Overview and List of System-on-Module and Computer-on-Module Standards – Q7, SMARC, EDM, and More

A System-on-Module (SoM), also known as a Computer-on-Module (CoM), is a small board with the key components of a computer such as SoC, memory, and possibly others components such as PMIC (Power Managment IC), and Ethernet PHY, as well as one or more connectors used to connected to a baseboard, also called carrier board, which features standard ports such as Ethernet (RJ45), USB ports, SATA, power jack and so on. The advantages of using of baseboard + SoM design compared to a single board are at least two fold: Most of the PCB design complexity is often around the CPU/SoC and high speed buses connected to the CPU/SoC. So you could buy a SoM, design your own baseboard and get a complete design relatively in a short amount of time, with reduced development resources and costs. The design is modular, so you could easily upgrade from one SoM to another one. For example, in order to provide a product with […]

Selecting the Best Adobe Flash Player in Linux for x86 and ARM

I’ve had countless and recurrent crashes caused by Adobe flash plugin either in Firefox and Chromium, mainly while playing videos from YouTube or other online video services that still mostly use flash, instead of HTML5. Adobe flash death is certain, but up to now it has been soooo slow, so I doubt that thing will truly die any time soon, and unfortunately it will probably be with us for many years to come. To work around the issue, I started by enabling Youtube HTML5 player, and try to play embedded videos inside YouTube instead of the orignal website. I still had crashes from time to time, and this method did not help with other video services. So I decided to check out what I could do to fix the issue. When you go to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ you can check your flash version, and Adobe will also list the player version for different combination of operating systems and web browsers. Adobe has […]

Mali-400 GPU Is Now Working in Linux for Rockchip RK3188 Devices

Accelerated 3D graphics in Linux with Mali-400 via OpenGL ES has been possible for nearly a year on RK3066 devices,  but there was no such support for RK3188. This week however, both Naoki FUKAUMI and omegamoon have reported OpenGL ES to work in in their respective RK3188 devices. I don’t know which device omegamoon used, but Naoki did so in Radxa Rock, and even posted instructions to build it yourself. They’ve mostly followed the work done by olegk0 for Rockchip, and Mali drivers build instructions provided in linux-sunxi community, and it can be summarize in 3 main steps: Cross-compile drm.ko, mali_drm.ko, ump.ko, mali.ko in a Linux machine Copy and load the four modules to your RK3188 based board or device. Install dependencies and binary Mali drivers from sunxi-linux in your Rockchip device Once this is done you can try some OpenGL ES demos such as esgears2 or glmark2-es to test it with the framebuffer. es2gears can be installed with “sudo […]

Getting Started with Raxda Rock – How to Generate and Flash Ubuntu Saucy Server and Desktop Images

I’ve already written a guide showing how to build and install Android in Radxa Rock. Today I’m going to build the Linux kernel, generate a Ubuntu server images based latest Ubuntu Linaro server release, flash the image to the NAND flash, and show how to install LXDE or XFCE desktop environment. If you are just interested in installing one of the latest supported images, you can download Android, dual boot (Android/Ubuntu), Ubuntu ALIP, and Router images for Radxa Rock @ http://dl.radxa.com/rock/images/, and skip “build” and “generate” instructions, and just follow the flashing instructions below. All steps in this tutorial will be done in Ubuntu 13.10, and lots of the instructions below follow hwswbits blog and Ubuntu Radxa Wiki. Build the Linux kernel Let’s start by building the Linux kernel. I’m assuming you’ve already install development tools in Ubuntu (e.g. apt-get install build-essentials). You can refer to the list at the beginning of the Radxa Rock Android post for packages to install […]

Getting Started with Raxda Rock – Building an Android 4.2 Image from Source

I’ve posted some pictures, and show some basics how to get started in my first post about Radxa Rock. Today, I’ll post my experience trying the instructions to build Android for Radxa Rock in Ubuntu 13.10. Many of the instructions are also valid for other RK3188 devices. The source code is currently located in a private git repository, and if you’re sure you want to get the Android source  code, you should send an e-mail to [email protected] to be granted access to their private repo. Within minutes, I’ve received an email with the subject “GitLab | Account was created for you” to register an account. You’ll then need to add an SSH key just like you’d do for Github. Assuming you’re already using a service like github, you should already have SSH key. Simply type cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub, copy the output, and go to git.linux-rockchip.org/profile/keys, login if needed, and click on “Add SSH key”, enter a description, copy your public SSH […]

Radxa Rock and ODROID-U3 Quad Core Development Boards Comparison

If you want a quad core development board for less than $100, you only have two choices right now: Radxa Rock powered by Rockchip RK3188, and Hardkernel ODROID-U3 powered by Samsung Exynos 4412 prime. There are also a few Freescale i.MX 6Q boards such as Wandboard Quad and UDOO Quad for around $130 which you could consider because of potentially better software support and features like SATA, but in this post, I’ll compare Radxa Rock and ODROID-U3 to help you decide which one may be right for your application or project. Let’s get right to the subject, with a side-by-side comparison table. Radxa Rock Hardkernel ODROID-U3 Comments Processor Rockchip RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad core @ 1.6Ghz Samsung Exynos 4412 Prime quad core Cortex A9 @ 1.7 Ghz Slight advantage for ODROID-U3, but it’s basically a draw. GPU ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU @ 440MHz Same GPU, that’s a draw. System Memory 2GB DDR3 @ 800Mhz 2GB LP-DDR2 @ 880MHz […]

Raxda Rock Development Board Unboxing, Quick Start Guide, and Benchmarks

Radxa Rock is an Android & Linux development board based on Rockchip RK3188 with 2GB RAM, 8GB NAND Flash, several I/Os that’s been available in beta version to a small number of developers in September 2013, with general availability starting at the very end of December 2013. Radxa team has sent me a board for me to try out. I’ll start with some unboxing pictures, write a Quick Start Guide for the first boot with Android 4.2.2, and run some benchmarks on the board. In another post, I’ll try some of the instructions to build Android and Ubuntu for the platform. Radxa Rock Unboxing Pictures & Video I’ve received the board in the following package via Fedex. Beside the board, we’ve got a Wi-Fi antenna, a USB power cable, and a plastic casing. Checkout Radxa Rock unboxing video below, if you want to find out exactly what’s you get when you receive the board. Let’s have a closer look at […]

How-to Install and “Hack” Linux on T428 or MK802 IV mini PCs

PicUntu 4.5 installer is probably the easiest method to install Ubuntu on a Rockchip RK3188 based mini PC, but if you want a little more flexibility I’ll provide another method to install Linux on T428, MK802 IV or compatible devices, as well as links to go further: dual boot Android / Linux, create your own official distro, status of Mali-400 GPU support in RK3188… The method below is not new, as it was posted by Linuxium (Ian Morrison) in Freaktab in September, but this is the first time I’ve taken the time and managed to run Linux on Rockchip RK3188, and I’ll provide some more detailed steps. Prerequisites Even though in some cases it’s possible to install Rockchip firmware from Linux, AFAIK the tools available in Linux lack supports for the parameter and loader files, so ironically, you’ll need a Windows XP/7/8 machine to install Linux in your mini PC. If not done yet, make sure to install Rockchip USB […]