Posts Tagged ‘open source’

Allwinner CedarX Media Codec Library GPL/LGPL Compliance Update

March 23rd, 2015 26 comments

Last month, I wrote about potential open source licenses and VP6 copyright infringement by Allwinner with their CedarX media codec library, and then since there’s been a few developments.

First, Allwinner sent me an email saying they’ve now updated Cedarx library and referring my previous article. Here’s an extract:

Here, I have some update of the Allwinner’s open-source status.

We have done a lot of discussion with the developers from the linux-sunxi communication about the software license of CedarX. For each question or requirement asked by the developers, Allwinner has identify and try to give the best solution.

Now, we believe Allwinner’s CedarX license is fully compliant and resolves concerns from the community. And you can take the announcement[email protected]/msg10597.html as a reference.

Allwinner is always supporting the open-source, and try to do better and better. You can see some update on the github, and some feedback from developers:

It’s difficult to make everyone happy, but we believe Allwinner will do better and better, and give more and more help to the developers, and we believe Allwinner will be accepted by more and more developers.

The announcement claims “the CedarX media codec framework is now released with full open source code under the LGPL license”. That actually means there’s an open source API to access the closed source binaries that’s released under the LGPL license. The good news is the VP6 code that could infringe on On2/Google copyrights has now been removed and they are using ffmpeg instead.

So I asked on linux-sunxi IRC channel to find out if there was real progress made, and soon after some more details were released on linux-sunxi mailing list, and the part that looks really bad is:

264FillDefaultRefList() and a lot of code around it is straight out of the libavcodec h264 decoder. The original name for that function is ff_h264_fill_default_ref_list() in libavcodec/h264_refs.c: This is new, as some totally different code for h264 was available in the previous versions of the cedarx binaries.

This looks like Allwinner reached a new low, as it would mean Allwinner purposely renamed some function from LGPL code to make it look like it was their own. However, another email on arm-netbook mailing list by a soon-to-be Allwinner’s software engineer gives some more light to what actually happened here:

I can explain the whole process in a whole detail, because I was directly involved in the process of this decision and I can tell where this is going right now:

The rename was done to fix the LGPL violations by adding a wrapper for the GPLed libraries which will be LGPLed and published. This way we have Binary<->LGPLed open source code<->GPL libraries

Next step will be to drop the whole “we ship our own SDK”-thing and move over to stream our code into the existing open source alternatives.

But until the FOSS libraries have all the functionality from the shipped SDK we can not just stop supporting our customers in China. Also we can not suddenly make it open source for the following reasons:

  • Some engineers and managers do not fully comply with the GPLing of their code yet.
  • The code has awful coding style and my armcc refuses to compile at least 2/3 of the code because of the Chinese comments.
  • Also some of the engineers obviously have never heard the term “revision control” which makes it even harder to locate the actual version of the source code from which the binary was compiled from… -.-‘

So Allwinner has not make it right just yet, but at least they are trying, and even hiring western engineers to try fixing the licensing issues. I’m just not sure the current plan for binary<->LGPL wrapper<->GPL is actually valid, but at least they have longer term plan to upstream changes to open source project, at least that’s the way to understand the email above. Beside legal and technical work, moving from closed source “license infringing” code to properly licensed code is also a social engineering task, as all stakeholders in the company and possibly their customers must be convinced proper licensing is the way to go, and not the business as usual “just copy code from the net” and ignore licensing terms as Allwinner and many other companies have done in the past.

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TechNexion Introduces Intel Edison Compatible PICO-iMX6 SoM and DWARF Board

March 16th, 2015 No comments

Intel Edison is a board made for wearables featuring an SoC with Intel Atom and Quark CPU cores. TechNexion, an embedded systems company based in Taiwan, has decided to make a mechanically and electrically compatible system-on-module featuring Frescale i.MX6 Solo or Duallite ARM Cortex A9 processor called PICO-iMX6. The company is also providing a PICO-DWARF baseboard that’s both compatible with PICO-iMX6 SoM and Edison board. DWARF stands for “Drones, Wearables, Appliances, Robotics and Fun”, so that pretty much explains what the platform is for.

