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Posts Tagged ‘open source’

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board To Support Android and Lubuntu

July 25th, 2014 16 comments

We’ve already got a long list of upcoming Rockchip RK3288 based Android media players, but no low cost development boards have been announced to date. We can certainly expect a Radxa Rock 2 board with the Cortex A17 processor, but it might not be the only one, as Firefly-RK3288 development board powered by Rockchip RK3288 is currently being developed by another Chinese team.

Firefly-RK3288 (Click to Enlarge... a bit)

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board (Click to Enlarge… a bit)

Current specifications for Firefly-RK3288 board:

  • 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 – 2G DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video I/O
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160@60p
    • VGA out (D-SUB connector)
    • VGA in is available via the expansion headers.
    • LCD, MIPI and LVDS
  • Audio Output / Input – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, microphone header, and built-in MIC
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 38-pin headers with access to SPI, UART, EDP, ADC, GPIO, I2C, VGA=IN, LVDS, MIPI, 3.3V, 5V, and GND signals.
  • Power Supply – TBC
  • Dimensions – 118 x 83 mm

Firefly-RK3288_connectorsThe developers told me it would be an open hardware project, but I’m not sure it will be 100% open source hardware, but at least they seem committed to release the hardware schematics, component’s placement file, and components’ datasheets. Hardware design and debugging have just been completed, and they have not reached the mass production stage just yet, which also means there’s no price information either. They will support Android 4.4 and Ubuntu for the board, and the SDKs, tutorial and hardware files will all be available from their website in August.

That website is not online yet (and I don’t even know the domain name), but the board can be found on oschina, and the development followed on TeeFirefly’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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Adapteva Announces Three Parallella Fanless Boards for Microserver, Desktop, and Embedded Applications

July 15th, 2014 5 comments

Adapteva’s Parallella low cost open source hardware “supercomputer” is a board powered by Xilinx Zynq-7010/7020 dual core Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC and the company’s Ephipany epiphany coprocessor, that’s had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 as the 16-core version sold for just $99, and is capable of handling applications such as image and video processing, and ray-tracing, and also comes with an OpenCL SDK. The board was fairly difficult to source after the crowdfunding campaign, and one the common complain of backers was the board had to be actively cooled by a fan. The company has fixed both issues by increasing slightly the price, and redesigning the board so that it can be passively cooled by a larger heatsink.

Parallela Desktop Board

Parallella Desktop Board with Heatsink

There are now three versions of the parallela board:

  • Parallella Microserver ($119) – Used as an Ethernet connected headless server
  • Parallella Desktop ($149) – Used as a  personal computer
  • Parallella Embedded ($249) – Used for “leading edge” embedded system

Here are the simplified specs of the boards:

  • SoC
    • Microserver and Desktop – Xilinx Zynq Z7010 dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache + Artix-7 FPGA with 28K logic cells
    • Embedded – Xilinx Zynq Z7020 dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache + Artix-7 FPGA with 85K logic cells
  • Coprocessor – 16-core Epiphany-III processor
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot + 128Mb quad SPI flash
  • Connectivity – 10/100/100M Ethernet
  • Video Output – 1x micro HDMI (Desktop and Embedded only)
  • USB – 1x micro USB host port  (Desktop and Embedded only)
  • Expansion I/O
    • Microserver – N/A
    • Desktop – 2 eLinks (Ephiphany Links) + 24 GPIO pins
    • Embedded – 2 eLinks + 48 GPIO pins
  • Dimensions – 86.36mm x 53.34mm
Parallela Embedded

Parallela Embedded

The board will sell with the heatsink and a power adapter. If you have one of the boards from the Kickstarter campaign,  or boards purchased before the 10th of July, you can’t go fanless by just replacing the fan by the new heatsink, as it won’t fit.

Parallella-16 Desktop computer is available now for $149 on Adapteva shop, and in a couple of days, it will be on Amazon US. The Microserver and Embedded versions will be available in a few weeks. You can read the announcement on the company website, where you’ll also find some interesting projects (videos) that have been done so far by the community of developers.

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Toradex Customized Single Board Computers Powered by Freescale Vybrid and i.MX6 Sell for 39 Euros and Up

June 30th, 2014 5 comments

Toradex has launched what they call “Customized SBCs” (Single Board Computers) comprised of the usual carrier board an computer-on-module (CoM) combination, using their Apalis & Colibri families. The company offers various combination of Freescale i.MX6 and Vybrid VF50 single board computers, with price starting at 39 Euros for 1k order, or 49 Euros for samples.

Viola Carrier Board and Colibris VF50 SoM

Viola Carrier Board and Colibri VF50 CoM

I’ve already featured Toradex Colibri VF50 (and VF61) modules in another post, but to summarize Colibri VF50 is a computer modules based on Freescale Vybrid VF50 ARM Cortex A5 CPU with 64 to 128MB DDR3, and 128MB NAND flash that targets industrial applications requiring long term availability (15 years). VF50 sells as low as 19 Euros per unit for 10k orders.

Viola is a new open source hardware carrier board with the following features:

Viola Carrier Board (Click to Enlarge)

Viola Carrier Board (Click to Enlarge)

  • Compatible with all Toradex Colibri CoMs
  • External Storage – microSD interface
  • Video – RGB LCD Interface, 4 wire resistive touch interface
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Mbit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB Host (High Speed)
  • Other I/Os:
    • 50 pin-header for access to I2C, SPI, UART A/B/C ???, GPIOs, PWM
    • 4x Analog Input
    • 3x (UART) RS232
    • 1x CAN (Colibri VFxx and iMX6 only)
  • Misc – 1x RTC on Board (Not Assembled)
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • On-board Power Supplies – 5V/2A, and 3.3V/2A
  • Dimensions – 74 x 74mm

Toradex will soon provide Altium CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) files meaning schematics, PCB layout, and Gerber files for Viola. The baseboard also has a 10+ year longevity, just like the CoMs, and costs 13 Euros per unit for 1K orders.

Colibri VFxx CoMs support Windows CE 5.0 / 6.0, Linux 3.0.15 with U-boot 2011.12 (Timesys / OpenEmbedded), and Android is available on request. There are more software options for modules based on i.MX6.

Both Freescale i.MX6 and Vyrbid VFxx solutions appear to be available, and you can get more information on Toradex’s Customized Single Board Computers’ page.

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Acme Systems Arietta EDU Open Hardware Baseboard for Arietta G25 SoM (ARM9)

June 27th, 2014 No comments

Arietta G25 is a tiny system-on-module (SoM) powered by Atmel SAM9G25 ARM9 processor and running Linux that sold for a discount earlier this year (9.9 Euros) for early backers, and is now available for 20 Euros, and support an optional Wi-Fi module for as low as 7 Euros extra. Acme Systems, the company who made the board, is now considering designing and manufacturing an open source hardware baseboard for the module, and is asking for feedback from the community before going ahead.

Arietta (G25) EDU and Arietta G25 SoM

Arietta (G25) EDU and Arietta G25 SoM

Currently the idea is to have a baseboard with the following:

  • Arietta G25 SoM connector (Vertical mount)
  • 1x USB Host port
  • I2C Sensors -  Temperature and Humidity sensor,  Light sensor
  • Mosfet output for RGB led strip
  • 2x relay output
  • 1x filtered dry input
  • 2x servo RC motors output
  • Audio interface with embedded microphone and jack for PC speakers using Wolfson WM8731 codec
  • Expansion headers for external modules already available and made by the company:
    • SPI bus for stepper motor interface or oLed 1.5 inch 128×128 pixel
    • I2C & serial buses for RS232 interface, RS485 interface, XBee adapter, MBUS Adapter, MEMS module, LCD 16×2 display, 4D systems adapter, Daisy proto board

The initial schematic (PDF) is already available, and if you have an Arietta G25 SoM, or plan to, and are interesting in the EDU baseboard, you can leave your feedback on the company forums, or contact them by email or twitter.

Further details, including links to external modules’ pages, may be found on Arietta EDU page.

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Linux Kernel 3.10.33 Source Code Released for Amlogic S802 (Part of Tronsmart Vega S89 SDK)

May 18th, 2014 16 comments

We already had the kernel source for Amlogic S802. The previous code found on Amlogic website, and based on Linux 3.10.10. I’ve been informed there’s a new release based on Linux 3.10.33, and apparently the code based used for Tronsmart Vega S89 (aka Beelink M8, S82), and the new Tronsmart Vega S89-H with proper Dolby & DTS support.

Linux 3.10.33 vs Linux 3.10.10

Linux 3.10.33 vs Linux 3.10.10

Beside a new version, the kernel adds support for a new platform called “meson8 baby” and HDMI IN support, as well a several changes in AMlogic source such as GPU cooling.. All device tree files also seem to have been amended mostly with I2C and thermal settings. It is not a full release, and the hardware directory with GPU, TVIN, Wi-Fi, and NAND drivers is not included. Having said that, it should be possible to use the drivers from the previous release. Meson6 (Amlogic AML8726-MX) source code is also included, and appears to have fixed Ethernet issues people had with the previous kernel 3.10 release.

If you want to give it a try, the source code has been uploaded on github.

Thanks to gizmomelb for the tip.

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Yocto Project 1.6 “Daisy” Released

April 25th, 2014 No comments

Yocto Project LogoThe Yocto Project Release 1.6 has just been announced. This release is codenamed “Daisy”, and features Poky 11.0.0, which is the reference system used by the project, but other systems could also be used. The Yocto Project is a framework that creates embedded Linux distributions, and is now being used by many Intel and ARM based embedded boards such as Wandboard, Atmel Xplained, Minnowboard MAX, and the Raspberry Pi.

Some of the Yocto Project 1.6 features and updates include:

  • Linux kernel 3.14 and 3.10 LTSI
  • eglibc 2.19, gcc 4.8.2
  • Support for building Python 3
  • Toaster web UI for exploring build output
  • Documentation – BitBake user’s manual improvment, and added section explaining how to “Write a New Recipe“.
  • New reference BSP for beaglebone and edgerouter
  • Change to use SHA512 password encryption with shadow by default
  • Various performance improvement, and disk usage reductions.
  • Add support for booting UEFI systems with gummiboot
  • Image / SDK creation code rewritten in Python (previously shell scripts)
  • Add Git Annex fetcher support
  • Add ability to build rpm/deb/ipk packages concurrently
  • Default to out-of-tree builds when using cmake
  • Added / improved systemd support
  • Test suites – Added ptest support to various packages, added piglit for OpenGL testing, added testing to more recipes

You can download The Yocto Project 1.6 with Poky 11 to give it a try. Alternatively, you can also retrieve the code via git:

git clone -b daisy git://git.yoctoproject.org/poky.git

For further details, you can  visit Yocto Project 1.6 Features page.

The next version (The Yocto Project 1.7) will be released in October 2014, as the project follows a 6-month release schedule. Yocto Project 1.7 Features page is still work in progress, but main themes ofr development have not been decided, or the page have not been updated just yet.

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Linux Kernel Source Code and Chromium OS Overlay for Rockchip RK3288

April 23rd, 2014 6 comments

A few days ago, we’ve seen Chromium OS running on Rockchip RK3288 development platform. I’ve been informed the source code could have already been released via the newly registered rkchrome github account with Linux kernel 3.10.30 and the overlay files to build Chromium OS for RK3288. There’s also a u-boot repository but it is currently empty.  This Linux kernel can also boot Rockchip RK3188 based Radxa Rock development board, but more tests are needed to see if it’s really usable.

I’ll have a look at the Linux kernel, and try to build it, and leave the Chromium OS part for later or other people.

Linux_3.10_Rockchip_RK3188_RK3288Let’s retrieve the source code:

git clone https://github.com/rkchrome/kernel.git
cd kernel

We’ve got two kernel config files related to Rockchip in arch/arm/config:

ls arch/arm/configs/ | grep rock
rockchip_chromium_defconfig
rockchip_defconfig

But since this is a recent 3.10 kernel with support for Flattened Device Tree support, and multi-platform support, there’s not much to be seen in these files, and we have to go to arch/arm/boot/dts/ where we can find several rk3188 and rk3288 related files:

cd arch/arm/boot/dts/
ls rk*
rk3188-clocks.dtsi   rk3188-tb.dts       rk3288-fpga.dts      rk3288-tesco.dts
rk3188.dtsi          rk3288-chrome.dts   rk3288-p977.dts      rk616.dtsi
rk3188-lr097.dts     rk3288-clocks.dtsi  rk3288-pinctrl.dtsi  rk808.dtsi
rk3188-pinctrl.dtsi  rk3288.dtsi         rk3288-tb.dts

dtsi files contains parameters relevant to the SoC and common to all hardware platforms. dts files are device specific. All dts file seem to include an LCD display so they may all be for tablets.

Let’s try to build the kernel with one of the default config in Ubuntu 14.04:

make ARCH=arm rockchip_defconfig
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- -j8

The build actually failed due to some inlining issues such as:

arch/arm/mach-rockchip/pm.h:161:20: error: inlining failed in call to always_inline ‘rkpm_set_ctrbits’: function body not available

But each time, editing the code to remove the inline declaration, e.g. “extern inline void” to “extern void,” fixed the build, and eventually I could get a zImage that in theory can boot RK3188 or RK3288 based devices.

If you want to generate the dtb (Device Tree Binary) file from the dts you can run something like:

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- rk3288-tb.dtb

Thanks to Omegamoon for the tip.

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