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Posts Tagged ‘intel’

Meet Blocks, a Tizen Modular Smartwatch based on Edison Board

October 17th, 2014 3 comments

If you like Phoneblocks / Project Ara module model concept, you may also be interested in Blocks, a modular smartwatch comprised of blocks connected via 3.5mm jacks. The watch is running Tizen on Edison development board powered by Intel dual-core Atom + Quark SoC, and part of the 10 finalists of Intel’s Make It Wearable challenge.

Customizable_Smartwatch_Blocks

Most smartwatches comes with a dumb” watchband, but with Blocks both the actual watch, and watchband are smart and customizable. You can change from round to square display, and add modules, which are part of the watchband, adding features like GPS, heat rate monitor, motion sensors, extra battery capacity, SIM card, contactless payment, temperature sensors, and so on. Each module also have a removable cover to let you change the color. One of the main drawbacks of current smartwatches is the battery life (1 to 2 days), so if it is possible to connect battery modules in series to get over a week of battery life, it could certainly be interesting. The best way to see how it all fits together is to watch the video below.

Blocks is still in development, and (partially?) funded by Intel, but the company is planning a crowdfunding campaign in 2015, and you can reserve your modular watch for a $50 refundable deposit, which will ensure you get an early bird price once the campaign goes live. Techcrunch reports the core block with touchscreen, processor, and Bluetooth module, will cost between $120 to $150, and each extra module will go for an extra $20 to $40. Shipping is scheduled for late 2015.

Visit Blocks website for a few more details, and register for news. You may also want to read Intel’s blog post about Blocks.

Via LinuxGizmos and Tizen Experts.

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Intel / Rockchip XMM 6321 Solution for Low Cost 3G Smartphones and Tablets

October 16th, 2014 4 comments

Back in May, Intel and Rockchip announced a partnership to develop 3G and LTE “Sofia” SoC for mobile devices, a few months later, Rockchip VP posted a picture of dual core development board (6321 solution) on Weibo with Rockchip and Intel technology, and the companies have showcased solutions based on XMM 6321 during the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.
XMM6321_XG632_AG620Intel XMM 6321 appears to be a two-chip solution comprised of:

  • XG632 SoC with a dual core Intel processor, a GPU, ISP?, VPU and a 2G/3G modem
  • Intel/Infineon AG620 Communication Combo with 2G/3G RF, Wi-Fi/BT, GPS, GLONASS and Audio/PMU.

XG632 will be the first processor from Intel and Rockchip collaboration, but it may not be part of “Sofia” family. with quad core 64-bit Sofia 3G-R and Sofia LTE SoCs coming at later date. XG632 is for entry-level smartphones (<$30) and tablets (<$40), whereas the upcoming Sofia SoCs will be seen in mainstream devices.

Charbax filmed Rockchip solutions at Hong Kong Electronics Fair, and he claims XG632 is actually a dual ARM Cortex A5 processor, but this is not consistent with the diagram above showing an “Intel Dual-Core”, and I could not confirm it with any other news sources, so wait and see.

Via AndroidPC.es and ARMdevices.net

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MEEGO-T01 HDMI TV Stick Supports Android, Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu/Linux

October 15th, 2014 15 comments

ARM based HDMI TV dongles have been available for over two years, mostly running Android, but the community has managed to install Linux desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu or Debian on these tiny gadgets with some limitations. But now that Intel is making low power SoC for tablets, at least one company has decided to make an HDMI TV stick powered by Intel “Bay Trail-T” Z3735F/G quad core processor, which can run Android, Windows 8.1, and Linux based desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu.

MEEGO-T01Meegopad MEEGO-T01 (aka APM-D01?) hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F / Z3735G “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics (2W TDP)
  • System Memory
    • 1 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735G (32-bit up to 5.3 GB/s)
    • 2 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735F (64-bit up to 10.6 GB/s)
  • Storage – 16 or 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BS)
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 99.6 x 37.6 x 9.6 mm
  • Weight – 46 grams

Android and Windows 8.1 are supported according to the specifications, and Linux/Ubuntu is vaguely mentioned, so it may not be fully supported at this time, other Bay Trail-T mini PC can run Ubuntu with some caveats, so hopefully issues can be ironed out, and we can finally have an HDMI stick running Ubuntu / Debian with full 2D/3D GPU acceleration, and video hardware decoding support.

Intel_HDMI_TV_Stick_BoardThe PCB name is DAONH1MB6A0, and appears to have been designed by a Taiwanese public company called “HannStar Board Corporation“.

MEEGO-T01 / APM-D01 / Meegopad T01 (not sure of the name) is not available for retail yet, but it’s listed on Alibaba, as well as on Shenzhen APEC Electronic’s APM-D01 product page. I could not find any price information, except the very vague, and unreliable, “$1 to $70″ on Alibaba.

Via Mini PC G+ community

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$50 Intel Edison Board for Wearables Features an SoC with a Dual Core Atom Processor, and a Quark MCU

September 10th, 2014 7 comments

Intel announced the Edison board for wearables applications last January at CES 2014. When it first came out, it looked like an SD card, but the board look has now drastically changed. Nevertheless, the important point is that Intel Edison is now available, together with various development kits, and runs Linux (Yocto built), as well as an RTOS.

Intel_Edison_ModuleWith the official release, we’ve also got the full specifications:

  • SoC – Dual-core, dual-threaded Intel Atom (Silvermont) processor (22nm) processor @ 500 MHz and a 32-bit Intel Quark micro-controller @ 100 MHz. Includes 1GB LPDDR3 PoP memory
  • System Memory – 1 GB LPDDR3 (PoP memory) – 2 channel 32bits @ 800MT/sec
  • Storage – 4 GB eMMC (v4.51 spec) + micro SD card connector
  • Connectivity –  Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (Broadcom 43340) with either an on-board antenna or external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x micro USB connector
  • I/Os:
    • 2x UART  (1 full flow control, 1 Rx/Tx)
    • 2x I2C, 1x SPI with 2 chip selects
    • 1x I2S
    • 12x GPIO including 4 capable of PWM output
  • Module connector – 70-pin connector (Hirose DF40 series – 1.5, 2.0, or 3.0 mm stack height)
  • Power Supply – Input: 3.3 to 4.5 V; Output: 100mA @ 3.3V and 100 mA @ 1.8V
  • Power consumption – Standby (No radio): 13 mW;  Standby (Bluetooth 4.0): 21.5 mW (BLE in Q4 2014);  Standby (Wi-Fi): 35 mW.
  • Dimensions – 35.5 × 25.0 × 3.9 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 40°C

The company will provide Yocto 1.6 Linux for the two cores of the Atom processor, and the Quark MCU will run an unnamed RTOS. Development tools for the Atom cores includes the Arduino IDE, Eclipse with support for C, C++ and Python programming languages, and Intel XDK for Node.JS and HTML5 development. An SDK and IDE will be available for the Quark MCU. Intel IoT Analytics Platform is the cloud solution adopted for the board, and will be free for limited and non-commercial use.

Intel Edison Arduino (Click to Enlarge)

Intel Edison Board for Arduino (Click to Enlarge)

Edison is basically a module, so it might be useful to have a baseboard, and Intel has come up with two:

  • Intel Edison Board for Arduino – Board with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and headers compatible with Arduino UNO expect it only supports 4 PWM instead of 6.
  • Intel Edison Breakout Board – Minimal board with the following key features:
    • Exposes native 1.8 V I/O of the Edison module.
    • 0.1″ grid I/O array of through-hole solder points.
    • USB OTG with USB Micro Type-AB connector
    • USB OTG power switch.
    • Battery charger.
    • USB to device UART bridge with USB micro Type-B connector.
    • DC power supply jack (7 to 15 VDC input).

Documentation including a product brief, hardware guides for Edison board for Arduino and the Breakout board, the Arduino IDE, and the instructions to get the Yocto BSP can be downloaded on Intel’s Edison Board page.

Intel Edison is available for backorder on Sparkfun for $49.95, and Edison for Arduino and Edison Breakout Board kits are listed Maker Shed for respectively $107 and $75, but currently out of stock. There’s also a Starter Pack on Sparkun for $114.95. Shipping is expected in 6 to 8 weeks.

Thanks to David and Freire.

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Intel Reference Design Program for Android Promises Devices with Firmware Updates Tracking AOSP for 2 Years

September 10th, 2014 8 comments

If you’ve ever bought a low cost Chinese smartphone or tablet, you must know you can’t really expect firmware updates, especially with a different Android version. For example, if you’ve purchased an Android 4.1 phone or tablet a couple of years ago, more likely than not, it’s still stuck to the same version. Intel intends to change all that by launching the Intel Reference Design Program for Android.

