Archive

Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

Vivante Unveils Details About GC7000 Series GPU IP Family

April 19th, 2014 4 comments

Earlier this month, Vivante Corporation has announced several silicon partner integrations (but no names given) of its GC7000 Series GPU IP into SoCs targeting wearables, mobile, automotive, and 4K TV products, and provided some more details about its GC7000 family which supports features such as OpenGL ES 3.1 API, and hardware TS/GS/CS (tessellation / geometry / compute shader) extensions for Android.

Vivante_GC7000_Architecture

According to the company, they key benefits of their GC7000 GPU IP can be summarized as follows:

  • True GPU Scalability – GC7000 Series products support limited silicon area to match form factor and market requirements. Products can snap to grid starting at 3.0 mm2 (28 nm) for the smallest single GPU GC7000 instance and grow in simple modular fashion for high end implementations to achieve what the company’s claims to be the the industry’s best PPA (power/performance/area).
  • Smallest Licensable OpenGL ES 3.1 Cores with Geometry, Tessellation, and Compute Shaders - Die area of the GC7000 is reduced by 20% over previous generation mass market cores and includes the new evolution of OpenGL ES 3.1 and DirectX 11 shader/GPU technologies and upcoming mobile platform requirements, including support for hardware TS/GS shading extensions for Android OS.
  • Faster Graphics Performance - Better real time utilization of shaders speeds up rendering performance, quality and effects to effectively scale up for 4K gaming content at 60 FPS.
  • Cooler Cores – GPU thermals and system power are reduced 30% and bandwidth is reduced by 50% through bandwidth modulation using Vivante frame buffer (vFB) and pixel compression, Khronos ASTC, geometry/tessellation shader rendering, and Android optimized intelligent composition (Regionizer).
  • Configurable Shader Core Implementations – Cores range from highly silicon optimized eight shader solutions to performance optimized multi-GPU/multi-shader solutions, all with hardware support for security (secure GPU) and OS virtualization.
  • Hardware and Software Integration Simplified – The single unified software stack supports all Vivante GPU cores and existing software platforms to create a seamless transition to the latest technologies. GC7000 hardware is even more modular to allow faster integration with easier place-and-route design and reduced wire congestion.
  • System Friendly Architecture – GC7000 is designed for hybrid and heterogeneous computing systems supporting OpenCL and HSA using AMBA ACE-Lite (CPU – GPU cache coherency) and the vStream interface. Other additions include a pixel compression fabric that allows GC7000 to create a streamlined pixel processing pipeline across the ISP, CPU, DSP, memory, and display processor.

GC7000 Series GPU cores come packaged with a single driver software stack that supports board support packages (BSP) running Android KitKat, Chrome OS, Linux, QNX, Tizen and Windows operating systems. They will also support Unreal Engine 4, Unity 4 and the upcoming Unity 5 SDKs

Vivante_GC7000_FamilyThere are currently 6 GPUS available from the GC7000 series with GC7000 UltraLite, GC7000 Lite, GC7000, GC7200, GC7400, and GC7600 with 8 to 256 Vega Shader Cores clocked up to 1GHz, and all supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenGL 2.x desktop, and OpenCL 1.2. Performance will range from 32 to 1024 GFLOPS with medium precision operation, 16 to 512 GFLOPS for higher precision operations, and GC7000 GPUs will be able to deliver up to 25.6 GTextel/s and up to 16 Gvertex/s.

AndroidPC.es also reports GC7000 GPU performance, I’d assume GC7600 performance, should be 40% higher than Nvidia Tegra K1 “Kepler” GPU and 122% higher than Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPU GX6650 “Rogue 2.0″.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 & 810 ARM Cortex A57/A53 SoCs

April 8th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 410, then Snapdragon 610 & 615, all three 64-bit SoCs featuring an ARM Cortex A53 targeting mid-range smartphones and tablets. Anandtech has reported that the company will launch their first 64-bit ARM SoCs for high-end devices in 2015. Snapdragon 808 and 810 will respectively feature 6 and 8 cores using 2 or 4 high performance Cortex A57 cores, and 4 low power Cortex A53 cores in big.LITTLE configuration.

Snapdragon_810

Both processor shares the same 9×35 core, LTE Category 6/7 integrated modem, an eMMC 5.0 interface, and be manufactured using 20nm process. Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) will also come with an Adreno 430 GPU, support H.265 harware encode and decode, feature a dual 32-bit LPDDR4-1600 memory interface, and a 14-bit dual ISP camera interface. Snapdragon 808 (MSM8992) will have an Adreno 418 GPU, support H.265 hardware decode, feature a dual 32-bit LPDDR3-933 memory interface, and a 12-bit dual ISP camera interface.

