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Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

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

May 15th, 2015 7 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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Neptune Suite Includes a Smartphone, Tablet, and HDMI Stick Powered by a Smartwatch (Crowdfunding)

March 17th, 2015 No comments

The makers of Neptune Pine smartwatch have unsurprisingly decided to make another smartwatch which they called Neptune Hub. Why Hub? Because although this smartwatch can be used standalone, its quadcore processor can also control a smartphone, a tablet, and an HDMI stick, probably over Miracast. So they’ve taken the opposite view to other companies in the market which are using the smartphone as the brain of your smartwatch to some extends.

Neptune_Hub

Neptune Hub

Neptune Hub specifications:

  • SoC – Quad-core processor @ 1.8GHz (probably Qualcomm)
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – 64GB eMMC
  • Display – 2.4″ capacitive touchscreen (36mm width)
  • Cellular Connectivity – GSM/3G/LTE with nano SIM card slot
  • Connectivity – 802.11 Wi-Fi, 60Hz WiGig 802.11ad, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS / A-GPS
  • Audio – Microphone and speaker
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, heart rate sensor, vibration motor
  • Battery – 1,000 mAh
  • Water resistant

The watch will run Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it’s rather big, but in this case it might be an advantage, as it can hold a 1,000 mAh battery, about half of what you’d get in a smartphone, but thanks to the much smaller screen, it’s expected to last just as long. The watch can make calls, send/receive SMS, be used as a fitness tracker, and pretty much anything you could do on a smartphone.

However, there are certainly cases where you’d need a larger screen as browsing the web, watching videos, or reading e-books is not quite enjoyable on a 2.4″ screen. But Neptune got you covered with three “dumb” devices, which are probably Miracast displays.

Neptune Pocket Screen

Neptune_Pocket_ScreenIt looks like a smartphone, but it’s not quite as smart, and the processor is not even listed in the specs, but other smartphones features are there:

  • Display – 5″ capacitive touchscreen @ 1280×720
  • Camera – 8MP rear camera with LED flash, 2MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – In-ear speaker, loudspeaker, microphone
  • Connectivity – 60GHz WiGig 802.11ad
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, vibration motor
  • Battery – Rechargeable 2,800mAh battery

Without a powerful processor, the 2,800 mAh should last for a while. I was quite interested in Miracast when the first devices hit the shelves, but after trying it I was rather disappointed with image quality and lag, but WiGig should greatly improve both:

Neptune Hub uses WiGig, a revolutionary wireless protocol operating in the 60GHz frequency band, to interface with other displays and devices. WiGig provides multi-gigabit speeds of up to 7Gbps, with non-perceptible latency. This is the key technological enabler for the Neptune Suite to be realized, as previous streaming protocols simply did not have the throughput or the latency levels required to make this feasible.

Neptune Tab & Neptune Keys

Neptune_TabIf you need a tablet sized screen, Neptune Tab is what you need:

  • Display – 10″ capacitive touchscreen @ 1920×1080
  • Camera – 720p front facing camera
  • Audio – Loudspeaker, micrphone
  • Connectivity – 60GHz WiGig 802.11ad
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope
  • Battery – Rechargeable 7,000 mAh battery

Wigig again, and a sizable battery. If you need a keyboard, the tab can clip into Neptune Keys to convert the tablet into a laptop.

Neptune_Keys_Tab

Neptune Dongle & Headset

Neptune_DongleThat’s probably a pretty standard streaming dongle that connect to the HDMI port of your TV or monitor and provide a full screen experience. No specs were provided.

The Neptune Suite is completed with Neptune headset, a pair of wireless headphones, that can be use as a necklace when not in use, and which can also be used to charge up to three devices simultaneously including itself from a single power outlet.

The company launched the project on Indiegogo yesterday, and has already well passed its $100,000 funding target with close to $800,000 raised so far. Neptune Suite rewards with Hub, Pocket Screen, Tab, Keys, Dongle and Headset currently goes for $599 + shiping, is expected to retail for $899. The project appears to be quite challenging, and probably not without risk, especially since delivery is scheduled for February 2016, so it’s still early development, but at least the company has experience with its previous project.

Via Liliputing and Android Central.

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Jolla Opens Sailfish OS 2.0 for Licensing, Unveils Sailfish Secure, Plans Atom x3 Support

March 3rd, 2015 1 comment

As the Jolla Tablet running Sailfish OS 2.0 is about to ship to Kickstarter backers (Q2 2015), the company has issues a press release announcing Sailfish OS 2.0 is now ready for licensing to OEMs and other partners, and OS porting is being done to the newly announced Intel Atom x3 processors.

Jolla_Tablet
Sailfish OS 2.0 has been designed for both smartphones and tablets with the following key changes and improvements:

  • Stronger technical OS core and improved Android application compatibility
  • Support for Intel architecture, including the Intel Atom x3 processor
  • Best multitasking on the market for both smartphones and tablets
  • Improved user experience with an enhanced, even richer user interface
  • Strong privacy and personalization features
  • Many new UI/UX features, like enhanced notifications and events views, and even simpler swipe access to main functions
  • Sailfish 2.0 is designed to provide premium visibility in the UI for leading digital content providers and to enable OS level integration for mobile commerce

Interested company can join the Sailfish OS alliance described as “a movement that will unite OEM and ODM manufacturers, chipset providers, operators, application developers and retailers. The key target is to bring innovation to a stagnating market and help mobile industry players to stay on the bleeding edge of the mobile OS development.”

