Posts Tagged ‘openwrt’

AsiaRF AP7620-MPE-1 OpenWrt WiFi Router mini PCIe Card is Made for Computers and Embedded Systems

July 26th, 2016 2 comments

There are many mini PCIe WiFi modules on the market, but what AsiaRF provides with AP7620-MPE-1 is a little different, as it’s a router based on Mediatek MT7620A fitted into a mini PCIe card to be plugged inside a computer or embedded system.

WiFi_mini_PCIe_OpenWrt_RouterAP7620-MPE-1 mini PCIe card specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7620A MIPS 24KEc CPU @ 580MHz with 2T2R WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (but board only supports 1×1)
  • 802.11ac WiFI Chipset – Mediatek MT7612E AC1200 chipset limited to 433 Mbps
  • System Memory – 64 or 128MB DDR2
  • Storage – 8 or 16MB SPI flash
  • WiFI features
    • Security: 64/128-bit WEP, TKIP, WPA, WPA2, AES; 802.1X Authentication with RADIUS Client
    • Multi-mode support: Access Point/Client mode
    • Support Multiple SSIDs
  • mini PCIe interface with USB2.0 to Ethernet, UART, 8 GPIOs, 1.5V, 3.3V and ground
  • Dimensions – 60 x 41.5 mm (bigger than standard mini card: 50.95 x 30 mm)

The card is seen as a USB 2.0 to Ethernet dongle from the system, with the dongle connected to a router. The reason why the AC1200 chipset is limited to 433 Mbps is because of the USB 2.0 interface in the mini PCIe card itself limited to 480 Mbps.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The company also told me there will be three versions of firmware SDK for this router:

  • Mediatek official SDK
  • Mediatek OpenWrt SDK with Mediatek WiFi driver
  • SDK with “public” WiFi driver (most of time uses less power)

The company does not have an habit of release firmware and documentation publicly, so you’ll probably get them after you purchase the card. In case you wonder why you’d ever need such mini PCIe card the company claims “it is ideal for multi-purpose installations for sharing wireless connections”.

The first engineering samples have just been produced. Price will be around $20 per unit, with discount in larger quantities. You can find some more technical details on the product page.

Gateworks Ventana GW5530 SBC is Designed for Drones, Robots, and Digital Signage

July 21st, 2016 No comments

Gateworks Ventana is a family of boards based on NXP i.MX6 processor designed for embedded applications, and often include one or more mini PCIe ports for expansion. Their latest single board computer – Ventana GW5530 –  is powered by an NXP i.MX 6Dual processor coupled with 512MB RAM, 256MB storage, a mini PCIe port, a micro SD / SIM card slot, micro HDMI output, and some I/Os.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Ventana GW5530 specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX6 Dual Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor @ 800MHz with Vivante 2D and 3D GPUs
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Up to 2GB as option)
  • Storage – 256MB flash (Up to 2GB as option), micro SD/SIM card slot, serial configuration EEPROM
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI 1.4 port
  • Connectivity – Optional u-blox EVA-M8M GPS Receiver with MMCX or u.FL Antenna Connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG Port
  • Sensors – 9-axis inertial module (accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer)
  • Expansion
    • High-Power Gen 2.0 mini-PCIe Socket with USB 2.0 Support
    • SIM socket (shared with micro SD card)
    • Video input header for CVBS, Y/C, YPrPb
    • Digital and serial I/O header
  • Debugging – JTAG connector
  • Misc – RTC with battery backup, voltage and temperature monitor, programmable watchdog timer, reset header, LED header
  • Power Supply – 8 to 60V DC input via 2-pin header; Reverse voltage protection
  • Power Consumption – [email protected] (typical); 7W Available for mini-PCIe socket
  • Dimensions – 100x35x13 mm
  • Weight – 28 grams
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C

    Click to Enlarge

    Click to Enlarge

The company can provide OpenWrt, Android, Yocto Linux, and OpenEmbedded board support packages (BSP) for the board. Some documentation can be found on Ventana wiki. The boards targets “small embedded applications such as Man Portable Units (MPUs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) equipment, digital signage, and robotics”.

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

The board is available now, with pricing not disclosed, and 1 year warranty. Gateworks GW11038 development kit with GW5530 SBC, OpenWrt BSP, USB and video cables, power supply, and a JTAG programmer can also be purchased for evaluation. More details can be found on Gateworks Ventana GW5530 product page.

Onion Omega2 is a $5 Linux WiFi IoT Board (Crowdfunding)

July 20th, 2016 5 comments

Onion Omega board was first introduced in 2015. The tiny OpenWrt Linux board featured an Atheros AR9331 processor with GPIO headers, and various baseboards and add-ons. The company has now launched a Kickstarter campaign for the second versions – Omega2 & Omega2 Plus – with a faster processor @ 580 MHz, compatible with docks and add-ons boards used for Omega, and a much lower price with $5 for the Omega2, and $9 for Omega2 Plus with more storage and memory.

Omega vs Omega2 / Omega2 Plus Board

Omega vs Omega2

Omega2 & Omega2 Plus specifications:

  • WiSoC – 580 MHz processor, possibly Mediatek MT7688 MIPS processor used in LinkIt Smart 7688
  • System Memory
    • Omega2 – 64MB
    • Omega2 Plus – 128MB
  • Storage
    • Omage2 – 16MB flash
    • Omega 2 Plus – 32MB flash + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity
    • Built-in – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with on-board and external antenna support
    • Via add-on boards – Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS, and 2G/3G
  • Expansion – 15x GPIO, 2x PWM, 2x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1xI2S
  • Power Supply –
  • Dimensions – A fourth the size of the Raspberry Pi, and less than a third the size of the Arduino UNO
Omega2 with Dock and Arduino Shield

Omega2 with Dock and Arduino Shield

Although the module can be used own its own, it’s much easier and fun to use with docks with the Expansion dock, mini dock,  power dock, or Arduino dock shown above, and combined with one or more add-on boards adding relays, OLED displays, servo board, Ethernet, Bluetooth, GPS, or 2G/3G cellular connectivity. The developers also partnered with ControlEverything to provide for sensors add-ons.

Omega2_ProgrammingOmega2 runs Linux, likely OpenWrt, and can be programming with visual editor like Node-RED, as well as programming languages like C, C++, Node.js, Python, and php. You can checkout their github repositories to see what they’ve done for the original Omega board.

The campaign has reached its funding target within a few hours. Beside Omega2 and Omega2 Plus board, you may also consider get a bundle with a dock of your choice for $20 or $24, and various other kits are also offered as rewards. Please note that shipping is not included, and they’ll ask you to pay shipping later when the board is ready to ship with the price for the board only expected to be around $2 for most people, but it can be as high as $15 to some countries. Delivery is scheduled for November 2016.

Thanks to Freire & Nanik for the tip.

EWEAT R9 Android Media Players and Recorders Feature Realtek RTD1295 Processor with HDMI 2.0, SATA, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and More

June 13th, 2016 1 comment

Eweat has now introduced three TV box models based on Realtek RTD1295 64-bit processor with Eweat R9, Eweat R9 mini, and Eweat R9 Plus, bringing some competition to the upcoming Zidoo X9s TV box, with respectively an external SATA port, no SATA, and an internal SATA bay.

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EWEAT R9 Plus – Click to Enlarge

All three devices share most of the same specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    • R9 Mini – 8 GB eMMC + SD card reader
    • R9 – 16 GB eMMC + SATA 3.5 connector for external drive + SD card reader
    • R9 Plus – 16 GB eMMC + internal 3.5″ SATA 3.0 bay + SD card reader
  • Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output, HDMI 2.0 input, and AV
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF output
  • Video Playback – HDR, 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 60 fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps, BDISO/MKV, etc… automatic frame rate switching
  • Audio Features – 7.1 channel audio pass-through for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, LPCM, Dolby Digital Plus
  • Connectivity
    • R9 mini – 1x Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 with one external antenna
    • R9 and R9 Plus – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 with two external antennas
  • USB
    • R9 mini – 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 host port
    • R9 and R9 Plus – 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – Power switch, LCD display on front panel
  • Power Supply
    • R9 mini – 5V/2A
    • R9- 12V /2A
    • R9 Plus – 12V/2.5A
  • Dimensions& Weight
    • R9 mini – 130 x 100 x 23 mm; 500 grams
    • R9 – 170 x 115 x 24.5 mm; 1 kg
    • R9 Plus – 200 x 143 x 55 mm; 1.8 kg
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EWEAT R9 Plus Rear Panel – Click to Enlarge

The three devices will run Android 6.0 with a custom version of Kodi 16, as well as OpenWrt (TBS), and ship with accessories such as a IR remote control (optional air mouse), HDMI and AV cables, a power adapter, quick installation guide, and a warranty card. HDMI input can be used for PiP (picture-in-picture) and to record video from game console, set-top boxes, computers, and so on, but I could not confirm the maximum resolution, but if it works like on Zidoo X9s, it will support HDMI video recording and streaming up to 1080p60 resolution. 4K recording won’t be supported despite the HDMI 2.0 input interface.

EWEAT R9 mini (left) and R9 (right) - Click to Enlarge

EWEAT R9 mini (left) and R9 (right) – Click to Enlarge

The company told me the hardware is now complete, but software is still work in progress, with mass production scheduled for mid-summer, i.e. end of July, beginning of August, and pricing not available yet. More information should eventually surface on EWEAT website.


Imagination Solution to FCC Rules for WiFi Routers: Run OpenWrt / DD-WRT and the WiFi Driver in Separate Virtual Machines

June 10th, 2016 9 comments

About a year ago, discussions started about new rules from the FCC that could prevent routers from installing open source third party operating systems such as OpenWrt or DDWRT. Despite the FCC assurance that the rules were meant to prevent some users from illegally tweaking the RF settings, and that it would not have to impact installing of open source alternatives, the reality is that companies such as TP-Link ended up locking their routers up due to the new rules, while Linksys would only ensure OpenWrt/ DD-WRT compatibility on some of their routers, but not all. Companies are probably doing that due to the extra work that would be required to separate the RF settings which need to be locked, and the rest of the firmware. But Imagination Technology’s prpl security group has a solution for their MIPS Warrior P-Class processors using hardware virtualization.


In order to show the concept works, they’ve developed the solution on an evaluation board based on Baikal T1 dual core MIPS P5600 communication processor, and using a Realtek RTL8192 WiFi adapter and the Ethernet port (WAN) for communications. The serial port was used for debugging Linux.

One the software side, they run an hypervisor, and three virtual machines (VM) leveraging the processor hardware capabilities:

  • Open source L4Re hypervisor comprised of an L4 microkernel that can run trusted native applications and act as a trusted hypervisor for operating systems.
  • Open VM for OpenWrt running OpenWrt and providing the main interface to the router facilities
  • Isolated VM for the Wi-Fi driver without direct access to the driver from other VMs, except through the virtual network connection using ports 85 for http, 449 for https or 29 for ssh. That’s the important part to comply with the FCC rules.
  • Dedicated VM for third party applications acting as a sandbox for running third party applications that provide additional functionality such as home automation apps.

Here’s the demo.

Of course, this will not solve the issues for existing cheap routers, but this could be a solution for future not-so-low-end WiFi routers.

VoCore2 WiFi IoT Module Features Mediatek MT7628AN Processor

May 11th, 2016 7 comments

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

VoCore2Vocore2 preliminary specifications:

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

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

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

Arduino Yún Shield Adds Ethernet and WiFi to Arduino Boards for $50

May 11th, 2016 1 comment

You can now add WiFi to Arduino for about $3 thanks to ESP8266, and it’s been long possible to add Ethernet with ENC28J60 module now selling for the same $3. Alternatively, if you want some a little more powerful, you could also use IoT modules running OpenWrt such as a $30 WrtNode or $13 LinkIt Smart 7688 both capable of supporting Ethernet with some hacks. But if you’ve been used to Arduino Yun, have a few spare Arduino boards, or simply think the other solutions are just too cheap, Arduino LLC has just launched Arduino/Genuino Yún Shield for $49.90 / 43.90 Euros.Arduino_Yun_Shield Arduino Yún Shield specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 MIPS WiSoC @ 400 MHz
  • System Memory – 64 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16 MB flash
  • Connectivity – 10/100 M and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Board interfacing – SPI and HW Serial
  • Misc – 5 LEDs (WiFi, Power, Ethernet, Activity and User); Reset shield and config reset buttons
  • Operating Voltage – 3.3V

The shield is compatible with Arduino Uno, Zero, 101, Diecimila, Due, Duemilanove, Leonardo, and Mega2560 boards.

Genuino_Yun_ShieldThe Yún Shield run OpenWrt-Yun and uses the Bridge library just like Arduino Yún board. You can find all details including documentation, hardware design files, and Arduino IDE on Arduino Yún Shield wiki.

LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) Project is a Fork of OpenWrt

May 4th, 2016 9 comments

2016 appears to be the year of splits in open source communities with Kodi losing its main Android developer, LibreELEC being born out of disagreements within OpenELEC community, and now LEDE project, a fork of OpenWrt, has been created because some people are not satisfied with the way the project is managed, and now “includes a significant share of the most active members of the OpenWrt community”.

LEDE_OpenWrt_ForkLEDE, which stands for “Linux Embedded Development Environment” , has three stated goals:

  • Building a great embedded Linux distribution with focus on stability and functionality.
  • Having regular, predictable release cycles coupled with community provided device testing feedback.
  • Establishing transparent decision processes with broad community participation and public meetings.

You can find more on LEDE Project website, and the source code is available on the project’s git server:

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

Categories: Linux, OpenWRT Tags: fork, lede, open source, openwrt