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Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

Lemon Pi Board is a $35 Raspberry Pi 2 Alternative Powered by Actions Semi S500 SoC (Crowdfunding)

May 20th, 2015 34 comments

I wrote about ActDuino S500 last month. It’s a development board powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, but very few details were available, and release date and pricing had not been disclosed. EmbedStudio, a Shenzhen startup, has now launched an Indiegogo campaign (flexible funding) for their Lemon Pi board based on S500 processor.

Lemon_Pi Lemon Pi specifications:

  • SoC – Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor with 512KB L2 Cache and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, OpenVG 1.0.1, and OpenCL support
  • Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM (Option: 2GB, not part of crowdfunding rewards)
  • Storage – micro SD slot. Option: Up to 64GB eMMC 4.5 flash, not part of crowdfunding rewards.
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP, 3.5mm jack for CVBS (AV), MIPI DSI
  • Audio – HDMI, AV (Line out / microphone)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45; RTL8201F)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port (OTG)
  • Camera –  MIPI CSI-2 interface
  • Expansion Header – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with I2S, PCM, 16 GPIOs, UART, SPI, and I2C.
  • Misc – On/off, reset and ADFU (Actions Device Firmware Update) keys, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/700mA via micro USB port- ACT260X PMIC and Audio codec chip
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm

Lemon_Pi_Board_BottomThe board is said to run Android 5.0 and Ubuntu 12.04 using Linux 3.10 LTS. 3D hardware acceleration is enabled in Ubuntu too. They claim the source code can be found on github, but I could not find it (yet).

A $25 pledge for “Super Early Bird reward” should get you board, with a standard pledge being $35. Shipping via Hong Kong Post (Tracking not mentioned) is $5 extra to anywhere in the world. Most boards are scheduled to ship on August 2015, but a few beta? boards will ship as early as June.

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Orange Pi Plus (Allwinner H3) Firmware Images and Linux SDK Released

May 12th, 2015 12 comments

Orange Pi Plus is a development board based on the new Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor that supports 4K video output and decoding. The boards comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SATA and more, and sells for $49 on Aliexpress. When I first covered the board in February, it was already listed on Aliexpress, but I could not find any firmware image, or source code, but this has now changed.

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Orange Pi Plus (Click to Enlarge)

There are now four firmware files:

  • Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0_.img.xz – Lubuntu 14.04 image
  • Raspbian_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0.img.xz – Raspbian for Allwinner H3
  • orangepi-plus-debian-server-card-v0.9.img.xz – A Debian server image
  • sun8iw7p1_android_orangepi-plus_uart0.rar – Android 4.4.2 image that needs to be flash with PhoenixCard in Windows (Linux tools are not working yet)

Beside the firmware images, the company also releases a Linux SDK (h3-lichee-1.0.tar.gz) with Linux 3.4 kernel source code, u-boot, and relevant tools.

I assume these should also work on Orange Pi 2, the low cost version of the board without internal flash, nor SATA, and Fast Ethernet instead of Gigabit Ethernet, which goes for $35 on Aliexpress.

Thanks to Jerome for the tip.

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MINIX NEO Z64W (Intel Atom Z3735F) mini PC gets HDMI Audio in Ubuntu

May 8th, 2015 4 comments

We’ve been able to run Ubuntu on Intel Atom Z3735F mini PCs, as well as other Linux distributions, for a while, but with an important caveat: HDMI audio would not work, so instead you had to use an external USB sound card to get any audio. Luckily the problem seems solved, as Linuxium has now released a script (audio-wifi-minix-neo-z64-release.sh) and relevant files that will  patch your system to enable HDMI audio, and WiFI on MINIX NEO Z64W running Ubuntu.

Minix_NEO_Z64_Ubuntu_HDI_AudioIan Morrison (Liuxium) compiled a Linux kernel and the Wi-Fi driver, together with a modified DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) table to fix an ACPI bug. He used John Pemberton’s Bay Trail Audio HDMI patch, as well as help from Paul Kendall for identifying the ACPI DSDT table bug, Bastien Nocera (hadess) for the wifi source code and DroidMote Server / Client for the wifi pointer.  A quick demo shows WiFi and HDMI audio working in Ubuntu.

