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Posts Tagged ‘sdk’

Spark Electron Cellular Module for M2M Projects Comes with a $3 Monthly Data Plan (Crowdfunding)

February 26th, 2015 1 comment

Spark IO started with Spark Core, a tiny Wi-Fi module, followed with Spark Photon is a cheaper, faster, and tinier Wi-Fi module, and now the company is launching Spark Electron to bring cellular connectivity to hobbyist projects at an affordable cost and small form factor.

Spark_Electron

Spark Electron specifications:

  • MCU – ST Micro STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller @ 120 MHz with  1MB Flash, 128K RAM
  • Cellular Connectivity – U-Blox SARA U-series (3G) or G-series (2G) modem + NanoSIM card slot + u.FL connector for Antenna
  • Headers – 36 pins with 28 GPIOs (D0-D13, A0-A13), plus TX/RX, 2 GNDs, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3, RST
  • USB – micro USB port for power and programming
  • Misc – Setup and reset buttons, LED
  • Dimensions – 5.08 cm x 2.03 cm x 0.76 cm (1.27 cm including headers)

The board can be programmed with Wiring (Arduino’s programming language), C/C++, or ARM assembly. It’s longer than Spark Core/Photon, but still compatible with existing shields.

M2M_Number_SMS_Typical_UseOne problem individuals may have for M2M cellular projects is to find a low SIM card, so the company is also providing a SIM card with a no contract $2.99 monthly plan that currently works in the US, Canada and Europe. The carrier? Themselves, as they have become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and manage towers and carrier relationship. The plan is good for 1MB data, or about 20,000 SMS with a 50 bytes size, and each additional megabyte cost $0.99.

Spark WebIDE

Spark Dev / Web IDE

Development can be done via the company Web IDE running in your browser, or Spark Dev IDE based on Atom project currently available for Windows and Mac, and Linux coming soon. So if you are using Linux, you’ll probably want to go with the Web IDE initially. As previously mentioning, if you’re used to developed on Arduino, Wiring is supported, and development will feel very similar. A REST API is also available, and you can control the module with SparkJS (JavaScript), webhooks, IFTTT, etc.. The core firmware use standards like HTTP, AES, RSA, and CoAP based on open source software.

If you’d like to add cellular connectivity to your objects (maybe your bicycle), but are not into programming, you can use Tinker mobile app for iOS and Android. Spark Electron firmware can be upgraded over the air (FOTA) without any cable.

The project is up on Kickstarter, and has already largely surpassed its $30,000 with $120,000 pledged so far. All early bird reward are gone, but you can still get  Spark Electron 2G with a SIM card for $39, and Spark Electron 3G with a SIM card for $59. They also have other kits adding GPS, battery, sensors and various quantities of Electron module. Shipping is free to the US and between $10 to $25 to the countries part of the campaign, and delivery is planned for October 2015. The company notes that 2G networks will be phased out in 2017 in the US, and recommends the 3G module to US residents.

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Ingenic Halley is a $20 Linux based IoT Board with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 Connectivity

February 10th, 2015 5 comments

Ingenic introduced Newton2 platform for wearables a few months ago, and the kit with an AMOLED display, camera board and other accessories should go on sale in March for $80. In the meantime, the company has also been working on a lower cost internet of things (IoT) module and development kit powered by Ingenic M150 with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 targeting smart appliances, Wi-Fi speakers, smart toys, industrial control applications, and other smart devices.

Ingenic_Halley

Halley IoT Module (Click to Enlarge)

Halley IoT module specifications:

  • SoC – Ingenic M150 XBurst (MIPS) single-core processor up to 1.0GHz with 128MB LPDDR on-chip, 2D graphics GPU, VPU supporintg 720p30 H.264 video decoding.
  • Storage – 8MP SPI NOR flash (GIGA GD25LQ64)
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and  Bluetooth 4.1 via Broadcom 43438 chip.
  • Expansion headers (2mm pitch)
    • 8-bit parallel LCD interface,
    • Audio – MIC, Line-In and headphone, 2x I2S,
    • SD card (MMC interface)
    • USB device 2.0, and USB host 1.1
    • 3x UART (2 with hardware flow control), 2x I2C, 1x SPI up to 50Mbps,
    • 5-pin JTAG
    • 2x 12-bit ADC,
    • 2x PWM
  • Power Supply – 3.3V
  • Power Consumption – 2mW (Standby, no radio); 10 mW (Standby, Wi-Fi)
  • Dimensions – 24 x 40 x 2.4 mm
Halley Module Block Diagram and Pinout

Halley Module Block Diagram and Pinout

The module is running Linux 3.10 with TCP/IP stack, and the company claims Android OS could also run on external storage. This would have to be a lightweight version of Android as only 128MB RAM is available. The development kit is comprised of the module, a baseboard, and a debug board.