PICO-iMX6 System-on-Module

PICO-iMX6-SD Module (Click to Enlarge)

PICO-iMX6-SD Module (Click to Enlarge)

Two version of the modules are available: PICO-iMX6-SD and PICO-iMX6-EMMC, the former with a micro SD slot for storage, and the latter a 4GB eMMC. Both share the followings specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Solo / Duallite  single/dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1Ghz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU (Composition)
  • System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – PICO-iMX6-SD: micro SD slot;  PICO-iMX6-EMMC: 4GB eMMC
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Network RGMII Signals routed to board-to-board connector
    • Broadcom BCM4335 802.11ac Wi-Fi
    • Broadcom BCM4336 Bluetooth  4.0
  • Connectors – 1x Intel Edison compatible connector (Hirose 70-pin); 2x Hirose 70-pin connectors
  • I/O Interface Signaling
    • Edison I/O @ 1.8V
      • 9x GPIO
      • 4x PWM
      • 2x I²C, 1x SPI, 2x UART
      • 1x I²S
      • USB-OTG
      • SDIO (4-bit)
    • Additional I/O @ 3.3V
      • Display I/F – Single Channel LVDS; 24-bit TTL RGB; HDMI 1.4; MIPI DSI Display
      • Camera – MIPI CSI Camera
      • PCIe
      • RGMII (gigabit LAN)
      • CAN
  • Video – Decode: 1080p30 + D1; Encode: 1080p30 H.264 BP / Dual 720p
  • Power Supply  – 3.3 ~ 4.5 VDC input
  • Dimensions – 36 x 40 mm
  • Weight – 8 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial : 0° to 60° C; Extended : -20° to 70° C; Industrial : -40° to 85° C (no WiFi possible)
  • Relative Humidity – 10 – 90%
  • Certification – CE, FCC, RoHS, REACh

PICO-iMX6_Block_DiagramIntel Edison board measures 36x25mm, so PICO-iMX6 module is a little bigger, and it might not always be 100% compatible depending on your application’s mechanical requirements. Edison Board comes with 1GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, and features a similar Broadcom BCM43340 wireless module. Beside the 70-pin “Edison compatible” connector, TechNexion SoMs also add two hirose connectors for additional signals.

The company can provide BSP for Linux 3.x, Yocto, Android 4.3, Android 4.4, Android 5.0, and Ubuntu. These are not available for download yet, but you should eventually be able to get the necessary files via the Download Center.

PICO-DWARF Carrier Board

If you think PICO-DWARF baseboard looks familiar, it’s because it’s heavily inspired from Wandboard development board, replacing RS-232 DB9 connector by a MIPI connector, removing optical S/PDIF, and a few other modifications.

PICO-DWARF (Left) vs Wandbaord (Right)

PICO-DWARF (Left) vs Wandbaord (Right)

While on the other side of the board, the larger EDM module, as been replaced with the tiny PICO-IMX6 SoM.

PICO-DWARF specifications are listed as follows:

Bottom of PICO-DWARF Board

Bottom of PICO-DWARF Board

  • Supported System-on-Module
    • Intel Edison connector (1x 70-pin Hirose Connector)
    • TechNexion Pico connectors (3x 70-pin Hirose Connector)
  • External Storage – 1x SATA data + power connector, 1x micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit LAN (Atheros AR8031) with RJ45 connector
  • Video Output / Display
    • HDMI
    • Single Channel LVDS (expansion header)
    • 24-bit TTL RGB (expansion header)
    • MIPI DSI Display on 33-pin FPC Connector
  • Camera – MIPI CSI signals on 33-pin FPC connector
  • Audio – Freescale SGTL5000 audio codec; Three 3.5 mm jacks for stereo audio in, stereo audio out, and microphone
  • Sensors – Altimeter (Freescale MPL3115A2), 3D Accelerometer (Freescale FXOS8700CQ), Gyroscope (Freescale FXAS21002)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Host connector,  1x USB 2.0 OTG connector
  • Expansion Headers with access to signaling for single Channel LVDS,  24-bit TTL RGB, PCIe, CAN, GPIO, PWM, I²C, SPI, and UART
  • Misc – RTC DS1337+ with backup battery
  • Power
    • 5V DC +/- 5% via 5.5 / 2.1mm barrel jack
    • LiPo Battery with Freescale MC32BC3770CSR2 based battery charging circuit; 2-pin header for battery
  • Temperature – Commercial : 0° to 60° C
  • Relative Humidity – 10 – 90%
  • Dimensions – 95 x 95 mm
  • Weight – 40 grams
  • Certification – CE, FCC, RoHS, REACh directives
Block Diagram for the DWARF Platform (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram for the DWARF Platform (Click to Enlarge)

Please note that SATA won’t be supported by i.MX6 Solo or Duallite processor, so this would only work on future modules featuring Freescale i.MX6 Dual or Quad processor. PICO-DWARF carrier board will be open source hardware, as the company plans to release the schematics, design files, board files and bills of material for the board, just as they’ve done for their previous products.

PICO-DWARF baseboard and PICO-IMX6 modules are expected to start shipping in May and June, with the baseboard and PICO-IMX6-SD first, shortly followed by PICO-MX6-eMMC modules, and a quad core version. PICO-iMX6-SD with Freescale i.MX6 Solo will sell for about $50, while kits based on PICO-iMX6 SoM and PICO-DWARF carrier board will go for $130 to $150 depending on configuration. Further details can be found on TechNexion’s PICO page.

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Embedded Systems Conference 2015 Schedule – May 6-7, 2015

March 11th, 2015 No comments

The Embedded Systems Conference took the name “Design West” for a couple of years, but this year, there’s no mention of Design West, and the Embedded System Conference 2015 will take place in Boston, MA, US on May 6-7, 2015. The 2-day event will have a demo hall, and well as sessions divided into 8 tracks:Embedded_Systems_Conference_2015

  • Connected Devices and the IoT
  • Embedded Software Design
  • Hardware: Design, I/O and Interfacing
  • Prototyping
  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Software: Design, Languages, & Quality
  • Fantastical Theater
  • Teardowns

The full schedule has now been posted, and I’ll build a virtual schedule with some of the sessions provided.

Wednesday May 6, 2015

  • 8:00 – 8:45 – Understanding Google/Nest Thread by Michael Anderson, Chief Scientist, The PTR Group, Inc.

The IoT will live or die based on its connectivity. In examining existing wireless protocols, Google/Nest found most of them lacking. In order to address the needs for low-power wireless communications in the home, Thread was created. Thread is an implementation of an IEEE 802.15.4 mesh-based network that provides IP connectivity using existing radio silicon. Come to this session to get the latest information on Thread, its capabilities and characteristics and how you can use Thread in your next IoT device.

  • 9:00 – 9:45 – Best Practices for Designing Hardware APIs by Matt Haines, Communications Manager, Electric Imp

We are rapidly heading toward a world in which most of the objects we interact with on a daily basis will be connected to the Internet. What does this world look like, and how do we design Connected Things that will live in this world? This presentation will address the issue of API design; a topic often talked about in web development but just as often overlooked in conversations about the IoT. What should we be thinking about when we’re designing an API for a connected product? Why do our connected products even need APIs? What strategies and best practices can we apply from web API design?

  • 10:00 – 10:45 – Choosing Between Multicore CPU, GPU & FPGA Technology for Vision Applications by Julianne Kline, Systems Engineer, National Instruments

FPGA, GPU, and multi-core CPU processing will be compared and contrasted. Examples will be highlighted on when customers may want to use one technology over the other. A heavier focus will be placed on FPGA technology. This presentation will discuss recommendations for when to integrate FPGA technology into vision applications, such as for image pre-processing, high-speed control, or processing parallelism. Types of algorithms well-suited to FPGA technology will also be discussed, and resources for accessing existing FPGA IP will be provided.

  • 11:00 – 11:45 – Mob Programming for Embedded Systems Software by Nancy Van Schooenderwoert, President, Lean-Agile Partners, Inc.

Mob Programming is a practice where a whole software team works together, at one computer, one line of code at a time, outperforming their previous work significantly in both quality and volume. Impossible? Maybe except for the teams actually doing it now. One team in California began in 2011, and it’s been spreading since. This session tells the story of the first embedded systems teams to use MobProgramming.This session is a double experience report plus a demo: Speaker Simon Clements-Hawes gives his observations as an embedded systems team member starting to use MobProgramming, and Nancy describes how to get a team started in MobProgramming. Thru video clips, the team’s coding of a LeanKit interrogator in C# will be shown using Mob Programming of course!

  • 14:00 – 14:45 – Is There an Arduino Debugger in the House? by Guido Bonelli, President, Innovative Electronic Solutions LLC

Arduino development and the hardware debugging landscape OR THE LACK THEREOF! In this session you will delve into the Arduino developer’s tool chain from a hardware perspective. What hardware debugging solutions are currently available and how Dr.Duino the Arduino hardware debugger can reduce your debugging pain. We shall discuss the blissful highs of easy firmware development on a standard platform while then exploring the lowliest of lows when debugging the hardware/firmware interactions.

  • 15:00 – 15:45 – ARMv8 Kernel Internals by Arun Thomas, Senior Principal Engineer, BAE Systems

This talk is meant to be a quick start guide for embedded developers who are new to the ARMv8 architecture. I will discuss how operating systems interface with the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture and will cover the ARMv8 specific kernel internals of Linux and FreeBSD. I will discuss how booting, memory management, exceptions, and interrupts work using examples drawn from the kernel source.

