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Posts Tagged ‘sdk’

Orange Pi PC Allwinner H3 Board Is Now Available for $15

August 26th, 2015 41 comments

Orange Pi 2 is a board powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor that sells for $25. Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now launched a lower cost version with Orange Pi PC, still based on Allwinner H3 SoC, but getting ridiculously cheap at $15 + shipping ($3.43 in my case).

Orange_Pi_PC
Orange Pi PC specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz (likely 1.2 GHz instead) with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI with CEC and HDCP support, AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with 28 GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, CAN, I2S, SPDIF, LRADC, ADC, LINE-IN, FM-IN, and HP-IN
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver; Power button; Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack (micro USB OTG cannot be used to power the board).
  • Dimensions – 85 x 55 mm (vs 93 x 60 mm for Orange Pi 2)
  • Weight – 38 grams

Compared to Orange Pi 2, Orange Pi PC is smaller, and it loses one USB port, reset and u-boot keys, and the WiFi module.

Orange_Pi_PC_Micro_SD

The new Orange Pi board should be fully software compatible with the previous H3 versions, and you can find firmware images for Lubuntu, Android 4.4, Raspbian, Debian server, as well as the Linux and Android SDK on the Download page. Bear in mind that the company is good a launching ultra low cost hardware, but seems under staffed, so if you expect support and regularly updated images, this board won’t be for you, and instead you need to be prepared to rely on others in the forums, and most likely do the job yourself. Good luck! There’s also a product page, but not with much more information.

Thank to Brian for the tip.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow SDK & Final M Preview Released

August 18th, 2015 No comments

Google have finally announced Android 6.0 will be Marshmallow, and more importantly released the Android 6.0 SDK (the API won’t change), and the final M Developer Preview. That means developers can already work on and publish apps to the Google Play Store that are compatible with Android 6.0 API level 23.
Android_Marshmallow

The final Android 6.0 SDK and Android Support Library v23 can be downloaded via the SDK Manager in Android Studio.  The new Android Support library includes new libraries such customtabs, percent, recommendation, preference-v7, preference-v14, and preference-leanback-v17, and will help developer integrate new Android Marshallow functionalities to their app in a backward-compatible way.

Android 6.0 adds new features like fingerprint scanner support and Doze power saving mode, as well as a new way to handle permissions, but the latest developer preview only brings small changes:

  • Final Permissions User Interface – Updated permissions user interface and permissions behavior.
  • API Change – Updates to the Fingerprint API — which enables better error reporting, better fingerprint enrollment experience, plus enumeration support for greater reliability.

Android_6.0_SDKYou can run Android 6.0 in the SDK emulator, or if you have a recent Nexus device (Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player), you can download the firmware image via the developer preview website. If you have already installed a previous version of the M preview, an OTA update will be available in the next few days. These images are for developers and not a stable release yet, so most end users should not update to Android M just yet, and instead wait until Google releases Android 6.0 stable this fall.

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Categories: Android Tags: Android, marshmallow, nexus, sdk

Tronsmart Orion R68 RK3368 TV Box Firmware and Android SDK Released

August 8th, 2015 5 comments

Tronsmart Orion R68 is an Android 5.1 TV box powered by Rockchip RK3368 octa core ARM Cortex A53 processor with 1 or 2GB RAM, and 8 or 16GB eMMC flash depending on model, most probably based on Beelink i68 hardware. The goods news is that the company has now released the stock firmware as well as the Android SDK for the device.

Tronsmart_Orion_R68The firmware is version 100L1100_0720, dated July 20th, with the following changelog:

  1. OTA firmware updates support
  2. USB audio support
  3. Remote control function via smartphone

In case you need to flash the firmware manually, you’ll need a Windows PC, a toothpick and a micro USB cable, and download Updating_instruction&Drivers&Flashing_Tools.zip which contains instructions, and the latest version of two Windows based utilities:

  • DriverAssitant v4.3 – Program used to install the USB drivers for your version of Windows.
  • FactoryTool v1.39 – The tool that does the flashing.

If OTA is working, you would normally not need to use these, unless somehow your device got into troubles, and you may have to reflash the firmware.

You should probably run Driver Assistant first to make sure you are the right drivers, then run Factory Tool to load the firmware, click Run. You’d then have to connect a micro USB to USB cable between your computer and the device, insert the toothpick into the pinhole on the right of the S/PDIF, connect the power, and after a few seconds release the button pressed with the toothpick. The instructions are actually quite similar as RK3288 firmware update instructions, except the Windows program changed a little bit.

Tronsmart previously released the Android SDK for some of their devices such as Orion R28 or Draco H3, but the SDK was not always useful, with some cases where the SDK would build, but miss all bug fixed for the last 2 months, and in others, it was incomplete, and would not build at all. By the way, a link to the latest Draco H3 SDK (Allwinner H3) was provided yesterday, so hopefully it’s complete this time.

Orion R68 SDK (r68_tronsmart_0711.tgz) is a 10GB compressed file and is apparently dated July 11, 2015, so hopefully it should both be complete and not that different from the July 20 firmware. I have not been able to try it out yet, as the download from Mediafire is rather slow tonight.

