PinePhone “Community Edition: UBports” Linux Phone Launched with Ubuntu Touch

PinePhone Community Edition UBports

PinePhone “BraveHeat” Limited Edition Linux smartphone launched last November as promised for $149.99. As the codename implied, it was for the enthusiasts as the phones that were part of that product batch may have had some defects, and came without an operating system, meaning the users had to flash the firmware themselves. But there’s now a new edition, namely PinePhone “Community Edition: UBports” pre-loaded with UBports with Ubuntu Touch featuring Lomiri user interface. The specifications are exactly the same with an Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, a 5.95″ display with 1440×720 resolution, and 4G LTE cellular connectivity. The only difference is that Ubuntu Touch is preloaded to the device, and the back of the phone should have a marking showing you purchased UBports Edition. What should be noted is that it’s still not considered as a consumer device, as UBports is still beta, and the phone is primarily aimed at UBports community members who can …

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QuickDAQ.mikroBUS Development Board Leverages Visual Programming and MikroE Click Boards (Crowdfunding)

Virtuoso Visual Programming

mikroBUS is a socket interface that allows you to connect MikroElektronik (MikroE) Click add-on boards that can be buttons, sensors, a servo controller, a wireless module, and practically anything you may think of since there are over 700 Click boards to choose from. We already covered several SBC with MikroBUS sockets starting with SolidRun HummingBoard Gate board that offered a single socket for 150+ Click boards at the time (2015). Other boards include Azure Sphere MT3620 with two MikroBUS sockets and MikroElektronika’s own Flip & Click board designed to take one Arduino shield and up to four Click boards. Another upcoming option is QuickDAQ.mikroBUS developer by EmbeddeTech in collaboration with MikroElektronika, powered by a Microchip PIC32 MCU, offering three MikroBUS sockets, and designed to work with “Virtuoso Low-Code Environment” that allows people to program the board using NodeRed-like visual programming and generate a Visual Studio project with code from the visual representation. QuickDAQ.mikroBUS hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC32 microcontroller …

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Pine64 is Giving Away 50,000 Face Masks to Makers

Pine64 Face masks giveaway

It’s interesting how to see how different countries handle the COVID-19 pandemic response. In Asia, virtually everybody is now wearing a face mask, sometimes hand-made due to supply issues, but in Europe and North America at least, I’ve seen authorities tell healthy people not to wear a mask at all, and reserve them to health professionals. I’ve even seen some nasty comments on Twitter complaining about people wearing masks at the grocery store (in the US) as they took supply out of health professionals. I personally think this is madness for a disease that is known to transmit from asymptomatic people, and I’m shocked to learn some people working at supermarkets are not given masks. But when I send photos from Thailand to my brother in France, he’s always surprised to see everybody wearing a mask. But everything points to masks being effective. N95 masks are the best, followed by surgical masks, but hand-made masks, or even wearing a bandana …

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Edgeless EAI-Series Dual Arm Cortex-M4 MCU Features a 300 GOPS CNN-NPU

Edgeless EAI80 Development Board

Microcontrollers will have an important role to play in AIoT (AI + IoT) applications as they provide the lowest cost and power consumption. Performance is limited but we start seeing MCUs with AI accelerators such as GreenWaves GAP9 multi-core RISC-V microcontroller or Kendryte K210 RISC-V MCU with a KPU AI accelerator. Another option is by Edgeless Semiconductor Co. Ltd (零边界集成电路有限公司) based in Zhuhai, China, and more specifically its Edgeless EAI-Series dual-core Arm Cortex-M4 microcontrollers equipped with a 300 GOPS CNN NPU. Edgeless EAI specifications: CPU – Dual Arm Cortex-M4F @ up to 200Mhz, with DSP instructions, I/D cache for high performance; 500DMIPS/1.25DMIPS/MHz (Dhrystone2.1) AI Accelerator – CNN-NPU clocked at up to 300MHz with 300 GOPS peak throughput; 144MAC/cycle, EER up to 1TOPS/W, for image recognition scenario. Support major CNN Models including Resnet-18, Resnet-34, Vgg16, GoogleNet, Lenet, etc.. Support Convolutional kernel size 1~7 Support Channel/Feature No. up to 512 Support Max/Average pooling function Arithmetic Precision: 16-bit fixed-point Memory Up to 384KB …

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Allwinner A-Series Processors 2020-2021 Roadmap – Allwinner A33E, A100 and A200 SoCs

We previously discussed Allwinner business units where each can share the same silicon (with different a name) but maintains its own software stacks for different target applications. Allwinner A-Series is the most well-known as Allwinner A10 & A20 were very popular SoC for tablets and TV boxes many years ago. CNX Software received two slides that originated from Allwinner this morning. The first one shows the different Allwinner processor families, and the second provides a roadmap for A-Series processors for tablets with A33E, A100, and A200 coming this year and next. Let’s go through the Allwinner processor families first and their main use case: R-Series and MR-Series – Smart home applications A-Series – Tablets VR-Series – Virtual reality H-Series and F-Series- High-performance applications like multimedia (TV boxes) T-Series- Automotive, I suppose mostly infotainment V-Series – Camera SoCs XR/XIN-Series – Wireless chips like the infamous XR819 WiFi chip. AXP – PMIC (Power Management IC) accompanying the company’s Arm SoCs The second …

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Select a Geiger Counter for your Phone to Survive the next Nuclear Catastrophe

geiger counter smartphone

It’s time to prepare! No, not for that COVID-19 thingie, it’s too late, but since 2020 has not started the best way we should prepare for all eventualities. It all started badly as I fell off my bicycle on New Year’s eve, and it went south from there, from talks of world war three in January, to the thread of a virus pandemic that could kill millions worldwide, to the start of the first global great depression. 2020 will be the “year of doom“, and we should expect massive earthquakes,  once in a hundred-year megatsunami what will wipe entire cities, gigantic locust swarms in southern Europe, climate change induces, and leading famine, a couple of large asteroids hitting the hearth, and so on. But we should not forget the nuclear threat either via nuclear war or damaged nuclear reactors following natural disasters or terrorist attacks. One way to protect yourself and your family is to check the level of variation …

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This is what HoneyComb LX2K 16-core Arm Workstation Looks Like (Video)

Arm Workstation

Back in February 2019, while referring to Arm server, Linus Torvalds famously said: I can pretty much guarantee that as long as everybody does cross-development, the platform won’t be all that stable. Or successful. … If you develop on x86, then you’re going to want to deploy on x86, because you’ll be able to run what you test “at home” (and by “at home” I don’t mean literally in your home, but in your work environment). … Which in turn means that cloud providers will end up making more money from their x86 side, which means that they’ll prioritize it, and any ARM offerings will be secondary and probably relegated to the mindless dregs (maybe front-end, maybe just static html, that kind of stuff). SolidRun had already worked on products with NXP LX2160A 16-core Arm Cortex A72 processor and found out it could be a match to make a powerful Arm workstation so that code could be developed natively on …

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DSTIKE ESP32 Watch Development Board Comes with OLED or TFT Display

DSTIKE ESP32 Watch Development Kit

In recent months several Espressif ESP32 watches have started to show up including TTGO-T wristband and Watchy with an e-Ink display. This morning, I’ve come across another option with DSTIKE ESP32 watch development kit that offers a choice of black & white OLED display or color TFT display, and has apparently been around for about a year. DSTIKE ESP32 watch devkit specifications: SoC – ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor with Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0/5.1 connectivity Storage – MicroSD card Display (one or the other) 1.3 OLED I2C display (SH1106) TFT color display with 240 x 240 resolution (I2C + 2 I/O) Expansion – 10-pin header with TX/RX, GPIO 17 & 16 (I2C), SVP/SVN, GPIO 25 & 26 (DAC), GND, and 3V Misc – Power switch, navigation buttons, reset & flash buttons, buzzer, WS2812b RGB LED,  “highlight LED” (backlight LED maybe), charging status LED Battery – 600 mAh battery Dimensions – Face: 4.5 x 3.8 x 1.5cm Weight – TBD …

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