Jolla also issued a separate press release about Sailfish Secure open source and secure mobile phone platform. The company has partnered with SSH Communications Security to create a security-hardened European version of Sailfish OS, and independent of US based mobile operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows Phone.. You know just in case the NSA misbehaves again… The solution mostly targets governments and large corporations, and is not tied to any specific hardware.

Via Liliputing

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Intel Provides Details for Atom x3, x5 and x7 Processors

March 3rd, 2015 5 comments

Intel had already announced their plan to change Intel Atom branding to use x3/x5/x7 nomenclature in order to make it easier for consumers to navigate their product offerings, but the company has now provided much more details during their press conference at Mobile World Congress 2015.

Intel_x3_5_x7_Markets_PricingIntel Atom x3 (previously known as SoFIA) will be entry and ultra-low cost processor up with 3G or LTE connectivity found in products up to around $150, while Atom x5 and x7 (previously known as Cherry Trail) will be found in tablets between about $200 to $400, with the top performing devices going with Intel Core M processors.

Intel_x3Intel Atom x3 are very interesting because they mix Intel 64-bit cores with ARM GPUs (to keep the cost down), and parts with RK suffix are made by Rockchip. Three x3 processors are currently available:

  • Intel Atom x3-C3130 – Dual-core processor up to 1.0 GHz with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU and 2G/3G modem.
  • Intel Atom x3-C3230RK – Quad-core processor up to 1.2GHz with ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU, and 2G/3G modem. Designed/Manufactured by Rockchip.
  • Intel Atom x3-C3440 – Quad-core processor up to 1.4GHz with ARM Mali-T720 GPU, and a 5-mode LTE modem

Intel_Atom_x3_3G_LTE

Atom x3 3G SoCs can be coupled with A-Gold 620 chipsets combining 2G/3G RF, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio, GPS/GLONASS and Audio/PMU, while Atom x3 LTE SoC would interface with four chips for 4G RF (Smarti RF TRX), PMIC + Audio, 802.11ac/BT 4.1 (Intel Wireless-AC WCS8270), and GPS (Intel Wireless-GNSS WCS 2100 & WCS 2000). All three processors are manufactured with a 28nm process, again to keep costs low.

Atom x5 and x7 will however be 14-nm processor, bringing lower power consumption, but a least initially, a higher cost. These processors will feature Intel Gen8 graphics, and support next-gen LTE Cat-6 thanks to Intel XMM-726x modem, and be found in 7″ to 10″ Windows and Android tablets and 2-in-1 hybrid laptops priced between $120 to $500.

Atom_x5_x7At first it seemed like the company did not provide that much information for Atom x5 and x7 processors just yet, and that it just expected products by Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, and HP should be shipping in H1 2015. They did however provide a block diagram for Atom x5 / x7 processors which reveals more details to what can be expected including HDMI 1.4b up to 4K30,2K internal display (DSI / eDP), PCIe, USB 3.0, eMMC 4.51, but no integrated Ethernet MAC or SATA IP blocks, although these could be added via the PCIe interfaces.

Intel_Atom_x5_x7_Block_diagram

Atom x5/x7 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Furthermore, Techreport mentioned two Atom x5 processors will be available first with x5-8300 @ 1.84 GHz (up to 1080p) and Atom x5-8500 @ 2.24 GHz (up to 4K2K), as well as one Atom x7 processors: x7-8700 running at 2.4 GHz, as well as specifications:

  • CPU
    • x5-8300 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x5 up to 1.84 GHz
    • x5-8500 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x5 up to 2.24 GHz
    • x7-8700 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x7 up to 2.40 GHz
  • Graphics
    • Atom x5 – Gen8 12 EU, up to 500/600 MHz supporting  DX11.1, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.3, RS Compute
    • Atom x7 – Gen8 16 EU, up to 600 MHz supporting DX11.1, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.3, RS Compute
  • Media (encode/decode) – HEVC (decode), H.264, VP8
  • Memory
    • x5-8300 – 1×32, 1×64 DDR3L-RS 1600, 1-2GB
    • x5-8500 / x7-8700 – 2×64 LPDDR3 1600, 2-8GB
  • Storage – eMMC 4.51
  • Display resolution
    • x5-8300
      • Internal – 1920×1200 (MIPI-DSI or LVDS)
      • External: 1920×1080 (HDMI)
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700
      • Internal – 2500 x 1600 (MIPI-DSI or eDP)
      • External: 4K2K @ 30 Hz (HDMI)
  • Modem – Intel XMM 7260/62 LTE Cat-6 (up to 300Mbps DL). M.2 only for x5-8300
  • Connectivity – Intel WLAN, Intel WWAN, Intel NFC; Atom x7 also adds Intel WiGig.
  • I/O
    • x5-8300 – 6xI2C, 2xHSUART, 1xSDIO, 3xI2S, SPI, PCIe 2.0 x1, 1xI2C(ISH), 1xI2C (NFC)
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700 – 7xI2C, 2xHSUART, 1xSDIO, 3xI2S, 1xLPC, 1xSPI, PCIe 2.0 x2, 1x I2C(ISH), 1xI2C (NFC)
  • USB – 1xUSB3 OTG, 2xHSIC, 3xUSB2. x5-8500 & x7- only: 2x SSIC
  • ISP/camera (Rear & front)
    • x5-8300 – Up to 8MP with Intel RealSense Snapshot
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700 – Up to 13MP with Intel RealSense 3D camera

I could not find any TDP figures, but thermal dissipation should be around 2 to 5W since Atom x3, x5 and x7 target tablets and smartphones.

Via Anandtech

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