It works on MINIX NEO Z64W, but I don’t see why it could not easily be adapted to any other Intel Atom Z3700 platform, you’d just need to patch the Linux kernel (3.16) and re-built it.

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MeegoPad T02 HDMI TV Stick Comes with Windows 8.1 (Activated) or Ubuntu

May 6th, 2015 10 comments

MeegoPad T01 was one of the first Intel Atom Bay Trail-T TV sticks, announced and released well before Intel’s own Compute Stick, but it initially sold without a proper Windows 8.1 license, although some sellers would sell with an activated version for $25 to $30 more. The company has launched the second version, MeegoPad T02, with either a properly licensed/validated Windows 8.1 with Bing for $109, or an Ubuntu version (or Windows 8.1 non validated) for $90, both prices including shipping.

MeegoPad_T02MeegoPad T02 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F  “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics Gen 7 (2W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 64GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4, 1x audio jack
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB host ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 110 x 43 x 9.9mm
  • Weight – 48 grams

MeegoPad_T02_Side

The company listed three main changes compared to MeegoPad T01:
  1. Two full-sized USB ports, instead of just one.
  2. Audio output to connect speakers or headphones
  3. Better Cooling. New housing design using “nanometre material for heat radiation”

T02 should also be slightly larger (4mm extra) compared to T01. The seller for he $90 version mentions “This link is Unbutu OS, or Non-Activated Windows 8.1 OS with Bing,Trail Version.  Based Factory Final Decision.”, so I assume they did not work on an Ubuntu port at all, they may just decide to install Ubuntu or an unlicensed version of Windows 8.1 with Bing as they see fit, but of course I hope I’m proven wrong.

[Update: Gearbest sells MeeGoPad T02 Ubuntu for $79 with coupon GBT02, and MeegoPad T02 Windows for $99 with coupon GBMT02]

Via Mini PCs G+ community and Chinavasion

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Linaro 15.04 Release with Linux 4.0 and Android 5.1

May 1st, 2015 1 comment

Linaro 15.04 has been released with Linux 4.0 (baseline), Linux 3.10.74 and 3.14.39 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1.

Other noticeable changes include support for the new DragonBoard 410c 96boards compliant board, the addition of A80 Optimusboard (Allwinner A80) to Android Kitkat build, Hisilicon D01 support added to the Debian installer, and support for Ubuntu ARM64 Gnome rootfs.

Highlights of the release:

  • Linux Linaro 4.0-2015.04
    • updated linaro-android topic: aosp/android-3.18 branch has been merged
    • GATOR topic: version 5.20.1
    • updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT (FVP Base and Foundation models, and Juno support)
    • updated topic from Qualcomm LT (IFC6410 and DB410c boards support):
      • Resource Power Manager (RPM) – MSM Shared Memory Driver (SMD) driver
      • quite some changes under drivers/gpu/drm/ related to adv7511 and adv7533 support
      • ASoC support for QCOM platforms
      • external Connector Class (extcon) support (used for USB VBUS and ID detection)
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 15.04
    • baseline updated to android-5.1.1_r1
    • updated Nexus 10 CI for LAVA testing
    • added Optimus A80 Android Kitkat build
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.04
    • removed stress recipe in favor of oe-core recipe
    • updated linux-linaro to ll_20150422.0 (based on 4.0)
    • libevent-fb: OE-core updated to 2.0.22, fix require statement
    • APM mustang boot failure was tracked down to using ‘arm64′ as U-Boot arch for the initramfs header while the vendor U-Boot 2013.04 expects ‘arm’.
    • upstreaming – strace: fix build for aarch64; libgpg-error 1.18: simplify tuple handling and add armv8b support
  • Linaro Ubuntu 15.04 – updated packages: LSK 3.10.74/3.14.39 and linux-linaro 4.0 kernels
  • U-Boot: upstream fastboot support
  • Add HiSilicon D01 platform support to Debian installer
  • Updated android-build job to work with docker slaves
  • Cleaned up ILP32 build job
  • LSK: enable debug options on regular builds
  • linux-linaro: ll-fold.sh script fixed to work correctly with newer git versions
  • CI bring up: tshark board Android member build
  • Added Ubuntu arm64 gnome rootfs
  • Added D01 platform to Coresight CI loop

