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Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

NXP i.MX 6ULL Cortex A7 Processor is the Latest Member of i.MX6 32-bit ARM Processor Family

September 29th, 2016 2 comments

Freescale first unveiled i.MX6 processor family at CES 2011. Since then NXP has acquired Freescale, and kept working on the processors and even recently unveiled NXP i.MX 6ULL Cortex A7 processor promising 30 percent more power efficiency than its nearest competitors, and designed for “cost-effective solutions for the growing IoT consumer and industrial, mass markets”.

nxp-i-mx-6ull-block-diagramNXP i.MX 6ULL key features and specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex A7 core @ up to 528 MHz with 128KB L2 cache
  • Memory I/F – 16-bit DDR3/DDR3L, LPDDR2 memory support
  • Storage I/F – 8/16-bit parallel NOR flash / PSRAM, dual-channel Quad-SPI NOR flash, 8-bit raw NAND flash with 40-bit ECC, 2x MMC 4.5/SD 3.0/SDIO Port
  • Display & Camera I/F
    • Parallel LCD Display up to WXGA (1366×768)
    • Electrophoretic display controller support direct-driver for E-Ink EPD panel, with up to 2048×1536 resolution at 106 Hz
    • 8/10/16/24-bit Parallel Camera Sensor Interface
  • Peripherals
    • 2x USB 2.0 OTG, HS/FS, Device or Host with PHY
    • Audio Interfaces – 3x I2S/SAI, S/PDIF Tx/Rx
    • 2x 10/100 Ethernet with IEEE 1588
    • 2x 12-bit ADC, up to 10 input channel total, with resistive touch controller (4-wire/5-wire)
  • Security – TRNG, Crypto Engine (AES with DPA, TDES/SHA/RSA), Secure Boot
  • Power Management – Partial PMU integration
  • Package – MAPBGA 0.8mm pitch 14 x 14mm, MAPBGA 0.5mm pitch 9 x 9mm

The company explain the new processor offer a “natural upgrade” for customer’s designs based on ARM7 & ARM9 processor, for example forΒ  smart grid applications. The new i.MX 6ULL (Ultra Lighter than Light? πŸ™‚ ) processor appears to be a cost down version of i.MX 6UL (Ultralight) with fewer security features (e.g. no SIMV2/EVMSIM), and lower maximum CPU frequency, but adding ePD support (according to specs, but not shown on block diagram)

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i.MX 6ULL Development Kit – Click to Enlarge

NXP i.MX 6ULL processor is sampling now, with mass production expected in October 2016, and pricing to start at $3.50 in 10,000 unit quantities. The Linux BSP and i.MX 6ULL evaluation kit with 512MB RAM, 256MB SPI flash, and various ports will also be available in October. More details can be found on NXP i.MX6 ULLΒ  product page.

Mintbox Mini Pro Linux mini PC Gets AMD A10 Micro-6700T Processor, 8GB RAM, and 120 GB Storage for $395

September 29th, 2016 4 comments

Minitbox Mini is a low power mini PC based on Compulab Fitlet-i computer powered by AMD A4 Micro-6400T “Mullins” processor and running Linux Mint that was launched in 2015. There’s now an upgraded model – Mintbox Mini Pro – with a more powerful AMD A10 Micro-6700T, more RAM and storage with 8GB DDR3 and a 120 GB SSD, and faster and better networking thanks to 802.11ac WiFI, and dual Gigabit Ethernet.

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Mintbox Mini Pro specifications:

  • SoC – AMD A10 Micro-6700T 64 bit quad-core processor up to 1.2 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Boost frequency) withΒ Radeon R6 Graphics (4.5W TDP)
  • System Memory – 8 GB DDR3L-1333 SDRAM (SODIMM module)
  • Storage –  120GB mSATA (SATA 3.0) SSD, and micro-SD slot (SDXC support, rate 25 MB/s)
  • Video Output – Dual HDMI 1.4a up to [email protected]; support two independent displays
  • Audio I/O
    • Output – HDMI, digital S/PDIF 7.1+2 channels output, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
    • Input – Digital S/PDIF input, 3.5mm audio microphone jack
    • Codec – Realtek ALC886
  • Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet (Intel I211),Β  802.11ac Wi-Fi (2.4/5GHz dual band Intel 7260HMW) + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Cellular – Support for mobile data communication with on-board 6-pin micro-SIM socket
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 + 4x USB 2.0 including one USB 2.0/eSATA combo port.
  • Expansion – miniPCIe (normally used for WLAN); mSATA socket (used by SSD)
  • Other I/Os – RS232 mini serial connector
  • Power Supply – Unregulated 10 to 15V DC; 12V/3A power supply included
  • Power Consumption – 4.5 to 10.5 Watts
  • Dimensions – 10.8 cm x 8.3 cm x 2.4 cm
  • Weight – 250g
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0Β°C to 70Β°C;Β  Extended: -20Β°C to 70Β°C; Industrial: -40Β°C to 70Β°C

The mini PC is pre-loaded with Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit, but in case you’d change your mind, it also supports Windows 7/8/10, other 32-bit and 64-bit Linux distributions, and unnamed 32-bit and 64-bit Embedded OS.

The device ships with the power supply, an HDMI to DVI adapter, a 3.5mm audio jack to to RCA cable, two WiFi antennas, a mini-serial to DB9-male adapter cable, and the mSATA heatsink.

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The company also published a comparison table showing the differences between Mintbox Mini and Mintbox Mini Pro.

Mintbox Mini Mintbox Mini Pro
SSD mSATA 64GB 120GB
RAM 4GB 8GB
Chipset A4-Micro 6400T A10-Micro 6700T
Graphics Dual HDMI – Radeon R3 Dual HDMI – Radeon R6
Ethernet Gbe Dual Gbe
Wifi 802.11n dongle Dual-band 802.11ac mini-PCIe
Bluetooth None 4.0
Price $295 $395

You’ll find a more detailed comparison here.

Since AMD Mullins processor are not quite as common as Intel Cherry Trail/Braswell processors, it might be interesting to compare AMD-A10-Micro-6700TΒ  to a better known processor, and I’ve done so by pitting it against Intel Celeron N3150 Braswell processor found in mini PCs such as MINIX NGC-1.

amd-a10-micro-6700tBased on GeekBench 3 results, multi-core performance is about the same, but single core performance of A10 Micro-6700T is about 34% faster. CPUBoss also reports that the AMD processor should consume less than the Intel one, as the former is rated 4.5 W TDP against the latter 6W TDP. How much a given mini PC will consume will depend on the overall system design.

Mintbox Mini Pro can be purchased for $395 plus shipping and VAT, and a 5-year warranty on Fit-PC website. You may also be able to find some more info on Mintbox Mini Pro product page.

Qualcomm is Finally Open for Business with Snapdragon 410E and 600E Processors for Embedded & IoT Applications

September 29th, 2016 9 comments

Qualcomm processors are found in mobile devices and wearables selling in large quantities, some boards and modules from embedded systems companies such as Inforce Computing and Intrinsyc, as well as it own 96Boards compliant DragonBoard 410c and DragonBoard 600c development boards, but it’s hard to find them in many other products, and few crowdfunding campaign feature Snapdragon processors, as Qualcomm may not be willing to work with smaller companies and startups. The company has made some progress in that regards with their partnership with Allwinner to allow smaller Chinese companies to manufacture Snapdragon based Tablets, and their newly introduced Snapdragon 410E and 600E processors targeting embedded systems and IoT applications, available from Arrow Electronics without questions asked, and with long term availability for 10 years, i.e. until 2025 based on available of Snapdragon 410 mobile version.

snapdragon-410e-processor

Snapdragon 410E (APQ 8016E) specifications:

  • CPU – Quad ARM Cortex A53 @ up to 1.2GHz per core with both 32-bit and 64-bit support
  • GPU – Adreno 306 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1e (Android only), DirectX 9.3 (Windows 10 only)
  • System Memory I/F – LPDDR2/3 @ 533MHz single channel
  • Storage I/F – SDIO 3.0 (UHS-I), eMMC 4.5
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1LE, GPS
  • Display Support – 1x MIPI-DSI up to 1920×1200 for LCD display; up to 1080p for external display
  • Camera Support – MIPI-CSI interface and integrated ISP support up to 13MP camera
  • Multimedia – 1080p @ 30 fps H.264 playback and capture
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host interfaces
  • Security – Qualcomm Snapdragon StudioAccess technology and Qualcomm SecureMSM platform
  • Package – 12mm x 14mm (760NSP, 0.4mm pitch)

snapdragon-410e-block-diagram

The processor is said to support Android, Linux and Windows 10. Potential target applications include connectivity for the smart home, industrial and home appliances, smart video camera systems, and digital media players and TV sticks.

