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ODROID-XU3 Lite Development Board – Android Setup and Benchmarks

November 21st, 2014 15 comments

It’s been nearly ten days since I make ODROID-XU3 Lite unboxing, and my plans to first test Linux on the board were thwarted due a problem with HDMI. Luckily, after several attempts I managed to boot the board with Android. So today, I’ll show how to install or update Android on the board, and run a few benchmarks. But since there’s always a silver lining, I’ll start buy writing a bit about the HDMI issue, as I learned a few things on the way.

HDMI Output Tribulations

ODROID-XU3 Lite looks like a nice and powerful kit, and it may be one of the most cost effective ARM board on the market since it comes to performance to price ratio, so I was excited to try it, but as you know if you’ve read my unboxing post I did not work quite as planned, as all I got was a black screen on my HDMI TV.

Here are some of the steps I followed to try to find out the cause or a workaround.

I usually connect the HDMI cable to an HDMI switcher as it’s more convenient to me. I got the connection light on the switcher but no image. Some devices won’t work with the switcher, so I decided to connect it directly to my Panasonic television instead, trying HDMI1 (DVI) and HDMI2 ports, but the result remained the same. I also connected the UART Debug board I got with ODROID-X board, and I could only see three lines related to HDMI in the log:

root@odroid:~# dmesg | grep -i hdmi                                             
[    0.417692] [c6] hdmi-en: no parameters                                      
[    2.753215] [c7] exynos-drm exynos-drm: bound 14530000.hdmi (ops hdmi_component_ops)                                                                         
[    4.787478] [c6] hdmi-en: disabling

So I tried with a Philips monitor, a slowly dying Samsung TV. Same results. So I decided to try with another micro HDMI cable, which I got with the older ODROID-X board. Still no luck. I was also instructed to try this Ubuntu image on a fast micro SD card, and after changing the boot switch position, the board booted from the micro SD “successfully”, but I still had a black screen. I also play around with boot.ini in the micro SD card to force various HDMI modes, but It did not work either.

Hardkernel decided to send me another ODROID-XU3 Lite board, and a few days later I tried again, and unfortunately I got the same issue. The company told me they sold several thousand ODROID-XU3 boards, and they did not get the same report before, so we even considered shipping my TV to Hardkernel office in South Korea. But, since I had troubles with three monitors/TVs, I thought it must have been another issue, and I wanted to try a few other things.

In the meantime, one reader informed me he had a similar issue with his ODROID board, the reason being the ground was not connected in the HDMI cable,and he fixed it by connecting one of the USB host port of the board to his TV. So I tried with both my ODROID-XU3 Lite board, but the problem persistently remained. Out of desperation I also tried a different power supply (SMPS), but it did not work.

Finally, I flashed Android 4.4.4 instead to the eMMC module, and using the “new” micro HDMI cable I got the same black screen, but switching to the “old” ODROID-X micro HDMI cable, I could finally get video output at 720p60, and see the Android home screen. Yeah!!! So finally, it looked like an HDMI cable issue, but there may also be a software issue, as Android works, but Ubuntu does not work (yet). It’s something I’ll have to check again.

I talked with one of Hardkernel’s developer on #odroid IRC channel, and they told me some HDMI cables lack a ground connection, and/or lines are mixed. They’ll check with their supplier(s) to make sure the problem does not occur again. There’s actually an interesting thread on odroid forum that explains various issues related to HDMI (cables).

Installing and Setting Up Android on ODROID-XU3 (Lite) Board

There are three images to install Android 4.4.4 Alpha on ODROID-XU3 (Lite), which can currently be downloaded @ http://dn.odroid.com/5422/ODROID-XU3/Android/:

  • android-4.4.4-alpha-1.3-emmc_installer-odroidxu3-20141105.img.zip – Zipped image to install Android from eMMC to eMMC
  • android-4.4.4-alpha-1.3-sd2emmc_installer-odroidxu3-20141105.img.zip – Zipped image to install Android from micro SD card to eMMC
  • android-4.4.4-alpha-1.3-sd_installer-odroidxu3-20141105.img.zip – Zipped image to install Android from micro SD card to micro SD card.

