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Posts Tagged ‘hisilicon’

$15 RobinCore WiFi IoT Module Runs OpenWrt, Supports 720p Video Encoding (Crowdfunding)

March 27th, 2016 7 comments

Do you remember VoCore? It was a low cost OpenWrt WiFi IoT module based on Mediatek RT5350 processor, that had a very successful crowdfunding campaign managed by a single developer, and the project is still going strong with VoCore2 being in the works. Another developer had the idea of doing something similar but based on HiSilicon Hi3518 ARM9 processor with more memory and support for 720p video encoding making it suitable for HD drone camera, compact video cameras, and so on. Meet RobinCore.

RobinCoreRobinCore specifications:

  • SoC – Hisilicon Hi3518E ARM926 processor @ 440MHz with H.264 encoder([email protected])
  • System Memory – 64MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16 MB NOR flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi via Mediatek MT7601U with on-board chip antenna
  • Debugging – micro USB port
  • Expansion – 2x 30-pin 2.0mm pitch through holes with access to 10/100M Ethernet, UART, I2C, SPI, SDIO, ADC, PWM, JTAG and GPIOs
  • Power Support – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 33 x 27 mm
RobinCore Pin Assignment

RobinCore Pin Assignment

The board runs OpenWrt 15.05 with Linux 3.18 or HiSilicon Linux SDK with Linux 3.0.8. The developer has already released some binary images and script, as well as documented is progress on RobinCore.org. Source code has not been released, but he plans to submit patch files to OpenWrt trunk  for hi3518e soon. I’ve been told HiSilicon SDK normally costs $10k – at least outside of China-, but the developer confirmed by email that he obtained HiSilicon SDK and documentation from an authorized agent of HiSilicon, and as well as H.264 video library and API. He also claims to be releasing PCB layout, schematics, documents and full source code for U-boot, the Linux Kernel, OpenWrt, and applications such as the RTSP server, and DVR program if the campaign is successful.

RobinCore_RobinCam_RobinMac

Two add-on boards (aka docks) have also been developed:

  • RobinCam board with Omnivision OV9712 HD CMOS sensor and a wide-angle lens
  • RobinMac with 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port,a microphone and a SD card slot.

As you can see from the picture above both boards can be connected together to RobinCore.

The project has now launched on Indiegogo (fixed funding), where Robin, the developer, aims to raise at least $7,000 to go ahead with production. A $15 pledge should get you RobinCore, $20 RobinCore with RobinMac dock, $25 RobinCore with RobinCam dock, and $30 the board with the two docks. Shipping adds $3 to anywhere in the world, and delivery is planned 2 weeks after the campaign ends, so around June 2016 with a production run for 500 units.

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Hisilicon HI3798C V200 64-bit ARM Processor Supports HDMI 2.0, 10-bit HEVC, USB 3.0, SATA and More

September 15th, 2015 29 comments

There have been several Cortex A53 processors announced or released on the market such as Rockchip RK3368, Allwinner A64, or Amlogic S905, but in many cases I can read comments complaining about the lack of high speed interface, incomplete code support, or a weak GPU. Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 offers better features than its competitor, as beside four Cortex A53 cores, it includes a Mali-720 GPU, supports HDMI 2.0 output up to 4K at 60 HZ, 10-bit HEVC / H.265 and VP9 video decoding at 3840×2160 resolution at 60 fps, and integrates SATA and USB 3.0 interfaces.

Hi3798C V200 Demo Platform at IBC 2015 (Click to Enlarge)

Hi3798C V200 Demo Platform with Digital Tuner at IBC 2015 (Click to Enlarge)

Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 key features and specifications:

  • CPU – Quad core Cortex A53 processor (15K DMIPS)
  • GPU – ARM Mali-T720 supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/2.0, OpenVG1.1, EGL, and Imprex 2.0 PQ engine
  • Memory I/F – DDR3 or DDR4
  • Video Engine (VPU)
    • Codecs – HEVC, H.264, VP9, VC1, MPEG2
    • Decoder – 10-bit up to 4Kp60
    • Encoder – H.264 @ 1080p30 or dual 720p30
    • HiVXE 2.0 video engine supporting 4Kp60 H.265 and VP9 decoding, 1080p PiP and video transcoding
    • Dolby Vision & HDR10 for “best-in-class video quality experience”
  • Peripherals:
    • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a TX with HDCP 2.2
    • Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet
    • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
    • Storage – SATA and 2x SDIO
    • Transport Stream – 4x TS In + 2x TS In or Out with support for Full-band Capture (FBC) tuner
    • Expansion – PCIe
  • Security – Advanced DRM and CAS, Trustzone, Hardware based video watermarking

The company can provide Android 5.x and Linux SDK for the processor. Hi3798C V200 will target Ultra HD set-top boxes (STBs) for the DVB, IPTV, and OTT markets, and Hisilicon claims it is the “first global Ultra HD STB chipset solution to support Dolby Vision high-dynamic-range (HDR) technology.”

I could not find any details about availability of the processor, nor when TV box based on the solution are to be expected.

Thanks to Ovi for the tip.

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Linaro 15.07 Release with Linux 4.2 and Android 5.1

July 31st, 2015 No comments

Linaro 15.07 has been released with Linux 4.2-rc3 (Baseline), Linux 3.10.83, 3.14.45 and 3.18.17 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1_r8.

The Linux kernel got various bug fixes, and a power reduction technique has been implemented for Qualcomm processor. Progress has been made to boot Android with UEFI on Hikey board, and work is still on-going on 96boards including Hisilicon Hikey, Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, and an upcoming and yet-to-be-formally-announced Marvell PXA1928 board called Helium.

Highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 4.2-rc3-2015.07
    • linaro-android topic updated to 4.2-rc3 and recent AOSP/android-3.18
    • included GATOR version 5.21.1
    • llct-misc-fixes topic: “HACK: of: Limit FDT size for CRC check on arm64” has been dropped. FVP model was the last target to require this hack, but the new FVP firmware doesn’t need it anymore
    • updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT: Versatile Express TC2 support is back, HDLCD display now works on TC2, the topic will be renamed to integration-linaro-vexpress next cycle
    • updated integration-linux-qcomlt topic by Qualcomm LT: QCOM Core Power Reduction (CPR) support has been added
    • linaro-builddeb-tweaks topic is dropped (most of our changes have been upstreamed)
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 15.07
    • Android baseline updated to 5.1.1_r8
    • ART CI setup for TIP and stable builds
      • Boot to gui tests added for tip and stable builds
      • ART code coverage for tip and stable builds
      • m-preview based builds setup for emulators
      • ART-host-gtests added for tip and stable builds
    • Hikey builds updated to 5.1.1_r8. Android boots with UEFI and GRUB on HiKey. Wifi drivers are integrated in the build system. Drivers are built as part of Android build process.
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.07
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2015.06
    • updated linux-linaro to 4.2-rc3
    • disabled aarch64 bootwrapper
    • integrated various improvements for LNG CI
    • upstreaming:
      • fixed bootimg.bbclass to work with all kernel image types
      • fixed cmake builds for native recipes
  • Linaro Ubuntu 15.07 – updated packages: fvp-pre-boot (FVP firmware), LSK 3.10.83/3.14.45/3.18.17 and linux-linaro 4.2-rc3 kernels
  • 96boards contributions:
    • DragonBoard 410c is now using NetworkManager only to manage the network (previously a combination with systemd-networkd/resolved has been used).
    • HiKey made some progress toward the switch to UEFI. GRUB is now integrated into the snapshots builds for both AOSP and Debian.
    • Initial Debian based build for Marvell PXA1928 Helium is setup and available.

Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1507/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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HiSilicon D02 Server Board Supports up to 64 ARM Cortex A57 Cores

February 16th, 2015 11 comments

HiSilicon has showcased their latest server SoC and board at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015, with up to two processors with 32 Cortex A57 cores @ 2.1GHz, 8 DIMM DDR3 slots (up to 128 GB RAM), 12 SATA ports, 4 PCIe slots, 10GbE / GbE ports.

HiSilicon_D02D02 board specifications:

  • SoC – Hisilicon PhosphorV660 Hip05 with 16 to 32 ARM Cortex-A57 cores @ up to 2.1GHz and 1MB L2 cache/cluster, 32MB L3 cache
  • System Memory – 2x Memory channel 4x DDR3 DIMM(4x DIMM per processor)
  • Storage
    • 12x SAS 3.0 ports @ 12 Gbps (8 for the first processor, 4 for the second).  SAS port are compatible with SATA drives. You may want to read SAS vs SATA post for more details about SAS.
    • 2x SPI Flash 158Mb BIOS/UEFI
    • 1Gb NorFlash
  • Connectivity – 2×10/100/1000Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x xGE SFP+ ports (10Gb/s)
  • Expansion – 2x 8x PCI express interfaces per processor (4 in total)USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Debugging – 1x UART interface, 1x ARM Tracer connector, 1x JTAG interface
  • Misc – RTC battery
  • Power – ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – 305 x xyz mm (SSI-EEB/E-ATX Compatible). xyz = 330, 257, 272, 264, or 267 (Not sure yet)

The board can run Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, or Fedora. The company has released a hacking manual for D02 board, where you can find more details, and learn how to build the kernel, and hack around with Grub and UEFI among other things.

