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Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

pcDuino3 Development Board Features AllWinner A20 SoC, Arduino Headers

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

The first pcDuino board powered by AllWinner A10 has been available for about a year, later last year pcDuino V2 was released with a built-in Wi-Fi modules and mechanically and software compatible Arduino headers, and now pcDuino3 has been announced in a form factor similar to pcDuino V2 board but replacing AllWinner A10 Cortex A8 SoC with AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7, and improving overall specs such as a faster Ethernet, the addition of a SATA port, and LiPo support.

pcDuino3 Board (Click to Enlarge)

pcDuino3 Board (Click to Enlarge)

pcDuino3 specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.0 GHz, with Mali 400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DRAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, SATA connector, and microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP support, LVDS header
  • Audio Out -  3.5mm analog audio interface, I2S stereo digital audio interface
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB host, 1x USB OTG
  • Expansion Headers – Arduino UNO extension interface with 14xGPIO, 2xPWM, 6xADC, 1xUART, 1xSPI, 1xI2C.
  • Camera – MIPI camera support
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power – 5V, 2000mA, support for Li-Po Battery
  • Dimensions – 121mm x 65mm

The board also called “pcDuino Dual core” will come with support for Ubuntu 12.04 and Android 4.2, but you’ll be able to run any Linux distributions, with some caveats related to GPU and VPU support in Linux, although this may be fixed overtime thanks to work from linux-sunxi community.

The company also provides an API to control the signal available via the Arduino heders (UART, ADC, PWM, GPIO, I2C, SPI), and you should be able to use Arduino shields that are compatible with Arduino UNO.

The board is available now, and can be purchase starting from $77 via sites Linksprite or Sainsmart. Price may or may not include shipping depending on the destination. Price looks OK, as the specs place the board between Cubieboard2 ($59) and Cubietruck ($89) both featuring AllWinner A20 with a different set of hardware features. You can get more information on pcDuino.com, and more pictures and a pcDuino V2 vs pcDuino3 comparison tablet are also available on Sainsmart blog.

Via Liliputing

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Linaro 14.03 Release with Linux Kernel 3.14 and Android 4.4.2

March 28th, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.03 has just been released with Linux Kernel 3.14-rc7 (baseline), Linux Kernel 3.10.33 (LSK), and Android 4.4.2.

This month, I could not find any major changes or updates, but work has been performed on big.LITTLE, Samsung Arndale / Arndale-octa, HiSilicon K3V2 and D01 boards and Broadcom Capri hardware, as well as ARMv8 models.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linaro Stable Kernel (LSK) 3.10.33-2014.03
    • big.LITTLE support – ARM MP patch set, IKS (ARMv7 only). Interactive scheduler enhancements
    • ARMv8 features – CPU frequency scaling, CPU topology, CPU suspend
    • Power efficient workqueue support
    • Android v3.10 patch set from AOSP
    • GATOR
    • ARMv8 4xA57 4xA53 FVP (Fixed Virtual Platform) and Versatile Express TC2 support
  • Linux Linaro 3.14-rc7-2014.03
    • GATOR version 5.17
    • Android topic (linaro-android-3.14-merge) updated to get the recent code from AOSP
    • uprobes v7 (new version)
    • Updated big-LITTLE-pmu topic from ARM LT (Landing team)
    • Updated basic Capri board support from Broadcom LT (bcm590xx pmu and regulator drivers, Kona PWM controller support, and bcm21664 board added)
    • Updated big endian topic
    • Updated Arndale_Octa/Arndale/Origen patches from Samsung LT.
      • proper fix for the data abort issue on Arndale-Octa added (“ARM: dts: Disable MDMA1 node for Arndale-octa board”)
      • drivers/thermal/samsung/exynos_tmu* code cleaned up, TMU support for Exynos5420 SoCs added
    • Updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • Versatile Express arm64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models) from ARM LT
    • Updated K3V2 board support from HiSilicon LT
    • HiSilicon HiP0x Cortex A15 family / D01 Dev Board support added by HiSilicon LT
    • cortex-strings-arm64 topic (same as in 2014.02)
    • config fragments changes – Thermal config for arndale and arndale_octa enabled
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.03
    • updated to latest Linaro TCWG (Toolchain Working Group) releases – Linaro GCC 4.8-2013.03, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.03
    • updated Android NDK to new upstream release r9d
  • Linaro Android 14.03 – Built with Linaro GCC 4.8-2014.03, mmtest failures in LAVA have been fixed
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.03
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.8-2013.03 and Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.03
    • added extra ACPI tools to images
    • switched recipes using git.linaro.org from git to http protocol
    • upstreaming – updated git to 1.9.0, updated FWTS (Firmware Test Suite) to 14.02.00
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.03 – new package: xf86-video-freedreno 1.0.0, updated packages: libdrm 2.4.52 and linux-linaro kernels
  • Initial HiSilicon D01 member build is delivered
  • Arndale Octa build based on LT kernel has been setup for SWG (Security Working Group)
  • Made good progress on integrating VPS build slaves into android-build.linaro.org

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1403/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB and community builds, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

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Giayee P105 is a Wall-Mountable Rockchip based Android / Ubuntu mini PC with a VGA Output

March 20th, 2014 6 comments

There are plenty of Android TV Boxes or HDMI TV dongles based on Rockchip RK3066 or RK3188. What makes Giayee P105 computer different is that they completely got rid of the HDMI port and replaced it with a VGA port, and the mini PC, and they also added mount option to attach the device to a wall or the back of your monitor. There are two versions of Giayee P105: P105-D with a dual core RK3168 SoC, and P105-Q with RK3188 quad core processor.

Giayee_P105Giayee P105 Specifications:

  • SoC
    • P105-D – Rockchip RK3168 dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
    • P105-Q – Rockchip RK3188 quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU @ up to  600MHz
  • System Memory – 1 to 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 1 to 32G NAND Flash
  • Video Output – VGA – Resolution: 800×600 up to 1920×1080
  • Audio I/O – 1x Audio In port, 1x Audio Out port
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, an optional built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A. Typical power consumption: 2 to 5 Watts.
  • Dimensions – 120 x 120 x 30 mm
Bottom Side with 2 Mount Points

Bottom Side with 2 Mount Brackets

This ARM computer supports both Android 4.2 and Ubuntu 12.04, and the company advertises it as a thin client too with support for RDP 8.0, and RemoteFX.

Giayee P105 price is said to start from $49, but the product is not available for retail just yet. You can find more information on Giayee Technologies’ P105 page.

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Huawei D01 Server Board Features 16 ARM Cortex A15 Cores with up to 64 GB RAM, 3 SATA, 2 GbE Ports

March 18th, 2014 7 comments

During Linaro 14.02 release, I noticed a Huawei D01 board with 16 ARM Cortex A15 core, but details were lacking. Charbax was a Linaro Connect Asia earlier this month, and he could film the board in action, and interview the development team about this server board, and software development.

Huawei D01 Server Board

Huawei D01 Server Board

Huawei D01 specifications:

  • Processor
    • HiSilicon SoC with16 x ARM Cortex-A15 CPU Core @ max. 1.5GHz (up to 84000 DMIPS)
    • Support for CPU configuration as AMP/SMP
    • Configurable Big or Little endian. Default: Little endian
  • System Memory – 2x 64bit DDR3 DRAM Dual Inline Memory up to 1600 MHz, Module(DIMM) sockets:(2)&(3) . Default capacity: 8GB, upgradeable to 64GB
  • Storage – 2x 1Gb NOR Flash, 2x 512MB NAND Flash, 3x SATA III for 2.5″ hard drives or SSD, 1x SD card
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x 10/100Mbit/s FE port
  • Other Peripheral Interfaces
    • 2x USB 2.0 Host ports
    • 2x UART, 4x I2C, 2x SPI supporting four CSs
    • GPIO – 8x LED interfaces, 8x switches
    • 2x Tracer Connector
    • 1x JTAG interfaces( 5×2 pin CPU Connector, ARM Connector)
  • Expansions – 1x PCI Express interfaces, 3x MDIO interfaces
  • Hardware Monitor Subsystem – Power consumption sense
  • Misc -  Power-off and reset buttons

The BIOS resides in the NOR Flash and support update via FTP. The board runs Ubuntu server OS with Linux 3.13 (upgraded to 3.14 soon), and the target market is mostly cloud based applications. Linaro will use the board for developing software for Hisilicon, and as a native ARM build machine.

Watch the video below. Warning: Noisy ARM server!

You can find more technical details on Linaro D01 page.

