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Posts Tagged ‘via’

VIA Embedded Store Launches for Embedded ARM & x86 Boards and Systems

May 5th, 2014 7 comments

Most of the time for boards and systems targeting industrial or embedded applications, companies will not provide pricing information, and if you want a sample for evaluation, or want to order a few for a project requiring limited quantities, you’ll need to contact sales, talk about your project, volume, schedule, etc… But for VIA Embedded boards and systems, you won’t need to go through this loop anymore, as the company has just launched VIA Embedded Store where you can buy boards such as VAB-820 pico-ITX board or a rugged system such as AMOS-820 directly online without questions asked.

VIA_Embedded_StoreI’ve gone through most of the checkout procedure and you can proceed as a guest or by registering, and they’ll just ask billing and shipping information, shipping method, and payment method selection (Only Paypal at this time).  It’s a simple as that, no need to fill some “I’m not a terrorist” forms like on some US websites.

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VIA VAB-1000 Pico-ITX Board Features VIA Elite E1000 Dual Cortex A9 SoC, Targets Embedded Android and Linux

February 24th, 2014 1 comment

Via has introduced VAB-1000 Pico-ITX board at Embedded World 2014. This new embedded board features VIA Elite E1000 dual Cortex A9 SoC together with 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 4GB eMMC Flash memory, and numerous I/Os. The board targets interactive kiosk, digital signage and HMI (Human Machine Interface) applications running Android or Linux.

VAB-1000 Pico ITX Board (Click to Enlarge)

VAB-1000 Pico ITX Board (Click to Enlarge)

VIA VAB-1000 Specifications:

  • SoC – VIA Elite E1000 dual core Cortex A9 SoC with unnamed 2D/3D GPU with Unified Shader Architecture featuring 64 stream processors
  • System Memory – 2GB DRR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC + microSD slot
  • Back panel I/O
    • 2x HDMI connectors for HDMI-in and HDMI-out
    • 2x mini-USB 2.0 port
    • 1x MicroSD slot
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
    • 1x DC-in Jack.
  • Front panel I/O
    • 1x pin header for two additional USB ports
    • 1x pin header for SPI and 8-pin GPIO
    • 1x pin header for three I2C and two COM ports
    • 1x pin-header for front audio (Line-in/Line-Out/Mic-In).
  • Internal I/O
    • 1x dual channel LVDS connector
    • 1x S-video pin header
    • 1x Mini-PCIe connector.
  • Misc – Watchdog, RTC
  • Dimensions – 10 cm x 7.2 cm, Pico-ITX form factor

I’m never heard about VIA Elite E1000 SoC before, and I can’t find any information about this new processor at this time.

The board supports Android and Linux OS, and developers can either use VIA Android Development package with Android 4.1, a Smart ETK (Embedded Tool Kit) comprising several APIs for Watchdog Timer, GPIO access, COM port access, RTC for auto-power on, as well as a sample app, or VIA VAB-1000 Linux Development Package which comes with a pre-built OS image, the kernel and bootloader source codes, and a toolchain (GCC?).

VAB-1000 Starter Kit (Click to Enlarge)

VAB-1000 Starter Kit (Click to Enlarge)

As an option, VIA can also provide VAB-1000 I/O extender card, which adds Line-In, Line-Out and Mic-In audio jacks, two USB ports, one suspend LED power indicator, a power on/off button and pin headers for one COM port (TX/RX support only) as well as 3 board-to-board connectors and one USB board-to-board connector.

The extender card is part of VAB-1000 Starter Kit pictured above, which also includes the pico-ITX board, a serial debug cable, as well as spacers and screws, and comes pre-loaded with either Android or Linux.

Sample units are available now. You may find further details on VIA VAB-1000 page.

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Firefox OS Smartphones, Tablets and Reference Designs at Mobile World Congress 2014

February 24th, 2014 3 comments

Beside the $25 smartphone, Mozilla has also announced a number of smartphones and tablets running Firefox OS during an event at Mobile World Congress 2014. The first devices such as ZTE Open featured a single core processor, the new models come with more powerful dual and quad core processors, mostly from Qualcomm, but also WonderMedia and AllWinner, together with better screen and features. Let’s have a look.

ZTE Open C and Open II

ZTE_Open_CZTE Open C smartphone features a 4″ display (800 x 480 resolution), powered by Qualcomm Snadragon 200 SoC @ 1.2 GHz, 512MB of RAM, a 2MP camera, as well as a 1,200mAh battery. Engadget has an hands-on video.

ZTE Open II sports a 3.5″ (HVGA -> 480×320) display, with a dual core Snapdragon processor @ 1.2 GHz, 256 MB, 2GB flash, a 2MP camera, and a 1150 mh, according to CNet. It also supports 3G networks.

Both devices run Firefox OS 1.3.

Alcatel OneTouch Fire C, Fire E, Fire S Smartphones, and Fire 7 tablets

Alcatel_OneTouch_Firefox_OSAlcatel unveiled three Firefox OS smartphones:

  • OneTouch Fire S – 4.5″ IPS display, 960 x 540 resolution, with Quacomm Snapdragon quad core processor @ 1.2 GHz, with 4G LTE support, an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, NFC, and GPS.
  • OneTouch Fire E – 4.5″ display (not IPS), dual core CPU, 512 MB RAM, 4GB Flash, and 5MP and 0.3MP cameras.
  • OneTouch Fire C – 3.5″ display (HVGA), dual core @ 1.2 GHz,  and VGA camera.

OneTouch Fire 7 will come with a 7″ diaplay (qHD -> 960x 540), a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, 4GB NAND flash (expandable via micro SD card slot) and a whopping 2GB RAM (Or is it 2Gbit?), as well as front and rear VGA cameras. It weights  285g and has a thickness of 9.9mm.

CNET reports Fire C and Fire E smartphones will be available in Q2, for respectively 59 and 139 Euros, whereas Fire S and Fire 7 will retail for 169 and 79 Euros in Q3 2014. All new Alcatel devices run Firefox 1.3.

Huawei AscendY300

Huawei_Ascend_Y300Huawei Ascend Y300 will come with a 4″ WVGA display, and be powered by a dual core Snapdragon 8225 processor @ 1 GHz with 512MB RAM. It also packs a 1,950mAh battery, and 5MP and VGA cameras. Contrary to the aforementioned devices running Firefox OS 1.3, Huawei phone runs version 1.1 of the mobile operating system. You can find more details on Huawei Ascend Y300 F1 post.

Firefox OS Flame Reference Smartphone

Firefox OS Flame Reference Smartphone

LG Fireweb

LG will also run Mozilla Firefox OS 1.1, and features a 4″ display (480x 320), Qualcomm snapdragon processor @ 1GHz processor, and 5 MP camera. It also supports 3G, GPS and FM radio. Fireweb will be available in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

Firefox OS Flame and VIA Vixen Reference Designs

Beside consumer products, Mozilla also added two reference designs for developers and manufacturers on top of the existing InFocus New Tab F1 powered by AllWinner A31:

  • Firefox OS Flame – Smartphone with a 4.5″ display (854 x 480 pixel), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (MSM8210) dual-core processor @ 1.2 GHz , 8 GB  NAND flash, and between 256MB and 1GB RAM (adjustable by developer). The phone also includes 5MP rear and 2MP front-facing cameras, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G UMTS, and NFC wireless, as well as a 1800mAh battery.
  • VIA Vixen – Tablet with 7″ LCD screen (1024×600), powered by VIA WonderMedia WM8880 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, 0.3 MP and 2.0 MP cameras, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and a 4,000 mAh battery.

Developers, testers, and people ready to localize and translate Firefox OS UI, can apply for a free Infocus or Vixen tablet via Mozilla’s Expanded Tablet Contribution Program.

Via Liliputing

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VIA APC Rock and Paper Boards Now Officially Support Firefox OS

January 6th, 2014 2 comments

VIA has just announced a partnership with Mozilla for support and development of Firefox OS for APC Rock and APC Paper platforms based on WonderMedia WM8950 single core ARM Cortex A9 SoC.

APC_Rock_Firefox_OS

$59 APC Rock Now Runs Firefox OS

Firefox OS source code and documentation for the APC boards are available on the company’s apc-firefox-os github repository. To motivate the developer’s community, the company is also offering free APCs to developers that fix specific bugs.

