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Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

Kodi 14.2 Linux Ported to Rockchip RK3288 with VPU Hardware Decoding

July 16th, 2015 8 comments

Rockchip RK3288 is one of the most popular platforms for TV boxes, and while most boxes are sold with Android OS, it can also run various Linux distributions with two main caveats: 2D/3D GPU acceleration, and hardware video decoding by the VPU. It appears the last two have been worked on, as yesterday, I got tipped that Kodi 14.2 Linux was running on Ugoos UT3 and Radxa Rock2 Square.

Kodi_Linux_RK3288Since both hardware platforms showcased a Kodi port at the about same time, it’s probably safe to assume they use the same implementation (despite slightly different build dates May 29 vs June 6), which has been developed by “Marc” (or is it MAC?) using the Android libraries and libhybris for video decoding, raw2 device driver for 2D HW accelerated blitting and converting frames, and ARM OpenGL library, driver and examples, among other software packages.

So let’s check the demos starting with Kodi on Ubuntu 14.10 running in Ugoos UT3s.

The user interface (1920×1080) renders at around 25 to 35 fps while playing videos, and two 1080p videos are played smoothly with relatively low CPU usage.

The Radxa Rock2 video shows some of the shortcomings of the current port, as they also show 4K video playback including some HEVC/H.265 videos which do not play smoothly at all.


The user interface however renders at over 60 fps if videos are not playing, and the 1080p video tested played just fine.

Not everything is perfect yet, but at least it’s clearly a development in the right direction.

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ODROID-XU4 Development Board is a Smaller and Cheaper Version of ODROID-XU3 Board

July 14th, 2015 17 comments

Many people are expecting Hardkernel to launch an Exynos 7 board, but this won’t be with ODROID-XU4, maybe with ODROID-XU5, as the latest development board from Hardkernel is a modified version of ODROID-XU3 with the same Exynos 5422 octa-core processor with four Cortex-A15 cores @ 2GHz and four Cortex-A7 cores.
ODROID-XU4ODROID-XU4 board specifications (differences with ODROID-XU3 highlighted and sometimes crossed out in bold):

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP (750 MHz, 12GB/s memory bandwidth, 2x32bit bus)
  • Storage – Micro SD slot (up to 64GB) + eMMC 5.0 module socket (16, 32, and 64GB modules available)
  • Video Output – micro HDMI (Up to 1080p) and DisplayPort (up to 2160p)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, and optional S/PDIF out via USB module
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (~880 Mbps measured with iperf). and optional USB Wi-Fi dongle with antenna
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 ports
  • Expansion – 30-pin header for access to GPIO, IRQ, SPI and ADC signals + 12-pin headers for GPIO., I2S, and I2C
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Misc – Accurate current sensors and voltage sensors for energy measurement, Power and RGB LEDs, cooling fan header, power button, RTC
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A power adapter using 5.5/2.1mm barrel.
  • Dimensions – 82 x 58 x 22 mm (ODROID-XU3: 94x70x18mm;)
  • Weight – 60 grams with fan
Block Diagram for ODROID-XU4 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram for ODROID-XU4 Board (Click to Enlarge)

One of the cool changes is the HDMI type A connector replacing the micro HDMI port found on most other ODROID boards, and which (indirectly) caused issues for several people, including myself. The Ethernet port now supports Gigabit Ethernet, there are two full-size USB 3.0 host ports, a few more I/Os, and the board is smaller. However, a few ports and ICs are gone including USB OTG support, DisplayPort output, the Audio codec (and audio jack), and the power monitoring sensors. The memory is now clocked at 750 MHz instead and 933 MHz in ODROID-XU3 and ODROID-XU3 Lite.

You can check the introduction video for a quick overview of the new board.

ODROID-XU4 is software compatible with ODROID-XU3 so there’s probably not much new here, and the board supports Ubuntu 15.04 (with OpenGL ES + OpenCL support), and Android 4.4 KitKat and 5.0 Lollipop.

I’m pretty sure most people will still be happy with the board despite some of the lost features, as while ODROID-XU3 costs $179, the new ODROID-XU4 sells for only $74 with a 5V/4A power supply, and the heatsink + fan (mounted). If you are interested, you can purchase it via Hardkernel website, or one of their distributors. It’s also cheaper than  ODROID-XU3 Lite ($99) with features the same Exynos processor but clocked at a lower frequency.