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Gesto is a Wearable Gesture Motion Solution for Makers (Crowdfunding)

July 5th, 2015 No comments

A while ago I wrote about an open source prosthetic arm controlled by signals generated by your arm’s muscles. It used an Arduino board, a bio-feedback shield by Olimex, and inMoov Hand for the arm and hand. It worked, but lacked accuracy. Gesto is a solution based on boards powered by Atmel MCUs that looks somewhat similar, but with higher accuracy (over 100 gestures have been tested), and the project has now been launched on Crowdsupply.

Two kits are available:

  • Gesto Stella Gesto Stella
    • EMG circuit – ADS1294
    • MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p
    • 2x EMG cables connector
    • Through holes with GND, PWR, MOSI, MISO, CLK and SC
    • Dimensions – 35 x 20 mm
    • Includes 16 disposable electrodes and relevant cables
  • Gesto Caelum
    • EMG circuit – ADS1294
    • MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p
    • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer (MMA8652FC)
    • Connectivity – Bluetooth (RN42-HID)
    • 2x EMG cables connector
    • USB – Micro USB connector
    • Programming – ICSP connector
    • Power – Battery connector
    • Dimensions – 40 x 40 mm
    • The kit also includes 8 reusable dry electrodes with cables, a 3.7V rechargeable battery, a micro-USB cable for recharging, and an elastomeric band. The smartphone setup app and a 3D model for a modular band will also be provided.
Gesto Caelum

Gesto Caelum

Gesto Stella is designed to interface to other boards such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards, and sends raw muscle data via its SPI interface. Gesto Caelum is more of a standalone, ready-to go solution, as it integrates Bluetooth communication, so you can simply configure the gestures in your Android or iOS smartphone to get started right away.

Prosthesic arm controlled with Gesto

Prosthesic arm controlled with Gesto

Gesto can handle three types of gestures: singular gestures (static), air drawing gestures, and directional gestures (rotations, up and down, etc…). The technology making sense of the muscle raw data is called “DualBurst” which combines muscle patterns and motion patterns for better accuracy. I assume motion patterns are not available with Stella, but only with Caelum. An SDK, smartphone apps, and 3D printer file (for arm band) will be provided.

Gesto Stella costs $99, and Gesto Caelum $149, with delivery scheduled for March 2016. Shipping is free to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world.

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Grain Media 8136S / 8138S are Low Cost HD IP Camera SoCs

June 30th, 2015 7 comments

A few times, my readers told me they really like comments on this blog, and they liked to check recent comments on the left sidebar, and some even subscribed to the Comments RSS Feed, although it might quite busy at times, especially during giveaways. Recently, an interesting conversation started in the comments section about low cost IP camera chips by Grain Media 8136S and 8138S SoCs respectively supporting 720p and 1080p video recording, and cheap enough to make a sub-$10 IP camera board (BoM cost).

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Beside the maximum resolution supported, GM8136S and GM8138S are mostly similar except the later also supports Gigabit Ethernet against Fast Ethernet for the lower end version, different clock speeds, and some other (minor?) differences. There’s also GM8135S with 512 Mbit RAM (SiP) against 1Gbit RAM (SiP) for GM8136S, and GM8138 including a DDR controller for external memory, while GM8138S including 1Gbit RAM (SiP).

Grain Media GM813x specifications:

  • Processor
    • GM8136S / GM8135S – 32-bit ARM CPU core up to 600MHz
    • GM8138S / GM8138 – 32-bit ARM CPU core with 256KB L2 cache @ 400 MHz (GM8136S) or 800 MHz (GM8138)
  • Memory Interface
    • GM8136S: SiP 1Gb DDR; GM8135S: SiP 512Mb DDR
    • GM8138: 16-bit DDRII/III SDRAM interface; GM8138S: SiP 1Gb DDR
    • SPI NOR/NAND flash boot
  • Video Codec
    • GM8136S: 720P@60fps; GM8135S: 720P@45fps
    • GM8138(S): 1080p@45 fps
  • Video Input
    • MIPI, Parallel, Sub-LVDS. GM8138(S) only: Hispi
    • YUV x 2 for 2-channel 720P; GM8138(S) only: – 4*960H demux
  • Video Capture
    • BT.656 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • BT.1120 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • Support 54MHz/108MHz and 72MHz/144MHz byte/frame interleave modes
  • Image Signal Processing – Temporal and spatial 3D-Denoise filtering; Digital-WDR; WDR sensor; tone mapping; low lux sensitivity to ISO6400; embedded IVS engine
  • Display Interface
    • Built-in BT.1120 digital output; GM8138(S) only: RGB digital output
    • Support composite/parallel up to FHD output
  • Peripherals
    • GM8136S/GM8135S: 10/100M Ethernet MAC; GM8138(S): Gigabit Ethernet MAC
    • USB 2.0 OTG, USB 1.1 Device (Note: The latter is not listed for GM8138(S)).
    • 2x SDIO
    • I²S
    • I²C, UART
    • GPIO
  • Operating Voltage
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – Core: 1.1 V; DDR: 1.5/1.8 V; I/O: 3.3 V
    • GM8138(S) – Core: 1.15V; • DDR: 1.5 V; I/O: 3.3 V
  • Package
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – 128-pin EPADLQFP
    • GM8138(S) – GM8138: 256-pin BGA;  GM8138S: 196-pin BGA

There’s not much information about software support and devkits on the company website, and that’s an understatement, but the company allegedly provides a (Linux?) SDK and an hardware platform for less than $1,000, with the price including factory support.