You’ll find more details on Snapdragon 410E product page.

snapdragon-600e-processor

Snapdragon 600E (APQ 8064E) specifications:

  • CPU – Quad core Krait 300 CPU @ up to 1.5GHz per core
  • GPU – Adreno 320 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1e (Android only)
  • System Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L dual-channel 533MHz
  • Storage I/F – eMMC 4.51, SATA 3.0, SDIO 3.0 (UHS-I)
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0LE/3.x
  • Display Support – 2x MIPI-DSI interfaces up to 2048×1536 for LCD display; 1x HDMI up to 1080p for external display; 1x LVDS
  • Camera Support – 3x MIPI-CSI interfaces and integrated ISP support up to 21MP & stereoscopic 3D cameras
  • Multimedia – 1080p HD (MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.264, DivX, VC-1, WMV-9), H.264 playback & capture
  • Other Peripherals – 1x PCIe, 3x USB 2.0 host interfaces, 1x HSIC,
  • Security – Qualcomm SecureMSM foundation, with secure boot process and Qualcomm Secure Execution Environment with ARM Trust Zone technology
  • Package – 23mm x 23mm (784 BGA, 0.8mm pitch) RoHs compliant

Snapdragon 600E processor supports Android and Linux, and targets advanced robotics applications, connectivity for industrial and home applications, smart surveillance cameras (with up to 3 cameras), and media players & TV dongles.

You may want to visit Snapdragon 600E product page to get more information.

You can already purchase Snapdragon 410E on Arrow Electronics for $17.28 for one unit, and as low as $11.50 per unit for 1K order. Snapdragon 600E will be available a little latter.

FriendlyARM Introduces NanoPi NEO AIR Board with WiFi & BLE, Camera Interface and 8GB Storage for $17.99

September 28th, 2016 25 comments

FriendlyARM launched NanoPi NEO board with Allwinner H3 processor, Ethernet, and USB ports for $7.99 to $9.99 in July, and the company is back with a new board with the same form factor and processor, by trading Ethernet for WiFi, dropping one USB 2.0 port for a DVP camera interface, and adding an 8GB eMMC flash.

nanopi-neo-airNanoPi NEO AIR specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash (Samsung) + micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 LE (via Ampak AP6212 module) with IPEX antenna connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port, 2x USB via headers
  • Camera – 1x DVP camera interface with optional 5MP CAM500B camera
  • Expansion headers
    • 24-pin header with I2C, 2x UART, SPI, PWM, and power signals
    • 12-pin header with 2x USB, IR pin, SPDIF, and I2S
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console (unpopulated)
  • Misc – Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port or VDD pin on serial header
  • Dimensions – 40 x 40 mm
  • Weight – 7.5 grams without headers; 9.7 grams with headers

The company provides an Ubuntu Core + Qt firmware image, which will most likely be pre-loaded in the eMMC flash on the board when shipping. More details about hardware and software can be found on the Wiki (English translation in progress).

nanopi-neo-air-cameraAs mentioned in the specifications, FriendlyARM will also offer an optional 5 megapixel “CAM500B” camera board that can be connected to the DVP interface of the board. The Wiki shows instructions to stream the video to a web page using mjpg-streamer.

armbian has also been working on supporting the board, but I’m unclear about the status right now. I’m sure you’ll soon find out by reading the comments’ section of this post.

NanoPi NEO AIR can be purchased for $17.99 with 3 headers, but you may consider adding the heatsink for $2.97, and a 3dB WiFi antenna for $3.99. I could not find CAM500B camera module, but for reference CAM500A camera module (possibly not compatible) is sold for $19.99.

