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Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

Gateworks Introduces an Embedded Android LCD Touchscreen Development Kit

September 3rd, 2015 No comments

Gateworks has launched a rugged touchscreen LCD devkit featuring one of their Freescale i.MX6 based Ventana SBC, namely Ventana GW5224, that is similar to Ventana GW5220, but with a quad core Freescale i.MX 6Quad instead of the i.MX 6Dual found in the latter.

Gateworks_Industrial_Android_Tablet
GW11036 Embedded Android Development Kit features and specifications:

  • GW5224 single board computer
    • SoC- Freescale i.MX6 Quad with 4x Cortex A9 core @ 1GHz and Vivante GPU (automotive grade: -40 to +125C)
    • System Memory – 1GB DDR3-800 SDRAM
    • Storage – 2GB Flash, micro SD slot, serial configuration EEPROM
    • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45)
    • Video Output and Input – HDMI 1.4 out,  LVDS output,  3x analog composite video inputs
    • Audio – HDMI, analog stereo Line In/Out
    • Expansion – 2x Mini PCIe sockets including one with PCIe signalling
    • Other I/O ports:
      • Serial – 2x RS232, CAN Bus 2.0B @ 1 Mbps
      • Master/slave SPI, GPIO
      • USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG port up to 480 Mbps
    • Misc – RTC with battery,  voltage & temperature monitor; 6-axis accelerometer/magnetometer, watchdog timer,  etc…
    • Power Supply – 8 to 60V DC via a power barrel or 36 to 60V DC via 802.3af PoE
    • Typical power consumption – 2W Watts @ 25 C (0.08A @ 24VDC)
  • Display Panel – 7″ TFT-LCD LVDS panel (1024×600) with LED backlight and PCAP touchscreen; black anodized bezel
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS radio (GW17022 module), GPS receiver ( Wi2Wi W2SG0008i)
  • Dimensions – 184x127x37.5 mm
  • Weight – 400 grams
  • Operating Temperature – SBC: -40 to +85 C; LCD Panel: -20 to +70 C; Radio: 0 to 60 C

Beside GW5224 single computer and the touch enabled LCD panel, the kit also comes with GW17022 wireless module, a 8GB class 10 micro SD card pre-loaded with Android 4.4.3, a GPS magnetic mount antenna, a 24V/1A power supply, as well as all required cables and mounting hardware.

Gateworks_Industrial_TabletYou can find some documentation about Android for the kit and Ventana boards in general on Gateworks Wiki.

The rugged LCD panel kit appears to be available now, but price is only given upon request. Further information may be found on Gateworks GW11036 Embedded Android Development Kit page.

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LG Rolly is a Bluetooth Keyboard that Folds into a Stick

August 31st, 2015 4 comments

There are already some flexible Bluetooth keyboards that you can roll into your bag or pocket after being done typing on your smartphone or tablet, but LG is about to launch Rolly Keyboard, a solid Bluetooth keyboard for mobile device that can be rolled into a stick, which should may be sturdier than flexible keyboards, and it can also hold a smartphone or tablet in upright position with a display of up to 10″ in size.

LG_Rolly_Keyboard

LG’ latest keyboard (model KBB-700) is comprised of 17mm keys – a standard keyboard comes with 18mm keys – arranged into four rows, that can be folded into a stick as shown above. The company also claims the keyboard offers “satisfying tactile feedback not found on flexible silicone keyboards”.

The keyboard is powered by two AAA batteries supposed to last about 3 months during typical use, and pairing over Bluetooth 3.0 occurs automatically to up to two devices as you unfold the keyboard. If the keyboard is paired to two devices, you can switch between them by pressing a key.

The Rolly Keyboard will be unveiled at IFA 2015, and start selling in September in the United States, and soon followed by “key markets” in Europe, Latin America and Asia in Q4 2015. LG did not disclosed pricing nor availability.

