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Posts Tagged ‘yocto’

Marvell ESPRESSOBin Board with Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, mini PCIe, and USB 3.0 To Launch for $39 and Up (Crowdfunding)

September 23rd, 2016 34 comments

I can often read people hoping for an inexpensive community board for network, storage and connectivity applications with high speed interface like SATA, multiple Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 and/or mini PCIe, and that’s exactly what Globalscale Technologies is about to offer with their Marvell ARMADA 3700 based ESPRESSOBin development board to go for $39 and up via Kickstarter.

espressobinMarvell ESPRESSOBin board specifications:

  • SoC – Marvell Armada 3700LP (88F3720) dual core ARM Cortex A53 processor up to 1.2GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 or optional 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 1x SATA interface, 1x micro SD card slot with footprint for an optional 4GB EMMC
  • Network Connectivity
    • 1x Topaz Networking Switch
    • 2x GbE Ethernet LAN
    • 1x  Ethernet WAN
    • 1x MiniPCIe slot for Wireless/BLE periphereals
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion – 2x 46-pin GPIO headers for accessories and shields with I2C, GPIOs, PWM, UART, SPI, MMC, etc…
  • Misc – Reset button, JTAG interface
  • Power Supply – 12V DC jack or 5V via micro USB port
  • Power Consumption – Less than 1W thermal dissipation at 1 GHz
marvell-armada-3700-block-diagram

Marvell ARMADA 3700 Block Diagram

The board will run mainline Linux & U-boot, and the company will release Ubuntu, ArchLinux ARM, Debian, and OpenWrt firmware, with support for the Yocto Project as well. Some documentation and source code can be found on the Wiki in Github.

Typical applications include NAS, video camera monitor, plex media server, IoT gateway with wireless module and/or dongle with Zigbee, Bluetooth, , Zwave…. The board was first showcased at Computex 2016.

ESPRESSOBin will be launched on Kickstarter in the next few days. Keep in mind that the page is still in draft mode, so information is subject to change, but based on the details currently available, they plan to raise at least $25,000, and a $39 early bird pledge will be asked for the first boards (with 512MB RAM), with the price going up to $49 after (with 1GB RAM). There’s also a model with a wireless module and 12V power supply for $69, and “cluster” rewards with multiple boards. Delivery is scheduled for December 2016 for early bird rewards, and February 2017 for others. If you are interested in the board, and want to make sure you don’t miss out on the early bird pledge, you can register to be notified when the project launched in the KS page.

Thanks to Ray for the tip.

Android 7.0, Android TV 7.0, and Yocto Project Ported to Pine A64 Boards

September 19th, 2016 3 comments

A few weeks ago, Raspberry Pi 3 got an Android 7.0 Nougat port, and it’s usable for some app even simple games like Angry Bird, but there are still problems with 3D graphics, and hardware video decoding. But thanks to Pine64 forum’s member Ayufan, we now have Android 7.0 and Android TV 7.0 for Pine A64 boards with 1GB or more memory with 3D graphics, and hardware video acceleration for most apps.

pine-a64-android-7-0-nougat-yocto-project

Everything is said to pretty much work, but there are some known issues, such as camera support (being worked on now), touchscreen support (not tested), YouTube is limited to 360p/480p as it does not support hardware video decoding, and Widevine DRM is not supported. Android 7.0 has also been shown to be about 10 to 15% faster than Android 5.1.1 in GeekBench.

Ronnie Bailey has shot a video showing Pine A64 running Android TV 7.0 Nougat.

If you want to try yourself, prepare a 4GB or greater micro SD card, and flash one of the two images with Win32DiskImager or dd after downloading the latest version on the release page.

If you find any issues you can report them on Github issue tracker, and if you’d like to get involved you’ll find instructions to build Android 7.0.

Beside Raspberry Pi 3 and Pine A64 boards, if you are interested in running Android 7.0 in a development board, 96Boards Hikey could be the best solution since it is officially supported in AOSP.

Android Nougat is not the only new operating system being supported by Pine A64 boards, as Montez Claros published Pine A64 meta layer for the Yocto Project, which itself is not an operating system, but will allow you to build you own minimal or custom Linux distribution for the board.

