Prpl Non-Profit Organization to Work on Linux, Android, and OpenWRT for MIPS based Processors

In what looks like an answer, albeit fairly late, to Linaro, the non-profit organization working on open source software for ARM based SoCs, a consortium of companies composed of Imagination Technologies, Broadcom, Cavium, Lantiq, Qualcomm, Ingenic, and a few others, has funded Prpl (pronounced Purple), “an open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture—and open to others—with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures”. The Prpl foundation will focus on three key objectives: Portability – To create ISA agnostic software for rapid deployment across multiple architecture Virtualization & security – To enable multi-tenant, secure, software, environments in datacenter, networking & storage, home, mobile and embedded Heterogeneous Computing – To leverage compute resources enabling next generation big data analytics and mining Initially there will PEG (Prpl Engineering Group) to take of the following projects for 4 market segments (datacenter, network & storage, connected consumers, and Embedded & IoT): Linux –  Optimizations for enterprise, home […]

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$15 Open Source Hardware VoCore Wi-Fi Module Runs OpenWRT (Crowdfunding)

There are already low cost Wi-Fi modules that can be used for the Internet of Things such as AsiaRF AWM002 and Hi-Link HLK-RM04. However, AsiaRF mainly caters to companies, and the Hi-Link module has a limited memory (16MB), which may or may not be an issue depending on your application. VoCore Wi-Fi module could prove to be an interesting option as it is the same $15 to $20 price range, runs OpenWRT with 32 MB RAM, will be open source hardware, and provides up to 20 GPIOs in a tiny (25x25mm) form factor. VoCore Wi-Fi module specifications: SoC – Ralink/Mediatek RT5350 MIPS processor @ 360MHz with dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps System Memory – 32 MB RAM Storage – 8MB SPI Flash (for firmware) / 16 MB on limited edition Available Signals (Via through holes): 10/100M Ethernet USB UART, I2C, SPI I2S, PCM JTAG Over 20 GPIOs Power Pins – 3.3V, 1.8V, GND Power Consumption – […]

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$15 AsiaRF AWM002 & AWM003 Wi-Fi Modules Run OpenWRT, Expose GPIOs

This week-end I explained how to build a web server that could be used for automation and other Internet of things applications for less than $15 by combining an Arduino Leonardo with ECN18J60 Ethernet module. The hardware itself is cheap, but it may not always be convenient, or cost effective, to wire your house or office with Ethernet cables. One solution is to use Wi-Fi modules such as TI CC3000 evaluation module, an Electric Imp module, or Ariettea G25 + Wi-Fi board, but these usually cost between $30 to $50 in single quantity. AsiaRF AWM002 and AWM003 are low cost 802.11n Wi-Fi modules with access to GPIOs that could be an interesting alternative as they cost $15 + shipping, and even below $10 in quantities. The only difference between the two is that AWM003 supports more RAM (64MB vs 32MB). Here are the specifications for these modules: SoC – Mediatek/Ralink RT5350 MIPS 74KEc core @ 360 MHz dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi […]

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$27 TP-LINK TL-MR10U is an Hackable OpenWRT Wi-Fi Router with a Power Bank

TP-Link WR703N is a cheap 802.11 b/g/n router (you can now get it for about $20) that can easily be hacked to run openWRT and for example, act as an home automation gateway, printer server and more.  But if you need a battery powered router for your application, TP-Link TL-MR10U,  based on similar hardware as TL-703WR, should be a better match as it comes with a 2600 mAh battery, and costs just about $27 on DealExtreme. Here are the specifications of the device: CPU – Atheros AR9331 CPU @ 400Mhz System Memory – 32MB RAM Storage – 4 MB Flash Connectivity: 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps 3G support via external USB dongle USB – USB 2.0 port + micro-USB port for power Misc – Serial port access Dimensions – 91mm x 43mm x 25.85mm(L x W x H) The device comes with a microUSB cable and a user’s manual in English and Chinese. Instructions to install openWRT, perform […]