Since I have an eMMC pre-installed with Linux, and the microSD eMMC reader, eMMC I used the first image. I connected the eMMC reader to my PC using my USB card reader’s micro SD slot, and unzipped the image, and flashed it as follows:

unzip android-4.4.4-alpha-1.3-emmc_installer-odroidxu3-20141105.img.zip
dd if=android-4.4.4-alpha-1.3-emmc_installer-odroidxu3-20141105.img | pv | sudo of=/dev/sdX bs=1M
sync

where X is the letter for the eMMC drive. Check with lsblk command before you run dd, to make sure of the letter, or you may wipe out the data on your hard drive. Some system with built-in micro SD slot may show as /dev/mmcblk01 instead of /dev/sdX. If you want to boot from micro SD card, the procedure is the same, but use the “sd_installer” image instead. You can also do that in Windows using Win32DiskImager.

Now connect the eMMC to the board, and other item you may need. I’ve connected most ports with a USB 3.0 hard drive, a USB 2.0 webcam to the USB 3.0 OTG port via the blue adapter, HDMI to my TV, Ethernet, two USB RF dongle, a Bluetooth dongle, a USB flash drive, and the serial debug board to access the console.

ODROID-XU3_Lite_USB3_HarddriveFinally I connected the 5V/4A power supply to boot the board. In the console, it takes about 12 seconds to boot to the command line, but I had to wait a total of 1 minute 20 seconds for Android user interface to be displayed on my TV screen. I noticed in the console that between 12 and 65 seconds I did not get any message, and the first subsequent message was related to USB audio… My USB webcam comes with a built-in microphone, so I disconnected it, and boot time dropped to a more normal 29 seconds.

Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

The default resolution is 1280×720, and my TV output resolution was also set to 720p60. So I went to Android Settings->Display, and… wait… nothing there to change the video output. You actually have to go to the list of apps.

odroid-utlityand start ODROID Utility app.

ODROID_Utility

There should can change the (framebuffer) resolution to 1280×800 (for ODROID-VU only?), 1280×720, or 1920×1080, and the HDMI phy, i.e. the actual video output mode. to 720p 50/60, 800p/59, 1080i 50/60, or 1080p 30/50/60. You can also select the orientation (portrait / landscape) which is very useful for digital signage applications. So I selected 1920×1080, and 1080p60, clicked on Save, and Apply and Reboot. The framebuffer resolution was properly changed, but for some unknown reasons, my TV will always fall back to 720p60. The Android image is currently in Alpha stage, so it still have a few bugs that will be fixed by Hardkernel and/or the community.

You may have noticed Google Play Store is not part of the pre-installed apps. That’s because in theory you need to have a certified device to install Google Mobile Services, and contrary to most Chinese vendors, Hardkernel rightly followed Google’s T&C. However, apparently nothing legally prevents the user from installing GMS by himself/herself. You could do so by downloading Gapps from goo.im, but there’s also GAppsInstaller_kitkat.apk that will easily and automatically do that for you. For full details read universal 1 click gapps installer for ODROID post.

ODROID-XU3_Apps_GappsAfter installation, we’ve got the Play Store, Hangout, Voice Search, Google, and so on.

So that’s all for the setup. Next time Hardkernel announces a new Android firmware update on their forums, you should not need to use an installer image, instead you can simply start ODROID Update app, which will automatically download and update the firmware.

ODROID_Updater

ODROID-XU3 Lite System, Storage, and Network Benchmarks

Before running actual benchmarks, I’ve started CPU-Z. The first surprised that is it can detect big.LITTLE configuration with four Cortex A7 cores @ 1.6 GHz, and four Cortex A15 cores @ 2.2 GHz. ODROID-XU3 Lite is supposed to have Exynos 5422 processor but clocked at a lower frequency (1.8 GHz) compared to ODROID-XU3 board (2.2 GHz). So maybe my processor is overclocked, or I got lucky. The GPU is also detected correcly as being an ARM Mali-T628. Internal storage is only shown to be 1.94 GB out of the 16GB eMMC, because there are two partitions with the other one having a 11GB+ capacity. ODROID-XU3_Lite_CPU-ZSo let’s get to the actual benchmark results, starting with Antutu 5.3.