MinnowBoard Turbot SBC Gets a Quad Core Atom E3845 Processor, Better Ethernet, and a Fansink

September 6th, 2016 10 comments

MinnowBoard Turbot open source hardware SBC was released in 2015 with an Intel Atom E3826 dual core Bay Trail-I processor, 2GB RAM, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet support, and a new version – MinnowBoard Turbot Quad – with a more powerful quad core processor, an heatsink and fan, and better Ethernet connectivity will be launched in December.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

MinnowBoard Turbot Quad “MBT-4210” board specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom E3845 quad core Bay Trail-I processor @ 1.92 GHz with Intel HD graphics @ 542 / 792 MHz (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L 1067 MT/s (Soldered)
  • Storage – 1x SATA2 3Gbs, 1x micro SD card slot, , 8 MB SPI Flash for firmware (Tianocore UEFI, Coreboot, SeaBIOS)
  • Video & Audio Output – 1x micro HDMI connector
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet RJ-45 connector (Intel i211 instead of Realtek NIC on first board)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host, 1x USB 2.0 host
  • Debugging – Serial debug via FTDI cable, firmware flash port header
  • Expansion headers
    • Low-speed expansion (LSE) port – 2×13 (26-pin) male 0.1″ pin header with access to SPI, I2C, I2S Audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (including 2x supporting PWM), +5V, and GND
    • High-speed expansion (HSE) port –  60-pin high-density connector with access to 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 Lane, 1x SATA2, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, and GND
    • 8x buffered GPIO
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A DC input via 2.5mm center pin positive power jack; 5V DC output via  2-pin header
  • Dimensions – 99 x 74mm
  • Temperature Range –  Operating: TBD; Storage: -20 to +85 deg C
  • Certifications – FCC Class B, CE, IEC-60950, RoHS/WEEE

The company claims the new processor is 2.5 times faster than the dual core processor used in the first board, likely referring to multi-core performance at a higher clock speed, and the fansink should make it more suitable for higher temperature applications. Gigabit Ethernet is also supposed to benefit from replacing a Realtek GbE controller by Intel i211.

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MinnowBoard Case – Click to Enlarge

The board leverages MinnowBoard MAX ecosystem, with support for many different operating systems including Debian GNU/Linux, Brillo, Windows 8.1 / 10, Android 4.4, and Ubuntu. MinnowBoard Turbot (Quad) is also compatible with the Yocto Project, 64-bit Intel firmware, Coreboot and U-boot, and more with details available on Minnowboard Wiki. The board will be open source hardware with the files released under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license. The hardware should not be that different from MinnowBoard Turbot (dual core) whose schematics, PCB layout, gerber files, and BoM can be found on MinnowBoard Turbot Wiki.

The board can be pre-ordered for $189.95 on Netgate, but you may consider adding accessories like a metal case (+$19), 5V/2A or 4A power supply ($10.95/$12.95), and/or a HDMI cable ($9.995). Bear in mind that shipping is only scheduled for December 2016.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

OpenRex Open Source Hardware NXP i.MX6 Board Launched for 199 Euros and Up

September 5th, 2016 3 comments

OpenRex is an open source hardware board powered by NXP i.MX6 Cortex A9 processor designed by Fedevel for their hardware design course, and manufactured by Voipac, both companies based on Slovakia. The schematics, PCB layout, gerber files and other manufacturing files were released in February, but the company has only started selling the board a few days ago with OpenRex Basic SBC and OpenRex Max SBC boards.

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Click to Enlarge

OpenRex Basic and Max boards specifications:

