Onda V18 Pro (Allwinner A63) 2K Tablet Review – Part 1: Unboxing, First Boot, and Antutu 7 Benchmark

Announced last June, Allwinner A63 is the latest tablet SoC from the company, with a quad core Cortex A53 processor and a Mali-T760MP2 GPU capable of driving 2K displays. One of the first tablet to feature the SoC is Onda V18 Pro with a 10.1″ 2560×1600 high resolution display, 3GB RAM, 32 or 64GB internal storage, and the capability to play 4K H.265/H.264/VP9 videos (obviously downscale to the display resolution). I was interested in checking it out, and GearBest sent me a sample of the 32GB flash version. I’ll do a two part review, starting with unboxing, and first boot where I’ll run CPU-Z and Antutu, before publishing the rest of the review in a few weeks once I got to use it more and performed more tests. Onda V18 Pro Unboxing The tablet comes is a white “V-series” box, Onda likely uses for all their VXX tablets.They just differentiate between models with a sticker, in my case reading “Dark …

Bootlin Wants to Bring Allwinner VPU Support to Mainline Linux (Crowdfunding)

I wrote about Free Electrons several times in the past due to their work on porting Arm SoCs to mainline Linux. Free Electrons is no more. But don’t be sad, as it’s not because they closed shop, but instead they changed their name to Bootlin due to trademark trolls. Free Electrons Bootlin intensively worked on Allwinner processors, for example working with Next Things Co. to add CHIP board to mainline Linux, or more recently adding support for OpenGL ES in mainline Linux, albeit with closed-source user space binary blobs. The company normally work with partners for their work, but for their latest initiative aiming to bring Allwinner VPU (Video Processing Unit) to the official Linux kernel there’s asking funding from the community through a Kickstarter campaign. For those who do not know, the VPU is the IP block within the SoC used for hardware video decoding of codecs such as MPEG2, MPEG4 or H264.Bootlin already showcased a demo with Cedrus open …

Pine64 ClusterBoard is Now Available for $100 with one Free SOPINE A64 System-on-Module

We’ve previously reported Pine64 had developed “Sopine Clusterboard” for a specific project with support for up to seven SOPINE A64 SoMs powered by Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor. At the time (August 2017), it was unclear whether the company would sell to the solution publicly, but they’ve now gone ahead and launched Pine64 ClusterBoard for $99.99 plus shipping, including one free SOPINE A64 module for a limited time. PINE64 ClusterBoard specifications: SoM Slots –  7x SO-DIMM slot for SOPINE A64 modules Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45) All SoMs are connected via Gigabit Ethernet using 7x RTL8211E transceivers and RTL8370N network switch (See diagram below) USB – 7x USB 2.0 port, one per SoM Expansion – Headers for each SoM with UART (serial console), I2C, key ADC, GPIOs, SPI, RESET/POWER 5V and GND Misc – RTC, reset button, optional EEPROM connected to RTL8370N Power Supply 5V/15A via power barrel jack ATX connector 2x battery slot for RTC battery backup, …

Linux 4.15 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvald has released Linux 4.15 last Sunday: After a release cycle that was unusual in so many (bad) ways, this last week was really pleasant. Quiet and small, and no last-minute panics, just small fixes for various issues. I never got a feeling that I’d need to extend things by yet another week, and 4.15 looks fine to me. Half the changes in the last week were misc driver stuff (gpu, input, networking) with the other half being a mix of networking, core kernel and arch updates (mainly x86). But all of it is tiny. So at least we had one good week. This obviously was not a pleasant release cycle, with the whole meltdown/spectre thing coming in in the middle of the cycle and not really gelling with our normal release cycle. The extra two weeks were obviously mainly due to that whole timing issue. Also, it is worth pointing out that it’s not like we’re “done” with …

MeLE A1000 TV Box is Back! Cost: $29.99 Shipped

MeLE A1000 is an Android TV box powered by Allwinner A10 Arm Cortex A8 processor that was launched in 2012 with Android 2.3, and was featured prominently on this blog, as arm-netbook then linux-sunxi community was working on porting Linux to the platform at that time. I discovered the device after the launch of the first Raspberry Pi board, and its subsequent unavailability due to extreme demand, and was looking for an alternative which became MeLE A1000, since there was an active around the box that included a real SATA port as a bonus. Why am I writing about this today? Because the TV box just showed up in GeekBuying new arrivals feed for $29.99. The device’s appearance has not changed, and the hardware specifications are the same too: SoC – Allwinner A10 Arm Cortex A8 processor with Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM Storage – 4GB NAND flash, SD card slot, external SATA slot Video Output – …

FOSDEM 2018 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) occurs every year on the first week-end of February, where developers meet for two days discussing about open source software projects. FOSDEM 2018 will take place on February 3-4 this year with  652 speakers, 684 events, and 57 tracks, an increase over  last year 608 speakers, 653 events, and 54 tracks. There will be 8 main tracks namely: Community, History, Miscellaneous, Performance, Python, Security and Encryption, Space, and Global Diversity CFP Day. There will also be 33 developer rooms, and since the full schedule is now available, I’ll make a virtual schedule mostly based on sessions from the Embedded, mobile, and automotive, Hardware Enablement, and Internet of Things devrooms. Saturday 3, 2018 09:50 – 10:15 – Turning On the Lights with Home Assistant and MQTT by Leon Anavi In this presentation you will learn the exact steps for using MQTT JSON Light component of the open source home automation platform Home …

Pandora’s Box 5S Arcade Game Console – Teardown and Mini Review

Last year – and even in 2016 – , there was a fair amount of new retro gaming news, with products such a Nintendo SNES Classic Edition or GameShell Portable Retro console, as well as community supported firmware such as RetrOrangePi 4.0. GearBest asked me if I wanted to review something a little different: Pandora’s Box 5S (aka Pandora’s Key 5S) arcade game console with 999 games most (all?) designed for two players. This looked fun, and I was particularly interesting in checking out the hardware design, and hacking potential, e.g. if there could be a way to replace the board or firmware with your own. So in the review, I’ll focus mostly on the teardown, before shortly testing out the system and a few games. Pandora’s Box 5S Unboxing The device comes ins a large package (~70 x 24 x 16cm), so I’m surprised customs did not ask any questions, and it just went through without any issues. Once …

Onda V18 Pro 10.1″ Tablet Features Allwinner A63 Processor, a 2K “Retina” Display

Tablets are not quite as popular as they used to be, but there’s still a market. Allwinner A63 “2K” tablet processor was unveiled right at the start of summer 2017, but so far I had not seen any products based on the processor. Finally, at least on tablet based on Allwinner A63 has been launched thanks to Onda V18 Pro tablet equipped with a 10.1″ 2560×1600 display, 3GB RAM, and 32 to 64 GB internal storage.Onda V18 Pro tablet specifications: SoC – Allwinner A63 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T760MP2 GPU with OpenGL ES 3.2 support System Memory – 3GB DDR3L Storage – 32 or 64GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot up to 256 GB Display – 10.1″ capacitive touchscreen IPS display with 2560×1600 (WQXGA) resolution Video – 4K/6K VP9, H.265, and H.264 4K @ 30fps video decoder; Smartcolor 3.0 “video quality enhancement engine” Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, …