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Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014 Schedule – IoT, ARM vs x86, Optimization, Power Management, Debugging…

August 21st, 2014 2 comments

The Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC 2014), CloudOpen, and LinuxCon Europe will jointly take place at the Congress Centre Düsseldorf, in Germany on October 13 – 15, 2014. The 3-day events will consists of keynotes, presentations, and tutorials. Each day will open with two or three keynotes by speakers including  Jim Zemlin (Executive Director, Linux Foundation), and Jono Bacon (XPRIZE), followed by presentation and tutorials. There will be 45 presentations for ELCE, 58 for LinuxCon, and 47 for CloudOpen, I’ll make a virtual schedule with a few sessions part of the Embedded Linux Conference Europe “track”.

ELCE_2014

Monday, October 13

When faced with a performance problem, the initial steps towards a solution include identifying the sections of code responsible and the precise reasons they are time-consuming. To this end, the ‘perf’ profiling tools provide valuable insight into the characteristics of a program. The presentation will show, using real-world examples, how the ‘perf’ tools can be used to pinpoint the parts of a program in need of optimization.

It’s not uncommon to produce embedded Linux based devices that end up with long and inconvenient boot times – yet eliminating boot time delays can be difficult and time consuming. Furthermore once a minimal boot time has been achieved it’s often just as difficult to maintain it through subsequent software development.

In this presentation, Andrew unfolds 12 keys lessons learned in his experience of boot time reduction. These lessons provide an insight into the common causes of boot time delays, why they are present and how they can be overcome. In describing these lessons Andrew will also take you on a journey that indicates why file system benchmarks should probably be ignored (with respect to boot time reduction) and a journey that illustrates that the Linux kernel is rarely the worst offender for boot delays.

With the introduction of Bluetooth Smart (aka Low Energy), the ubiquity of Bluetooth is more and more present. Millions of devices support Bluetooth Low Energy and with Bluetooth 4.1 specification, they are ready for the Internet of Things. This presentation will give an overview of Bluetooth Low Energy, and its usage for the Internet of Things. It will also introduce 6loWPAN over Bluetooth and show the possibilities this opens for Linux.

With experience developing community based open hardware for both the ARM based PandaBoard project and the x86 based MinnowBoard project, this presentation will provide a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each platform with highlights of what each platform can learn from the other. Not only limited to the hardware aspect of the platforms, but also discuss community, software, corporate and general embedded aspects.

For almost as long as there have been deployments of Linux, there has been someone wondering “how can I get the device started quicker?” and “how do I configure some redundancy, easily, in case something goes wrong?”. And for the longest time, the answer has been “hack this and this and that” or “hire these consultants, they have done it before”. In this presentation, Tom will show what you need to turn on and the prep work required for, getting a lot of those items out of the box in U-Boot, what the hardware (and/or ROM) needs to do, and the what works is left going forward.

Got a question, comment, gripe, praise, or other communication for the Yocto Project and/or OpenEmbedded? Or maybe you’d just like to learn more about these projects and their influence on the world of embedded Linux? Feel free to join us for an informal BoF.

Tuesday, October 14

While user experiences are increasingly moving to 3D, rendering of 2D content remains at the core of how we interact with computer applications today. Skia is an open-source project maintained by Google whose goal is to bring the best 2D graphics library to a variety of targets, from mobile to desktop and embedded. Skia is used in highly popular projects like Mozilla Firefox, the Chromium browser and Android.

This talk will introduce Skia to developers and users, giving an overview of its design, architecture and features. It will also discuss briefly how hardware acceleration improves performance of Skia in the context of new devices, form-factors and the industry shift to mobile; with focus set on Linux and Android platforms.

The 4.4 KitKat release includes the results of “Project Svelte”: a set of tweaks to the operating system to make it run more easily on devices with around 512 MB RAM. This is especially important for people working with Android Wearables and “Embedded Android”, that is, implementing Android on devices at the lower end of the Android ecosystem. A large part of the problem is knowing how much RAM is really being used. Android offers a variety of tools for the purpose: procrank, procmem, meminfo and procstats, which Chris covers in the first part of the talk. In the second part, he takes a real-world example and show the practical steps you can take to optimize memory use including tuning the size of the Dalvik heap, enabling KSM (Kernel samepage merging) and swap to zRAM.

Android has relied from its early days on the Linux kernel for sandboxing the processes it runs. Yet, the permission model presented to app developers is significantly different from the Unix permission model. What’s the relationship between those two models? How is Android’s app security framework tied to the Linux kernel’s security model? More recently, Android has started using SELinux and has been extended by SEAndroid to support similar functionality. How is SELinux used by Android and what is SEAndroid about? Furthermore, how does Android provide support for multiple users?

This talk will explore Android’s security model in great detail and explain how the functionality found in the kernel is used to isolate user processes and the SE enhancements are leveraged by Android. As we’ll see, there are quite a few moving parts in Android’s security model.

Since last year, Free Electrons has been working on supporting the SoCs from Allwinner, a Chinese SoC vendor, in the mainline kernel. These SoCs are cheap, wide-spread, backed by a strong community and, until last year, only supported by an out-of-tree kernel. Through this talk, Maxime will share the status of this effort: the status a year ago, what solutions were in place, where we are currently, and what to expect from the future. He will also focus on the community around these SoCs, the work that is done there, etc.

Enlightenment Foundation Library is a set of libraries designed to use the full potential of any hardware to do great UI. It has been designed with the embedded devices in mind, but it is a desktop class toolkit. Being done in C, it is providing a stable API/ABI, high efficiency, low memory and low battery usage for all kind of Linux devices. Enabling development of modern UI adapted to any hardware that run Linux. These are the reason why Samsung uses it in its Tizen devices. This talk, after a short overview of what this libraries cover, will focus on this year improvement, and where it is heading. It will also be an opportunity to learn about project around EFL that will help people develop product with it. And it would also be a good opportunity to see where EFL are used with some real use case.

Wednesday, October 15

A major issue the community faces is the lack of power measurement (PM) instrumentation, coupled with poor integration: development boards not designed for it, expensive high-precision lab equipment not accessible to hobbyists (plus limited Linux support), limited low-cost solutions (precision, sampling rate) to monitor high-performance SoC (System On Chips) platforms (e.g. smartphones, tablets, IoT, …). After a brief introduction to the problematic (PM techniques, sense resistor / ADC selection, …) and a comparative study of existing solutions, this presentation will focus on a new upcoming initiative to close these gaps and bring a full-blown multi-channel but low-cost power (and temperature) measurement equipment to the community, including the definition of an open standard PM connector. After having covered motivations, challenges, key decisions, a live demo will close the talk.

In 2013, at the Embedded Linux Conference in Europe in Edinburgh, there was a race between a dog and a blimp. It was said that despite the dogs win, that the blimp had participated in the miracle of flight. In 2014, John wants to show that the brains of that dog can be transplanted and that it too, can participate in the miracle of flight. The talk is mainly targeting taking an off the shelf embedded platform, Minnowboard Max, and it’s use in UAVs, specifically quad-copters. With the ability to do real time computer vision, as well as various GPIO capabilities he will explore the directions that significantly more autonomous UAVs can take with Linux and embedded platforms using, mostly, off the shelf components.

There have been many presentations on what a device tree looks like and how to create a device tree. This talk instead examines how the Linux kernel uses a device tree. Topics include the kernel device tree framework, device creation, resource allocation, driver binding, and connecting objects. Troubleshooting will consider initialization, allocation, and binding ordering; kernel configuration; and driver problems.

Providing real-time capabilities to a general purpose operating system is an outstanding technical problem, and Linux Preempt-RT has been developed for 10 years for this goal. In this presentation, Jim proposes a lightweight open source para-virtualization layer, called “rtmux”, using resource-multiplexing techniques to provide a highly deterministic RT environment for Linux/ARM. Typically, less than 500 lines modification against Linux kernel are required to enable rtmux accompanied by POSIX/PSE51 compatible runtime.

During the last 2.5 years, a team of engineers at Free Electrons has been involved in mainlining the support for several ARM processors from Marvell, converting the not-so-great vendor-specific BSP into mainline quality code progressively merged upstream. This effort of several hundreds working days, has led to the integration of hundreds of patches in the kernel. Through this talk, Thomas will share some lessons learned regarding this mainlining effort, which could be useful to other engineers involved in ARM SoC support, as well as detail the steps Free Electrons engineers have gone through, the mistakes made and how they’ve been solved, as well as their overall experience on this project.

To make your own schedule matching your interests, you can check out the events’ program.

To attend the conference, you can register online.

The fees are listed as follows:

  • All-access Registration Fee – $600 until August 22 (tomorrow), $750 until October 2, and $850 afterwards
  • Attendee Networking Pass Registration – No access to conference sessions. $250 until August 22, $300 afterwards.
  • Student Registration Fee – $200 (valid student id required).
  • Registration Discount Scholar – $300. For active open source community members who can’t be sponsored by their company. .

Fees are significantly higher than last year, because there are only all-in-one (ELCE, CloudOpen and LinuxCon )options, and you can’t simply register to one single event.

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Raspberry Pi Based Slice, and EzeeCube Quad Media Players Support Internal Hard Drives (Crowdfunding)

August 20th, 2014 6 comments

Slice is a media player based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module, and EzeeCube Quad is media hub powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad, and an upgrade to EzeeCube based on i.MX6 dual, which was successfully funded. The underlying hardware between Slice and EzeeCube is much different, but both devices have a lot in common. They are both media players currently being crowd-funded respectively in Kickstarter and Indiegogo, both comes with an internal hard drive, run XBMC, targets typical end-users (rather than tinkerers) and are somewhat pricey.

Slice Media Player

When I first saw Slice, all I could see was an Raspberry Pi module, put in a case with an internal hard drive bay, and lots of pretty RGB LEDs, and with an air mouse sold for an inflated price of 114 GBP ($190 US) without hard drive or 179 GBP ($300 US) with a 1TB drive, with admittedly some cheaper early bird pledges, and I did not think many people would be ready to pay a premium price for a device powered by a low-end processor, and decided to skip it. But I was wrong to underestimate to power of the Raspberry Pi brand (R-Pi and Pimoroni members are part of the team), and they’ve already fully funded, after raising over 104,000 GBP (~$173,000 US), and the first stretch goal (Free Wi-Fi!) has been reached.

Slice_Media_Player

Slice technical specifications:

  • SoC- Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 CPU @ 700MHz + VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash for the OS,  2.5″ SATA hard disk for media files
  • Video Output – HDMI port with 5.1 audio pass through and CEC support
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm jack for stereo audio (up to 192KHz 24-bit) or optical output
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet port + Wi-Fi via included USB dongle
  • USB – 2x USB2 ports , 1x micro USB device port to use Slice as mass storage device from your PC or program the flash.
  • Misc -  IR Sensor,  Real time clock with backup battery, 25 programmable RGB LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A (barrel type)
  • Enclosure – Aluminum case with REG LED string (Knight Rider style but multi-color, and customizable)

Slide_Raspberry_Pi_Compute_Module_Baseboard_LEDThe box runs XBMC with a skin that simplifies user experience, and with different color themes and backgrounds. Video files and other media can be loaded to the Slice simply by connecting it your computer via USB and copy/paste files as if it was a simple USB flash drive. You can have a better grasp about the user interface in the video embedded below.

The company, FiveNinjas Ltd, launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project. As mentioned in the introduction, it is already successful with 36 days to go and close to 800 backers, and you can now pledge for one for as “low” as 114 GBP (~$190) without hard drive, and 169 GBP (~$280) with a 1TB hard drive. The perks include the media player, a remote control with a USB RF dongle, a power supply with multiple connectors, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, a n instruction manual, a protective carry bag, and depending on the perk, a 2.5″ 1TB  hard drive. Shipping is free worldwide with delivery scheduled for November 2014 to December 2015 depending on the chosen option.

 EzeeCube Quad

EzeeCube is a much more powerful quad core device, and features stackable layers (EzeeStacks) allowing for a Blu-Ray player, and a total of 10 TB storage.

Rear Panel of EzeeCube Media Hub

Rear Panel of EzeeCube Media Hub

EzeeCube Quad specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Quad with four ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 1 GHz and Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 1066MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC,  2TB 2.5″ hard drive @ 5400rpm, and SD/SDXC card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (limited to 470Mbps), 802.11n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), and Bluetooth 3.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with CEC support
  • Audio Output – HDMI and optical S/PDIF
  • Video Containers – AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, MKV/MKA, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, OGG, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMV8, OGM, 3gp, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, DVR-MS and WTV
  • Video Codecs – H.264 (AVC BP/MP/HP), MPEG4 (AP/ASP), H.263, VC1, MPEG-2 (MP/HP), DivX/Xvid, and VP8
  • Audio Formats – MIDI, AIFF, WAV/WAVE, AIFF, MP2, MP3, AAC, AAC+, Vorbis, AC3, DTS, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Monkey’s Audio (APE), RealAudio, SHN, WavePack, MPC, Speex, WMA, ADPCM, CDDA and more
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Misc – Reset Button, EzeeStack connector for add-ons
  • Power – 5V power adapter
  • Dimensions – 14 x 14 x 4.5 cm
  • Weight – ~700 grams

The device runs embedded Linux built with Yocto, and a custom version of XBMC.

Since the company has already raised close to $150,000 from their previous campaign for the dual core version, they already have the funds for production, which explains why the new Indiegogo campaign only has a $500 funding target… EzeeCube Quad is available for $349 including a 2TB internal hard drive. Shipping is $15 outside of Hong Kong, and delivery is expected for March 2015. There’s also a $49 “EzeeTuner” a USB tuner to watch and record TV on the internal storage (but no mention if it is DVB, ASTC,… or analog TV [Update: I asked and: "Right now only off the air all standard, after we finish testing, we will also support dvb c"]), a $49 Retrogame EzeeStack for Nintendo and Sega game cartridges, and Blu-Ray and 2TB hard drive EzeeStack expansions for respectively $99 and $149. If you had pledge for a dual core version in the previous campaign, and wish to upgrade to a quad core version with 2GB RAM, 2TB HDD, you can do so for $99.

If you had to chose, what would you prefer? The Raspberry Pi powered Slice, the quad core EzeeCube, or none of the above?

Thanks to Harley (again) for the tip.

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MIPS Creator CI20 Development Board Powered by Ingenic JZ4780 SoC

August 13th, 2014 1 comment

There are plenty of ARM based development boards running Linux and Android, but with MIPS it’s a different story. Microchip does have some affordable development board powered by their MIPS MCUs, but these don’t have the hardware specs to run Linux based operating systems, and Ingenic Newton Platform for wearables can run Android and Linux, but it appears to be reversed to companies with virtual no documentation. There are some MIPS platform running OpenWRT on hardware such as routers or Wi-Fi boards, but these can’t be considered fully supported development boards. But Imagination Technologies is trying to make MIPS more relevant, first by launching Prpl developers’ community, and MIPS Creator CI20 development board powered by Ingenic JZ4780 dual core MIPS32 (Xburst) core processor with PowerVR SGX540 GPU should soon be available with complete documentation and source code.

MIPS Creator CI20

MIPS Creator CI20

Let’s go through the hardware specifications first:

  • SoC – Ingenic JZ4780 dual core MIPS32 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Imagination PowerVR SGX540 GPU. 32kI + 32kD per core, 512K shared L2.
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NOR flash, 1x SD card slot, 1x SD card slot via expansion
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, Andio In and Out via 3.5mm jack
  • Video Playback – Up to 1080p60
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi + Bt 4.0 module (IW8103)
  • USB – 1x USB OTG, 1x USB 2.0 Host.
  • Expansions Headers – Access to 23x GPIOs, 2x SPI, 1x I2S, 7x ADC on header, including 5-wire touch and battery monitoring function, 1x UART, Transport Stream I/F.
  • Debugging – UART, and 14-pin MIPS EJTAG header
  • Misc – IR receiver, power LED, and button
  • Power Supply – 5V via 4mm/1.7mm barrel connector
  • Dimensions – 90x95mm
MIPS Creator CI20 Board Components' Description (Click to Enlarge)

MIPS Creator CI20 Board Components’ Description (Click to Enlarge)

The board will come pre-loaded with Debian 7, but more operating systems will soon be available such as Android, Gentoo, Yocto Sato, Arch Linux, and Angstrom. Software and hardware documentation is available on eLinux. Hardware documentation includes components’ datasheets including JZ4780m, header pinout, and the schematics in PDF format only, so the project is not open source hardware, but it’s the case for most ARM development boards too. The source code for Linux, U-Boot, as well as various hardware libs for JZ4780 is available on Imagination Technologies MIPS github account, which instructions provided via eLinux Wiki which is still in construction, but looks promising. Software projects in the pipeline include XBMC, TSSI tuner, and a Raspberry Pi compatibility layer with the R-Pi like header, as well as support for OpenOCD.

The board has not been formally announced, so I do not know when it will become available, nor the price, but based on the Wiki’s progress, it should be very soon, and be sold on Imagination Technologies e-store for a competitive price since it’s clearly made for hobbyists / makers / individual developers.

Thanks to Frederic for the idea.

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Intel Announces Galileo Gen 2 Development Board Based on Quark SoC

July 16th, 2014 3 comments

As many of us are waiting for our Intel Galileo board promised by Microsoft, and right after the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the Raspberry Pi Model B+, Intel has introduced a new version of the Galileo board which they simply call Galileo Gen 2. The development board is still powered by Intel Quark single core SoC (Pentium class) and with the same key features as the original Galileo Board, but with some tweaks based on the feedback from the community.

Intel Galileo vs Intel Galileo Gen 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Intel Galileo vs Intel Galileo Gen 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Intel Galileo Gen 2 specifications (Changes in Bold):

  • SoC- Intel Quark SoC X1000 single core, single-thread application processor @ 400 MHz, with 12KB embedded SRAM
  • System Memory – 256MB DDR3, 5
  • Storage – 8MB NOR fklash, 8KB EEPROM, and micro SD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB 2.0 device port used for programming
  • Debugging / Programming
    • 10-pin JTAG
    • 6-pin 3.3V USB TTL UART header (replaces 3.5mm jack RS-232 console) for better compatibility with existing debug boards.
    • 6-pin ICSP
  • Expansion
    • full-sized mini-PCI Express slot
    • Arduino Uno R3 headers that support most Arduino shields:
      • 20x digital I/O (12x fully native speed)
      • 6x analog inputs
      • 6x PWMs with 12-bit resolution
      • 1x SPI master
      • 2x UARTs (1 shared with console UART)
      • 1x I2C master
  • Power
    • 7 to 15V via power barrel (instead of just 5V)
    • Optional 12V PoE support
  • Dimensions – 123.8 mm (L) × 72.0 mm (W)

Another improvement is that console UART1 can be redirected to Arduino headers in sketches, which can eliminate the need for soft-serial. The board is still programmable with the Arduino IDE in Windows, Mac OS or Linux operating systems, and  supports Yocto 1.4 Poky Linux release. The company also claims the board is open source hardware with schematics, Cadence Allegro board files, and bill of materials (BOM) available for download (soon).

The board will be available in August, for $60 according to MakerFlux. You can find more information, and download some documentation such as schematics (PDF), a getting started guide, and product brief on Intel Galileo Gen 2 page.

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Emtrion DIMM-AM335x SoM Supports Mainline Linux Kernel

June 30th, 2014 1 comment

When I cover system-on-modules (SoM), companies will usually provide some BSP (Board Support Packages) for older kernels, and did not submit their changes to mailine kernel, so I was interested in a news from Emtrion entitled “DIMM-AM335x: Linux mainline support ready“, which actually means they’ve done the work to support a recent Linux kernel (3.14) and provides instructions and code (device tree files), but did not submit patches to the linux-arm-kernel mailing list to get their changes added to kernel.org.

Emtrion_DIMM-AM335xLet’s look at the hardware specs first:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex A8 processor @ 720Mhz to 1GHz (AM3354 or AM3359)
  • System Memory – onboard 512 MB SDRAM/optional 256 MB
  • Storage – 512 MB NAND Flash (managed) + 2 SD card interfaces
  • Display – LCDs I/F with resolution up to SVGA, with 4-wire touch interface
  • Audio – Analog Audio with SSI I/F
  • USB – USB 2.0 Host and Device
  • Connectivity – 100BaseTX Ethernet
  • Other I/Os:
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x serial interfaces
    • 4x analog inputs
    • 1x SPI, 1x I²C
    • 10x GPIOs
  • Misc – RTC (Battery buffered)
  • Temperature range – 0°C to 70°C (optional from – 40°C to 85°C)
  • Dimensions – 67,6 x 45 mm

The company provide four different baseboard for development. You can find more details about the hardware on Emtrion DIMM-AM335x page.

The company provides BSP and development kit for Linux 3.2.0 (via Yocto 1.5.1), and QNX 6.5, but you can also get BSPs for Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows 2013, and Android 4.0 on request. To make there SoM “Linux mainline ready” they’ve provided a tarball file with documentation and files namely:

  • DIMM-AM335x-Mainline-Support-v001en.pdf – Documentation for Linux mainline support for DIMM-AM335x
  • am335x-dimm.dts – Device tree file with the SoM
  • am335x_mainline_defconfig – Kernel config
  • uboot_script – Uboot script

And apparently that’s all what’s needed to support a Sitara AM335x SoM in mainline kernel. They have tested it against Linux 3.14.y from kernel.org, but it should also work with the latest version. They also have added this to Yocto in the FTP (see PDF). I’m not sure why they’ve have gone the extra steps and submitted a patch to add their module to mainline.

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AMD Introduces Embedded G-Series “Steppe Eagle” SoCs and “Crowned Eagle” CPUs

June 6th, 2014 No comments

​AMD has added six new members to is Embedded G-Series family with “Steppe Eagle” SoCs comprising a CPU, GPU and I/O in a single chip, and “Crowned Eagle” CPUs that are not actually CPUs in the old sense, but SoCs comprised of a CPU and I/O chipset, and all of them also include AMD’s ARM based PSP (Platform Security Processor) built upon ARM TrustZone architecture. You may also remember AMD G-Series APUs which are comprised of a CPU and GPU, and connected to an external I/O chipset, but none of these were announced today.

Block Diagram for a Typical "High Performance" PC Built Around AMD G-Series SoCs

Block Diagram for a Typical “High Performance” PC Built Around AMD G-Series SoCs

The six new AMD G-Series processors are as follows:

  • “Steppe Eagle” SoCs:
    • GX-424CC – Quad core @ 2.4 GHz with 2MB L2 cache, and a GPU @ 497MHz. DDR3-1866 support. TDP: 25W
    • GX-412HC – Quad core @ 1.2 GHz with 2MB L2 cache, ad a GPU @ 300MHz. DDR3-1333 support. TDP: 7W
    • GX-212JC – Dual core @ 1.2 GHz with 1MB cache, and a GPU @ 300 MHz. DDR3-1333 support. TDP: 2 6W
    • GX-210JC – Dual core @ 1.0 GHz with 1MB and a GPU (freq TDB). DDR3-1600 support. TDP: 6W
  • “Crowned Eagle” CPUs:
    • GX-420MC – Quad core @ 2.0GHz with 2MB L2 cache. DDR3-1600 support. TDP: 17.5W
    • GX-412TC  – Quad core @ 1.2GHz with 2MB L2 cache. DDR3-1600 support. TDP: 6W

All model have a junction temperature range (TjC) between 0 and 90°C, except GX-210JC with an extended temperature range between -40 to 105°C. I’ve highlighted the six new models in the tablet below will all Embedded G-Series SoC from the company’s product brief.

List of AMD G-Series SoCs (Click to Enlarge)

List of AMD G-Series SoCs (Click to Enlarge)

AMD claims up to 53 percent more overall performance compared to previous G-Series SoC solutions, as well as pin-to-pin compatibility for Steppe Eagle SoCs. One of the first design will be Advantech AIMB-225, and industrial grade mini-ITX motherboard features both dual- and quad-core solutions, and targeting applications such as ATMs, kiosks, automation, gaming machines and medical equipment. Steppe Eagle SoCs will also be used in some of Hewlett Packard (HP) thin clients for healthcare, finance, education and retail markets.

GPU-less “Crowned Eagle” SoCs are destined to be used in datacenters for networking and communication infrastructure applications. These 64-bit CPUs are said to feature integrated PCI-E Gen 2.0, USB3.0, SATA ports, and single-channel DDR3-1600 memory with ECC support. AMD claims 34 percent more CPU-centric performance-per-dollar than competing Intel solutions, but they haven’t disclosed which ones…

The performance-per-watt of the new platforms is said to be nearly double compared to previous G-Series SoCs, which has been achieved thanks to improvement such as configurable TDP (cTDP). Embedded Linux development and commercial support for the AMD G-Series family will be provided though Mentor Embedded Linux and Sourcery CodeBench. A no-cost Mentor Embedded Linux Lite is also available, which is based on the Yocto Project.

You can find more details via AMD press release, blog post, and AMD Embedded G-Series product page.

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EzeeCube is a Modular XBMC Media Hub with Up to 9TB Storage (Crowdfunding)

June 5th, 2014 8 comments

EzeeCube is a media hub that automatically synchronizes photos, videos and contacts from your iOS and Android phones or tablets. The hardware is based on Freescale i.MX6 Dual SoC, includes a 1 TB hard drive upgradable to 9TB with 4 extra drives, can be upgraded with hardware modules, and runs a custom version of XBMC on top of Linux built with the Yocto Project.

EzeeCube with EzeeDisk (extra 1TB HDD) and EzeePlay (Blu-ray Drive)

EzeeCube with EzeeDisk (extra 2TB HDD) and EzeePlay (Blu-ray Drive)

EzeeCube specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Dual with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 1 GHz and Vivante 3D GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC,  1TB 2.5″ hard drive @ 5400rpm, and SD/SDXC card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), and Bluetooth 3.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with CEC support
  • Audio Output – HDMI and optical S/PDIF
  • Video Containers – AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, MKV/MKA, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, OGG, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMV8, OGM, 3gp, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, DVR-MS and WTV
  • Video Codecs – H.264 (AVC BP/MP/HP), MPEG4 (AP/ASP), H.263, VC1, MPEG-2 (MP/HP), DivX/Xvid, and VP8
  • Audio Formats – MIDI, AIFF, WAV/WAVE, AIFF, MP2, MP3, AAC, AAC+, Vorbis, AC3, DTS, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Monkey’s Audio (APE), RealAudio, SHN, WavePack, MPC, Speex, WMA, ADPCM, CDDA and more
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Misc – Reset Button, EzeeStack connector for add-ons
  • Power – 5V power adapter
  • Dimensions – 98 x 98 x 23mm
  • Weight – 272 grams
Rear Panel of EzeeCube Media Hub

Rear Panel of EzeeCube Media Hub

The specifications look pretty standard, except for the included 1TB hard drive, the long list of supported audio and video formats, and EzeeStack connector that will let you add extra hardware:

  • EzeePlay – Blu-ray Drive
  • EzeeDisk – Stackable 2 TB drive. You can add four in total to get 9TB storage (1 + 2 x 4).

The company has modified the software so that you can manage your media files (up to ~500,000 photos on a 1TB hard drive) by automatically sorting your photos and videos by albums, dates and location, finding duplicates, recognizing face and organizing them automatically, and finding locations and dates of photos to organize them into events (holidays, weddings, birthday parties, concerts, etc..). This can be achieved thanks to EzeeSync for iOS 5+ or Android 4.0+ (soon). Other features and apps supported include a dozen of (unnamed) audio, video, and photo apps, DLNA, Airplay, backup to USB hard drive, and PVR function.

The developers are currently looking for $75,000 via a fixed funding campaign on Indiegogo. A ‘Super Early Hackers Special” pledge will get your the EzeeCube with 1TB hard drive for $179, if you miss the super early pledge for the first 100 pieces, it will then be $189 for 200 more units, and $199 after that. The EzeePlay Blu-Ray player perks requires $99, and each EzeeDisk perk $129 for a 2TB hard drive. So if you want a system with 9TB storage the total cost would be $695. A first glance, I thought it was all pretty expensive, but considering the hardware corresponds roughly to a $99 Wandboard Dual with enclosure and a 1TB hard drive, pricing seems reasonable. Shipping is free to Hong Kong, and $5 to $15 for the rest of the world. “Hackers”‘ perks will be shipped by the end of the year (October, November), and after EzeeBox will be shipping in batch between December 2014 and March 2015. EzeeDisk and EzeeDrive accessories are only scheduled to ship by March 2015.

Beside the Indiegogo campaign, further details may eventually be provided on EzeeCube.com.

Via Stephan Rafin and Harley

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