PineSound is a development board for earbuds and digital audio players

PineSound development board

You may have read Pine64’s April’s Fools spoof about the PineBuds and PinePod earlier this month. It turns out those will be real, and the Pine64 PineSound development board will be used to bring the PineBuds earbuds and PinePod digital audio player to market. The PineSound board features Bestechnic BES2300 Bluetooth 5.0 audio chip, two coaxial & optical input and output, a 3.5mm headphone jack, 4.4mm and 2.5mm balanced jacks, an SMA connector, a USB Type-C connector, plus interfaces for a touchscreen display. PineSound preliminary specifications: WiSoC – Bestechnic BES2300-YP dual-core Arm Cortex-M4F @ up to 300 MHz with HW DSP instruction, 992KB SRAM, 4MB flash, Bluetooth 5.0 dual mode. Supports hybrid ANC (active noise cancellation) and TWS (true wireless stereo). Note: the datasheet has been made available in the comments section. Display – LCD (should be SPI) and touch panel connectors Audio Coaxial & optical input (left) Coaxial & […]

Capyloon mobile Web-based OS works on Pinephone Pro, Librem 5, Pixel 3a

Capyloon

Capyloon is an experimental Web-based OS leveraging b2gOS that served as the base for the now-defunct Firefox OS. The developers’ goal is to provide an open-source OS improving privacy and user control through web technologies. It’s still early stage, and some of the technologies used include the IPFS protocol, WebAssembly plugins, and the Tor network. Capyloon is more like a new phone shell as it replaces Phosh when installing it in a Linux smartphone. The first version of Capyloon released last month worked on Pixel 3a, other Android phones through a generic system image, and 64-bit x86 Debian machines. But since then, the developers added support for Apple M1, and yesterday they released Debian packages for PinePhone Pro and Librem 5 Linux smartphones to run Capyloon on top of a Mobian image. Instructions are as follows: Download the Debian package for PinePhone Pro or Librem 5 Install the package withsudo […]

QuartzPro64 SBC coming soon with RK3588 SoC, 16GB RAM, $300+ price tag

As expected, Pine64 has now unveiled its own Rockchip RK3588 SBC with the QuartzPro64, joining many others from Radxa to Banana Pi, and lesser-known companies such as Mixtile and Mekotronics. The QuartzPro64 single board computer will be equipped with 16GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, and with a large 180×180 mm form factor, offers plenty of ports including two HDMI outputs, one HDMI input, two SATA ports, two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 connectors, and more. QuartzPro64 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3588 octa-core processor with four Cortex-A76 cores @ 2.4 GHz, four Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8 GHz, an Arm Mali-G610 MP4 GPU, a 6TOPS NPU, 8K 10-bit decoder, 8K encoder System Memory – 16GB LPDDR4x Storage 64GB eMMC flash 2x SATA ports MicroSD card slot Video Output – 2x HDMI 2.1 ports up to 8Kp60, 2x MIPI DSI “DPHY” interfaces Video Input – 1x HDMI port up to 4Kp60, 2x MIPI CSI “DCPHY” […]

PineNote Developer Edition mainline Linux e-Reader is now available for $399

Pine64 PineNote

Pine64 community has been on a tear in 2022, with the launch of the PineNote Developer Edition Linux e-reader following the availability of the PinePhone keyboard case and PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone in the last 2-3 weeks. So far a limited number of PineNote prototypes had been sent to developers, but it’s now possible to order the PineNote Developer Edition for $399 directly on the Pine64 store. As its name implies, the e-Reader is not ready for end-users, but recent progress with mainline Linux makes it suitable for developers and enthusiasts who want to play around with the device knowing much more work is needed to make it a usable device. The specifications remain the same as in the initial PineNote announcement: SoC – Rockchip RK3566 quad-core A55 processor @ 1.8 GHz with Arm Mali-G52 EE GPU, 0.8 TOPS NPU (AI accelerator) System Memory – 4GB of LPDDR4 […]

PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone is up for pre-order for $399

PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone

Pine64’s PinePhone Pro “Explorer Edition”, the successor of the PinePhone Linux smartphone with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3399S processor, is now available for pre-order for $399 on Pine64 store, but mostly for Linux developers since there’s still a lot of work to do before the phone becomes usable. Based on Allwinner A64 processor, the original PinePhone was the cheapest Linux smartphone you could get, but as a user, I can also say it’s sluggish and suspect only a few people have made it their main mobile device. The story should be a different story with PinePhone Pro with much better specs include on hexa-core Cortex-A72/A55 processor tweaked to consume less power than RK3399, 4GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC flash, and a 6-inch display that makes it more like a typical entry-level/mid-range smartphone. PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399S hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex A53, 2x […]

Pine64 launches PinePhone Keyboard case, back covers with LoRa radio, fingerprint scanner, wireless charging

PinePhone Keyboard Case

Pine64’s PinePhone Linux smartphone and its successor, the upcoming PinePhone Pro, are designed to be modular and extensible with a PinePhone Keyboard case prototype showcased here in April 2021 and aimed to transform the phone into what looks like a PDA. The design has now been refined, and Pine64 has just launched the PinePhone (Pro) keyboard case for $49.99, together with three back covers with either a LoRa module, a fingerprint scanner, or Qi wireless charging for $9.99 to $24.99 depending on the model. All are now available on Pine64 store. PinePhone (Pro) Keyboard Case Key features and specifications: ISO QWERTY layout with 54 keys in 5 rows. Note the key caps can be rearranged, so you could easily make an AZERTY or QWERTZ keyboard for example 180° hinge for two-hand typing on surface or thumb-typing when held Pogo pin connector to connect to PinePhone (Pro) smartphone USB – USB […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Rockchip RK3588 datasheet available, SBC’s coming soon

RK3588 Block Diagram

We had most Rockchip RK3588 specifications so far for the long-awaited Cortex-A76/Cortex-A55 processor, but at today’s Rockchip Developer Conference 2021, more information surfaces with impressive CPU and GPU benchmarks, and the Rockchip RK3588 datasheet has just dropped from the sky directly into my laptop, as such document usually does. At least two single board computers are expected to soon follow from Radxa and Pine64. Rockchip RK3588 datasheet Since we have the datasheet, we can confirm some of the specifications of RK3588, and get additional details: CPU – 4x Cortex-A76 @ up to 2.4/2.6 GHz and 4x Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8 GHz in dynamIQ configuration GPU Arm Mali-G610 MP4 “Odin” GPU with support for OpenGLES 1.1, 2.0, and 3.2, OpenCL up to 2.2 and Vulkan1.2 2D graphics engine up to 8192×8192 source, 4096×4096 destination AI Accelerator – 6 TOPS NPU 3.0 (Neural Processing Unit) VPU Video decoding 8Kp60 H.265, VP9, AVS2, […]