Posts Tagged ‘samsung’

Samsung Chromebook Pro Powered by Rockchip RK3399 SoC to Sell for $499

October 15th, 2016 16 comments

Considering Linux kernel commits related to RK3399 processor almost always involves developers with a email address, beside ones, we had to expect a Rockchip RK3399 based Chromebook sooner or later, and based on various leaks, Samsung Chromebook Pro appears to be one the RK3399 Chromebooks to come to market very soon.

samsung-chromebook-proWe’ll see some of the key features and pictures, and technical details on websites such as Adorama, so we can have a pretty good idea of Chromebook Pro OP1 / 513C24I specifications, even though Samsung and Google have yet to officially launch the device:

  • SoC – Hexa core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores (Which has to be Rockchip RK3399 SoC, or a special RK3399-C specific to Chromebooks)
  • System Memory – 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC Flash Storage
  • Display – 360°-rotatable 12.3” LED touchscreen display;  2,400 x 1,600 resolution; 400 nits brightness
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera – 1x front-facing webcam
  • USB – 2x USB type C ports
  • Misc – Power and volume buttons, digital pen
  • Battery – Up to 10 hours of battery usage; 70% battery capacity retention expected after 3 years
  • Dimensions – 280 x 221 x 12.9 to 13.9 thickness (All metal body)
  • Weight – 1.08 kg

Chromebook Pro will run the latest version of Chrome OS, include Google Play Store to let you use Android apps, as well as “value added software”, such as a one-year subscription to AirDroid browser-based web app service to easily access files from any of your devices.


It’s also the first Chromebook that I’m aware of coming with digital pen input to interact with the touchscreen. Samsung Chromebook Pro won’t be the first ARM Cortex A72 Chromebook to be launched, as Acer Chromebook R13 was already launched with a Mediatek processor for $399 and up. Adorama list Chromebook Pro OP1 for $499, and Chrome Unboxed also noticed a now-deleted B&H listing for Chromebook Pro (referred to Kevin to the codebase) going for the same price, and allegedly starting to ship on October 24th.

Via Liliputing

Samsung Starts Mass-Production of Exynos 7 Dual (7270) Processor used in Galaxy Gear S3 Smartwatch

October 11th, 2016 4 comments

Samsung has just issued a press release announcing the Korean company had just started mass-production of the first SoC for Wearables using 14-nm FinFET process with their Exynos 7 Dual (7270) dual Cortex A53 processor. Exynos 7270 is also said to be the first such SoC to embed full connectivity and LTE modem integration.

samsung-exynos-7-dualExynos 7270 specifications:

  • CPU – Dual-core ARM CortexA53 processor  @ up to 1.0 GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-T720
  • Memory – LPDDR3 support
  • Storage – eMMC 5.0, SD card interfaces
  • Display – Up to 960×540 (qHD) resolution
  • Camera – Up to 5MP pixel sensor support
  • Multimedia – HD ([email protected]) video with HEVC, H.264, VP8 Codec
  • LTE Modem – LTE Category 4 non-CA
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio
  • PMIC – Integrated in SiP-ePoP package
  • Package – SiP-ePoP, 10x10mm (SiP: System-in-Package; ePoP: embedded Package-on-Package)

The SoC will be packaged inside a SiP-ePOP package with DRAM, eMMC, and a power management IC, which will allow for a much smaller board, and more space for the battery for example, which combined with the more power efficient 14-nm FinFET process should allow for longer battery life for wearables.


Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Running Tizen OS on Exynos 7 Dual Processor

Samsung can also provide a reference platform with display, NFC, audio codec, diverse sensors and a sensor hub to help companies getting started with their product design.

More information can be found on Exynos 7 Dual product page.

The First 4G Tizen Smartphone, Samsung Z2, To Launch in India for $68

August 24th, 2016 3 comments

After Samsung Z1, and Samsung Z3, Samsung defied “mathematical incrementation wisdom”, and launched Samsung Z2 Tizen smartphone, which happens to be the very first Tizen phone supporting 4G networks.


