Posts Tagged ‘raspberry pi’

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) and Compute Module 3 Lite (CM3L) Datasheet Released

October 17th, 2016 5 comments

Last week NEC announced they were going to use Raspberry Pi Compute 3 Module in some of their presentation and digital signage displays. This led to a longish discussion in the blog post, during which one commenter left a link to Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 datasheet, so let’s have a look.

Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

There will actually be two version of the Broadcom BCM2837 based Compute Module with CM3 with a 4GB eMMC, and CM3 Lite (CM3L) without eMMC, but SD card signal are available to the baseboard. Apart from storage differences, both modules shared the same specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Videocore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage
    • CM3 Lite – SD card signals through SO-DIMM connector
    • CM3 – 4GB eMMC flash
  • 200-pin edge connector with:
    • 48x GPIO
    • 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 2x UART
    • 2x SD/SDIO, 1x NAND interface (SMI)
    • 1x HDMI 1.3a
    • 1x USB 2.0 HOST/OTG
    • 1x DPI (Parallel RGB Display)
    • 1x 4-lane CSI Camera Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane), 1x 2-lane CSI Camera Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane)
    • 1x 4-lane DSI Display Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane), 1x 2-lane DSI Display Interface (up to 1Gbps per lane)
  • Power Supply – VBAT (2.5V to 5.0V) for BCM2837 processor core, 3.3V for PHYs, UI and eMMC flash, 1.8V for PHYs, IO, and SDRAM, VDAC (2.8V typ.) for video composite DAC, GPIO0-27_VREF & GPIO28-45_VREF (1.8 to 3.3V) for the two GPIO banks.
  • Dimensions – 67.6 x 31 mm; compliant with JEDEC MO-224 mechanical specification used in DDR2 SO-DIMM memory module
  • Temperature Range – -25 to +80 degrees Celsius

Compute Module 3 and 3 Lite are basically mechanically & electrically compatible with the original Raspberry Pi Compute Module (CM1), so if you have an existing design based CM1, CM3 should be a drop-in replacement, bearing in mind the following differences explained in the datasheet:

Apart from the CPU upgrade and increase in RAM the other significant hardware differences to be aware of are that CM3 has grown from 30mm to 31mm in height, the VBAT supply can now draw significantly more power under heavy CPU load, and the HDMI HPD N 1V8 (GPIO46 1V8 on CM1) and EMMC EN N 1V8 (GPIO47 1V8 on CM1) are now driven from an IO expander rather than the processor. If a designer of a CM1 product has a suitably specified VBAT, can accommodate the extra 1mm module height increase and has followed the design rules with respect to GPIO46 1V8 and GPIO47 1V8 then a CM3 should work fine in a board designed for a CM1.

The datasheet also includes detailed mechanical and electrical specifications necessary to build a baseboard for the Compute Module.

CM3 and CM3L Mechanical Dimensions

CM3 and CM3L Mechanical Dimensions

It should also be enough for people to design a compatible SoM based another processor, but so far I’m not aware of anybody having done so with Compute Module 1.

Raspberry Pi Trading guarantees availability of CM1, CM3 and CM3 Lite until at least January 2023.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 to be launched by the end of the year, used in NEC displays

October 14th, 2016 37 comments

Eben Upton had already mentioned the Raspberry Pi Foundation was working on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 based on the same Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor and 1GB LPDDR2 RAM used in Raspberry Pi 3 board earlier this year, but few details had been provided at the time.

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RPI Compute Module 3 in NEC Display – Click to Enlarge

The module is still not available, but NEC Display Solutions Europe has already announced they are working on integrating Compute Module 3 into commercial displays starting with 40″, 48″ and 55″ models in January 2017, and up to 98″ by the end of next year, used for digital signage and presentation platforms.


The Raspberry Pi Foundation goes on to say they’ve been working on NEC project for over a year now, and they expect to release Compute Module 3 to the general public by the end of the year. Price and complete technical details have not been released yet.

You can also watch the video below with NEC announcing Raspberry Pi 3 module based Displays at the 7:43 mark.

Via Raspberry Pi Blog

RabbitMax Flex IoT & Home Automation Board and Kit for Raspberry Pi

October 7th, 2016 4 comments

RabbitMax Flex is an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi boards with 40-pin headers, namely Raspberry Pi Model A+ and B+, Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 0, destined to be used for Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation applications thanks to 5x I2C headers, a relay, an LCD interface and more.

I’ve received a small kit with RabbitMax Flex boards, a BMP180 temperature & barometric pressure I2C sensor, and a 16×2 LCD display.

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RabbitMax Flex specifications:

  • Relay – Songle SRD-05VDC-SL-C supporting 125V/250VAC up to 10A, 30VDC up to 10A
  • Storage – EEPROM with some system information for identification
  • IR – IR LED, IR receiver
  • Misc – Buzzer, Button, RGB LED
  • Expansion
    • Header for LCD character display + potentiometer for backlight adjustment
    • 5x 4-pin headers for I2C sensors
  • Dimensions – Raspberry Pi HAT compliant
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The assembly of the kit is child’s play as you don’t even need tools. First insert the HAT board on top of your Raspberry Pi board, add the LCD display, and whatever I2C sensors you please.

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I’ve done so on my Raspberry Pi 2 board and battery kit. I have not tried the software part yet, but the platform has been tested on Raspbian, with a custom Linux OS built with the Yocto Project coming soon. Currently three sensors are supported including a temperature and barometric pressure sensor (BPM180), a temperature and humidity sensor (HTU21) and a light sensor (BH1750), but you could also connect any other I2C sensors provided you work on the code to enable support.

You’ll find documentation, software, example projects, tools, and soon KiCAD files on RabbitMax github’s account, and some extra info on website. RabbitMax Flex board is now sold for $49.90 on, but if you are patient enough, you should be able to buy it for a significantly lower price via an upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

Linux 4.8 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

October 4th, 2016 3 comments

Linus Torvalds has officially released Linux 4.8 last Sunday:

So the last week was really quiet, which maybe means that I could probably just have skipped rc8 after all. Oh well, no real harm done.

This obviously means that the merge window for 4.9 is open, and I appreciate the people who already sent in some pull requests early due to upcoming travel or other reasons. I’ll start pulling things tomorrow, and have even the most eager developers and testers hopefully test the final 4.8 release before the next development kernels start coming 😉

Anyway, there’s a few stragging fixes since rc8 listed below: it’s a mixture of arch fixes (arm, mips, sparc, x86), drivers (networking, nvdimm, gpu) and generic code (some core networking, with a few filesystem, cgroup and and vm things).

All of it pretty small, and there really aren’t that many of them. Go forth and test,

Linux 4.7 introduced support for AMD Radeon RX480 GPUs, parallel directory lookups, the new “schedutil” frequency governor with lower latency, EFI ‘Capsule’ firmware updates, and much more.

linux-4-8-changelogSome notable Linux 4.8 changes include:

  • HDMI-CEC framework
  • Kernel documentation system is now based on Sphinx
  • GPIO subsystem has a new user-space ABI for the management of general-purpose I/O lines; it is based on char devices and replaces the long-deprecated sysfs interface. You can check out tools/gpio/ directory with lsgpio, gpio-hammer, and gpio-event-mon for examples
  • Various file systems improvements for Btrfs, EXT-4 (unified encryption), OrangeFS (better in-kernel caching), Ceph (RADOS namespace support), XFS (Reverse-mapping support), etc…

Some improvements and new features specific to the ARM architecture and corresponding hardware platforms:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A10/A20 – Display engine clocks (TCON, FE, DE), I2S audio interface (ASoC) driver, added NFC node to DTS
    • Allwinner H3 – Clocks (through sunxi-ng), USB multi-reset lines support
    • AXP2xx driver – External drivebus support, AXP223 USB power supply support, AXP809 PMIC support
    • Broadcom BCM53125 support as it’s used in Lamobo / Banana Pi R1 router board.
    • New boards – Polaroid MID2407PXE03 & inet86dz (Allwinner A23 tablets), Banana Pi M1+, Banana Pi M2+, Allwinner Parrot (Allwinner R16 EVB)
  • Rockchip:
    • Many new peripherals added to RK3399 (eDP, clock controller, etc…)
    • Preparations to use generic DMA mapping code in the Rockchip IOMMU driver
    • Fixes for eMMC controller, SPI controller, eDP controller, and I2C
  • Amlogic
    • AmLogic meson8b clock controller (rewritten)
    • AmLogic gxbb clock controller
    • Reset controller driver for Amlogic Meson
    • New watchdog driver for Amlogic Meson GXBB (S905) SoC
    • Added support for Amlogic Meson RNG in crypto drivers
    • Some Amlogic ARM64 DTS updates
  • Samsung
    • Enable drivers for Exynos7 and Exynos5433 based boards: S2MPS clock driver, SoC: RTC, SPI, watchdog, EHCI, OHCI, DWC3, ADC and PWM, Enable Samsung SoC sound
    • Samsung ARM64 DTS Changes – Adjust the voltage of CPU buck regulator so scaling could work.
    • Samsung DTS changes
      • Add missing async bridge for MFC power domain on Exynos5420. This fixes imprecise abort on s5p-mfc re-bind.
      • Define regulator supplies for MMC nodes on Exynos4412 Odroid boards and for TMU on Exynos542x Peach boards.
      • Thermal cleanups on Odroid XU3-family (Exynos5422).
      • Enable AX88760 USB hub on Origen board (Exynos4412)
      • Disable big.LITTLE switcher so the cpufreq-dt could be enabled.
      • Enable Samsung media platform drivers.
      • Enable some board-specific drivers for boards: Trats2, Universal C210.
      • Enable Virtual Video Test Driver on nulti_v7 and exynos defconfigs. Useful for testing
    • Samsung drivers/soc updates:
      • Move the power domain driver from arm/mach-exynos and prepare for supporting ARMv8.
      • Add COMPILE_TEST.
      • Make SROMC driver explicitly non-module.
      • Endian-friendly fixes.
      • Fix size of allocation for Exynos SROM registers (too much was allocated)
    • Add CEC interface driver present in the Samsung Exynos SoCs
    • Added support for Exynos 5410 Odroid XU board
  • Qualcomm
    • Added MDM9615 support
    • Qualcomm ARM Based Driver Updates:
      • Rework of SCM driver
      • Add file patterns for Qualcomm Maintainers entry
      • Add worker for wcnss_ctrl signaling
      • Fixes for smp2p
      • Update smem_state properties to match documentation
      • Add SCM Peripheral Authentication service
      • Expose SCM PAS command 10 as a reset controller
      • Fix probe order issue in SCM
      • Add missing qcom_scm_is_available() API
    • Qualcomm ARM64 Updates
      •  Enable assorted peripherals on APQ8016 SBC
      • Update reserved memory on MSM8916
      • Add MSM8996 peripheral support
      • Add SCM firmware node on MSM8916
      • Add PMU node on MSM8916
      • Add PSCI cpuidle support on MSM8916
    • Qualcomm Device Tree Changes:
      • Reverse BAM dma node reverts
      • Add BAM remote control options for affected platforms
      • Enable peripherals on APQ8074 dragonboard
      • Enable PMA8084 pwrky
      • Fix PMIC reg entries by removing unnecessary size element
      • Add SCM binding and support for all currently supported boards
      • Add Qualcomm WCNSS binding documentation
      • Rename db600c to SD_600eval and add peripheral nodes
      • Remove gpio key entry from Nexus7
      • Add APQ8060 based dragonboard and associated peripherals
      • Add ARMv7 PMU for IPQ4019
      • Update smem state cells to match documentation
    • ARM64 defconfig: Enable PM8xxx pwrkey support, enable MSM8996 support
    • ARM defconfig: Enable MSM9615 board support, enable MSM8660 pinctrl support
  • Mediatek
    • Added Mediatek MT6755
    • Display subsystem added to MT8173
    • Support for Mediatek generation one IOMMU hardware
    • New drivers for Mediatek MT6323 regulator
    • new encoding codec driver for Mediatek SoC (linux-media): H.264/VP8/V4L2 video encoder drivers for MT8173
  • ARM64 – arm64 architecture has gained support for the kexec mechanism (allowing one kernel to boot directly into another) and kernel probes.
  • Other new ARM hardware or SoCs – NXP i.MX 7Solo, Broadcom BCM23550, Cirrus Logic EP7209 and EP7211 (clps711x platforms), Hisilicon HI3519, Renesas R8A7792, Apalis Tegra K1 board, LG LG1313, Renesas r8a7796, Broadcom BCM2837 (used in Raspberry Pi 3)

MIPS architecture changelog:

  • Fix memory regions reaching top of physical
  • MAAR: Fix address alignment
  • vDSO: Fix Malta EVA mapping to vDSO page structs
  • uprobes: fix incorrect uprobe brk handling, select HAVE_REGS_AND_STACK_ACCESS_API
  • Avoid a BUG warning during PR_SET_FP_MODE prctl
  • SMP: Fix possibility of deadlock when bringing CPUs online
  • R6: Remove compact branch policy Kconfig entries
  • Fix size calc when avoiding IPIs for small icache flushes
  • Fix pre-r6 emulation FPU initialisation
  • Fix delay slot emulation count in debugfs
  • CM: Fix mips_cm_max_vp_width for non-MT kernels on MT systems
  • CPS: Avoid BUG() when offlining pre-r6 CPUs
  • DEC: Avoid gas warnings due to suspicious instruction scheduling by manually expanding assembler macros.
  • FTLB: Fix configuration by moving configuration after probing, clear execution hazard after changing FTLB enable
  • Highmem: Fix detection of unsupported highmem with cache aliases
  • I6400: Don’t touch FTLBP chicken bits
  • Malta: Fix IOCU disable switch read for MIPS64
  • Octeon: Fix probing of devices attached to GPIO lines, fix kernel header to work for VDSO build, fix initialization of platform device probing.

You can find the full list of changes in Linux 4.8 changelog with comments only generated using git log v4.7..v4.8 --stat. A list of changes for Linux 4.8 will also soon be found on

Review of Allo Vana Player Linux HiFi Audio System with Max2Play, SqueezeBox and Kodi

October 2nd, 2016 9 comments

Last month I showcased what I called “Allo Sparky Audio Kit” with a DAC board (Piano), an amplifier board (Volt), and usually hard to find  reclocker and capacitance multiplier boards (Kali & CM), all connected to Allo Sparky ARM Linux development board powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, and running Ubuntu 12.04. In the first post, I just described the boards, and showed how to assemble the kit, but now that I have received the user’s manual, it turns out the kit is actually called “Vana Player” and the provided Ubuntu firmware image runs Max2Play Browser based system that’s also available for Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards.

Before starting the kit, you’ll need to connect speakers to Piano DAC board and/or Kali board, as well as a 19.5V power source such as a laptop power supply to connect to the CM board. I connected some USB powered speakers to the headphone jack of Piano board, and one 5 ohm speaker to Volt amplifier board which I had left from a speaker set. You’d normally want to use two speakers for the Volt board, but that will do for testing. I tried four different laptop power supplies, but none of the jack would fit, so finally I change the plug from a Sony Laptop power power supply. Finally I connected an Ethernet cable, and a USB hard drive.

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The user manual recommends to connect the 5V power supply provided with the kit, before turning on the 19V power source, and do the reverse while powering it off (turn 19V off first, then 5V). If your kit includes Kali reclocker board, it’s also very important not to connect 5V to Sparky board, but only to Kali board.

Now that the board is started you can find the IP address with an IP scanner software or your router DHCP list. In my router, the kit is detected as pcm5122:

pcm5122 00-17-F7-01-00-FD 00:57:43

While running arp-scan in my Ubuntu computer looks up the manufacturer (CEM Solutions Pvt) from the MAC address suffix (00:17:f7):

Now that we have the IP address, let’s open a web browser and access Max2Play web interface.

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It’s telling me an update is available, so I went to Settings / Reboot tab, and successfully upgraded it from version 1.0 to version 2.36.

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Two players are installed: Squeezelite working with Logitech Media Server (now Squeezebox Server) and Shairport for Airplay support, with both players set to auto start. You can access the settings for each in Audioplayer tab in the web interface.

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I have not changed anything but you can disable autostart, set advanced options, and enable/disable the Graphics Equalizer.

SqueezeLite will communicate with SqueezeBox Server, which can be configure in the tab of the same name.

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You can also install plugins in that menu such as ShairTunes / ShairTunes2 (Airplay), and Google Music. But again, I have not changed anything in that section.

Vana Player is also powerful enough to act as a video player when connected to a TV via its HDMI port, so you can enjoy both high quality audio and video. That’s what the Kodi/XBMC tab is for, as it will allow you to configure Kodi, for example to decide whether you want to start it automatically.

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This can also work as a headless Kodi installation using Kore Android app, but I’ll get into more details a little later.

The most important part of the interface at first is the Filesystem Mount tab, where you’ll be able to mount network shares (NFS/SAMBA) on other devices, or your USB storage partitions, as well as use Vana Player as a SAMBA server. If you copied your file on the SD card, you don’t need to do anything here.

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Three out of four partitions of my USB hard drive are detected, the only exception being the BTRFS partition, however none of them would mount from the web interface. I could however mount them manually using ssh (username/password: pi/pi):

So I set “Set fixed Mountpoint to prevent directory switching on reboot” and clicked “Save”, but the  “resolve host pcm5122” error still caused  the web interface to believe mounting did not work:

sudo: unable to resolve host pcm5122 [mntent]: line 3 in /etc/fstab is bad [mntent]: line 5 in /etc/fstab is bad [mntent]: line 7 in /etc/fstab is bad [mntent]: line 9 in /etc/fstab is bad [mntent]: line 11 in /etc/fstab is bad; rest of file ignored
Mountpoint NOT added! Please refer to the description below!

So restarted the board, and the NTFS partition was mounted automatically. Restarting the board is not straightforward however, as the Reboot option in “Settings / Reboot” never worked for me. It does restart the board, but never fully boots it. So I turned off 19V power, turned off 5V power, and then back on 5V, and 19V to be able to boot successfully. Maybe some programmable power strip would be useful here.

vana-player-usb-drive-samba-shareI also created “vanaplayer” SAMBA share, and could access from my Ubuntu computer after settings a password for the SAMBA share for user “root” (fixed username).


Finally, you can configure networking for Ethernet or WiFi in WiFi / LAN tab. However, the first time you’ll need to connect Ethernet even if you want to use WiFi through an USB WiFi dongle.

So now we should be ready to play some audio files. To do so, go to SqueezeBox Server tab, and click on “Open Squeezebox Server Webadministration” button, which should open a new video with “Logitech Media Server” (LMS).

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If you are using external USB or network storage for your music, you’ll want to click on Settings on the bottom right corner in order to add your Media Folders, in my case /media/usb1/Music/music, and optionally edit the playlist folder.

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Click on Apply and Close, and then you’ll be able to able play your music, add files to the playlist, and adjust the volume and other settings such as repeat and shuffle from the web interface.

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Audio plays via speakers connected to both Piano DAC board and VOLT amplifier, and the audio quality seemed pretty good considering the speakers I used. I also set the volume in LMS to the maximum, but it was not that loud. Maybe there’s another way to increase the volume, but I did not find it. I also played a FLAC audio file (24-bit/192 KHz) successfully.

Another source of audio can be found in the Radio part of LMS, I managed to do so easily, although one of the radio stations would not start at all. Probably a network issue, as others worked just fine.

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Vana player manual also mention the use of Qobuz plugin, but I did not try since it requires subscription.

The final way to play music using LMS is DLNA/UPnP, and I could confirm the UPnP/DLNA plugin was installed and running on port 5000:

However, for whatever reason, BubbleUPnP nor AirWire apps were able to locate PCM5122 as the media renderer.