  • SoC
    • OpenRex Basic – NXP i.MX 6Solo single core Cortex A9 processor @ 1 GHz with 2D and 3D GPU
    • OpenRex Max – NXP i.MX 6Quad quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1 GHz with 2D and 3D GPU
  • MCU – NXP LPC1345FHN33 ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller @ 72 MHz
  • System Memory
    • Basic – 512 MB DDR3-1066 (400MHz)
    • Max – 2GB DDR3-1066 (533 MHz)
  • Storage
    • Basic – micro SD slot, 1x 2Kbit I2C EEPROM, 1x 32Mbit SPI flash
    • Max – SATA, micro SD slot, 1x 16Kbit I2C EEPROM, 1x 32Mbit SPI flash
  • Video Output / Display I/F – 1x HDMI up to 2048×1536, LVDS, parallel RGB display output, touchscreen connector (Optional 4x Analog input)
  • Audio – HDMI output, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
  • Camera – 1x Parallel CSI camera shared with RGB output, 1x differential camera input (compatible with Raspberry Pi)  shared with LVDS)
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Debugging – 1x UART Debug console (FTDI compatible)
  • Expansion
    • 1x mini PCIe slot + micro SIM
    • 1x Arduino type header with CAN, 4x analog inputs,3x GPIO, I2C, USB
    • 1x Raspberry Pi somewhat compatible header with 2x I2C, 2x UART, 1x CAN Tx/Rx, 2x SPI, 3x GPIO/PWM
  • Sensors – Compass + accelerometer, gyroscope, humidity sensor, temperature sensor
  • Misc – IR receiver, 8+2 user LEDs, 1x power LED, 1x reset button, 3x user buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V DC through power jack or micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 95 x 70 mm
  • Temperature range – 0°C to +70°C

Both boards also ship with a 4GB micro-SDHC Class 4 memory card with pre-installed Yocto Project Linux build, and an aluminum heatsink (14x14x14mm). You’ll find software documentation for U-boot, Linux, Yocto, and NXP LPC MCU on OpenRex Software page.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The boards can be purchased on Voipac Webshop for 199 Euros for i.MX6 OpenRex Basic SBC, and 229 Euros for i.MX6 OpenRex Max SBC, which lower prices for higher quantities. If you order more than 10 pieces, the boards can be customized to your requirements at no extra cost. More details can be found on OpenRex Basic and Max product pages.

$79 HiSilicon Poplar is the First 96Boards TV Platform Compliant Board

August 30th, 2016 30 comments

At the end of last month I wrote about 96Boards TV Platform specifications, and noticed Hisilicon had one such boards, but details were sparse. Linaro has now officially unveiled HiSilicon Poplar board, the first 96Boards TV Platform board, sold for $79 + shipping on Aliexpress.

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Click to Enlarge

Poplar board specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2.0 GHz per core with ARM Mali-T720 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1/1.0, OpenVG 1.1, OpenCL 1.2/1.1 Full Profile, RenderScript, and Microsoft DirectX 11 FL9_3
  • Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 (Specs are conflicting depending where you look)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Video Decoding – H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 and VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2xUSB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port for console
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin Low Speed (LS) connector with UART, SPI, I2S, 2x I2C, 12x GPIO
    • 1x PCIe 2.0 interface
    • 12-pin Smart Card connector (unpopulated)
    • 24-pin connector for tuner (unpopulated)
  • Debugging – 1x JTAG port, 1x UART connector
  • Misc – IR receiver, boot selection jumper, LEDs, power button
  • Security – ARM Trustzone, trusted execution environment, secure boot, secure storage, secure video path, DRM, DCAS
  • Power Supply – 12V / 2A
  • Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (96Boards TV platform specs)
  • Temperature Range – 0°C to +70°C

Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 is quite an interesting processor with many high speed and media interfaces, and while they used most of them, they did not leverage support for SATA. Luckily, there’s still USB 3.0 and PCIe if you need faster storage.

Hi3798C V200 Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

Hi3798C V200 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The board is sold with Android 5.1.1, but it will be the main development platform of Linaro Digital Home Group which aims “to continue creating optimized, high-performance secure media solutions for ARM on both Linux- and Android-based platforms. Licensees of the RDK (Linux) will be able to create Open Embedded/Yocto RDK builds for Poplar. The Poplar board will also serve as a common development platform for Android TV (AOSP) as well as for TVOS-based STB solutions used in China.”

In the meantime, you may find some information on Tocoding Poplar page, or access directly the hardware user manual. Eventually, 96Boards Poplar page will be a good place to look.

Intel Unveils Joule Compute Module and Devkit for IoT based on Atom T5500 & T5700 Processors

August 17th, 2016 8 comments

As the Intel Developer Forum 2016 is now taking place in San Francisco, Intel has unveiled the Joule Compute Module and development kit targeting IoT applications. The module is not for low cost and low power sensor nodes however, as it features a powerful quad core Atom processor running at 1.5+ GHz, so it more suited to IoT gateways, or other application requiring lots of processing power to handle sensor data.

