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Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 is a 14nm LTE “Mobile Platform” for Mid-Range Smartphones and Tablets

June 28th, 2017 No comments

Qualcomm has a made several announcements at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017, with processors like Snapdragon Wear 1200 Wearables SoC, as well as Snapdragon 450 octa-core mobile platform, allegedly the first 14nm processor made for mid-range mobile devices.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 specifications:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 506 GPU with OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 2.0 Full, DirectX 12, GPU tessellation, geometry shading
  • DSP – Hexagon 546 DSP
  • Memory I/F – LPDDR3
  • Display – Full HD 1080p60; Qualcomm EcoPix,TruPalette, improveTouch technology
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic with VoLTE w/Ultra HD Voice (EVC), high-fidelity music playback (24-bit/192 KHz), Dolby 5.1
  • Modem – Snapdragon X9 LTE modem up to 300 Mbps download (Cat 7) and 150 Mbps uplink (Cat. 13)
  • Wireless Connectivity – 802.11ac MU-MIMO, Gen8C Lite location technology, Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • USB – USB 3.0 interface
  • Camera – Up to 13MP dual camera, up to 21MP single camera; real-time Bokeh, Qualcomm ClearSight camera features
  • Video – 1080p60 HEVC playback and capture
  • Security – Qualcomm “Mobile Security”
  • Fast Charging – Quick Charge 3.0
  • Process – 14nm FinFET technology

The processor is an upgrade to the Snapdragon 435 processor with faster CPU and GPU bringing roughly 25% improvement in performance, better battery life with up to 30 percent reduction in power when gaming,  and better camera support with support for real-time Bokeh effects and dual 13MP cameras. The Snapdragon 450 is also said to be the the first mid-range mobile SoC to supports a USB 3.0 interface.

Sampling is scheduled for Q3 2017, and mobile devices based on the processor are expected by the end of 2017. No product page has been setup on Qualcomm website yet.

OnePlus 5 Smartphone Linux Kernel & Android Source Code Released

June 22nd, 2017 1 comment

OnePlus 5 is a premium smartphone powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6 to 8 GB LPDDR4x RAM, 64 to 128 GB UFS 2.0 storage and a 5.5″ Full HD display, as well as the usual LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS.. connectivity. It was launched yesterday for $479 with 6GB RAM/64GB storage, $539 with 8GB RAM/128GB storage, and today, I’ve just read on XDA developers that the company had already released the source code for the phone. Beside the official Google Nexus/Pixel smartphones, many manufacturers will drag their feet before they eventually open the source code that they are legally required to release.

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Some companies will release the source code as tarballs, which works, but OnePlus has done better with Linux 4.4.21 source code available on Github.

You should also be able to get the Android 7.1 Nougat source code as indicated here:

The source code should lead to improvements by the community, as well as the eventual release of unofficial “ROM’s”. The company already released the Linux kernel and Android for their OnePlus 3 model on the day of the launch last year, so they are making an habit of it…

UBPorts Project Announces its First Stable Ubuntu Touch Release for Supported Smartphones

June 15th, 2017 No comments

Canonical may have stopped working on Unity, Mobile & Convergence for Ubuntu last April, but since then, at least two teams have worked on Unity and mobile convergence alive with respectively yunit and UBPorts projects. There has not been much activity on the former, but UBPorts has recently announced the first OTA-1 stable release for supported devices, minus Nexus 4 and 5 for now.

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This release brings bug fixes, experimental AGPS support, he UBports Welcome app, the OpenStore, and the Terminal and File Browser are preinstalled.  It should work on OnePlus One, FairPhone 2, Optimus L90, BQ Aquaris M10 HD / FHD, and possibly some other models.

They also mentioned work on Halium – a project aiming to standardize the Android hardware compatibility layer between many Linux distributions – has been progressing nicely, and it can now boot both Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile. Convergence still needs some work, but one of the developers demoed it on a Nexus 5 here. Anbox support is also planned in order to support Android apps in Ubuntu, but it’s a low priority for now.

If you are interested in learning about future releases, or helping fix bugs, you can do so on the Milestones page.

