Posts Tagged ‘yocto’

Intel Introduces 3 Atom E3900 Apollo Lake Processors for IoT, Industrials and Automotive Applications: x5-E3930, x5-E3940, x7-E3950

October 26th, 2016 2 comments

intel-atom-e3900Intel previously introduced Celeron and Pentium Apollo Lake processors for laptops and mini PCs, and it seemed Atom was gone for good from that processor family, but the vendor has now introduced Atom E3900 “Apollo Lake” processor family for IoT, industrial and automotive applications with three models: x5-E3930, x5-E3940, and x7-E3950.

All three new processors will support up to 8 GB of LPDDR4/DDR3L memory, come in a FCBGA1296 package, be manufactured using 14 nm process, support 4K UHD video output up to 60 Hz on three independent displays, up to 15 simultaneous 1080p30 video stream, as well as 13MP cameras for photos and 1080p60 video capture. Peripherals interfaces include SATA 3.0,  PCIe lane, HDMI, DisplayPort, embedded DisplayPort, USB 3.0 & 2.0 ports and more.

The new processors also integrate Intel Time Coordinated Computing (TCC) Technology that “coordinates and synchronizes peripherals and networks of connected devices, achieving improved determinism. It can resolve latency issues in applications, such as robotics manufacturing, by synchronizing the clocks of devices across networks to within 1 μs”. The technology will be available through Linux built with the Yocto Project.

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Intel Atom E3900 Processor Series Reference Platform Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Reliability is achieved via ECC memory, high-temperature rating between -40°C to 110°C, and some upcoming A3900 SKUs will be qualified for automotive applications. Atom 3900 series also include some security features through Intel Trusted Execution Engine 3.0 (TXE 3.0), secure or measured boot, DRM with HDCP 1.4 wired / HDCP 2.2 wireless, protected audio video path (PAVP), and Intel Platform Trust Technology to store keys and perform crypto operatings compliant with TPM 2.0 specifications.

The three Atom E3900 SKUs most differ by their number of cores, clock speed, max TDP, and GPU.

CPU Cores Base Frequency Burst Frequency L2 Cache Size Graphics Execution
Units (EU)
Intel Atom x5-E3930 2 1.3 GHz 1.8 GHz 2 MB 12 EU 6.5W
Intel Atom x5-E3940 4 1.6 GHz 1.8 GHz 2 MB 12 EU 6.5W
Intel Atom x7-E3950 4 1.6 GHz 2.0 GHz 2 MB 18 EU 12W

Operating systems supported will include Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit) and IoT Core (32-/64-bit), Linux through Wind River 8 (64-bit) and a Yocto Project BSP (64-bit), Android 7.0 Nougat 64-bit (Q2 2017 target release), and Wind River VxWorks 7 real-time operating systems.


The processors will be used in industrial settings for predictive maintenance, accelerated time to market and increased quality and remote management,  digital security and surveillance (DSS) / vision systems (video) for visual data identification and analysis, safety and security, traffic management and monitoring, agriculture and pipeline monitoring, manufacturing inspection…, as well as for transportation and automotive applications for software-defined cockpits and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

You’ll find more details on Intel Apollo Lake products’ page.

Renesas SK-RZG1M Board Powered by R8A7743 Processor Gets Mainline Linux Support

October 25th, 2016 2 comments

Another board has gotten initial mainline Linux support recently, with Renesas SK-RZG1M starter kit board based on Renesas RZ/G1M dual core ARM Cortex A15 SoC with 2GB RAM, a SATA interface, HDMI, LVDS, AV Ethernet bridge, and more.

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Renesas SK-RZG1M starter kit board actually has the exact same features as Renesas R-Car M2 Porter board except for the processor:

  • SoC – Renesas RZ/G1M (R8A7743) dual core ARM Cortex-A15 processor @ 1.5­GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP2 3D GPU, Renesas 2D graphics processor
  • System Memory – Dual channel 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – On-board 4 MB SPI, and 64 MB SPI, 1x SATA rev 3.1 connector, 1x SD card slot, and 1x micro SD card slot
  • Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI (via ADV7511), and LVDS + touchscreen
  • Analog Video In – ADV7180 video decoder with RCA jack, NTSC/PAL/SECAM autodetection
  • Audio codec – AK4643EN with 3.5mm jacks for Line In and Line Out
  • Connectivity – 100 Mbps (debug) Ethernet and Ethernet AVB (Auio Video Bridge) connector
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port that supports host, device and OTG modes
  • Serial – CAN transceiver
  • Expansion
    • 1x PCI Express x1 slot
    • EXIO connector
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG connector, micro USB port for debugging
  • Misc – Power LEDs for 12, 5 and 1.35V, power switch, 3 user buttons, reset button, heatsink and fan
  • Power supply – 12V/5A
  • Dimensions – 170×125 mm
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While R-Car M2 porter board and processor are targeting automotive applications, RZ/G1M processors are designed for industrial, home appliance, office and medical equipment, especially for connectivity and human interface applications. So for example, the IEBUS connector is still there, but it’s not documented in the hardware manual, and likely not available. You’ll more more software and hardware technical details about the board in the board’s eLinux wiki.

Reneasa RZ-G1M SoC Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

Reneas RZ-G1M SoC Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

You’ll also be able to get more details about the processor itself on Renesas RZ/G1M product page.

Renesas SK-RZG1M starter kit board can be purchased for about $400 on Digikey.

Thanks to Nobe for the tip.

RabbitMax Flex IoT & Home Automation Board and Kit for Raspberry Pi

October 7th, 2016 4 comments

RabbitMax Flex is an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi boards with 40-pin headers, namely Raspberry Pi Model A+ and B+, Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 0, destined to be used for Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation applications thanks to 5x I2C headers, a relay, an LCD interface and more.

I’ve received a small kit with RabbitMax Flex boards, a BMP180 temperature & barometric pressure I2C sensor, and a 16×2 LCD display.

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RabbitMax Flex specifications:

  • Relay – Songle SRD-05VDC-SL-C supporting 125V/250VAC up to 10A, 30VDC up to 10A
  • Storage – EEPROM with some system information for identification
  • IR – IR LED, IR receiver
  • Misc – Buzzer, Button, RGB LED
  • Expansion
    • Header for LCD character display + potentiometer for backlight adjustment
    • 5x 4-pin headers for I2C sensors
  • Dimensions – Raspberry Pi HAT compliant
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The assembly of the kit is child’s play as you don’t even need tools. First insert the HAT board on top of your Raspberry Pi board, add the LCD display, and whatever I2C sensors you please.

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I’ve done so on my Raspberry Pi 2 board and battery kit. I have not tried the software part yet, but the platform has been tested on Raspbian, with a custom Linux OS built with the Yocto Project coming soon. Currently three sensors are supported including a temperature and barometric pressure sensor (BPM180), a temperature and humidity sensor (HTU21) and a light sensor (BH1750), but you could also connect any other I2C sensors provided you work on the code to enable support.

You’ll find documentation, software, example projects, tools, and soon KiCAD files on RabbitMax github’s account, and some extra info on website. RabbitMax Flex board is now sold for $49.90 on, but if you are patient enough, you should be able to buy it for a significantly lower price via an upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

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

September 23rd, 2016 40 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

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.


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.

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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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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.

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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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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.