Open-source Allwinner V3 ISP driver to enable blob-free camera support in mainline Linux

Allwinner V3 ISP Linux driver

Bootlin has just submitted the first patchset for the Allwinner V3 image signal processor (ISP) driver in mainline Linux which should pave the way for a completely open-source, blob-free camera support in Linux using V4L2. There are several blocks in an SoC for camera support including a camera input interface such as MIPI CSI 2 and an ISP to process the raw data into a usable image. Add to this the need to implement the code for sensors, and there’s quite a lot of work to get it all working. Allwinner SDK comes with several binary blobs, aka closed-source binary, but Bootlin is working on making those obsolete, having first worked on Allwinner A31, V3s/V3/S3, and A83T MIPI CSI-2 support for the camera interface driver in the V4L2 framework (and Rockchip PX30, RK1808, RK3128 and RK3288 processors), as well as implemented support for Omnivision OV8865 and OV5648 image sensors earlier […]

Nezha RISC-V Linux SBC launched for $99 and up

Nezha SBC

Last month, we wrote about Allwinner D1 SBC & processor that promised to offer a relatively low-cost RISC-V Linux solution. We were not given a name at the time, but there was a logo of Nezha, a fictional character from Chinese literature. The board is now known as the Nezha SBC and has been launched on Indiegogo for $99 and up as a board designed for IoT projects running Linux, but can also be purchased directly on Aliexpress for the same price. [Update: It can also be purchased on Taobao for 599 RMB] Nezha SBC specifications: SoC – Allwinner D1 single-core XuanTie C906 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 1.0 GHz with HiFi4 DSP, G2D 2D graphics accelerators Memory – 1GB DDR3 memory Storage – 256MB SPI NAND flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port up to 4Kp30, MIPI DSI & touch panel interface up to 1080p60 Decoding – […]

Allwinner R818 SoC is made for smart speakers with a screen

Allwinner R818

We’ve previously covered several Allwinner R-Series processors designed for smart speakers such as Allwinner R328 and R329 dual-core Cortex-A53 processors with the latter include a small AI accelerator from Arm China. But the Chinese company has recently a new more powerful quad-core processor with Allwinner R818 suitable for smart speakers with a screen, also called “smart displays”. Allwinner R818 specifications: CPU – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.6 GHz with 32KB L1 I-cache + 32KB L1 D-cache per core, 512KB L2 cache, and CoolFlex power management architecture GPU – Imagination PowerVR GE8300 with support for OpenGL ES3.2, Vulkan 1.1, OpenCL 1.2 Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4/LPDDR3/LPDDR4, 32-bit width, up to 4GB Storage I/F – eMMC 5.1, 8-bit parallel NAND Flash, SPI NAND flash Video Unit H.265 video decoder 4K @ 30fps, H.264 video decoder 4K @ 30fps, VP9 video decoder 720p @ 30fps H.264 video encoder 1080p @ 60fps MJPEG/JPEG Baseline encoder […]

RISC-V International to give away 1,000 RISC-V development boards

RISC-V development board giveaway

The best way for a new platform to get good software support is to bring hardware into the hands of developers. That’s exactly what RISC-V International is doing by inviting developers to sign up for a RISC-V developer board sponsored by RISC-V and contributing members. There are 1,000 boards on offer with 1GB to 16GB RAM depending on the target project from five companies and organizations namely Allwinner, Beagleboard.org, SiFive, Microchip Technology (previously Microsemi), and RIOS. Here are the stated goals of the giveaway: Spur innovation Enable new opportunities for the next generation of developers to work with the RISC-V ISA Provide a platform For testing To write programs that run on RISC-V Develop software Integrate existing software stacks Optimize ecosystem software Share feedback on the product such as ease to integrate software stacks, develop and test extensions, etc. The company did not provide an exact list of development board […]

Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor SDK & Documentation

Allwinner D1 SDK

We published information about Allwinner D1 SBC and processor a few weeks ago. The news was pretty interesting as it’s the first RISC-V processor from the company, and one of the first affordable RISC-V SBC. But all we had at the time was hardware information from a leak, or rather from China-only Allwinner developer website. But now the company has added more information to its open-source development website with the release of documentation, now only in Chinese, as well as the Allwinner D1 Tina SDK. Eventually, there should be a better SDK via linux-sunxi community and some are already working on the Allwinner D1 SBC, but let’s try to get the SDK from Allwinner and build the code from source using the documentation. First, you’d need to register on Allwinner open-source website and click on signup. You’ll probably want to select Email registration. Now fill your username, select a country, […]

Allwinner V831 NPU (Neural Processor Unit) reverse-engineered

V831 NPU open-source toolchain

When Sipeed introduced MAIX-II Dock AIoT vision development kit, they asked help from the community to help reverse-engineer Allwinner V831‘s NPU in order to make an open-source AI toolchain based on NCNN. Sipeed already had decoded the NPU registers, and Jasbir offered help for the next step and received a free sample board to try it out. Good progress has been made and it’s now possible to detect objects like a boat using cifar10 object recognition sample. Allwinner V831’s NPU is based on a customized implementation of NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) open-source architecture, something that Allwinner (through Sipeed) asked us to remove from the initial announcement, and after reverse-engineering work, Jasbir determined the following key finding: The NPU clock defaults to 400 MHz, but can be set between 100 and 1200 MHz NPU is implemented with nv_small configuration (NV Small Model),  and relies on shared system memory for all […]

Allwinner Processor 2021-2022 Roadmap – Allwinner T827, T723 and T1033 SoC’s

Allwinner 2021 2022 roadmap

Last year, we published the Allwinner A-series processor roadmap for 2020-2021 with notably Allwinner A33E, A100, and A200 SoCs. Allwinner A100 was supposed to be released in 2019, but a search on Aliexpress showed exactly zero matches. We did write about Allwinner A100 mainline Linux support a little while ago, and today, I eventually found one Allwinner A100 tablet with the $60 Hyundai HyTab 7WC1. I had no better luck in my search for Allwinner A33E and A200 platforms. But I also got lucky today with another Allwinner roadmap for 2021-2022 with some very interesting new processors, provided they happen. A look at 2020 processors But let’s look at the year 2020 first. We already have most details about Allwinner A133 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, which is also called T509 apparently following the merging of the Allwinner A-Series business unit, focusing on tablets, into the Allwinner T-Series for industrial & automotive […]

A first look at Allwinner D1 Linux RISC-V SBC and Processor

Allwinner D1 RISC-V SBC

Last year, we reported that Allwinner was working on an Alibaba XuanTie C906 based RISC-V processor that would be found in low-cost Linux capable single board computers selling for as low as $12. The good news is that we won’t have to wait much longer as Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor is slated for an announcement next week, and a business card-sized SBC, also made by Allwinner, will become available in May. Some of the information is already available to developers in China, and CNX Software managed to obtain information about the Linux RISC-V SBC and Allwinner D1 processor. Allwinner D1 development board Let’s check out the board first which comes with the following specifications: SoC – Allwinner D1 single-core XuanTie C906 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 1.0 GHz with HiFi4 DSP, G2D 2D graphics accelerators Memory – 1GB DDR3 memory Storage – 256MB SPI NAND flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output […]