Posts Tagged ‘sdk’

Allwinner H3 Based Orange Pi 2 Board Price Drops to as Low As $25

May 27th, 2015 15 comments

As Raspberry Pi Model B+ price got reduced to $25, some competitors also decided to bring their price down. Shenzhen Xunlong Software, the maker of Orange Pi board, decided to decrease their Orange Pi 2 and Orange Pi 2 Mini boards by $5 to respectively $30 and $25 plus around $2 shipping.

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Both boards are based on the same PCB, but the mini version lacks WiFi. Let’s refresh our memory with the specs:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz with 256KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache, and an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI (CEC and HDCP support), AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Realtek module, not found on mini version)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi Model A+/B+ (mostly) 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, reset, and u-boot buttons; Power and Ethernet LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack (micro USB OTG cannot be used to power the board).
  • Dimensions – 93 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 46 grams
You can currently download Android 4.4.2, Lubuntu, Debian server, and Raspbian images for the boards, as well as Linux and Android SDKs. The board has been launched at the end of March, but I can’t find any independent reviews online yet. Feedback on Aliexpress is however mostly positive. The platform is more powerful than Raspberry Pi 2, so from the hardware point of view it should be a better deal, but as usual they won’t be able to match Raspberry Pi’s software and community support.
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FireWRT is an OpenWRT 802.11ac Board Powered by Mediatek MT7621A Processor

May 14th, 2015 10 comments

There are plenty of low cost 802.11n routers or boards supporting OpenWRT, even starting at $10 or less such as A5-V11 mini router, but if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful with 802.11ac connectivity, options are much more limited, especially if you need something at a lower cost. One option is Xiaomi MiWiFi router based on Mediatek MT7620A with 64MB RAM, and T-Firefly team is now working on FireWRT board based on the more powerful MT7621A processor coupled with 512 MB RAM, and 16 MB SPI flash.

FireWRTFireWRT specifications:

  • Wi-Fi SoC – Mediatek MT7621A dual core MIPS 1004Kc processor @ 880MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 (Beta version: 256 MB)
  • Storage – 16 MB SPI flash memory, 2x SATA 3.0 ports, micro SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi
    • 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz up to 300Mbps
    • 802.11 a/n/ac @ 5 GHz, up to 867Mbps (AC1200 class router)
    • External High-Gain Antennas – 2x for 2.4GHz, 2x for 5GHz
  • Ethernet – 2x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet), 1x WAN (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion
    • mini PCIe slot (multiplexed with SATA), on the back of the board
    • 2x 32-pin headers with GPIO, I2C, I2S, UART, NFC, JTAG, RGMII, 12V, 5V, 3.3V, GND
  • Misc – Power, WPS and reset keys. LEDs for Ethernet, WiFi, SATA, and power
  • Power – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 125 x 93.5 mm

OpenWRT_SATA_USB_3_PCIeThe boar runs OpenWRT, and the company has already released binary images, source code (U-boot, OpenWRT SDK), schematics (PDF), and mechanical files on the project’s download page, as well as some WIP documentation on the Wiki.

You can’t purchase the board directly on Aliexpress yet, but the company launched a beta program to allow developers to purchase a $69 kit including FireWRT board, a 12V/2A power adapter, an acrylic enclosure, a SATA cable, an heatsink, and a USB TO TTL UART Module. Please note that this beta board only has 256 MB RAM instead of 512 MB for the final version.

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Orange Pi Plus (Allwinner H3) Firmware Images and Linux SDK Released

May 12th, 2015 12 comments

Orange Pi Plus is a development board based on the new Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor that supports 4K video output and decoding. The boards comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SATA and more, and sells for $49 on Aliexpress. When I first covered the board in February, it was already listed on Aliexpress, but I could not find any firmware image, or source code, but this has now changed.

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Orange Pi Plus (Click to Enlarge)

There are now four firmware files:

  • Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0_.img.xz – Lubuntu 14.04 image
  • Raspbian_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0.img.xz – Raspbian for Allwinner H3
  • orangepi-plus-debian-server-card-v0.9.img.xz – A Debian server image
  • sun8iw7p1_android_orangepi-plus_uart0.rar – Android 4.4.2 image that needs to be flash with PhoenixCard in Windows (Linux tools are not working yet)

Beside the firmware images, the company also releases a Linux SDK (h3-lichee-1.0.tar.gz) with Linux 3.4 kernel source code, u-boot, and relevant tools.

I assume these should also work on Orange Pi 2, the low cost version of the board without internal flash, nor SATA, and Fast Ethernet instead of Gigabit Ethernet, which goes for $35 on Aliexpress.

Thanks to Jerome for the tip.

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Espressif WROOM WiFi ESP8266 Modules are FCC and CE Certified

May 5th, 2015 13 comments

Espressif, the company behind ESP8266 (EX) Wi-Fi chip for IoT applications, has now opened store on Taobao, where they sell WROOM-02 and WROOM-02 modules based on ESP8266EX with FCC, CE, TELEC, and SRRC certifications.

Espressif VROOM-02

Espressif WROOM-02

WROOM-01 has some soldered headers that make it easier to use for hobbyists and prototyping, while WROOM-02 is more compact, and should be more suitable to include in your own products. But otherwise, they share about the same specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif Systems ESP8266EX 32-bit RISC processor @ 80 MHz with integrated WiFi
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n with STA/AP/STA+AP operation modes
  • Header – 2x 18-pin headers with SDIO 2.0, GPIOs, SPI, UART, GND and 3.3V pins
  • Dimensions – 11.5mm x 11.5mm
  • Temperature Range – -40C ~ 125C
  • Certifications – FCC, CE, TELEC, and SRRC
Espressif VROOM-01

Espressif WROOM-01

The company can also provide “hardware reference design, antenna design, and SDK for secondary development”, but you’re likely to find most of what is needed for development, including the SDK, on You can also checkout WROOM-02 datasheet.

Both modules sell for 20 CNY (~$3.22) on Taobao, before shipping, but in due time they should also show up on Aliexpress stores.

Thanks to Jon for the tip.

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Ambarella Unveils SL2m IP Camera Reference Design Promising up to 6 Months of Battery Life

April 18th, 2015 1 comment

Ambarella S2Lm IP Camera SoC features a Cortex A9 CPU core, encodes video with H.264 up to 3Mp30 / 1080p30, and targets  consumer and entry-level IP Camera designs. The company recently launched a new battery-powered IP camera reference design based on the solution that promises up to 6 months battery life, and can record Full HD video in less than 500ms from wake up, making ideal for battery operated security cameras. A Linux SDK is also provided with reference implementations for low-power standby operation, wake-on-Wi-Fi and fast boot to Linux.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about the reference design, so instead I’ll have a look at the processor, and SL2m IP camera evaluation board.


S2Lm IP Camera Evaluation Board

Ambarella SL2m SoC specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 32KB/32KB I/D and 128 KB L2 Cache, NEON and FPU,
  • Crypto Engine – AES/3/DES/SHA-1/MD5
  • DSP / VPU –  Ambarella Image and Video DSPs
  • Sensor and Video I/O
    • RGB Bayer sensor port: 8-lane SLVS/MIPI/HiSPI
    • BT.601/656/1120 video in and BT.656/1120 out
    • PAL/NTSC composite SD video out
  • Front End Sensor Processing
    • 5 MPixels maximum resolution/ 240 MHz maximum pixel rate
    • Lens shading, fixed pattern noise correction
    • Multi-exposure HDR (line-interleaved sensors), WDR (Wide dynamic range) local exposure
  • Image Processing
    • 3D motion compensated noise reduction (MCTF)
    • Adjustable AE/AWB/AF
    • Wide angle lens distortion compensation
    • High quality polyphase scalers
    • Digital PTZ and Virtual Cameras
    • OSD engine; overlays, privacy mask; Crop, mirror, flip, 90°/270° rotation
    • DC-iris and P-iris
    • Defect pixel correction; Chroma lens distortion correction; Gamma compensation and color enhancement; Backlight compensation
  • Video Analytics
    • Advanced 3rd party analytics options
    • Face detection and tracking
    • Intelligent motion detection
    • Tampering detection
  • Video Encoding
    • H.264 codec BP/MP/HP Level 5.1 and MJPEG
    • 5 MPixels maximum resolution
    • 3M@30 fps encoding performance
    • Up to 4 simultaneous stream encodes
    • SmartAVC (Smart Advanced Video Coding) low bitrate/high quality encoding
    • On-the-fly change of multiple encoding parameters
    • Flexible GOP configuration with I, P and B frames
    • Temporal Scalable Video Codec with 4 Layers (SVCT)
    • Dynamic region of interest
    • Multiple CBR and VBR rate control modes
  • Memory Interfaces
    • DDR3/DDR3L up to 528MHz
    • SD controller with SDXC SD Card
    • NAND flash, SLC with ECC
    • Boot from SPI-NOR, SPI-EEPROM, NAND flash, USB or eMMC
  • Peripheral Interfaces
    • 10/100 Ethernet with RMII/MII
    • USB2.0 Device or Host w/PHY
    • Multiple I2S, SSI/SPI, IDC, and UART
    • Multiple PWM, Stepper, and ADC channels
    • Many GPIO ports, PWM, Steppers, IR, ADC
    • Watchdog Timer, multiple general purpose timers, JTAG
  • Process – 28nm Low Power CMOS
  • Operating temperature – -20°C to +85°C
  • Package – TFBGA package with 256 balls, 11×11 mm, 0.65 mm pitch
Block Diagram for a Typical S2Lm IP Camera (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram for a Typical S2Lm IP Camera (Click to Enlarge)

