LeMedia is a Linux Distribution based on Debian and Kodi 15.2 for Actions Semi S500 Processor

LeMaker has recently released LeMedia, a Linux distribution based on Kodi 15.2 and Debian Jessie for their Guitar board powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, also found in Lemon Pi, ActDuino-S500 and Roseapple Pi boards. The good news is that H.264 and MPEG4 hardware video decoding is implemented, as well as PowerVR SGX544 GPU 3D acceleration. This is an early version and while IR receiver, WiFi, HDMI and LCD output, and audio are working, the company explained that HDMI support may be flaky, USB 3.0 speed is not optimal, and touchscreen support had to be disabled. They also included a “LeMedia Settings” in the image to have a similar experience as “RaspBMC Settings”. The images for booting from SD card or eMMC can be downloaded here. It’s quite likely they only work on LeMaker Guitar board, and I could not find the Linux 3.10.37 kernel, nor LeMedia source code on LeMaker Github’s acccount. However, they did …

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Linux Kernel Mainline Status of Mobile SoCs Presentation at Linaro Connect SF015

Linaro Connect San Francisco 2015 is taking place this week, and several 96Boards have been presented including LeMaker Hikey and Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, both of which will finally be available by the end of the year. But there are also many technical presentation and discussions that are uploaded to LinaroOnAir Youtube account, and they’ve greatly improved video and audio quality compared to the past, with presentation slides also available on Slideshare. I’ve just watched one of the session entitled “Kernel Mainline Status of Mobile Chipsets” by Tim Bird, Sony Mobile. Also the talk focus on mobile SoC, it’s also relevant to other consumer electronics products, and some embedded systems. The presentation states the extend of the issues, shares comparisons between the vendor device tree and mainline, and explains how developers can participate, with the talk ending with a discussion within the group of attendees. Here’s a summary of some of the key points: Shipping products are 20 versions behind Linux …

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Banana Pi BPI-M3 Development Board Features Allwinner A83T Octa core Processor

Banana Pi developers, in this case SinoVoIP, and not LeMaker, are about to launch a new board: BPI-M3 powered by Allwinner A83T octa core Cortex A7 processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC. Banana Pi M3 board specifications: SoC – Allwinner A83T octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 2.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9.3. System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC + SATA (via Genesys GL830 USB bridge, shared with 2 USB ports) + micro SD slot Display Interfaces / Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1920×1200, MIPI DSI connector Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, HDMI audio Camera I/F – MIPI CSI and Parallel camera interfaces Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211E/D), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP 6212 module) USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG Debugging – UART for console Headers – 40-pin mostly Raspberry Pi compatible header Misc – Power, …

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Orange Pi Plus (Allwinner H3) Firmware Images and Linux SDK Released

Orange Pi Plus is a development board based on the new Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor that supports 4K video output and decoding. The boards comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SATA and more, and sells for $49 on Aliexpress. When I first covered the board in February, it was already listed on Aliexpress, but I could not find any firmware image, or source code, but this has now changed. There are now four firmware files: Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0_.img.xz – Lubuntu 14.04 image Raspbian_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0.img.xz – Raspbian for Allwinner H3 orangepi-plus-debian-server-card-v0.9.img.xz – A Debian server image sun8iw7p1_android_orangepi-plus_uart0.rar – Android 4.4.2 image that needs to be flash with PhoenixCard in Windows (Linux tools are not working yet) Beside the firmware images, the company also releases a Linux SDK (h3-lichee-1.0.tar.gz) with Linux 3.4 kernel source code, u-boot, and relevant tools. I assume these should also work on Orange Pi 2, the low cost version of the board without …

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Ubuntu 15.04 Released for PCs, Servers, IoT Gateways, the Cloud, and Phones

The road to convergence is a long one, and although you still can’t really use a smartphone as both a phone and your desktop computers, Ubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet” releases brings us closer to this goal, as the Linux based operating systems now supports not only the traditional PCs and servers, but also the Cloud and IoT platforms thanks to Ubuntu Snappy, and phones such as BQ Aquarius E4.5 Ubuntu Edition. Most changes for Desktop users are under the hood with Upstart replaced by systemd, the Linux kernel is now up to version 3.19, and many packages have been upgraded to a newer version. You can download i386 (32-bit x86) and amd64 (64-bit x86) desktop or server ISO images, and for the first time Ubuntu Snappy for generic amd64 platform, as well as an ARMHF image made for BeagleBone Black, which AFAIK is the very first time Ubuntu formally releases an image for an ARM based device. Ubuntu 15.04 for …

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Ambarella Unveils SL2m IP Camera Reference Design Promising up to 6 Months of Battery Life

Ambarella S2Lm IP Camera SoC features a Cortex A9 CPU core, encodes video with H.264 up to 3Mp30 / 1080p30, and targets  consumer and entry-level IP Camera designs. The company recently launched a new battery-powered IP camera reference design based on the solution that promises up to 6 months battery life, and can record Full HD video in less than 500ms from wake up, making ideal for battery operated security cameras. A Linux SDK is also provided with reference implementations for low-power standby operation, wake-on-Wi-Fi and fast boot to Linux. Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about the reference design, so instead I’ll have a look at the processor, and SL2m IP camera evaluation board. Ambarella SL2m SoC specifications: CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 32KB/32KB I/D and 128 KB L2 Cache, NEON and FPU, Crypto Engine – AES/3/DES/SHA-1/MD5 DSP / VPU –  Ambarella Image and Video DSPs Sensor and Video I/O RGB Bayer sensor port: 8-lane SLVS/MIPI/HiSPI BT.601/656/1120 video …

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Allwinner H-Series OTT SoC Roadmap Adds H5 and H2+ Processors

Previously Allwinner only had A-Series processor such as A10 that were used in tablets and media players, but they’ve recently launch H-series processors for “Home entertainment” such as H64, H8 or H3 SoCs that have been specifically designed for media players and OTT (Over-the-top) boxes. The company has unveiled its OTT SoC roadmap at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair which adds two new processors Allwinner H2 and Allwinner H5. Allwinner H2+ will a quad core Cortex A7 processor support H.265 video decoding, 1080p decoding, and TrustZone support, and should the cheapest processor of the family. Based on the chart above, the processor must have been sampling by the end of last year, so H2+ media players should come to market very soon. Allwinner H5 will be at the other end of the scale, featuring eight Cortex A53 cores, a 4K H.265 decoder, an H.265 encoder (1080p?), and TrustZone support as all their other recent processors. The processor is expected in …

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Linux 3.18 Released

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 3.18 last Sunday: It’s been a quiet week, and the patch from rc7 is tiny, so 3.18 is out. I’d love to say that we’ve figured out the problem that plagues 3.17 for a couple of people, but we haven’t. At the same time, there’s absolutely no point in having everybody else twiddling their thumbs when a couple of people are actively trying to bisect an older issue, so holding up the release just didn’t make sense. Especially since that would just have then held things up entirely over the holiday break. So the merge window for 3.19 is open, and DaveJ will hopefully get his bisection done (or at least narrow things down sufficiently that we have that “Ahaa” moment) over the next week. But in solidarity with Dave (and to make my life easier too 😉 let’s try to avoid introducing any _new_ nasty issues, ok? Linus Linux 3.17 added support for Xbox …

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