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Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

Arch Linux ARM Can Now Be Installed on Rockchip Based Hisense Chromebook

July 3rd, 2015 12 comments

Hisense Chromebook C11 is one of the $149 Chromebooks powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor recently launched. So far, I could not find instructions to install any Linux desktop distributions on this type of platform, but now Hisense Chromebook (codename: veyron_jerry) appears to be the first Rockchip platform officially supported by Arch Linux ARM (ALARM).

Hisense_Chromebook_Arch_Linux_ARM

Hardware video decoding won’t work, 3D graphics acceleration is most probably not working either, and it’s not clear if all hardware parts are supported, and the built-in wireless module is said to break under high throughput, so a USB WiFi dongle or Ethernet adapter is recommended instead.

But at least if you follow the installation instructions, you won’t modify your Chrome OS installation on the eMMC flash, as Arch Linux ARM will boot from external storage, either from an SD card or a USB flash drive, so it should be completely safe to try it out.

If you happen to own a Hisense Chromebook and gave Arch Linux ARM a test drive, let us know how it went.

Thanks to dhead666 for the tip.

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Grain Media 8136S / 8138S are Low Cost HD IP Camera SoCs

June 30th, 2015 4 comments

A few times, my readers told me they really like comments on this blog, and they liked to check recent comments on the left sidebar, and some even subscribed to the Comments RSS Feed, although it might quite busy at times, especially during giveaways. Recently, an interesting conversation started in the comments section about low cost IP camera chips by Grain Media 8136S and 8138S SoCs respectively supporting 720p and 1080p video recording, and cheap enough to make a sub-$10 IP camera board (BoM cost).

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Beside the maximum resolution supported, GM8136S and GM8138S are mostly similar except the later also supports Gigabit Ethernet against Fast Ethernet for the lower end version, different clock speeds, and some other (minor?) differences. There’s also GM8135S with 512 Mbit RAM (SiP) against 1Gbit RAM (SiP) for GM8136S, and GM8138 including a DDR controller for external memory, while GM8138S including 1Gbit RAM (SiP).

Grain Media GM813x specifications:

  • Processor
    • GM8136S / GM8135S – 32-bit ARM CPU core up to 600MHz
    • GM8138S / GM8138 – 32-bit ARM CPU core with 256KB L2 cache @ 400 MHz (GM8136S) or 800 MHz (GM8138)
  • Memory Interface
    • GM8136S: SiP 1Gb DDR; GM8135S: SiP 512Mb DDR
    • GM8138: 16-bit DDRII/III SDRAM interface; GM8138S: SiP 1Gb DDR
    • SPI NOR/NAND flash boot
  • Video Codec
    • GM8136S: 720P@60fps; GM8135S: 720P@45fps
    • GM8138(S): 1080p@45 fps
  • Video Input
    • MIPI, Parallel, Sub-LVDS. GM8138(S) only: Hispi
    • YUV x 2 for 2-channel 720P; GM8138(S) only: – 4*960H demux
  • Video Capture
    • BT.656 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • BT.1120 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • Support 54MHz/108MHz and 72MHz/144MHz byte/frame interleave modes
  • Image Signal Processing – Temporal and spatial 3D-Denoise filtering; Digital-WDR; WDR sensor; tone mapping; low lux sensitivity to ISO6400; embedded IVS engine
  • Display Interface
    • Built-in BT.1120 digital output; GM8138(S) only: RGB digital output
    • Support composite/parallel up to FHD output
  • Peripherals
    • GM8136S/GM8135S: 10/100M Ethernet MAC; GM8138(S): Gigabit Ethernet MAC
    • USB 2.0 OTG, USB 1.1 Device (Note: The latter is not listed for GM8138(S)).
    • 2x SDIO
    • I²S
    • I²C, UART
    • GPIO
  • Operating Voltage
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – Core: 1.1 V; DDR: 1.5/1.8 V; I/O: 3.3 V
    • GM8138(S) – Core: 1.15V; • DDR: 1.5 V; I/O: 3.3 V
  • Package
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – 128-pin EPADLQFP
    • GM8138(S) – GM8138: 256-pin BGA;  GM8138S: 196-pin BGA

There’s not much information about software support and devkits on the company website, and that’s an understatement, but the company allegedly provides a (Linux?) SDK and an hardware platform for less than $1,000, with the price including factory support.