Open Source Code Released for Hisilicon Kirin 960 Based Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P10 Smartphones

June 7th, 2017 4 comments

Manufacturers of products using open source software are normally required to release the source code with their modifications to follow licenses such as the GPL, but not all comply with the license. Huawei has now released the source code with Linux and other open source libraries and programs for their Huawei Mate 9 / Mate 9 Pro and Huawei P10 / P10 Plus models powered by Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor.

With the release of Hikey 960 development board most of the source code for Kirin 960 should already be available, but it’s possible some drivers/modules specific to Huawei phones may be found instead of in the Huawei release.  You’ll find the download in Huawei’s open source page for:

I picked up the LON-NG_EMUI5.0_opensource.tar.gz tarball for Mate 9 Pro (442 MB), and it comes with three directories: external with various open source programs and libraries,  kernel with Linux 4.1.18, and vendor with ffmpeg.

The build instructions for the Linux kernel are also included in the tarball:

################################################################################

1. How to Build
– get Toolchain from android git server, codesourcery and etc ..
– aarch64-linux-android-4.9

– edit Makefile
edit CROSS_COMPILE to right toolchain path(You downloaded).
Ex)   export PATH=$PATH:$(android platform directory you download)/prebuilts/gcc/linux-x86/aarch64/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/bin
Ex)   export CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-android-

$ mkdir ../out
$ make ARCH=arm64 O=../out merge_hi3660_defconfig
$ make ARCH=arm64 O=../out -j8

2. Output files
– Kernel : out/arch/arm64/boot/Image.gz
– module : out/drivers/*/*.ko

3. How to Clean
$ make ARCH=arm64 distclean
$ rm -rf out
################################################################################

Via XDA Developers

HTC U11 Android Smartphone Adds “Edge Sense” Squeeze Input, Ranks Best at DxOMark Mobile Camera Benchmark

May 16th, 2017 1 comment

We’ve come so far in the smartphone market that most hardware releases are rather boring with a processor a little faster, maybe a higher resolution screen and so on, without real exciting innovations. HTC U11 does change that somewhat as the smartphone allows to interaction by squeezing the edges for example to quickly take a picture. The company calls that “Edge Sense” technology.

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HTC U11 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor @ up to 2.45 GHz
  • System Memory – 4GB / 6GB RAM
  • Storage – 64GB / 128GB flash, micro SD slot up to 2TB (shared with SIM2 slot), flex storage (aka adoptable) supported
  • Display –  5.5″ Quad HD  (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super LCD; 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • Dual nano SIM
    • 2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE @ 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • 3G – UMTS @ 800/900/1900/2100 (B5/B8/B2/B1), HSDPA 42, HSUPA 5.76
    • 4G LTE – Cat 15 LTE up to 800Mbps/75 Mbps; FDD: Bands B4/B12/B17/B28/B20/B5/B8/B3/B1/B7/B32; TDD: Bands B39/B40/B38/B41; with 2CA, 3CA, 4CA Carrier Aggregation
  • Other Wireless Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
    • BlueTooth® 4.2
    • NFC
    • Streaming to Chromecast, DLNA, AirPlay, Miracast devices
    • Localization: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
  • Camera
    • Rear – 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4μm pixel), UltraSpeed Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Dual LED flash; 4K video recording; 1080p 120 fps slow motion
    • Front-facing –  16MP camera, full HD 1080p video recording
  • Audio – HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation; HTC BoomSound™ Hi-Fi edition; 3D Audio recording with 4 microphones; Hi-Res audio stereo recording; Hi-Res audio certified
  • USB – USB 3.1 gen 1 type C connector with DisplayPort support
  • Sensors – Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub, Edge Sensor
  • Battery – 3000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support; 3G/4G talk time:  up to 24.5 hours; 3G/4G standby time: up to 14 days.
  • Dimensions – 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9, 169g
  • Ingress Protection Rating – IP67

The phone Android 7.1 with HTC Sense user interface. Beside Edge Sense, on the selling point of the smartphone is that it tops DxOMark Mobile camera benchmark with 90 points, and just ahead of Google Pixel with 89 points.

