Droid Stick A2 mini PC Recovery with AMLogic’s Hardware Flash Tool

In some circumstances, for example by installing the wrong firmware or doing something wrong by playing god (as a root user), it’s possible to brick your device. This happened to me with one of my Droid Stick A2 mini PCs based on AMLogic AML8726-MX. I changed some files in /system/etc/permissions directory, lost Wi-Fi access, and even  replacing my changes with the backup files would not solve the problem. It also changed some permissions in the system, and it was not possible to restore the firmware the usual way. At the end of last month, dbtablets left a comment with download links to “Amlogic USB Burning tool”, but  I only decided to give it a try today, and after some efforts I was successful. Just make sure you only use this method as last resort, i.e. a standard firmware upgrade does not work, and you’re about to throw your device in […]

How To Root Droid Stick A2 mini PC

Droid Stick A2 mini PC does not come rooted, so here’s a simple rooting guide for the device. First, make sure you’ve installed the latest firmware, then follow the instructions below (Source: ARMTvTech): Copy update_Superuser.zip to the root of a micro SD card. Insert the microSD card to Droid Stick A2, and power the device Go the Apps menu in Android, and launch “Upgrade” app. Select Local Upgrade Select update_Superuser.zip Select Reboot And Install Package Let the update go through, and let it boot to Android. You should now have root access. This method deleted old version of su and Superuser.apk, copies su to /system/bin & Superuser.apk to /system/app, and changes permissions on those files. It may also work on other AMLogic AML8726-M1 / M3 / MX based devices. If you are interested in knowing exactly what it does, unzip update_Superuser.zip, and open /META-INF/com/google/android/updater-script. For some reasons, the first time I […]

AMLogic Releases U-Boot and Updated Linux Kernel Source Code

AMLogic released kernel 3.0.8 source code for AML8726-MX a few months ago, and yesterday they provided an updated tarballs with the kernel, and for the first time, AFAIK, released the source code for U-Boot. There are 4 new files apparently generated from the (internal) git repository in AMLogic: common-2012-11-20-git-b687495906.tar.gz  (108M) – This is the same kernel 3.0.8 release has last time, but with updated code. m1-kernel-android-2012-11-20-git-5d0f6b8e93.tar.gz (103M) – This looks like an older kernel 2.6 for AML8726-M1 only. uboot-master-2012-11-20-git-9b50e9a295.tar.gz (16M) – U-Boot 2010.06 possibly to use with the older 2.6 kernel. Only for M1 & M3 platforms. uboot-next-2012-11-20-git-b0e532795a.tar.gz (40M) – U-Boot 2011.03 for use with M3 and M6 platforms. I’ve already explained how to build the kernel in the previous post, so I’ll focus on U-Boot this time. Ubuntu 12.04 arm-linux-gnueabi- toolchain fails to build U-Boot (uboot-next), so you’ll have to install Sourcery toolchain instead: wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com/download/linux/ARM/gnutools/arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2 tar xjvf arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2 […]

Crowdfunding Initiative to Open AMLogic AML8726-M3 STB Source Code

J1nx (Peter Steenbergen) has spend a lot of time together with XBMC developers to try to bring XBMC (Linux) to ARM based set-top boxes, and initially AllWinner A10 processor seemed like a good candidate, unfortunately due to the lack of proper video engine libraries for Linux, progress on this SoC has been extremely slow. Then when Pivos and XBMC announced Pivos Xios DS set-top box based on AMLogic aml8726-M(1) would support XBMC natively, and the kernel and bootlooader (u-boot) source code was made available both on Pivos github account and AMLogic open source website, AML8726 series of processors appeared to be an ideal solution for this purpose. Instead of AML8726-M (aka AML8726-M1) which is limited to 512 MB, it was decided instead to use a faster processor AML8726-M3 that supports 1 GB RAM. The STB of choice is based on “MBX – f16ref” which should be some kind of development […]

Droid Stick A2 – AMLogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Android 4.1.1 mini PC

Since it was first announced in August, Rockchip RK3066 dual core mini PCs have been popping up everywhere, and AFAIK those are currently the only low cost (sub $100) dual core Android TV Sticks available. But according to a recent Kimdecent announcement, this is about to change with the release of the Droid Stick A2 based on AMLogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM and 4 to 8 GB Flash running Android Jelly Bean. Here are Droid Stick A2 specifications: CPU – Amlogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz GPU – Mali400 Dual Core, 2D/ 3D/ OpenGL ES2.0/ OpenVG1.1. System Memory – 1 GB RAM Storage – 4/8 GB Nand Flash + microSD card slot (up to 32GB) WiFi – 802.11b/g/n Video Output – HDMI (1080P) Video Decoding – Supports up to  [email protected] Video Encoding – Supports encoding in H.264. [email protected], [email protected] USB – 1xUSB […]

$86 ZAP-A10 Android 4.0 Set-Top Box Powered by AMLogic AML8726-M3

You may already know that XBMC has been working on the Pivox XIOS DS set-top box based on AMLogic AML8726-M3. Pivosgroup has sponsored the development of XBMC for Android and Linux on their new media player, and it costs about $115 on sites like Amazon, but it’s not available worldwide right now. If you’re looking for an alternative AMLogic AML8726-M3 device, and are a bit adventurous, you may have a look at the ZAP-A10, an Android 4.0 networked media player featuring AML8726-M3 Cortex A9 processor, with 1GB RAM and 4 GB Flash. Here are the specs of this set-top box: SoC – Single core Cortex A9 @ 1GHz (AML8726-M3) with Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 1 GB RAM Storage – 4GB Flash & SD card slot Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n USB – 4x USB Host port Video Output – HDMI and component (YPbPr) Video Containers – M2TS / […]

More AMLogic AML8726-MX Source Code Released by Ainol

Last week, I found out that AMLogic released the kernel source code for AML8726-MX, its dual core Cortex A9 processor, but this code is only for the “common” platform, and some source code specific to tablets or media players is missing (e.g. some drivers). But today, Ainol released the source code for the Ainol Novo 7 Elf II and Aurora II tablet, both of which are based on on AML8726-M6 dual core processor: Ainol Novo 7 Elf II Source Code (2 GB) – http://dl.vmall.com/c0yqzpadah Ainol Novo 7 Aurora II source code (2 GB) – http://dl.vmall.com/c0imlixp7d The files are pretty big, and the download very slow on my side (“1 day, 16 hours remaining”), so I’ll probably have to give up. I assume “fards” will import the source code into a new repo in his github account. Anyway, this potentially makes AMLogic AML8726-MX a very interesting development platform, although we’ll have to […]

AMLogic Releases AML8726-MX Linux 3.0.8 Source Code

While doing a Google search to locate the open Linux page of AMLogic, I noticed another link reading “Amlogic AML8726-MX Linux kernel code released“. Interesting. So AMLogic appears to have released the kernel source code for their latest dual core Cortex A9 processor at the beginning of August and the tarball is available from their open source site:  kernel-common-2012-08-03-git-a63244fb9c.tar.gz. A github user (fards) also imported the code to github, but he’s not affiliated with AMLogic, so don’t expect commits from AMLogic there. Let’s retrieve it:

AML8726-MX is codenamed MESON6 in the source code, and the code is in arch/arm/mach-meson6/, but let’s see if we can find a config file in arch/arm/configs. Yes! There are 4: meson6_android_defconfig – Android config file (Single core) meson6_defconfig – Linux config file (Single core) all Android config disabled. meson6smp_android_defconfig – Android config file with smp (symmetric multiprocessing) support meson6smp_defconfig – Config file with smp […]