Halley_Development_Kit

Ingenic Halley Devkit (Click to Enlarge)

The baseboard includes power circuitry to power the board with a micro USB port, reset and boot keys, some LEDs, a 14-pin male header, and UART connection to the debug board. It would have been good to have a micro SD slot on the back of the board, but none seems to have been included.

Even the board has not been formally launched, some documentation is already available for download including a product brief, a datasheet, and a developer’s guide. A Linux demo image and the SDK have also been released. The SDK includes a toolchain, source code for Linux and U-boot, drivers & tools, and a demo Android app (Airkiss).

M150 Block Diagram

M150 Block Diagram

It’s the first time I see details about Ingenic M150, so it might interesting to go through the specs:

  • CPU – XBurst core, 1.0GHz (MIPS-based). 32KB L1 cache, 256KB L2 cache.
  • GPU – X2D: Resizing, Rotating, Mirror, Color Convention and OSD etc.
  • VPU – Video encoder: H.264, D1@30fps. Video decoder: H.264, MPEG-1/2/4, VC-1, VP8, RV9, 720P@30fps.
  • Memory
    • On-chip 128MB LPDDR, up to 320Mbps.
    • 64-bit ECC NAND flash, 512B/2KB/4KB/8KB/16KB page size.
    • Conventional and toggle NAND flash.
  • Display
    • LCD controller with OSD: TFT, SLCD, up to 1280*720@60Hz(BPP24).
    • Embedded E-Ink controller with color engine.
  • Camera – DVP interface, up to 2048 x 2048.
  • Audio – Embedded audio CODEC; Digital DMIC controller; AC97/I2S/SPDIF interface for external audio codec; PCM interface, master and slave mode.
  • ADC – 7 channels SAR A/D controller, 12-bit resolution.
  • On-chip Peripherals
    • USB 2.0 OTG, USB 1.1 Host.
    • MMC/SD/SDIO controller.
    • Full-duplex UART port.
    • Synchronous serial interface.
    • Two-wire SMB serial interface.
  • Security – Total 256bits OTP memory.
  • Package – BGA261, 11 x 11 x 1.4 (mm), 0.5mm pitch.

That confirms it’s one of the rare SoC with enough built-in RAM to run Linux. Renesas RZ/A1 is another one, but with only 10MB RAM, and a Cortex A9 core.

Halley IoT module and development kit will be available around March 10, for respectively $20 and $50. You can find more information, and ordering information on Ingenic’s Halley module page.

Thanks to Victor for the tip.

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$129 Hikey Board Features a 64-bit ARM HiSilicon Processor, Complies with Linaro’s 96Boards Specifications

February 9th, 2015 16 comments

In my post about the Embedded Linux Conference 2015, I noticed a talk entitled “Generalizing Android for Low-Cost 64-Bit ARM-Based Community Boards” to be presented by Khasim Syed Mohammed, Linaro, mentioning that “Linaro is developing an open hardware platform specification to encourage software development on low-cost boards to lower the cost and accelerate the availability of maker and embedded products based on ARM SoCs”. But at the time, I had no details about the specifications themselves. As Linaro Connect HK 2015 is now taking place, the 96Boards Consumer Edition specifications have been released, and Hikey board have been unveiled with HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa core Cortex A53 processor, 1 GB RAM, and 4GB eMMC.

96Boards_Hikey

Hikey board specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz (10,000 Dhrystone VAX MIPS) with ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 @ 800 MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC + micro SD v3 slot
  • Video Output / Display – HDMI 1.3 up to 1080p, DSI interface
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE (TI Wilink 8 – WL1835MOD) with on-board antenna. Solder pads for external antenna are also present (6)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Camera – CSI interface
  • Debugging – Unpopulated 4-pin UART header (1), unpopulated 10-pin JTAG header (19)
  • Expansion headers
    • 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector (2) – 2x UART, 2x I2C, GPIOs, SPI, Audio, reset, 1.8V and GND, as wekk as 5V/12V cooling fan support
    • HS (High Speed) Expansion connector (9) – DSI, CSI, SDIO, USB, etc…
  • Misc – Power button (3), settings header for power/boot/user (1), power measurements through holes (Total / PMIC only / HDMI, USB) (4), LEDs for Wi-Fi/Bt (11), and 3x User LED (13)
  • Power Supply (5) – 8-18V / 2A as per 96Boards specs.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm

Hikey_BoardDocumentation is available on 96Boards.org, and currently includes a User’s Guide and schematics in PDF format. You can get support on 96Boards Forums, the source code is available on github, and binary images for Linux (Ubuntu?) and Android will soon be available at https://builds.96boards.org/.