The smartphone can be pre-ordered in Blue, Black or Grey for $649 directly on HTC U11 product page, where you’ll also find a few more details.

Qualcomm Introduces Snapdragon 630 and 660 “Mobile Platforms” for Mid-Range Smartphones & Tablets

May 9th, 2017 2 comments

Qualcomm has announced two new Snapdragon SoCs Mobile Platforms, namely Snapdragon 630 and 660, with the aim of introducing “high-end features” to mid-range devices. Both chips come with eight cores, an Adreno GPU, and are manufactured with 14nm FinFET technology.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 630

Key features:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex A53 clocked at up to 2.2 GHz (low power cluster up to 1.8 GHz)
  • GPU – Adreno 508 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full,Vulkan, DX12
  • DSP – Hexagon 642 DSP
  • Memory I/F –  LPDDR4, dual channel up to 1333MHz, 8GB RAM
  • Storage I/F – eMMC and UFS flash
  • Display – Up to 1920×1200 resolution; DisplayPort and USB type-C support
  • Video – Up to 4K @ 30 fps playback and capture; H.264, H.265 and VP9 codecs
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier; Qualcomm aptX audio playback
  • Camera – Up to 24MP single camera, up to 13MP dual camera; Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP
  • Modem – Snapdragon X12 LTE modem: Cat 12 for downlink (600 Mbps max); Cat 13 for uplink (150 Mbps max)
  • Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi, Bluetooth 5
  • Location – GPS, Glanass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS
  • Security – Qualcomm Mobile Security: camera security,  app protect, Qualcomm processor security
  • Charging – Quick Charge 4 technology

Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

 

  • CPU – 8x Kryo 260 cores clocked at up to 2.2 GHz (low power cluster up to 1.8 GHz)
  • GPU – Adreno 512 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full,Vulkan, DX12
  • DSP – Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX)
  • Memory I/F –  LPDDR4, dual channel up to 1866MHz, 8GB RAM
  • Storage I/F – eMMC and UFS flash
  • Display – Up to 2560×1600 resolution; DisplayPort and USB type-C support
  • Video – Up to 4K @ 30 fps playback and capture; H.264, H.265 and VP9 codecs
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier; Qualcomm aptX audio playback
  • Camera – Up to 24MP single camera, up to 16MP dual camera; Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP
  • Modem – Snapdragon X12 LTE modem: Cat 12 for downlink (600 Mbps max); Cat 13 for uplink (150 Mbps max)
  • Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi, Bluetooth 5
  • Location – GPS, Glanass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS
  • Security – Qualcomm Mobile Security: camera security,  app protect, Qualcomm processor security, hardware token
  • Charging – Quick Charge 4 technology

Snapdragon 660 is an upgrade to 653 with about 20 percent improvement in CPU performance, and 30 percent in GPU performance. Snapdragon 630 CPU & GPU are respectively about 10% and 30% faster compared to the ones in Snapdragon 626.

Products based on Snapdragon 660 SoC should hit the shelves in Q2, while Snapdragon 630 mobile devices will start selling in Q3. You’ll find more details on Snapdragon 630 and 660 product pages.

$59 HDFury Universal PSU Doctor Supports Power Monitoring via iOS or Android

May 3rd, 2017 4 comments

We’ve recently covered Cambrionix PowerPad 15S, a high-end 16-port USB hub that can deliver 5V/2.1A on each port, integrates power monitoring function, and an API to control and monitor each port individually. That’s a very cool device, but it’s also expensive at around $600, and even the cheaper PowerPad 15C without data pins, come at $200. If you don’t need the complete set of features offered by Cambrionix devices, but you’ll like to get a reliable multi-port USB charger with power monitoring function, HDFury Universal PSU Doctor could be an interesting option.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas RL78 16-bit MCU
  • USB – 3x USB ports with 2x 5V ports up to 5V/2.14A, 1x USB QC 2.0 port supporting 5V/2.14A, 9V/1.6A or 12V/1.2A output
  • ADC – Up to 11 channels, 10-bit resolution for power monitoring
  • Sensor – n-chip temperature sensor
  • Power Supply
    • Built-in 100 ~ 240V AC with US, EU, UK plug types (Sorry Australian readers).
    • Ripple and Noise: 80mV
    • Efficiency: 80%
  • Power Consumption @ 5V?
    • Stop – RAM retained: 0.23 μA; LVD enabled: 0.31 μA
    • Snooze – 0.7 mA (UART), 1.20 mA (ADC)
    • Operating: 63 μA /MHz
  • Dimensions – 8.9 x 5.3 x 4.2 cm.
  • Weight – 142g
  • Certifications – Rohs, CE and FCC (no UL / ETV / TUV?)

