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Posts Tagged ‘wifi’

Mediatek MT8639 Wi-Fi Display SoC to Support 802.11ac, NFC

April 21st, 2014 No comments

Wi-Fi display technologies such as Miracast and Airplay allow you to conveniently mirror your mobile device on your TV without the needs to connect any cables, and for over about a year we’ve seen Miracast, Airplay, DLNA, and EZcast dongles on the market. In theory, this is all great, but in practice, this is all too often disappointing because of lag, sometimes the video quality is very poor, and sometimes it won’t connect. Mediatek is now working on MT8639 supporting 802.11ac which will hopefully offer a more consistent and enjoyable user experience, if your mobile device also supports 802.11ac.

Mediatek_MT8639Here are the main features of the chip:

  • ARM Cortex A7 @ 1 GHz
  • Wi-Fi
    • Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ and 802.11ac
    • Wifi-Direct, Wi-Fi SoftAP, and Wi-Fi Bridge support
  • Optional NFC support
  • Wi-Fi Display – DLNA, Airplay, Miracast, “Windows” mirror
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 / MHL 2.0 (Up to 1080p)
  • Power – 2.1 W (against 2.5 W for their previous MT6533 ARM11 solution)
  • Dimensions – MT8639 chip: 13 x 13 cm, PCBA (Ref design): 2.1 x 6 cm.

There’s currently very little information on the net about this Miracast chip, so it may take a few more months before products come to market. I found about it via an ARMdevices.net video quickly going through Mediatek solutions for tablets (MT8135), smartphones (MT6592, MT6595), GPS (MT3360 + MT3332), UltraHD Tvs (MT5327), and more.

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Categories: Linux, Processors Tags: airplay, dlna, mediatek, mhl, miracast, nfc, wifi

$30 CoreWind Tech WiFiG25 SoM Features Atmel SAM9G25 ARM9 Processor and a Wi-Fi Module

March 31st, 2014 3 comments

After their Aria G25 clone, called CORE9G25, CoreWind Tech has now launched a new SoM, WiFiG25, also powered by Atmel SAM9G25 ARM9 processor, but this time with a WiFi Module based on Realtek RTL8188, and up to 256 MB RAM, 256 MB Flash.

WiFiG25Here are the specs of this system-on-module:

  • CPU - Atmel AT91SAM9G25 ARM9 @ 400Mhz
  • System Memory – 128 or 256 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 256MB NAND Flash, micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – WiFi Module with internal antenna
  • 2x20Pin 2.54mm expand interface (through holes) with access to 2x USB host ports, 3x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 6x PWM, 27x GPIOs, and 4x 10-bit ADC
  • Line level – TTL 3.3V
  • Misc – User LED
  • Power supply – 5V
  • Dimensions – Size: 50.80 x 30 mm
  • Weight – 5g
  • Temperature range -  Commercial: 0 to 70 °C, or industrial: -20 to 85 °C

The company provide Linux 3.6.9 for the board, as well as a rootfs built with buildroot bootable from NAND (and pre-installing), and a Debian image that can boot from micro SD card. You can find documentation for builroot and Debian on the company’s website, as well as some more details on AT91.com. Schematics (PDF) and mechanical information (PNG) are both available online.

WiFiG25 SoM is available now, and at least until 2023 (10 years availability), for price ranging between $29.90 to $45 depending on RAM configuration, and temperature range options. Further information is available on CoreWind Tech WiFiG25 page.

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Amlogic GPL Source Code Release – Kernel 3.10, U-Boot, and Drivers (Wi-Fi, NAND, TVIN, Mali GPU)

March 10th, 2014 13 comments

Last month, I noticed Amlogic provided links to the Android SDK for S802 / M802 on their open source website, but the only way to get the source was to share your SSH public with Amlogic, so that they give you access. It did not happen, but the company has released the source for Linux 3.10.10, U-boot 2011.03, Realtek and Broadcom Wi-Fi drivers, NAND drivers, “TVIN”drivers, and kernel space GPU drivers for Mali-400 / 450 GPU. There are also some customer board files for Meson 6 only (AML8726-MX / M6) but they do not seem to match the kernel…

amlogic_kernel_m802_s802

If you want to build the kernel, including the drivers, you’ll need to download a bunch of files:

wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/kernel/arm-src-kernel-2014-03-06-d5d0557b2b.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192du-2014-03-06-7f70d95d29.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192eu-2014-03-06-9766866350.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192cu-2014-03-06-54bde7d73d.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8188eu-2014-03-06-2462231f02.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/brcmap6xxx-2014-03-06-302aca1a31.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/wifi-fw-2014-03-06-d3b2263640.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/modules/aml_tvin-2014-03-06-fb3ba6b1c8.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/modules/aml_nand-2014-03-06-39095c4296.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/customer/aml_customer-2014-03-06-76ce689191.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/gpu/gpu-2014-03-06-0425a1f681.tar.gz

