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Posts Tagged ‘mediatek’

Mediatek MT2533D is a Bluetooth 4.2 SiP for Smart Headphones & Hands-Free Systems

January 9th, 2017 3 comments

There used to be a time when most products were based on a general purpose MCU or processor that you would interface to over chips like audio codecs, memory chips, flash storage, etc…, but in order to cut costs, application specific SoCs have become quite common over the year, so we’ve had mobile application processors for several years already, but more recently we got “wearables” SoCs and “Smart Home” SoCs, and Mediatek has launched MT2533D “headphone” SiP (System-in-Package) combining a Cortex-M4 MCU, 4MB PSRAM, an audio codec, and a dual mode Bluetooth subsystem.

mt2533-block-diagramMediatek MT2533D specifications:

  • MCU –  ARM Cortex-M4 @ up to 208MHz with 32KB L1 cache, FPU, MPU, AES 128/192/256 crypto engine and TRNG
  • Memory – 160kB SRAMs, 4MB pseudo SRAM
  • Storage – 4MB flash
  • Wireless Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 dual mode (classic and low energy)
  • Audio
    • AAC/SBC for Bluetooth audio
    • CVSD/mSBC for Bluetooth speech
    • PCM playback: 8-48kHz sample rate
    • PCM record: 8kHz and 16kHz sample rate
    • Dual-mic noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation
  • Display
    • Hardware 2D accelerator
    • DBI serial interface up to 320×320 @ 30 fps
    • 1-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 480×320 @ 30 fps
  • Camera – Mediatek camera serial interface up to VGA resolution @ 30 fps with YUV422 or RGB565
  • Other Peripherals
    • USB 2.0
    • 3x UARTs, 3x I2Cs
    • 6x PWMs, 4x SPI masters, SPI slave
    • I2S
    • SDIO v2.0
    • 5-channel ADC
    • Up to 38 GPIOs
  • Package – 172-ball TFBGA with 0.4mm pitch
  • Dimensions – 6.2 x 5.8 x 1.05 mm
  • Ambient temperature – -40°C to 85°C

There are interfaces for small displays and low resolution cameras, as well as a fair amount of I/Os, so it could certainly be use for audio applications outside of simple headphones, not matter how “smart” they may be.

One interesting part is that I did not get the news from MediaTek, but instead MediaTek Labs, Mediatek’s Internet of Things (IoT) developer program, and MT2533 is supported by the MediaTek LinkIt Development Platform for RTOS based on FreeRTOS. That means the SiP will be available to makers, and not only large companies, and development and debugging can be done in ARM Keil μVision, IAR Embedded Workbench and GCC like other LinkIt platforms. A development board or, like Mediatek calls it, an HDK (Hardware Development Kit), based on MT2533D could also be launched in the near future.

However Mediatek Labs only mentioned that MT2533D will be available to device makers in Q1 2017, and the developer documentation and tools will be released in Q3 2017, so we will have to wait for a while before being able to play with the platform. More details can be found on MT2533D product page.

Mediatek Introduces Helio X23 and X27 Processors with Faster Clocks, Better Camera Support, Lower Power Consumption

December 2nd, 2016 1 comment

Mediatek has just announced upgrades to their Helio X20 and X25 deca-core processors with respectively Helio X23 and X27 boasting higher CPU and GPU frequencies, higher camera quality, as well as lower power consumption thanks to MiraVision EnergySmart Screen power-saving technology.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The two new processor still feature MediaTek tri-cluster deca-core architecture with two ARM Cortex A72 cores, four ARM Cortex A53 core, and 4 more low power Cortex A53 cores, but Helio X23  Cortex A72 cores’ max CPU frequency increased from 2.1 GHz to 2.3 GHz, and Helio  X27 got a small boost to 2.6 GHz for the Cortex A72 cores (vs 2.5 GHz) and 1.6 GHz for the low power Cortex A53 cluster, as well as a higher frequency ARM Mali-T880 MP4 GPU at 875 MHz instead of 850 MHz for Helio X25.

MediaTek Helio X23 and X27 also support dual camera photography with the upgraded MediaTek Imagiq image signal-processing solution integrating color and mono cameras and depth-of-field applications into a single ISP.