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The first two USB ports (1 & 2) can handle 5V, and the first one can connect to a smartphone audio jack to report the voltage, current, and power for all three USB ports. The third port also supports Quick Charge 2.0.

Power monitoring is done through DrPSU app available for Android and iOS, but note that it’s expected to work only on branded smartphones such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi, Apple… and obviously this feature won’t work on the most recent models without an headphone jack since it is required. The app cannot control the USB port individually, for example to turn them on and off, it only displays the data. The video below demonstrates well how it all works.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor is sold for $59 with free shipping on HDfury website. There’s a 5-year warranty, but you’d have to return the charger to China, and I could not find the warranty’s terms and conditions.

Selecting a Micro USB Cable to Power Development Boards or Charge Phones

April 27th, 2017 13 comments

Yesterday one person contacted me on Facebook asking me whether there was any chance of me doing a “which usd-micro usb cable is best”, as there’s not much clear information on the Internet. His purpose was to charge his phone, but many development boards come with a micro USB port, and I’ve read many comments about powering the board. It also happened to me, and the main cause can either be the power supply which does not work as rated (usually 5V/2A), or the micro USB cable which may have a resistance a little to high leading to voltage drops. You’ll know you may have a power problem when the board refuses to boot, and usually boot loop, or randomly reboots especially under high load. The first solution is to get a power supply that provide the right voltage and amperage, and you can test that with USB Charger doctor an ultra cheap tool that will show both the voltage and intensity on an LCD display, although it will only work on chargers with a USB port.

But what about the micro USB cable? Let’s consider the actual problem, which is well explained in a post about USB cable resistance, but I’ll summarize below. First all conductor have some tiny resistance, and usually the thicker the cable the less resistance there is. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) value is often used to describe the thickness of the cable, with numbers from 0 to 40 ranging from the larger diameter/smaller resistance/higher capacity to the smaller diameter/larger resistance/lower capacity. For USB cable, AWG20 to AWG28 are often used for USB cables, and the latter seems to be very common for  data wires, but what matters here is the AWG value for the power wires (5V/GND) of the cable. The resistance also depends on the length of the cable with longer cables having a longer resistance, as well as the USB contact resistance, but I’m not sure we can do much about that one. Anyway, that means a short cable with a lower AWG value would be better suited here, as shown in the table below from the aforelinked post using 5V/1A and 5V/1A loads. This table assumes 30 mOhms contact resistance, so the values would be lower if there’s a lower resistance.

Boards can normally work in a range around 5V. For the sake of argument, let’s assume a board taking 4.5V to 5.5V DC input. and would reboot if the voltage drops below 4.5V. If you have a 5V power supply use with a non-optimal AWG rating and length, the voltage will drop more than 0.5V (red zone above) and the board will not work properly. 5V/1A (5W) is a very common on development boards, while getting to 10Watts is possible for you’d need a high load plus possible some USB storage device to reach the power level.

Based on those results, what we want is an AWG20 cable (ideally) with a length of less than one meter, and the shorter the better. So I’ve been looking for such cables on the web and found a bunch. I did not test any, but they may be good candidates to look at:

There are many others, just search for AWG20 micro USB cable, or in some cases micro USB charging cables, and you should find decent cables that should not cause power or charging troubles. The last cable in the list above (eBay) was tested with a Charger Doctor dongle showing 4.95V/3.47A going through the cable (1.8 meter length). The voltage value should be lower when measured at the DIY charging board due the internal resistance of the cable, but it still shows the cable allows around 3 to 4 amps.