You’ll need to extract these tarballs in specific directories:

tar xvf arm-src-kernel-2014-03-06-d5d0557b2b.tar.gz
mkdir -p hardware/amlogic/
mkdir -p hardware/wifi/realtek/drivers
mkdir -p hardware/wifi/broadcom/drivers
mkdir -p hardware/arm/
cd hardware/amlogic
tar xvf aml_nand-2014-03-06-39095c4296.tar.gz
mv aml_nand-amlogic-nand nand
cd ../wifi/realtek/drivers
tar xvf ../../../../rtk8192du-2014-03-06-7f70d95d29.tar.gz
tar xvf ../../../../rtk8192eu-2014-03-06-9766866350.tar.gz
tar xvf ../../../../rtk8192cu-2014-03-06-54bde7d73d.tar.gz 
tar xvf ../../../../rtk8188eu-2014-03-06-2462231f02.tar.gz
mv rtk8188eu-8188eu 8188eu
mv rtk8192du-8192du 8192du
mv rtk8192cu-8192cu 8192cu
mv rtk8192eu-8192eu 8192eu
tar xvf ../../../../brcmap6xxx-2014-03-06-302aca1a31.tar.gz
cd ../../broadcom/drivers
mv brcmap6xxx-ap6xxx ap6xxx
cd ../../../arm
tar xvf ../../gpu-2014-03-06-0425a1f681.tar.gz
mv gpu-r3p2-01rel3 gpu
cd ..
mv aml_tvin-amlogic-3.10-bringup tvin

You can also extract the customer file into the kernel directory to add some drivers. As I said above I’m not sure the source code inside matches the Linux kernel 3.10.10, because there’s now device tree file for the boards. In arch/arm/plat-meson/Kconfig, there are (commented out) references to customer/meson/dt/Kconfig and customer/drivers/Kconfig. The device tree is not available, but the drivers is, so you could give a try in order to build the touchscreen and sensors drivers available in the customer tarball:

cd ../linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup
tar xvf ../aml_customer-2014-03-06-76ce689191.tar.gz 
mv aml_customer-master customer

Finally, the development tree is ready to build the kernel. There must surely be a script somewhere to do that… I haven’t used the file wifi-fw-2014-03-06-d3b2263640.tar.gz, as the kernel did not complain about it, and it looks like it’s just for Android Kit Kat. There are four scripts to build the kernel: mk_m6.sh, mk_m6tv, mk_m6_tvd.sh, and mk_m8.sh. The first three are for meson6 (dual core processor), and the last one meson8 (quad core S802/M802).

Let’s go with M8 build:

make ARCH=arm meson8_defconfig
./mk_m8.sh

Please not that I had to change mk_m8.sh, as it should just make computer hand requiring a hard reset. The culprity was the line:

make uImage -j

The manpage indicates “If the -j option is given without an argument, make  will  not  limit  the number of jobs that can run simultaneously”.  It does not seem like a good idea… ,s so I changed that to

make uImage -j8

Upon successful build, the end of log you look like:

UIMAGE arch/arm/boot/uImage
Image Name: Linux-3.10.10
Created: Mon Mar 10 11:48:52 2014
Image Type: ARM Linux Kernel Image (lzo compressed)
Data Size: 7099978 Bytes = 6933.57 kB = 6.77 MB
Load Address: 00008000
Entry Point: 00008000
Image arch/arm/boot/uImage is ready
/home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/scripts/amlogic/aml2dtb.sh /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dtd
DTD_FILE: /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dtd
the middle dts file: /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dts
process file /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dts start
processing... please wait...
process file /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dts end

CC scripts/mod/devicetable-offsets.s
GEN scripts/mod/devicetable-offsets.h
HOSTCC scripts/mod/file2alias.o
HOSTLD scripts/mod/modpost
DTC arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dtb
rm /home/jaufranc/edev/AMLogic/s802/linux-amlogic-3.10-bringup/arch/arm/boot/dts/amlogic/meson8_skt.dts
-rw-r–r– 1 jaufranc jaufranc 11244948 Mar 10 11:48 ./m8boot.img
m8boot.img done

If you want to get U-boot code it’s not quite as messy, you jut need to download and extract two files:

wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/u-boot/uboot-2014-03-06-323515c056.tar.gz
wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/u-boot/aml_uboot_customer-2014-03-06-09887e87b4.tar.gz
tar xvf uboot-2014-03-06-323515c056.tar.gz
cd uboot-next
tar xvf ../aml_uboot_customer-2014-03-06-09887e87b4.tar.gz
mv aml_uboot_customer-next/ customer

Then just select a board in customer/board/ to build U-boot for your hardware. For example:

make m8_k03_M102_v1_config CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf-
make CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- -j8

The build failed for me, but it might be I may need to use another compiler, e.g. arm-none-eabi-gcc.