A first version was released on the 22nd of November 2013, with the following fixes:

  1. Updated firmware package to support HDMI hotplug as the solution from VIA
  2. Switched to latest base from Mozilla and using master branch for all Mozilla repos
  3. Support multiple hardware keyboard hot plug
  4. Fixed so that Mozilla soft home button can be enabled via settings
  5. Supports Ethernet cable hot plug
  6. Enabled SNTP with Ethernet network
  7. Set default display timeout to never
  8. Fixed some orientation bug due to migration to master
  9. Fixed WiFi connection bug due to migration to master
  10. Supports Mouse wheel event

But I can’t find a way to download this version via a tarball, a branch, or tag on github, nevertheless it’s probably better to use the latest code as several commits have been done since that release, although there appears to have been no activity in the last three weeks.

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Android 4.2 Laptop Boasts 13.3″ Display, Dual Core WM8880 SoC

December 9th, 2013 7 comments

Charbax has just found a 13.3″ laptop powered by WonderMedia WM8880 dual core Cortex A9 processor running Android 4.2 manufactured by Shenzhen Honlin, and selling for about $108 in China (retail or factory price?). That’s the first time I see a Chinese ARM based laptop with a somewhat decent screen, so I went to Aliexpress to find the device or a similar one, and after going through all the 13.3″ Android tablets, I found a no brand laptop, model GA1331F, sold by Shenzhen GA Technology Development with apparently the same specs for  about $170 including shipping via EMS.

Android_Laptop_13.3GA1331F Laptop specifications:

  • SoC – WonderMedia WM8880 Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM @ 1033MHz, with an option to get 2GB
  • Storage – 8GB or 16GB MLC NAND flash, SD card slot (Up to 32GB)
  • Display – 13.3″ LCD screen (1280 x 800)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v3.0. 3G via external USB dongle.
  • Camera – 0.3MP front facing camera
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio – Mic and headphone jacks, and built-in stereo speakers
  • Keyboard – Standard English 78 keys with build-in touch pad
  • Battery type – 3000mAH, 3.7V Li-on, good for 6 hours (typical use).
  • Dimensions – 32.8x23x2.8cm
  • Weight – 1.1 kg

This laptop runs Android 4.2, but if we are to believe the description on Aliexpress it can also dual boot to Windows CE 6.0. It comes with a power adapter, a manual, a warranty card, and CD with drivers…

Wondermedia WM8880 is one of the cheapest dual core processor available on the market today, and can be found in tablets for about $40 in China, and around $60 in the rest of the world. That’s the retail price. The 13.3″ display, casing, and all the extra ports add quite a lot to the cost, and at $170, it’s just about $30 less than the cheapest 13.3″ Intel laptop I could find, for much lower performance, albeit most probably, a better battery life.

You can watch Charbax video about the 13.3″ Android laptop.

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VIA Unveils VAB-820 Pico-ITX Board Powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad

November 7th, 2013 6 comments

About two weeks ago, VIA announced the VAB-820, which according to the company, is the first ARM based quad core Pico-ITX single board computer (SBC) on the market. A claim that looks to be incorrect by the way. The board is powered by Freescale i.MX6Quad quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and comes with 1GB DDR3 SDRAM and 4GB eMMC Flash. This is an industrial board targeting in-vehicle, surveillance and industrial applications, designed to work in an operating temperature range from -20°C ~ 70°, and with a seven years longevity support.

VAB-820 SBC (Click to Enlarge)

VAB-820 SBC (Click to Enlarge)