The company can provide a complete SL2m IP camera development platform comprised of:

  • An hardware evaluation kit (as shown in the top picture) with a baseboard with SL2m processor and a sensor board with a camera from Aptina, Omnivision, Panasonic, Sony or others.
  • A software development kit (SDK) based on Linux 3.8 kernel with relevant patchsets, drivers, tools and application source code.

Hard design files including datasheets, the bill of materials, schematics and PCB layout are all available, as well as C source code for reference applications. The libraries for the ISP, dewarp and codecs are royalty-free, the company also offers tools for image tuning and manufacturing calibration, as well as detailed software documentation.

Pricing and availability information for the new battery operated S2LM reference design are not known, and they ask you to contact them for details. But the SoC and and the evaluation kit are available now at undisclosed prices. I found most the information in S2Lm product brief which can also be downloaded via Ambarella IP Camera product page.

Via LinuxGizmos.

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Firefly introduces FireBLE Bluetooth Low Energy Board

March 23rd, 2015 1 comment

So just as today I wrote about XBAND BLE Sensor board, the makers of Firefly-RK3288 also announced their own Bluetooth Low Energy board aptly named FireBLE, and also integrating a 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, but instead of being based on Nordic or Cypress, the company went with an NXP BLE chip.

FireBLEFireBLE board specifications:

  • SoC – NXP QN9021 ARM Cortex M0 MCU @ 32MHz with 94KB ROM (protocol stack), 64 KB SRAM, 128KB flash
  • Bluetooth – BT 4.0 single mode. Central and peripheral mode with up to 8 simultaneous connections.
  • Sensors
    • MPU-6050 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer with an on-board Digital Motion Processor (DMP) capable of processing 9-axis motion fusion algorithms.
    • Battery and temperature sensor
  • USB – micro USB port for power and programming
  • Expansion – 3 expansion headers with access to SPI, UART, I2C, GPIO, and PWM, as well as OLED display interface.
  • Debugging – JTAG, support SWD online simulation on-board USB to serial.
  • Misc – Joystick, reset button, battery connector, 3x programmable LED
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port
  • Power Consumption – NXP MCU: Tx: 8.8 mA Rx: 9.25 mA; deep sleep: 1.8 uA
  • Dimensions – 80 x 45.5 mm

FireBLE_BatteryIt’s much bigger compared to XBAND, but at least it should be easier to power and program thanks to its micro USB connector. The board will support OTA firmware update via a smartphone, and targets various applications such as sport & health, smart home, PC device, smart TV, smart watch, automotive applications, and more. FireBLE SDK, schematics (PDF), CAD files, firmware, drivers, and tools are available in the Download section, and there’s also a Wiki (in construction) with some extra documentation and tutorials.

FireBLE is not available just yet, and price has not been disclosed. The board seems to be the first member of FireSmart family, which could be composed some boards targeting Internet of Things applications. Further details may be found on FireBLE product page.

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Mixtile LOFT-Q Allwinner A31 Board with SATA Can Now be Purchased for $90

March 4th, 2015 9 comments

Mixtile LOFT-Q and LOFT Kit were unveiled nearly a year ago, the first being a development board based on Allwinner A31 processor with 2GB RAM, 16GB RAM,  SATA connector, Gigabit Ethernet, etc.., while the second is a kit with an enclosure and power supply. The kit does not appear to be available yet, but the board has recently been listed on SeeedStudio for $90.


Mixtile LOFT-Q specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A31 quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC, SATA III connector for 2.5″ drives, and SD card Slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p60
  • Video Decoding – H.264 4Kx2K video decoding, multi-format FHD video decoding, including Mpeg1/2, Mpeg4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263, H.264,etc
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 1 S/PDIF, high definition microphone
  • Camera I/F
    • Integrated Parallel & MIPI I/F sensor
    • Integrated powerful ISP, supporting Raw Data CMOS sensor
    • Supports 5M/8M/12M CMOS sensor
    • Supports 8/10/12-bit YUV/Bayer sensor
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 a/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6234), and Zigbee (NXP JNS168)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host post
  • Debugging – UART debug connector, JTAG connector
  • Expansion header – 180-pin header with access to I2C, SPI, LCD, MIPI DSI, RGB/LVDS, CSI, MIPI CSI, ADC, CTP, RTP, SPDIF-OUT, SPDIF-IN, GPIO, etc…
  • Sensor – Acceleration sensor, IR receiver
  • Misc- Battery slot for RTC
  • Power – 12V/4A (48W)
  • Dimensions – N/A

SATA Connector and Wireless Dongles? are on the Back of Mixtile Board

You won’t find many details on Mixtile Hardare page, but there’s some recently updated documentation and software on Mixtile github account, with various repositories for documentation with a getting started guide, linux and u-boot source code, development tools, and BSPs for Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu Touch, and OpenWRT. What I failed to find however is a clear graphical description of the board and connectors.

Thanks to Embedded_Geek for the tip.
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MYiR Tech Announces Low Cost Rico and Z-turn Boards Powered by TI AM437x and Xilinx Zynq-7010 SoCs

March 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Shenzhen based MYIR Tech has just launched two new single board computers with Rico board featuring Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x ARM Cortex A9 industrial processor, and Z-Turn board based on Xilinx Zynq-7010 ARM Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Both boards sell for $99 in single quantity.

Rico Board


  • SoC – Texas Instruments AM4379 single core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU, and 4x PRU @ 200 MHz. Other AM437x on request.
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Options: 256MB or 1GB)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, 256 or 512 MB NAND flash (reserved), 16MB QSPI flash, 32KB EEPROM, and micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI and LCD interfaces (LCD connector located on bottom of the board).
  • Connectivity  – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 device port, 1x USB 2.0 host post
  • Camera – 2x 30-pin camera interface
  • Debugging – 1x debug serial port, 1x 20-pin JTAG interface, 1x 14-pin JTAG interface
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 40-pin headers with access to 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 2x CAN, 4x UARTs, 1x MMC, and 8x ADC
  • Misc – 4x buttons (reset, power, and 2x user), 5x LEDs (reset, power, and 3x user), boot selection jumpers
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A power barrel
  • Dimensions – 100 x 65 x 1.6  mm (8-layer PCB)
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 70°C

Rico_Board_DescriptionThe company provides a Linux 3.14.0 SDK for the board with the source code for the bootloaders (SPL and U-boot), the kernel and relevant drivers, and buildroot build system, as well as a complete hardware development kit that includes a Rico Board, various cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a 5V/2A power adapter, and an optional 7-inch LCD Module with capacitive touch screen. Source code is provided with a CD that comes with the board.

You can find more information and order the board or kit on MYiR Tech Rico Board product page. The kit sells for $139, and you’ll need to add $99 for the 7″ touchscreen display.

Z-Turn Board

MYS-XC7010 / MYS-XC7020 boards specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx XC7Z010-1CLG400C (Zynq-7010) with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with 28K logic cells, 17,600 LUTs, 80 DSP slices. Zilinx Zynq-7020 optional.
  • System Memory – 1 GB of DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 512MB, 32-bit)
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash, 512 NAND flash (reserved), and a micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Debugging – USB-UART debug interface, 14-pin JTAG interface
  • User I/O (via two SMT female connector on the bottom of the board) – 90/106 user I/O (7010/7020), configurable as up to 39 LVDS pairs, or I/Os such as SPI. I2C, LCD, camera, CAN, Ethernet, etc…
  • Sensors – 3-axis acceleration sensor and temperature sensor
  • Misc – CAN interface, 2x buttons (reset and user), boot selection jumpers, 5x LEDs, 1x Buzzer
  • Power – 5V via USB, or 5V/2V power barrel
  • Dimensions – 102 x 63 x 1.6 mm (8-layer PCB)

A Linux 3.15.0 SDK is provided with gcc 4.6.1, a binary bootloader, the source code for the kernel and drivers, and a minimal ramdisk and Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 root file systems.

MYiR Tech newsletter claims the board sells for $99, but on the product page, you’ll only find a complete kit with the board, cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a power supply, and CD for source code and documentation for $139, the same price as the TI Sitara kit. Z-Turn board is somewhat similar to the $189 ($125 for education) ZYBO board, so it’s probably the most cost-effective Zynq board available to date.

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