Ara platform. The kit consists of:

  1. A board with the UniPro Switch in the Ara endoskeleton and multiple modules interfaces with UniPro Bridge ASICs (Tosbiba T6WM8XBG-0001) supporting multiple bridged  and tunneled protocols;
  2. An Application Processor (AP) board with a custom version of Linaro Android
  3. Connectors and cables.

The Module Developers Kit (MDK) is freely available for download and contains Ara MDK v.02 specifications, hardware schematics, PCB layout, and BoM for the main board and some prototype modules, and 3D printing files (STP). There are AP boards for Nvidia Tegra K1 and Marvell PXA1928 processors in the MDK, also with all hardware design files, but I’m not entirely sure which one is provided with Spiral 2 hardware. For now, Project Ara looks mostly looks like an 100% hardware project (and open source), at least from the community perspective, but the company is also developing APIs that will let people create ways for users to customize their devices. Some code is available on github too, but nothing about Android for now, except an empty Wiki.

That’s the video. Looks cool, right?

People living in Puerto Rico will be able to try out Project Ara thanks to a pilot program, scheduled to start in H2 2015, where Google ATAP will start selling modular phone in partnership OpenMobile and Claro carriers, as well as roll out trucks where people will be able to try and buy modular phones, and a few of the 20 to 30 modules available at launch.

Ara_TruckYou can find more details about the pilot program on The Verge.

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How to Install Ubuntu ARM64 on Nexus 9 Tablet

December 28th, 2014 5 comments

HTC Nexus 9 is one of the first 64-bit ARM platform with powerful ARMv8 cores (e.g. not Cortex A53) that both commercially available, and relatively affordable at $399 to $599, at least significantly cheaper than the server boards such as Applied Micro X-C1. The tablet comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, but for those of you who wish to have an ARM64 platform running Ubuntu or other 64-bit Linux operating systems, Ubuntu installation instructions provided by Ryan Houdek, Dolphin emulator developer, might come handy, especially it won’t affect your Android installation provided you have already unlocked your bootloader.

Google_Nexus_9_UbuntuThe instructions are fairly long so I won’t reproduce them all here, so I recommend you check the detailed instructions on XDA, but the short summary below may give an idea of the amount of work needed:

  1. Install dependencies such as Aarch64 toolchain:
    sudo apt-get install gcc g++ git gcc-4.9-aarch64-linux-gnu g++-4.9-aarch64-linux-gnu
  2. Build a initramfs with buildroot. You’ll need to enable Aarch64 Linaro toolchain, set consolle output to ttyFIQ0, and select cpio roots in menuconfig step:
    git clone https://github.com/buildroot/buildroot.git
    cd buildroot
    make menuconfig
    make -j8
  3. Build the Linux kernel. Again you’ll have to change a bunch of options in make menuconfig step related to watchdog, graphics supports, and overall system configuration:
    git clone https://android.googlesource.com/kernel/tegra.git
    cd tegra
    git checkout android-tegra-flounder-3.10-lollipop-release
    export ARCH=arm64
    export CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
    make flounder_defconfig
    make menuconfig
    make -j8
  4. Extract a rootfs (e.g. ubuntu-core-14.04.1-core-arm64.tar.gz) to a USB flash drive formatted with EXT-2/3/4, make some minor modifications to the rootfs, and rebuil the kernel. Once everything is don and well, boot Ubuntu with fastboot as follow:
    fastboot -c "console=fbcon=rotate:1 root=/dev/sda1 rootwait rw" boot arch/arm64/boot/Image.gz-dtb

Beside the Nexus 9, a USB OTG cable, and a USB flash drive required for installing Ubuntu ARM64 with these instructions, you should really make a headphone UART debug cable as accessing the serial console with make it easier to spot potential issues during installation.

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