Antutu 5.2 Score (Click to Enlarge)

Antutu 5.2 Score (Click to Enlarge)

As expected ODROID-XU3 Lite is a real beast with 45,815 points in Antutu, being one of the most powerful ARM Android platform currently available. It’s the highest verified score I’ve ever got on all the devices I tested. The only higher score was achieved by Tronsmart Draco AW80 mini PC with Allwinner A80 SoC (49,657 points), but it’s an unverified score.

Quadrant Score (Click to Enlarge)

Quadrant Score (Click to Enlarge)

ODROID-XU3 Lite got 9,256 points in Quadrant way ahead of last generation devices. It looks like Quadrant us not really up-to date so that’s probably the last time I use this benchmark.
ODROID-XU3_Lite_VellamoVellamo 3.1 scores are also very good. Metal score is 1,519 against 1,138 points for Allwinner A80 and 1,457 points for Rockchip RK3288, Multicore score is 1,449 against 1,352 points for Allwinner A80, and 2,003 points for RK3288, and the ODROID-XU3 Lite gets 2,868 points in the browser score against 2,109 points for Allwinner A80, and 2,549 points for RK3288. It does not make much sense for the quad core Cortex A12/A17 RK3288 to outperform the octa core Cortex A15 + A7 processor in the multi-core benchmark, and I’m not sure why that is. You can get comparison with other platform with the screenshots for Metal, Multicore, and Browser tests.

3Dmarks Ice Storm Unlimited (Click to Enlarge)

3Dmarks Ice Storm Unlimited (Click to Enlarge)

I’ve also tried to run 3DMarks Ice Storm Extreme to compare with A80 and RK3288, but unfortunately none of my three attempts could complete, either because of a kernel panic, or a problem with Mali driver (See log). So I switched to Ice Storm Unlimited test which runs at 720p, and could complete with a score of 15,184 points. That puts it close to flagship devices like  like the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, which score between 16,000 and 18,000 points.

Beside standard benchmarks, I’ve also tested storage and network performance.

I used A1 SD benchmark to test the eMMC module, my class 10 SD card, and USB 3.0 + NTFS performance. The app also made the system unstable with kernel panic ensuing, but after a few tries I could complete all benchmarks.

USB NTFS Transfer rate in MB/S

USB NTFS Transfer rate in MB/S

ODROID-XU3 Lite is clearly ahead of the competition with its USB 3.0 port when it comes to NTFS read speed which reaches 47.90 MB/s. and that’s the only device that supports USB 3.0 type of performance, although not quite as good as as on my PC (100+ MB/s), but it was with another benchmark tool (Bonnie++) in Linux.

Transfer Rate in MB/s

Transfer Rate in MB/s

I’ve included both eMMC and a class 10 micro SD card used with ODROID-XU3 Lite in the chart above (ODROID results on right side), and for some reasons the eMMC 5.0 module only got 47.02MB/s read speed, which is very good but still far from the 180+MB/s advertised with another benchmark. Write speed (32.42 MB/s) however is much faster than any other platforms tested so far. The class 10 micro SD used as comparison reads at 34.26 MB/s and writes at 10.81 MB/s which is not too bad compared to most other solutions.

ODROID-XU3 is capable of great I/O performance as we’ve seen above, so it would be nice if we had a fast network interface to leverage fast I/Os. Hardfkernel does provide a USB 3.0 to Gigabit dongle, but it was not included in my kit, so I’m limited to the 10/100Mbit interface which is shown to provide a good transfer rate with iperf (Command line: iperf -t 60 -c 192.168.0.104 -d).