Tizen Z2 is definitely an entry level smartphone as the specification show:

  • SoC – Spreadtrum SC9830i quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali 400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Display – 4″ WVGA TFT display
  • Cellular Connectivity – 4G LTE Cat.4
  • Camera – 5MP rear camera with LED flash, 0.3MP front camera
  • Battery – 1,500 mAh battery

The device caters to the Indian market with Samsung’s ‘Make for India’ features such as the “Ultra Data Saving mode, S bike mode and the new My Money Transfer”. The phone also includes a preview version of Jio services to access music and videos on demand.

Samsung Z3 will be sold for 4,590 INR (~$68) in India starting on August 29th. More details may be found on Samsung Z2 product page.

Via Tizen Experts

Magic Device Tool Helps You Switch Between Android and Ubuntu on Supported Phones

August 19th, 2016 6 comments

There have only been a few phones released with or supporting Ubuntu so far, and those phones will normally be able to run Android too since Ubuntu Touch relies on Android drivers, and you may decide that Ubuntu is not for you and switch back to Android, or the contrary, if you’ve purchased an Android phone, you may want to install Ubuntu instead. In order to simplify the task of installing operating systems, Marius Quabeck has developed “Magic Device Tool“.

Magic_Device_ToolAs you can see from the screenshot above, 13 phones and tablets are currently supported. You’ll need a computer with Ubuntu 15.04 or greater to install the tool, and I’ve done so on Ubuntu 16.04:

The script will also install phablet-tools if it is not already installed,  so if you are not root, you’ll need your account to be member of sudoers. Once the initial setup is done, you’ll get to choose your phone as shown in the first screenshot. I don’t own any in that list, but I selected LG Nexus 5 to give it a try.

Nexus_5_Android_UbuntuYou’ll be asked whether you want to install Ubuntu, OpenStore alternative app store for hacks, developer tools and app previews, Cyanogenmod 13, the Android factory Image, TWRP recovery, or instead lock or unlock the bootloader. I selected [1] Install Ubuntu -> [1] Choose a channel to flash (Will remove existing apps/data) -> [1] stable, and the flash procedure was about to go ahead:

You’d need your Nexus 5 phone connected to your PC via a USB cable to complete the procedure, but I canceled since I don’t own the hardware required (yet).

The utility can also install PhoenixOS on some phones, and it will soon be improved to include an Android backup/restore option, so you can reflash Android will all your settings and apps.

Via and Ubuntu Australia on G+

Samsung JerryScript is a Lightweight Open Source JavaScript Engine for the Internet of Things

August 2nd, 2016 6 comments

In the old days, micro-controller programming was all done in assembly or C, but in recent years higher level languages, included interpreted ones such as Python and JavaScript, have made their ways into MCUs with projects such as MicroPython or Espruino (JS) often running on STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex M micro-controllers, but also other platforms such as ESP8266.

JerryScriptAs I browsed through the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016 schedule, I discovered that Samsung worked on it own implementation of a JavaScript engine for the Internet of Things: JerryScript. It is a full implementation of ECMAScript 5.1 standard written in C that can run on micro-controllers with less than 64KB RAM, and less than 200KB storage (160KB footprint with ARM Thumb-2 compilation).

JerryScript is comprised of two main components: Parser and Virtual Machine (VM), with the parser performing translation of input ECMAScript application into byte-code than is then executed by the Virtual Machine that performs interpretation.


JerryScript High Level Design

JerryScript High Level Design

Although JerryScript is designed for MCUs, and is said to be running on hundreds of thousands of smartwatches, you can easily build it and try in any machine running Linux:

You can also compile the code for full, compact or minimal implementation, use the C Api to integrate JavaScript support into your program, etc… Many more details can be found on JerryScript website and Github repository. JerryScript is also used in IoT.js framework for the Internet of Things that currently runs on Linux and NuttX RTOS platforms, as well as STM32F4-Discovery + “BB” (Beaglebone Black?) and Raspberry Pi 2, and will soon be ported to Samsung Artik 1 (MIPS), STM32F429-Discovery, STM32F411-Nucleo, and Intel Edison boards.


