Orange Pi Zero-LTS Allwinner H2+ SBC Gets More Efficient and Cooler

Allwinner H2+ SBC Low Power Consumption

Orange Pi Zero is a cool little Arm Linux board based on Allwinner H2+ processor for headless applications requiring WiFi and/or Ethernet that was first launched in November 2016 for $7 and up. It was not launched without controversy, as first users had various issues with the Allwinner XR819 WiFi module, but I had no such problem when I made an Orange Pi Zero Google Assistant smart speaker. Nevertheless, Shenzhen Xunlong Software is about to launch a newer version of the board – Orange Pi Zero-LTS -, with the same specifications, but improvements in the design in order to reduce power consumption, and lower the board’s temperature. As the name implies, the company will commit to long term support (i.e. long term availability) for the board, but they did not tell me for how many years. Orange Pi Zero-LTS v1.5 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H2+ quad-core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz System Memory …

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Olimex ESP32-ADF Board is Made for Smart Speakers, Internet Radios, VoIP Phones, and More

Olimex ESP32-ADF

We’ve already covered several (smart) audio boards based on ESP32 WiSoC, including the Espressif’s own ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio Mic HDK,  as well as third party boards such as TTGO TAudio or Seeed Studio ESP32-A1S all compatible with the company’s ESP-ADF (Audio Development Framework) compatible with Baidu DuerOS, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Olimex ESP32-ADF adds another ESP32 audio option, and AFAIK the first one that is open source hardware, with two speakers, and a dual-microphone that enable projects such as Alexa smart speaker, internet radio receiver, or SiP VoIP phone. Olimex ESP32-ADF specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B with 8MB PSRAM, 4MB Flash, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 LE Audio Stereo microphones Stereo 2x3W speakers with amplifier Audio output jack Display – UEXT connector for optional 2.8″ LCD display USB – 1x micro USB port for power supply and programming Misc – IR receiver, 4x touch buttons, 3x tactile buttons Build-in programmer Power Supply 5V/1A via DC jack On-board charger and LiPo …

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Amlogic S905X2 vs S905X3 – Features Comparison

Amlogic S905X2 vs S905X3

Despite Arm claiming Cortex-A55 core would bring some performance improvements, we’ve recently seen actual Amlogic S905X3 benchmarks show the performance compared to Amlogic S905X2 Arm Cortex-A53 is almost identical (3% improvement for S905X3 CPU, 9% for the GPU). So Amlogic S905X3 TV box processor must differentiate itself from its predecessor by its additional features, and while we published the detailed specifications of Amlogic S905X3 processor a few months ago, we did not provide a side-by-side comparison table just yet. So here’s one courtesy of SDMC (with some corrections). SoC Amlogic S905X2 Amlogic S905X3 CPU 4x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.80 GHz 4x Arm Cortex-A55 @ 1.91 GHz Neural Network Accelerator N/A Optional 1.2 TOPS NNA GPU Mali-G31 MP2 with OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0, and OpenCL 2.0 Always-on MCU Cortex-M3 & Cortex-M4 (Optional ) Cortex-M3 & Cortex-M4 DDR DDR3-2133 /DDR3L-2133 / DDR4-2666 /LPDDR3-2133 /LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM up to 4G DDR3-2133 /DDR3L-2133 / DDR4-3200 /LPDDR3-2133 / LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM up to 4G Video Decoding H.265, …

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MYIR Announces Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC SoM and Development Board

MYD-CZU3EG development board

MYIR Technology has been selling Xilinx Zynq-7000 FPGA + Arm systems-on-module since 2016, but the Chinese company has now announced new modules based on the more powerful Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC with Arm Cortex-A53 cores, Arm Cortex-R5 cores, and Ultrascale FPGA fabric, as well as a corresponding development board. MYC-CZU3EG Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC CPU Module CPU module specifications: Mechanical Parameters MPSoC – Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ XCZU3EG-1SFVC784E (ZU3EG, 784 Pin Package) MPSoC with quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz, dual-core Cortex-R5 processor @ 600 MHz, Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU, and 16nm FinFET+ FPGA fabric (154K logic cells, 7.6 Mb memory, 728 DSP slices) System Memory – 4GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash, 128MB QSPI Flash On-module chips Gigabit Ethernet PHY USB PHY Intel Power Module Clock Generator 2x Samtec 0.5mm pitch 160-pin high-speed headers bringing out Networking – Gigabit Ethernet USB – USB 2.0 interface 4x PS GTR transceivers along with 2 GTR reference clock inputs 4x PL GTH …

