Qt/QML vs HTML5/AngularJS User Interfaces Showdown (Video)

September 26th, 2017 5 comments

We now live in a world where there’s a push for higher level programming languages either based on web technologies like HTML5 or JavaScript, or other interpreted languages such as Python, and lower level languages such as C, C++, or – maybe more understandably – Assembler are often avoided by newcomers. But there are advantages of using native code, as demonstrated by Sequality, a software engineering company, who asked a developer familiar with HTML and C++ to develop a demo of an embedded systems using HTML5 + AngularJS and Qt/QML. The developer had 160 hours to develop the user interface for each framework, and with the resulting demos running on a Raspberry Pi 3 board with Raspbian, it was found that the Qt/QML implementation delivered a more responsive and functional user interface compared to the HTML5 version which tended to lag, and lacked support for touchscreen and a software keyboard by default. The developer also reported that the testing and…

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Linaro Connect SF 2017 Welcome Keynote – New Members, Achievements, the Future of Open Source, and More…

September 26th, 2017 No comments

Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017 is now taking place until September 29, and it all started yesterday with the Welcome Keynote by George Grey, Linaro CEO discussing the various achievements since the last Linaro Connect in Budapest, and providing an insight to the future work to be done by the organization. The video is available on YouTube (embedded below), and since I watched it, I’ll provide a summary of what was discussed: Welcoming New Members – Kylin (China developed FreeBSD operating systems) joined LEG (Enterprise Group), NXP added LHG (Home Group) membership, and Xilinx joined LITE (IoT and Embedded). Achievements OPTEE open portable trusted environment execution more commonly integrated into products. Details at optee.org. LEG 17.08 ERP release based on Linux 4.12, Debian 8.9 with UEFI, ACPI, DPDK, Bigtop, Hadoop, etc… LITE group has been involved in Zephyr 1.9 release, notably contributing to LwM2M stack More projects to be found on download page. Open source future with many fields involved…

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Allwinner SoCs with Mali GPU Get Mainline Linux OpenGL ES Support

September 26th, 2017 21 comments

OpenGL ES support in Linux for ARM SoC is usually pretty hard to get because of closed source binary blobs coupled with the manufacturers focus on Android. Workarounds include open driver projects such as Freedreno for Qualcomm Adreno GPU, Nouveau for Tegra, or Etnaviv for Vivante GPUs, as well as libhybris library that converts Linux calls into Android calls in order to leverage existing Android GPU binary blobs. Allwinner processors relies on either PoverVR or ARM Mali GPU, and the former does not have any open source project, while some work is still being going for the latter with Lima project, but it’s not ready yet. That means so far, you’re only option was to use libhybris for either GPU family. The good news is that Free Electrons engineers have been working on OpenGL ES support for ARM Mali GPU for Allwinner processor, and have been allowed to release the userspace binary blobs. Not quite as exciting as an actual…

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NanoPi Duo Starter Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Assembly

September 25th, 2017 23 comments

NanoPi Duo is an inexpensive Allwinner H2+ quad core board with 256MB or 512MB RAM that can fit into a breadboard, and FriendELEC also provides a starter kit with a carrier board, heatsink, enclosure, USB debug board and cable, as well as optional accessories such as an half-length SSD drive. The company sent me two kits for review, so I’ll first check out what I got, and show how to assemble the kit, before actually playing with the board and kit next month. NanoPi Duo Starter Kit Unboxing I got a bunch of boxes and bubble wraps in the package… … and indeed received two identical kits. Each kit comes with a NanoPi Duo board with soldered headers, a mini Shield for NanoPi Duo, a heatsink and thermal pad set, a micro USB to USB cable, a USB to TTL debug board and cable, and acrylic case, and user manuals in English and Chinese languages. If we look closer at…

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ESPurna Firmware Now Supports Power Meters “Augmented” with ESP8266 Modules/Boards

September 25th, 2017 15 comments

Sonoff-Tasmota and ESPurna are the two main open source firmware used in home automation devices, such as Sonoff wireless switches, based on Espressif ESP8266 WiSoC. Xose Pérez – aka Tinkerman – has recently purchased “dumb” power meters / kill-a-watt meters, added WiFi to them with ESP-01 module and Wemos D1 mini board, and implemented support in ESPurna firmware leveraging earlier reverse-engineering work by Karl Hagström. The power meter above looks exactly like the one I’ve been using for review for over two years, and has been more more reliable than other models, such as Broadlink SP2 (with built-in WiFi) that gave up on me after a few months. Xose actually noticed that old and newer models of the power meters were based on different solutions. Karl’s meter relied on ECH1560, while Xose’s new meter was instead based on Vango V9261F, which has a public datasheet, and was already being worked on by Domoticz community. While he connect ESP-01 to one of the…

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Arduino MKR WAN 1300 & MKR GSM 1400 Boards Launched with LoRaWAN and 3G Connectivity

September 25th, 2017 4 comments

Arduino has introduced two new boards right in time for Maker Faire New York: MKR WAN 1300 with a LoRa radio, and MKR GSM 1400 with a “3.75G” cellular module, both software compatible with Arduino Zero, and in Arduino MKRZero board form factor. MKR WAN 1300 Board   Arduino MKR WAN 1300 specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader) Digital I/O Pins – 8x digital I/Os, 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC) DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA LPWAN connectivity Murata CMWZ1ZZABZ LoRa module based on Semtech SX1276 and STMicro STM32L Antenna power – 2dB Carrier frequency – 433/868/915 MHz Working regions – EU/US USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming Misc – Reset button, 6x LEDs, 32.768 kHz RTC Power…

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Checking Out Debian and Linux SDK for VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 Board

September 25th, 2017 32 comments

VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 (aka VS-RK3399) is a features-packed development board powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa core core processor which offers an alternative to Firefly-RK3399 board. The company sent me a development kit for evaluation, and I’ve already looked into VS-RD-RK3399 hardware and SDK in the first part of the review. Today, after shortly looking into the pre-installed Android 7.1 OS to make sure the board boots fine, I’ll report my experience with Debian 9, and building it from source. A Quick Look at Android 7.1 I connected the board to my HDMI TV, added an Ethernet cable, and after powering it, VS-RK3399 promptly booted into Android 7.1 with the following launched. It just has a few apps pre-installed, and lack Google Play store, but as I’ve seen in the new version of the SDK, a patch for Google Play store is provided, if that’s something you need for your use case. The version I had pre-installed was built on August 14,…

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GIGABYTE SynQuacer 96Boards Enterprise Platform is Powered by SocioNext SC2A11 24-core ARMv8 SoC

September 24th, 2017 19 comments

GIGABYTE, Socionext and Linaro have partnered to design a software development platform compliant with 96Boards Enterprise specifications, with GIGABYTE taking care of manufacturing the hardware based on Socionext SC2A11 processor, while Linaro will provide support via 96Boards community. GIGABYTE SynQuacer platform preliminary specifications (based on photos and SC2A11 specifications): SoC – Socionext SynQuacer SC2A11 24x ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore cores @ up to 1GHz, with 32KB/32KB I/D L1 cache, 256 KB L2 cache, and 4MB L3 cache (5W power consumption) System Memory – 4x DIMM slots for 64-bit DDR4-2133Mbps with ECC up to 64GB Storage – 32GB Samsung KLMBG2JENB-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash + 2x SATA interfaces Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) with IPSec Network Offload Engine USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports on motherboard (via Renesas D720201), 4x USB ports on front panel via expansion board Audio – 1x microphone input, 1x speaker output on front panel Expansion – 1x PCie x16 slot (limited to 4-lanes), 2x PCIe x4 slots, other…

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