[Update: arm-none-eabi-gcc does seem to go further, but you'll also need an arc compiler as shown in my previous Amlogic U-boot build instructions].

Thanks to M][sko for the tip.

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Atmel Introduces ARM Cortex M0+ based SmartConnect Wi-Fi Modules and SmartConnect Zigbee SoCs

February 25th, 2014 4 comments

In order for the Internet of Things to take off, wireless connectivity solutions with ultra low power, lost cost, and small footprint are needed. Atmel seems to have made a step in the right direction by launching SmartConnect Wi-Fi modules and Zigbee SoCs featuring an ARM Cortex M0+ core.

ATMEL_Wi-FI_SmartConnect_SoCSmartConnect Wi-Fi does not appear to be a single chip solution, but instead Atmel has created a family of Wi-Fi modules integrating the company’s ultra-low power Wi-Fi SoChip with an ARM Cortex M0+ based MCU. These modules will enabled battery-powered Wi-Fi connectivity for IoT endpoints such as thermostats, and temperature sensors in a cost effective way. The company will provide a software solution with application and security protocols such as TLS, TCP/IP stack and an RTOS, all of which can be downloaded via Atmel Studio 6 Integrated Development Platform (IDP).

SmartConnect ZigBee SAM R21 combines an ARM Cortex M0+ core with a Zigbee RF receiver in a single chip which will be available in 5x5mm 32-pin and 7x7mm 48-pin packages, allowing ultra small solutions, and at the same time saving on BoM cost. These MCU can be used at high temperatures (Up to 125 C), and are suited to wireless lighting applications for instance.

There are currently 6 SAM R21 MCU with different flash size, I/O pin count and packages that share the following key benefits:

  • ARM Cortex M0+ based MCU running up to 48MHz
  • 64K to 256K of Flash memory
  • Low power consumption at <70µA/MHz
  • 12-channel DMA and event system
  • Up to five serial communication modules (SERCOM)
  • Full-Speed USB Device and embedded Host
  • 12-bit ADC
  • Hardware touch support
  • Ultra-low power 2.4GHz transceiver

SAM R21 MCUs will also be supported by the wireless composer in Atmel Studio 6, and the company has already made a low cost development board,  ATSAM R21 Xplained PRO, which will be available for $39 though the Atmel Store.

Atmel SAM R21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit (ATSAMR21-XPRO)

Atmel SAM R21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit (ATSAMR21-XPRO)

SAM R21 Xplained PRO kit features ATSAMR21G18A MCU (256KB Flash and 28 I/O pins in a QFN48 package), comes with 2 micro USB ports (Power/Target USB, and Embedded Debugger), and gives access to different signals via 2 headers including UART, SPI, TWI, 4x GPIOs, and Digital  I/Os, as well as buttons and a LED, and of course an antenna connector.

Mass production for SmartConnect Wi-Fi will start in May 2014. ATSAM R21 series are already sampling to select customers, will sample to the public in at the end of March with mass production starting in July 2014. SAM R21 MCUs will sell for $2.75 and up in 10,000-piece quantities.

I could not find much details about SmartConnect Wi-Fi, but more information is available on Atmel website via SmartConnect Zigbee SoCs and SAM R21 Xplained PRO pages.

Atmel will also present numerous other innovations at Embedded World 2014. You can check their blog for a full list.

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802.11ah Wi-Fi (900 MHz) to Provide Low Power, Long Range Connectivity for the Internet of Things

February 21st, 2014 3 comments

Most devices now feature Wi-Fi modules capable of handling 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 Ghz (and 5 GHz for dual band Wi-Fi), and newer devices and routers boast 802.11ac connectivity @ 5GHz with increased bandwidth (up to 1.2 Gbit/s in theory, maybe around 400 Mbit/s in practive), and in some case increased range with  beam-forming. But thanks to an article on EETimes, I’ve learned there’s another upcoming Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ah operating in the 900MHz range, with data rates from 150 Kbit/s with a 1 MHz band to as much as 40 Mbit/s over an 8 MHz band, lower power consumption, and a least double of the range of a typical 802.11n device,capable of covering an area of about 1 km2. The target applications are sensors networks, backhaul networks for sensor and meter, and extended range Wi-Fi, as the standard allows long range and more clients at low bitrates.

Smart Grid with 802.11ah - Source:

Smart Grid with 802.11ah – Source: Seoul National Univeristy

This new Wi-Fi standard will compete with other sub 1GHz wireless standard such as Zigbee, and Z-Wave, and it seems to have similar applications as Wi-Fi 802.11af standard operating in the TV white band. Companies such as Broadcom, CSR, Huawei, Intel, LG, Marvell, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ZTE are participating in IEEE 802.11ah standard which is expected to get ratified by the end of 2015. If you want to learn more about technical details, you could read a publications entitled IEEE 802.11ah: A Long Range 802.11 WLAN at Sub 1 GHz by the Department of ECE and INMC from Seoul National University.

802.11ah_specturmA Greek company, Antcor, will demonstrate its 802.11ah DSP block supporting 4×4 MIMO for home gateways and industrial automation networks at Mobile World Congress 2014, and the first 802.11ah SoCs should hit the market before the end of this year, using the draft specifications.

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U-BRAIN MicroSmart is a Tiny “15-Axis” Sensor Module with Bluetooth or Zigbee Connectivity

February 4th, 2014 2 comments

Usuda Research Institute & Systems Corporation has just announced U-BRAIN MicroSmart, a tiny and lightweight 3D modules module with a “15-axis” sensor, 5 GPIOS, as well as optional Zigbee and Bluetooth connectivity allowing up to 100 meter range. The module targets wearable devices used for fitness and health applications.

U-BRAIN_Microsmart
U-BRAIN MicroSmart (UBN-MS8) Specifications:

  • Processor -  MCU + DSP
  • Sensors – 6-axis position sensors, 3-axis posture sensor, 3-axis direction sensor, 1 temperature sensor, 1 audio sensor, and 1 light sensor.
  • Connectivity – Optional? Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR or ZigBee with up to 100 meter range.
  • GPIO – 5 GPIOS, TTL.
  • Power Consumption – 10 mA max during use, 100 uA max in sleep mode
  • Power – Via microUSB port
  • Dimensions – 20 x 19 x 3.8 mm
  • Weight – 2g to 5g depending on presence and selection of communication module

The module will support Windows XP/Vista/7/9.0/8.1, Android 2.3 and greater, iOS, Linux, Unix and ITRON RTOS. Middleware and software tools to handle signals and motion control will be provided, and products like Google Earth and Unity are also supported.

If your Japanese is good enough, you can find more information in the press release and product brief.

Via Tech-On

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eConais WiSmart EC19D is an 8x8mm Wi-Fi Module for the Internet of Things

January 14th, 2014 3 comments

eConais, a company specializing in ultra low power embedded Wi-Fi modules, has recently announced WiSmart EC19D Wi-Fi module which it claims to be “the world’s smallest, most easily integrated, and lowest standby power single chip 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi System In Package (SiP) modules for the Internet of Things”.

econais_EC19DThis Wi-Fi module comes with the following features:

  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n,Wi-Fi Direct, WPS, Wi-Fi Client Mode, Wi-Fi SoftAP Mode
  • Security – WPA/WPA2 support
  • ProbMe Configuration – Proprietary configuration method which enables any Wi-Fi device to configure the EC19D module without the need of any application
  • Protocol – TCP/UDP sockets, HTTPS/SSL, DHCP Client/Server
  • MCU I/F – Serial
  • Cloud Service Support (Xively)
  • Concurrent DLNA Renderer & Server (Q1 2014)
  • OTA FW Upgrade (Q1 2014)
  • Dimensions – 8x8mm
  • Certifications – FCC, IC, and EC

EC19D-SDKThere’s no data about standby power consumption, so it’s difficult to verify the company claim, however at 8x8mm, it could well be the smallest Wi-Fi module available.

eConais also provides an EC19D module Eval Board/SDK, pictured on the right, with SPI, I2S, USART, GPIOs interfaces to evaluate their module,  as well as “WiSmart Tools”, a suite of software tools, including libwismart library with support for TCP IP, WPA/WPA2, DLNA, etc.., source code for interfacing with external devices with sample applications, a GNU toolchain, and more.

WiSmart EC19D and its evaluation board are available now at an undisclosed price. Further information is available on eConais WiSmart EC19D page.

Via Embedded.com

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Categories: Hardware Tags: IoT, development kit, econais, wifi