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Checking Out Machine Check Exception (MCE) Errors in Linux

Machine Check Exception Error Linux

I recently reviewed ODROID-H2 with Ubuntu 19.04, and noticed some errors messages in the kernel log of the Intel Celeron J4105 single board computer while running SBC-Bench benchmark: I did not know what do make of those errors, but I was told I would get more details with mcelog which can be installed as follows: There’s just one little problem: it’s not in Ubuntu 19.04 repository, and a bug report mentions mcelog is not deprecated, and remove from Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic onwards. Instead, we’re being told the mcelog package functionality has been replaced by rasdaemon. But before looking into the utilities, let’s find out what Machine Check Exception (MCE) is all about from ArchLinux Wiki: A machine check exception (MCE) is an error generated by the CPU when the CPU detects that a hardware error or failure has occurred. Machine check exceptions (MCEs) can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from undesired or out-of-spec voltages from the power supply, …

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Group Theoretic Cryptography (GTC) Offers an Alternative to TLS’s ECC/RSA Security for Microcontrollers

SecureRF Group Theoretic Cryptography

The Transport Layer Security (TLS), sometimes incorrectly referred as its predecessor: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), helps securing messages over the network using symmetric cryptography, and optionally public-key cryptography (aka asymmetric cryptography). This works well in servers and computers, but with the Internet of Things, even low-power sensor nodes would benefit from secure communication. The trouble is that today’s commonly-implemented RSA- and Diffie-Hellman-type public-key protocols have a memory footprint that will not fit on resource-constrained microcontrollers systems, e.g. Arm Cortex-M0 based ones, and power consumption may also be an issue since many of those are battery-powered. I’m writing about this topic today, as there may be a better alternative for resource-constrained microcontrollers which I noticed in Arm Techcon 2019 schedule, with SecureRF Corporation’s session entitled “When it comes to connect IoT devices, how small is small?” that will present an alternative to TLS’s ECC and RSA based security that relies on in “Group Theoretic Cryptography (GTC)” designed specifically for low resource …

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Ameba Z2 IoT Board Features Realtek RTL8720CM Armv8-M KM4 Secure Wireless MCU

Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board

In 2016 we discovered Realtek Ameba wireless microcontrollers combining an Arm Cortex-M3 core with WiFi connectivity, and that could potentially become an ESP8266 competitor with modules selling for as low as $2. But the solution never really took off, because it was about the same price as ESP8266, and the latter already had a solid software ecosystem and community. But RealTek has now introduced a new Ameba Z2 IoT development board powered by RTL8720CM microcontroller featuring an Armv8-M KM4 core clocked at 100 MHz. What’s an Arm KM4 core you may ask? Seeed Studio informed me Arm and RealTek worked together on the KM4 core, so it looks like a custom Armv8-M microcontroller. Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board Ameba Z2 (ZII) specifications: Wireless MCU – Realtek RTL8720CM single core Armv8-M KM4 core @ 100MHz with 4.2MB internal RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth radios Storage – 2MB external flash on module Connectivity Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 1×1 Wi-Fi 4 (20/40MHz) with PCB …

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Arduino based Clover Platform Targets STEM Education in Vietnam

Clover Vietnam Makers

We’re already seen there’s an active maker community in South East Asia with products such as KidBright32 educational board in Thailand, and Singapore & Thailand based MakerAsia’s recent launch of the open-source KB-IDE for ESP32 targets. Vietnam based Clover Team also introduced a STEM platform for students late last year with hardware, an IDE, and a mobile application. The team has made three educational kits: Clover EDU Basic with Clover Master Board and basic modules Clover Car Robot with Clover Master Board, motor, motor driver module, line sensor, distance sensor, Bluetooth module Clover Inventor that includes all items from Clover EDU Basic and Clover Car Robot plus a WiFi module. The Master board is compatible with the Arduino UNO platform (software-wise) and comes with the following key features: Connectivity – Header for ESP8266 WiFi module Expansion – 4x RJ11 ports for input and output with color signs, and compatible with all modules with are also color-coded to make sure students …

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