Intel-JouleTwo models of the Joule module have been introduced:

  • Intel Joule 570x platform
    • SoC – Intel Atom T5700 64-bit quad-core processor @ 1.7 GHz / 2.4 GHz (Burst frequency) with Intel HD Graphics with 4K video capture and display
    • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Storage – 16GB eMMC memory
    • Connectivity – 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1
    • Other interfaces –  USB 3.0, MPI CSI and DSI interfaces, and multiple GPIO, I2C, UART interfaces
  • Intel Joule 550x platform
    • SoC – Intel Atom T5500 64-bit quad-core processor @ 1.5 GHz with Intel HD Graphics with 4K video capture and display
    • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Storage – 8GB eMMC memory
    • Connectivity – 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1
    • Other interfaces –  USB 3.0, MPI CSI and DSI interfaces, and multiple GPIO, I2C, UART interfaces

Both modules run Ostro Linux-based OS – built with the Yocto Project – tailored for IoT and smart devices, and support Intel RealSense cameras and libraries. Intel also mentions that “Developers can choose to develop on Ubuntu/Ubuntu Core (Snappy) or Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core”.

The modules are already used to develop several products and demos including PivotHead smart glasses used by Airbus for quality control, Vstone bartending robot featuring a RealSense camera to track a person’s face, Eyelights highway patrol motorcycle helmet display used to read license plates, Microsoft Bamboo robotic companion to help parents of children with diabetes, Canonical robots to demonstrate Ubuntu Core and the Robot Operating System (ROS), as well as Gumstix custom carrier boards for Joule Compute Module.

Intel_Joule_570x_Development_Board

Intel will offer a developer kit for each version of the Joule module, but currently on Joule 570x developer kit can be purchased through partners such as Mouser and Newegg for $370, and Joule 550x devkit will be launched on Q4 2016.

Joule 570x devkit specifications:

  • Joule module based on Intel Atom T5700 processor with 4GB RAM (PoP), 16GB storage, 2x 100-pin connectors
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Video Output – micro HDMI port
  • USB – 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 type C OTG port
  • Camera – 2x 4-Lane MIPI CSI Connectors
  • Expansion – 2x 40 pin females header with 3.3V (5V tolerant) signals for I2S, digital microphone, PCIe, I2C, RTC, SPI, SDIO, UART, PWM, GPIOs, MIPI DSI…
  • Debugging – 1x micro USB port for serial console
  • Power – 12V via Power barrel
  • Dimensions – Joule module: 48 x 24mm

Beside the board and module, the kit includes a micro-SD card, a type-A to type-C micro USB cable, two Wi-Fi antennas, and a heatsink and fastener. The board will run Ostro OS with Linux 4.4 and application framework for Node.js, Python, and C/C++ applications. The “BIOS” will be an open source UEFI implementation. Software development tools include Intel XDK IoT Edition and Intel System Studio IoT Edition, Intel RealSense API support, and Intel IoT Developer Kit.

While you can get the devkit right now, Intel Joule 570x and 550x platforms will only become broadly available in Q4 2016 at an undisclosed price. They will be available is over 100 countries by the end of Q4 including the United States, Canada, Japan and most of Europe. More details can be found on Intel Joule IDF page.

SolidRun ClearFog Base is a $90 Router/Networking Board with USB 3.0, M.2, mSATA, and Gigabit Ethernet Support

August 3rd, 2016 11 comments

SolidRun introduced ClearFog Pro and Base board based on Marvell Armada 380/388 processor at the end of last year, but at the time, only the higher-end ClearFog Pro board was available for $170 and up. Now the company  has officially launched the cheaper ClearFog Base board based on the same processor, two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, one SFP cage, a USB 3.0 port, an M.2 slot, mPCIe expansion slot, and more.

