Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit Europe 2017 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference & IoT summit 2017 took place in the US earlier this year in February, but there will soon be a similar event with the Embedded Linux Conference *& Open Source Summit Europe 2017 to take up in Europe on October 23 – 25 in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Linux Foundation has just published the schedule. It’s always useful to find out what is being discussed during such events, even if you are not going to attend, so I went through the different sessions, and compose my own virtual schedule with some of the ones I find the most interesting. Monday, October 23 11:15 – 11:55 – An Introduction to SPI-NOR Subsystem – Vignesh Raghavendra, Texas Instruments India Modern day embedded systems have dedicated SPI controllers to support NOR flashes. They have many hardware level features to increase the ease and efficiency of accessing SPI NOR […]

ROCK64 Board Review – Part 2: Quick Start Guide with Ubuntu 16.04.3 MATE, Multimedia Features, Some Benchmarks

Pine64 ROCK64 is the first maker board based on Rockchip RK3328 processor, and is potentially interesting for various applications including network storage thanks to USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, multimedia applications with 4K HDR video support, as well as other applications requiring I/Os. I’ve already tested Rock64 board with Android 7.1 operating system, so today I’ll report by finding and experience with Ubuntu 16.04.3 with MATE desktop. Selecting and Flashing a Linux Image You’ll find several operating systems in the Wiki, but you’ll also find more cutting edge images in ayufan’s github. But first let me explain some vocabulary used for Pine64 firmware files: Engineering version – Becomes with release build based on the stock build develop by Pine64 and the SoC vendor. It’s supposed to be more stable, but get less updates Community versions (currently managed via ayufan) are more frequently updates, and comes with more recent features. You’ll find […]

Using GPIOs on NanoPi NEO 2 Board with BakeBit Starter Kit

NanoPi NEO 2 is a tiny 64-bit ARM development board powered by Allwinner H5 processor. FriendlyELEC sent me a couple of NEO 2 samples together with their BakeBit Start Kit with a NanoHat and various modules via GPIOs, analog input or I2C. I’ve already tested both Armbian with Linux 4.11 and Ubuntu Core Qt with Linux 3.10, and ran a few benchmarks on NanoPi NEO 2. You would normally prefer to use the Armbian image with Linux mainline since it provided better performance, but at the time I was told GPIO support was not there. Configuring NanoPi NEO 2 board with BakeBit library So this week-end, when I decided to test GPIO support and BakeBit Starter Kit, I decided to follow this advice, especially nanopi-neo2-ubuntu-core-qte-sd4g-20170329.img.zip image is still the recommended one in the Wiki. So I went with that image. I’ll use Python examples from Bakebit library, but if you […]

Review & Quick Start Guide for Khadas Vim Pro Development Board with Ubuntu 16.04

Khadas Vim is the only Amlogic S905X development board I’m aware of. There are 4 or 5 versions of the board, but currently only two models are sold: Khadas Vim with 8GB flash and single band WiFi + BLE 4.0, and Khadas VIM Pro with 16GB flash, and dual band WiFi + BLE 4.2. SZWesion, the company behind the board, has sent Khadas Vim Pro for evaluation. Today, I’ll take a few pictures of the board and its accessories, and report my experience playing with Ubuntu 16.04.2 on the board. They’ve also released Android, LibreELEC, and dual boot Android/Ubuntu (for Vim Pro only) images, which you can find in the firmware resources page. Khadas Vim Pro Unboxing and Photos My parcel included Khadas package that looks like a book, an HDMI cable, and the same IR remote control sent with GeekBox, the first board made by the company, and powered […]

Getting Started with Onion Omega2+ LEDE WiFi IoT Board and Expansion Dock

Onion Omega2 LEDE (OpenWrt fork) WiFi board is powered by Mediatek MT7688 MIPS SoC, targets IoT projects, and sells for as low as $5. There are actually two versions: Omega2 with 64MB RAM, 16MB flash, and Omega2+ with 128MB RAM, 32MB flash and a micro SD slot. Onion sent me the latter for review, together with an expansion dock that allows powering up the board though USB , and adds a USB host port, an RGB LED, buttons, and access to GPIO via a female header. In this quick start guide, I’ll start by taking some unboxing pictures, and then report my experience following the documentation to configure the board, blink the RGB LED, and control a LED on a breadboard using a GPIO from the header. Onion Omega2+ Unboxing I received the two boards in their respective package, and which are both stored in anti-static bags. Let’s check Onion […]

Getting Started with NanoPi NEO Development Board – Ubuntu Core Firmware

NanoPi NEO is an exciting ARM Linux board due to the power it packs into its small size, and its low price starting at $7.99. It’s made by FriendlyARM, and since I’ve read some people had never heard about the company before, I’d like to point out it has been providing development boards well before the Raspberry Pi board was launched, with products such mini2440 based on a Samsung ARM9 processor introduced around year 2010. Anyway, I asked the company if they were willing to send 2 samples for review, as I plan to remove the USB & Ethernet port on one of them. Instead I got a 4 boards and accessories, so I’m going to start reviewing the board by writing a quick start guide, showing how to setup it, and check out the Ubuntu core provided by the company. If you are a fan of armbian made Debian […]

DIGIO-128 Board Adds 128 GPIOs to Your Development Board

If you run out of GPIOs on your board, the easy way is to add an I2C GPIO expander, but those are normally limited to 8 or 16-channels, so  Land Boards decided to create a board with 8 IO expanders making it a 128 channel IO expander that works on Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, Arduino, and basically any boards with an I2C hardware or software implementation. DIGIO-128 board specifications: 8x Microchip MCP23017 16-bit I/O expander for up to 128 GPIOs Communication Interface – I2C host interface with 100/400 KHZ operation; 4-pin host interface connector (Ground, Power, Clock, Data) 8x 20-pin 2.54mm pitch connectors with 16 I/Os, 2x VCC, and 2 ground 2x 4-pin interrupt connectors Data Storage – Microchip 24LC024 2K EEPROM with board info. 3.3V or 5V operation Dimensions – 95 x 95 mm You can find out to use the board in the Wiki for code for Raspberry […]

Status of Orange Pi Boards GPIO Support

Yesterday, one person asked me to make a video showing GPIO control on Orange Pi 2 mini on YouTube, and since I have just completed a post about Orange Pi camera, I thought it might be fun to check GPIO support too. This post focuses on Allwinner H3 boards, but the instructions and status should be very similar for Allwinner A20 and A31s versions. One of the first things you want before starting playing with GPIOs is the expansion header’s pinout chart, and I could not find any until I had the idea to check for schematics, which are available on Orange Pi resources page. I downloaded the schematics for Orange Pi 2, which should be the same as for Orange Pi 2 mini as the only difference is the lack of WiFi module. Orange Pi PC is a little different, and the schematics are nowhere to be found, but […]