Throughput in MB/s

Throughput in Mbps

iperf log:

Client connecting to 192.168.0.106, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  212 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  6] local 192.168.0.104 port 54914 connected with 192.168.0.106 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  6]  0.0-60.0 sec   656 MBytes  91.7 Mbits/sec
[  4]  0.0-60.0 sec   631 MBytes  88.2 Mbits/sec

So overall, ODROID-XU3 Lite has outstanding performance in almost all aspects, but Android 4.4.4, which is still considered Alpha, required some more work to make it stable. There’s also an Android 4.4.2 image which may be more stable (TBC).

Android SDK for ODROID-XU3 (Lite)

I haven’t tried the SDK this time, but with each firmware release, Hardkernel provides a BSP.

To get and build the latest source code, you simply need to type these four commands, provided you’ll already setup your build machine for Android development:

repo init -u https://github.com/hardkernel/android.git -b 5422_4.4.4_master
repo sync
repo start 5422_4.4.4_master --all
./build.sh odroidxu3

If you want the code for a specific release, for example November 5 release (Android 4.4.4 Alpha 1.3), the repo init command line would become:

repo init -u https://github.com/hardkernel/android.git -b 5422_4.4.4_master -m manifeset-5422_4.4.4_v1.3

With the other three commands remaining the same.

That’s all for today, and Android. The next step will be to check out Ubuntu / Linux. If you are interested in this board, you can purchase it directly from Hardkernel, or through distributors like Ameridroid (USA) or Pollin Electronics (Germany).

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Add Wi-Fi to Arduino Boards for $3 with ESP8266 Wi-Fi Serial Module

November 17th, 2014 10 comments

There has been some buzz around ESP8266 Wi-Fi module, mostly because of its low price, and SDK availability, meaning it could become the Wi-Fi equivalent of ENC28J60 Ethernet module, and that for $5 you could potentially add Wi-Fi to your Arduino board for example. Since then, the price has come down even further, and if you are prepared to buy 5 pieces, you can now get the module for less than $3 / piece shipped, alternatively a single module costs $4, and a complete Wi-Fi + Arduino Uno (clone) kit goes for $15. A community has also been built around the chip, and a several project have been made with Arduino boards and ESP8266 module.

ESP8266_Wi-Fi_Module

The best way to find information is to go to ESP8266 community forum, as well as read the Wiki on github. There’s currently a GCC toolchain for Espressif Systems ESP8266, open source tools for working with the firmware images and serial protocol, but the (leaked) SDK needs to be officially opened, as I understand it still requires an NDA.

ESP8266 does not have to be connected to another MCU board via its serial interface, and it can be used in standalone, as it also provides two GPIOs (version 2 only) so you can use it to control relays for example. The picture above is ESP-01, which is the most common module, but there are also other form factor for example with ESP-07 that’s even smaller but would require some soldering.

There’s been several project published on the web with Arduino + ESP8622, but AFAIK no libraries have been released yet, and people simply send AT commands in their sketches. You can check ESP8266 Wifi Temperature Logger project using Sparkfun Arduino Pro Mini 328, Seeeduino wrote a short tutorial with Seeeduino3 (Arduino UNO), and James Wolf did a short demo using ESP8622 and Arduino Micro board that fetch a URL, and display the HTML code and some of HTTP data in the serial monitor.

The sketch for the demo can be found here, and he also wrote some documentation.

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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Zsun SD111 Is Now “Officially” an Hackable Wireless Flash Drive

November 16th, 2014 11 comments

Zsun SD11x are Wi-Fi flash drives for 8 to 128 GB eMMC, alternative to Sandisk or Kingston. Yesterday, I soldered the UART pins to Zsun SD111 (8GB) flash drive to access the serial console, but I did not manage to enter the terminal as it was password-protected. I posted my results anyway, as I was convinced I would get some clever ideas from my readers, some of which appeared to be a little time consuming, but Zoobab offered a simple solution that consisted in changing the boot parameters, by replacing /sbin/init by /bin/sh.