ClearFog_BaseClearFog Base board specifications:

  • Processor – Marvell ARMADA 388 (88F6828) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ up to 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache, NEON and FPU
  • System Memory –  1GB RAM by default (2GB optional)
  • Storage – 1x micro SD slot, optional 4GB eMMC flash, 1x M.2 slot, 1x mSATA/mPCIE
  • Connectivity – 2x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x SFP cage
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansions
    • 1x mini PCI Express slots (shared with mSATA )
    • 1x M.2 slot with USB 3.0, SATA, GNSS, 3G modules
    • mikroBUS socket for GPIOs, MikroElektronika Click Boards
    • 2x SIM card sockets
  • Debugging – micro USB port for serial console
  • Misc – RTC battery header, LEDs, user push buttons
  • Power Supply – 9 to 32V DC input; PoE expansion header
  • Dimensions – 103 x 75 mm (optional metal enclosure)

The board is comprised of a baseboard and a microSoM (in green), and runs OpenWrt or a Yocto Project build based on Linux 3.10.x, and other operating systems such as Arch Linux ARM, and Debian also appear to be supported. Hardware and software documentation can be found in the Wiki.

ClearFog_Base_M2_mPCieTypically applications for such boards include home media clouds (NAS), IoT gateways, and secure routers.

The board sells for $90 without power supply, nor internal storage, but 110V or 220V power adapters, a blank 8GB SD card, and a 4GB eMMC flash are all available as options.

Via Liliputing

96Boards Gets a TV Platform Edition Targeting $50 Mid-range Boards, $99 High-end Boards

July 26th, 2016 2 comments

96Boards was born as a hardware and software standard with Consumer (CE) & Enterprise Editions (EE), with different form factors with the latter focusing on server boards, but with similar software requirements requiring recent and mostly open source software. The consumer edition was also split into “Standard” and “Extended” editions, which the latter allowing for larger boards with more features, while the Enterprise Edition has its own larger format, as well as an option for micro-ATX form factor. I’ve just learned that a “fifth” 96Boards standard has been worked on with 96Board TV Platform for Home Gateways, OTT Streaming boxes, and TV boards with prices target of $50 or lower for mid-range boards, and $99 or lower for high-end boards.

96Boards TV Platform Board Layout - Click to Enlarge

96Boards TV Platform Board Layout – Click to Enlarge

96Boards TV Platform hardware requirements:

  • Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (EE Standard form factor)
  • RAM – 1GB minimum; 2GB recommended
  • Flash – 8GB eMMC minimum
  • WiFi – 802.11 g/n minimum; 802.11ac recommended
  • Bluetooth LE – Optional; at least Bluetooth 4.0

    96Boards TV Platform Board by Hisilicon

    96Boards TV Platform Board by Hisilicon

  • Video Output
    • HDMI 1.4 minimum; HDMI 2.0 recommended
    • HDCP 2.0 minimum; HDCP 2.2 recommended
    • Optional Video Outputs – Composite, Component, S-Video
  • Video Input – Optional same requirements as Video output; used for TV boards
  • Audio – HDMI audio mandatory; options stereo I/O and S/PDIF
  • Ethernet – RJ45; >= 100 Mbps recommended
  • Expansion – 40-pin Low Speed Connector as per 96Boards EE specs
  • Additional functionality options:
    • User input – Optional IR detector
    • Security interfaces – Optional smartcard I/F
    • Transport stream I/F – Optional parallel connector for tuner card (ATSC, DVB-T2, DVB-S2, etc…)

On of the software side, the kernel must be buildable from source code with eventual closed-source binary blobs from either kernel.org, latest Google-supported Android kernel version, or one of the latest two LTS kernels from kernel.org. Supported operating systems must at least one of the latest version of Android, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, or Linaro / Vendor supported Linux OS built with OpenEmbedded/Yocto Project. The latter being supported by Linaro Home Group (LHG). Other requirements include support for vendor or open source bootloader, optional but recommended OP-TEE support, ARM Trust Firmware, and royalty-free vendor or open source accelerated graphics support. Note that the specifications are aimed at development boards, and not at commercial products. You can find more details in the slides for 96Boards – TV Platform presentation at Linaro Connect Bangkok 2016, as corresponding YouTube video.


I learned about the new 96Boards specifications through the blog post about a “sprint” at the Huawei/Hisilicon facilities in Shenzhen, China on July 11-14. Hisilicon showcased “Poplar” – manufactured by Tocoding Technologies startup – one of the first 96Boards TV platform boards (pictured above), and worked on/demonstrated support for OP-TEE builds on Linux and Android for PlayReady and Widevine DRMs, AOSP TV with TV input framework, LHG OpenEmbedded builds with Yocto 2.1, automatic testing, and so on…

It’s unclear when 96Boards TV platform specifications will be officially released, and when the boards will come to market.