sModule SBC-x6818 Development Kit based on Samsung S5P6818 Processor Includes a 7″ Touchscreen

July 13th, 2016 4 comments

For some reasons, Samsung S5P4418 and S5P6818 quad and eight Cortex A53 core processors – likely made by Nexell – have been quite popular with embedded systems companies based in China. So after Graperain, Boardcon, and FriendlyARM, there’s at least one another company offering solutions with either processor, as sModule, a subsidiary of CoreWind, has now launched systems-on-module, single board computers, and development kits with the 64-bit ARM SoCs. In this post, I’ll cover one of their development kit including their CORE6818 CPU module, a baseboard, and an optional 7″ capacitive touch display..

Samsung_S5P6818_Board_with_LCD_DIsplaysModule SBC-x6818 development kit specifications:

  • CORE6818 CPU module
    • SoC – Samsung S5P6818 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.4 to 1.6 GHz with Mali-400MP 3D GPU
    • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 (2GB optional)
    • Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash (4 & 16GB optional)
    • Ethernet – Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver
    • 180-pin “interface” to baseboard
    • Power Supply – 3.7 to 5.5V DC input; 3.3V / 4.2V DC output; AXP228 PMIC
    • Dimensions – 68 x 48 x 3 mm (8-layer PCB)
    • Temperature range – -10 to 70 deg. C
  • SBC-x6818 Baseboard
    • Storage – 2x micro SD card slots
    • Video Output / Display I/F – 1x HDMI up to 1080p30, LCD, 20-pin LVDS, and 20-pin MIPI DSI interfaces; optional 7″ capacitive touch screen (1024×768 resolution)
    • Audio – HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker header, built-in microphone
    • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
    • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x mini (micro?) USB OTG port
    • Camera – 1x 20-pin camera interface
    •  Expansion
      • “GPIO” header with ADC, UART, SPI, SPDIF, and GPIOs
      • ADC terminal block
      • Serial – 2x DB9 UART interfaces, 2x UART headers
    • Misc – IR receiver; power, menu, volume, and return buttons;  RTC with battery (not populated?); PWM buzzer; boot selector: eMMC, SD card, or USB (with fastboot?)
    • Power
      • 5V/2A DC via power barrel;
      • Power out header with 12V, 3.3V, and GND
      • 2-pin battery header for 4.2V lithium battery
    • Dimensions – 185 x 110 mm

The company provides Android 4.4, Ubuntu 12.04, and Linux 3.5 + qt 5.0 for the board. As with other boards based on Samsung/Nexell S5P processors, don’t expect software updates for the firmware, so if you need security patchsets or the latest kernel features this won’t work for you. You can find a few details about the hardware on the Wiki.


While other companies kept their price secret, sModule published prices for all their modules and boards, and even allow you to purchase them by PayPal or bank transfer. Their CORE4418 module starts at $49, while the development kit above goes for $119 with the touch screen, and $109 without. The more compact iBOX6818 single board computer – they call it card computer – with 2GB RAM goes for $75. More details can be found on sModule products page.

Samsung UFS micro SD Card Alternatives Promise High Sequential and Random I/O Performance

July 7th, 2016 11 comments

UFS (Universal Flash Storage) chips are now commonly found in premium smartphones, but the UFS standard has also been published for removable cards, and Samsung has just introduced their first cards based on UFS 1.0 Card Extension Standard* for use in high-resolution mobile shooting devices such as DSLRs, 3D VR cameras, action cams and drones, as a new alternative to micro SD cards.

UFS_Micro_SD_CardsBefore getting into more details about the Samsung card, let’s go through the main features defined by UFS card specifications:

  • Based on the UFS 2.0 standard and compatible with the UFS HCI 2.0 standard
  • Supports MIPI M-PHY HS-Gear3, HS-Gear2 (optional), and PWM-Gear1
  • A detailed mechanical definition is defined by the JEDEC MO-320 outline
  • Features common to embedded UFS 2.0 devices:
    • Support for multiple logical units, each with configurable characteristics
    • Reliable write and background operations
    • Secure operations such as purge and erase to enhance data security
    • Includes write protection options, including permanent and power-on write protection
    • Provides task management and power management functionality
  • Boot capability NOT supported at this time

Samsung UFS removable memory cards come in 32, 64, 128, 256 GB capacity, and the latter is said to deliver up to 530 MB/s sequential read speed, 5x times faster than typical micro SD cards, and similar to what you’d get with an SSD, as well as a random read rate of 40,000 IOPS, or about 20 times faster than a typical micro SD card. Writing performance is not too shabby either with 35,000 random IOPS, two levels of magnitude faster than typical micro SD cards achieving a few hundred IOPS, and up to 170MB/s sequential write speed. This could potentially become an excellent boot device for new development boards eventually, once/if the standard adds support for boot capability, and boards get UFS card support.

Samsung has not released any pricing info so far, but those cards are likely to be a little pricey,  least at the beginning, considering they match the performance of some SSDs.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

Categories: Hardware Tags: samsung, ufs

ARM announces “premium IP” for VR and AR with Cortex-A73 Processor and Mali-G71 GPU

May 30th, 2016 3 comments

Today ARM has revealed the first details of its latest mobile processor and GPU, both said to be optimized for VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) applications.

Starting with the ARM Cortex-A73, we’re looking at an evolution of the current Cortex-A72 with ARM claiming 30 percent “sustained” performance over the Cortex-A72 and over twice the performance over the Cortex-A57. ARM is already talking about clock speeds of up to 2.8GHz in mobile devices. Other improvements include an increase up to 64k L1 instruction and data cache, up from 48 and 32k respectively for the Cortex-A72, as well as up to 8MB of L2 cache.

ARM_Cortex_A73The Cortex-A73 continues to support ARM’s big.LITTLE CPU design in combination with the Cortex-A53 or the Cortex-A35. It’s also the first ARM core to have been designed to be built using 10nm FinFET technology and it should be an extremely small CPU at around 0.65 square millimeters per core, or a 46 percent shrink from the Cortex-A72. By moving to 10nm and FinFET, ARM is also promising power efficiency gains of up to 20 percent over the Cortex-A72.

Cortex A53 vs A72 vs A73

Cortex A53 vs A72 vs A73

The Mali-G71 GPU takes things even further, as ARM is promising a 50 percent increase in graphics performance, a 20 percent improvement in power efficiency and 40 percent more performance per square millimeter over its previous generation of GPU’s. To accomplish this, ARM has designed the Mali-G71 to support up to 32 shader cores, which is twice as many as the Mali-T880 and ARM claims that this will enable the Mali-G71 to beat “many discrete GPUs found in today’s mid-range laptops”. We’d take this statement with a grain of salt, as it takes more than raw computing performance to do a good GPU and that’s why there are so few companies that are still designing their own GPUs. As with the Cortex-A73, the Mali-G71 is optimized for 10nm FinFET manufacturing technology.

As always with ARM based GPUs, it depends on the partner implementation and the Mali-G71 supports designs with as little as one shader. Looking at most current mobile GPU implementations we’d expect to see most of ARM’s partners to go with a 4-8 shader implementation to keep their silicon cost at a manageable level. That said, we might get to see one or two higher-end implementations, as ARM has already gotten the likes of Samsung, MediaTek, Marvell and Hi-Silicon interested in its latest GPU.


With a big move towards VR and AR, it’s also likely that the ARM partners are going to have to move to a more powerful GPU to be able to deliver the kind of content that will be expected from these market spaces. According to the press release, it looks like ARM has already gotten Epic Games and Unity Technologies interested in supporting their latest GPU

Devices using the new ARM Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71 are expected sometime in 2017, so there’s quite a gap between the announcement and the availability of actual silicon, but with HiSilicon, Marvell, MediaTek, Samsung Electronics and others having already licensed Cortex A73 IP. at least it means we have something to look forward to next year. You can find more details on ARM Cortex A73 and Mali-G71 pages, as well as ARM community’s blog.