Zsun_SD111_UART_Pins

The first step is to interrupt the boot by pressing space or another key, in order to access U-boot.
Now we can check the U-boot environment

ar7240> printenv
bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 root=31:02 rootfstype=jffs2 rw init=/sbin/init mtdparts=ar7240-nor0:64k(u-boot),64k(u-boot-env),6720k(rootfs),1216k(uImage),64k(NVRAM),64k(ART)
bootcmd=bootm 0x9f6B0000
bootdelay=4
baudrate=115200
ethaddr=0x00:0xaa:0xbb:0xcc:0xdd:0xee
ipaddr=10.168.168.1
serverip=10.168.168.10
stdin=serial
stdout=serial
stderr=serial
ethact=eth0

Environment size: 361/65532 bytes

Let’s keep everything the same, except the init, which can be modified with the command below:

ar7240> setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=31:02 rootfstype=jffs2 rw init=/sbin/sh mtdparts=ar7240-nor0:64k(u-boot),64k(u-boot-env),6720k(rootfs),1216k(uImage),64k(NVRAM),64k(ART)

Let’s start Linux:

ar7240> boot

It will end with:

ar7240wdt_init: Registering WDT success
VFS: Mounted root (jffs2 filesystem) on device 31:2.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 128k freed


BusyBox v1.01 (2014.06.20-01:25+0000) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
/ #

Perfect! We’ve got access to the command line. Let’s have look at the users:

~ # cat /etc/passwd 
root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/sh
Admin:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/sh
bin:x:1:1:bin:/bin:/bin/sh
daemon:x:2:2:daemon:/usr/sbin:/bin/sh
adm:x:3:4:adm:/adm:/bin/sh
lp:x:4:7:lp:/var/spool/lpd:/bin/sh
sync:x:5:0:sync:/bin:/bin/sync
shutdown:x:6:11:shutdown:/sbin:/sbin/shutdown
halt:x:7:0:halt:/sbin:/sbin/halt
uucp:x:10:14:uucp:/var/spool/uucp:/bin/sh
operator:x:11:0:Operator:/var:/bin/sh
nobody:x:65534:65534:nobody:/home:/bin/sh
ap71:x:500:0:Linux User,,,:/root:/bin/sh

If we look at the shadow file only root and Admin have a password, so you could login with user ap71 without password for example, but that’s not too useful since you would not have root access. So I simply changed the root password with passwd command, but let’s me access the board via the UART console or telnet.

I’ve run some command to find out more about the system.

~ # uname -a
Linux (none) 2.6.31--LSDK-9.2.0_U11.14 #1 Wed Aug 6 13:13:40 HKT 2014 mips unknown
~ # df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 6.6M      5.8M    796.0k  88% /
/dev/sda1                 7.4G     18.8M      7.4G   0% /etc/disk
~ # cat /proc/cpuinfo
system type             : Atheros AR9330 (Hornet)
processor               : 0
cpu model               : MIPS 24Kc V7.4
BogoMIPS                : 266.24
wait instruction        : yes
microsecond timers      : yes
tlb_entries             : 16
extra interrupt vector  : yes
hardware watchpoint     : yes, count: 4, address/irw mask: [0x0000, 0x0ff8, 0x0943, 0x0650]
ASEs implemented        : mips16
shadow register sets    : 1
core                    : 0
VCED exceptions         : not available
VCEI exceptions         : not available

~ # busybox
BusyBox v1.01 (2014.06.20-01:25+0000) multi-call binary

Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: [function] [arguments]...

BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable.  Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as!