Hikey board is available on backorder on Avnet and Arrow for $129 and up.

Let’s also have a quick look at 96Boards specifications.

Stated goals:

  • Low cost ($50-$100 retail for a a minimum configuration)
  • Easy to extend with off the shelf parts available to maker community and OEMs
  • Easy to purchase globally (for example, via Amazon, Alibaba, Farnell, Digikey, Mouser, etc…)
  • Enable a third party ecosystem to develop around expansion (mezzanine) boards/peripherals/displays, etc… that can be used on any 96Board CE compliant board.

Minimum hardware features:

  • Ultra-small low-profile form factor – 85x54x12 mm – Extended Version: 85x100x12mm
  • Design is SoC independent (targets 32- and 64-bit SoCs)
  • 0.5GB RAM (Minimum 1GB recommended for Android_
  • MicroSDHC Socket for up 64GB on-board or expansion flash storage
  • Wi-Fi 802.11g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • On-board connectors and expansion I/O:
    • 2x USB Type A or Type C host ports (USB 2.x or 3.x)
    • USB micro-B USB or type C slave or OTG port (USB 2.x or USB 3.x) for PC connection
    • Display and Audio Output: HDMI, or MHL (micro USB), or DisplayPort (USB type C)
    • Low profile 40 way female header for maker/community use
    • Low profile 60 way high speed female module header for advanced maker/OEM use with high speed interface including MIPI-DSI, USB, and optional MIPI CSI-2
    • Board power from low profile DC jack connector

Other requirements and options include at least one current sense resistor, buttons, LEDs, UART, recommended JTAG, and so on.

Software requirements include bootloader (open source), accelerated graphics support (binary or open source), a Linux kernel buildable from source code based from mainline, or the latest Google-supported Android kernel version, or the last two LTS kernels, and one of more of the following operating systems: Android, Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora/Red Hat, or an OpenEmbedded/Yocto build of a Linux distribution.

[Update: Linaro blogged about this, with quotes by several companies including Actions Semiconductors and AMD, so we might expect 96Boards compliant board(s) by these two Silicon vendors too]

Via Mininodes.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK for Amlogic Processors and Image for MK808B Plus

February 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Amlogic has just released Android 5.0 SDK for Amlogic S805, S802, and S812 processors on their OpenLinux website, but before you get too excited, this is only available people who have signed an SLA with the company, or somehow got a username/password to their git server. Although most people can’t access the SDK, it still means that popular Amlogic S8xx devices are likely to be upgraded to Android 5.0 in the weeks or months ahead.

Amlogic_Android_LollipopThe company has not released any Android 5.0 SDK for older AML-8726M? processors however, so apart from WeTek Play, I would not expect any other Amlogic single or dual core devices to get a Lollipop treat.

If you own a MK808B Plus TV dongle, you don’t even need to wait, as WeTek ported Android 5.0, more exactly CyanogenMod 12, to the cheap HDMI TV Stick for evaluation, and since finally they don’t intend to design a device with Amlogic S805 processor, they released the image and instructions on XDA Developer Forums a few days ago.

This image is booting, and installing Google Mobile Services for the Play Store and other sertvice is easy, but a few things are not working yet:

  • Widevine DRM is broken
  • Some precompiled libraries for stagefright (OMX) don’t work anymore, including HD audio passthrough and HEVC libraries. But somehow HDMI pass-through still seems possible via SPMC/XBMC, and H.264/AVC is working just fine.

Christian Troy, the developer who released the image, also mentioned “these two bugs won’t be fixed until AMLogic releases an updated SDK for Lollipop, where they will include the working libraries”. So that could be a new image for the fresh Amlogic SDK could be released soon and fix most issues on MK808B Plus Lollipop port.

Thanks to Stanislav for the tip about the new SDK.

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Categories: AMLogic, Android Tags: Android, amlogic, lollipop, mk808, sdk, wetek

H88 HummingBird Development Board Powered by Allwinner A80 Comes with 4GB RAM, Built-in GPS, 4G LTE Support

February 2nd, 2015 12 comments

Merrii Technology is having some fun churning out Allwinner A80 development boards, and after A80 OptimusBoard, H8 Hummingbird, here comes H88 HummingBird. The new board is somewhat similar to H8, but is quite larger, and features 4GB RAM, built-in GPS, and a few other goodies.

H88_HummingBirdH88 HummingBird specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A80 octa-core processor with 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 cores in big.LITTLE configuration with Imagination Technologies PowerVR GC6230 GPU compliant with OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0/11, OpenCL 1.1, and DirectX 9.3
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB internal storage (Hynix H27UCG8T2BTRBC), micro SD slot up to 32 GB
  • Video Output/ Display Interfaces
    • HDMI 1.4 up to 4K UHD resolution
    • RGB/LVDS interface
    • EDP LCD + TP interface
    • MIPI LCD interface
    • VGA output
  • Audio – HDMI, headphone jack,LINE-IN,
  • Camera I/F – Parallel and MIPI CSI interface. Integrated 16MP camera
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211D/E), dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 OTG, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Debugging – UART, JTAG
  • Expansion
    • mini PCIe slot for 4G module
    • Header with access to GPIOs, ADC, HSIC, UART, SPI, I2C and Power Signals
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset and power LEDs, power switch, Reset, power and u-boot buttons, 6x ADC keys, RTC with battery
  • Power Supply – 12V via power barrel, battery, or 4V via USB OTG port; PMIC: AXP806 + AXP809 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 188 x 155 x 35 mm

H88_HummingBoard_3D_ViewThe company provides support for Android 4.4.2 and Linux 3.4 for the board, including source code. However, based on past experience, support is not that good, especially for non-Chinese speakers. You can find some more details including headers’ pinout on Merrii H88 Hummingbird page. There’s no price information, but it looks like the board might be used in A80 Pro development kit that sells for $1,300 on Aliexpress….

Thanks to mininodes for the tip.

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Vonets VM300 Wi-Fi & Ethernet IoT Board with Mediatek MT7620 Runs OpenWRT

January 23rd, 2015 2 comments

Mediatek MT760 is a recent Wi-Fi SoC found in some Nexx WT3020 routers, and WRTnode development board. Both run OpenWRT and costs $17 to $30 depending on the amount of flash, and ports with the former featuring two Ethernet ports, and the latter access to GPIOs. You could probably open the case of the Nexx routers and solder some wires to get access to GPIO, and you can hack an Ethernet cable for WRTnode, but another options could be Vonets WM300 kit that includes a board with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, a cable for USB / Ethernet connection, headers for GPIOs, and two external antennas for less than $30. An OpenWRT SDK is also provided for the kit.

Vonets_VM300Specifications listed for VM300 board:

  • Processor – Mediatek MT7260N MIPS processor @ 580MHz
  • Storage – 4MB SPI Flash (option: 8MB/16MB) for firmware
  • System Memory – 32MB or 64MB SDRAM
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi
      • Single band 802.11 b/g/n 2T2R up to 300 Mbps with two external 2dB antenna.
      • Output power: 15dbm – 16.5dbm
      • Supports 1-14 Wi-Fi channels
      • Working modes – Routing, Bridge (also support AP Client and AP Station), Repeater
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • 3G/4G supported via USB dongle (no USB port, but signal are available on headers)
    • Functions – Firewall, QoS, VPN
  • Expansion – Mini PCIe, 2x 6-pin and 8-pin headers with access to Ethernet signals, UART, USB host, 2x GPIO, reset signal, status signals
  • Power Supply – 3.3V – 3.4V DC, or 4.5V – 15V DC; Consumption:  <2W
  • Dimensions – 51 x 30 mm
  • Weight – 86g
  • Temperature Range – -25°C – 55°C (operating)

Vonets_VM300_Development_BoardThe mini PCIe connector is probably not following any standard, and can be use in case you make some baseboard for the module. You can find the pinout and a little more in WM300 datasheet. The quick start guide shows the board is not running OpenWRT by default, but you can download the OpenWRT SDK and instructions.

Vonets WM300 can be purchased on several sites including DealExtreme, Aliexpress or Ebay for $25 and up. The only problem is that everybody has just copied and pasted the specs showing 32 or 64MB RAM, and 4 and 8MB Flash, so you don’t know exactly what you are buying, and this could be an issue if you want to run OpenWRT as 64MB SDRAM and 8MB flash are required according to the company. Visit Vonets VM300 product page for details.

Thanks to Onebir for the tip.

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Atmel SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra Development Board Adds HDMI, 720p Video Decoding

January 19th, 2015 No comments

Atmel has introduced an upgrade to their Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained development board with SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra replacing SAMA5D36 by SAMA5D44 embedded micro-processor for 720p hardware video decoding support, and adding HDMI output, extra storage and memory, etc… but losing one Ethernet port.

Atmel_SAMA5D4_Xplained_Ultra

Atmel SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra (XLUT) specifications:

  • MPU – Atmel SAMA5D44 Cortex-A5 Microprocessor @ 536 MHz
  • System Memory – 2x 2Gbit DDR2 memory
  • Storage – 4 Gbit NAND Flash, 1x 4-bit SD card connector (not populated), 1x 4-bit micro SD connector, optional serial EEPROM (SPI), one EEPROM with MAC address and serial number.
  • Connectivity – 1x Ethernet 10/100M
  • Display – 1x LCD interface connector, 1x HDMI port
  • USB –  1x micro USB device connector, 2x USB host connectors
  • Debugging – 1x 20-pin J-TAG connector, 1x EDBG connector (not populated), 1x serial DBGU interface (3.3V)
  • Expansion – Arduino R3-compatible headers, XPRO set of connectors; ADC inputs and CAN interfaces
  • Misc – Reset, wake-up, and user push buttons, 1x user/power LED, 1x user LED, RTC battery slot (CR1225)
  • Power Supply – 5V from USB, power jack or Arduino headers; On-board regulation with PMIC; Power measurement straps
  • Dimensions – 135 x 88 x 20 mm
The kit also includes a micro USB cable and a welcome letter.SAMA5D4-XULT_BoardSome documentation is available on Element14 page, including the user’s guide, SAMA5D4 eMPUs datasheet, and two application notes. There’s little information about software support for now, and we are being redirected to Atmel’s SAMA5D4 Software Package page with IAR and some GNU tools. But if we go to Linux4SAM instead we’ll find a Linux4SAM Yocto/Poky distribution for the board, as well building and flashing instructions.  There’s also an Android 4.4.2 image with source code. Just like SAMA5D3 Xplained,  SAMA5D4 XULT board is open source hardware, and you can find the hardware design and manufacturing files on SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra product’s page.

SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra is apparently available now, and sells for $99 on Atmel store, but you can also find it on Element14 for $93.50.

Via Embedded.com

 

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LinkIt Connect 7681 is a Wi-Fi IoT Board Powered by Mediatek MT7681

January 19th, 2015 2 comments

So it looks like Mediatek has decided to carry on with its Mediatek Labs endeavours, as after launching LinkIt ONE last year, they’re about to introduce LinkIT Connect 7681, a development board with a Mediatek MT7681 based Wi-Fi module, and access to various GPIOs.

LinkIt_Connect_7681LinkIt Connect 7681 HDK (Hardware Development Kit) specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7681 Andes N9 processor @ 80 MHz with 64KB RAM,
  • Storage – 1MB SPI Flash for firmware
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n for Station mode; 802.11 b/g for AP mode via a MT7681 module by AcSIP
  • Headers – 12-pin header for UART, 5 GPIOs (also usable as software PWM), RESET, and 3.3V/5V/GND; 6-pin header for SPI, 3.3V and GND.
  • USB – 1x micro USB for power and programming/debugging
  • Misc – Reset push-button, 2x UART LEDs
  • Power Supply – On-board 1A 3.3V voltage regulator (can be powered from USB connector)
  • I/O Voltage – 3.3V for GPIO and UART
  • Dimensions – 50 x 31 mm (board); 15 x 18mm (Wi-Fi module)

LinkIt_Connect_7681_Block_Diagram

A Wiki has been setup for the board, and already contains a short overview, and links to hardware files (free registration required), API reference, a developer’s guide, and the SDK for Linux or Windows (Cygwin required). Key features of the SDK include:

  • Libraries for all the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 APIs, including Smart Connection and FOTA firmware updates
  • C-like language
  • Command line compiler, based on Andes Development Kit
  • Firmware upload tool
  • MediaTek Smart Connection app examples for Android and iOS, including source code
  • Example source code such as IoTServer, AT Command Parser, Data Command Parser and X-Modem

 

MT7681 Software Architecture

MT7681 Software Architecture

The board is not available yet, but Mediatek Labs MT7681 page indicates LinkIt Connect should be available early 2015 via Seeed Studio. The price has not been disclosed either, but this looks somewhat similar to WRTnode selling for $25, and the HLK-M30 Starterkit, also based on MT7681 and very similar to LinkIt Connect, sells for $16.32 including shipping and a power supply, so I’d expect the new board to cost between $10 to $20.

Thanks to deets for the tip.

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