Linux 5.11 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.11 release

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 5.11 just in time for… “Valentine’s Day”: Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out. In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start. But in the meantime – and yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day here in the US – maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels. All right? Because I’m sure your SO will understand. Linus Last time around, Linux 5.10 was an LTS release that added EXT-4 performance enhancements, improved post-Spectre performance, as well as the enablement of BCM2711 (Raspberry Pi 4) display pipeline, among other many changes. Some of the notable changes in […]

Ampeq SoundPad 2 is an Android TV Box with a 7″ Tablet and Stereo Speakers

SoundPad 2, also known under the model name NA-307, is a tablet with a stand featuring two large (for a tablet) stereo speakers manufactured by Ampeq / Pan-Ocean Technology. The device can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, an Internet radio, and a standard Android TV box connected to your TV. It’s the first time I’ve come across this type of product, but Archos released a very similar item last year via its Arnova brand called, oh surprise!, SoundPad. Let’s have a look at SoundPad 2 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK2928 cortex A9 processor with ARM Mali-400 GPU. System Memory – 1GB RAM Storage – 4GB flash + micro SD card slot Display – 7″ capacitive touch screen, 1024 x 600 resolution Video Output – HDMI Audio I/O – HDMI, 2x 3W 2″ HiFi speakers, microphone, 3.5mm audio Line IN. Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR USB […]

RK2928 Miracast Adapter (MOCREO M1) Is Now Available for $26

Rockchip (via Charbax) has been teasing us with their upcoming RK2928 miracast adapter since the Hong Kong Electronics Fair in April 2013. It appears a device is finally available on DealExtreme with MOCREO M1 (iPush) for $25.90 including shipping. It’s using the same casing as the other iPush or Ezcast (MSD03) HDMI sticks, but the guts of the device are different: Processor – Rockchip RK2928 single core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.0 GHz System Memory – 256MB DDR3 Storage – 16 MB Serial Flash Connectivity – Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n Video Output – HDMI V1.4 Multi-screen protocol – DLNA / Airplay / Miracast Video Format – RMVB / WMV / ASF / AVI / 3GP / MPG / MKV / MP4 / MOV / MPEG2 / MPEG4 Audio decoding – MP3 / OGG / WAV / APE / CDA / MIDI / WMA / AAC; Power adapter: 5V / 1A (Micro USB) […]

Rockchip SoCs Comparison Table, RK32xx Quad Core Cortex A12 Coming Up in 2014

They guys at Linux Rockchip have setup a comparison table between Rockchip processors, but it’s not quite complete yet, and Rockchip noticed it, so they’ve just sent them the most recent Company Presentation that provides more details, including a roadmap. In this documentation, we can see the company targets different types of products with their SoCs: Android OTT dongle/box (aka mini PC, HDMI TV dongles…) – RK2928, RK3066, RK3068, and RK3188 Tablets – RK2926, RK2928, RK3028, RK3066, RK3168, and RK3188 EPD E-Book – RK2818, RK2906 and RK2918 MP3 player – RKnanoC On page 12 of the presentation, they have a convenient comparison table for the SoC used in mini PCs and Tablets. Series RK2926 /RK2928 RK3066 /RK3068 RK3168 RK3188 Process 55nm 40nm 28nm HKGM 28nm HKGM CPU Cortex A9 Dual Cortex A9 Dual Cortex A9 Quad Cortex A9 MAX CPU Frequency 1.0 GHz 1.6 GHz 1.2 GHz 1.6 GHz L1 […]

$10 Rockchip RK2928 Miracast/DLNA Adapter Video Demo

Rockchip showcased an ultra low cost Linux-based Miracast adapter at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair in April, and we learned the device was powered by Rockchip RK2928 with just 16 MB RAM, a small NOR flash, and would just cost around $10. Rockchip demonstrated the device to Charbax at Computex 2013 in early June, and he uploaded the video yesterday. The demo includes showing off Miracast and DLNA support, with the device connected to an HDTV @ 720p. The adapter as a latency as low as 80ms. Rockchip representative explains that as long as it’s below 100ms it’s not noticeable for typical use (but it might be different for games). They used AMOI N828 smartphone for the demo, but Miracast is supposed to work with any Android 4.2 devices supporting Wi-Fi direct, although I’ve read several users’ reports indicating that may not be the case in practice. The price is […]

CloudnetGo CR-M200 Low cost Miracast Adapter

Low cost Miracast dongles are finally coming to market. Rockchip demonstrated a $10 (BoM price?) Miracast dongle running Linux at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair earlier this month, and it seems CloudnetGo will bring a device, possibly based on this RK2928 design, with its “CR-M200 WiFi Display Dongle”. Connect this device to the HDMI port of your TV, and you’ll be able to mirror your Miracast-enabled Android smartphone or tablet display on the big screen, as well as use it as a smart video controller. CloudnetGo Miracast Adapter Specifications: SoC – ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz with Mali 400 GPU. Flash – 16 MB Nor Flash System Memory – 256MB DDR3 WiFi – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n Miracast and DLNA support HDMI port and micro USB for power Dimensions – 61mm x 31mm x 8mm This adapter will come with a USB cable, and an optional 5V/500mA power adapter, which may not […]

Rockchip Unveils RK3168 Dual Core Processor, Showcases $10 Miracast Adapter

Rockchip is currently at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair showing off their RK3188 quad core processor, and corresponding products such as tablets, gamepads, HDMI TV dongles, etc… Business seems good as they already received orders for 800k pieces in about a month, and they expect to sell 10 to 15 millions over the course of the year. The company had also a few RK3066 devices on display, but more interestingly they announced RK3168, which also a dual core Cortex A9 processor, but with lower power consumption thanks to 28nm HKMG process, instead of the 40nm process used for Rockchip RK3066. They have a tablet prototype without battery connected to a power supply to show the power consumption, and the tablet under test consumes 280mA @ 3.8V (About 1 Watt) when decoding 1080p videos with the display brightness set to about 50%. Chen Feng, Vice President at Rockchip, explains that with […]

Etnaviv Project Vivante GCxxx GPU Open Source Driver

You have most probably heard of Lima, an initiative to provide fully open source Mali-200 & Mali-400 drivers by reverse-engineering the closed source Mali GPU drivers. A separate effort, Etnaviv Project, has now started to offer open source drivers for Vivante GCxxx GPU used in SoC such as Marvell Armada 1500 (notably used in mainly Google TV platforms), Rockchip RK2918 (present in many older tablets),  Freescale i.MX6 (used in newer tablets, low cost development boards, some SoMs and GK802/Hi802 mini PCs). The project is called Etnaviv. The introduction of Etnaviv Project reads as follows on the corresponding Github account: Project Etnaviv is an attempt to make an open source user-space driver for the Vivante GCxxx series of embedded GPUs. The current state of the project is experimental. It is currently only of use to developers interested in helping develop open source drivers for the hardware, reverse engineering, or in interfacing […]

EmbeddedTS embedded systems design