Currently defined functions:
[, arping, ash, awk, brctl, busybox, cat, chgrp, chmod, cp, cut,
date, dd, df, dirname, dmesg, du, echo, egrep, env, ethdebug,
ethreg, expr, factoryreset, false, fgrep, find, getty, grep, httpd,
id, ifconfig, init, insmod, iproute, kill, killall, linuxrc, ln,
login, ls, lsmod, md, md5sum, mkdir, mknod, mktemp, mm, modprobe,
more, mount, mv, passwd, ping, ps, pwd, reboot, rm, rmdir, rmmod,
route, sed, sh, sleep, strings, su, sync, tail, tar, telnet, telnetd,
test, tftp, touch, true, tty, udhcpc, udhcpd, umount, uname, vconfig,
vi, wc, xargs

~ #

The linux kernel contains the string “LSDK-9.2.0″ which appears to be an SDK for Atheros AR93XX, and can be downloaded here (I have not tried/verified the download). So the device is not running OpenWRT. Since telnet is not exactly secure, and want to access the device over the network, you should probably install dropbear, There’s only 796 KB left on the SPI flash, so what you can do is probably limited, although it might be possible to delete unused files to get extra space. Have fun!

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Imagination Technologies Introduces PowerVR Series7 GPUs with Up to 512 Cores, Virtualization Support

November 10th, 2014 3 comments

Imagination Technologies has announced a new PowerVR Series7 GPU architecture that will be used in their high end PowerVR Series7XT GPUs delivering up to 1.5 TFLOPS for mid range and high-end mobioe devices, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and even servers, as well as their low power lost cost PowerVR Series7XE GPUs for entry-level mobile devices, set-top boxes, and wearables.

PowerVR_Series7XT_Block_Diagram

PowerVR Series7XT GPU Block Diagram

PowerVR Series7 GPU, both Series7XT and Series7XE GPUs, can achieve up to a 60% performance improvement over PowerVR Series6XT/6XE GPUs for a given configuration. For example a 64-core PowerVR7XT GPU should be up to 60% faster than a 64-core PowerVR Series6XT clocked at the same frequency, with all extra performance due to a different and improved architecture.

Some of Series7 architectural enhancements include:

  • Instruction set enhancements including added co-issue capability, resulting in improved application performance and increased GPU efficiency
  • New hierarchical layout structure that enables scalable polygon throughput and pixel fillrate improvements in addition to increased clock frequencies
  • GPU compute setup and cache throughput improvements resulting in up to 300% better parallel processing performance

The new GPUs can also optional support 10-bit YUV color depths, security (e.g. DRM), and hardware virtualization, as well as other feature specific to some market segments:

  • Android Extension Pack (AEP) – Full hardware tessellation and native OpenGL ES 3.1 support. Compatible with Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ release.
  • DirectX 11 Feature Pack – Full DirectX 11.2 feature set for Microsoft operating systems.
  • OpenCL FP64 Feature Pack –  Scalable 64-bit floating point co-processor per cluster for high-performance server compute. Series7XT only.
PowerVR Seris7XE Block Diagram

PowerVR Seris7XE Block Diagram

The PowerVR Series7XT family scales between 100 GFLOPS to 1.5 TFLOPS, and is designed to provide the best possible performance. It features AEP and 10-bit YUV support by default, and supports between two to sixteen clusters with 32 multi-threaded multi-tasking ALU cores each. Current Series7XT GPUs include the GT7200 (64 cores),  GT7400 (128 cores), GT7600 (192 cores),  GT7800 (256 cores), and GT7900, the most powerful PowerVR GPU to date with 512 cores.

On the other hand, Series7XE GPUs are optimized for area, efficiency, and cost thanks to feature configurability, with let SoC manufacturers choose whether they want options such as 10-bit YUV support for HEVC, virtualization, or AEP support. Beside low cost mobile devices and media player, Series7XE GPU are also expected to be used in photocopiers, printers, consumer and other enterprise devices which may require 3D user interfaces at a lower price point. There are two GPUs part of the Series7XE family: GE7400 with 16 cores, and the GE7800 with 32 cores.

The company will provide their usual free PowerVR SDK for 3D graphics and GPU compute application development. Hypervisors will be able to utilize the virtualization in the GPUs to implement true heterogeneous security in any of the PowerVR Series7 GPUs (if virtualization is enabled).