For example, provided you’ve already installed the right development tools,. including Aarch64 toolchain, you should be able to build the kernel for the board as follows:

Binary files can also be downloaded directly from https://github.com/hisilicon/d02_binary.

Charbax filmed a demo of the board running Ubuntu, Linaro LAVA server, and LXC (Linux Containers). The board currently come with Hip05 SoC with 16 Cortex A57 cores, but in a couple of months, the version with 32 cores will come out, and and Linaro engineers working on ARM64 server should get their hands on several boards.

Via ARMdevices.net

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ARM Unveils Cortex A72 Processor and Mali-T880 GPU

February 4th, 2015 5 comments

ARM has just announced their new Cortex A72 ARMv8 core with 3.5 times the performance of Cortex A15 ARMv7 cores, together with Mali-T880 GPU delivering 1.8 times the performance of  Mali-T760, and CoreLink CCI-500 Cache Coherent Interconnect to link the new CPU, GPU and I/Os together.

ARM Cortex A72

Cortex-A72Some of the key features of the new core include:

  • Architecture – ARMv8-A
  • Multicore – 1-4x SMP within a single processor cluster, and multiple coherent SMP processor clusters through AMBA 5 CHI or AMBA 4 ACE technology
  • ISA Support
    • AArch32 for full backward compatibility with ARMv7
    • AArch64 for 64-bit support and new architectural features
    • TrustZone security technology
    • NEON Advanced SIMD
    • DSP & SIMD extensions
    • VFPv4 Floating point
    • Hardware virtualization support
  • Cache – 48KB I-cache, 32KB D-cache, and 512 KB to 2MB L2 cache with ECC
  • Debug & Trace – CoreSight DK-A57
  • Process – 16nm FinFET

A cluster can support up to 4 Cortex A72 cores clocked up to 2.5 GHz in mobile devices and higher frequencies for larger form factor devices such as servers. Cortex A72 cores may also be combined with low power Cortex A53 cores in big.LITTLE configuration for power efficient SoCs.

Cortex_A72_Performance

Relative Performance – Cortex A15 vs Cortex A57 vs Cortex A72

ARM also claims 75% power usage reduction in typical mobile workloads thanks to the new 16nm FinFET manufacturing processor. Expected applications include premium smartphones, larger screen mobile devices, enterprise networking, servers, wireless infrastructure, digital TV, and automotive ADAS/IVAI.

ARM Mali-T880 GPU

Mali-T880_GPUTechnical specifications for Mali-T880 GPU:

  • Anti-Aliasing – 4x MSAA, 8x MSAA, 16x MSAA
  • API Support
    • OpenGL ES 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1
    • OpenCL 1.1, 1.2
    • DirectX 11 FL11_2
    • RenderScript
  • Bus Interface – AMBA4, ACE-LITE
  • L2 Cache – 256 to 2048KB (256 to 512KB for every 4 shader cores
  • Memory System – Virtual Memory with built-in Memory Management Unit (MMU)
  • Multi-Core Scaling – 1 to 16 cores
  • Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ATSC) – Low dynamic range (LDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) for 2D and 3D images
  • ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) – 4×4 pixel block size (lossless image compression format)
  • Transaction Elimination – 16×16 pixel block size (Only performs a partial update to the frame buffer with the changed pixel blocks)
  • Smart Composition – 16×16 pixel block size (Identical pixel blocks of input surfaces are not read, not processed for composition and not written to final frame buffer)

The GPU is also manufactured with 16nm FinFET process. Mali-T880MP16 can be clocked up to 850 MHz, and outputs up to 1700 million triangles per second, and 13.6 gigapixels per second. That’s 1.8 times better performance than Mali-T760, and ARM also claims 40% more energy efficiency.

ARM Cortex A75 processor, Mali-T880 GPU, CoreLink-C500 cache coherent interconnect, Mali-DP550 display processor unit, and  Mali-V550 video processor can be combined to create SoCs support 4K video output, and decoding up to 120 fps.

Ten partners have already become licensees including Rockchip, Mediatek, and HiSilicon, and products are expected in (early) 2016. Further details may be found on ARM’s Cortex A72 and Mali-T880 product pages.