Via Connectedly

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Allwinner R58 Octa-core Processor Targets 2-in-1 Android Laptops

June 5th, 2015 3 comments

Allwinner R-series processor family, such as Allwinner R8, is supposed to target “IoT applications”, but IoT must have recently taken a whole new meaning as the latest Allwinner R58 octa-core processor targets 2-in-1 laptops running Android. Allwinner website however lists R58 as an high-end IoT platform for virtual reality and robotics.
Allwinner_R58_Block_DiagramAllwinner R58 specifications:

  • CPU – Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU up to 2.0 GHz
  • GPU – PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ 600 MHz with support for OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9_3
  • Memory
    • 32-bit DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR3/LPDDR2
    • SLC/MLC/TLC/EF NAND with 64-bit ECC
    • eMMC V4.5
  • Video
    • 1080p@60fps video playback
    • multi-format video playback, including H.264, MPEG1/2, MPEG4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263 including Sorenson Spark, WMV9/VC-1, JPEG/MJPEG, etc
    • H.264 1080p@60fps or 720p@120fps video capture
  • Display
    • LVDS up to 1366×768@60fps or RGB LCD up to 2048×1536@60fps
    • 4-lane MIPI DSI up to 1920×1200@60fps
    • HDMI up to 1080p@60fps, HDCP V1.2 supported
    • Dual display supported with LCD up to 720p@60fps and HDMI up to 720p@60fps
  • Camera
    • 5MP parallel CMOS sensor
    • 8MP MIPI CSI controller
    • 8MP ISP
  • Peripherals
    • USB Host, USB Dual-Role (host/device), HSIC
    • Ethernet MAC
    • 2x SPI, 4x TWI, 6x UART, RSB
    • 3x SD/MMC
    • 2x I2S/PCM
    • CIR, LRADC
  • Package – FCBGA 345; 14mm x 14mm size

Eva Wu, Allwinner marketing manager, explains that Allwinner R58 is similar to Allwinner A83T, which I tested in a Foxconn tablet, but alledgedly with higher frequencies for the CPU and GPU. However, Allwinner A83T was also clocked at 2.0GHz in the tablet I tested. Go figure… Anyway, you should not expect amazing performance from that processor (Antutu probably around 30,000), but it should still be usable.

The operating system appears to be a customized version of Android called “Double OS”, and optimized for work to make it “perfectly compatible with office” and with some “adaptation of the keyboard and mouse”. Further improvements are also scheduled for Q3 2015 such as multi-window and Google Work support. A 64-bit version of the processor, (Allwinner R88) will be launched on Q4 2015 supporting either Double OS 3.0 or Windows 10.

Charbax is a Computex 2015, and he filmed the Android laptop in action, and got a few more details about the solution.

Via armdevices.net

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Teclast X70 Might be the First Low Cost 3G Tablet with an Intel Atom x3 Processor

May 15th, 2015 8 comments

Intel announced three Atom x3 processors combining x86 cores with ARM Mali GPU a couple of months ago, and Intel Atom x3-C3130, the lower end processor with two x86 cores up to 1.0 GHz, an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU and a 2G/3G modem, can already be found in Teclast X70 7″ Android tablet selling for just $70 on Tinydeals, Tinydeal, and probably others Chinese online retailers.

Teclast_X70Teclast X70 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x3-C3130 dual x86 core processor @ up to 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 533 MHz
  • System Memory – 512MB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Display – 7″ touchscreen (5-point) with 1024×600 resolution
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Cellular Connectivity – Built-in 3G modem (WCDMA 2100MHz l 2G: 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz); two standard SIM slots
  • Camera – 2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – Stereo speakers, built-in microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Sensors – Gravity sensor
  • Misc- Volume and power buttons, vibrating motor
  • Battery – 3,000 mAh Li-Ion
  • Dimensions – 187 x 113 x 9 mm
  • Weight – 266 grams

The tablet runs Android 4.4, and should come with a micro USB cable, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a user’s manual. Companies also promote it as a phablet, as the 2G/3G modem is not only for data, and you can make phone calls. Memory is tight, and screen resolution very low, but at least it’s very cheap.

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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AMD to Launch ARM Cortex A57 “Amur” Mobile SoCs in 2015, ARM “K12” Mobile SoCs in 2016

May 1st, 2015 10 comments

AMD started using ARM Cortex A5 to add TrustZone security to their x86 processor, they followed with their ARM based Opteron A1100 processor for server last year, recently they announced Hierofalcon embedded processors powered by up to eight Cortex A57 processor, and starting this year and beyond, the company will launch “ultra-low power’ mobile SoCs  using ARM cores, at least according to a leaked roadmap.