Thursday May 7, 2015

  • 08:00 – 08:45 – Open Source Software: Tips for Avoiding Licensing Surprises by Jason Kunze, Attorney, Nixon Peabody LLP

A practical, quick hitting summary of the key considerations that anyone developing, purchasing or licensing software should consider. After a brief discussion of legal basics, practical concerns relating to open source software will be explained through the lens of actual cases in this developing area of law. The participant will gain a general understanding of:

  1. The intellectual property rights that may attach to software
  2. The competing ideologies behind open source software and how this drives licensing terms
  3. Some of the leading open source software licenses and their relative level of restrictions
  4. Pitfalls to recognize and avoid in relation to open source software
  • 09:00 – 09:45 – How NOT To Do Embedded Development! Practical Lessons From Real Projects That Almost Went Off A Cliff by Dave Nadler, President, Nadler & Associates

In an interactive (Socratic) discussion, we’ll review some real-world projects in trouble and how they were sorted. Projects include an automated toll-collection system, an aircraft collision-avoidance system (cool movie!), a manufacturing instrumentation product, and an integrated flight computer. We’ll cover a variety of coding and testing techniques used to get these projects on track.

  • 10:00 – 10:45 – Designing for the IoT with Lower Power and Way More Intelligence by Dana Myers, Channel Marketing Manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Texas Instruments

As the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we live, do business and make decisions, it has also impacted engineers’ designs. This presentation will address the benefits and challenges of designing for the IoT in regards to low-power, integration and performance. This will let engineers weigh the tradeoffs of each connectivity architecture and provide a quick pathway to begin designing their products for the fast-growing IoT.

  • 11:00 – 11:45 – Squeezing the Most Out of Battery Life using ARM Cortex-M Processors by Jacob Beningo, Principal Consultant, Beningo Engineering

The proliferation of mobile devices has led to the need of squeezing every last micro-amp-hour out of batteries. Minimizing the energy profile of a micro-controller is not always straight forward. A combination of sleep modes, peripheral control and other techniques can be used to maximize battery life. In this session, strategies for optimizing micro-controller energy profiles will be examined which will extend battery life while maintaining the integrity of the system. The techniques will be demonstrated on an ARM Cortex-M processor.

  • 14:00 – 14:45 – Network Insecurity: Simple Hacks of ARM Cortex-M Devices by Jonny Doin, CEO, Grid Vortex Systems

The IoT is a very new domain of a very old activity: Embedded Systems Design, with a twist: connection to the most toxic of environments, the Internet. One of the main concerns of the IoT is how to cope with the massive amount of unanticipated network traffic and problems. Malformed packets, corrupted messages, specifically targeted attacks, buffer overflow exploits, spoofing, stuxnet emulation messages, denial of service, fake OTAP, and other exploits and attacks can transform your IoT devices into something you did not design for. This situation demands several good practices and programming concerns regarding network safety and security into even the smallest of things. Buffer integrity checks, full parameters domain verification, message authentication, data path integrity verification, and crypto security are among the needed elements of a safe and secure IoT system, and can be implemented on nearly any Embedded System. Examples of simple attacks on ARM Cortex-M devices will be presented, including RET2ZP and buffer attacks.

  • 15:00 – 15:45 – RTOS Smackdown: 7 RTOSes in 45 Minutes! by 7 speakers

There are a lot of Real Time Operating System (RTOS) options out there. Which one is right for your embedded system? Do you even need an RTOS at all? In this feisty presentation, one industry expert will argue that an RTOS is superfluous to requirements, while another will contend that an RTOS is an invaluable, “must-have” asset, even if your embedded application performs only a handful of tasks. After the dust dies down, proponents of seven of the leanest, meanest, coolest, hottest contenders in the RTOS multi-universe will take it in turns to explain why their RTOS is the bestest of the best.

If you’d like to attend the conference you can register online. Access to the demo hall is free, unless you come without registration, in which case you’d have to pay $75 for entry. A pass is required for the full conference and access to sessions with the following pricing:

  • SUPER EARLY BIRD (Ends January 30) – $799
  • EARLY BIRD (Ends March 6) – $949
  • ADVANCED (Ends May 1) – $1,149
  • REGULAR/ONSITE – $1,299

Seven vendors’ sponsored sessions can be attended with a free “demo hall” registration.

