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Posts Tagged ‘open source’

Interview with Allwinner Regarding their Linaro Membership

August 21st, 2014 3 comments

Since Allwinner has joined the Linaro Digital Home Group earlier this year, many people, including myself, have wondered what it means in terms of Linux support, and the engagement with the open source community. Following up on an idea from a regular reader, I’ve decided to asked a few questions to Ben-El Baz, marketing manager at Allwinner, and Linaro contact for Allwinner, which he kindly answered, and accepted to be published on CNX Software.

AllWinner_Linaro

  • CNXSoft: Why did Allwinner decide to join Linaro, and especially the Digital Home Group?
    Allwinner: One of our company’s goals is to be a technology leader.  It’s ambitious but not too far-fetched given the background of our leadership and engineering team.  There’s an extremely talented group of guys behind the scenes here!

    Leading is difficult unless you’re involved in collaborative organizations like Linaro that work on new technology.  Joining Linaro is an opportunity for us to grow and develop new technology together with other leading companies.  We’ve actually been trying to find the right time to join Linaro for over a year.  The Home Group was a perfect entry point; since the end of last year we’ve invested more resources into our home entertainment (OTT) division.  Our roadmap has added many new home sector-specific SoCs as well.

    Joining Linaro is also a continuation of our open strategy.  We’ve tried to be as open as possible since joining the app processor space; we were one of the first low-cost vendors to fully support the open source hardware community through partners like CubieTech, OLinuXino, pcDuino, Merrii, and more.  I’m sure I’m forgetting someone, please don’t be mad!

  • CNXSoft: There are three levels of membership for companies at Linaro: Core member, Club member, and Group member. AllWinner joined Linaro as a Group member, which as I understand is a limited membership, and leads to several questions:
    1. Will Allwinner primarily have an observatory role in the Digital Home Group, or will the company be actively engaged?
      Allwinner: Joining an international, collaborative engineering organization is new to us.  We’ve mostly been observing up to this point, but we’re trying to get more involved.  Getting more involved means our engineers more closely following Linaro’s roadmap and thinking about new projects we could bring into the Home group.  We’ve already brought up some ideas within the group.
    2. Will the work done in the Digital Home Group focus mainly on higher level applications, or will some work be done on the kernel and drivers as well,  specifically to the parts relating to Allwinner, or in other words will there be engineers at Linaro working on code specific to Allwinner?
      Allwinner:
      Still doing work planning.  Happy to share more details after Connect.  Have already done some ground work to support upcoming projects though.  Welcome any ideas from the community as well.
  • CNXSoft: I understand there’s no Allwinner Landing Team at Linaro, so there won’t be engineering builds targeting Allwinner hardware released by Linaro. Does Allwinner plan to eventually put more resources into Linaro?
    Allwinner:
    We’re more resource-limited compared to other larger Linaro members but still able to make appropriate engineering commitments.  We’re thinking about increasing our contribution over time – this type of collaboration is still very new to us.
  • CNXSoft: Do you expect the Linaro membership to affect the way the company approaches open source development? For example,  like many silicon vendors, Allwinner develop their own SDK (Linux,U-boot, etc..) in house, and release a vendor tree to direct customers, but it appears many companies are seeing the benefit of committing code to mainline (kernel.org), and there’s a clear trend in that direction. Now Allwinner mainline support is mainly performed by linux-sunxi community, so I’m wondering if Allwinner has any interest in getting involved in this area?
    Allwinner:
    I think there will always be a split software support focus – one towards productization and one towards mainline Linux support. Recently we started a more formal engagement with the linux-sunxi community; hopefully this will enable us to better support developers. Mainlining is important to us but needs some focus. It’d help to hear what the community wants. Which Allwinner SoCs would you like to see with mainline support? With which modules supported? In which kernel version (realistically!)? Why?

They also told me more details should be available after Linaro Connect USA next month.

