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Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

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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Mediatek MT8173 is a big.LITTLE Cortex A72 / A53 Quad Core Processor for Tablets

March 2nd, 2015 1 comment

Mediatek MT8173 first showed up in the Linux kernel as a quad core Cortex A57 / A53 processor, but now that Mediatek has officially announced the processor, it turns out the Cortex A57 cores are actually the new Cortex A72 cores, with a similar architecture, but more powerful, about 1.8 times faster.

Mediatek_MT8173Key features listed by the company:

  • Processor – Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz featuring ARM Cortex-A72 and ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit CPU. Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • GPU – Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL. Performance:  350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s.
  • Display Support
    • WQXGA display (2560×1600) up to 60 Hz with TV-grade picture quality enhancement. Up to 120 Hz mobile display for other resolutions.
    • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • Video – Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • Camera – 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects
  • Security hardware accelerator – Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP;  HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

Tablets based on MT8173 processor should hit the shelves in H2 2015. MT8173 is being showcased at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21.

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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 618 and 620 ARM Cortex A72 / A53 Processors

February 20th, 2015 4 comments

Qualcomm has announced four new processors including Snapdragon 415 and 425 octa-core Cortex A53 processor, as well a Snapdragon 618 and 620 big.LITTLE processor with the latest Cortex A72 cores coupled with four Cortex A53 little cores.

Qualcomm_ARM_Cortex_A72Snapdragon 618 is the hexa-core version with 2 Cortex A72 cores, while Snapdragon 620 comes with eight cores including 4 Cortex A72, but apart from the difference in number of cores, both share the same technical specifications:

  • CPU
    • Snapdragon 618 – 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
    • Snapdragon 620 – 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
  • GPU – Next generation Qualcomm Adreno GPU with support for the latest graphics APIs, hardware tessellation and geometry shading
  • DSP – Qualcomm Hexagon V56 DSP
  • Memory – Dual channel LPDDR3 (933MHz)
  • Modem
    • Integrated X8 LTE, with Global Mode supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSPA+, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE
    • Cat 7 speeds of up to 300 Mbps down/100 Mbps up via 2×20 MHz carrier aggregation in the downlink and uplink on LTE FDD and LTE TDD
    • Support for LTE Broadcast, LTE multimode dual SIM and VoLTE with HD Voice and SRVCC
    • RF – Qualcomm RF360 front end solution
  • Connectivity
    • USB – USB 2.0
    • Bluetooth – Bluetooth Smart 4.1
    • WiFi – Qualcomm VIVE 1-stream 802.11ac
    • GPS – Qualcomm IZat Gen8C
  • Video
    • 4K@30fps capture, 1080p@120fps capture
    • Hardware HEVC (H.265) encode and decode
  • Audio
    • Qualcomm Immersive Audio
    • Hi-Fi 192kHz/24bit music playback
    • Support for low power Snapdragon Voice Activation
  • Camera – Dual ISPs can support up to 21MP and 930MP/sec throughput
  • Display
    • Primary Quad HD 2560×1600
    • Miracast support for up to 1080p wireless display
  • Fast Charging – Quick Charge 2.0
  • Security
    • Snapdragon StudioAccess Content Protection
    • Qualcomm SafeSwitch Technology
    • Qualcomm SecureMSM hardware and software foundation

Qualcomm will soon release Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) versions of the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425 and 415 processors to OEM partners, with retail devices expected in H2 2015. You may find more details on Snapdragon 618 product page, and Snapdragon 620 product brief (PDF).

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