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Posts Tagged ‘open source’

MinnowBoard Turbot Quad Core Open Source Hardware Board is now Shipping for $190

May 24th, 2017 2 comments

MinnowBoard Turbot Quad Core board was announced last autumn, with shipping expected in December 2016, but there may have been delays as the MinnowBoard foundation has just announced that the Intel open source hardware board is now shipping.

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MinnowBoard Turbot Quad “MBT-4220” board specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom E3845 quad core Bay Trail-I processor @ up to 1.92 GHz with Intel HD graphics @ 542 / 792 MHz (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L 1067 MT/s (Soldered)
  • Storage – 1x SATA2 3Gbps, 1x micro SD card slot, 8 MB SPI Flash for firmware (Tianocore UEFI, Coreboot, SeaBIOS)
  • Video & Audio Output – 1x micro HDMI connector
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet RJ-45 connector (with Intel i211 instead of Realtek NIC on dual core MinnowBoard)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host, 1x USB 2.0 host
  • Debugging – Serial debug header
  • Expansion headers
    • Low-speed expansion (LSE) port – 2×13 (26-pin) male 0.1″ pin header with access to SPI, I2C, I2S Audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (including 2x supporting PWM), +5V, and GND
    • High-speed expansion (HSE) port –  60-pin high-density connector with access to 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 Lane, 1x SATA2, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, and GND
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A DC input via 2.5mm center pin positive power jack; 5V DC output via  2-pin header
  • Dimensions – 99 x 74mm
  • Temperature Range –  0 to 40 °C; wider range possible with larger heatsink.
  • Certifications – FCC Part 15 Class A, CE Class A, IEC-60950, RoHS/WEEE

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The board can run Debian GNU/Linux, Windows 10 IoT, Windows 8.1, Android 4.4, Ubuntu, and Yocto Project Custom Linux with source, firmware image, documentation, and hard design files available via the tutorials and github.

The board can be purchase for around $190 on Mouser or Netgate.

 

MCUBoot is an Open Source Secure Bootloader for IoT / MCUs

May 15th, 2017 5 comments

Bootloaders takes care of the initial boot sequence on the hardware before the operating system takes over. For example, U-boot is often used in embedded systems as the bootloader before starting the main operating systems such as Linux or FreeBSD. MCUBoot is also a bootloader, but it targets the IoT, here referring to MCU based systems with limited memory and storage capacity, and is born out of work on Apache Mynewt OS, when developers decided to develop the bootloader separately from the operating system.

MCUBoot is designed to run on small & low cost systems running on MCU with ~512 KB flash, ~256 KB RAM, and currently supports Zephyr OS and Mynewt, with support for other RTOS also considered. Due to constraint the bootloader uses minimal features with a flash driver, a single thread, and crypto services. The project also aims at solving security and field firmware updates. To address the latter, the flash is partitioned in four sections, one for the bootloader, one “slot” with the primary image, a second slot for the firmware upgrade, and a Scratch partition to swap slots when an upgrade is needed. An image trailer at the end of each slot indicates the state of the slot.

You’ll find the source code in MCUBoot repository in Github, and you may want to watch the presentation at Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 for more details.

SHA2017 Conference Badge To Feature ESP32 SoC, e-Paper Display

May 9th, 2017 5 comments

In most conference, you’ll wear a badge showing your name, job description and company, but with the price of electronics going down, it may be time for a conference badge upgrade. SHA2017 is a non-profit outdoor hacker camp taking place in The Netherlands in 2017 on August 4 – 8, and the organizers are planning to use a special badge comprised of Espressif ESP32 processor, and an e-Paper Display.

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SHA2017 Badge specifications:

  • Wireless Module – Espressif ESP32 based ESP-WROOM-32 module with WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Display – 2.9″ e-paper display (296×128)
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Expansion – 12-pin expansion header with GPIOs, I2C, 3.3V, GND
  • Debugging – micro USB port + USB->TTL chip for programming
  • Misc – Direction keys, select, start, A and B buttons for input; 6x RGB, LEDs; pager motor for notifications
  • Battery – Battery sized to last at least a day

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Beside your name and company details, the badge could also be used for weather and timetable information. EAGLE files and firmware can be found on Github with more details also available in the Wiki. The price of the badge is still expected to be around 20 Euros, and they are looking for sponsors. If you’d like that badge and attend the conference, you’ll need a 250 Euros ticket for the 5-day event.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

SavageBoard Open Source Hardware Board Powered by NXP i.MX 6 Processor Offers Multiple Display Options

May 1st, 2017 2 comments

While it’s hard to keep track of all NXP i.MX6 boards and modules on the market, few can claim to be open source hardware, with the exception of OpenRex, and now SavageBoard, which I just found in Linux 4.11 release log. The board comes in three variants with Solo, Dual, and Quad versions, is equipped with 4 to 8GB flash, 512MB to 1GB RAM, HDMI, TFT LCD, MIPI DSI, and LVDS ports, Ethernet, SATA (Quad only), lots of I/O headers, and more.

SavageBoard Solo/Dual/Quad specifications:

  • SoC
    • Solo – NXP i.MX 6Solo Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU
    • Dual – NXP i.MX 6Dual dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU
    • Quad – NXP i.MX 6Quad quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory
    • Solo – 512 MB 32-bit DDR3 @ 400 MHz
    • Dual & Quad – 1GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 800 MHz
  • Storage
    • Solo – 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
    • Dual – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
    • Quad – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot + SATA
  • Video Output / Display I/F – 1x HDMI port, dual channel LVDS, MIPI DSI, TFT RGB LCD interface
  • Audio – HDMI output, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, Wolfson audio codec
  • Camera – 1x MIPI CSI connector
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port, 1x USB 2.0 port via PCIe connector
  • Debugging – 1x RS232 DB9 connector, 1x PIN header
  • Expansion
    • 1x mini PCIe slot
    • Headers for I2C, SPI, UART, GPIOs, SDIO…
  • Misc – Boot configuration header
  • Power Supply – 12V/1A DC via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 125 x 95 mm (ETX form factor)

The company provides source code (SDK) and binary images for Android 6.0, the Yocto Project, and Arch Linux (ARM). You’ll also find the EAGLE and PDF schematics and PCB layout, as well as the gerber files, and mechanical files on SavageBoard website.

The Solo, Dual and Quad versions of the board are said to be for sale for $59, $79, and $99 respectively, and the company also sells a Tianma 9.7” LCD Display with LED backlight, 1024×768 resolution ($70),  a WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n MIMO + BT 4.0 module ($35), a 12V/1A power adapter ($15), and a 5MP camera module ($25). However, I could not find a way to purchase easily online, so you may have to contact Postlab Technology (Taiwan) which seems to be the board’s designer and manufacturer.

96Boards Compliant HiKey 960 ARM Cortex A73 Development Board is Now Available for $239

April 26th, 2017 22 comments

The most powerful 96boards development board – HiKey 960 – has finally been launched, and can be purchased for $239 on Aliexpress, Amazon US, Switch Sense (Japan), Seeed Studio, or All Net (Germany).

HiKey 960 specifications have not changed much since we found out about the board:

  • SoC – Kirin 960 octa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.4 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
  • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4 SDRAM (PoP)
  • Storage – 32GB UFS 2.1 flash storage + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output / Display Interface – 1 x HDMI 1.2a up to 1080p, 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI connector
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 with on-board antennas
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 type A host ports, 1x USB 2.0 type C OTG port
  • Camera – 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI, 1x 2-lane MIPI CSI
  • Expansion
    • PCIe Gen2 on M.2 Key connector
    • 40 pin low speed expansion connector with +1.8V, +5V, DC power, GND, 2x UART, 2x I2C, SPI, I2S, 12x GPIO
    • 60 pin high speed expansion connector: 4L MIPI DSI, 2L+4L MIPI CSI, 2x I2C, SPI (48M), USB 2.0
  • Misc – LEDs for WiFi & Bluetooth, 4x user LEDs, power button, copper heatsink for CPU
  • Power Supply –  8V-18V/2A via 4.75/1.7mm power barrel (EIAJ-3 Compliant); 12V/2A power supply recommended; PMU: Hi6421GWCV530, Hi6422GWCV211, Hi6422GWCV212;
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 55mm

The board officially supports Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with Linux 4.4. Binary images, and instructions to build from source are available in the Documentation page. You’ll also find the hardware manual and schematics over there. There’s no firm commitment to a Linux distributions release, but based on comments from the launch video (embedded below), there could be some later on, and Linux mainline is also being worked on. Stocks are currently limited so you can buy one or two boards, but larger quantities would require a longer lead time. LeMaker also mentions kits with power supply, mini PCIe card… being available soon.

The video will eventually be uploaded to YouTube, but in the meantime I’ve embedded the Facebook video.

PocketBone Board Based on Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP Fits into an “Altoids Smalls” Mint Tin Box

April 17th, 2017 5 comments

Last year, Octavo Systems introduced OSD3358 System-in-Package (SiP) that includes Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 processor, 256MB to 1GB RAM, a PMIC and an LDO into a single package. Since then the SiP has been found in BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBone Blue, and at the time of launch there was also some development around PocketBone, a tiny open source hardware Smalls mint tin sized board based on OSD3358, which is smaller than a CHIP board, but a little bigger than NanoPi NEO board.