BeagleBone Black Wireless Board Gets WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE, Drops Ethernet

September 27th, 2016 No comments

The BeagleBone Black is still one of the most popular development boards around, but in a world going more and more wireless, it only comes with a wired Ethernet interface. Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green Wireless and Neuromeka BeagleBone Air already provided BeagleBone compatible boards with WiFi and Bluetooth LE, as well as Zigbee for the latter, but now BeagleBoard.org themselves have launched BeagleBone Black Wireless with WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE based on Octavo Systems OSD3358 System-in-Package with Texas Instrument Sitara AM3358 processor, 512 MB RAM, TI LDO and PMIC, and many passive components.

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BeagleBone Black Wireless specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 Cortex A8 @ 1 GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3L
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • USB – 1x mini USB client port for power & communication, 1x USB host port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 LE with 2x u.FL antenna connectors
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI up to 1280Γ—1024 resolution.
  • Expansion Connectors – 2x 46-pin headers
  • Misc – LEDs for WiFi, Bluetooth, Power, and 4x user LEDs; Reset, boot, and power buttons
  • Debugging – JTAG header, serial console
  • Power – mini USB, DC Jack, or 5VDC via expansion header
  • Dimensions – 86.4 x 53.4 mm

The board is preloaded with Debian with Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript.js library, and also support other Android and Linux based operating systems support by other BeagleBone boards. Cadsoft Eagle schematics and PCB layout have already been released on github. BeagleBone Black Wireless drops the Ethernet port just like BeagleBone Green Wireless, but keeps the micro HDMI port, which on Seeed Studio’s port is replaced by 4x USB ports and Grove connectors.

You’ll find some more details on BeagleBoard.org Black Wireless page, and can purchase the board on Mouser (Part #: BBBWL-SC-562) for $68.75.

Orange Pi Zero and Orange Pi i96 96Boards IoT Edition Boards Coming Soon

September 27th, 2016 15 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong Orange Pi boards are relatively popular thanks to their low price, and support on communities such as Armbian, but two new upcoming Orange Pi boards might make the company even more relevant in the development board space. First, the company is nearing completion of the tiny, and hopefully ultra cheap, Orange Pi Zero board with Allwinner H2+ processor, and Linaro has announced that an Orange Pi i96 boards compliant with 96Board IoT specifications is also coming soon.

Orange Pi Zero

The board has not been released, but some pictures have been uploaded to Armbian forums.

orange-pi-zero

Orange Pi Zero looks quite similar to NanoPi NEO board but with different processor, a slightly larger form factor, and both Ethernet and wireless connectivity. We don;t have other information for now, but it still possible to get most of Orange Pi Zero specifications from the photos:

  • SoC – Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3-1866 (Samsung K4B2G1646F-BFMA)
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet + wireless connectivity with u.FL antenna connector (likely WiFi)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion headers – 26-pin header +13-pin header
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – 2x LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or 5V pin on 4-pin header (TBC)
  • Dimensions – 46 x 46 mm (TBC); NanoPi NEO size: 40mm x 40mm)

allwinner-h2-plus-boardThat’s all we know at this time. Orange Pi Zero was previously touted as a $5.90 board (shipping not included), but I’d be really surprised if they could sell it that cheap considering there’s both Ethernet and WiFi (or another wireless interface) on-board.

Orange Pi i96

Shenzhen Xunlong is very good at making – in my experience reliable – hardware at a cheap price, but if you’ve ever tried one of their firmware images, you may have come across issues, which is why communities like Linux-sunxi and armbian are so important for software support. 96Boards platforms are supposed to have one of the best and up-to-date software support, as Linaro have some engineers working full time on the project, however in a world of $35 or less development boards, the price of 96Boards compliant development boards even below $100 has not been competitive enough or the new standard to take-off.

So I’m hopeful that Orange Pi i96 board will bring the best of both world, with a low price associated with Orange Pi boards, and software support and documentation from Linaro/96Boards.

