LTSI 3.4 is Now Available for Download

Nearly 2 years ago, the Linux Foundation’s Consumer Electronics (CE) working group created the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) Linux kernel for consumer electronics devices in order to have a common stable platform released every 2 years, and share the kernel development work among competing companies including Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba. Last week, the  CE working group has released LTSI 3.4 kernel, based on Linux 3.4.25 kernel release and including several backported features from newer kernels including:   The Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA), which is extremely useful for embedded devices that have very limited hardware resources and will better handle the large memory requirements of multimedia applications. CMA originally was merged into the 3.4.0 kernel release, but its functionality was quite limited. Since then, the feature has been significantly improved in the kernel.org releases and those fixes have been added to […]

Droid Stick KVD-13 Another Low Cost Android mini-PC

Following the steps of the $74 Android 4.0 mini PC (MK802), a couple more ARM based mini PCs have shown up, including Shenzhen Kimdecent Technology Droid Stick KVD-13 powered by a Renesas processor based on Cortex A9 with a PowerVR SGX530 GPU (possibly Renesas NEC EV2 processor), featuring 512 MB RAM, 4GB Flash and running Android 2.3. The good thing with this mini PC is that the HDMI connector is of the right gender: male. No offense to HDMI female connectors ;), but for this type of device, it’s just neat to plug it directly into the TV/monitor HDMI connector. Here are the device specifications: CPU Renesas Cortex-A9 Dual Core Processor @ 1GHz with PowerVG SGX530 GPU System Memory 512MB DDR3 Storage 4GB NAND Flash microSD card Connectivity WiFi 802.11b/g/n USB Ports 1x USB 2.0 Host 1x mini USB (for power) Video Output 1x HDMI 1.4 (Up to 1080p) Video Codecs […]

Renesas Mobile Introduces Dual Core MP5232 SoC for Mid-range LTE Smartphones

Renesas has announced the availability of the MP5232, a dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 Ghz single-chip optimized to address the 150-300 USD LTE smartphones market. The MP5232 platform is designed to enable OEMs to accelerate the creation and delivery of high volume LTE/HSPA+ capable smartphones, tablets and mobile Internet devices the industry requires to deliver the full potential of LTE, says the company. Jean-Marie Rolland, CTO and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Renesas Mobile Corporation explains: “We are seeing a number of US$600+ LTE super phone devices being launched in the market, but the industry needs a wider penetration of LTE devices for the business case for LTE to pay off.” The platform supports multi-camera (up to 20MPixel) and multi-display support, full HD 1080p multi-format video encoding/decoding, stereoscopic 3D (S3D) video and advanced graphics via a PowerVR SGX GPU to deliver a console-like gaming experiences and […]

KT Keep In Touch Android Tablets

I’ve recently discovered some low cost tablets in one of the computer centers in Chiang Mai manufactured by a Thai company (SEC Intertech Thailand Co. Ltd) and sold under the “KT Keep In Touch” brand. They have their own shop in the center and sell exclusively those tablets as well as SD cards and 3G dongles. The prices range between 7,900 Baht to 9,900 Baht for 7″ Android 2.2 and 2.3 tablets, that’s equivalent to 250 USD to 315 USD. Those prices include VAT and all sort of custom duties that you may not get when you buy in other countries like the US, that means retail prices are usually 30 to 40% more expensive in Thailand compared to the US. The seller also had a 10″ tablet, but he looked like he did not want to show it to me as it was the an older model with resistive […]

Renesas Announces R-Mobile A1 Application Processors

Renesas has unveiled R-Mobile A1 series of application processor for personal navigation device (PND) and other portable devices. Here’s an excerpt of the press release: Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, and its subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corporation, an innovative supplier of advanced cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms, today announced the R-Mobile A1 series of application processor for PND (personal navigation device) and other portable devices. The R-Mobile A1 series of devices integrate Renesas’ SH-Mobile R series and EMMA Mobile™ series, which have proven track records as application processors for PND and portable media players … Although equipment that includes ISDB-T one-segment broadcast reception functionality has become mainstream in portable equipment such as PNDs and portable media players, there are now increasing needs for higher image quality and higher functionality due to the widespread adoption of ISDB-T full-segment terrestrial digital TV broadcasting. Furthermore, there are increasing demands […]

Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) Linux Kernel for Consumer Electronics

The Linux Foundation announced a new project, the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), created by the Consumer Electronics Workgroup (CE WG) at Linuxcon Europe 2011 in Prague. LTSI aims at reducing duplication of effort in maintaining separate private industry kernel trees. The LTSI project intends to deliver an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of consumer electronics products and regular updates of those releases for two to three years. The project is backed by several companies in the consumer electronics industry including Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba. LTSI will allow device makers to spend less time doing significant back-porting, bug testing and driver development on their own, which carries substantial cost in terms of time-to-market, as well as development and engineering effort to maintain those custom kernels. In some ways, this is similar to Linaro, […]

Renesas R-Car H1 Automotive SoC

Renesas announced the R-Car H1, their new automotice SoC with 4 Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1GHz and Imagination Technologies’ SGX-543-MP2 graphics processing unit (GPU) aimed at high-end navigation systems. It also features a Renesas SH-4A high-reliability real-time processing CPU core acting as a multimedia engine (MME) . The R-Car H1 SoC can also powered with Renesas’ IMP-X3 core (optional), a real-time image processing unit that enables developers to implement augmented reality application such as  360-degree camera views (Thanks to up to four independent input camera channels) and sign recognition. Here’s an excerpt of the press release: Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) and its subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corporation, today announced a new member of the R-Car series of automotive systems-on-chip (SoCs), the R-Car H1, capable of delivering up to 11,650 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS), and ideal for the high-end car navigation market. The R-Car H1 SoC offers an innovative architecture where the application […]

What is GENIVI ? A Software Standard for the Automotive Industry

I’ve recently read in the news that a few operating systems had achieved GENIVI compliance. So let’s see what Wikipedia says about the GENIVI Alliance: The GENIVI Alliance was founded on March 2, 2009 by BMW Group, Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Visteon, and Wind River Systems with the goal of establishing a globally competitive, Linux-based operating system, middleware and platform for the automotive in-vehicle infotainment industry. Since then, the alliance has expanded to more than 100 members who are working together to deliver an open and globally consistent software platform based on Linux for use by the whole car industry. So the clear goal here is to have some set of software specifications and standards (Currently GENEVI 1.0)  in the automotive industry in order to speed time to market and reduce the cost of developing Infotainment applications. GENIVI comes from a concatenation of Geneva and IVI (In-Vehicle […]

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