MiraVision EnergySmart Screen technology modifies the display parameters based on the on-screen content and ambient light in order to deliver up to 25% reduction in display power consumption. The processors also integrate an Envelope Tracking Module dynamically adjusting the output voltage based on signal strength from the power amplifier for an average of 15% reduction in power consumption during peak output.

The company did not give any specific availability for smartphones powered by MediaTek Helio X23 and X27, except it will be available “soon”.  You’ll find a few more details on Mediatek Helio X20 series product page.

How Fix Apps Crashing at Launch in Android 6.0 (in Mediatek Phones) ?

September 3rd, 2016 6 comments

I’ve recently received a new Android 6.0 Marshmallow smartphone powered by Mediatek Helio X20 processor, namely Vernee Apollo Lite, and one of the issues I encountered is that some applications such as Firefox and MAPS.ME would crash when I tried to launch them. The problem was reproducible 100% of the time, and occurred from the very first time I tried to start the app. I’d get a message like “Unfortunately MAPS.ME has stopped” with two buttons: REPORT or OK.

Android_Unfortunately_App_Has_Stopped

So I asked on Vernee forums to report the issue, and see if other people had the same problem. One replied had the same problem, but a simple reboot would fix the issue, while the other proposed to clear the cache. I had not considered that option since the crash occurred from the very first time, but I tried anyway. Go to the App list, drag and drop the problematic app to App Info.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Then tap on Storage to access the options to clear cache or data. MAPS.ME used 12KB data, and 12KB cache. I tapped on Clear Data, and tried to launch the app. Same issue. But then I also noticed the app was installed in the SD card, which I used a “device storage” also referred as “Adoptable storage” in Android 6.0. So I tapped on Change, and selected Internal storage instead.

ANdroid_6.0_Clear_Cache_Internal_storage_SD_cardIt still failed, but I decided to reboot the phone to check whether it would work, and I could see the message “Optimizing 1 of 1 app” during boot, and tried launched MAPS.NE again and success!

MAPS.ME_App

I successfully repeated the same procedure, i.e. moving the app from SD card to Internal Storage and rebooting the phone, with Firefox. It’s possible that it might be a Mediatek Android 6.0 SDK bug, rather than a bug specific to my device, so hopefully it may help others too.

ReSpeaker WiFi IoT Board is Designed for Voice Interaction (Crowdfunding)

August 24th, 2016 3 comments

More and more devices are supporting voice interaction nowadays from your smartphone to devices like Amazon Echo, but so far, I had not seen development boards specifically designed for that purpose, and that’s exactly what Seeed Studio ReSpeaker board does by combining audio capabilities, WiFi connectivity, and I/O headers.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

ReSpeaker Core board specifications:

  • WiFi Module – Acsip AI7688 Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n module based on Mediatek MT7688 MIPS SoC
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for programming and power
  • Audio – 3.5mm AUX port, WM8960 audio codec, 2-pin header for external speakers
  • Expansion – 2x 8-pin expansion headers for I2C, GPIO and USB 2.0 host connected to MT7688, built-in microphone.
  • MCU – Atmel ATMega32U4 @ 16 MHz
  • Misc – 12x RGB LEDs, 8x touch sensors, 3 push buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V DC
  • Dimensions – 70mm diameter
  • Weight – 70 grams

The board runs OpenWrt, and uses Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text capabilities from Bing and Google with the company having focused on the English language so far, but you should be able to add other languages fairly easily.  A “detailed and easy-to-use” Python SDK is provided to developers, and other programming languages/options such as C/C++, Arduino, JavaScript and Lua are also available. You can find more details and source code on the Wiki.

Beside the core board, the company also offers two add-on boards such as Grove Extension board to add I2C, UART, digital or analog Grove modules to your projects, and a Microphone array board with 7 microphones and 12 LEDs.

Mic Array (Top Left), Grove Extension (Bottom Left), and (Right)

Mic Array (Top Left), Grove Extension (Bottom Left), and Meow King Drive Unit (Right)

Finally if you want something hackable, but looking more like a consumer product, Seeed Studio has partnered with Meow King Audio Electronic to design Meow King Drive Unit with a 5W speaker and taking ReSpeaker Core and Mic Array boards. ReSpeaker Core is also compatible with ESP8266 based Wio Link, and its graphical setup interface.

Some fun projects include a smart speaker answering your questions, weather forecasting decorative cloud, voice controlled meeting scheduler, talking “I’m thirsty” flower, smart photo album showing photos from a given date or event, and more…

The project has launched on Kickstarter a few hours ago, and already raised $37,000 out of its $40,000 funding target. ReSpeaker Core with a 8GB micro SD card requires a $39 pledge (early bird, $59 normal), which goes up to $89 with ReSpeaker Mic Array, and $139 with the complete Meow King Drive unit kit with all necessary boards. There are many other rewards to choose from with various sensors, bundles, etc… Shipping is not included, and adds $10 for standard shipping (Tip: select Hong Kong irregardless of your country), or $20 for DHL shipping according to their latest update. Delivery is scheduled for November 2016, except for the Meow King kit  (January 2017).

PS: I have an early sample of ReSpeaker Core board, and I’ll post a review/guide in a few days.

Mediatek Helio X30 Deca-core SoC Features ARM Cortex-A73, Cortex A53, and Cortex A35 Processor Cores

August 9th, 2016 15 comments

Mediatek introduced Helio X20 last year with a tri-cluster architecture comprised of 2 powerful ARM Cortex A72 cores, 4 Cortex A53 cores, and 4 extra Cortex A53 cores operating at a lower frequency, and optimized for power consumption. But now that ARM has introduced ultra-low power Cortex A35 cores, and more powerful Cortex A73 cores,  the Taiwanese company has been able to improve its tri-cluster implementation for the upcoming Helio X30 deca-core processor with 2 Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.8 GHz, 4 Cortex A53 cores @ up to 2.2 GHz, and 4 Cortex A35 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz.

Helio_X30According to various sources on Weibo, the mobile processor also includes an Imagination PowerVR 7XT GPU, supports up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM @ 1600 MHz (PoP – Package in Package), UFS 2.1 flash storage, up to 40MP camera sensors,  and its cellular modem will support LTE Cat.10 to Cat.12.

Medaitek Helio X30 processor will be mass-produced using a 10nm manufacturing process in Q1 2017 and beyond, with Helio X30 smartphones likely launched at about the same time or in Q2 2017.

Mediatek Labs Unveils Deca-core Helio X20 Development Board Compliant with 96Boards CE Specifications

June 27th, 2016 31 comments

More and more companies are joining the 96Boards bangwagon, and the latest move by Mediatek Labs will mean their Helio X20 development board, designed in collaboration with ArcherMind, will be the most powerful 96Boards CE edition released so far thanks to its deca-core processor with two Cortex A72 cores, and 8 Cortex A53 cores.

Mediatek_96Boards_Development_BoardMediatek Helio X20 board specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek Helio X20 (MT6797) deca-core processor with two ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.3 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.95 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.4 GHz, and  ARM Mali-T880 GPU @ 800 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 @ 933 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD 3.0 (UHS-I) slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p @ 30 fps
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with antenna connector
  • 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
    • Analog expansion connector – Headset, Speaker, FM antenna, and more
  • 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 currently supports Android 6.0, and for now documentation is available in Chinese on Alpha Star website, with an English translation coming soon. The pre-sales page also mentions a daughterboard, but I could not find further details about it, nor the price of either boards.

More details should eventually surface on Mediatek Labs Helio X20 development board page.

Via Phoronix

ARM announces “premium IP” for VR and AR with Cortex-A73 Processor and Mali-G71 GPU

May 30th, 2016 3 comments

Today ARM has revealed the first details of its latest mobile processor and GPU, both said to be optimized for VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) applications.

Starting with the ARM Cortex-A73, we’re looking at an evolution of the current Cortex-A72 with ARM claiming 30 percent “sustained” performance over the Cortex-A72 and over twice the performance over the Cortex-A57. ARM is already talking about clock speeds of up to 2.8GHz in mobile devices. Other improvements include an increase up to 64k L1 instruction and data cache, up from 48 and 32k respectively for the Cortex-A72, as well as up to 8MB of L2 cache.

