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Posts Tagged ‘lte’

8Power Vibration Energy Harvesting Technology Powers Batteryless LPWAN GPS Trackers, MEMS Sensors

May 23rd, 2017 No comments

While IoT products usually promises one to 10 years battery life, they will be several billions of them, and ARM’s CEO even forecast one trillion IoT devices in the next 20 years. Recharging batteries at home may be fine, but imagine having to recharge or replace batteries on top of electric poles, inside walls, in remote locations, and other hard to reach places, considerable resources would have to be deployed just to replace or recharge battery every year or whenever the battery is close to being depleted.  That’s why work on energy harvesting technology for batteryless devices may be so important, and 8Power is one of the companies working in the field through their vibration energy harvesting technology that is said to harvest up to 10x the power of competing devices under comparable condition thanks to the use of parametric resonance phenomenon.

8Power LTE NB-IoT GPS Tracker (Left) and MEMS Sensor (Right)

The company has recently announced their Track 100 family of LPWAN GPS tracker, such as Track 100XL relying on LTE NB-IoT, but they also have models supporting LTE Cat M1 and LoRaWAN. The IP67 devices include vibration energy harvesting technology, as well as optionally a solar panel. The company also provides a “secure cloud hosted data platform to provide dashboards, analytics, device management, security and application API access to manage fleets of devices”. There’s no battery, and no need for (battery related) maintenance. Track 100 trackers are powered through the vibration generated by trucks, trains, or other vehicles.

The company is also working on integrating the technology into MEMS sensors that consume very little power (10 mW) in continuous operations. Beside leveraging vibrations from the transportation industry, and 8Power technology can also generate power from vibrations from  infrastructure (bridges, embankments, transmission lines) or machinery (high-power motors and rotating equipment), and the technology has already been validated through a experiment to monitor the structure of an older bridge in Scotland.

The company showcased their technology and latest products at IDTechEx 2017.

Via ARMDevices.net

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core Processor To Feature ARM Cortex A75 Cores (Reports)

May 22nd, 2017 7 comments

According to reports from China, Qualcomm’s next application processor (or rather mobile platform) will be Snapdragon 845, and if accurate, the comparison table below between the Snapdragon processor and Hisilicon Kirin 970 SoC shows the former will be powered by some customized (魔改) version of yet-to-be announced ARM Cortex 75 cores.

Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor will be manufactured using Samsung 10nm LPE processor, come with four custom Cortex A75 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, an Adreno 630 GPU, and an LTE X20 modem supporting LTE Cat 18 for up to 1.2 Gbps download speed. Other features like 802.11ad (High bandwidth, short range WiFi), UFS 2.1, and LPDDR4X were already found on earlier model.

I’ve been unable to find further details about ARM Cortex A75 right now, and we have to wait until ARM Techcon 2017 before getting more details. Mobile phones powered by Snapdragon 845 are supposed to start shipping in Q1 2018.

Via Wccftech

The Future of Cellular IoT Explained – LTE M1, LTE NB-IoT, eSIM, and Battery Life Hype

May 17th, 2017 4 comments

Telecom companies also want their share of the IoT business, but with 2G to 4G cellular technology often being too power hungry and/or expensive for this market, 2G on-going – or upcoming – sunset depending on your location, LTE Cat M1 and LTE Cat NB1 (aka NB-IoT) standards have been developed, and used in products like Pycom FiPy board, and SARA-R4 and SARA-M2 modules. If you want to have an overview learn about the new LTE IoT standards and the future of cellular IoT, Particle has published a useful presentation – embedded below – dealing with both, as well as eSIM (Embedded SIM), 2G sunset, and battery life expectations.

The main takeaways from my reading of the presentation:

  • LTE NB1 is better suited for low power stationary sensors transmitting a small amount of data a few times a day. Requires new hardware and software
  • LTE M1 can be used for actuators and sensors that needs frequent updates. Requires software update to existing base stations.
  • eSIM are becoming more and more common, and a “blank eSIM” can be activated anywhere in the world by a local mobile network operator. The many LTE bands across operators and countries however complicates things.
  • Consider LTE modules with 3G fallback in markets where LTE is just starting
  • The proclaimed 10 to 15 year battery life is mostly hype with a very large battery and one daily update, with real use cases likely to last 12 to 18 months on a battery charge.

If you are interested in the subject, you may want to read through Particle’s 39-page presentation.

Categories: Hardware Tags: cellular, IoT, lpwan, lte, particle, sensor

SDMC DV8230-AP LTE is an Android 7.0 TV Box with a 4G LTE Router Module

April 25th, 2017 1 comment

Shenzhen SDMC Technology launched DV8219-LTE Android TV box with 4G modem powered by Amlogic S905X processor a while ago, and the company is back with a new model called DV8230-AP LTE with the same processor, but running Android 7.0, and what they call a “4G LTE router function”.

SDMC DV8230-AP LTE specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with a Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (4 to 64GB as option) + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a, 3.5mm AV port
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet port
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Dual band optional)
    • Optional Bluetooth 4.0
    • Built-in 4G Module + SIM card slot
    • 2x dBi external antennas
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver; LEDs; standby key; reset button; WPS button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 120 x 120 x 28 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0~40℃ (operating)

Apart from the extra RAM, the two external antennas, and WPS button, I could not see the difference with the previous model. Most Android TV boxes already support “portable hotspot” mode allowing to share an Ethernet connection over WiFi. So for example, if you are in a hotel room with Ethernet only, and happen to have a TV box with you, you could connect it to add a WiFi hotspot for your smartphone.

Since initially the company did not clearly explain that router function in their website, I tried to ask them for more details about the hardware and software related to that function, and after several email exchanges, I could find out there’s a “router module” inside the box, and that “you can still use the WiFi function when the box is in standby.” Later on, the company mentioned the box is using Topwell DXS-WRM50BC module powered by Mediatek MT7628NN CPU, and while I could not find details about that model, it’s probably a card like AsiaRF AP7620-MPE-1, but maybe not with an mPCie connector, that runs OpenWrt or an another Linux based OS.

You could visit the product page, but you’re unlikely to find many more details there. AFAIK, SDMC does not sell to individuals, only to resellers and distributors.

Geniatech ATV329 is a 3G & 4G LTE Android TV Box Powered by Amlogic S905 Processor

April 14th, 2017 2 comments

In many countries, people get broadband Internet via ADSL or “fiber to the home”, but in some regions, notably the Middle East and Africa, there may not be such option, and people instead rely on cellular networks like 4G LTE for their Internet access. I’ve already covered SDMC TV boxes with a 4G LTE connectivity, but there’s now one more option thanks to Geniatech ATV329 Android TV box powered by Amlogic S905 processor, and including a 4G LTE modem & a SIM card slot.

Geniatech Enjoy TV Nano ATV329 specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with a penta-core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, SD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 port
  • Connectivity
    • Ethernet
    • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212) with one external antenna
    • GSM, 3G, and 4G connectivity with one external antenna and SIM card slot on rear panel
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, power LED

The device runs Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. Netbook Italia is at the Global Sources Electronics Fair 2017 in Hong Kong, where they caught up with the company, which showcases the box in the video below (at 2:46 mark), as well as ATV195x quad core UHD TV stick, and APC1295 an ARM industrial mini PC based on Realtek RTD1295 processor.

Categories: AMLogic, Android, Hardware Tags: 3G, 4g, 4k, Android, geniatech, lte, TV box

MQMaker Koala is a Features-Packed Development Board Powered by Rockchip RK3288 Processor

March 31st, 2017 5 comments

MQMaker launched MiQi board based on Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor last year with the hardware aimed at hobbyists and makers, but the company has been developing a higher-end board – named Koala – based on the same processor, featuring many more ports and features, and geared towards the enterprise market.

Click to Enlarge

Koala board preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory –  2GB DDR3 (default)
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash (default) + micro SD slot
  • Video Output / Display Interface – HDMI 2.0, header for eDP, MIPI, LVDS, LCD backlight header, touch panel header
  • Audio – HDMI out, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm analog stereo audio jack, microphone header, audio L/R header
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi or WiFi + Bluetooth module, mini PCIe slot for 3G/4G card + SIM card slot
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 type A host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port, 3x USB 2.0 headers
  • Camera – CIF connector, MIPI CSI connector
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Expansion Headers – I2C header, 4x UART headers, SPI header, SAR ADC header, GPIO header
  • Misc – Power switch, user button, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12 V DC via power barrel or header
  • Dimensions – TBD

The board will run Android 5.1 and Debian Linux, with only Linux source code provided, i.e. no Android SDK. Applications for the board include digital signage, gaming and entertainment.

The board is supposed to be available unless there has been some unexpected delays since December, but pricing has not been publicly disclosed, and currently the product page has very limited information.

Thanks to Jernej for the tip.

ArcherMind Mediatek X20 Pro Development Board Adds 3G, 4G LTE and More I/Os

March 28th, 2017 3 comments

Archermind launched Mediatek X20 board powered by Mediatek Helio X20 deca-core processor, and compliant with 96Boards CE hardware specifications last year for $199. The company has now been working on a “professional” version, dubbed Mediatek X20 Pro that adds supports for 3G and 4G / LTE, as well as extra I/O connectors for cameras, LCD modules, and an RF baseboard.