PowerVR Series7XE and Series7XT GPUs are available for licensing now, and Imagination Technologies has already started implemention their new GPU IP into SoCs from licensing partners. More technical details about be found on two blog post: New PowerVR Series7XE family targets the next billion mobile and embedded GPUs and PowerVR Series7XT GPUs push graphics and compute performance to the max.

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Rayeager PX2 Development Board Features Rockchip PX2 Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor

November 10th, 2014 2 comments

Rockchip has apparently discreetly released a PX2 SoC with a dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.4 GHz coupled with a Mali-400MP4 GPU, that on the surface looks extremely similar to their RK3066 SoC. Unfortunately, at first, I could not find much details about the processor itself, but Chipspark have introduced Rayeager PX2 development board based on the new Rockchip processor, with 1 to 2 GB RAM, an 8GB eMMC flash, and various ports including a SATA 2.0 interface.

Rayeager_PX2_BoardRayeager PX2 specifications:

Rayeager_PX2_Board_SATA

Bottom of Rayeager PX2 Board with SATA interface

  • SoC – Rockchip PX2 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.4 GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 to 2 GB DDR3@400MHz
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot, and SATA 2.0 interface for 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives (the latter may require external power supply)
  • Video Output – HDMI, and VGA up to 1080p, , and LCD interface
  • Video Input – 1x CVBS input 3.5mm composite jack, 1x YPbPr input
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack, optical S/PDIF, 1x microphone, audio output headers
  • Video Playback – 1080p video encoding/decoding
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Debugging – USB debug interface
  • Header – Camera connector, TS (transport stream) interface, GPIO headers, LCD interface. Total 95-pin including GPIO, 3x I2C, SPI, CIF, RGB, SARADC, HSADC, UART, 2x PWM, TS, etc…
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset and power buttons, 3x user keys, 2x jumpers
  • Power Supply – 5V @ 2.0A
  • Dimensions – 15 x 9.7 cm

The company provides U-Boot v2014.01-rc3,  Linux 3.0.36+, and Android 4.4.2 with the full source code (SSH key required). They also have some other documentation on their Wiki. At first I thought maybe Rockchip made a new chip with SATA support, but the block diagram in the schematics (DSN and PDF) clearly show it’s not the case, and they simply used a USB to SATA bridge.

PX2 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

PX2 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Finally, I managed to find much more details about Rockchip PX2 SoC in Rockchip PX2 Technical Reference Manual hosted on rockchip.fr, where Rockchip introduces their PX2 SoC as follows:

RK PX2 is a low power, high performance processor for auto audio equipments, building intercom, POS device and other industry users, and integrates dual-core Cortex-A9 with separately NEON and FPU coprocessor.

Embedded 3D GPU makes RK PX2 completely compatible with OpenGL ES2.0 and 1.1, OpenVG 1.1. Special 2D hardware engine with MMU will maximize display performance and provide very smoothly operation.

Many embedded powerful hardware engines provide optimized performance for high-end application. RK PX2 supports almost full-format video decoder by 1080p@60fps, also support H.264/MVC/VP8 encoder by 1080p@30fps, high-quality JPEG encoder/decoder, special image preprocessor and postprocessor .

RK PX2 has high-performance external memory interface (DDR3/LPDDR2/ LVDDR3) capable of sustaining demanding memory bandwidths, also provides a complete set of peripheral interface to support very flexible applications.

So it looks like Rockchip PX2 is more focused on industrial application, contrary to Rockchip RK3066 which targets consumer devices such as tablets and TV boxes.

Rayeager PX2 development board can be purchased for $99 with 1 GB RAM, or $129 with 2 GB RAM directly from Chipspark “Geek Zone” ,where you’ll also find a USB flash drive with source code and tools selling for $29.90, a and $49 5″ touchscreen display. The company can also provides Rockchip PX2 samples for $10 per piece.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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TI Sitara based GOEMBED Systems-on-Module and Single Board Computers with BeagleBone Capes Support

November 5th, 2014 No comments

GOEMBED is a startup funded by engineers previously working for Embest Shenzhen, based in Longhua district in Shenzhen, and specialized in embedded boards and modules. They currently have board and modules based on Freescale i.MX6 and Texas Instruments Sitara processors, but I’ll focus on the TI products in this post, including one of their single board computers that supports BeagleBone capes.