ARM_Cortex_A73The Cortex-A73 continues to support ARM’s big.LITTLE CPU design in combination with the Cortex-A53 or the Cortex-A35. It’s also the first ARM core to have been designed to be built using 10nm FinFET technology and it should be an extremely small CPU at around 0.65 square millimeters per core, or a 46 percent shrink from the Cortex-A72. By moving to 10nm and FinFET, ARM is also promising power efficiency gains of up to 20 percent over the Cortex-A72.

Cortex A53 vs A72 vs A73

Cortex A53 vs A72 vs A73

The Mali-G71 GPU takes things even further, as ARM is promising a 50 percent increase in graphics performance, a 20 percent improvement in power efficiency and 40 percent more performance per square millimeter over its previous generation of GPU’s. To accomplish this, ARM has designed the Mali-G71 to support up to 32 shader cores, which is twice as many as the Mali-T880 and ARM claims that this will enable the Mali-G71 to beat “many discrete GPUs found in today’s mid-range laptops”. We’d take this statement with a grain of salt, as it takes more than raw computing performance to do a good GPU and that’s why there are so few companies that are still designing their own GPUs. As with the Cortex-A73, the Mali-G71 is optimized for 10nm FinFET manufacturing technology.

As always with ARM based GPUs, it depends on the partner implementation and the Mali-G71 supports designs with as little as one shader. Looking at most current mobile GPU implementations we’d expect to see most of ARM’s partners to go with a 4-8 shader implementation to keep their silicon cost at a manageable level. That said, we might get to see one or two higher-end implementations, as ARM has already gotten the likes of Samsung, MediaTek, Marvell and Hi-Silicon interested in its latest GPU.

ARM_Mali-G71

With a big move towards VR and AR, it’s also likely that the ARM partners are going to have to move to a more powerful GPU to be able to deliver the kind of content that will be expected from these market spaces. According to the press release, it looks like ARM has already gotten Epic Games and Unity Technologies interested in supporting their latest GPU

Devices using the new ARM Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71 are expected sometime in 2017, so there’s quite a gap between the announcement and the availability of actual silicon, but with HiSilicon, Marvell, MediaTek, Samsung Electronics and others having already licensed Cortex A73 IP. at least it means we have something to look forward to next year. You can find more details on ARM Cortex A73 and Mali-G71 pages, as well as ARM community’s blog.

VoCore2 WiFi IoT Module Features Mediatek MT7628AN Processor

May 11th, 2016 7 comments

When Vocore WiFi module launched in 2014 on Indiegogo, it quickly became popular as at the time it was hard to find cost effective and small WiFi modules with GPIOs, and its compact Ethernet dock solution was also a hit. The developer has now been working on VoCore2 for several months, and recently announced a beta testing program.

VoCore2Vocore2 preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7628AN MIPS processor @ 580 MHz
  • System Memory –  64 or 128 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16MB NOR FLASH, 1x SDXC via I/O pins
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11n 2T2R up to 300 Mbps with either 2 u.FL connector or 1 u.FL connector + on-board chip antenna (Max signal output >19.5dbm peak); 2x 10/100M Ethernet interfaces via I/O pins
  • I/Os – About 30 GPIOs multiplexed with 3x UARTs, 1x I2C, 1x I2S, 1x reference clock, 1x USB 2.0, 1x PCIe 1.1, 1x high speed SPI (40Mbps max), 1x SPI slave, 2x hardware PWM
  • Power Supply – Input: 3.6~6.0V; output: 1.8V, 3.3V.
  • Power Consumption – 74mA @ 5V (wifi on, no data transfer); 233mA @ 5V (max speed cpu and wireless)
  • Dimensions –  25×25 mm

Compare to the first version of VoCore, VoCore2 has a faster processor, more memory, a lower power consumption, a better WiFi signal, and more I/Os. While the software (OpenWrt) will be open source, the hardware won’t be.

VoCore2 is eventually expected to sell for $20 + shipping, For the beta program however, the board is sold for $50 including $20 for DHL shipping, and developers who commit patchsets for VoCore2 to openwrt.org will get a $30 refund. While the hardware is now complete, and OpenWrt runs on the board, there are still many bugs to fix, and the final release is expected in two months time. If you have questions, you can head over VoCore2 forums.