Snapdragon 808 and 810 are expected to ship in devices in H1 2015.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Mele Cast S1 EZCast / Miracast / DLNA / Airplay Dongle Review

March 23rd, 2014 4 comments

EZCast is a Wi-Fi display protocol that allows you to display local and online media and office files from your Android/iOS smartphone or Mac/WIndows computer onto your TV. It requires an app and an hardware EZCast dongle to connect to your HDMI enabled TV. I’ve already reviewed two EZcast dongles: Tronmart T1000, and WiDiCast EC-E2.  Mele sent me their own version, Mele Cast S1, together with Mele X1000 Blu-ray Navigation Android TV box, which I’ll review another day. Today, I’ll go through Mele Cast S1 specs, show some pictures including a comparison with T1000, and try it with an Android smartphone.

Mele Cast S1 Specifications

Unsurprisingly the hardware specs are the same of the other EZCast dongles, and the only thing that changes is the enclosure.

  • SoC – Action Semi AM8251 @ 600MHz (MIPS)
  • System memory – 128 MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 128 MB NAND Flash
  • Video output – HDMI
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Standards – Miracast, Airplay, DLNA, and EZCast
  • Video container formats – avi, .divx, .mkv, .ts, .dat, .vob, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .mp4, .rm, .rmvb, .wmv,
  • Audio formats / codecs – MP1/MP2,/MP3, WMA, OGG, ADPCM-WAV, PCM-WAV, AAC    etc
  • USB – micro USB port for power
  • Power – 5V/0.5A
  • Dimensions –  86.5 x 31 x 8.5 mm
  • Weight – 19.5
  • Weight – About 20 grams

The device runs Linux. EZCast mode is supported with Android 4.0 or above, iPhones with iOS 6.0 or greater, Windows XP/7/8, and Mac OS 10.7 or greater. EZMirror (Miracast) is supported with Android 4.2.x devices with Wi-Fi direct support.

Mele Cast S1 Unboxing

Mele package is a little fancier than other products, and list specs and features in several languages (English, Gernman, Italian, French, Spanish, and Russian).

MeLE Cast S1 Package (Click to Enlarge)

MeLE Cast S1 Package (Click to Enlarge)

The box contains the dongle which features the usual HDMI and micro USB ports, a micro USB to USB cable, a short HDMI cable, and a user’s manual in English to show how to use EZCast with different systems (Android, Computer, iPhone…). You can watch the unboxing video if you please.

MeLE Cast S1 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

MeLE Cast S1 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

The picture below shows WiDiCast EC-E2, Mele Cast S1 and Tronsmart T1000. The first two integrate the Wi-Fi module in their body, with WiDiCast having an external antenna, but Tronsmart T1000 Wi-Fi module is separate and must be connected via micro USB and Y USB cable that also provides power the the device.

MeLE_Cast_S1_Tronsmart_T1000_WiDiCast

WiDiCast vs Mele Cast S1 vs Tronsmart T1000

Some people claim the external Wi-Fi dongle is an advantage because it provided better Wi-Fi connectivity, but my previous tests showed, at least in my environment, that it did not really matter. T1000 Wi-Fi / USB cable is also proprietary, so in case you lose it, you’d have to buy one online again. It’s just $5, but you’d still have to wait a few weeks before getting it. I personally find Mele Cast S1 is the best looking of the lot, and the thinnest, but since this is a tiny thing you just connect behind the TV, or place on the TV furniture, this may not be that important for most people.

Mele Cast S1 Review with Android

I’ve tested WiDicast with ThL W200, a smartphone powered by Mediatek MT6589T running Android 4.2.1, in EZCast,  EZMirror (Miracast) and DLNA mode. EZCast worked pretty well, but DLNA and Mircast was a frustrating and painful experience. I’ve my previsous EZCast reviews I’ve changed TV, so the dongle is at a slightly different location, and EZCast firmware and Android app have been updated so it’s difficult to say if it is related to the hardware, and simply firmware and/or software has become less stable.

All HDMI ports on my TV are used, so I connected the device via an HDMI switcher, placed it in front of my TV, and connected the micro USB to USB cabled to my TV’s USB port for power. I used EZCast app from Google Play (15 March version), and configured the dongle to connect to my Wi-Fi router to complete the setup.

