Olimex A13-OLinuXino-MICRO Development Board Unboxing And Review

Every Friday, Olimex organizes an online competition where they give away one of their board. They’ll ask a (usually simple) technical question on their twitter account at 22h00 (GMT+7), and all you have to do is to reply to their tweet with the correct answer within one hour. The winner is then selected randomly with random.org. There are usually 50 to 100 respondents so the odds are pretty good. I played a few times, and finally, I was lucky enough to win an A13-OLinuXino-MICRO development board at the beginning of December. I received it yesterday, after UPS took a whooping 15 days to deliver the board (Way to go UPS!). The board can be purchased on Olimex for 35 Euros plus shipping and taxes, or even lower if you order larger quantities. A13-OLinuXino-MICRO is a stripped down version of A13-OLinuXino-WIFI with the following specs: SoC – AllWinner A13 Cortex A8 processor at 1GHz with Mali400 GPU System Memory – 256 […]

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Linaro 12.12 Release with Linux Kernel 3.7 and Android 4.2.1

Linaro release 12.12 has just been announced, and includes Linux Kernel 3.7 and Android 4.2.1. The tracking version (stable release) uses Kernel 3.4.22. This release upgrades Android to version 4.2.1, Ubuntu images are now based on Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) and Linaro U-Boot 2012.12 has been released with support for Origen 4 Quad and Arndale boards. Further improvements have been done for OpenEmbedded ARMv8, where they replaced the php Apache module by php-fpm among other things. On the kernel side, USB drivers have been refactored, and a kernel size analysis have been performed on several platforms. The power management team has mainly worked on big.LITTLE IKS and MP implementations, and it’s the first time LEG (Linaro Enterprise Group) is included in the release, and they worked on UEFI for ARM, GRUB for U-Boot, and provided a Ubuntu server image for Arndale board which can boot via UEFI or UBoot. Here are the highlights of this release: Android Platform Enablement Android […]

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Cubieboard Unboxing and Quick Start Guide

I’ve received another cool board this week with the Cubieboard development board. As a quick reminder, the Cubieboard is the only proper low cost AllWinner A10 development board available, and comes with 512MB/1GB RAM, 4GB NAND Flash, 10/100 MBit Ethernet, HDMI output, 2x USB Host port, 1x USB OTG port, a microSD socket, a SATA interface, an IR sensor and 2 headers to access extra pins such as GPIOs, I2C, SPI,VGA pins, CVBS pins etc… CubieTech had a successful Indiegogo campaign where the 1GB board was available for $59 including worldwide shipping (and as low as $19 for early birds), and you can now buy it from resellers. [Update: It’s now available with several cables, USB to TTL debug board, and an enclosure for $80 on dx.com] Cubieboard Unboxing The board comes with a SATA cable and a USB cable for power. There’s no power supply so you’ll need you own, either using the USB cable provided, or a standard […]

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AMLogic Releases U-Boot and Updated Linux Kernel Source Code

AMLogic released kernel 3.0.8 source code for AML8726-MX a few months ago, and yesterday they provided an updated tarballs with the kernel, and for the first time, AFAIK, released the source code for U-Boot. There are 4 new files apparently generated from the (internal) git repository in AMLogic: common-2012-11-20-git-b687495906.tar.gz  (108M) – This is the same kernel 3.0.8 release has last time, but with updated code. m1-kernel-android-2012-11-20-git-5d0f6b8e93.tar.gz (103M) – This looks like an older kernel 2.6 for AML8726-M1 only. uboot-master-2012-11-20-git-9b50e9a295.tar.gz (16M) – U-Boot 2010.06 possibly to use with the older 2.6 kernel. Only for M1 & M3 platforms. uboot-next-2012-11-20-git-b0e532795a.tar.gz (40M) – U-Boot 2011.03 for use with M3 and M6 platforms. I’ve already explained how to build the kernel in the previous post, so I’ll focus on U-Boot this time. Ubuntu 12.04 arm-linux-gnueabi- toolchain fails to build U-Boot (uboot-next), so you’ll have to install Sourcery toolchain instead: wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com/download/linux/ARM/gnutools/arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2 tar xjvf arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2 You’ll also need the ARC toolchain, and you’ll have to […]

