Renesas R-Car H2 is an Octo Core big.LITTLE Processor for Your Car

Renesas announced a new automotive SoC called the R-Car H2 that features 4 Cortex-A15 cores together with 4 Cortex A7 cores (optional) in big.LITTLE configuration, as well as an Imagination PowerVR Series6 G6400 GPU. This SoC can optionally come with Renesas SH-4A, a real-time processing CPU core acting as a multimedia engine (MME) , and Renesas’ IMP-X4 core, a real-time image processing unit that enables developers to implement augmented reality application such as 360-degree camera views and image recognition. This Renesas processor is a multimedia power house, as it can handle 4x 1080p video en/decoding, including Blu-Ray support at 60 frames per second, as well as image/voice recognition and high-resolution 3D graphics with virtually no CPU usage. Here are R-Car H2’s specifications provided on Renesas website: Product number R8A7790x Power supply voltage 3.3/1.8 V (IO), 1.5/1.35 V (DDR3), 1.0 V (Core) CPU core ARM Cortex-A15 Quad ARM Cortex-A7 Quad (device […]

ARMBRIX Zero / OPENBRIX Zero Board Cancelled

ARMBRIX Zero (renamed to OPENBRIX Zero), the cheapest ARM Cortex A15 board that was supposed to hit the market next month, won’t be produced anymore. Howchip has published a laconic notice to explain the cancellation: Dear Customers Due to a situation experienced by the ARMBRIX Company(, the production of its boards have been discontinued. At this time we ask for the understanding of our customers who have shared interest in the ARMBRIX zero/OPENBRIX zero product. Every PAYPAL payment will be refunded by next week. Refunds will take 3-5 business days to process. We apologize for this inconvenience, and would like to thank every customer that has appreciated the ARMBRIX/OPENBRIX zero product. The project owner cannot provide an explanation why this has been canceled (it’s probably confidential), but still offer people to contact him if they have project ideas for the board. That means the only Cortex A15 option is now […]

ARM big.LITTLE Processing Demo (HMP) on ARM TC2 Test Chip

Samsung launched Exynos 5 Octa at CES 2013. This processor comes with 8 cores: 4 Cortex A15 cores and 4 Cortex A7 cores, and it’s the first processor that’s been announced to work in big.LITTLE configuration, where the big cores (A15) handle demanding tasks, and the LITTLE cores (A7) handle simpler tasks such as audio playback or background tasks. This is all done to optimize power consumption. There are 2 big.LITTLE software implementations: In-kernel switcher (IKS) and heterogeneous multi-processing (HMP). The first one is easier to implements but can only use 4 cores (in Exynos 5 Octa) at a time, and the second is more complex, but can handle all 8 cores, and assign individual tasks to a particular core. For more technical details about big.LITTLE implementations, you can read my previous post. ARM and Samsung recently uploaded a video providing an overview of big.LITTLE (but instead of IKS and […]

$135 ARMBRIX Zero Exynos 5 Development Board Is Now Available for Pre-order

Ten days ago, I wrote about ARMBrix Zero, the cheapest Cortex A15 board (soon to be) available based on Samsung Exynos 5250 processor. It is now available for pre-order, and the company organizes a raffle to send a free ARMBRIX Zero board to the winner. I’ve received some updated specifications, although we don’t learn much more: CPU – Exynos 5 Dual  ARM Cortex A15 Dual GPU – Mali T604  Embedded GPU Memory –  2GB DDR3  X32, 800MHz Storage – MicroSD  slot Audio – ALC5631Q  Line In/Out, SPDIF  Coaxial type Video – HDMI A Type External Ports: 2x USB2.0 Host 1x USB3.0 Host 1x USB2.0 Device 1x SATA 1x Ethernet RJ45 Expansions – 3 Headers (Further details should be available later this week) CON16 – MIPI Master/Slave, 1x I2C, GPIO CON19 – 3x serial interfaces, 2x I2C, 2x ADC, JTAG, USB, MMC, and reset CON20 – I2S, Interrupt and GPIO pins, […]

Nvidia Tegra 4 to Feature 4 Cortex A15 Cores, 72 Graphics Cores

According to Nvidia Tegra roadmap, the first Tegra 4 (T40) is due in Q1 2013, before T43 & AP40 come out in Q3 2013. Information is still sparse, but somebody posted a leaked slide on Chip Hell which gives a few more details about the upcoming Tegra 4 processors. So this is what we currently know about the Tegra T40 processor: CPU – 4x Cortex A15 (Eagle) cores @ 1.8 GHz + a battery saving core (aka companion core). GPU – Geforce GPU with 72 cores providing 20x Tegra 2 performance and 6x Tegra 3’s. Memory – Support for DDR3L, LPDDR2 and LPDDR3 Video – 1440p video encoding and decoding with VP8 and H.264 High Profile hardware acceleration Display –  2560×1600 24-bit, 1080p @ 120Hz, 4K displays via DSI and HDMI interfaces. Power – Lower power than previous generations thanks to 28nm HPL process (low power with high-k metal gates). Tegra […]

Big.LITTLE Processing Implementations and Current Status

There was a big,LITTLE mini-summit during Linaro Connect Europe 2012, where an update was given on current big.LITTLE implementations and the results of measurement of power vs performance. Big.LITTLE Processing Implementations Overview As briefly mentioned in “Versatile Express TC2 (2xA15, 3xA7) Development Board at ARM Techcon 2012“, there are 2 big.LITTLE implementations: In-kernel switcher (IKS) This implementation is already available through Linaro and only required minimal changed to the kernel as it mainly an augmentation to DVFS (Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling) except instead of only adjusting voltage and frequency depending on the load, it will also move the load to different cores. The main drawback is that this implementation only uses half the cores. For example, on a 2x Cortex A15 / 2x Cortex A7 system, it can only use 2 cores at the same time (either A15 or A7 cores), as the load is managed between one type […]

Versatile Express TC2 (2xA15, 3xA7) Development Board at ARM Techcon 2012

If you’ve been following Linaro work, you may have read they develop big.LITTLE processing on TC2, a Test Chip based on 2 Cortex A15 cores and 3 Cortex A7 cores. Charbax is at ARM Techcon 2012 and he shot an interesting video showing 2 Versatile Express development boards based on TC2 demonstrate different big.LITTLE processing schedule strategies: The first scheduling strategy switches between Cortex A15 and Cortex A7 depending on the load required. The second scheduling strategy makes use of 5 cores at the same time and runs high load tasks on the Cortex A15 cores whereas simpler tasks are run on Cortex A7 core. This is only available on Android and Linux and the moment. TC2 is an actual silicon (not FPGA), and as they opened the casing of the development kit (Around 5:00 in the video), you’ll see a fan to cool down the SoC as it is […]

$249 Samsung Exynos 5 (Cortex A15) Arndale Development Board

Samsung has announced the first Cortex A15 development board available for purchase.  Like the Origen board, Arndale development board has been designed by InSignal and features a dual core Exynos 5 (5250) cortex A15 processor @ 1.7 GHz, 2 GB RAM, internal storage via eMMC and plenty of ports. The development kit is composed of a CPU module (Exynos 5 , RAM and PMC) and a baseboard. Here are Arndale development board specifications: CPU Board Exynos 5 Cortex-A15@1.7 GHz dual core 2GB 32-bit 800 MHz LPDDR3/LPDDR2 Base Board Sensors Accelerator : Invensence MPU-6050 Gyro : Invensence MPU-6050 e-Compass : AKM -AK8963C Camera Interfaces: ITU 601, MIPI CSI Video Ouput: HDMI 1.4 interface (micro HDMI) 1 channel eDP output Single WQXGA MIPI DSI interface USB: 1x USB3.0 Host 2x USB2.0 Host 1x USB 2.0 OTG SATA 1.0/2.0/3.0 interface 1 channel eMMC 4.5 1 channel SDIO 3.0 2 channel SD 2.0 (microSD slot) 4 channel […]

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