If you’d like to evaluate the platform before spending money on the SDK, and possibly working around high MOQ requirements of distributors, you could purchase a camera based on Grain Media SoCs for evaluation such as TVT Digital TD-9433T IP camera featuring GM8138S SoC.

TD-9433T IP Camera

TD-9433T IP Camera

GM8136S SoC combined with Espressif ESP8089 Wi-Fi SoC should cost less than $6 in larger quantities, and for smaller quantities, GM8136S should cost around $7. You’ll also need to add an SPI flash to have a complete design. I don’t have price information for GM8138(S) solutions.

You can find some more information on Grain Media’s GM8136S / GM8135S and GM8138S / GM8138 product pages.

[Update: A company called SAC Group recently launched IP camera solutions based on Grain Media 813x SoCs. The link (in Chinese) shows some combinations of chips for their solutions (flash memory, DDR3 chips, drivers, IR LEDs and so, as well as the board pictured below.

GM813x_IP_Camera_Board

They also mentioned Grain Media GM8139 chip that supports 1080p60 encoding]

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Android 5.1 SDK Release for Rockchip RK3128 Based FirePrime Board

June 29th, 2015 1 comment

T-Firefly has just announced the release of Android 5.1 SDK for their newly announced Fireprime development board powered by Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor.

FirePrime

You can get the SDK (fireprime_android5.1_git_20150612.tar), a 6.1GB download with full source code for the board via Baidu or Google Drive, and then upgrade it to the latest version with git pull on the company’s bitbucket account as explained in the Wiki. The SDK must be specific to Fireprime board, but it should be feasible to use to create / modify Android 5.1 firmware for other RK3128 products.

If you don’t need the source code, but would just like to install the firmware for Android 5.1, and the other image recently released (Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop or Server, or Android 5.1/Ubuntu 15.04 dual boot image)  via the links provided in the announcement.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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AMD Announces 96Boards Enterprise Edition Server Board Powered by Opteron A1100 Processor

June 28th, 2015 11 comments

When Linaro announced the 96Boards initiative, they started by launching “Consumer Edition” boards with a target price of around $100, but they also had plans to launch more powerful and feature-packed “Enterprise Edition” board in the $300 to $400 range. The first Enterprise Edition is based on AMD Opteron A1100 quad core Cortex A57 processor.

AMD 96Boards (Click to Enlarge) - Source:

AMD 96Boards (Click to Enlarge) – Source: ARM Community

The company has not released the full specs yet, but the press release mentions the board features a 4-core AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor with two SO-DIMM memory slots, PCIe, USB, SATA (3x), and Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. It measures 160×120 mm.

CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview are the main operating systems planned for the board but additional software and operating systems will be available later on.

The board is should become available in H2 2015, and will be supported through the Linaro Enterprise Group’s 96Boards.org site. Exact price has not been announced, bu it should be much cheaper than the $3,000 Opteron A1100 development kit launched about a year ago.

Via miniNodes

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Linaro 15.06 Release with Linux 4.1 and Android 5.1

June 26th, 2015 1 comment

Linaro 15.06 has been released with Linux 4.1-rc8, Linux 3.10.80 and 3.14.44 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1.

Highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 4.1-rc8-2015.06
    • linaro-android topic updated to 4.1-rc8 and recent aosp/android-3.18
    • included GATOR version 5.21.1
    • updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 15.06 is released
    • CI bring up: setup AOSP master build on Emulator
    • implemented boot-to-gui test for Emulator
    • CI bring up: setup AOSP 5.0 headless build for APM X-Gene Mustang
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.06
    • updated linux-linaro to ll-20150616.0 (based on 4.1-rc8)
    • updated linux-linaro-stable to 3.10.79
    • workaround meta-virtualization breakage
    • upstreaming
      • fixed bootimg.bbclass to work with all kernel image types
      • imported xorriso v1.4.0 from luvOS
      • cloud-image-*: catch up with OE-core class rename
  • Linaro Ubuntu 15.06 – updated packages: fvp-pre-boot (FVP firmware), LSK 3.10.79/3.14.44/3.18.16 and linux-linaro 4.1-rc8 kernels
  • CI bring up: uprobes/systemtap enabled build

Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1506/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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LeMaker Guitar is a $25 Single Board Computer Powered by Actions Semi S500 Processor