In EZCast mode, I could show my local files including photos, document (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc…), music without problem. The camera app worked, but as usual, it was very sluggish. I could play YouTube videos without problem with Web pages and Cloud Video menus. All good.

EZMirror (Miracast), however, is a disaster, except to display pictures, or use mostly static apps. I ran Candy Crush, a games that should not requires too much screen refresh, but the dongle could not handle it, and sometimes I lost connection. In EZCast mode, the music menu is pretty much useless, because you can select individual songs, and there’s no way to select playlist, or  add songs to a queue. So I tried to play music via Miracast, and I had frequent audio cuts even at 2 meters from the device. With other EZCast devices, I could go outside my room (5 to 6 meters + walls), but in this case, all audio would completely stop.

This time I’ve also tested DLNA by using Skifta to play the music files inside my phone. This has the advantage of letting me start playlist, and the range is pretty good when it works… In DLNA mode, you’d better not play with volume control apparently, as Mele Cast S1 hung three times, requiring a reboot.

Conclusion

Mele Cast S1 works OK in EZCast mode with Android, and my experience was similar to other EZCast dongles. However, I’m sad to say Miracast is basically unusable, and DLNA very unstable. I have not tried the device with Windows, but I fully expect the performance to be poor, just like it did with T1000.

Mele Cast S1 can be purchased for as low as $38 on Aliexpress or GeekBuying. That’s about the same price as WiDicast, but a little more than Tronsmart T1000 which you can get for $28 including shipping. Another hardware option would be the ChromeCast that now supports EZCast, at least partially.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

USB2Go ARM Cortex M3 Development Board for Android Smartphones (Crowdfunding)

March 21st, 2014 No comments

Many MCU based development boards such as Arduino or mbed platform connect to a computer via USB for power and programming, at least during the development stage. USB2Go, however, is designed with a micro USB port to connect directly to your Android smartphone, although it can also be used for standalone project, and an Arduino compatible baseboard is also available. This board powered by an STM32 ARM Cortex M3 MCU is however mainly destined to interface hardware such as LED, servos, sensors to your smartphone via micro USB providing both power and a communication channel with your Android device.

USB2Go

USB2Go hardware specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 72 MHz with 128 KB Flash, 64 KB SRAM
  • USB – Micro USB for power and programming
  • Headers – 2x 12 pin headers giving access to GPIO, ADC, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI…
  • Debugging I/F – JTAG 20-pin to SWD
  • Misc – Programmable LED, Reset button
  • Power – 5V/500mA (micro USB)
  • Dimensions – About the size of Arduino Mini

USB2Go_Coin

Graphical App Builder

Graphical App Builder

You can program the board just like any Android app via Android Studio or Eclipse and using USB2Go API to control the different I/Os. You can also program the ARM MCU using Keil uVision which can be used for free for up to 32kB program size, but IAR, CooCox and other development tools can also be used. If you are not into programming, but would like to play around with this board anyway, the developers have designed a graphical application building tool where you can just drag and drop controls to generate you own app.

Different boards are available as part of USB2Go:

  • USB2Go Mini – Connects directly to your phone (Pictured above), or can be used as a standard device.
  • USB2Go Female – Connects to the phone with adapter or can be used as a standalone device.
  • USB2Go Adapter – Adapter for USB2Go female.
  • Arduino 2Go – Arduino extension board.
  • Relay 2Go – Relay extension for USB2Go.
  • RGB LED 2Go – Adds RGB flashlight to smartphone.
  • JTAG 2Go – Extension for ARM MCU debugging via JTAG/SWD connector

I understand the full project (software and hardware) will be open sourced.

8Innovations, the company behind the project, has now completed development of the boards, and is looking for funds for mass production via Kickstarter. A $29 pledge (early bird) will get you a USB2Go Mini board, and $99 will get you all the boards mentioned above. Shipping is included to the US, and you’ll need to add $10 for anywhere else. Although development is said to be complete, the boards are expected to ship in October 2014, as they planned a massive 6 months for components procurement, mass production, and shipping.

Beside the Kickstarter campaign, you may also find more details on usb2go.org.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Xiaomi Unveils $130 Redmi Note Octa-core Android Smartphone

March 20th, 2014 10 comments

Xiaomi Redmi Note is an Android smartphone boasting a 5.5″ display, Mediatek MT6592 Octa-core clocked at 1.4 or 1.7 GHz, 1 to 2 GB RAM, and 8 GB Flash that is now available for pre-order in China for just 799 CNY or 999 CNY (~$130 and ~$160) depending on the versions.  The only differences between the two versions are Mediatek CPU frequency (1.4 vs 1.7 GHz), and the RAM capacity (1 vs 2 GB). Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer, but they’ve recently started to sell phone overseas, so a similar phone may be soon available in more countries.
Xiaomi_Redmi

Let’s check out the complete specifications:

  • SoC- Mediatek MT6592 octa-core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.4 or 1.7 GHz with ARM Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB NAND Flash + micro SD card up to 32GB
  • Display – 5.5″ IPS display with 1280×720 resolution
  • Cellular – 2G: GSM, 3G: TD-SCDMA. Dual SIM support with TD-SCDMA on one slot and GSM on the other.
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Camera – 13MP rear camera with flash, 5MP front-facing camera
  • Battery – 3200 mAh

The phone runs MIUI v5 on top of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. If you live outside China, you would not be able to use 3G with TD-SCDMA, but Fone Arena reports a WCDMA (UMTS) version for international market is in the work. Needless to say with these specs, the price is rather aggressive, and hopefully the WCDMA version will soon be available on Chinese e-retailers for $150 / $180 soon.

If you happen to live in China, you can pre-order on Qzone, and shipping and retail availability is scheduled for March 26. More details are available on Xiaomi’s Redmi Note page.

Via Liliputing

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Huawei Kirin 920 Octa-core big.LITTLE ARM SoC Benchmarked

March 11th, 2014 2 comments

Huawei / Hisilicon Kirin 920 application processor has yet to be formally announced, but in the last few days, more details have surfaced. Huawei SoC will feature an octa-core processor with four ARM Cortex A7 and four Cortex A15 cores in big.LITTLE configuration, together with a Mali-628MP4 GPU and a 4G LTE modem. There’s also Kirin 910 with 4 cores @ 1.6 to 1.8 GHz and Mali-450MP5 GPU.

Kirin920The big.LITTLE processor will support DDR3 memory up to 800 MHz, cameras up to 32MP, screens up to WQXGA resolution (2560×1600), and be manufactured using 28nm process technology. According to AndroidPC.es it should be found in Huawei Ascend D3 smartphone to be released this September.

A device called HUAWEI H300 has shown up in Antutu showing a score 37,363 with Kirin 920 SoC, just a few points shy of the score for hardware powered by Snapdragon 805 (37,780) with four Krait 450 cores running at 2.5 GHz and Adreno 420 GPU. The hardware powered by Kirin 920 features a 1920×1080 display, a 13MP and 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16 GB Flash, and runs Android 4.4.2. The CPU clock frequency is reported to be 1305 MHz.
Kirin_920_Antutu
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

BroadLink SP2 Wi-Fi Smart Socket for iOS and Android Adds Support for Energy Monitoring, Motion Sensing

March 4th, 2014 1 comment

Broadlink SP1, a low cost Wi-Fi smart socket released last year,  allows you to control your electric appliance with your mobile device running iOS or Android. You could turn it on or off, set timers, and so on. An updated model is now available, Broadlink SP2, that adds energy monitoring to the features found in the previous model, to track your historic and live power consumption on your smartphone or tablet, as well as a motion sensor to automatically turn off the lights, for instance, if you are away (Auto Home / Auto Away feature).

Broadlink SP2 and Energy Monitoring

Broadlink SP2 and Energy Monitoring

The hardware specifications are very similar to SP1 except it’s using a case made of polycarbonate plastic instead of ABS, and the device is a bit bigger:

  • Material – PC
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n
  • Power Plug – Three flat-pin plug (Australia type)
  • Voltage – 100~265V @ 50-60 Hz
  • Output Current – 10A
  • Output Power – 2300W max.
  • Dimensions – 12.3 cm x 7 cm x 6.5 cm
  • Durability – > 50,000 On/Off
  • Temperature Range – -10 C to 60 C

The smart socket comes with a user’s manual in English. Just like with SP1, you’ll need a plug adapter or a universal power strip to use the plug, if you don’t live in Australia, China, Argentina, New Zealand, and the few other countries using this type of plug.

The  “Broadlink” app is apparently the same as for SP1 for iOS 5+ and Android 2.2+ and support English as well as simplified and traditional Chinese. The company SP2 page is not very clear, and there are also other iOS and Android apps, but they must be for other products.

You can purchase Broadlink SP2 on DealExtreme for $45.24, but it should eventually be closer to $36, as it’s available for 179 CNY (About $29) on Taobao excluding shipping. For reference, Broadlink SP1 sells for $35 on dx.com.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter