Lenovo Project Limitless 5G Laptop and Snapdragon 8cx Benchmarks

Snapdragon 8cx PCMark 10 Application benchmark

Last December, Qualcomm unveiled Snapdragon 8cx processor for laptops, or as the company calls them “always-on always connected mobile PCs”. Only 4G LTE was mentioned at the time, but a few months later it was confirmed that the processor would find its way into 5G always-connected mobile PCs. Qualcomm made two main announcements at Computex 2019 about their new Arm processor for laptops. First, they announced a partnership with Lenovo for Project Limitless, the first 5G PC powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, and the company released some benchmarks to demonstrate the high performance and long battery life of their solution. Lenovo Project Limitless 5G Laptop The press release did not reveal that much information, but we do know Project Limitless features Qualcomm Snapdragon 8C 5G compute platform with Snapdragon X55 5G modem enabling download speed of up to 2.5 Gbps, and it will be the first 5G laptop available once it becomes available in early 2020. …

Arm Introduces Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU

Arm Cortex A77

Arm unveiled its Cortex-A76 CPU and Mali-G76 GPU right before Computex 2018, so it should come as no surprise that the company decided to make announcements for the upgrades before Computex 2019 with the just introduced Arm Cortex-A77 processor, and Mali-G77 GPU. Arm Cortex-A77 Processor highlights: 64-bit Armv8 CPU with support for Armv8.1 and Armv8.2 extensions, as well as Armv8.3 with LDAPR instructions only Up to 4 processors per cluster Cache – 64KB L1 I-Cache / D-Cache, 256KB to 512KB L2 Cache, optional L3 Cache between  512KB and 4MB Improved performance for mobile and laptop devices enabling AAA-gaming, faster web-browsing and application launch time. Brings always-on, always-connected feature set of mobile to laptop devices Compatible with the newly announced Mali-G77 and machine learning (ML) processor. Compared to Cortex-A76, Cortex-A77 yields up to 20% improved IPC performance with similar efficiency. The new IP core is basically an upgrade over A76 with the same key features but better performance, as you can …

REFLO Air is a $200 Open Source Hardware Portable PCB Reflow Machine (Crowdfunding)

PCB Reflow Phone Magnifier

While possible, it can be challenging to solder SMD components with a soldering iron or a heat gun, and going with a reflow oven is much easier and normally yields better results. But reflow ovens are usually fairly bulky, and somewhat expensive. MagixBox’ REFLO Air PCB reflow machine is much more compact making it more portable, open source hardware, and affordably priced since the early bird pledge starts at $199 on Crowd Supply. REFLO Air specifications: Control panel with LCD segment display and buttons Heat Control 100-300°C temperature control K-type thermometer Cooling fan Power Supply-110V-220VAC Max Power – 200 Watts Dimensions – 138 x 138 x 51 mm Weight – 900 g The company also offers optional accessories for its PCB reflow machine with a 3D-printed phone holder to use the phone’s camera to magnify the reflow area, a mini vice made of aluminum, and a semi-automated XY table. The documentation and resources have not been made public right now, …

Allwinner V316 Processor is made for Low-Cost “True” 4K 30 FPS Cameras

Allwinner V316 4K Camera Board

Allwinner V-Series processors target camera applications, especially sports and action cameras, and we’ve already coverd Allwinner V3 single core Arm Cortex-A7 processor for 1080p60 / 4K15 cameras, as well as Allwinner V5 quad core Cortex-A7 processor for 4K30 cameras enhanced with artificial intelligence capabilities. Allwinner has showcased and/or unveiled more Cortex-A7 processors at CES Asia 2019 such as Allwinner R328 for voice applications, or Allwinner T7 for automotive dashboards, as well as a new camera processor called Allwinner V316 with two Arm Cortex-A7 cores, apparently the same 4K @ 30 fps H.265/H.264 encoder as in V5, but without AI engine architecture. Allwinner V316 key features and preliminary specifications: CPU – Dual core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz ISP – HawkView 6.0 image processor with 2D/3D intelligent noise reduction, frame width dynamic synthesis, sharpening enhancement, specific color enhancement and other image pre-processing techniques Video – 4K Smart H.264/H.265 video encoder with built-in hardware distortion correction and electronic anti-share; 720p @ …

NODE Mini Server V2 is a Raspberry Pi Based Storage Server for the Decentralized Web

Node Mini Server V2 3D View

We’ve previously covered networked hard drive enclosures with Ethernet and/or WiFi running OpenWrt or Ubuntu that allows you to easily and fairly cheaply connect SATA drives to your local network with models such as Blueendless X3. NODE has done something similar with a DIY project featuring a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. NODE Mini Server V2 connects the popular SBC to a 2.5″ SATA hard drive over USB and is designed to build out the physical infrastructure for the decentralized web (e.g. IPFS) that would allow users to replace remote servers with nodes that they themselves own and operate. Having said that nothing would prevent you from using this as a simple NAS although performance will not be as optimal as the aforementioned products due to the lack of SATA or USB 3.0 interface, as well as having “Gigabit” Ethernet limited to 300 Mbps. Having said that the design could also be easily be adapted to one of the Raspberry …

An Interview with a TV Box Manufacturer: Shenzhen Tomato

Shenzhen Tomato Logo

I’ve been interviewing Jojo Zhou, Sales Manager at Shenzhen Tomato Technology, a TV box manufacturer, over email to learn a bit more about the TV box market, and various challenges encountered by manufacturers. CNXSoft: We’ve already covered several products sold by Shenzhen Tomato on CNX Software, but for readers who may not know the company yet, could you provide a short description of the company? Jojo Zhou: With over 8-years of experience, Shenzhen Tomato Technology Co., Ltd has become one of the leading OEM/ODM manufacturers specialized in developing Android TV Box, IPTV Set Top Box, Android Media Player, Hybrid Set Top Box and media solution. ODM and OEM is our main advantage, including hardware design and software customize (such as driver porting, kernel modification, etc). We have a first-class R&D team of 30 energetic engineers with rich experience to focus on that. A strict and complete quality control system is built to ensure each product has been strictly inspected before …

PecanPi Audio Streamer with Volumio, Squeeze or Rune Audio Goes for $399

PecanPi Audio Streamer

We’ve recently covered the upcoming Volumio Motivo audio streamer, but there’s another product for audiophiles running Volumio audio software. Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer is based on Raspberry Pi 3 boards combined with the company PecanPi DAC HAT bringing high-quality audio to the Raspberry Pi. PecanPi Streamer specifications: SBC – Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with WiFi, Ethernet, 4x USB ports. PecanPi DAC HAT Texas Instruments PCM1794A high performance stereo 24-bit DAC, 192KHz sampling HW volume control and re-clocking via TI SRC4193 sample rate converter XLR Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 130dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 125dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 5Vrms RCA Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 124dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 121dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 2.5Vrms Headphone Amplifier (Dual parallel OPA1622): 390mW peak power into 32 ohms 780mW peak power into 16 ohms Dimensions – 125 x 125 x 70mm (Aluminum case) …

Google Pik Image Format Improves on Lossy JPEG and Lossless PNG

Google Pik butteraugli

JPEG lossy compression is still used on most photos in the Internet, while PNG is still the preferred format for lossless compressions. Back in 2010, Google unveiled WebP to improve on both, but that’s only very recently that I started to see a few webp image on the Internet. The company has been working on yet another image for with Pik lossy/lossless image format designed for high quality and fast decoding. Some of the features enabling high quality: Built-in support for psychovisual modeling via adaptive quantization and XYB color space 4×4..32×32 DCT, AC/DC predictors, chroma from luma, nonlinear loop filter, enhanced DC precision Full-precision (32-bit float) processing, plus support for wide gamut and high dynamic range Features allowing faster decoding over 1 GB/s multi-threaded: Parallel processing of large images SIMD/GPU-friendly, benefits from SSE4 or AVX2 Cache-friendly layout Fast and effective entropy coding: context modeling with clustering, rANS Google Pik is royalty-free, and is said to achieve perceptually lossless encodings at …