June 25th, 2015 1 comment

LeMaker, better known for the Banana Pi, has recently unveiled three boards at an event in China:

  • LeMaker Bass – a 96Boards compliant board powered by Actions Semi S900 quad core processor
  • LeMaker Piano – An industrial grade single board computer based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo, Dual or Quad
  • LeMaker Guitar – A low cost board powered by Actions Semi S500 processor

There are plenty of Freescale i.MX6 industrial boards on the market, and LeMaker Bass appears to be the previously announced Bubblegum-96 board now supported by Lemaker, so I’m going to focus on LeMaker Guitar in this post. It’s good to see at least one company dropped the “fruit + pi” theme for their new boards…

Guitar Module

Guitar Module

The Guitar board is comprised of a system on module (SoM), and a baseboard. The SoM comes with the following technical specifications:

  • SoC – Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 1.3 GHz with 512KB L2 Cache and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, OpenVG 1.0.1, and OpenCL support
  • Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM (Option: 2GB)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC (SK Hynix H26M41103HPR), with optional ranging between 4GB and 32GB eMMC (or NAND flash)
  • PMU – ATC2603C (also audio codec)
  • Misc – LCD interface switch to select different voltages depending on the LCD interface such as RGB/LVDS/MIPI.
  • SoM Connector – 204-pin SO-DIMM edge connector
  • Dimensions – 67.6 x 42.2 mm
LeMaker Guitar Board (Click to Enlarge)

LeMaker Guitar Board (Click to Enlarge)

The baseboard will feature the following:

  • Processor/Memory/Storage – Via Guitar SoM
  • External storage – micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (AP6181 module)
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p, AV output (composite), LVDS & MIPI-DSI for LCD panels.
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack (AV port), built-in microphone
  • Camera – MIPI -CSI/Parallel 8-bit camera interface
  • USB – micro USB 3.0 host/device port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Debugging – COM3 port for serial console
  • Expansion – 40-pin header with 28x GPIO, that can also be configured as UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, I2S, ADC, FM-IN
  • Misc – IR receiver, power button, power and user LEDs, RTC + battery slot, 1KB EEPROM
  • Power Supply – 5~12V / 2A input in 5.5/2.1mm power barrel
  • Dimensions – 88mm x 88mm
Block Diagram for LeMaker Guitar SBC

Block Diagram for LeMaker Guitar SBC

The company announced support for Android 5.0 for the board, but Linux is also likely to be supported. It might be something to confirm on their forums.

The board is somewhat similar to what is offered by Lemon Pi, but at $25 it should be cheaper, if the price announced during the event is indeed for the complete SBC. Launch is scheduled for summer 2015. Some more information is available on the product page, and more details should eventually be added to the Wiki.

Thanks to quillan for the tip.

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Freescale Introduces a Coin-sized Single Chip Module (SCM) Based on Freescale i.MX 6Dual

June 24th, 2015 13 comments

As the Freescale Technology Forum 2015 is taking place in Austin, Texas, the company will announce a few new products over the 4-day conference. After the official launch of Freescale i.MX 7 series processors, Freescale unveiled a new product based on their existing i.MX6 platform with “i.MX 6Dual SCM” (Single Chip Module) that integrate a dual core i.MX 6Dual processor with 1 or 2 GB LPDDR2 (PoP), a 16MB NOR flash and a PMIC in a tiny, coin-sized module.

SCM_i.MX6D Key feature of SCM-i.MX6D module:

  • Freescale i.MX 6Dual application processor with two ARM Cortex A9 core @ 800 MHz and Vivante GPUs (2D/3D)
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB LPDDR2 (PoP configuration)
  • Storage – 16 MB SPI NOR (Micron N25Q128A13)
  • Power Supply – Freescale PMIC PF0100
  • Dimensions – 17mm x 14mm x 1.7mm

There are also 109 discrete components on the module. BSPs for Linux and Android will be provided.

Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

To help with early development, Freescale is also planning to soon launch an SCM-i.MX6D Evaluation Board with the following specs:

  • Module: SCM-i.MX6D with 1GB RAM
  • Storage – eMMC + 2x SD car slots, usable for boot, storage, and WiFi cards
  • Connectivity – 1x GbE port, WiFi (via SD slot)
  • USB – 1x Type A USB port, 1x Micro-AB USB port
  • Audio – Stereo audio codec; microphone input
  • Expansion – 1x Mini-PCIe socket
  • Misc – 1x CAN connector

Optional modules adding HDMI output, LVDS (10.1″ display), WiFi, and others will also become available with the evaluation kit.