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There’s now been some progress with prototypes of the board manufactured with the following specifications:

  • SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358 with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PMIC + LDO, and 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • USB – 2x micro USB port one for power, one OTG port
  • Expansion – 10-pin header (unpopulated) with SPI, I2C, UART, GND, and 3.3V signal
  • Misc – Power & reset buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 4-pin header for 3.7 LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – ~54mm x ~33mm (fits in Altoid Smalls mint tin box).

The first version of the board was designed with Eagle, but the schematics and PCB layout have been redesigned with KiCad open source software instead, and all hardware design files are released under CERN Open Hardware License v1.2. The boards should be able to run any distributions that works on BeagleBone Black derived boards such as Debian, Angstrom, Ubuntu, etc…

PocketBone is not for sale yet, but if you are interested you could fill out a survey, which could either end-up starting a group buy, or – if there is more interest than expected – a crowdfunding campaign. More details about the project can be found on its hackaday.io page.

Anbox Allows You to Run Android Apps Natively in Ubuntu Linux

April 12th, 2017 7 comments

It’s been possible to run Android app in computers for a while with solutions such as Bluestacks or ShashLik, as well as running Android-x86 ISO in a virtual machine. But all those solutions rely on emulation, may not have the best performance, and at the time I tried them did not really work well, or were inconvenient to use. Anbox is different as instead of running its own Linux kernel for Android, it leverages the Linux kernel in Ubuntu for better integration and performance, and use an LXC container to run Android.

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Anbox has been tested with Ubuntu 16.04, but should also work with other recent Ubuntu distributions. Installing Anbox (Alpha) is easy, and can be done with a single command line:

The command will modify your system with the following:

  • Add the anbox-support ppa ppa:morphis/anbox-support to the host system
  • Install the anbox-modules-dkms deb package from the ppa which will add kernel modules for ashmem and binder which are required for the Android container to work.
  • Configure binder and ashmem kernel modules to be loaded automatically on boot.
  • Add an upstart job for the current user XXXXX which will start the anbox runtime on login.
  • Add a X11 session configuration file to allow the system  application launcher (Unity7, Gnome Shell, ..) to find available Android applications.

If you’re OK with that, enter “I AGREE” to complete the installation, and reboot your computer.

The instructions indicate that you can install apps with adb:

I did that but, adb could not find any devices attached. So I checked the system-info:

And my Nvidia graphics card with proprietary drivers does not seem to be handled properly. Not sure, whether is it the reason Anbox is not running. There are also lots of anbox related messages looping in the kernel log:

So sadly, I did not manage to make it work, but Anbox is an open source project released in github  and licensed under the terms of the GPLv3 license, plus some parts with an Apache-2.0 license, so it could be fixed by the developer, or yourself. Several users currently have problems and submitted issues to Anbox’s Github repo. Anbox is alpha software, so it’s bound to have issues at the beginning.

While I did not manage to get it to work, you can still checkout what’s it supposed to look like in the video below.

You could also visit Anbox website for more details.

Via Liliputing

ESPurna-H is a Compact Open Source Hardware Board with ESP8266 WiSoC, a 10A Relay, HLW8012 Power Monitoring Chip

April 9th, 2017 7 comments

ESPurna is an open source firmware for ESP8266 based wireless switch as such Sonoff POW, which I’ve been personally using to monitor my office’s power consumption. The developer, Xose Pérez (aka tinkerman), has now developed his own hardware with ESPurna-H board, as existing wireless switches with power monitoring functions would not fit into a gang box.

ESPurna-H board specifications:

  • WiFi Module – ESP12 with Espressif ESP8266 WiSoC
  • Relay – Songle SRD-05VDC-SL-C 10A relay with NO and NC connection
  • Power Monitoring – HLW8012 chip as found in Sonoff POW
  • Expansion – 2x 5-pin header with the programming GPIOs, and two connections for external button and LEDs
  • Misc – Reset button
  • Power Supply
  • Safety – Optical isolation between the logic circuit and the relay circuit
  • Dimensions – 50x50x20mm

Xose designed the board with Eagle 8.0 and released the schematics, PCB layout, BoM and other hardware design files under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA 3.0). You’ll find the files on github.

ESPurna-H with Custom 3D Printed Plate before Installation in Gangbox – Click to Enlarge

The board is not for sale, but you could purchase the PCB on OSH Park, purchase the components separately, and finally do the soldering yourself. Since this is a hobby project, not specific safety testing has been done, and you’d better understand what you are doing since the board is meant to be connected to the mains. Even companies do it wrong from time to time. If there’s a design flaw with the board it could overheat melting the plastic around, and in the worst case even start a fire.

Xose completed the setup with a capacitive touch switch attached to the cover, in order to turn on and off the light, and the final results above looks quite neat.