Intel_Reference_Design_for_AndroidYes, Intel has provided reference designs in the past, but this program goes further, especially with regards to Android support, and firmware updates.

This is the way it all works:

  1. Manufacturers can choose a set of pre-qualified components to build their Android device.
  2. Intel will provide a single Android image that works with the drivers to support all components.
  3. Intel will take care of GMS (Google Mobile Service), and CTS (pre-)certification for their customers.
  4. Intel has committed to provide updates within 2 weeks of an AOSP update, for 2-year post-device launch.

So if you buy a new tablet part of Intel Reference Design Program for Android, you won’t have to worry about firmware upgrades, and you should get an image based on the latest AOSP release on your device within 2 weeks of a release.

Usually “reference design” refers to a single hardware design that manufacturers can copy, but in this case, I understand Intel solution will allow for more flexibility in the design, as they’ll support several touchscreen panels, displays, sensors, etc…, and it will be up to the OEM/ODM to select the ones they want in their design.

Details of the program do not seem to be available online, and they’ll probably need to find a way to indicate which Intel tablets are compliant with the program, so that consumers know which devices are actually supported.

Via Liliputing

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Intel Unveils Broadwell-Y Core M Processors with 4.5W TDP: 5Y70m 5Y10 and 5Y10a

September 7th, 2014 5 comments

ARM still have an edge in terms of power efficiency, but Intel has historically had an edge when it comes to process technology, and the company has announced their first 14-nm processors with three Broadwell Core M SoCs. The new process will also help with power efficiency, as all processors have 4.5W TDP, and Intel claims a Core M laptop will deliver twice the compute performance, and seven times more graphics processing power compared to a 2010 laptop powered by a 18W Core i5 processor, while doubling the battery life. Compared to more recent 4th generation Intel Core “Haswell” CPU, the new chips are said to offer up to 50 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent graphics on a performance-per-watt basis.

Intel_Core_M_Die_Map

The company reveals three Core-M processors: 5Y70, 5Y10, and 5Y10a, all dual core / quad thread processor with base frequencies between 800 and 1,100 MHz, and turbo frequencies between 2 and 2.6 GHz, as well as an an Intel HD 5300 GPU clocked at 800 or 850 MHz depending on the model. The differences between the three processors are listed in the table below (Source: Anandtech)

Intel Core M Specifications
Core M-5Y70 Core M-5Y10a Core M-5Y10
Cores / Threads 2 / 4 2 / 4 2 / 4
Base Frequency / MHz 1100 800 800
Turbo Frequency / MHz 2600 2000 2000
Processor Graphics HD 5300 HD 5300 HD 5300
IGP Base Frequency / MHz 100 100 100
IGP Turbo Frequency / MHz 850 800 800
L3 Cache 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB
TDP 4.5 W 4.5 W 4.5 W
LPDDR3/DDR3L Support 1600 MHz 1600 MHz 1600 MHz
Intel vPro Yes No No
Intel TXT Yes No No
Intel VT-d/VT-x Yes Yes Yes
Intel AES-NI Yes Yes Yes

5Y10 and 5Y10a are very similar (all specs are identical in the table above), but Anandtech reports one of Intel slides indicates that 5Y10 supports “4W Config Down TDP” (cTDP Down). The GPU will support DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.2, and OpenCL 2.0, support UHD resolution, and Intel Quick Sync Video, which should allow up to 1.7 hours extra battery life with a 35Whr battery compared to previous generations. If you want more technical information, you may want to visit Intel Core M page where you’ll find a product brief, and two datasheets.

Intel Core M processors will be found in thin (<9 mm), fanless 2-in-1 tablet/nodtebook hybrids and laptops that will be available later this year. Five companies have announced products with the latest low power chips by Intel: Acer (Aspire Switch 12), ASUS (Zenbook UX305), Dell (Latitude 13 7000 Series), HP (ENVY x2), and Lenovo (ThinkPad Helix). Since all three Core M SoCs have a price of $281 (1k order), they will only be found in high-end laptops or tablets, and all products aforementioned sells for around $1,000 or more. You can get a run-down of four of the devices on Liliputing.

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Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014 Schedule – IoT, ARM vs x86, Optimization, Power Management, Debugging…

August 21st, 2014 2 comments

The Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC 2014), CloudOpen, and LinuxCon Europe will jointly take place at the Congress Centre Düsseldorf, in Germany on October 13 – 15, 2014. The 3-day events will consists of keynotes, presentations, and tutorials. Each day will open with two or three keynotes by speakers including  Jim Zemlin (Executive Director, Linux Foundation), and Jono Bacon (XPRIZE), followed by presentation and tutorials. There will be 45 presentations for ELCE, 58 for LinuxCon, and 47 for CloudOpen, I’ll make a virtual schedule with a few sessions part of the Embedded Linux Conference Europe “track”.

ELCE_2014

Monday, October 13

When faced with a performance problem, the initial steps towards a solution include identifying the sections of code responsible and the precise reasons they are time-consuming. To this end, the ‘perf’ profiling tools provide valuable insight into the characteristics of a program. The presentation will show, using real-world examples, how the ‘perf’ tools can be used to pinpoint the parts of a program in need of optimization.

It’s not uncommon to produce embedded Linux based devices that end up with long and inconvenient boot times – yet eliminating boot time delays can be difficult and time consuming. Furthermore once a minimal boot time has been achieved it’s often just as difficult to maintain it through subsequent software development.

In this presentation, Andrew unfolds 12 keys lessons learned in his experience of boot time reduction. These lessons provide an insight into the common causes of boot time delays, why they are present and how they can be overcome. In describing these lessons Andrew will also take you on a journey that indicates why file system benchmarks should probably be ignored (with respect to boot time reduction) and a journey that illustrates that the Linux kernel is rarely the worst offender for boot delays.

With the introduction of Bluetooth Smart (aka Low Energy), the ubiquity of Bluetooth is more and more present. Millions of devices support Bluetooth Low Energy and with Bluetooth 4.1 specification, they are ready for the Internet of Things. This presentation will give an overview of Bluetooth Low Energy, and its usage for the Internet of Things. It will also introduce 6loWPAN over Bluetooth and show the possibilities this opens for Linux.

With experience developing community based open hardware for both the ARM based PandaBoard project and the x86 based MinnowBoard project, this presentation will provide a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each platform with highlights of what each platform can learn from the other. Not only limited to the hardware aspect of the platforms, but also discuss community, software, corporate and general embedded aspects.

For almost as long as there have been deployments of Linux, there has been someone wondering “how can I get the device started quicker?” and “how do I configure some redundancy, easily, in case something goes wrong?”. And for the longest time, the answer has been “hack this and this and that” or “hire these consultants, they have done it before”. In this presentation, Tom will show what you need to turn on and the prep work required for, getting a lot of those items out of the box in U-Boot, what the hardware (and/or ROM) needs to do, and the what works is left going forward.

Got a question, comment, gripe, praise, or other communication for the Yocto Project and/or OpenEmbedded? Or maybe you’d just like to learn more about these projects and their influence on the world of embedded Linux? Feel free to join us for an informal BoF.

Tuesday, October 14

While user experiences are increasingly moving to 3D, rendering of 2D content remains at the core of how we interact with computer applications today. Skia is an open-source project maintained by Google whose goal is to bring the best 2D graphics library to a variety of targets, from mobile to desktop and embedded. Skia is used in highly popular projects like Mozilla Firefox, the Chromium browser and Android.

This talk will introduce Skia to developers and users, giving an overview of its design, architecture and features. It will also discuss briefly how hardware acceleration improves performance of Skia in the context of new devices, form-factors and the industry shift to mobile; with focus set on Linux and Android platforms.

The 4.4 KitKat release includes the results of “Project Svelte”: a set of tweaks to the operating system to make it run more easily on devices with around 512 MB RAM. This is especially important for people working with Android Wearables and “Embedded Android”, that is, implementing Android on devices at the lower end of the Android ecosystem. A large part of the problem is knowing how much RAM is really being used. Android offers a variety of tools for the purpose: procrank, procmem, meminfo and procstats, which Chris covers in the first part of the talk. In the second part, he takes a real-world example and show the practical steps you can take to optimize memory use including tuning the size of the Dalvik heap, enabling KSM (Kernel samepage merging) and swap to zRAM.

Android has relied from its early days on the Linux kernel for sandboxing the processes it runs. Yet, the permission model presented to app developers is significantly different from the Unix permission model. What’s the relationship between those two models? How is Android’s app security framework tied to the Linux kernel’s security model? More recently, Android has started using SELinux and has been extended by SEAndroid to support similar functionality. How is SELinux used by Android and what is SEAndroid about? Furthermore, how does Android provide support for multiple users?

