Back in 2016, I read news about STMicro exiting the set-top box chipset market, so I just assumed all their STiHxx processors would be phased out, and I was surprised to come across 4Kopen, described as an open 4K UHD video development platform powered by STMicro STiH418 media processor, especially it was just showcased at 2019 Integrated Systems Europe (ISE 2019) at the beginning of the month.
The development board comes with 2 GB RAM, HDMI 2.0 output, HDMI 1.4 input, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, a mini PCIe slot fitted with an 802.11b/g/n WiFi module, an eSATA connector and more.
- SoC – STMicro STiH418 quad-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz, quad-core Mali-400 GPU, and 4x ST231 DSP (Each Core Quad issue) @ 650 MHz
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 @ 2133 MHz
- Storage – micro SD socket, eSATA port
- Video & Audio I/O
- Output – HDMI 2.0 Tx up to 2160p60, 3.5mm AV jack with composite video and stereo audio
- Input – HDMI 1.4 Rx up to 2160p30
- Video Decode/Encode
- Ultra HD Decoding, up to 2160p60
- Full HD Encoding, up to 1080p60
- Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Mini PCIe slot (wireless module included)
- 40-pin GPIO header
- Debugging – JTAG header
- Misc – Reset button
- Power Supply – 12V DC
- Dimensions – TBC
The board appears to be truly designed as an open source hardware 4K development platform with OrCAD and PDF schematics, Gerber files, and datasheet all available for download. There’s also a Wiki explaining how to get started with Raspbian or buildroot built Starkl Linux distributions, and how to use the GStreamer media APIs. A user forum and a Bitbucket account where the source code is updated complete user’s support. One downside is that you need to be the owner of a board in order to download any of the images provided since the MAC address of the board is required before any download.
You can purchase a board for 150 GBP on Amazon UK, or about $195 US including VAT. Alternatively, you could try your luck via an Electronics Weekly contest where they will offer 10 boards for free to randomly selected contestant by the 31st of March.
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