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Calaos is an Open Source Home Automation Suite for Raspberry Pi, Allwinner A10/A20 and x86 Platforms

March 9th, 2015 No comments

Calaos is a Linux based home automation software released under GPLv3 license that works on Raspberry Pi, some Allwinner platforms like Cubiebaord 1/2, Mele A1000(G)/A2000, as well as x86 / amd64 hardware platforms that allows you control switches & lights in the rooms of your home or office, control your music, and manage security cameras.. The developers have recently released Calaos v2.0, the first stable release, so it’s a good time to have a look.

Calaos WebApp

Calaos WebApp

The software stack is comprised of 6 main components:

  • Calaos Server – Daemon that exports the state of the house via a JSON protocol. It can currently manage the following hardware components and protocols:
    Calaos Mobile

    Calaos Mobile

    • Wago’s PLC, with digital or analog I/O, DALI or DMX light bus
    • IPX800 web relay board
    • GCE Electronics Eco Devices used to monitor power consumption.
    • Web API
    • 1-Wire, X10
    • Zibase I/O
    • GPIO (Linux based GPIO, for direct use of RaspberryPI GPIO header) ;
    • Squeezebox
    • Nabaztag (Karotz). That’s a connected Wi-Fi enabled rabbit :)
    • CCTV IP (Axis, Mjpeg…)
  • Calaos Home –  Touchscreen interface to control the home, developed with EFL.
  • Calaos WebApp –  Web based interface implemented in HTML5 and using Angular JS and Bootstrap. Shown in screenshot above.
  • Calaos OS –  Linux distribution based on Openembedded pre-loaded with Calaos Server, Calaos Home and Calaos WebApp and relevant tools. That’s what you’ll need to get started easily, as you just need to download the image for your hardware.
  • Calaos Mobile – Qt5/QML app for Android and iOS tablet and smartphones that allows you to control Calaos remotely. However, only a subset of functions are available compared to Calaos Home.
  • Calaos Installer – Contrary to what the name implies, this Qt5 app does not install Calaos, but allows you to configure Calaos Server remotely, by adding, removing or modifying inputs/outputs on your PC, instead of editing configuration files manually. It also supports LUA scripts
Calaos Installer

Calaos Installer

You can have a better look at the user interface in the video section of the website, and I’ve also included a short video showing the Raspberry Pi connected to a 10″ touchscreen LCD  running Calaos Home.

You can find more details, and documentation on Calaos website, including a Quick Start Guide for the Raspberry Pi. The source code is available on Calaos github account.

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DonglePi is a USB Dongle with a Raspberry Pi Header for your PC

March 5th, 2015 5 comments

While the newer Raspberry Pi A+, B+ and B2 boards feature the new 40-pin connector, the Raspberry Pi boards Model A and B have a 26-pin expansion header, but both are use to access GPIOs, UART, SPI, I2C and interface with external hardware, and many add-ons boards have been developed for the Raspberry Pi. But what if you’d like to use R-Pi add-ons board on your PC, or instead you are developing your own add-on board, but would like to do so directly on your PC for convenience? DonglePi is the answer.
DonglePiIt’s a small USB dongle with Atmel SAMD21 MCU and a 26-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header, that you could use connect to your Android/Linux/Windows PC to play with GPIO, I2C, SPI, Serial, PWM just like on a Raspberry Pi, and using RPi/GPIO or smbus Python libraries for programming.

The project is still in development, and so far most interfaces are working except PWM which needs to be worked on. The whole software and hardware (Eagle Schematics & PCB) are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

The hardware can not be purchased (yet), but you could also make a prototype with a breadboard, an Atmel SAMD21 development board, and Pi Cobler kit just like the developer (gbin) started with as shown below.

Atmel_SAMD21_Cobbler_Pi_BreadboardAll connections, hardware and software are documented on github.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

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ARM Releases Kernel Drivers for Mali-T880 / T860 GPUs, User Space Drivers for Mali-T76x GPUs

February 23rd, 2015 16 comments

ARM Mali GPU drivers includes both open source kernel drivers, and binary userspace drivers supporting framebuffer and/ior X11 implementation. The former is rarely an issue and is quickly released, but the latter requires porting and testing for a specific hardware platform, as well legal work, which greatly delay the releases.


Release r5p0-06rel0 for User Space Binary Drivers

Mali-T880 GPU was announced at the beginning of the month together with ARM Cortex A72, and on February 17, 2015, ARM released an update to their Mali-T600 series, Mali-T700 series & Mali-T860/T880 GPU kernel device drivers with revision r5p1-00rel0 that adds supports to Mali-T860 and Mali-T880 GPU. These open source drivers are available for Android and Linux, and also support early Mali-T700 and T600 GPUs.