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How to Upgrade Firmware in HiSilicon Hi3798M TV Boxes

January 13th, 2015 7 comments
HiSilicon based Android TV boxes are not that popular, at least outside of China, but I’ve got one with BFS 4KH featuring HiSilicon Hi3798M processor, and since we could not fix AC3 audio decoding after a factory reset in the firmware I have, the company provided me with a new firmware, and I’ll document the procedure I followed below.
  1. Download the firmware, the file should be update.zip. For BFS 4KH, I could get it @ http://pan.baidu.com/s/1kTrCcMr (password: xpef). It includes YouTube and Google Play, but not the Rainbow launcher, nor XBMC, but these can be side-loaded.
  2. Now copy update.zip on the root of a USB flash drive formatted with FAT32, and at least 1GB free storage.
  3. Connect the USB flash to the USB 2.0 port of the device, as the USB 3.0 port can’t be used for firmware upgrade.
  4. In the current firmware, go to Settings->System->Local Update, and select the drive letter for the USB drive (e.g. D), and you should be prompted with a window asking you want to go ahead with the upgrade.
    hisilicon_firmware_upgrade
  5. The box will then reboot, show the usual Android upgrade animation, and reboot automatically in the new firmware.
  6. Done

Overall the procedure is very similar what is done on Amlogic devices.

Now the test firmware I received did not include XBMC, nor the necessary codec. So I installed XBMC for HiSilicon (password: amaw) and MXPlayerCodec (works with BFS 4KH only), and I could run XBMC, and downmixed audio worked with AC3, and some other Dolby and DTS codec.

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Hisilicon Hi3798M Quad Core Android TV Box with USB 3.0, and 4K / HEVC Support Sells for $53

December 8th, 2014 4 comments

I’ve been informed about a quad core Cortex A7 TV box supporting 2160p output, H.265 codec and featuring a USB 3.0 port, that’s currently selling for just $52.99 on Aliexpress including shipping, as well as Ebay for $62 from the same seller. Only “quad core ARM cortex A7” was listed in the specs, and the exact processor was not mentioned, but I could see marketing material about “Q3 quad core” used, and a quick search redirected me to Himedia Q3 Quad Core also powered by an Hisilicon processor, but a different device. So I decided to contact the seller (“Buyforsure”) who quickly replied it was indeed powered by Hisilicon Hi3798M processor.

Hisilicon_quad_core_TV_box

The model is called BFS 4KH on Aliexpress/Ebay, but that name has probably been made up by the seller, so it will also be found under other name. Nevertheless here are the specifications of this low cost 4K TV Box:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798M V100 quad core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.5GHz + quad core ARM Mali-450MP GPU.
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash
  • Video Out – HDMI 1.4a with HDCP 1.2, and composite RCA output
  • Audio Output – HDMI, and L/R stereo output (RCA)
  • Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4, H.264/AVC, H.265, VC-1, REALVIDEO 8/9/10, XviD, DviX, VP6 ,etc.. up to 2160p
  • Audio Support – MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, FLAC, WAV, MKA, DTS, DTS HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD,
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Misc – Power switch (On/Off)
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Dimensions – N/A

4KH_Media_player_Hisilicon_Hi3798M_USB_3.0

The box runs Android 4.4.2 with Google Play support, and XBMC pre-installed. It ships with an IR remote control, a power adapter, and an HDMI cable. Supported file systems include NTFS, FAT32, and EXT2/3. In theory, it’s great to have a USB 3.0 port, but it becomes pretty useless, as least for storage devices, if all you have is 10/100M Ethernet, or 802.11n Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, this HiSilicon processor only features an 10/100M Ethernet PHY, so it’s a limitation from the processor itself, and not the device. The power on/off switch is mechanical, but power control is allegedly handled by an MCU, which could allow clean power off, and power on from the remote control.

I’ve included a block diagram for Hi3798M for reference below. Also it only shows 1080p60 for the video decoder, the product brief specifies 4K x  2K video decoding is indeed supported.

Hi3798M V100 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Hi3798M V100 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Thanks to Gabe for the tip.

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Huawei Introduces Kirin 620 Octa Core Cortex A53 LTE SoC for Smartphones

December 3rd, 2014 1 comment

Huawei / Hisilicon has announced a new 64-bit ARM processor with Kirin 620 featuring eight ARM Cortex A53 cores coupled with a Mali-450MP GPU, as well as an LTE Cat4 modem.

Kirin_620Key specifications of this application processor include:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.2 GHz
  • GPU – Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • Memory – LPDDR3
  • Camera – 13MP, ZSL (Zero Shutter Lag), HDR
  • Video – Decode & Encode: 1080p30 H.264
  • Cellular connectivity – LET Cat4 150M/50M, HSPA+ Cat24 42M / Cat6 5.76M, TDS R7 2.8M/2.2M, GSM R6 Class33
  • Voice Solution – VoLTE/eSRVCC, CSFB, SGLTE, DSDA, DSDS
  • Peripherals – USB, HSIC, SD/MMC, DMAC
  • Process – 28 nm

Kiron_620_block_diagram

That’s about all I know so far. Hisilicon mobile SoCs have not found their way in many handsets in the past, apart from Huawei smartphones. We’ll see if that one becomes more popular.

Via AndroidPC.es and Android Headlines.

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