This talk will explore Android’s security model in great detail and explain how the functionality found in the kernel is used to isolate user processes and the SE enhancements are leveraged by Android. As we’ll see, there are quite a few moving parts in Android’s security model.

Since last year, Free Electrons has been working on supporting the SoCs from Allwinner, a Chinese SoC vendor, in the mainline kernel. These SoCs are cheap, wide-spread, backed by a strong community and, until last year, only supported by an out-of-tree kernel. Through this talk, Maxime will share the status of this effort: the status a year ago, what solutions were in place, where we are currently, and what to expect from the future. He will also focus on the community around these SoCs, the work that is done there, etc.

Enlightenment Foundation Library is a set of libraries designed to use the full potential of any hardware to do great UI. It has been designed with the embedded devices in mind, but it is a desktop class toolkit. Being done in C, it is providing a stable API/ABI, high efficiency, low memory and low battery usage for all kind of Linux devices. Enabling development of modern UI adapted to any hardware that run Linux. These are the reason why Samsung uses it in its Tizen devices. This talk, after a short overview of what this libraries cover, will focus on this year improvement, and where it is heading. It will also be an opportunity to learn about project around EFL that will help people develop product with it. And it would also be a good opportunity to see where EFL are used with some real use case.

Wednesday, October 15

A major issue the community faces is the lack of power measurement (PM) instrumentation, coupled with poor integration: development boards not designed for it, expensive high-precision lab equipment not accessible to hobbyists (plus limited Linux support), limited low-cost solutions (precision, sampling rate) to monitor high-performance SoC (System On Chips) platforms (e.g. smartphones, tablets, IoT, …). After a brief introduction to the problematic (PM techniques, sense resistor / ADC selection, …) and a comparative study of existing solutions, this presentation will focus on a new upcoming initiative to close these gaps and bring a full-blown multi-channel but low-cost power (and temperature) measurement equipment to the community, including the definition of an open standard PM connector. After having covered motivations, challenges, key decisions, a live demo will close the talk.

In 2013, at the Embedded Linux Conference in Europe in Edinburgh, there was a race between a dog and a blimp. It was said that despite the dogs win, that the blimp had participated in the miracle of flight. In 2014, John wants to show that the brains of that dog can be transplanted and that it too, can participate in the miracle of flight. The talk is mainly targeting taking an off the shelf embedded platform, Minnowboard Max, and it’s use in UAVs, specifically quad-copters. With the ability to do real time computer vision, as well as various GPIO capabilities he will explore the directions that significantly more autonomous UAVs can take with Linux and embedded platforms using, mostly, off the shelf components.

There have been many presentations on what a device tree looks like and how to create a device tree. This talk instead examines how the Linux kernel uses a device tree. Topics include the kernel device tree framework, device creation, resource allocation, driver binding, and connecting objects. Troubleshooting will consider initialization, allocation, and binding ordering; kernel configuration; and driver problems.

Providing real-time capabilities to a general purpose operating system is an outstanding technical problem, and Linux Preempt-RT has been developed for 10 years for this goal. In this presentation, Jim proposes a lightweight open source para-virtualization layer, called “rtmux”, using resource-multiplexing techniques to provide a highly deterministic RT environment for Linux/ARM. Typically, less than 500 lines modification against Linux kernel are required to enable rtmux accompanied by POSIX/PSE51 compatible runtime.

During the last 2.5 years, a team of engineers at Free Electrons has been involved in mainlining the support for several ARM processors from Marvell, converting the not-so-great vendor-specific BSP into mainline quality code progressively merged upstream. This effort of several hundreds working days, has led to the integration of hundreds of patches in the kernel. Through this talk, Thomas will share some lessons learned regarding this mainlining effort, which could be useful to other engineers involved in ARM SoC support, as well as detail the steps Free Electrons engineers have gone through, the mistakes made and how they’ve been solved, as well as their overall experience on this project.

To make your own schedule matching your interests, you can check out the events’ program.

To attend the conference, you can register online.

The fees are listed as follows:

  • All-access Registration Fee – $600 until August 22 (tomorrow), $750 until October 2, and $850 afterwards
  • Attendee Networking Pass Registration – No access to conference sessions. $250 until August 22, $300 afterwards.
  • Student Registration Fee – $200 (valid student id required).
  • Registration Discount Scholar – $300. For active open source community members who can’t be sponsored by their company. .

Fees are significantly higher than last year, because there are only all-in-one (ELCE, CloudOpen and LinuxCon )options, and you can’t simply register to one single event.

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