Separately, the company has also released Mali-T76X GPU drivers for Firefly board powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor featuring a Mali-T764 GPU. The first release only supports the framebuffer driver, but ARM is expecting to be able to release the X11 version in the next release (r5p1) planned at the end of March, which means some Linux desktop graphics accelerated will soon be available on Rockchip RK3288, and not only some OpenGL ES 3.0 demos on the framebuffer. The latest release (r5p0-06rel0) also supports Exynos powered Arndale Octa board, Samsung Chromebook 2, Arndale board, and Samsung Chromebook. According to an ARM representative, Rockchip also plans to release their own Linux GPU drivers targeting “TopMetal” hardware platform (should probably read PopMetal).

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Olimex Announces Availability of TI AM3352 and Rockchip RK3188 SoM and Evaluation Boards

February 19th, 2015 No comments

Olimex showcased prototypes for both Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352 and Rockchip RK3188 system-on-modules and evaluation boards in May 2014. However, development and production took a bit longer than expected, and the company has just announced availability of the platforms now.

Rockchip RK3188 CPU Modules and Kit

RK3188-SOM-EVB with Baseboard and RK3188-SOM

RK3188-SOM-EVB with Baseboard and RK3188-SOM-4GB

RK3188-SOM-EVB kit specifications:

  • RK3188-SOM-4GB System-on-Module with the following key features:

    • SoC – Rockchip RK3188 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.6GHz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
    • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
    • Storage – 4GB Flash + micro SD slot
    • Debugging – 4-pin UART connector
    • Misc – Reset and Recovery buttons, 3x status LEDs
    • Dimensions – 55.88 x 81.28 mm
  • Video Output – HDMI output + LCD output
  • Connectivity – 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 4x USB Hosts, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Expansion Connectors
    • LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino-XX LCDs
    • 2x UEXT connectors
    • 2x 40 pin GPIO connectors
  • Misc – RTC with backup battery
  • Power Supply – 6-16 V via power barrel; LiPo battery;  micro USB OTG
  • Dimensions – 138 x 85 mm
You can find some documentation for RK3188-SOM on the Wiki, and there’s also a page for RK3188-SOM-EVB which remains empty for now. Hardware design files will be released at least for the baseboard.
RK3188-SOM, RK3188-SOM-4GB (with 4GB flash), and RK3188-SOM-EVB can be purchased on Olimex’ RK3188 product page for respectively 50, 57, and 70 Euros, which discount available for larger quantities.

TI Sitara AM3352 CPU module and Evaluation Kit

AM3352-SOM-EVB with Baseboard and AM3352-SOM

AM3352-SOM-EVB with Baseboard and AM3352-SOM

AM3352-SOM-EVB kit specifications:

  • AM3352-SOM-4GB system-on-module with the following specs:
    • SoC – TI Sitara AM3352 Cortex-A8 processor @ 1 GHz
    • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 memory
    • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash + micro SD slot
    • Debugging –  4-pin UART console
    • Misc –  status LEDs, Reset button
    • Dimensions – N/A
  • Video Output – VGA D-Sub connector, LCD header
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100M Ethernet ports
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion Headers / Other I/Os
    • CAN driver
    • 2x UEXT connector for Olimex compatible modules
    • 4x 40-pin headers (0.1″ pitch)
  • Misc – 7x buttons for Android, status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 6-16V via power barrel
  • Dimensions – N/A

There’s nothing in the Wiki about AM3352 boards yet, but Android and Debian will be supported, and you can have at look at the SoM schematics (PDF) and baseboard Eagle files.

AM3352-SOM and AM3352-SOMEVB can be purchased for 37 and 60 Euros on Olimex’ AM3352 product page. Industrial temperature version of the SoM can be manufactured on request for 5 Euros more, at an order  of at least 100 pieces.

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Embedded Linux Conference 2015 Schedule – IoT, Cars, and Drones

February 6th, 2015 No comments

Embedded Linux Conference 2015 will take place in San Jose, California, on March 23 – 25, 2015, and will focus on Drones, Things and Automobiles. The schedule has been published, and whether you’ll attend or not, it’s always interested to have a look at what will be talked about to have a peak into the future of Embedded Linux, or simply keep abreast with the progress in the field.

Embedded_LInux_Conference_2015So as usual, I’ve gone through the schedule, and made my own virtual program with talks that I find interesting.

Monday 23rd

  • 9:00 – 9:30 – Driving standards and Open Source to Grow the Internet of Things by Mark Skarpness, Director of Systems Engineering at Intel

Billions of devices are beginning to come online, and many of these devices, large and small, are running open source software.  To fuel this innovation, it’s more important than ever for these devices to use a common framework to communicate with each other and the cloud.  Intel is a founding member of the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which will use both open source innovation and standards specifications to drive interoperability across multiple operating systems and communication protocols to enable the Internet of Things. As one of the founding members of the Linux Foundation, a top external contributor to the Android Open Source Project, and a leader behind USB, WiFi, Bluetooth and other projects and standards, Intel has the depth of knowledge and a unique approach to move things forward to benefit developers and consumers.

  • 9:30 – 10:00 – Project Ara with Paul Eremenko, Head of Project Ara, ATAP at Google & Marti Bolivar, Project Ara Software Lead, Google

Marti and Paul will discuss Project Ara’s aim to develop an open hardware platform for modular smartphones, with the goal of creating a vibrant module developer community and a marketplace from which consumers can create an entirely custom mobile device.

  • 10:45 – 11:35 – Generalizing Android for Low-Cost 64-Bit ARM-Based Community Boards by Khasim Syed Mohammed, Linaro

Linaro is developing an open hardware platform specification to encourage software development on low-cost boards to lower the cost and accelerate the availability of maker and embedded products based on ARM SoCs. By end of 2015 there will be many compliant boards based on and adhering to this specification. The key challenge for the Android community is to enable and maintain Android for multiple platforms on a common code base. This presentation highlights the issues like non-standard SoC customizations, peripheral controller customizations from vendors and shares the possible solutions through Android software generalization.

  • 11:45 – 12:35 – Open Source Drones on Linux by Lorenz Meier

This presentation will summarize the current state in academia and industry using Linux on drones, which is by now already a widespread and common pattern.

  • 14:00 – 14:50 – IoTivity and Embedded Linux Support by Kishen Maloor, Intel

IoTivity is a new collaborative project, hosted at the Linux Foundation and sponsored by the Open Interconnect Consortium. Its goal is to facilitate interconnections across the billions of “things” to be on the Internet in coming years. A majority of these “things” would be low-power embedded devices. To satisfy their connectivity needs, IoTivity must support a variety of transmission media, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, 6LoWPAN over 805.15.4, etc. This session will present an overview of IoTivity’s current support for the Yocto Linux environment on embedded platforms, and how it allows us to be flexible for multiple purposes. It will also present how a developer can enable IoTivity on Yocto and make modifications.

  • 15:00 – 15:50 – Performance Analysis Using the perf Suite by Mans Rullgard

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 optimisation.

This presentation will be a version of that given at ELCE 2014 updated based on questions and audience feedback.

  • 16:20 – 17:10 – Poky meets Debian: Understanding How to Make an Embedded Linux by Using an Existing Distribution’s Source Code by Yoshitake Kobayashi, Toshiba

Poky has already become one of the most popular build system to make an embedded Linux environment. Poky refers to OpenEmbedded originally. However if you want to use other source code, how to do it? We have some experience we would like to share with you. For this study, We choose Debian source and already tried two ways to use it. The first try was probably an incorrect way and the second try may be a correct way.

In this talk, we will show both of them and also describe why we choose Debian. If you are interested in this implementation, you can download the source code from GitHub (cnxsoft: empty for now). There are some implementations available for development boards such as pandaboard, minnowboard and etc. Let’s enjoy Bitbake!

  • 17:20 – 18:10 – Teaching More Fish to Fly by John Hawley, Intel

n 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 we started showing how the MinnowBoard can be lofted and show useful. In 2015 we just want to give an update on where we are at and what interesting projects are being done both with the MinnowBoard and other platforms in the UAV space. 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 we’ll explore the directions that significantly more autonomous UAVs can take with Linux and embedded platforms using, mostly, off the shelf components.

Tuesday 24th

  • 9:00 – 10:50 – Customizing AOSP for my Device by Rafael Coutinho, Phi Innovations

Android BSP gives you some tools to create your own device customizations. This can be achieved without changes on the Android main code, and just some customizations on the devices folder. It is possible to overlay some system apk configurations, ui and even services. In this tutorial I plan to show the step by step of creating a custom Android device using a AOSP. Setting up some Kernel parameters, customizing the lights HAL and sensors HAL, changing the look and feel of Settings apk etc.

  • 11:20 – 12:10 – Room For Cooperation: Bionic and musl by Bernhard Rosenkränzer, Linaro

A while after Android started Bionic, another interesting libc project was started: musl. Its licensing is compatible with Android’s – so there may be room for picking the best of both worlds. This talk investigates where musl outperforms Bionic and vice versa — and whether or not (and how) Android can benefit from pulling musl code into Bionic.

  • 13:40 – 14:10 – Dronecode Project and Autopilot With Linux by Andrew Tridgell, Technical Steering Committee Chair of Dronecode Project

Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell provides updates on the progress of Dronecode’s open source software project for commercial drones, and insight into the future of drone development. He will also delve into the specific task of running an autopilot directly on a Linux-based platform.

  • 14:10 – 14:55 – IoT Panel with Dominig Ar Foll, Intel (Tizen); Greg Burns, AllSeen Alliance; Bryant Eastham, Panasonic; Guy Martin, Samsung; Tim Bird, Sony Mobile (Moderator)
  • 15:40 – 16:30 – Linux for Microcontrollers: From Marginal to Mainstream by Vitaly Wool, Softprise Consulting OU

The story of a DRAM-less Linux-operated microcontroller delivered at ELC a year ago, which came as a surprise for many, wouldn’t be that surprising now. However, there are some important updates to share: moving to mainline-aligned 3.x baseline, compiling out VM-specific code, optimizing kernel XIP, and the last but not the least, starting to use picoTCP kernel networking stack.

Some size and performance benchmarks will also be presented, along with the Linux demo on the DRAM-less microcontroller board.

  • 16:40 – 18:20 – Building a General Purpose Android Workstation by Ron Munitz

In this tutorial, you will have a hands-on journey of customizing, building, and using a General Purpose Desktop variant of the Android-X86 project. The tutorial assumes previous experience with building Android off the AOSP, Android-IA, CyanogenMod, or any other build system, and describes the special additions of Android-X86, such as a Kernel build system, general X86 hardware detection based HAL’s/firmware and live cd/disk installer generation and more. Then, we will explore the Linux friendly busybox minimal image, and describe the way a fully fledged Android version can be spawned out of it (with similar techniques for any other Linux distribution with the Android patches!) using chroot, and provide a listing of the ultimate Android init process.

We will continue the discussion with day to day uses, and a joint brainstorming of Linux developer uses, and justify Android-X86 as yet another X-less Linux distribution – until the time we add X to it… As a special bonus, we will address how to make any app run using a user-QEMU based ARM translator.

  • 18:20 – 19:20 – BoFs: Yocto Project / OpenEmbedded by Jeff Osier-Mixon

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.

Wednesday 25th

  • 9:00 – 9:30 – Embedding Openness in the Connected Car by Matt Jones, Jaguar Land Rover

A future vehicle will be a “thing” on the Internet, but how can industry and community come together to accelerate the future concepts into production. The keynote will explore the platforms and standard needed for the future, and relate them to open prototypes from Jaguar Land Rover and the Automotive Grade Linux projects.

  • 9:30 – 10:00 – Community Involvement: Looking Forward and Looking Back by Deepak Saxena

Linux has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade, finding its way into billions of mobile devices and also into the core of cloud based services that we rely on for business, entertainment, and increasingly, security. With this explosion of devices, we have seen more companies get involved with the kernel community, some successfully, and some struggling. In this talk, we will look at some of the challenges that the industry and the community continue to face in working with each other and also more importantly think about what is next? The adoption of Linux will continue to increase throughout all market segments, bringing in numerous new organizations and new developers. How do we move forward and what changes need to happen within the industry and community cultures to work better together?

  • 10:45 – 17:50 – Embedded Android Workshop by Karim Yaghmour, Opersys

While Android has been created for mobile devices — phones first and now tablets — it can, nonetheless, be used as the basis of any touch-screen system, whether it be mobile or not. Essentially, Android is a custom-built embedded Linux distribution with a very elaborate and rich set of user-space abstractions, APIs, services and virtual machine. This one-day workshop is aimed at embedded developers wanting to build embedded systems using Android. It will cover Android from the ground up, enabling developers to get a firm hold on the components that make up Android and how they need to be adapted to an embedded system. Specifically, we will start by introducing Android’s overall architecture and then proceed to peel Android’s layer one-by-one.

That’s a just a small selection of the talks, and there are many other interested sessions if you are interested in IoT, automotive or drone applications.

If you’d like to attend, you can register online with a single fee for the Embedded Linux Conference and Android Builders Summit 2015, as well as breakfasts and breaks, a T-shirt, and access to evening events:

  • Early Bird Registration Fee – US$500 through January 30, 2015
  • Standard Registration Fee – US$650 through March 5, 2015
  • Late Registration Fee – US$750 after March 5, 2015
  • Student Registration Fee – US$150
  • Hobbyist Registration Fee – US$150

If you attend as a hobbyist, you need to contact events [at] to receive a discount code.

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