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Freescale i.MX6 Based Server Systems – Cornfed CONSERVER and Ventana Network Processing Boards

I usually spend most of my time writing about low cost hardware in this blog, but in this post, I’ll deal with higher-end and more expensive devices based on Freescale i.MX6 with Cornfed CONSERVER Server System and corresponding CONSERVER motherboard, as well as Ventana Network Processing Boards. Cornfed CONSERVER Conserver is a low power high-performance ARM processor server system based on Freescale i.MX6 with 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and SATA. The hardware specifications are as follows: SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q Quad Core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz System Memory – 4 GB DDR3 RAM Storage – ?? GB NAND Flash + 1x SATA2 connector for HDD/SSD Connectivity – 1x Gb Ethernet port USB – 4x USB Host ports Video Output – 1x HDMI port Misc – RS-232 Serial port Power Supply – 35W Internal AC Power Supply Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor The system is preloaded with Ubuntu, and can be customized with wireless connectivity, or DC power supply, […]

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$79 Plug Makes Creating Your Own Cloud Easy

The “Plug” is a device with an Ethernet connection, and a USB port that allows you to connect up to 8 USB drives, and access those in a unified fashion from all your devices. It’s a bit like dropbox, except you are in charge, and the price per GB is much cheaper than cloud services. The Cloud Guys have launched a kickstarter campaign that has already received over $220,000 in pledges after just over two days. The Plug technical specifications are as follows: OpenWRT based Embedded Linux x86 compatible processor Port for your hard drive –  USB 2.0 Port for Internet – Ethernet port 10/100 Mbps Average transfer speed: 30 Mbps Supported file systems: NTFS, HFS+, Ext3/Ext4, FAT32 Number of drives supported (using an external USB hub): 8 LED Display: Power/ Action Dimensions – 270mm (W) x 110mm (D) x 20mm (H) (This must be wrong as it seems way too big compared to the picture shown in the video) 70 […]

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$69 Linux Powered Arduino Yún Board is Designed for the Cloud

Massimo Banzi announced the Arduino Yún, the first of a  family of Wi-Fi products combining Arduino with Linux, at the Maker Faire Bay Area. The company used the name Yún (云), meaning “cloud” in Chinese, as the purpose of this board to allow connection to web services directly from Arduino. Arduino Yun Specifications: MCU – Atmel ATMega32u4 @ 16 MHz (same as the one used in Leonardo board) with 2.5KB SRAM and 32KB flash SoC – Atheros AR9331 MIPS-based Wi-Fi SoC running Linino, Arduino’s own Linux distribution based on OpenWRT. It’s the same chipset as in TP-Link WR703N router. Storage – microSD card slot USB – micro USB connector + full USB host port Connectivity – Ethernet + Wi-Fi 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs) Arduino Yún ATMega32u4 can be programmed as a standard Arduino board by plugging it to your computer with the micro USB connector, or via […]

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$14 Marstek MPR-N9 WiFi/3G Router with 2,400 mAh Battery

One of my readers (Onebir) brought Poray M3 mini Router to my attention a few days ago, as it just cost $17 at the time (now over $20) and OpenWRT developer Squonk seems very interested about it since it features microSD and SD card slots missing in TL-WR703N. However, the device only has 16 MB memory which makes it somewhat difficult to run OpenWRT, or at least some of its features. But today, I’m not going to talk about this. Mentions of Poray M3 router came in HAME MPR-A1 OpenWRT forum thread, and I discovered a new (to me) type of low cost, small form factor device: portable Wi-Fi/3G routers. Those devices are about the size of android mini-PC and contain the chips to handle Wi-Fi, USB host (for external 3G dongle), and comes with a built-in battery so that you can use them anywhere (beach, mountain, car…), as long as there is 3G coverage. You can also use them […]

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