Check out https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1504/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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Forlinx Embedded Introduces a Features-packed Freescale i.MX6 Industrial Board

April 30th, 2015 No comments

Forlinx Embedded Technology has made several ARM9, ARM11, and Cortex A8 boards in the past, and they’ve now launched their first ARM Cortex-A9 board powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC Flash, HDMI, LCD, and LVDS interfaces, mPCIe connector for 3G module, SATA, GPS, CAN bus, RS485 port, and more.

Forlinx_Freescale_i.MX6The board is composed of a baseboard and a 220-pin CPU module (soldered) with the following combined specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Quad with 4x ARM Cortex A9 cores @ up to 1.2 GHz and Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC, SATA connector, and SD card slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI  1.4, LCD interface (7″ capacitive touch available), and 2x 8-bit LVDS interface. 4-wire resistive touch.
  • Audio – 1x stereo audio jack, 1x mono microphone jack, 2x speaker headers
  • Camera I/F – 1x camera connector up to 5MP (OV5640 sensor)
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet (Up to 470 Mbps), GPS module (SIRF3) + external antenna, optional Wi-Fi + BT module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port, 1x micro USB port for debugging (UART)
  • Serial
    • 4x serial port including 1x debug interface, 2x 3-wire UART, and 1x 5-wire UART (TTL by default, RS232 optional)
    • 1x RS485 (Multiplexed with UART2)
    • 1x CAN bus
  • Other I/Os – 1x header with 2x I2C, 1x header with 1x SPI, and connection for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module.
  • Expansions –  1x mini PCIe connector for 3G modem with SIM card slot on the back of the baseboard.
  • Misc – LEDs, Volume, reset, power, and boot selection keys, battery connector for RTC
  • Power Supply – 12V or battery
  • Dimensions – 60 x 60 mm (CPU module); 190 x 130 mm (Baseboard)
  • Operating Temperature Range – They mention “-20-105℃ (For commercial application), -40-105℃ (For industrial application)  -20-105℃ (For vehicle  application)”. Believe it you want.

i.MX6Q_Core
The company mentions Ubuntu, Android, and Linux support on some pictures, but the software resources page only mentions Android 4.4 with an older Linux 3.0.35 kernel and U-boot 2009.08, as well as relevant drivers. I’ve asked about documentation to the company and it’s clear they still live in the past, as “they kindly provide necessary documentation to buyers” so you can’t check before you buy. I could also confirm “SDK/BSPs are also provided with full support for Android, Linux and Ubuntu”.

Forlinx i.MX6 is available now, at an undisclosed price, but I’ve been told “this is a relative high-end item and special for enterprise users, and the prices are more expensive than all the past ones”.  You can find further information on Forlinx Embedded i.MX6 board page.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Variscite DART-MX6 is a Tiny SoM with Freescale i.MX6 SoC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

April 26th, 2015 No comments

Variscite has unveiled what they claim to be the world’s smallest i.MX6 SoM with DART-MX6, a 50x20mm system-on-module featuring Freescale i.MX6 dual or quad processor, up to 1GB RAM, up to 32GB eMMC flash, as well as a wireless module for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Other small i.MX6 modules include TechNexion PICO-iMX6, or SolidRun microSoM found in Hummingbird board, and DART-MX6 has indeed the smallest area among the three.