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Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014 Schedule – IoT, ARM vs x86, Optimization, Power Management, Debugging…

August 21st, 2014 2 comments

The Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC 2014), CloudOpen, and LinuxCon Europe will jointly take place at the Congress Centre Düsseldorf, in Germany on October 13 – 15, 2014. The 3-day events will consists of keynotes, presentations, and tutorials. Each day will open with two or three keynotes by speakers including  Jim Zemlin (Executive Director, Linux Foundation), and Jono Bacon (XPRIZE), followed by presentation and tutorials. There will be 45 presentations for ELCE, 58 for LinuxCon, and 47 for CloudOpen, I’ll make a virtual schedule with a few sessions part of the Embedded Linux Conference Europe “track”.

ELCE_2014

Monday, October 13

When faced with a performance problem, the initial steps towards a solution include identifying the sections of code responsible and the precise reasons they are time-consuming. To this end, the ‘perf’ profiling tools provide valuable insight into the characteristics of a program. The presentation will show, using real-world examples, how the ‘perf’ tools can be used to pinpoint the parts of a program in need of optimization.

It’s not uncommon to produce embedded Linux based devices that end up with long and inconvenient boot times – yet eliminating boot time delays can be difficult and time consuming. Furthermore once a minimal boot time has been achieved it’s often just as difficult to maintain it through subsequent software development.

In this presentation, Andrew unfolds 12 keys lessons learned in his experience of boot time reduction. These lessons provide an insight into the common causes of boot time delays, why they are present and how they can be overcome. In describing these lessons Andrew will also take you on a journey that indicates why file system benchmarks should probably be ignored (with respect to boot time reduction) and a journey that illustrates that the Linux kernel is rarely the worst offender for boot delays.

With the introduction of Bluetooth Smart (aka Low Energy), the ubiquity of Bluetooth is more and more present. Millions of devices support Bluetooth Low Energy and with Bluetooth 4.1 specification, they are ready for the Internet of Things. This presentation will give an overview of Bluetooth Low Energy, and its usage for the Internet of Things. It will also introduce 6loWPAN over Bluetooth and show the possibilities this opens for Linux.

With experience developing community based open hardware for both the ARM based PandaBoard project and the x86 based MinnowBoard project, this presentation will provide a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each platform with highlights of what each platform can learn from the other. Not only limited to the hardware aspect of the platforms, but also discuss community, software, corporate and general embedded aspects.

For almost as long as there have been deployments of Linux, there has been someone wondering “how can I get the device started quicker?” and “how do I configure some redundancy, easily, in case something goes wrong?”. And for the longest time, the answer has been “hack this and this and that” or “hire these consultants, they have done it before”. In this presentation, Tom will show what you need to turn on and the prep work required for, getting a lot of those items out of the box in U-Boot, what the hardware (and/or ROM) needs to do, and the what works is left going forward.

Got a question, comment, gripe, praise, or other communication for the Yocto Project and/or OpenEmbedded? Or maybe you’d just like to learn more about these projects and their influence on the world of embedded Linux? Feel free to join us for an informal BoF.

Tuesday, October 14

While user experiences are increasingly moving to 3D, rendering of 2D content remains at the core of how we interact with computer applications today. Skia is an open-source project maintained by Google whose goal is to bring the best 2D graphics library to a variety of targets, from mobile to desktop and embedded. Skia is used in highly popular projects like Mozilla Firefox, the Chromium browser and Android.

This talk will introduce Skia to developers and users, giving an overview of its design, architecture and features. It will also discuss briefly how hardware acceleration improves performance of Skia in the context of new devices, form-factors and the industry shift to mobile; with focus set on Linux and Android platforms.

The 4.4 KitKat release includes the results of “Project Svelte”: a set of tweaks to the operating system to make it run more easily on devices with around 512 MB RAM. This is especially important for people working with Android Wearables and “Embedded Android”, that is, implementing Android on devices at the lower end of the Android ecosystem. A large part of the problem is knowing how much RAM is really being used. Android offers a variety of tools for the purpose: procrank, procmem, meminfo and procstats, which Chris covers in the first part of the talk. In the second part, he takes a real-world example and show the practical steps you can take to optimize memory use including tuning the size of the Dalvik heap, enabling KSM (Kernel samepage merging) and swap to zRAM.

Android has relied from its early days on the Linux kernel for sandboxing the processes it runs. Yet, the permission model presented to app developers is significantly different from the Unix permission model. What’s the relationship between those two models? How is Android’s app security framework tied to the Linux kernel’s security model? More recently, Android has started using SELinux and has been extended by SEAndroid to support similar functionality. How is SELinux used by Android and what is SEAndroid about? Furthermore, how does Android provide support for multiple users?

This talk will explore Android’s security model in great detail and explain how the functionality found in the kernel is used to isolate user processes and the SE enhancements are leveraged by Android. As we’ll see, there are quite a few moving parts in Android’s security model.

Since last year, Free Electrons has been working on supporting the SoCs from Allwinner, a Chinese SoC vendor, in the mainline kernel. These SoCs are cheap, wide-spread, backed by a strong community and, until last year, only supported by an out-of-tree kernel. Through this talk, Maxime will share the status of this effort: the status a year ago, what solutions were in place, where we are currently, and what to expect from the future. He will also focus on the community around these SoCs, the work that is done there, etc.

Enlightenment Foundation Library is a set of libraries designed to use the full potential of any hardware to do great UI. It has been designed with the embedded devices in mind, but it is a desktop class toolkit. Being done in C, it is providing a stable API/ABI, high efficiency, low memory and low battery usage for all kind of Linux devices. Enabling development of modern UI adapted to any hardware that run Linux. These are the reason why Samsung uses it in its Tizen devices. This talk, after a short overview of what this libraries cover, will focus on this year improvement, and where it is heading. It will also be an opportunity to learn about project around EFL that will help people develop product with it. And it would also be a good opportunity to see where EFL are used with some real use case.

Wednesday, October 15

A major issue the community faces is the lack of power measurement (PM) instrumentation, coupled with poor integration: development boards not designed for it, expensive high-precision lab equipment not accessible to hobbyists (plus limited Linux support), limited low-cost solutions (precision, sampling rate) to monitor high-performance SoC (System On Chips) platforms (e.g. smartphones, tablets, IoT, …). After a brief introduction to the problematic (PM techniques, sense resistor / ADC selection, …) and a comparative study of existing solutions, this presentation will focus on a new upcoming initiative to close these gaps and bring a full-blown multi-channel but low-cost power (and temperature) measurement equipment to the community, including the definition of an open standard PM connector. After having covered motivations, challenges, key decisions, a live demo will close the talk.

In 2013, at the Embedded Linux Conference in Europe in Edinburgh, there was a race between a dog and a blimp. It was said that despite the dogs win, that the blimp had participated in the miracle of flight. In 2014, John wants to show that the brains of that dog can be transplanted and that it too, can participate in the miracle of flight. The talk is mainly targeting taking an off the shelf embedded platform, Minnowboard Max, and it’s use in UAVs, specifically quad-copters. With the ability to do real time computer vision, as well as various GPIO capabilities he will explore the directions that significantly more autonomous UAVs can take with Linux and embedded platforms using, mostly, off the shelf components.

There have been many presentations on what a device tree looks like and how to create a device tree. This talk instead examines how the Linux kernel uses a device tree. Topics include the kernel device tree framework, device creation, resource allocation, driver binding, and connecting objects. Troubleshooting will consider initialization, allocation, and binding ordering; kernel configuration; and driver problems.

Providing real-time capabilities to a general purpose operating system is an outstanding technical problem, and Linux Preempt-RT has been developed for 10 years for this goal. In this presentation, Jim proposes a lightweight open source para-virtualization layer, called “rtmux”, using resource-multiplexing techniques to provide a highly deterministic RT environment for Linux/ARM. Typically, less than 500 lines modification against Linux kernel are required to enable rtmux accompanied by POSIX/PSE51 compatible runtime.

During the last 2.5 years, a team of engineers at Free Electrons has been involved in mainlining the support for several ARM processors from Marvell, converting the not-so-great vendor-specific BSP into mainline quality code progressively merged upstream. This effort of several hundreds working days, has led to the integration of hundreds of patches in the kernel. Through this talk, Thomas will share some lessons learned regarding this mainlining effort, which could be useful to other engineers involved in ARM SoC support, as well as detail the steps Free Electrons engineers have gone through, the mistakes made and how they’ve been solved, as well as their overall experience on this project.

To make your own schedule matching your interests, you can check out the events’ program.

To attend the conference, you can register online.

The fees are listed as follows:

  • All-access Registration Fee – $600 until August 22 (tomorrow), $750 until October 2, and $850 afterwards
  • Attendee Networking Pass Registration – No access to conference sessions. $250 until August 22, $300 afterwards.
  • Student Registration Fee – $200 (valid student id required).
  • Registration Discount Scholar – $300. For active open source community members who can’t be sponsored by their company. .

Fees are significantly higher than last year, because there are only all-in-one (ELCE, CloudOpen and LinuxCon )options, and you can’t simply register to one single event.

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WRTNode is a Hacker-Friendly Open Source Hardware OpenWRT Wi-Fi Module Selling for $25

August 20th, 2014 4 comments

There are now some tiny and low cost ($15 to $20) Wi-Fi modules supporting OpenWRT such as VoCore and AsiaRF AWM002. However due to their small size they may not be that hacker’s friendly as they can’t have 2.54mm headers due to heir small size, and I’ve recently received AsiaRF AWM002 only to find out it not only needs 3.3V supply voltage, but also 1.8V and 1.2V. So I’d need to make my own power circuit with the required LDOs, or purchase a $20 base board to use the module. Here comes WRTnode another larger Wi-Fi module but with more usable 2.54mm headers, and based on the more powerful Mediatek MT7620N processor @ 600MHz.

WRTnodeWRTnode hardware specifications:

  • Processor – Mediatek  MT7620N 600MHz MIPS CPU (MIPS24KEc)
  • System Memory – 64MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 2T2R 802.11n 2.4 GHz up to 300Mbps
  • Expansion Headers – 2x with access to  23GPIOs, JTAG, SPI, UART Lite, USB2.0 host
  • USB – 1x micro USB
  • Dimensions – 45mm x 50mm

OpenWRT is based on BARRIER BREAKER release with various patches (opencv 2.4.8, linino, …), demos (opencv, mechanical control, and RESTful), and source code available on github. The project also claims to “open hardware”, but for now they’ve only released the schematics (PDF), with the BoM and PCB layout being released layer. The board has apparently been designed by a company called DFRobot (TBC), and robotics projects and shields are planned for WRTnode, and “WRTnode IoT development framework SDK” will be released at a later stage with a graphical IDE, “enhanced AI algorithms”, RESTful, and more.

You can watch a demo with WRTnode running OpenCV and controlling uARM robotic arm to pickup coins, and move them into a cup.

They have already sold a few beta boards in China, but the module is not currently available for purchase, but it will sell for $25+ shipping on DFrobots, SeeedStudio, and a few other sites. You can find more information on WRTnode website.

Via Olof Johansson

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Atomwear is a Modularized, Open source, Wearable BLE Development Kit (Crowdfunding)

August 11th, 2014 No comments

Giayee is a company mainly manufacturing Android tablets, thin clients, and mini PCs, but their latest product, called Atomwear, is a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) development kit based on Nordic nRF51822 chipset that comes with various modules such as battery charger, accelerometer, gyroscope, OLED display, heart rate monitor, etc… which connect together via 24-pin connector on a standard rigid baseboard or a flexible printed circuit (FPC).

Atomwer_FPC

Various Atomwear Modules Connected to FPC

All modules are connected via the same 24-pin connector with power, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, and GPIOs signals. The baseboard and FPC both contain 6 such connectors connected in parallel for up to 6 modules, and two baseboard can be connected together via a bridge circuit to accept more modules. The minimum configuration is with a BLE MCU module, and a power module.