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96Boards Enterprise Edition Specification Published

July 10th, 2015 3 comments

When AMD announces its 96Boards Enterprise Edition complaint server board, I could read quite a few complains because the board used a non-standard form-factor such as mini-ITX. The first version 96Boards Enterprise Edition specification has now been published, and the goods news is that there are two versions: the low cost ($199 to $399) “Standard version” with the new proprietary format, and likely more expensive “MicroATX version” that must complies with MicroATX v1.2 specs.

AMD 96Boards (Click to Enlarge)

AMD 96Boards Enterprise Edition (Click to Enlarge)

The minimum hardware requirements are listed as follows:

  • Small form factor
    • Standard EE version – 160 x 120mm
    • microATX EE version – 244 x 244mm
  • Design is SoC independent (targets 32 or 64 bit SoCs)
  • 1GB RAM (16GB strongly recommended for server software development)
  • Minimum on-board connectors and expansion I/O
    • 1x Serial over USB UART with microUSB interface
    • 2x USB
    • 1x RJ45 Ethernet
    • Standard version board power from low cost 12V DC Jack connector or standard 12V high power DIN connector
    • microATX version board power from ATX power supply
    • 1x 40 pin 96Boards 1.8V expansion interface header with UART, SPI, I2C &
      GPIO
    • Standardized positions for PCIe connector(s), If implemented

These are just the minimum requirements, but most board are likely to feature extra SATA, networking or USB interfaces.

Board Drawings for Standard Version (Click to Enlarge)

Board Drawings for Standard Version (Click to Enlarge)

There are also some software support requirements, where support means binary and source code:

  • Boot architecture (at least one open source implementation shall be available)
    • Support for bootloader such as U-Boot/FDT, UEFI/ACPI, UEFI/FDT
    • Support for a secure execution environment (optional)
    • Support for ARM Trusted Firmware (ARMv8), including PSCI APIs (recommended)
  • Kernel
    • An unmodified kernel.org mainline, stable or long term (latest two releases) kernel. Note: Upstream mainline support is a 96Boards program goal
    • A Linaro or vendor-supported kernel with additional patches against a kernel.org mainline, stable or long term (latest two releases) kernel
  • Operating system – The latest released (stable) version of one or more of the following open source distributions shall be made available for a 96Boards EE compliant design:
    • Debian
    • Ubuntu
    • Fedora
    • Red Hat
    • A Linaro or vendor supported Linux using the OpenEmbedded/Yocto build system
  • Other Operating Systems/Distributions –  Other operating systems or distributions may be provided for a 96Boards product and can be made available to end users on the 96Boards community portal

There’s no royalty or license requirements for the specs, so anybody who wishes to do so could make 96boards compliant hardware. An optional “96Boards Certification Program” is also available in order to provide hardware
and software certification, and getting the board listed and supported via 96Boards website.

Thanks to miniNodes for the tip.

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Banana Pi BPI-M3 Development Board Features Allwinner A83T Octa core Processor

July 9th, 2015 13 comments

Banana Pi developers, in this case SinoVoIP, and not LeMaker, are about to launch a new board: BPI-M3 powered by Allwinner A83T octa core Cortex A7 processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC.

Banana_PI_BPI-M3Banana Pi M3 board specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A83T octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 2.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9.3.
  • System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC + SATA (via Genesys GL830 USB bridge) + micro SD slot
  • Display Interfaces / Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1920×1200, MIPI DSI connector
  • Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, HDMI audio
  • Camera I/F – MIPI CSI and Parallel camera interfaces
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211E/D), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP 6212 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Debugging – UART for console
  • Headers – 40-pin mostly Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Misc – Power, reset and u-boot buttons, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel or micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 92 x 60mm
  • Weight – 45 grams

Banana_Pi_M3
The company claims the board supports Android 5.1, Debian linux, Ubuntu linux, Raspberry Pi images, and more. I have never had the opportunity to test a Banana Pi board myself before, but I can see quite a few complains about documentation and software support in their forums.

Despite being an octa-core processor, Allwinner A83T processor is not the fastest processor around, as when I tested an Allwinner A83T tablet last year, the system just got under 27,000 points with Antutu 5.3.

SinoVoiP has not provided any price yet, nor do we have any release date, but the company has already manufactured 100 pieces to complete development, so this should just take a few more weeks or a couple of months. More details can be found on the product page, and especially on the forum post announcing the board.

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Linaro 15.06 Release with Linux 4.1 and Android 5.1

June 26th, 2015 1 comment

Linaro 15.06 has been released with Linux 4.1-rc8, Linux 3.10.80 and 3.14.44 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1.

Highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 4.1-rc8-2015.06
    • linaro-android topic updated to 4.1-rc8 and recent aosp/android-3.18
    • included GATOR version 5.21.1
    • updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 15.06 is released
    • CI bring up: setup AOSP master build on Emulator
    • implemented boot-to-gui test for Emulator
    • CI bring up: setup AOSP 5.0 headless build for APM X-Gene Mustang
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.06
    • updated linux-linaro to ll-20150616.0 (based on 4.1-rc8)
    • updated linux-linaro-stable to 3.10.79
    • workaround meta-virtualization breakage
    • upstreaming
      • fixed bootimg.bbclass to work with all kernel image types
      • imported xorriso v1.4.0 from luvOS
      • cloud-image-*: catch up with OE-core class rename
  • Linaro Ubuntu 15.06 – updated packages: fvp-pre-boot (FVP firmware), LSK 3.10.79/3.14.44/3.18.16 and linux-linaro 4.1-rc8 kernels
  • CI bring up: uprobes/systemtap enabled build

Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1506/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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DragonBoard 410c 64-bit ARM Development Board in Stock for $75

June 21st, 2015 15 comments

There has been a few 96Boards announced so far, and a Banana Pi96 could soon be launched, as LeMarker has just joined the Linaro Community Board Group, but so far the board that generated the most buzz was Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c, but at the time pricing was not officially disclosed, although a $75 target price was posted in several blogs. And now it seems Qualcomm 64-bit ARM board indeed costs $75, as it is listed for that price on Arrow Electronics website with a few pieces in stock.

Qualcomm_Dragonboard_410cDragonboard 410c specifications have also been further detailed:

  • SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) quad-core ARM CortexA53 @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno 306 GPU @ 400MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 @ 533MHz, Single-channel 32-bit (4.2GBps)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 4.51 + micro SD 3.0 (UHS-I)
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Video Playback -1080p@30fps HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC), and 720p
    playback with H.265 (HEVC)
  • Connectivity – Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with on-board antenna
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (device only).
  • Camera – Support for 13 MP camera with Wavelet Noise Reduction, JPEG decoder, and other post-processing techniques done in hardware
  • Expansion:
    • 1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, I2S, I2C x2, GPIO x12, DC power
    • 1x 60 pin high speed expansion connector – 4L-MIPI DSI, USB, I2C x2, 2L+4LMIPI CSI
    • Footprin for optional analog expansion connector – Headset, Speaker, FM antenna
    • Arduino compatibility through mezzanine board
  • Misc – Power, reset and volume buttons. 6 LEDS (4x user, 1x Wifi, 1x Bluetooth)
  • Power Supply – 6.5 – 18V DC input
The board will run Android 5.1 and Ubuntu developed in collaboration with Linaro, and Windows 10 support is also being worked on.
I have not been able to check shipping (requires registration), but it will ship from the US, so it should mostly be interesting for people based in North America, until other distributors sell the board, or Arrow gets stock in Europe or other parts of the world.

Via miniNodes

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Inforce 6410Plus Qualcomm Single Board Computer Adds GPS, MIPI CSI and DSI Interfaces

June 13th, 2015 No comments

[Update on June 16 with comments from Inforce Computing:

  1. The Inforce 6410Plus is a product/application ready SBC that can be mass-manufactured to be designed-in directly by OEMs into end-products. Of course developers, DIY enthusiasts, and research houses may use it as a development board, but essentially it’s a product ready SBC.
  2. CSI and DSI interfaces – A single 40-pin LSHM MIPI connector on the previous generation product has been replaced with a single 51-pin FI-R MIPI CSI connector. A single connector enables support for 2 cameras/up to 20MP. Similarly, we’ve replaced the LVDS interface with a single 51-pin MIPI-DSI connector that supports two simultaneous displays.

]

Inforce IFC6410 board is one of the few low cost Qualcomm Snapdragon development boards / SBCs available on the market. Released in 2013, it features a Snapdragon 600 processor (APQ8064) coupled with 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, and various connectors. Inforce Computing has now introduced an upgraded version of the board, simply called Inforce 6410Plus, which adds GPS, one extra MIPI CSI interface, two MIPI DSI interfaces, and a few other changes, while keeping the same $143 price tag.

Inforce_6410PlusInforce 6410Plus specifications (Upgrades / changes highlighted in bold):

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064) Quad Core Krait 300 processor  @ 1.7GHz + Adreno 320 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB on-board PCDDR3, up to 533MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC + μSD card connector + SATA interface
  • Connectivity:
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Atheros QCA6234)
    • Bluetooth 4.0 (Atheros QCA6234)
    • 10/100/1000bps Ethernet (Atheros 8151)
    • GPS/GLONASS
  • Video and Audio Interfaces:
    • μHDMI (1080p)
    • LVDS (Not supported anymore)
    • MIPI-CSI2 (4-lane, up to 20MP camera @ 15 fps) +  an extra MIPI-CSI2 interface
    • Dual MIPI-DSI (4 lane) – Primary : up to QWXGA (2048 × 1536), 60 Hz refresh rate; Secondary:  up to QHD (960 × 540), 60 Hz refresh rate
    • HD Audio and Mic-in compact combo jack for headphone and mic-in
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Misc I/O
    • 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART, UIM, 12x GPIO
    • On-board 34-pin expansion header to connect to Peripheral Abstraction Core (PAC) mezzanine adapter card
  • Debugging – via serial console on 3-pin header
  • Power – 12V/1.5A power supply (Instead of 5V/5A)
  • Dimensions – 10cm x 7cm (Pico-ITX); Thickness: 16mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0 to 70 C | Storage: -20 to 80 C
  • Relative Humidity – 5 to 95% non-condensing
Inforce 6410Plus Board Block Diagram

Inforce 6410Plus Board Block Diagram

The company also claims to have improved heat dissipation, and implemented a fastboot switch for Android to enter into fastboot as recommended by Google. Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu 14.04 board support packages (BSP) can be provided with the board. There’s no mention about Linaro support, although the older IFC6410 board gets images released monthly and published on the Download page. [Update from Inforce Computing: “The Ubuntu 14.04 BSP is in fact based on a Linaro Linux release, so we do support Linaro.”

You can find more details including software and hardware documentation on Inforce 6410Plus product page, with some links required credentials only available to customers. Inforce Computing will start taking orders on June 15.

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BQ Introduces Its Second Ubuntu Phone: Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition

June 11th, 2015 4 comments

BQ launched the first Ubuntu phone to the market with Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, but it felt quite low end with a 540 x 960 display and 8GB storage. They company has now announced another version with the same processor, but larger 5″ display with a higher resolution (720p) and 16GB storage.

BQ_Aquaris_E5_HD_Ubuntu_EditionBQ Aquaris E5 HD specifications:

  • SoC – Quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.3 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 500 MHz (likely Mediatek MT6582)
  • System memory – 1 GB
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC, microSD card (up to 32 GB)
  • Display – 5″ IPS multi-touch screen (5-point); 1280 x 720 resolution
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS
  • Cellular Connectivity –  2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900),  3G HSPA+ (900/2100). Dual micro SIM.
  • Audio – 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone, Ambient noise cancellation,
  • Camera – 5MP front-facing camera, 13MP rear camera with autofocus and dual flash
  • USB – micro USB OTG port
  • Sensors – Brightness sensor, Proximity sensor
  • Misc – Notification LED
  • Battery – 2500 mAh LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 142 x 71 x x 8.65 mm
  • Weight – 134 grams

Many new products are either only available in the US or in China, but for once people living in the European Union, Switzerland, or Noraway can have bragging rights, as BQ Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition is only available for pre-order in these countries. Price? 199.90 Euros on BQ website. Shipping will start on June 22.

Via Liliputing

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