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Source – Linaro Connect US 2016 Welcome Keynote (via Nanik) – Click to Enlarge

The board won’t be based on any Allwinner processors however, but instead feature an RDA Micro Cortex-A5 processor (possibly RDA8810PL) with 2Gbit (256 MB) on-chip RAM, 4Gbit (512 MB) on-chip NAND flash, a micro SD card, two USB 2.0 ports, a CSI camera connector, and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. The board will run Ubuntu, and like the recently announced BLE Carbon will be compliant with 96Boards IoT Edition “standard” specs, except it will use “Cortex-A profile and 1.8V I/Os” variation of the standard. The price will be less than $10 πŸ™‚

Parrot S.L.A.M Dunk is a Ubuntu & ROS Computer with 3D Depth Cameras for Drones & Robots

September 26th, 2016 No comments

Parrot and Canonical have partnered to develop the Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk development kit for the design of applications for autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, indoor navigation and 3D mapping for drones and robots, and running both Ubuntu 14.04 and ROS operating systems. The name of the kit is derived from its “Simultaneous Localization and Mapping algorithm” (S.L.A.M) allowing for location without GPS signal.

parrot-slam-dunk

Parrot S.L.A.M Dunk preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
  • Camera – Fish-eye stereo camera with a 1500Γ—1500 resolution at 60fps
  • Sensors – Inertial-measurement unit (IMU), ultrasound sensor up to 15 meters range, magnetometer, barometer
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0/2.0 port
  • Weight – 140 grams

Parrot S.L.A.M dunk can be fitted various drones and robotic platforms such as quadcopters and fixed-wings, rolling robots and articulated arms using mounting kits. The computer module is then connected to the host platform via a 3.5mm jack cable and a USB cable in order to send and receive commands and data.

parrot-slam-dunk-drone-3d-depthThis morning I wrote about SoftKinetic 3D sensing camera based on time-of-flight technology, but Parrot S.L.A.M Dunk is based on more commonly used stereo vision cameras. The micro HDMI allows developers to connect the computer to a monitor in order to develop their application for Ubuntu and ROS.

Parrot S.L.A.M Dunk will be available in Q4 2016 at an undisclosed price. More information should eventually be found in Parrot Developer website.

Roqos Core AC Router Runs Debian on Intel Atom Bay Trail-I Processor for $19… Plus Monthly Subscriptions

September 26th, 2016 18 comments

Roqos Core router is interesting on several front. First it’s quite powerful and features-rich with an Intel Atom E3845 processor, five Gigabit Ethernet ports, 802.11ac WiFi, a USB 3.0 port, and even an HDMI port allowing you to use it as a Media Center too. It should also be quite customizable, software wise, since it runs Debian, and finally the business model is also different, as you only need to pay $19 for the router, with the catch that you need to subscribe Roqos Service with “advanced cybersecurity and parental control features” for $17 per month for at least 12 months, bringing the total to $223. After one year, you can opt out of the cloud service, and continue to use the router without the extra security features.

roqos-core

Roqos Core RC10 router hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Bay Trail-T E3845 quad core processor @ up to 1.91 GHz (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB storage + SATA port on board (But AFAICS the latter is not easily usable)
  • Connectivity – 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports (4x LAN, 1x WAN), 3Γ—3 802.11ac WiFi (5.0 GHz), and 2Γ—2 802.11n (2.4 GHz) with 5 high gain antennas (AC1600 router).
  • Video Output – HDMI output
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A power supply
  • Dimensions – 165.1 x 162.6 x 53.3 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 40℃

The router shop with a wall pluggable power adapter, and a flat Cat6 Ethernet cable.

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Roqos Core Router Board – Click to Enlarge

The Debian installation in the router comes with MongoDB, Suricata, Squid, Bing,m Nging, OpenVPN and iperf installed by default, but since the company provides a account with sudo access, you should be able to easily install any Debian packages provided it fits in the 8GB flash.

The company also offers Roqos app for Android and iOS allowing to configure your device, use WPS to add new devices, manage security and parental control and more.

roqos-appRoqos Service, which requires a $17 monthly subscription, offers parental control to block inappropriate content, set Internet schedule time, filter websites, pause Internet access, etc.., as well as “enterprise grade” Cybersecurity protection blocking malware and virus, blocking ads, updating firmware for security patches continuously and so on.

You can find more details about the hardware and the services on Roqos website, where you’ll also be able to purchase the router if you are based in the US.

Via HackerBoards