Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 Laptop running Ubuntu at CES 2011

Nufront (新岸线) showcased their minipc based on Nusmart 2816 at Techcon 2010, they are now back at CES 2011 to show off their laptop reference designs. They provide two laptop designs with 10″ and a 14″ displays. The mother board is the same for both devices, only the casing changes to accommodate the display. The laptops runs Ubuntu and Android 2.2. They will also support some undisclosed operating system(s) later on (It should be Windows 8 and/or Chrome OS).  The processor is a dual core Cortex A9 running at 2GHz, so I suppose this is the Nusmart 2816. The laptop will have 1 or 2 GB RAM depending on the configuration. Nufront said those laptops should be available within 6 months. No indication of price has been given. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later […]

Third Generation OLPC XO Laptop powered by ARM Marvell Armada 610

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) was also at CES 2011 in Marvell stand with their third generation OLPC XO laptop named OLPC XO-1.75, after the first generation using AMD and the second Via Technologies. Charbax interviewed Ed NcNierney, Chief Technology Office at OLPC. They only changed the PCB in this version, i.e. the casing, keyboard, monitor is the same as the previous generations.The processor used in OLPC XO-1.75 is the ARM based Marvell Armada 610 (single core) running at 1GHz with 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash. The laptop can be recharged with a hand crane for 1 minute, then the laptop can be used for 10 minutes (color) and about 12 minutes (black and white). With the third generation, the price is only marginally cheaper than the previous generation (<200 USD), but the power consumption is now 2 Watt (instead of 4 Watt) and it is the most important part, as electricity costs are high where OLPC laptops are used. […]

Sigma Designs unveils its SMP8910 Series Secure Media Processors: SMP8910 SMP8911

Sigma Designs will announce its latest and all powerful Media Processor (SMP8910) based on MIPS at CES 2011. The SMP8910 with integrated studio-quality VXP® video processing provides a highly-integrated, high-performance solution for premium Blu-ray 3D players. It supports all the audio decoding options, video decoding options, and content protection requirements for Blu-ray players. The Secure Media Processor architecture offers advanced content protection, supporting a wide variety of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Conditional Access (CA) solutions. Studio-quality VXP® video processing is included, offering fully adaptive deinterlacing, adaptive 3D noise reduction, mosquito noise reduction, block artifact reduction, adaptive detail enhancement featuring sharpness and texture enhancement with overshoot control, adaptive debanding, and adaptive contrast enhancement. 3D Video decoding of a variety of 3D Video formats is also featured, including Blu-ray 3D. Support for legacy, current, and future 3DTVs is provided by supporting a variety of 3D Video output formats. The high-performance 3D graphics available on the SMP8910 enables dynamic and customizable user […]

P2P for embedded systems: BitTorrent and Emule – Part 2

In part1, I explained how to build and install aMule for mips platorm, in part2, we’ll build and install Transmission BitTorrent client for devices based on Sigma Designs SMP8634/SMP8635. Transmission BT is already used in quite a few NAS and media players including Syabas Networked Media Tank, Western Digital WD MyBook, ReadyNAS, D-Link DNS-323 & CH3SNAS… as you can see at the bottom of the transmission download page. Building Transmission 2.13 daemon and client First download Transmission 2.13 source code and required dependencies: OpenSSL 1.0.0c, cURL 7.21.3 and libevent 1.4.14b (do not use libevent 2.0.x). You’ll also need zlib 1.2.5 that we compiled in part1. Extract them: tar xjvf ../Downloads/transmission-2.13.tar.bz2 tar xzvf ../Downloads/openssl-1.0.0c.tar.gz tar xjvf ../Downloads/curl-7.21.3.tar.bz2 tar xzvf ../Downloads/libevent-2.0.9-rc.tar.gz Build OpenSSL 1.0.0c: ./Configure no-asm –prefix=/home/jaufranc/edev/libs linux-generic32 make CC=”mipsel-linux-gcc” AR=”mipsel-linux-ar r” RANLIB=”mipsel-linux-ranlib” make install Build cURL 7.2.13: ./configure –prefix=/home/jaufranc/edev/libs –build=mipsel-linux –target=mipsel-linux -host=i686 –disable-ipv6 –without-random –with-ssl=/home/jaufranc/edev/libs –with-zlib=/home/jaufranc/edev/libs CC=mipsel-linux-gcc LDFLAGS=-ldl make make install Build libevent 1.4.14b: ./configure –target=mipsel-linux –host=mipsel-linux –prefix=/home/jaufranc/edev/libs make make install […]

P2P for embedded systems: BitTorrent and Emule – Part 1

Whether your device is a Network Access Storage (NAS) or a media player with network capabilities, you may consider adding P2P to allow downloads of files as you would do on your computer. Two of the most used P2P protocols are BitTorrent and eMule, but most of the client have a UI designed for Linux or Windows and may not be easily ported to an embedded system. So what we need to look for here are command line based clients or daemons that can be compiled and run in an embedded platform. After some research, here are the 2 programs we’ll use: aMule 2.2.6 a multiplatform eMule-like client Transmission 2.13 running as a daemon for BT dowloads Today, I’ll show how to use aMule 2.2.6 in Sigma Designs SMP863X target, for example in Popcorn Hour A-100. But a similar method (just a different compiler mips-linux-gnu-gcc and setting Little endian (-EL)) could also be used for SMP864x/SMP865x devices such as Popcorn […]

Near Field Communication (NFC) Introduction and Software Development

Android 2.3 features near field communication (NFC) in order to allow payment through your phone as it is already implemented in Japan with FeliCa (Felicity Card), a contactless RFID smart card system from Sony, direct communication between NFC devices, RFID reader, etc… NFC is already supported in Samsung / Google Nexus S. In this blog post, we’ll see what near field communication is, which hardware is needed and what needs to be done at the software level (driver and NFC stack). What is Near Field Communication ? Extract from Wikipedia: Near Field Communication or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeter (around 4 inches) distance. The technology is a simple extension of the ISO/IEC 14443 proximity-card standard (proximity card, RFID) that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. An NFC device can communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards and […]

HTTP Server for uCLinux

You may need a web server on your no-MMU embedded system in order to allow remote configuration or possibly provide external access to some files. Usually, you’ll need a lightweight webserver (e.g. not Apache) with the required features and in case of no-mmu system, source that can accommodates uClinux limitations such as no fork support. You’ll also take into account the programming language or the server: e.g. C/C++. Java, Ruby, Perl… If your system does not support Java or Perl for example, that may not be the best solution to add one of those only for the web server and it also depends on the resources (Flash/RAM) available. There are plenty of C/C++ lightweight http servers such as thttpd or lighttpd, however those are using fork in their code. One open source http server that is lightweight and uses vfork (instead of fork) is mathopd. At the time of writing, the latest version is mathopd 1.5p6. mathopd supports the following: […]

Resources for NVidia Tegra 2

NVidia Tegra 2 is currently one of the most powerful processor used in smartphones and tablets such as the upcoming LG Optimus 2X smartphone or the new version of Samsung Galaxy Tab. NVidia describes the processor as follows: NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 is the world’s most advanced mobile processor, featuring the world’s first mobile dual-core CPU for up to 2x faster Web browsing; the world’s only ultra-low power (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU for up to 5x faster gaming; and the world’s first mobile 1080p HD video processor for flawless HD video conferencing and playback. Get never-before-seen experiences on a mobile device with NVIDIA Tegra. NVidia Tegra 2 is based on a dual core Cortex A9 running up to 1GHz, supports 32-bit DDR2 RAM and features NVidia Geforce GPU with OpenGL ES 2.0 support. Contrary to many other companies finding the development kit, documentations and tools is straightforward. Once you get to the NVIDIA Tegra 2 Page, click on Developper Zone and […]