VAB-820 Specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6Quad ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.0GHz with Vivante GC2000 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3-1066 SDRAM using 128M x16 memory devices
  • Storage – 4MB SPI Serial Flash, 4GB eMMC Flash, and microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet using Micrel KSZ9031RNX Ethernet transceiver with RGMII support
  • Audio – Freescale SGTL5000 low power stereo codec
  • Video Decoder – ADI ADV7180 10-Bit, 4 x oversampling SDTV video decoder
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 transmitter + Composite output
  • USB – SMSC USB2514 USB 2.0 high speed 4-port hub controllers
  • Onboard I/O
    • COM connector with power supply (supports 8-wire DTE mode)
    • COM/CAN connector with power supply (supports 2-wire RS232 Tx/Rx and 2 FlexCAN Tx/Rx ports)
    • Dual-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS connector
    • RTC battery connector
    • MIPI CSI-2 connector (supports 2 data lanes)
    • SPI master connector (supports 2 SPI slave devices)
    • S-video pin header
    • 2 POE pin headers (support optional PD power board)
    • Front audio pin header for line-in, headphone-out and MIC-in
    • Boot flash select pin header (for SPI or micro SD)
    • Miscellaneous pin header for 1 USB 2.0 host port, 1 USB2.0 OTG port
    • Miscellaneous pin header for 1 I2C pair, 8 GPIOs, system reset button and LEDs for power/WPAN/WLAN/WWAN
    • 12V DC-in power connector
    • Mini PCI-e slot (supports multiple connections and buses including JTAG)
  • Front I/O
    • Micro SD connector
  • Rear I/O
    • HDMI port
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
    • RJ-45 LAN port (supports optional IEEE802.3at type 2, that’s PoE)
    • Composite RCA jack
  • Watch Dog Timer
  • Operating Temperature – Extended temperature: -20~ 70°C
  • Operating Humidity – 0% ~ 95% (relative humidity ; non-condensing)
  • Form Factor – 8-layer PCB, 10 cm x 7.2 cm (Pico-ITX)

VAB-820 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

VAB-820 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The company provides board support packages (BSP) for Android 4.2.2 and Embedded Linux 3.0.35
operating systems. A embedded Linux evaluation kit is available for download for the VAB-820 board and  AMOS-820 (VAB-820 board with rugged enclosure). The embedded board comes with a DC-in power cable, an audio cable, a USB cable, and a COM cable (3-wired) for debugging via the console.

Sample units of the VIA VAB-820 Pico-ITX board are available now, and you can visit VIA VAB-820 page.

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VIA Announces $99 Springboard Platform for Android and Linux Development

November 1st, 2013 3 comments

Back in May 2013, VIA unveiled VAB-600 Pico-ITX board powered by WonderMedia WM8950 with an ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 800 MHz and a Mali-400 GPU. At the time they provided a starter kit with a 7″ display. The company has now announced the VIA Springboard Platform based on VAB-600 that is available without Wi-Fi for $99 or with Wi-Fi for $129.

VIA_Springboard_Platform

VIA Springboard Platform Wi-Fi Kit (Click to Enlarge)

Here are the items included in the kits:

  • VAB-600 Pico-ITX board with WM8950, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, 4GB eMMC Flash memory and microSD slot. See VAB-600 post for detailed specifications.
  • VIA VAB-600-A I/O extender card:
    • 1 x Line-Out jack
    • 1 x Mic-In jack
    • 2 x USB 2.0 A-type ports
    • 1 x Suspend LED power indicator
    • 1 x Power On/Off button
    • 3 x board-to-board connectors
    • 1 x USB board-to-board connector
  • VIA VNT9271 Springboard USB WiFi module (Wi-Fi Kit only) – Supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards and 802.11e WiFi Multimedia (WMM). Based on Atheros AR9271 controller chip
  • A/C power adapter
  • 1 x COM cable
  • 1 x USB 2.0 cable
  • 3 year longevity
  • 6 month warrantee

The VAB-600 board supports Android and Linux Software Development Packages which can be downloaded from VIA Springboard website. The Springboard Android Software Development Package features Android version 4.0.3, and includes the kernel and bootloader source codes as well as a Smart ETK comprising a number of APIs, including Watchdog Timer (WDT), GPIO access, COM port access, RTC for auto-power on, and a sample app. The Springboard Linux Software Development Package has a pre-built Debian image, including the kernel and bootloader source codes, as well as a toolchain.

The kits are available now at www.viaspringboard.com for $99 for the base version and $129 for the Wi-Fi kit, plus shipping that seems to be between $25 and $30 to the few countries I’ve tried. That’s not exactly the best performance / price ratio we can get today, but it could be an option if you need at least 3-years guaranteed longevity, or/and some particular features available on the board such as SIM card slot, pico-ITX form factor, etc…

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