Allwinner F1C100s handheld computer should cost $15 to manufacture

minimum viable computer

Brian Benchoff’s “minimum viable computer’” is a Linux handheld computer powered by an Allwinner F1C100s ARM9 processor that could fit into your pocket and should cost about $15 (BoM cost) to manufacture in quantity. The open-source hardware Linux “computer” comes with 32MB or 64MB RAM, a 2.3-inch color display, a 48-key keyboard, a USB port, and is powered by two AAA batteries. Don’t expect a desktop environment, but it can run a terminal to execute scripts, or even run Doom. Minimum viable computer specifications: SoC – Allwinner F1C100s ARM926EJ-S CPU @ 533 MHz with 32 MB DDR built-in (Upgradable to 64 MB with the pin-compatible F1C200s) Storage – 64GB MicroSD card Display – 2.3” IPS TFT display with 320 x 240 resolution (ILI9342 SPI controller) USB – USB 2.0 Type-A port Keyboard – 48-key keyboard with a silicone membrane (just like most TV remote controls) Misc – Power button, 6-pin […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Allwinner D1s/F133 RISC-V processor integrates 64MB DDR2

Allwinner F133-A SBC

Allwinner D1s (aka F133) is a cost-down version of Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor introduced earlier this year together with a Linux capable development board, with the main difference being the integrated 64MB DDR2. Besides the built-in RAM, Allwinner D1s comes with many of the same features as D1 RISC-V SoC, but loses HDMI output and the HiFi 4 audio DSP, and Allwinner made some tweaks to the IOs with one less I2S audio interface, and general-purpose ADC. Allwinner D1s/F133 specifications: CPU – RISC core with 32 KB I-cache + 32 KB D-cache (CNXSoft: not specified, but probably the same Alibaba/T-Head Xuantie C906 RISC-V core as used in Allwinner D1) DSP – HiFi4 DSP 600MHz with 32 KB I-cache + 32 KB D-cache, 64 KB I-ram + 64 KB D-ram Memory – 64 MB DDR2 (SIP) Storage I/F – SD3.0, eMMC 5.0, SPI Nor/Nand Flash Video Engine Video decoding H.265 up […]

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, […]