Steam Link Beta now Available for Raspberry Pi 3 / 3B+

Raspberry Pi 3 Steam Link

Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation for purchasing and playing video games that was first launched in 2003 for Windows computer only. Since then Mac OS (2010), Linux / Ubuntu, as well as mobile devices running Android & iOS (2012) have been supported in Steam. Mobile could only be used to browse the storefront, manage games, and access the community. However more recently, the company released Steam Link app that allows players to stream games to their mobile devices, while being rendering on more powerful machines.  The good news is that Steam Link (beta) has now been released for Raspberry Pi 3 / 3B + boards. All you need is either board running Raspbian Stretch, and install Steam Link as follows: Once the app is installed launch it in the command line with steamlink, or launch it from the Games menu in the desktop environment. Steam Link support has already been added to RetroPie, and ETA PRIME …

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MicroSemi Introduces PolarFire FPGA & RISC-V SoC

Polaris FPGA + RISC-V SoC

In the past we’ve covered SoCs comprised of Arm cores and FPGA fabric via Xilinx Zynq-7000 series SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ series MPSoCs, respectively featuring up to two Arm Cortex A9 cores, and up to four Cortex A53 cores. MicroSemi has now announced an alternative, not based on Arm cores, but instead based on SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores combined with PolarFire FPGA fabric. PolarFire FPGA RISC-V SoC key features & specifications: FPGA – Microsemi PolarFire FPGA Processor Cores – Up to 4x SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz (performance similar to Cortex-A35 cores); 28nm process Deterministic Coherent Multi-core CPU Cluster Deterministic L2 Memory Subsystem System Memory I/F –  Integrated DDR4/LPDDR4 Controller and PHY Storage – Secure Boot, 128K Boot Flash Debug capability Rich I/Os Low Power – Low static power; power optimized transceivers, up to 50% lower power compared to SRAM based FPGAs So we don’t have the full picture just yet, and we’ll have to wait …

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is the First 5G Mobile Processor

5G qualcomm reference design

Most (all?) CNX Software readers already know 5G cellular technology is coming soon, and companies have already announced 5G modems such as Samsung Exynos 5100, MediaTek M70 or Snapdragon X50, some 5G picocells, but AFAIK, so far nobody had officially unveiled 5G mobile processor. Qualcomm has finally announced their Snapdragon 855 5G mobile processor platform codenamed SDM8150, also delivering 3 times improvement for artificial intelligence workloads thanks to its 4th generation AI engine. As usual, Qualcomm has not provided the full details about the processor during the first announcement, but they just listed some highlights: 4G and 5G connectivity with  sub-6 GHz and mmWave support 4th Gen AI engine with 3x performance improvement Improved photography and video via Computer Vision ISP, true 4K HDR video capture Ultrasonic fingerprint support Process – 7nm That’s it, so we have to rely on leaks and benchmarks found around the web to get some (preliminary) technical details for Snapdragon 855: Tri-cluster octa-core processor: 1x …

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WeTek Air Android TV 4K HDR Set-Top Box Comes with DVB-T2/C, DVB-S2 or ATSC Tuners

WeTek Air

WeTek was one of the first manufacturers to launch Android set-top boxes with built-in tuners starting with WeTek Play, later followed by WeTek Play 2 model a few years later. In recent years, the company also introduced other Android media devices for the business sector with WeTek Hyperion 4G LTE Android TV TV box, and WeTek Nix with all DRM required for the IPTV market. But it appears WeTek is coming back to the consumer market with their Google certified WeTek Air TV box running Android TV, and equipped with DVB-T2/T/C (Europe), ATSC (US), or DVB-S2 (Worldwide) tuner. WeTek Air hardware specifications are pretty similar to their WeTek Play 2 model, but with various improved features thanks to a new processor: SoC –  Quad core Arm processor (Likely S905D, TBC) System Memory – 2 GB DDR4 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with …

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Up2Stream WiFi Audio Receiver Module Targets DIY Wireless Speakers

WiFi Speaker DIY Kit

If you own a set of very good speakers, and are interested in making them smarter, Arylic Up2Stream WiFi audio receiver module may be a solution to look into. The module allows to make your own DIY wireless speakers by adding WiFi connectivity, and features such as multiroom, AirPlay, DLNA streaming, Spotify, and Internet radio streaming. Up2Stream (WA31) hardware specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT7688AN MIPS processor @ up to 580 MHz System Memory – 64MB DDR2 Storage – 16MB flash Connectivity – 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n 1T1R WiFi up to 150 Mbps with 5 dBi I-PEX antenna Audio – 24-bit / 192 KHz decoding, 20 Hz – 20KHz frequency range, 4-pin speaker connector with 2.0mm pitch USB – 1x USB 2.0 port port Power Supply – 5VDC / 1A via 2-pin header (2.0mm pitch) Power Consumption – 160 to 320 mA Dimensions – 55.21 x 41.37mm The module ships with a 2-pin power cable, a 4-pin audio cable, and adhesive antenna, …

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Orange Pi 3G-IoT Board Finally Gets a Linux Image

Orange Pi 3G-IoT Linux

Shenzhen Xunlong has launched several cellular IoT boards over the last few years with Orange Pi 2G-IoT, Orange Pi 3G-IoT and Orange Pi 4G-IoT, but each time, they are launched with Android support only. Linux support on the 2G board has never been great, while the Android 8.1 SDK for Orange Pi 4G-IoT was released earlier this year, but no Linux image are available. This leaves us with Orange Pi 3G-IoT board that just got its first Linux based firmware images released today on both Baidu and Google Drive cloud storage storage services. Four images are available for Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A (256MB DDR2) and Orange Pi 3G-IoT-B (512MB DDR2) boards with images booting from eMMC flash or micro SD card. A shell script (tar_image.sh) is provided to flash the image to the micro SD card since the latter for follow a specific partition layout. Sadly, there’s no mention of the distribution used, or whether the company used buildroot or the …

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Firmware Update, Antutu

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

I’ve been using Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone for well over a year, and during my initial review I was quite satisfied with the phone, and over time I was also pleased to receive regular firmware updates (monthly), and even an update to Android 8.0 and 8.1. Eventually, I found out the camera would be work that well in all situation as you can see from photos in that post, and a few months ago, I broken the display during a cycling trip, and eventually the phone basically died after one year due to an issue with the eMMC flash that become unbearably slow. I intend to use it at least for 18 months, since we can expect firmware update during that time frame. But it was not meant to be, and I was due for a new phone. Xiaomi Mi A2 / A2 Lite smartphones were launched in August, and very recently they got an upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie, …

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iMortor 36V-X Wheel Converts your Bike into an Electric Bicycle for $200

Electric bicycle wheel

This post will be a little off-topic, but I’ve just found out an interesting product I did not know existed. You’ve probably all seen electric bicycles, but YUNZHILUN iMortor 36V-X wheel allows you to convert your existing bicycle into an electric bicycle with up to 50 kilometers range by simply replacing the front wheel. The electric motor and battery are all built into the wheel, and GearBest sells for $199.99 plus shipping to customers based in Europe. iMortor 36V-X specifications: Wheel Size – 26″ Range – 25km mileage in pure electric power mode. 40 – 50km in “moped power mode” Motor – 30V 240W permanent magnet brushless DC motor Control driver – FOC (field-oriented control) intelligent drive controller Thumb gear shifter with 5 gears Smartphone Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 and USB for charging. Battery – 36V 115.2Wh lithium-ion battery Dimensions – 66.00 cm ∅ x 10.00 cm Weight – 11.57 kg Materials – rubber tire, aluminum alloy hub, ABS motor shell, …

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