Google releases the source code for Lyra low bitrate speech codec

Lyra source code

Google showcased Lyra audio codec for high-quality voice calls at a low 3 kbps bitrate last February. But at the time, it was only for our eyes to see, or rather our ears to listen to, as the company did not release any software, but only audio samples with excellent quality compared to Speex @ 3 kbps or Opus @ 6 kbps. Google has now released the Lyra source code, written in C++ for optimal speed, efficiency, and interoperability and relying on both the Bazel build framework and the GoogleTest framework. The beta release provides the tools and APIs needed for Lyra encoding and decoding, and is currently optimized for the 64-bit Arm Android platform, but can also be run in Linux x86 64-bit. There is also an example app – lyra_android_example – that integrates with the Android NDK and offers a minimal GUI with two buttons to either record from the microphone and encode/decode with Lyra, or runs a […]

Android 12 developer preview released – What’s New?

Android 12 developer preview

Google releases a new version of Android every year, and the company is now usually releasing a developer preview in February to allow feedback and testing from app developers. So here we are with the Android 12 developer preview having just been released by Google with changes ranging from trust and safety to media transcoding to support for AVIF image format. Android 12 highlights: Performance Improved Binder IPC calls – Google engineers have had a look at latency and workload distribution, and made optimizations that reduce the median experience. This has yielded roughly a 2x performance increase on Binder calls overall, and up to a 47x improvement in refContentProvider(), 15x in releaseWakeLock(), and 7.9x in JobScheduler.schedule(). Foreground service optimizations – To ensure a better experience for users, foreground service starts from the background will be blocked for apps that are targeting the new platform. Android 12 will also delay the display of some foreground service notifications by up to 10 […]

OpenTitan and Microsoft Pluton – The security chips of the future

OpenTitan Security Model

Security is becoming more and more important with critical data exposes to the Internet. Traditionally some PCs, laptops, motherboards, or single board computers would be equipped with a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) designed to secure hardware through integrated cryptographic keys.  More recently, we’ve started to read more and more about secure elements providing hardware-based security for lower-end platforms. Those are external chips, but companies have also started to providing hardware-security within the processor with solutions such as Arm Trustzone or Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions). But more recently, Google and Microsoft have made announcements about hardware-security IP with respectively OpenTitan open source project and Microsoft Pluton security chip both meant to be embedded into processors. OpenTitan OpenTitan is described as being “the first open-source project building a transparent, high-quality reference design and integration guidelines for silicon root of trust (RoT) chips”. It is backed by Google, Seagate, Nuvoton, Western Digital, lowRISC, and other companies, projects, and universities. It was announced […]

Google’s Fuchsia OS is now open to public contributions, gets a “roadmap”

Fuchsia OS logo

We were first made aware of Fuchsia OS, an open-source operating system developed by Google, in 2016. At the time, nobody clearly knew what was the goal of the project, although some speculated it could be a Linux replacement. We first wrote about it in 2018, as Fuchsia OS added support for several Amlogic processors hinting that it may be used in TV boxes and media streamers. Google also launched a developer website in 2019 to provide more information and resources to people outside the company interested in trying it out. But while the OS development was always made in the open with the source code publicly available, Google did not accept contributions from the community so far. This has now changed, as the company just announced the expansion of Fuchsia’s open-source model to make it easier for the developer community to contribute to the project. Specifically, Google has set up public mailing lists, added a governance model, as well […]

Google Coral Dev Board mini SBC is now available for $100

Buy Coral Dev Board Mini

Google Coral SBC was the first development board with Google Edge TPU. The AI accelerator was combined with an NXP i.MX 8M quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor and 1GB RAM to provide an all-in-all AI edge computing platform. It launched for $175, and now still retails for $160 which may not be affordable to students and hobbyists. Google announced a new model called Coral Dev Board Mini last January, and the good news is that the board is now available for pre-order for just under $100 on Seeed Studio with shipping scheduled to start by the end of the month. Coral Dev Board Mini specifications haven’t changed much since the original announcement, but we know a few more details: SoC – MediaTek MT8167S quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Imagination PowerVR GE8300 GPU AI/ML accelerator – Google Edge TPU coprocessor with up to 4 TOPS as part of Coral Accelerator Module System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM Storage – […]

Google Chromecast with Google TV Runs Android TV OS, Ships with a Remote Control

Chromecast with Google TV

When Google Chromecast first launched in 2013, it was based on a stripped-down version of ChromeOS and was meant to be used controlled via your Android phone, iPhone, Windows PC, or Mac computer to stream audio and video, and even more recent versions like Chromecast Ultra were not standalone media players. But Google’s “Chromecast with Google TV” changes all that as it’s based on Android TV OS and supports all 6,500 apps designed for the operating systems, and ships with a remote control to playback videos from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other apps without the need for your phone or a computer, although it still support all existing Chromecast features. Chromecast with Google TV hardware specifications: SoC – Quad-core processor @ 1.8GHz with ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, likely Amlogic S905X2 or even S905Y2 since there’s no Ethernet. [Update: It’s Amlogic S905D3 according to a screenshot provided by Android TV rumors.] System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 8GB flash Video […]

Using Google Coral mPCIe Card into a Compact Marvell Octeon TX Linux SBC

Google Coral mPCIe connected to Gateworks Newport GW5903 SBC

Google launched Coral mPCIe and M.2 cards at the very beginning of the year. The cards integrate the company’s 4 TOPS Edge TPU used for low power edge AI applications to bring the solutions to boards with mPCIe or M.2 sockets. Those are just hardware sockets that are optionally connected to USB, PCIe, I2C, etc… so you have to make sure the socket on your board exposes PCIe Gen2 x1. If you worry about compatibility, it’s good to get a board that’s known to work, and one of those is Gateworks Newport GW6903 SBC that offers two mPCIe sockets and features Marvell Octeon TX dual or quad-core Armv8 processor coupled with up to 4GB RAM. Besides the mini PCIe Coral card and Newport SBC, you’ll also need a Linux host and optionally a USB webcam for inference. The rest of the instructions are explained in the Wiki with the following steps required: Recompile the Linux kernel with support for video […]

NXP i.MX 8M Mini Pico-ITX SBC Comes with Audio DSP, Optional PoE and Google Coral M.2 Module

EMB-2237-AI SBC PoE

We’ve covered several NXP i.MX 8M Mini SBC‘s since the announcement of the processor in 2018 as the first i.MX SoC manufactured with a 14nm process allowing for a higher CPU clock of 2.0 GHz compared to the 1.5 GHz frequency used with the original i.MX 8M processor.  i.MX 8M Mini also removes some features (4K video playback, some video interfaces, …) in order to lower the cost of the processor. Companies are still releasing new i.MX 8M SBCs regularly, but we don’t always cover them all since many often do not offer much compared to the competition. But Estone Technology EMB-2237-AI Pico-ITX SBC has some unusual features and options including a Cirrus Logic audio DSP, as well as support for a PoE module and Google Coral M.2 AI accelerator module.   EMB-2237-AI SBC is comprised of a system-on-module and baseboard with the following specifications: Estone SOM-2237 module SoC – NXP i.MX8M Mini Dual or Quad Cortex-A53 @ up to […]