If you’d like to evaluate the platform before spending money on the SDK, and possibly working around high MOQ requirements of distributors, you could purchase a camera based on Grain Media SoCs for evaluation such as TVT Digital TD-9433T IP camera featuring GM8138S SoC.

TD-9433T IP Camera

TD-9433T IP Camera

GM8136S SoC combined with Espressif ESP8089 Wi-Fi SoC should cost less than $6 in larger quantities, and for smaller quantities, GM8136S should cost around $7. You’ll also need to add an SPI flash to have a complete design. I don’t have price information for GM8138(S) solutions.

You can find some more information on Grain Media’s GM8136S / GM8135S and GM8138S / GM8138 product pages.

[Update: A company called SAC Group recently launched IP camera solutions based on Grain Media 813x SoCs. The link (in Chinese) shows some combinations of chips for their solutions (flash memory, DDR3 chips, drivers, IR LEDs and so, as well as the board pictured below.

GM813x_IP_Camera_Board

They also mentioned Grain Media GM8139 chip that supports 1080p60 encoding]

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Android 5.1 SDK Release for Rockchip RK3128 Based FirePrime Board

June 29th, 2015 1 comment

T-Firefly has just announced the release of Android 5.1 SDK for their newly announced Fireprime development board powered by Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor.

FirePrime

You can get the SDK (fireprime_android5.1_git_20150612.tar), a 6.1GB download with full source code for the board via Baidu or Google Drive, and then upgrade it to the latest version with git pull on the company’s bitbucket account as explained in the Wiki. The SDK must be specific to Fireprime board, but it should be feasible to use to create / modify Android 5.1 firmware for other RK3128 products.

If you don’t need the source code, but would just like to install the firmware for Android 5.1, and the other image recently released (Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop or Server, or Android 5.1/Ubuntu 15.04 dual boot image)  via the links provided in the announcement.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Tronsmart Draco H3 TV Stick Firmware and SDK Released

June 14th, 2015 19 comments

Tronsmart Draco H3 is a low cost HDMI TV stick powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor. At $35, the device costs about $5 more than Amlogic S805 based sticks like MK808B Plus with about the same specs (quad core Cortex A7/A5, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, HDMI out..), but with the added benefit of 4K @ 30Hz support.

Tronsmart_Draco_H3Tronsmart has now released some firmware files as well as Linux kernel and an Android SDK.

Two firmware files have been released:

Please note that the resolution will only affect the user interface, and when you play videos you should get the resolution selected in Android settings. So if you play a 4K videos it will truly show as a 4K video on your TV, even though the user interface is only 720p, at least that was my experience when I tested 4K videos on various Android TV boxes.

Since Draco H3 normally updates its firmware over the air (OTA), the firmware files should only be useful in case sometimes goes wrong, or if you want to change the user interface resolution. You need PhoenixSuit (Windows) to flash the firmware. I’m not sure whether LiveSuit (Linux) supports Allwinner H3 yet.

Tronsmart also releases the source code for their stick via two downloads:

If you want to experiment with the source code you can go ahead, but bear in mind that in the past Tronsmart SDK releases were several months old and lacking the latest bug fixes. So it will probably build and run on the device, but this is unlikely to match the latest firmware, unless they changed their ways.

The Linux source code for Allwinner H3 has also been released for Orange Pi 2, and since the board runs Linux, you might also be able to adapt the Lubuntu, Raspbian or Debian image to run on Draco H3, although I assume 3D acceleration and video hardware decoding won’t work in Linux desktop distributions.

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ESP8266 SDK 1.1.0 is Now Released Under an MIT License

May 29th, 2015 7 comments

ESP8266 is the now famous dirt-cheap Wi-Fi SoC used for IoT applications. It can be used by hobbyists and companies alike. But for the later, there was a licensing issue as Espressif ESP8266 SDK was initially released under the GPLv3 license. GPL code is great and lots of open source projects are released under the most common open source license. But since proprietary, closed source software has still its place in the market place, some other more permissive licenses such as LGPL are used for library, and Android for example has an Apache License 2.0.

ESP8266_MIT_License

So previously, if you developed an application using ESP8266 SDK, you’re code would have to be GPL too, since the license is viral. It would also cause issues if you had released your application under an Apache or MIT license.

But now, all is well, as Espressif released ESP8266 SDK 1.10 under an MIT license, and also fixed various bugs in the process. That means that to make sure you don’t have licensing issues in your project, you should probably update to the latest version of the SDK.

Thanks to Paul and Jon for having brought up the issue, and help convince Espressif to change the license.

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