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Selecting the Best Adobe Flash Player in Linux for x86 and ARM

March 17th, 2014 6 comments

I’ve had countless and recurrent crashes caused by Adobe flash plugin either in Firefox and Chromium, mainly while playing videos from YouTube or other online video services that still mostly use flash, instead of HTML5. Adobe flash death is certain, but up to now it has been soooo slow, so I doubt that thing will truly die any time soon, and unfortunately it will probably be with us for many years to come. To work around the issue, I started by enabling Youtube HTML5 player, and try to play embedded videos inside YouTube instead of the orignal website. I still had crashes from time to time, and this method did not help with other video services. So I decided to check out what I could do to fix the issue.

When you go to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ you can check your flash version, and Adobe will also list the player version for different combination of operating systems and web browsers.

Adobe_Flash_Player_VersionAdobe has stopped provided updated for Linux and Solaris for a while, so Firefox will always be stuck to 11.2.x in Linux. Google has however developed their own Pepper-based Flash Player for Chrome, as Google consider flash (and Java) to be insecure.

There are currently three main options in Linux x86 to support flash:

  • Gnash – GNU Flash, open source version of the player. Found in browser-plugin-gnash package.
  • Adobe flash – Version 11.2. Found in flashplugin-installer or flashplugin-nonfree package. The library is called libflashplayer.so.
  • Google Pepper – Version 12.0. Found in google-chrome-stable package. The flash library is called libpepflashplayer.so.

Adobe flash and Google Pepper are not compatible, and Mozilla has no intention to implement the Pepper API, at least for now.

In my case, Firefox and Chromium both used Adobe flash library, and both crashed with version 11,2,202,346. I’ve tried to install Gnash with “sudo apt-get install browser-plugin-gnash“, but it did not seem to work. The only remaining option was to use Google Pepper, so I installed Chrome with “sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable“, and I have to say flash content seems to be pretty stable now. So for Ubuntu on x86 / AMD64, the best option for flash support seems to install Chrome.

If for some reasons you’d like to keep on using the open source Chromium instead of Chrome,. but still make use of the Pepper library, simply edit /etc/chromium-browser/default, and edit CHROMIUM_FLAGS as follows:

CHROMIUM_FLAGS="--ppapi-flash-path=/opt/google/chrome/PepperFlash/libpepflashplayer.so"

You’ll need to install Chrome to get libpepflashplayer. Your libpepflashplayer may be in another location in your computer. To find it, run locate libpepflashplayer.so.

Go to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ to verify the version, and you show see:

You have version 12,0,0,77 installed

Let’s have a look at ARM Linux. In Ubuntu, I used to be able to install flash with sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree, but all “flashplugin” packages have now completely disappeared from Ubuntu repository, at least in 13.10. So the only option are Gnash, and Pepper. Gnash can install fine, Adove “About Flash” page returns “You have version 10,1,999,0 installed”, but I was enabled to play any YouTube videos. Chrome is not available for ARM, at least not via the Ubuntu repositories, so we need to use Chromium with libpepflashplayer.so extracted from Chrome OS in the Samsung ARM Chromebook.

The guys behind Radxa Rock have just released Android, Ubuntu, and dual boot images for the board, and the Linux images (Linaro 13.11 Desktop – Lubuntu) happen to support libpepflashplayer.so. Instead of modifying /etc/chromium/default, they’ve changed /usr/bin/chromium-browser script with the following:

/usr/bin/chromium-browser-bin --ppapi-flash-path=/usr/lib/libpepflashplayer.so --ppapi-flash-version=11.5.31.105 --ppapi-flash-args=enable_hw_video_decode=0,enable_stagevideo_auto=0,enable_trace_to_console=0

Adobe “About Flash” page returns “You have version 11,5,32,0 installed”, which confirms this is not Adobe flash for ARM, although it may not be the latest version (12.0). It does not work, but since hardware decode is not available in Linux, performance is poor. A 360p video plays OK within YouTube, but if you zoom or switch to full screen I get about one frame per second. Other flash content appears to be rendered just fine.