AMD Roadmap 2015 - 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

AMD Roadmap 2015 – 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

Two ARM families are planned:

  • “Amur” APU planned for 2015 with:
    • Up to 4 ARM Cortex A57 cores
    • GCN Graphics Compute Units
    • AMD Secure Processor (Trustzone?)
    • ~2W TDP
    • 20nm process, FT4 BGA package
  • “Styx” APU planned for 2016 with:
    • Up to two “K12” CPU cores. These should be high performance custom-designed ARM cores.
    • Next-gen GCN Graphics Compute Units
    • Full HSA 1.0 support (Heterogeneous System Architecture)
    • AMD Secure Processor
    • ~2W TDP
    • 14 nm process, FT4 BGA package

With this kind of thermal dissipation, AMD Android and Windows tablets are the likely candidates for such chips, as well as certainly low power mini PCs and HDMI sticks.

Via Liliputing and CPU World

PS: I will be on the road for some time, so I’ll post a bit less often, maybe 4 to 5 posts a week, and as usual tips / post ideas will be very welcome.

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Cube i7-CM is an Ubuntu Tablet Powered by Intel Core M-5Y10 Processor

April 4th, 2015 7 comments

Alldocube is a Chinese company known for its Cube Android tablets, and more recently, it has launched some Windows 8.1 tablets. The company has now announced its first Ubuntu tablet with Cube i7-CM featuring a recent low power Broadwell-Y Core M-5Y10 processor.

Cube_i7_CMCube i7-CM tablet specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Core M-5Y10 dual core / four threads processor @ 800 MHz (Burst freq: 2.0 GHz) with 4MB cache, and Intel HD graphics 5300 (4.5W TDP)
  • System Memory – 4GB RAM
  • Storage – 64GB eMMC + micro SD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Display – 11.6″ capacitive touchscreen; resolution: 1920×1080; 10-point touch.
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, dual speaker, microphone, and HDMI
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Cellular (Data only, single SIM card slot)
    • 4G – FDD-LTE Band 1/3/7 & TDD-LTE 38/39/40/41
    • 3G – WCDMA:900/2100MHz
    • 2G – GSM:850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • Camera – 5MP Rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera
  • USB – micro USB OTG 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power, Vol +/- and home button
  • Battery – 5,000 mAh battery (not removable)
  • Dimensions – 299 x 180 x 9.5mm
  • Weight – 840 grams

The tablet is sold with a charger and a USB cable, but an optional Bluetooth keyboard can be purchased separately to transform it into an Ubuntu laptop. It’s not quite sure which version of Ubuntu is pre-installed, either the Chinese version (Kylin) as shown above, or the standard one as shown below.

Ubuntu_Laptop_Core-MCore M-5Y10 is a relatively new processor, and although it’s quite faster than other low power Intel Celeron / Pentium processor, it’s also significantly more expensive. Liliputing recently reviewed a Core-M laptop, and compared performance to other Intel machines, with in some cases results not much better than Pentium N3530 Bay Trail-M processor, but others matching, or even outperforming Core-i3-4012y performance.

Core-M-5Y10_Benchmark

Alldocube will sell 100 pieces of the Ubuntu tablet for $399 on Aliexpress starting on April 5, after which the price is likely to move up to its current $532, and $620 with the Bluetooth keyboard / dock. Please note that the 64GB version is running Ubuntu, while the 128GB version is allegedly running an unlicensed version of Windows 8.1.

Via Liliputing and GizChina

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WordPress Mobile Caching with Zencache PRO Cache Plugin

March 28th, 2015 5 comments

This post has nothing to do with embedded systems, but I’ll document some of the changes I made to the website in the last few days for better mobile support. Recently Google sent me a message recommending to “Fix mobile usability issues found on http://www.cnx-software.com” via Webmaster Tools, and a user recently complained about readability from his smartphone.  So I had to fix this issue.