The different boards and modules are listed as follows:

  • Atomwear-BASE – Baseboard – Dimensions: 10x70mm
  • Atomwear-MCU – BLE MCU board – Dimensions: 10x21mm. The brain of the system. It consists of Nordic nRF51822 BLE MCU, a button and two LEDs. The button is designed to switch working mode and two LEDs indicate working status. They can be defined by users.
  • Atomwear-BAT – Battery module.  Dimensions: 10x20mm.  This module provides power supply for Atomwear via a 40 mAh battery, and indicated the battery level to the MCU. If you need more capacity severral Atomwear-BAT modules can be used.
  • Atomwear-CHG – USB battery charge control module -  Dimensions – 10x13mm. Charge Atomwear via a Micro USB receptacle. There are two LEDs on this board (Green and Red) to indicate charging status.
  • Atomwear-BAC – 3-axis digital accelerometer and barometric pressure sensor -  Dimensions – 10x10mm. The two sensors are connected on the same I2C bus with different device addresses, and they provide acceleration, barometric pressure, temperature and altitude data.
  • Atomwear-MAG – Versatile 9DoF sensor module -  Dimensions – 10x10mm. This board contains a 3-axis gyro & 3-axis accelerometer (BMI055) and a 3-axis magnetometer (AK8963).
  • Atomwear-OLED -  OLED display module -  Dimensions: 14x14mm.  Low power OLED module with 64×32 resolution.
  • Atomwear-DBG – Debug port module.  Dimensions: 10X12mm. This module connects the SWD port and UART port from the 24-pin socket to 2.54mm pitch header.

Atomwear_Modules
The project will be fully open source, the first version of the firmware and software, top be used with Keil uVison4, is already available on github, and there should also be an Android (no iOS mentioned) demo app in Java to show how to use their API, but it’s not in github or I missed it. The company also promised to send all their hardware design files (schematic, board design) to their backers by email, and they encourage people to come up with their own modules.

Giayee has launched Atomwear Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000 CAD or more to launch production. Pledges start at $45 CAD for the basic Atomwear kit with the MCU, debug, battery, MAG module, and baseboard. If you want a kit with the PFC and a rubber wristband, that is something you could actually wear, you’ll need to pledge $75 CAD which also includes the basic kit plus the OLED module. Shipping is free to Canada, and $15 CAD to anywhere else, with delivery scheduled for November 2014.

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Parallax Propeller 1 P8X32A Open Source Multi-core MCU

August 11th, 2014 No comments

Lots of electronics devices are now powered by open source software such as Linux, open source hardware is not as wide-spread, but gaining tracking traction thanks to the like of Arduino, Beagleboard.org, Olimex, and many  projects on crowdfunding websites, and now we even start seeing some open source silicon. Existing open source processors include LEON3 (SparkV8) MCU, OpenRisc, and just very recently, LowRISC, based on 64-bit RISC-V instruction set architecture, has been announced with the backing of some of Raspberry Pi co-founders, Google ATAP, etc… and is currently being developed at the University of Cambridge, UK. Parallax Propeller 1 P8X32A is another MCU which has been open sourced last week.

 

Parallax_Propeller_1

Propeller 1 P8X32A had however been released in April 2006, and can be sourced as a 40-pin DIP chip for prototyping, and 44-pin QFP and QFN for production, and come with the following key features:

  • Power Requirements: 3.3 VDC
  • Operating Temperature: -55 to +125 degrees C
  • Processor cores:  Eight 32-bit cores
  • I/O Pins: 32 GPIO CMOS
  • External Clock Speed: DC to 80 MHz
  • Internal RC Oscillator: ~12 MHz or ~20 kHz
  • Execution Speed: 0 to 160 MIPS (20 MIPS/cog)
  • Global ROM/RAM: 32768/32768 bytes
  • Cog RAM: 512 x 32 bits/core
Parallax Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Parallax  P8X32A Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The MCU can be programmed with several languages including Spin (native, object-based), assembly (native low-level), and C/C++ (via open-source Propeller GCC toolchain). Each core can access all 32 I/O pins and other shared system resources, but comes with its own memory and set of configurable hardware for creating, releasing, and re-creating software-defined peripherals as needed.

All the design files ( Verilog files and top-level HDL) have been released under GPLv3 license, and you can load these to simulate the micro-controller on a computer or an FPGA board with access to I/Os. The license allows for derivative works, so anyone can use the Propeller P8X32A micro-controller as a base for research, development, or any form of experimentation.

There are two “education and development” FPGA boards by Terasic officially supported: DE0-Nano, and the more versatile and powerful Altera DE2-115, both powered by an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA. Beside the VDL files, the instructions to emulate Propeller 1 on the FPGA boards are provided for Linux and Windows, using Quartus II software. The development tools PropellerIDE (Spin/ASM) and SimpleIDE (C) are also open source.

You can find more information, and download all files on Parallax Propeller 1 Open Source page.

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EasyEDA is a Web-based Schematics Capture, Simulation, and PCB Layout Tool

August 1st, 2014 1 comment

I recently watched a video showing AllWinner R&D, and I noticed although most (all?) software engineer run Ubuntu in the PC, the hardware engineers all relied on Windows based EDA tools for schematics capture and PCB Layout. There already Linux-based tools such as Kicad, which appears to be good for new projects, but importing existing projects can be an issue. An alternative to operating system dependent EDA software suites are web-based tools. I’ve already tried Fritzing which allows to draw circuits on breadboard, convert these to schematics and PCB layouts, and order the PCBs. It looks pretty good for its purpose, but it’s limited to mostly simple designs, and AFAIK can’t be used to replace an EDA suite. That’s where EasyEDA comes into play.  It’s a web-based tool where you can draw schematics, perform simulation, and create PCB layouts for your project, either keeping them private, or sharing them with the community.

I’ve given it a quick try in Ubuntu 14.04 with Firefox 28, by drawing a schematic with an LED and a resistor, and it feels very much like using a desktop based schematics capture program with libraries, you select and place components with the mouse, create nets, and so on.

EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

Once you are done with the schematics, you can click on the PCB icon “Convert Project to PCB”, and arrange the component as needed. Once you are done, you can generate and export the Gerber files and BoM, save or export your project (EasyEDA, PDF, svg, or image only). There’s also an option to order the PCB via EasyEDA, and this appears to be the only way they monetize the system, as everything else seems to be free of charge.

I also wanted to import a project, as at the time I tried, it was one of the weakness of Kicad, as although there’s an import function in Kicad, but it did not work very well for me. EasyEDA can import schematics, PCB layout or libraries in Altium/Proxel DXP ASCII format, and Eagle format, and it can also handle LTspice schematics and symbol, as well as Kicad libs and modules.

So I wanted to try a schematics from an open source hardware projects. The three that comes to me when “Open Source Hardware” works pop up are BeagleBone, Olimex, and Arduino. BeagleBone is released in Orcad format, which is not supported by EasyEDA, so I tried this with Olimex OLinuXino-A10-LIME hardware schematics and PCB layout (Rev C.).

OlinuXino-A10-LIME Schematics Imported to EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

OlinuXino-A10-LIME Schematics Imported to EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

OlinuXino-A10-LIME PCB Layout Imported to EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

OLinuXino-A10-LIME PCB Layout Imported to EasyEDA (Click to Enlarge)

At first glance, the results appear to be quite decent, as both schematics and PCB layout imports did not generate a massive mess. However, EasyEDA recommends to check for errors for imported files. As a quick test, I clicked on “Convert Project to PCB” for the imported schematics, the system reported over 300 errors, with specifying the type of error, but it looks like it could not regonize some packages, so maybe I’d also have to import some others libs. In case of the imported PCB layout, I can read “Errors 2566″, which does not feel reassuring… So the import function works, but it’s not all magic, and still requires some work from the engineer.

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Firefly-RK3288 Development Board To Support Android and Lubuntu

July 25th, 2014 18 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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