I’ll update the post if I manage to make it work.

An another way to use Vana Player is via Kodi Media Center. You’ll need to connect an HDMI display to Sparky board, login using pi / pi credentials, and start Kodi via Max2Play interface. SqueezeLite and Shairport will be stopped, and only restart (if set to autostart) once Kodi is stopped.

If you want to control the player remotely, you’ll need to install Kore app on your smartphone. I started Kodi by going to Max2Ply Interface, selecting Kodi/XBMC tab, and clicking on Start Kodi(video), which will start Kodi 15.0 Isengard on the device.

Now to enable smartphone remote control support, enable Settings → Services → Remote control → Allow programs on other systems to control Kodi and Settings → Services → Webserver → Allow control of Kodi via HTTP to ON to allow you smartphone to send data such as images and summaries to Kodi. Both options were actually already enabled in my system, but I got the error message “remote communication server failed to start” in Kodi, until I manually stopped SqueezeBox Server in Max2Play web interface.The rest of the instructions should work with any other system running Kodi.

Now we can start Kore app, click Next, auto detection will fail, click Next again to setup manual configuration with the IP address and default Kodi settings as shown below.

kodi-kore-remote-controlThen we can go to Files to access the video inside Vana Player and start playing them. Once the video is started it does not rely on the smartphone, except if you want to use Kore remote control to stop the video, fast forward, adjust the volume and so on.

Another way to use Kodi Media Server capabilities is to use a UPnP app such as AirWire or BubbleUPnP, and contrary to my experience with SqueezeBox Server, Kodi(pcm5122) media renderer was probably detected, and I could play a video located on my phone.

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A final way to use the system as explained in the user’s manual is to stream a YouTube video from your smartphone to Vana Player again using UPnP. To do so, start YouTube app, start playing a video, and share it to BubbleUPnP (AirWaire does not support this feature), which will ask to install additional files the first time.

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Once it is complete, you’ll be able to stream and control YouTube videos from your smartphone.

I suddenly had a problem while using UPnP apps however, as I lost all audio. I tried to reboot the system, and use SqueezeBox server, but I still did not have any audio. The screenshoot below shows I can run AlsaMixer and atm7059_link audio card is detected.

alsamixerHowever, if I go to Sound Settings in Ubuntu 12.04, there’s no Output device at all, and Kodi complains /dev/mixer is missing. All boards seem to be OK based on the LEDs, so it must be a software issue, but I have not found a solution yet.

So overall Vana Player is an interesting audio device, but software can be confusing at time, and not always work as expected. I’ve also noted that the network interface may take a long time to be brought up, and sometimes I have restart the device manually to make it work. Some explanation about the many LEDs on the board could be useful to debug potential issue without having to connect the device to a monitor or TV.

Allo website has been updated, and you can now buy all boards on Sparky page. My kit includes Sparky board ($37), Piano DAC board ($27), Piano 2.1 DAC board ($49), VOLT amplifier board ($27), Kali reclocker board ($69),  CM board ($15), and some accessories, but you can also directly buy Vana Player kit for $169, as well as other bundles. If you own a Raspberry Pi 2/3 board, the audio add-on boards should also be compatible.

Android 7.0, Android TV 7.0, and Yocto Project Ported to Pine A64 Boards

September 19th, 2016 3 comments

A few weeks ago, Raspberry Pi 3 got an Android 7.0 Nougat port, and it’s usable for some app even simple games like Angry Bird, but there are still problems with 3D graphics, and hardware video decoding. But thanks to Pine64 forum’s member Ayufan, we now have Android 7.0 and Android TV 7.0 for Pine A64 boards with 1GB or more memory with 3D graphics, and hardware video acceleration for most apps.


Everything is said to pretty much work, but there are some known issues, such as camera support (being worked on now), touchscreen support (not tested), YouTube is limited to 360p/480p as it does not support hardware video decoding, and Widevine DRM is not supported. Android 7.0 has also been shown to be about 10 to 15% faster than Android 5.1.1 in GeekBench.

Ronnie Bailey has shot a video showing Pine A64 running Android TV 7.0 Nougat.

If you want to try yourself, prepare a 4GB or greater micro SD card, and flash one of the two images with Win32DiskImager or dd after downloading the latest version on the release page.

If you find any issues you can report them on Github issue tracker, and if you’d like to get involved you’ll find instructions to build Android 7.0.

Beside Raspberry Pi 3 and Pine A64 boards, if you are interested in running Android 7.0 in a development board, 96Boards Hikey could be the best solution since it is officially supported in AOSP.

Android Nougat is not the only new operating system being supported by Pine A64 boards, as Montez Claros published Pine A64 meta layer for the Yocto Project, which itself is not an operating system, but will allow you to build you own minimal or custom Linux distribution for the board.

Nextcloud Box is a $80 Private Cloud Server with 1TB HDD for Development Boards

September 17th, 2016 29 comments

While there are plenty of cloud services provided by companies such as Dropbox or Google, you may want to manage you own private cloud server instead for performance and/or privacy reasons. One typical way to do this is to install Owncloud or Nextcloud (a fork of Owncloud), on a Linux computer or board such as Raspberry Pi 3. The former is usually a little expensive for just this task, the latter often results in cable mess, and in both case, some people may not be comfortable with setting it all up. Nextcloud, Western Digital, and Canonical seems to have addressed most of those issues with Nextcloud Box including a 1TB USB 3.0 WDLabs harddrive, Nextcloud case with space for the drive and small ARM or x86 Linux development boards, and a micro USB power supply.

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The kit also include a micro SD card pre-loaded with Snappy Ubuntu Core, Apache, MySQL and Nextcloud 10 for the Raspberry Pi 2. They are also working on SD card images for ODROID-C2 and Raspberry Pi 3 boards, but readers of this blog should also be able to use the kit on any ARM or x86 Linux development boards that fit in the case, as all you need to do is install you favorite Linux distribution, and install & configure Nextcloud.

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Some more information and links to purchase can be found on Nexcloud Box product page. Price is $79.99 in the US, 70 Euros in Europe including VAT, and 60 GBP in the United Kingdom. The kit is not available in the rest of the world for now. Remember than you’ll need to add your board, and with a Raspberry Pi 3 the total cost would end up being around $120, but with cheaper boards you should be able to keep the total price below $100 even once shipping is taken into account.

SZTomato TVI Amlogic S905X Development Board to Support Android 6.0, OpenELEC 7.0, and Ubuntu 16.04

August 16th, 2016 11 comments

Shenzhen Tomato has been selling Android TV boxes for a few years now, but one of their next product will be a development board based on Amlogic S905X processor with 8GB flash, 2GB RAM, and the usual 40-pin Raspberry Pi header.

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“VIM3316” Board – Click to Enlarge

SZTomato TVI development board specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (1GB or less as option)
  • Storage – 8GB Samsung eMMC flash (other capacities as option)  + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio  Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Connectivity – Fast Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Ampak AP6212) with IPEX connector
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports with 500mA fuses, 1x USB type C port for power and USB devices (no video)
  • Expansion header – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with USB, UART, I2C, ADC, PWM, JTAG, I2S, and GPIOs
  • Misc -Blue & red LED, dual channel IR, power/function/reset keys, header for RTC battery
  • Power Supply –  5V via USB type C or extra header with 2.5A fuse
  • Dimensions – 82.0 x 57.5 x 11.5 mm
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The company will provide support for Android 6.0, OpenELEC 7.0 and Ubuntu 16.04, and source code will be provided to customers.

The bad news is that the board will only be sold to companies purchasing in volume, not to hobbyists. The company told me they already have engineering samples, and accept order from OEM/ODM customers. Price has not been disclosed publicly, but I’m guessing it should probably be around $40 or less. [Update 24/08/2016: More info can now be found on TVi product page. They have four versions: TVi, TVi Lite, TVim and TGVim with different memory, storage, and wireless configurations]