Desktop vs Mobile (Click to Enlarge)

Desktop vs Mobile (Click to Enlarge)

This involves WordPress cache plugins and WPtouch Mobile Plugin, the latter automatically generates a mobile version of the website as shown on the right in the screenshot above. In theory, it’s very easy, you simply install WPtouch Mobile plugin, and mobile user agents get served the mobile page while other get the desktop version. But when you mix it with a cache plugin, it can become more complicated, and desktop user may be served mobile pages, and mobile user may get desktop pages. The easiest way to work around this is have a list of mobile user agents that the cache plugin simply ignores, but the downside is that mobile pages are not cached, and add load on your server.

In the past, I’ve tried different cache plugins including W3 Total Cache, Super Cache, but I’ve found they would not always work as expect, so last year I finally settled on Quick Cache Lite (Now Zencache Lite) which I’ve found to work reasonably well. The only problem is that the free version does not have a user-agent  exclusion list, which is why so far I did not enable WPtouch Mobile on CNX Software. W3 Total Cache supports this for free, but  since I know changing cache plugin can be a real pain, I decided to upgrade to Zencache PRO for $39, as I figured out that overtime it should probably pay for itself.

CLick to Enlarge

User-Agent Exclusion Patterns in ZenCache PRO

So I copied a list of mobile user agents into the exclusion patterns options of the PRO version, and it worked fine, but that meant that mobile devices did not get served cached file, and the server had to generate the files from PHP/Mysql. Then I found another option called “Dynamic Version Salt” that allowed to generate a different version of the cache based on some PHP code or cookies.

Click to Enlarge

Dynamic Version Salt in ZenCache PRO (Click to Enlarge)

There’s even a code sample to generate cache for iPhone user agent:

((preg_match('/iPhone/i', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) ? 'iPhones' : '')

ZenCache will store cached files into WP_HOME/wp-content/cache/zencache/cache/http/domain.com/YYYY/MM/DD/ directories with the default URL, let’s say for example hello_world.html. Version Salt will allow to detect a mobile user agent, and if would will create a new file called iPhones.html into hello_world.html.v directory.

The example is fine, but we need to support multiple user agents. After some research, I found the fucntion to use was preg_match_all, and the code to paste into the field above is:

((preg_match_all('#\b(iPhone|iPod|Android|BB10|BlackBerry|webOS|IEMobile|iPad|PlayBook|Xoom|P160U|SCH-I800|Nexus 7|Touch )\b#i', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], $matches)) ? 'mobile' : '')

WPTouch list also includes MSIE 10.0, but after playing with User Agent switcher in Firefox and Chrome, I noticed this was also used by Internet Explorer 10 in Windows, so I removed it from the list above.

So far it seems to work pretty well, however the “Mobile | Desktop” option of WPtouch will not work, as mobile devices will also be served the mobile cache, and mobile users need to select the option “Request Desktop Site” or equivalent in their browser if they want to see the desktop version.

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Firefox OS Ported to MIPS Based Tablet (Ingenic JZ4780)

March 24th, 2015 1 comment

Imagination has announced that an experimental version of Firefox OS has been ported to a reference tablet powered by Ingenic JZ4780, a MIPS based processor, that’s also used in MIPS Creator CI20 development board, and that the company organized a raffle to send 15 of these tablets for people to try or develop on.

Firefox_OS_MIPS_TabletThe tablet is said to cost less than $100, runs either Firefox OS or Android 4.4 KitKat, and comes with the following specifications:

  • SoC – Ingenic JZ4780 dual core MIPS32 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Imagination PowerVR SGX540 GPU. 32kI + 32kD per core, 512K shared L2.
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – N/A
  • Display – 9.7” screen; 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port
  • Audio – Headphone jack, stereo speakers, microphone
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x Micro USB port
  • Camera –  Front and rear cameras
  • Misc – Sleep/wake, back, and volume buttons
  • Power – 5V
  • Battery – Unknown capacity
  • Dimensions – N/A

I could not find Ingenic JZ4780 based tablets on Aliexpress, Alibaba, or anywhere on the web, so this model is just a reference design, possibly to be sold in a few weeks or months. Firefox OS source code for the tablet and CI20 development board should soon be available on GitHub.

The build is still experimental, and they still have some work to do as the tablet still feels quite sluggish as you can see from the demo below. YouTube appears to be working just fine though thanks to the H.264/VP8 video decoder (up to 1080p30) inside the MIPS processor.

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