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Mali-400 GPU Is Now Working in Linux for Rockchip RK3188 Devices

March 14th, 2014 19 comments

Accelerated 3D graphics in Linux with Mali-400 via OpenGL ES has been possible for nearly a year on RK3066 devices,  but there was no such support for RK3188. This week however, both Naoki FUKAUMI and omegamoon have reported OpenGL ES to work in in their respective RK3188 devices. I don’t know which device omegamoon used, but Naoki did so in Radxa Rock, and even posted instructions to build it yourself.

es2gears OpenGL ES demo on Rockchip RK3188

es2gears OpenGL ES demo on Rockchip RK3188

They’ve mostly followed the work done by olegk0 for Rockchip, and Mali drivers build instructions provided in linux-sunxi community, and it can be summarize in 3 main steps:

  1. Cross-compile drm.ko, mali_drm.ko, ump.ko, mali.ko in a Linux machine
  2. Copy and load the four modules to your RK3188 based board or device.
  3. Install dependencies and binary Mali drivers from sunxi-linux in your Rockchip device

Once this is done you can try some OpenGL ES demos such as esgears2 or glmark2-es to test it with the framebuffer. es2gears can be installed with “sudo apt-get install mesa-utils-extra” and glmark2-es2 with “sudo apt-get install glmark2-es2“.

I had a quick try this morning, and the building worked, the four modules could load, but es2gears still rendered by software:

libEGL warning: DRI2: failed to authenticate                                    
XIO:  fatal IO error 11 (Resource temporarily unavailable) on X server ":0.0"   
      after 184 requests (171 known processed) with 0 events remaining.         
EGL_VERSION = 1.4 (DRI2)

 

I used a different toolchain, and kernel source, so this may be the reason. TBC. A successful es2gears output should look like:

EGL_VERSION = 1.4 Linux-r3p2-01rel2
 vertex shader info:
 fragment shader info:
 info:
 2064 frames in 5.0 seconds = 412.635 FPS
 2129 frames in 5.0 seconds = 425.630 FPS

and glmark2-es2:

=======================================================
    glmark2 2012.08
=======================================================
    OpenGL Information
    GL_VENDOR:     ARM
    GL_RENDERER:   Mali-400 MP
    GL_VERSION:    OpenGL ES 2.0
=======================================================

Further steps would be to enable X11 to use Mali, but I’m not sure this has been tried just yet.

Nevertheless, that should mean you can soon expect Linux images with support for accelerated 3D graphics for your Rockchip RK3188. This does not mean however that hardware video decoding will be possible, as Mali-400 GPU is not a VPU and does not support decoding/encoding. There is, however, a separate effort to brings hardware video decoding support in RK3188, but this should take much more time.

In other news, linux-rochip community has just started a mailing list, so you may want to join if you are interested in software development on Rockchip devices for Linux and Android.

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Dedicated Hosting Services on ARM Development Boards (Cubieboard2, Raspberry Pi, ODROID…)

March 12th, 2014 11 comments

At least two companies have recently launched hosting services using dedicated ARM servers based on low cost development boards: NanoXion with its NX-BOX service powered by PiBox (Raspberry Pi) and CubieBox (Cubieboard 2) microservers, and miniNodes with servers based on Cubieboard2 first, then ODROID development boards, and possibly AllWinner OptimusBoard once/if it becomes available.

PiBox Dedicated Server

PiBox Dedicated Server

The PiBox will feature a Raspberry Pi Model B with 512 MB RAM, and 16GB Class 10 UHS-1 microSD card by Samsung, and the dual core Cubiebox comes with 1GB RAM and a Crucial M500 SATA III 120GB SSD. Both NX-BOXes run Linux Debian Server NX distribution, support instant remote reboot, with guaranteed 10 Mbps connectivity for IPv4 & IPv6, and unlimited bandwidth. The boards are all hosted in France.

The company expects their ARM servers to be used as private cloud servers, backup servers, private chat servers, web servers, mail servers, DNS Servers, monitoring servers, and well as some other proprietary solutions their customers may come up with.

Pricing starts at 7.19 Euros per month for the PiBox, 11.18 Euros per month for the Cubiebox, including an IPv6 address, and the service requires a commitment of one year.

miniNodes, which is US based, has just started yesterday to offer Cubieboard2 dedicated server for early adopters and enthusiasts. Cubieboard 2 features a dual core AllWinner A20 SoC @1.0 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB NAND that runs Ubuntu Server 13.04. There does not appear to have any external storage in their microservers at this stage, and bandwidth information is not available. The only option is currently hosting costs $19 US per month, but once they officially launch they’ll offer options to purchase clusters with up to 25 Cubieboard2 and more choices for the OS (Ubuntu or Fedora). If everything goes according to plan quad core hardkernel ODROID boards will be added to the line-up soon, and Allwinner Optimus Board powered by AllWinner A80 octa-core processor might also be considered.

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