The Stress Terminal UI (s-tui) is a Pretty CPU and Temperature Monitoring Terminal App

August 30th, 2017 12 comments

While it’s possible to do monitoring with tools like RPI-Monitor on headless or remote systems, top and htop are likely the commonly used tools to monitor CPU and process usage in the terminal. There’s now a new and different option with the Stress Terminal UI that display pretty charts for frequency, CPU usage, and temperature in the terminal, and as its name implies it can also stress the system. I’ve first installed it in my main computer running Ubuntu 16.04.2 as follows:

and then just started it

It took the screenshot above after enabling stress operation for a few seconds, and while frequency and CPU utilization in percent are updated properly, temperature is not, at least on my system. I had to enable “Smooth Graph” option to see any changes in the first two charts. I tried to run the app again with sudo, but still no temperature update, and that’s because the program is confused since I…

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Categories: Linux, Testing, Ubuntu Tags: arm, how-to, Linux, tool, ubuntu, x86

$8 NanoPi Duo is a Tiny Breadboard Compatible Linux Board powered by Allwinner H2+ Quad Core SoC

August 29th, 2017 30 comments

It’s very easy to find breadboard compatible boards in the market with products based on Espressif chips such as NodeMCU or ESP32 boards, as well as OpenWrt board like Onion Omega2, or LinktIt 7688. However, it’s much more difficult to find powerful quad core boards in this form factor, but that’s exactly what FriendlyELEC has done with their NanoPi Duo board featuring an Allwinner H2+ quad core processor in a form factor slightly smaller than a Raspberry Pi Zero. NanoPi Duo specifications: SoC – Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz System Memory – 256 or 512 MB DDR3-1866 SDRAM Storage – micro SD card slot, footprint for SPI flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Allwinner XR819 module) with chip antenna, and u.FL/IPEX connector for external antenna USB – 1x micro USB OTG port Expansion headers – 2x 16-pin breadboard compatible headers with 2x USB host ports, GPIO, UART, SPI, I2C,…

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Zidoo X7 Review – Part 2: Android 7.1 Firmware, ZDMC, WiFi, and More

August 29th, 2017 9 comments

Zidoo X7 is an Android TV box powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor similar to Bqeel MVR9 with 2GB RAM, but instead of provide Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, it comes with Fast Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, so is better suited to people using WiFi instead of Ethernet for media streaming. You’ll find plenty of photos in the first part of the review entitled “Zidoo X7 TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown“, and I’ll report my experience with Android 7.1.2 firmware in this second part. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I connected two RF dongles for  MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad via a USB hub, a USB keyboard to take screenshot, and a Seagate USB 3.0 hard drive to the single USB 3.0 port on the box. I perform tests with Ethernet in most reviews, but with Zidoo X7, I’ve decided to use 802.11ac WiFi instead, so I only…

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ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array is $25 Quad Microphone Add-on Board for Raspberry Pi

August 29th, 2017 4 comments

Last year, Seeed Studio launched ReSpeaker WiFi Audio / IoT board based on Mediatek MT7688, as well as an optional microphone array board with 7 microphones and 12 LEDs. Later on, they introduced a $10 2-mic array board for Raspberry Pi Zero (W), and today the company has started to take orders for ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi board for $24.50 plus shipping. Respeaker 4-Mic Array board specifications: Audio X-Powers AC108 quad-channel ADC with I2S/TDM output transition 4 Microphones Expansion 2x Grove interfaces (1x I2C, 1x GPIO port using pins 12 & 13) 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header Misc – 12 LEDs (APA102) connected over SPI, GPIO5 enables power Dimensions – 65mm x 65mm x 9mm Weight – ~20 grams The board will give Raspberry Pi board the ability to do Voice Activity Detection (VAD) aka “hot word” detection, estimate Direction of Arrival (DoA) and show the direction via the LED ring, just like Amazon Echo or Google Home. I’m using an Orange Pi Zero board with a single microphone with Google Assistant and while it works fine most of the times range is limited to about 5 meters, and “OK…

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Intel Introduces Movidius Myriad X Vision Processing Unit with Dedicated Neural Compute Engine

August 29th, 2017 No comments

Intel has just announced the third generation of Movidius Video Processing Units (VPU) with Myriad X VPU, which the company claims is the world’s first SoC shipping with a dedicated Neural Compute Engine for accelerating deep learning inferences at the edge, and giving devices the ability to see, understand and react to their environments in real time. Movidius Myraid X VPU key features: Neural Compute Engine – Dedicated on-chip accelerator for deep neural networks delivering over 1 trillion operations per second of DNN inferencing performance (based on peak floating-point computational throughput). 16x programmable 128-bit VLIW Vector Processors (SHAVE cores) optimized for computer vision workloads. 16x configurable MIPI Lanes – Connect up to 8 HD resolution RGB cameras for up to 700 million pixels per second of image signal processing throughput. 20x vision hardware accelerators to perform tasks such as optical flow and stereo depth. On-chip Memory – 2.5 MB homogeneous memory with up to 450 GB per second of internal…

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MediaTek Helio P23 & P30 Processors Unveiled for “Premium” Mid Range Smartphones

August 29th, 2017 8 comments

MediaTek has introduced two more octa-core Cortex A53 processors with respectively Helio P23 for worldwide markets, and Helio P30 for China. Both processors build upon Helio P20/P25 design, but are upgraded with a faster Mali G71MP2 GPU, LTE Cat 7/13 modem, and in the case of Helio P30 the ability to record 4K videos with H.265 codec, instead of just H.264, and a new “vision processing unit”. Mediatek Helio P23 & P30 specifications: CPU – 8 core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 2.3 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.65 GHz GPU – ARM Mali-G71MP2 GPU clocked @ 770 MHz (P23) or 950 MHz (P30) Memory I/F – 2 x 16-bit @ 1600 MHz LPDDR4X, P23 only: 1 x 32-bit @ 933 MHz LPDDR3 Storage I/F – No info Display – Up to 2160 x 1080 resolution Video Encoder – P23: 2160p30 H.264; P30: 2160p30 H.264 & HEVC Decoder – 2160p30 H.264 & HEVC Camera P23 – 24MP…

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Testing KingDian N480 240 GB M.2 SSD in MeLE PCG03 Apo Mini PC

August 28th, 2017 4 comments

MeLE PCG03 Apo Apollo Lake mini PC supports M.2 80mm SSD’s, but at the time of the review I did not have such accessories, so I only tested the computer with its 32GB eMMC flash and external USB drives. I’ve now received Kingdian N480 240GB SSD courtesy of GearBest, so I’ll install it in the mini PC, test it in Windows 10, and install Ubuntu 16.04. KingDian N420 M.2 SSD Hardware Installation I’ve received a big carton box for the SSD, but finally the retail package is minimal. You’ll find the SSD and a screws in the package. You’ll note the device supports both M.2 Key B and Key M sockets. I’ve already explained how to open MeLE PCG03 Apo, basically loosen 6 screws, and then I just had to insert the SSD with the right orientation (check the 4 / 5 pins on each side), and use the screw already found inside to keep the M.2 card in place….

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X-Powers AC108 is a Quad-Channel ADC Chip for Microphone Arrays

August 28th, 2017 2 comments

X-Powers, a company better known to supply PMIC “companion” chip for Allwinner processors, also made some audio chips including AC108 is a chip specifically designed for microphones arrays with support for 4 microphones, and a I2C + I2S output interface to the host processor. Microphone arrays are particularly useful for smartspeakers, and especially hot word detection (voice activity detection) as single microphone setups like I use with Orange Pi Zero, may have trouble detecting hot words like “OK Google” in noisy environments (music playing, alarm ringing…). X-Power AC108 specifications: 108 dB dynamic range (A-weighted) @ 0 dB boost gain -90 dB THD+N (total harmonic distortion plus noise) @ 0 dB boost gain 4x programmable boost amplifiers with 0dB to 45dB in 3dB step ADC sample rates supported – 8kHz,12kHz,16kHz, 22.05kHz, 24kHz, 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz,96kHz Analog mixer and digital mixer in record data path 4x fully differential microphone inputs: MIC1P/N ~MIC4P/N configurable as pseudo differential,  single-ended mode, or digital MIC data…

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Categories: Audio, Hardware Tags: audio, automation, speaker, x-powers