DART-MX6DART-MX6 specifications:

  • SoC- Freescale i.MX6 dual or quad core Cortex A9 processor up to 800 MHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory –  512 to 1024 MB LPDDR2 (PoP)
  • Storage – 4 to 32GB eMMC flash, 4KB I2C EEPROM
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n + MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0  BLE (TI WL183xMOD WiLink)
  • Audio Codec – Texas Instruments TLV320AIC3106
  • Interfaces and I/Os via 2x 80-pin and 1x 50-pin board to board connectors
    • Camera Interfaces – 1x CSI, 2x CPI
    • Display – HDMI v1.4 up to 1920 x 1080;  Dual 24-bit LVDS up to 1920 x 1200;  24-bit DSI up to 1920 x 1200
    • Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet RGMII
    • Audio –  Headphone driver, digital microphone,  S/PDIF,  Line In/Out
    • Storage – 1x SD / MMC
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Host port , 1x USB OTG port
    • 4x UART up to 3.6 Mbps, 2x I2C, 2x SPI
    • 2x CAN bus
    • PWM
    • JTAG
    • RTC on carrier board
    • PCI-Express Gen 2.0
  • Power supply – 3.7 V DC input; Digital I/O voltage 3.3 V
  • Dimensions – 50 mm x 20 mm x 4.0 mm
  • Temperature range – Commercial (0 to 70°C), Extended (-20 to 70°C), or Industrial(-40 to 85°C)
Block diagram for DART-MX6 Module (Click to Enlarge)

Block diagram for DART-MX6 Module (Click to Enlarge)

The company provides support for the Yocto Project (Daisy with Linux 3.10.x), Ubuntu, and Android 4.4, and documentation and source can be found on DART-MX6 wiki with most links pointing to resources for their VAR-SOM-MX6 module so both are likely to be software compatible.

For evaluation and to speed early development, a development kit called VAR-DVK-DT6 can be used. It is composed of VAR-DT6CustonBoard baseboard populated with DART-MX6, a 7″ LCD display with capacitive touch, and relevant cables and accessories, as well as documentation and design package.

VAR-DT6CustomBoard baseboard with DART-MX6 SoM

VAR-DT6CustomBoard baseboard with DART-MX6 SoM

The baseboard has the following key features:

  • Video / Display – HDMI 1.4 connector, 3-pair 18-bit / 4-pair 24-bit LVDS connector + 6-pin FFC/FPC connector for capacitive touch
  • Audio – 3.5 mm jacks for headphone and Line IN, on-board digital microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Camera – Serial/MIPI CMOS sensor interface
  • USB – 1x USB host port, 1x USB OTG port
  • Expansion Connectors:
    • 1x PCI express
    • Serial ports – RS232 header, micro USB debug port, 1x CAN bus
    • SPI, I2C
    • UART, PWM, CLK02, DMIC
  • Debugging – JTAG interface
  • Misc – RTC with CR1225 coincell battery, 5 buttons, one boot select switch
  • Power Supply – 5V (power barrel)
  • Dimensions – 11.8 x 8.7 x 2 cm

According to the press release, DART-MX6 and the development kit are available now, but pricing information has not been released publicly. You can request a quote and find documentation only Variscite DART-MX6 SoM and VAR-DT6Customboard pages.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Released for PCs, Servers, IoT Gateways, the Cloud, and Phones

April 24th, 2015 3 comments

The road to convergence is a long one, and although you still can’t really use a smartphone as both a phone and your desktop computers, Ubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet” releases brings us closer to this goal, as the Linux based operating systems now supports not only the traditional PCs and servers, but also the Cloud and IoT platforms thanks to Ubuntu Snappy, and phones such as BQ Aquarius E4.5 Ubuntu Edition.

Ubuntu_15.04Most changes for Desktop users are under the hood with Upstart replaced by systemd, the Linux kernel is now up to version 3.19, and many packages have been upgraded to a newer version. You can download i386 (32-bit x86) and amd64 (64-bit x86) desktop or server ISO images, and for the first time Ubuntu Snappy for generic amd64 platform, as well as an ARMHF image made for BeagleBone Black, which AFAIK is the very first time Ubuntu formally releases an image for an ARM based device. Ubuntu 15.04 for BQ Aquarius is not available for download directly from Ubuntu website, but the smartphone will soon receive an OTA update.

Developers will also find out that “Ubuntu Developer Tools Center” have gone through various changes, and has now been renamed to Ubuntu Make. Ubuntu 15.04 might also be the last version where we’ll use apt-get and .deb packages, as Ubuntu developers have announced the switch to Snappy (personal) package manager in the development branch of Ubuntu 15.10.

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