Allwinner R329 Smart Speaker Processor Features Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit)

Allwinner R329

Allwinner R328 is a dual-core Cortex-A7 processor with 64MB or 128MB built-in RAM designed for low-cost smart speakers that was introduced last year and found into smart speaker sold in mainland China. According to a recent press release (in Chinese only), the company has now released a 64-bit update with Allwinner R329 dual-core Cortex-A53 processor equipped with dual HIFI4 DSP for audio post-processing and pre-processing, as well as Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit) delivering up to 0.256 TOPS at very low power. There’s no product page for Allwinner R329 yet, so I extracted some specifications from the press release: CPU – Dual-core Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz DSP- Dual-core HIFI4 DSP @ 400 MHz AI Accelerator – Arm China AIPU with 0.256 TOPS Built-in DDR RAM Audio Embedded second-generation VAD hardware 5x audio ADCs 2x audio DACs with 100dB SNR I2S and DMIC controller 5-1-channel and 7.1 channel support Integrated dual LDO The company will also provide …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

NetBSD 9.0 Released with Aarch64 Support, Arm ServerReady Compatibility

NetBSD 9.0

Yesterday, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 getting UEFI+ACPI firmware for Arm SSBR compliance allowing the board to run operating systems designed for “Arm ServerReady” servers out of the box. NetBSD 9.0 was just released on February 14, 2020, with support for Aarch64 (64-bit Arm) which had been in the works for a few years, and includes support for “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA). NetBSD 9.0 main changes related to hardware support: Support for AArch64 (64-bit Armv8-A) machines Compatibility with “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA) using ACPI. Tested on Amazon Graviton and Graviton2 (including bare metal instances), AMD Opteron A1100, Ampere eMAG 8180, Cavium ThunderX, Marvell ARMADA 8040, QEMU w/ Tianocore EDK2 Symmetric and asymmetrical multiprocessing support (big.LITTLE) Support for running 32-bit binaries via COMPAT_NETBSD32 on CPUs that support it Single GENERIC64 kernel supports ACPI and device tree based booting Supported SoCs Allwinner A64, H5, H6 Amlogic S905, S805X, S905D, S905W, S905X Broadcom BCM2837 (Raspberry Pi 3B) NVIDIA Tegra X1 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Linux 5.5 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.5 Changelog

Linux 5.5 has just been released by Linus Torvalds: So this last week was pretty quiet, and while we had a late network update with some (mainly iwl wireless) network driver and netfilter module loading fixes, David didn’t think that warranted another -rc. And outside of that, it’s really been very quiet indeed – there’s a panfrost driver update too, but again it didn’t really seem to make sense to delay the final release by another week. Outside of those, it’s all really tiny, even if some of those tiny changes touched some core files. So despite the slight worry that the holidays might have affected the schedule, 5.5 ended up with the regular rc cadence and is out now. That means that the merge window for 5.6 will open tomorrow, and I already have a couple of pull requests pending. The timing for this next merge window isn’t optimal for me – I have some travel and other things …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Allwinner R328 Smart Speaker & System-on-Module Spotted in China

Allwinner R328 Smart Speaker

Earlier this year, Allwinner introduced some AIoT (AI + IoT) processors including Allwinner R328 dual-core Cortex-A7 processor for “low-cost voice interaction solutions” aka low-cost smart speakers. I did not pay too much attention at the processor at the time, but since then, the company has released a product brief with some more details about the processor. We can see it integrates 64MB to 128MB DDR3 memory which should be enough to run Linux without external memory, and truly provide a low-cost solution for smart speakers, and I was told the chip may cost around $3. I was also asked whether Allwinner R328 smart speakers were already shipping. A Google search in English did not help, so I had to switch to Chinese, and after visiting several sites, I could see some Allwinner A328 platforms including a smart speaker and a system-on-module were showcased at some event in China. We’ve got a photo, but that much more info about the speaker …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Kettlepop is a Limited Edition of a CHIP Pro Derivative with 8GB eMMC flash

KettlePop Board

Next Things Co. CHIP was a $9 Arm Linux board based on Allwinner R8 processor that become fairly popular due to its low price, built-in WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity, open source hardware design, and integration into fun kits such as PocketCHIP portable gaming console/ Linux handheld computer. Later the company expanded their product line with CHIP Pro featuring Allwinner GR8 system-in-package, and designed as a low profile system-on-module to make it more suitable for integration into commercial products. Sadly, the company eventually ran into financial problems, and had to fold later in 2018. However, later that year, a company called Source Parts announced they were working on Popcorn Computer, a derivative of C.H.I.P. board, and appears to have sold it through Amazon US for a time. But this morning, I was informed that a board called Kettlepop was added to HackerBoards database with Next Things Co. GR8 SiP, and also made by Source Parts. Kettlepop specifications: SiP – Next Thing …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous RetroArch emulator that allows you to easily download cores, Cave …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

96Boards HiChips Parrot Board and 3-Mic Array Work with Amazon Alexa

96boards Parrot Board Amazon-AVS 3-Mic far field board

Early last year, Banana Pi unveiled Allwinner SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Development Kit for Amazon AVS, a board powered by Allwinner R18 processor extended with an external 3-mic array board, officially supported by Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), and sold for $129 plus shipping. There’s now a compatible board following 96Boards CE Extended form factor, and selling for just $79.99 plus shipping on Alibaba or 555.99 CNY on 1688.com. The board looks almost the same as the original 3-Mic far-field development kit, apart from the LS and HS connectors found in the 96Boards hardware platforms. Hichips Parrot board should not be confused with Allwinner R16 based Parrot board that was used by Allwinner internally, and never made available to the general public. Hichips Parrot board specifications: SoC – Allwinner R18 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.15GHz with Mali400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI Audio – 3x Microphones, 2x …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

ClockworkPi GameShell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,  micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon