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 serial device. It usually shows as COM1 in Windows, and […]

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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 – 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 (Do not power on) Press the recovery button (located on the right […]

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GPUs Comparison: ARM Mali vs Vivante GCxxx vs PowerVR SGX vs Nvidia Geforce ULP

I’m always very confused when it comes to comparing GPUs in different SoCs, and I could not really find comparisons on the web, so I’m going to give it a try even though, as you’re going to find out, it’s actually quite a challenge. There are mainly 4 companies that provide GPUs: ARM, Imagination Technologies, Vivante and Nvidia. [Update: Two comments  mentioned Qualcomm Adreno and Broadcom VideoCore are missing from the list. Maybe I’ll do an update later]. Each company offers many different versions and flavors of their GPU as summarized below. ARM Imagination Technologies Vivante Nvidia Mali-400 Series: Mali-400 MP Mali-450 MP Mali-600 Series Mali-T604 Mali-T624 Mali-T628 Mali-T658 Mali-T678 PowerVR SGX Series 5: SGX520 SGX530 SGX531 SGX535 SGX540 SGX545 PowerVR SGX Series 5XT: SGX543MP1-16 SGX544MP1-16 SGX554MP1-16 PowerVR SGX Series 6: G6200 G6230 G6400 G6430 G6600 2D graphics: GC300 GC350 3D graphics: GC400 GC800 GC1000 GC2000 GC4000 ULP GeForce (Tegra 2/3) 74-core GeForce (Tegra 4) For each company the GPU […]

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HiAPAD Hi-802 mini PC Unboxing and Review

Kimdecent has just sent me one HiAPAD Hi-802 mini PC powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad, and running Android 4.0.4 ICS. This is the first quad core HDMI TV dongle available on the market, and it can run both Android and Linux distributions such as Ubuntu since Freescale released the source code for i.MX6 processor family. Today, I’ll just show some pictures of the device, and review the device by running some tests in Android. I’ll try the Ubuntu 11.10 image release for GK802 another day. Hi-802 Unboxing I received the package by DHL within 3 days, and it includes Hi802, a 5V/2A power supply, and a USB to microUSB cable. A closer look at the device reveals an aluminum casing with lots of ventilation holes (really needed since the device gets pretty hot). Hi802 features an HDMI male connector, a microSD card slot on the side, a full USB port, and a microUSB port for power. First Boot, Settings, and […]

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ZEALZ GK802 / HI802 mini PC Can Now Run Ubuntu 11.10

After Freescale made available i.MX6 development resources, we all knew this was a matter of time before Ubuntu runs on Hi802 / Zealz GK802 mini PC based on Freescale i.MX6. The guys at GeekBuying have done it, and a beta version of Ubuntu 11.10 can run on the Zealz GK802. This is not the first time Ubuntu or another Linux distributions can run on one of these mini PCs, but it’s the very first time we should get full hardware graphics and hardware video decoding in Linux. You may have noticed the screen is cut on the sides, that’s because they haven’t done overscan adjustment before shooting the video. They are using Ubuntu 11.10 (Linaro) because that’s the version released by Freescale that supports GPU and video acceleration, and if they used Ubuntu 12.04, it would not work until Freescale releases the proper drivers. However, scrolling does not seem particularly fast on the demo. so I guess acceleration does not […]

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HI802 HDMI TV Dongle (Freescale i.MX6) is Now Available

After many delays allegedly due to Freescale i.MX6 CPU delivery issues, Hiapad HI-802 mini PC appears to be now available for purchase on Aliexpress for $99 including shipping. This HDMI dongle features Freescale i.MX6 Quad, 1GB RAM and 8GB Flash. The specs on Aliexpress are similar to the original announcement, except the internal NAND flash size is 8GB instead of 16GB: SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Quad Core Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz with  Vivante GC2000 System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM Storage – 8GB Nand Flash + microSD card socket Connectivity 802.11b/g/n Build-in Bluetooth 2.1 No 3G support. Video Output – HDMI (Up to 1080p60) Video Container Formats – 3GP,MPEG4,AVI,RMVB,MKV,FLV etc. support 1080P HD Resolution Audio Formats – MP3/WAV/AMR/AAC; USB – Micro USB 2.0 OTG + USB 2.0 Host Power Supply – 5V/1.5A Dimensions – 102 x 38 x 10 mm Weight – 45 g This Android 4.0 (ICS) mini PC comes with a 5V/1.5A power supply, a USB cable and […]

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Freescale i.MX6 Resources: Development Boards, Documentation, Source Code and Tools

Reader “Mark” recently left a comment saying the NDA on Freescale i.MX6 resources was lifted and documentation and source code were now available for the platform. So it’s time for me to look into it, and provide an overview of Freescale i.MX6 features, list available development platforms, and have a closer look at the documentation, source code and tools for the platform. Freescale i.MX6 Processors In 2011, Freescale initially announced 3 processors in the i.MX6 series for consumer, industrial and automotive markets, but added 2 lite SoC in 2012, and there are now 5 members in the family: Freescale i.MX6SoloLite – Single Cortex A9 processor up to 1 GHz with 256KB L2 Cache, 32-bit DDR3 and LPDDR2 memory support, and 2D graphics accelerator (Vivante GC355 + GC320) Freescale i.MX6Solo – Single Cortex A9 core up to 1 GHz with 512KB L2 Cache, 32-bit DDR3 and LPDDR2 memory support, and 2D & 3D graphics accelerator (Vivante GC880 + GC320) Freescale i.MX6DualLite – […]

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$89 Hiapad Hi802 Android mini PC Based on Freescale i.MX6 Quad Processor

The first (single core) mini PCs showed up in May, the dual core mini PCs in August, and the first quad core mini PCs should be available in November starting with Hiapad Hi-802 HDMI TV Stick powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM. The specs of the device are not available publicly, but based on diverse sources (including charbax video below), it should be as follows: SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q Quad Core Cortex A9 Processor with Vivante GC2000 GPU System Memory – 1GB RAM Storage – 16? GB NAND Flash Memory + microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI Connectivity – Built-in Wifi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth USB – USB Host + USB OTG A picture of the PCB (one side only) has been uploaded by Hiapad. There are 6 through holes at the top left of the PCB which might be some debug ports (TBC  Confirmed. Those are for I2C and UART pins, see details). […]

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