SCM i.MX6D Evaluation Board

SCM i.MX6D Evaluation Board

Freescale’s SCM modules are expected to be used in applications ranging from 3D gaming goggles, to “next-generation” IoT drones as well as other IoT products, a medical equipment, and autonomous sensing applications.

The i.MX 6Dual SCM should become available in August 2015 either directly from Freescale, or through Arrow Electronics, and more SCM products are planned for the next two years. Check out SCM-i.MX6D product page for details.

Via Liliputing and LinuxGizmos

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Freescale Launches i.MX 7 Series Cortex A7 + Cortex M4 Processors for IoT Applications

June 23rd, 2015 8 comments

Freescale announced plans for i.MX 7 and i.MX 8 processors in 2013, but it’s only in the last few months there have been some patchsets submitted to the ARM Linux Kernel mailing list, and so far all documentation was only available to companies and developers under NDA. Now the company has officially launched i.MX 7 series, and although all documents are not available yet, Freescale has released a factsheet providing an overview about the processors. Freescale i.MX 7 series processors targets applications such as wearables, e-readers, secure point-of-sale equipment, smart home controls, industrial automation products and other IoT solutions.

Freescale_i.mx7_Block_Diagram

Freescale i.MX 7Dual Processor Block Diagram (Click to Enalrge)

Two processors are currently available: the single core i.MX 7Solo processor, and the dual core i.MX 7Dual processor. Both basically share the same specifications, but beside the extra Cortex A7 core, i.MX 7Dual also adds on extra USB host port, a PCIe interface, an extra Gigabit Ethernet port, and a 4th generation EPD controller.

Freescale i.MX 7 specifications:

  • Main CPU
    • i.MX 7Solo – ARM Cortex A7 @ 800 MHz with 512KB L2 cache, 256KB SRAM, 96KB ROM
    • i.MX 7Dual – 2x ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.0 GHz with 512KB L2 cache, 256KB SRAM, 96KB ROM
  • Secondary CPU – ARM Cortex M4 @ 266 MHz
  • Memory I/F
    • 16-/32-bit DDR3/DDR3L and LPDDR2/3 @ 533 MHz
    • MMC 5.0; 3x SD 3.0
    • NOR Flash/SRAM I/F
    • 8-bit NAND I/F
    • Dual channel Quad SPI
  • Connectivity – 1 or 2 Gigabit Ethernet (AVB)
  • Display
    • 24-bit parallel RGB
    • MIPI DSI (2 lanes)
    • EPD controller (7Dual only)
  • Camera
    • Parallel CSI (up to 24-bit)
    • MIPI CSI (2 lanes)
  • Other Interfaces
    • 1 or 2 USB 2.0 host (w/ PHY), 1x USB 2.0 host interface (w/ HSIC)
    • 7x UART, 4x I2C, 4x SPI
    • 3x I2S
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x PWM
    • 2x FlexTimer
    • 2x SmartCard I/F
    • 2x 12-bit ADC
    • PCI-e slot (1x lane, 7Dual only)
  • Security with tamper resist – Secure RTC, RSA 4096, Ciphers, 10-pin tamper, etc…
  • Manufacturing – 28nm ultra low leakage process technology

Freescale claims their i.MX 7 Series processors consume about one third of their i.MX 6 Series based on Cortex A9 cores, with a core efficiency of 15.7 DMIPS/mW, and a new Low Power State Retention mode (LPSR) of 250 μW. The processors will also be coupled with the new PF3000 PMIC to achieve higher efficiency.

SABRE board for Freescale i.MX 7 processors

SABRE board for Freescale i.MX 7 processors

A SABRE board with i.MX 7Dual will also be available, and integrate a PF3000 PMIC, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 and an SD card preinstalled with a Linux based operating system, and Android is also available from Freescale. I could not find details or pricing (usually around $500) for the development board.

i.MX 7Solo and i.MX 7Dual processors are sampling now, with mass production scheduled for November 2015. More information should soon become available on Freescale i.MX 7 Series product page.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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