CM3352 and CM3358 Systems-on-Module

GOEMBED_AM3358_ModuleCM335x Series modules specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara Cortex A8 AM3352 @ 800 Mhz or AM3358 @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB Micron DDR3 chip
  • Storage – 2 to 4 GB eMMC depending on model
  • PMU – TI TPS65910A3
  • Dimensions – 67.5 x 36.5 mm
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 70° C or Industrial: -40° to 85° C

The modules are said to support Linux 3.x, Android 4.x, Ubuntu, Angstrom, Debian, WinCE 6.0/7.0, and uCOS operating systems.

SBC335x Single Board Computers

SBC3358_ACW-B1A

SBC355x ACW-B1A

GOEMBED currently has four SBCs based on TI Sitara processor with a combination of AM3352 and AM3358 processor, and two baseboard ACW-B1A and ACW-B2A with the following specs:

  • SoC/Memory/Storage – See CM335x SoM
  • External Storage – micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Display – LVDS interface up for 16-bit RGB TFT @ 1366×768 resolution. 4.3″ and 7″ displays are available. B1A only: VGA port up to 1366×768
  • Audio – B1A only: 2x 4-pin header for stereo, Line In/Out, and MIC In
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB
    • B1A – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port, 2x 4-pin header for USB
    • B2A – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port, 2x 4-pin header for USB
  • Expansion
    • B1A – 2x RS232 header, 1x CAN & IO header, 2x 20-pin header with access to UART1/2, SPI0, ADC, PWM, GPIOs, etc..
    • B2A – Headers compatible with Beaglebone (Black), mini PCIe connector for 3G/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS modules
  • Debugging – UART0 for serial console
  • Misc – Reset button, RTC with CR1220 battery slot
  • Power Supply – 9 to 14V input. Optimal 12V/1.5A.
  • Dimensions – B1A – 146 x 102 mm; B2A: 130 x 103.5 mm
SBC335x ACW-B2A

SBC335x ACW-B2A

Modules are available now, and can be purchased until 2022. Prices start at $49 for CM3352 SoM, up to $99 for the industrial version of CM3358 SoM, and single board computers start at $89 (B2A + CM3352), and up to $149. I’ve also noticed the single board computers can be purchased on Aliexpress: both SBC335x-B1A ($139) and SCB335X-B2A ($59 baseboard + $59-$69 CPU module). Further details can be found on GOEMBED’s products page.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop Source Code Pushed to AOSP

November 4th, 2014 4 comments

As Nexus 6 smartphone, Nexus 6 tablet, and Nexus Player have now started to ship, Google has pushed Android Lollipop to AOSP (Android Open Source Project), as well as images for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), and Nexus 10.
Android_5.0_Lollipop

You’ll soon be able to retrieve the source code with the following command lines [Update: I still can’t use the lollipop-release branch to retrieve the code, so instead you can use android-5.0.0_r1 tag for Nexus 9, or android-5.0.0_r2 tag for Nexus Player / Android TV]:

repo init -u https://android.googlesource.com/platform/manifest -b android-5.0.0_r1
repo sync

Currently repo init fails with:

error: in `init -u https://android.googlesource.com/platform/manifest -b lollipop-release --repo-url=https://gerrit.googlesource.com/git-repo --repo-branch=stable`: revision lollipop-release in manifests not found

But everything should come online soon. In the meantime, you could still browse the code. Anyway that means Android 5.0 images for mini PCs, TV boxes and other devices will hopefully be available in a few weeks, or a couple of months.

Via XDA Developers

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Categories: Android, Linux Tags: Android, aosp, lollipop, sdk, source code