Hercules eCAFE ARM Cortex A8 Netbooks running Linux

Hercules, a subsidiary of Guillemot Corporation,  announced two new eCAFÉ netbooks based on Freescale i.MX515 @ 800 Mhz (ARM Cortex A8)  that run a custom Linux distribution and feature a dipswitch for flipping to other user-loaded Linux or Android operating systems: eCAFÉ Slim HD – 229 USD: LED screen: 10.1 inch, 1024*600, high brightness Storage: 8Gb Flash (iNAND), extensible up to 72Gb ARM CortexTM A8 FreescaleTM i.MX515 @ 800 MHz processor RAM: 512 Mb WiFi N technology Battery: 2400 mAh (7.4V) for 4.5 hours’ battery life Comfortable “chiclet” keyboard with flat, separate keys – 88% of a standard keyboard 0.3MP webcam with built-in microphone Connections: 3x USB, 1x Headset, 1x Microphone, 1x LAN RJ45, 1x DC-in 12V, 1x External card reader: SD/MMC/SDHC, 1x Internal card reader: SD/SDHC DIP Switch Weight: 1.9lbs / 0.86 kg eCAFÉ EX HD – 269 USD: LED screen: 10.1 inch, 1024*600, high brightness Storage: 16Gb extensible to 72Gb: 8Go Flash (iNAND) + 8Gb SDHC card ARM […]

New Digital Media Processor: Conexant CX92755

Conexant announced a new single-chip media processor for multimedia display products such as digital signage, home automation/security and user interface control.  The CX92755 is based on ARM™ Cortex-A8 processor and NEON™ single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) engine with Linux and Android development support. The highly integrated SoC also includes an advanced HD video codec and graphics processor, integrated L1 and L2 cache, a PCI Express™ interface and DDR3 memory, The CX92755 integrates peripheral functions including a Class-D amplifier with speaker and line-out, a microphone input, back-light regulator, power supply controller and touchscreen controller. The SoC also includes an embedded high-performance graphics processor, which supports display list processing, alpha blending, and color key control for advanced user interface operation and display effects. the CX92755 also support the major network connectivity standards such as Wi-Fi®, 3G, Bluetooth® and integrated Ethernet. The SoC also integrates Conexant’s HSSD/Smart DAA® (Direct Access Arrangement) interface, and an infrared device association (IrDA®) controller. Additional features include Conexant’s […]

AMD G-Series SDK and Development Boards

Earlier this year, AMD announced its new Embedded processors G-Series aimed at set-top boxes, smart tv, digital signage, point of sales, media servers and more in order to compete with Intel Atom solutions as well as ARM based processors. Please refer to the link above for an overview and details about the 5 processors of the AMD G-series: T56N – Dual core @ 1.6GHz with Radeon HD 6310 GPU T48N – Dual core @ 1.4 GHz with Radeon HD 6310 GPU T40N – Dual core @ 1.0 GHz with Radeon HD 6250 GPU T52R – Single core @ 1.5 GHz with Radeon HD 6310 GPU Today, I’ll discuss about the development boards and software development kits available for this platform. AMD G-Series Development Boards and Reference Designs AMD Provide two reference designs and one development board: AMD Embedded G-Series Platform Mini-ITX Reference Design. No details are publicly available as this mini-ITX reference design requires you to sign an NDA for […]

Toshiba Resistive Multi-touch Screen

Toshiba developed a proprietary algorithm for multi-touch resistive touchscreen and they exhibited a demo at Embedded World 2011. The hardware is based around Toshiba TMPA900 (ARM926EJ-S core running at 200 Mhz) and runs embedded Linux. This type of system is aimed at home appliances (washing machine, refrigerator…), industrial and medical applications and can be used with a pen, stylus or gloved hand. For example, a doctor wearing gloves would be able to use multi-touch gestures on such screens whereas it would not be possible on capacitive touchscreens or standard resistive touchscreens. It was not specified but I suppose that technology would only support 2 points since they only showed two fingers gesture in the demo. This should not be a problem for the type of application. An another advantage of this solutions is that it brings multi-touch technology to cost sensitive industrial applications. The technology is still under development and will be introduced to the market later this year. You […]

Amahi 6 (Home Digital Assistant) and Amahi Sync Released Today.

