Zealz GK802 Is (Temporary?) Available for $69.99 on GeekBuying

Zealz GK802 is a mini PC based on Freescale i.MX6 Quad processor, with 1GB RAM, 8 to 16 GB internal memory (internal micro SD card). The main selling points of this HDMI dongle is that it’s the only currently available quad core processor (about to change), it’s hackable and unbrickable with easy access to the serial console, full support for Linux with hardware video decoding and 2D/3D acceleration (work in progress), and Freescale has released proper software and hardware development resources for the i.MX6 processor. As mentioned in my review of Hi802 mini PC, the downside is that Vivante GC2000 GPU performance is lower than the Mali-400 MP4 found in Rockchip RK3066 mini PC, and its price (usually above $90) is about double the price of Rockchip RK3066 mini PCs. We can’t do anything for Vivante GC2000 performance, but Roman found a coupon code “FVKIWVAG” on a Russian forum that […]

Ubuntu 11.10 Image for Hi802 / GK802 is Now Available for Download

About 2 weeks ago, Jasbir released an Ubuntu 11.10 image and installation instructions for GK802 and Hi802 mini PCs based on Freescale i.MX6. I could only find time to give it try yesterday and today. I’ll provide the steps I followed to install the image, and my quick first impressions of the stability and performance of this image. Installation Instructions I mainly followed the instructions provided by Jasbir, and run GParted to increased the partition size on my micro SD card. The image is for a 8 GB micro SD, but those instructions should work on 4GB SD card and greater, as the rootfs partition is only 3GB large. Download the Ubuntu 11.10 image, uboot, as well as the kernel image and modules in a Linux PC:

Copy the image, uboot and the kernel to the micro SD card by typing the commands below:

Replace /dev/<sd_device> by your […]

Ubuntu 11.10 on GK802/Hi802 mini PC with 2D/3D and Video Hardware Acceleration

You may remember an Ubuntu 11.10 image was released via Geekbuying early January, but this image would not boot on my Hi802, lacked 2D/3D acceleration, and to my knowledge there hasn’t been any update since then. So hope of proper Linux support on the device was fading, until the community discovered Freescale released patches for i.mx6 HDMI dongles, developers setup the imx6-dongle community, and after a lot of work, mainly by three members: Jasbir, Dmitriy (rz2k) and James, there’s now GPU and VPU support on Ubuntu 11.10. Here’s a summary of the current status: Wifi working. External SD working Matched IOMUX configuration to align with the Android image. Stripped out unnecessary device initialisation from the original HDMI dongle source. Enabled EGL and GLES HW Acceleration in Ubuntu. Unity desktop might be partially HW accelerated (TBC) Jasbir uploaded a video to YouTube to show the progress, and it looks pretty good. […]

Developer Community for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI Dongles

Last week, I explained how to build U-boot, the kernel, and Android for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI dongle reference platform. Since them, there has been a bit more activity, with Richtechie releasing source code to some ARMTvTech members. However, this source code is very similar to the one released by Freescale, and misses some part present in the kernel config on GK802 such as CONFIG_MACH_MX6Q_RICHTECHIE, and the company clearly does not comply with the GPL. Let’s forget that for now, as Jasbir (who is also behind the Hackberry board) has managed to build and boot the kernel on his mini PC. There’s still more work to do, but at least we have a based to work on. In the meantime, I’ve noticed rz2k, an other developer, was also giving it a try on #arm-netbook Freenode IRC channel, so we decided to setup a few things to facilitate development and communication between developers. […]

U-boot, Linux Kernel, and Android Patches for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI TV Dongles

We can now get some quad core Android mini PCs (e.g. Hi802, GK802) featuring Freescale i.MX6Q processor, Freescale has released full documentation and source code its development platforms, Hi802 / GK802 HDMI TV dongles are easily hackable, and there’s even an Ubuntu image for the devices. So it looks pretty good ,right? Well almost.. there are some patches and config for GK802 that have not been released by Richtechie, so we can’t modify the  bootloader and Linux kernel. But this may change, as ARMTvTech forum user hste noticed some Freescale i.MX6 HDMI dongle patches om IMX Community website. Even though I’m not sure those are fully compatible with Hi802 / GK802, this could be a starting point. Today, I’ll provide the instructions to build u-boot, the linux kernel and Android ICS with those patches in a machine running Linux 12.04 64-bit. Patch Sets Descriptions There are two set of patches that […]

How to Access the Serial Console in HI802 / GK802 mini PC

One of the advantage of HiAPad Hi802 (aka Zealz GK802) is that it provides access to UART and I2C pins via through holes on the board. UART4 Tx and Rx pins give you access to the serial console which is a must for bootloader (U-boot), and kernel development or for debugging. The first thing is the open the casing and locate the debug pins on the board. The very best way is probably to solder a pin header, but since I don’t have header, nor soldering iron, I’ve done it the “MacGyver” way with 3 wires connected to TxD, RxD and GND, and some sticky tape. You can now insert the other side of the wires into your USB to TLL debug board (GND <-> GND, Tx <-> Rx, and Rx <-> Tx), and connect it to your Windows or Linux PC. The serial board should be recognized as a […]

GeekBuying Releases Firmware 1.65.4 for GK802 mini PC

Geekbuying has released a new version of the firmware (1.65.4) for Zealz GK802 mini PC that fixes NTFS and Bluetooth issues, but you may instead want to use deadhp1 version which also provides root access, and fixes “this item is not compatible with your device” issue in Google Play. There are 2 files available (Deaphp1): rooted_fixed_rt-M500a_v1.65.4_20130118a_updated.7z (link down) – Firmware Update 1.65.4 (127 MB) rooted_fixed_rt-M500a_v1.65.4_20130118a_updated_FULL_IMAGE.rar (link down) – The full SD card with 1.65.4 (747 MB) Normally, you would just use the firmware update file that contains the system, boot, u-boot and recovery partition (in this release) by following those steps in a Linux or Windows PC [Update: this method does not appear to work for anybody, please scroll down to use dd / Win32DiskImager method]: Extract rooted_fixed_rt-M500a_v1.65.4_20130118a_updated.7z Copy the files to a microSD card Insert the microSD card into GK802 microSD slot. Insert the microUSB cable halfway in GK802 […]