Marvell Unveils ARMADA 1500 Plus (88DE3108) SoC for Android and Linux Smart Video Platforms

Building on top of it ARMADA 1500 SoC for Google TV, Marvell has recently announced the ARMADA 1500 Plus (88DE3108) HD secure media processor SoCdesigned for smart video products based on Android 4.2.2, and Linux, such as media players, OTT boxes, hybrid set-top boxes and smart TVs. ARMADA 1500 Plus features two ARM Cortex A9 cores, Vivante GC1000 and GC300 GPUs, respectively for 3D and 2D graphics,  and integrates an HDMI receiver and Gigabit Ethernet. Hisense will be among the first to use the platform with the upcoming H6 Smart TV and Pulse Pro set-top-box, but details have yet to be released for these two products. Here are the key features of 88DE3108 SoC: Processor – Dual core Cortex A9 with over 6000 Dhrystone MIPS Dedicated 3D and 2D graphics acceleration – dual threaded unified shader (Vivante GC1000 and GC300) with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and DirectFB. Video vMeta […]

Google’s Portable Native Client Builds Architecture Independent Executable for Portability, and Better Performance

Native Client (NaCl) allows to build native C and C++, and runs it in the browser for maximum performance. Applications such as photo editing, audio mixing, 3D gaming and CAD modeling are already using it. The problem is that you have to build the code for different architecture such as ARM, MIPS or x86. To provide a portable binary, Google announced the Portable Native Client (PNaCl, pronounced pinnacle), which “lets developers compile their code once to run on any hardware platform and embed their PNaCl application in any website”. Instead of compiling C and C++ code directly to machine code, PNaCl generates a portable bitcode executable (pexe), which can be hosted on a web server. Chrome then loads this executable, and converts it into an architecture-specific machine executable (native executable – nexe) optimized for the device where the code runs. Bullet physics simulators (Shown below) and Lua interpreters are two […]

Google Announces LG Nexus 5 Smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat

Google has partnered with LG and Nestle to bring to market the latest Nexus 5 smartphone featuring Android 4.4 “Kitkat”, the latest, and brand new, release of Android. Let’s first have a look at the device, and then we’ll go through the new features and improvement brought by Android 4.4. LG Nexus 5 Nexus 5 has the following technical specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.26GHz with Adreno 330 GPU @ 450MHz System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 16 to 32 GB flash, but no microSD slot Display – 4.95″ touchscreen display with 1920×1080 resolution, Gorilla Glass 3 Connectivity – Dual band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4G/5G), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and GPS Celullar Networks – 2G/3G/4G LTE. GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, and LTE in North America, and GSM, WCDMA, and LTE for the rest of the world. Camera – 8MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and 1.3MP front camera […]

Chromecast Open Source Code: Linux Kernel, Toolchain, Bootloader, and More

Google has made quite a stir by introducing Chromecast, and entering the HDMI TV Stick market. We already know the device is based on Marvell 88DE3005 SoC with 512 MB, and since the product are already been shipped to customers in the US, it was just a question of time before the release of the open source code, and everything you need appears to be available at https://code.google.com/p/chromecast-mirrored-source/ Let’s have a look at what we have in the different repositories: Wiki – Empty… Kernel – Linux 3.0.8 source code Prebuilt – Binary toolchain: arm-unknown-linux-gnueabi-4.5.3-glibc Toolchain – Source code for the toolchain above. External – Source code for alsa-libs, dnsmask, libexit and nss sdk – bootloader and DirecFB 1.6.1 vendor – Looks like qt source used in some netflix app (not sure) Chromium – README explaining how you can download Chromecast Chromium source code: 1.8GB tarball + you need to contact […]

Google Unveils $35 Chromecast HDMI TV Stick

For over a year now, we’ve seen many Android HDMI TV Sticks (which I often call mini PCs), a few Linux ones, but Google has just announced its own stick based on a strip down version of Chrome OS. It’s not as versatile as others as it only streams video and music, but it make sharing media easy, and is controlled via your Android or iOS mobile device, or your Windows PC or Mac via Chrome web browser. The connection is just the same as other HDMI dongles. Connect it to the HDMI port of your TV, power it via USB, and setup Wi-Fi. When I first saw the demonstration, I was disappointed as it just seemed like you could do the same thing with a DLNA dongle, but it’s actually quite different. First, Chromekey only works with online services such as YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Movie & TV and […]

Google Announces Blink, a Fork of WebKit Rendering Engine for Chromium

WebKit rendering engine has been used by Chromium since the start of the project, but Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and this has made maintenance increasingly complex, and Google intends to investigate other performance improvement strategies. Those 2 reasons explain why the company has announced it would fork WebKit and start working on its own open source rendering engine called Blink. Google tells web developers that in the short term, Blink will bring little change to them, as most of the work will focus on architectural improvements as well as code cleanup with about 7,000 files, corresponding to 4.5 millions line of code, to be deleted. One of the main changes will be “out-of-process iframes“, where the rendering engine will start a sandbox process for each individual parts of the page in order to render it faster. This has been planned for a while, but […]

Review of Measy U2C Rockchip RK3066 Mini PC With Built-in Camera

I’ve received 2 new devices to play with this week, as Geekbuying sent me Tronsmart Promotheus set-top box and Measy U2C, a mini PC with a webcam, so that I can test and review them. Today, I’ll leave the “Spaceship” set-top box parked in another galaxy, and I will review Measy U2C mini PC. This HDMI dongle is powered by Rockchip RK3066, runs Android 4.1.1, and comes with 1 GB RAM, 8GB Flash, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity, and a built-in 2MP Webcam. For complete specs, you can check my post about B12 mini PC since this device uses the same board internally. Geekbuying sells this all-in-one mini PC for $74.99 including shipping. As usual, I’ll post some unboxing pictures, and then review the device, this time, with a section dedicated to the webcam, since this is the key selling point of this mini PC. Measy U2C Unboxing Measy U2C comes […]

Google Drive Integration in Ubuntu with Insync

There are several ways to get cloud storage in Ubuntu, and access it from Nautilus with products such as Ubuntu One or Dropbox. But if you’re running out of space with those services, you may also consider using your Google Drive account with Insync (Beta). Here’s how I’ve installed the latest version (0.9.35) in Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit:

At this point, reboot or restart nautilus (“nautilus -q” in a terminal window). I’ve then used Dash to launch Insynq. This just launched insync website, and allowed me to register my Google Drive account. You should now see Insynq shows up in your home folder. It may be a good idea to add it as a bookmark as well. At this point, you should realize something is not working that well since Insync does not show in the contextual menu. That’s because you need to run insync manually in a terminal window, […]

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