Amahi is an open source home digital assistant (HDA) running on Fedora. It is basically a server to manage all your media files (like a NAS), backup your PC’s data and host some private web applications (calendar, wiki, …) with people on your LAN. Amahi is available on several platforms such as Intel and AMD x86 processors and embedded platforms such as Intel Atom (ECOPC N.1)  and Marvell Sheeva ARM processor (Sheevaplug). They’ve released their latest version Amahi 6 today. Here’s what they say about it: Amahi 6.0: Reliability, Reliability, Reliability! Amahi 6.0 brings a plethora of upgrades, reliability fixes and features, and better hardware support, courtesy of Fedora 14. Here are some of the highlights in this release (see the Amahi 6.0 release notes for all the details as well as the upgrade guide from Amahi 5/Fedora 12). Online Synchronization, Server Alerts and Premium Plans! The Amahi Sync and Server Alerts services (see screenshot of a server alert email […]

Low Cost Freescale i.MX53 (Cortex A8) Development Board

Possibly inspired by Texas Instruments low cost Beagleboard (OMAP 3 – 129 USD) and Pandaboard (OMAP4 – 179 USD) and the large following in the development community, Freescale announced its own “Quick Start Development Board” based on i.MX53 for a cost of 149 USD. i.MX53 QSD Board Hardware Description Listed Hardware Features of the i.MX53 Quick Start Development Board: Processor i.MX53 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 Processor Power management IC 1 GB DDR3 memory Display LVDS connector VGA connector Parallel LCD add-on card (via expansion connector) HDMI add-on card (via expansion connector) Audio SPDIF output via HDMI add-on card Freescale SGTL5000 audio codec Microphone jack Headphone jack Expansion Connector Enables parallel LCD or HDMI output Camera CSI port signals I2C, SSI, SPI signals Connectivity Full-size SD/MMC card slot microSD card slot 7-pin SATA data connector 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port Two High-Speed USB host ports Micro USB device port Debug JTAG connector DB-9 UART port Miscellaneous 3” x 3” 8-layer PCB 3-axis […]

Databases for Linux Embedded Systems: Berkeley DB and SQLite

Embedded systems often need to use database to store contact information, EPG data and more. Many Linux systems use MySQL, however such a large database management system may not always be appropriate for embedded systems. Hence, there are lightweight database management systems  implementation that are especially suited to embedded systems by their binary footprint, memory footprint and CPU requirements. If you want to develop in C in Linux and your requirement is to have no (or little) license to pay in your application, you could consider Oracle Berkeley DB or SQLite among others. Oracle Berkeley DB (previously Sleepycat Berkeley DB)  is described as follows: Berkeley DB enables the development of custom data management solutions, without the overhead traditionally associated with such custom projects. Berkeley DB provides a collection of well-proven building-block technologies that can be configured to address any application need from the hand-held device to the datacenter, from a local storage solution to a world-wide distributed one, from kilobytes […]

AES-256 Encryption and File names encryption with 7-Zip (7z)

If you need to safely backup some of your confidential files (email, financial info, marketing info, source code,…), you can use 7-Zip (aka 7z) to compress and encrypt your archive with AES-256 as well as hide the name of the files. This should give you the level of security used by the (in-)famous insurance file (insurance.aes256) released by Wikileaks last year (if it indeed has been encrypted with AES-256). 7-Zip is available for Windows, Linux (multiple architectures) and Mac OS. Since 7-Zip source code is open, it can theoretically be ported to any platform. The first thing I did was to use a Password Generator to get a 256-bit key such as DFF61FFB56B26158718457E5E47F3511080130C855C8E6F689A3A7664EBE2C9A. In this example, I backup “My Documents” directory in Windows, but the same command line (just different paths) could be used in Linux as well:

Here’s the description of the parameters in the command line: a – Used to Add files to archive -t7z – Sets […]