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$249 Samsung Exynos 5 (Cortex A15) Arndale Development Board

Samsung has announced the first Cortex A15 development board available for purchase.  Like the Origen board, Arndale development board has been designed by InSignal and features a dual core Exynos 5 (5250) cortex A15 processor @ 1.7 GHz, 2 GB RAM, internal storage via eMMC and plenty of ports. The development kit is composed of a CPU module (Exynos 5 , RAM and PMC) and a baseboard. Here are Arndale development board specifications: CPU Board Exynos 5 [email protected] GHz dual core 2GB 32-bit 800 MHz LPDDR3/LPDDR2 Base Board Sensors Accelerator : Invensence MPU-6050 Gyro : Invensence MPU-6050 e-Compass : AKM -AK8963C Camera Interfaces: ITU 601, MIPI CSI Video Ouput: HDMI 1.4 interface (micro HDMI) 1 channel eDP output Single WQXGA MIPI DSI interface USB: 1x USB3.0 Host 2x USB2.0 Host 1x USB 2.0 OTG SATA 1.0/2.0/3.0 interface 1 channel eMMC 4.5 1 channel SDIO 3.0 2 channel SD 2.0 (microSD slot) 4 channel high-speed UART(up to 3Mbps data rate for Bluetooth 2.0 EDR […]

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Linaro 12.08 Release with Kernel 3.6 and Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean

Linaro release 12.08 includes Linux Kernel 3.6-rc2 and is the very first release with Android Jelly Bean (4.1.1-R4). The Android platform team has managed to port Android Jelly Bean to all their main development platforms: Versatile Express, Versatile Express RTSM, Samsung Origen, TI PandaBoard, ST Ericsson Snowball, as well as Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. They’ve also added TINY_ANDROID, a minimal Android build that can be used for kernel development, toolchain work and other development where users only need a console. It’s possible to get the source code, build it and access the shell within 10 minutes. U-boot-Linaro has been updated and is now based on the latest upstream release v2012.07. Next month, we might be able to see a preliminary port of Android on 64-bit platform (ARMv8). Here are the highlights of the release: Android Automated Methanol (http://gitorious.org/methanol) browser benchmarking in Linaro Android. Automated over 100 Jelly Bean AOSP tests. Integrated the Ethernet Connection Manager into Linaro Jelly Bean builds. […]

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AllWinner A10 Initramfs Support and Linaro 12.07 Image

An initramfs is a minimal root filesystem that is loaded at an early stage of the boot process, before the rootfs partition is mounted. This is optional but is now used by many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu in order to speed up boot time among others things. Up to recently, there was no support for this in the AllWinner A10 nightly builds, and there would be lot of error messages due to ureadahead process with Ubuntu, but I’ve changed that by: Using a boot.scr file (U-Boot Script) for each supported device in order to either follow the default init boot method or do an initramfs boot if uInitrd file is present in the FAT partition. Adding a script (a1x-initramfs.sh) to generate and install uInitrd initramfs in the rootfs. The initramfs can’t be generated at build time since the hardware packs are (mostly) distribution agnostic. If you want an initramfs, you’ll need to run the script manually, as initramfs support […]

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VIA Releases Kernel 2.6.32 and U-Boot Source Code for $49 APC Board

VIA Technology unveiled the low cost APC (Android PC) board based on WonderMedia WM8750 processor (ARM11) back in May, and started to ship the Android board this month (I think since that was their plan). The company has just released Kernel 2.6.32.9 and U-Boot source on github. Here’s how to retrieve the code provided git is already installed on your machine: You can then build U-Boot (provided you’ve already installed an ARM toolchain in your path): and the Linux kernel: The availability of the source means we should see Linux distribution like Debian, Fedora or Arch Linux ARM (separate from Arch Linux) running on the board very soon. In theory, it’s also possible to run a Linux distribution with the binary Linux kernel compiled for Android, but it causes some issues and also makes customization more difficult. I think they should also have release the code they modified for Android, but apparently did not. The next step would probably be to […]

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