Alpha Star Mediatek X20 Pro board specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek Helio X20 (MT6797) deca-core processor with two ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.1~2.3 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.85 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.4 GHz, and  ARM Mali-T880 GPU @ 700 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 2-ch @ 933 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD 3.0 card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p @ 30 fps
  • Video Support – 25MP @ 24fps / 25MP @ 30 fps; WQXGA 2560×1600 60fps; FHD 1920×1080 120fps; 4Kx2K 30fps H.265 w/HDR
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 (MT6631), GPS with antenna connector
  • Cellular Connectivity – Modem with support for WCDMA B1/B8, FDD-LTE B1/B3,TDD-LTE B38/B39/B40
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (device only).
  • Expansion:
    • 1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, 2x I2C, 12x GPIO, DC power
    • 1x 60 pin high speed expansion connector – 4L-MIPI DSI, USB, 2x I2C, 2L+4LMIPI CSI
    • IO extended interface – Support one 2k LCM or two 1080P LCM, 13M+13M dual camera
    • Optional 16-pin analog expansion connector – Stereo headset/line out, speaker, analog line-in, and more
    • 2x connectors on the bottom of the board for RF sub-board
  • Misc – Power, reset and volume buttons. 6 LEDS (4x user, 1x Wifi, 1x Bluetooth)
  • Power Supply – 8 to 18V DC input
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm

The board only supports Android 6.0, with Linux support depending on what Mediatek decides to do. You’ll find some hardware and software document on the Wiki which still has many non-working links…, and none of them seem related to the Pro version yet.

If you want to use 3G or 4G cellular , you’ll need to get  “Mediatek X20 RF sub-board” that connects to X20 board via two board-to-board connectors with the following key features:

  • Modem Features – World-mode Modem with Single RF for all Markets
    • FDD/TDD LTE R11 Cat-6 (300Mbps/50Mbps) with 2x20MHz DL carrier aggregation support
    • HSPA+ R8 (42Mbps/11Mbps) / TD-SCDMA Rel.7 (2.8/2.2 Mbps)
    • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rel.A, SRLTE support
  • Transceiver Features
    • Transmitter – Direct conversion(LTE/3G/8PSK) and DFM for GMSK; Dedicated power detection circuits for power control over specific power range; 4LB/4MB/2HB TX output port
    • Receiver – Hybrid direct-conversion(4G/3G/C2K) /low-IF (GGE, DC-HSDPA) receiver; 14+14 RX input ports; 4 RXIF IQ outputs
  • RF Board Band Support – WCDMA band 1,8; TDD-LTE band 38,39,40; FDD-LTE band 1,3
  • Dimensions – 100 x 71 mm

Charbax interviewed the company at Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 where they showcased their new X20 Pro board and corresponding add-on boards, as well as the upcoming Mstar Altra board compliant with 96Boards TV Platforms specs (7:48 mark in video) based on Mstar MSD6A838 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC with 4K M-Genuine Video Engine supporting Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation (MEMC), HDR, color enhance, de-noise, and so on.


It’s unclear whether Mediatek X20 Pro is available now, and we don’t know the price yet, but considering the non-pro version sells for $200, we could probably expect the 4G version to sell between $250 to $300 with the RF baseboard and SIM card adapter board. Some more information is available on the product page.

Linux based iWave Systems OBD-II Dongle Comes with 4G LTE and GPS

March 27th, 2017 1 comment

OBD-II dongles that you connect to your car’s OBD-II port have been around for several years, but they were initially simple devices with USB or Bluetooth connectivity that you control with your smartphone or computer. More recently we’ve seen more complex OBD-II head-up-diplays, and boards such as Macchina M2 open source hardware OBD-II board that takes various XBee modules for 4G, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and so on. iWave Systems, a company better known for their system-on-modules, has now unveiled their own OBD-II dongle with NXP i.MX 6UL processor running Linux, and integrating 4G LTE and GPS by default.

iWave Systems OBD-II dongle specifications:

  • Processor – NXP i.MX 6UL ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ 528/696MHz
  • Memory –  256 MB DDR3 (Optionally upgradeable to higher capacity)
  • Storage – 256 MB NAND Flash (optionally upgradeable to higher capacity).
  • Connectivity – Built-in 4G Modem with antenna, optional WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 LE module
  • Positioning – GPS Receiver
  • Sensors –  Accelerometer,  Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Car Interface – OBD-II connector
  • Misc – Optional status & power LEDs
  • Power Supply – 12V Input via OBD II port; optional battery to keep the dongle on for a few minutes
  • Temperature Range – -10°C to +60°C
  • Dimensions – 63 x 48 x 24mm (excluding OBD II Connector)

The company has not provided that much details on the software side, except that the dongle runs Linux.

iWave Systems OBD-II dongle targets fleet management, emission testing, vehicle testing, and vehicle data logger applications.

The company focuses on the B2B market, so if you want to purchase in quantities for your specific project you can inquire for a quote or more details via their OBD-II device page.