$210 GPD XD Plus Handheld Android Game Console Launched with Mediatek MT8173 Cortex A73/A53 SoC

January 25th, 2018 No comments

Not everybody is willing to spend around $650 on the recently announced GPD Win 2 portable Windows game console, and for people with a lower budget and happy to play Android games, the company has now launched the expected GPD XD+ console with GeekBuying and GearBest taking pre-orders for $209.99 including shipping. GPD XD+ will be an upgrade of the previous GPD XD console with Rockchip RK3288 replaced by a more powerful Mediatek MT8176 processor, and RAM capacity increased to 4GB. The rest of the design is pretty much unchanged. GPD XD Plus specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8176 hexa-core processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores @ 2.1 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.7 GHz, and Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU System Memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC flash (GearBest shows 64GB instead), micro SD slot up to 128GB Display – 5″ 720p capacitive touch display Video Output – 1x mini HDMI Audio – Dual speaker, via HDMI output,…

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Building a Compact Digital TV Transmitter with Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi Camera, and LimeSDR Mini USB SDR Board

January 25th, 2018 1 comment

There are few affordable standalone systems that allow you to transmit video over the air, and back in 2016, I had the chance to check out V-Bridge Muses-β MPEG-2/-4 encoder and DTV modular taking HDMI or composite video input. It was easy to use and worked fine, but it would still cost close to $600, and might have been a little smaller. Evariste Okcestbon has now created its own digital TV transmitter prototype, combining LimeSDR Mini USB SDR board with Raspberry Pi Zero board, and instead of supporting external input from HDMI or AV ports, he used an official Pi camera for video, and was able to transmit the video over a 1.2 GHz connection to a Raspberry Pi 2 with an RTL-SDR dongle, with the Pi 2 board also taking care of displaying the video signal.   The full flow of transmission can be summarized as follows: Video from Pi Camera AVC2TS software for H.264 encode and transport stream…

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Mainline Linux on Amlogic S905/S905X/S912 SoCs – 2018 Status Update

January 24th, 2018 15 comments

BayLibre is working on mainline Linux for Amlogic SoC, and in February of last year, Neil Armstrong gave a presentation entitled “Mainline Linux on AmLogic SoCs” at the Embedded Linux Conference 2017. Neil has recently (actually yesterday) given another presentation about the status of mainline Linux on Amlogic processor at linux.conf.au 2018, so we have some updated information now. He goes through the whole history of upstreaming Linux for Amlogic SoCs, but I’ll provided summary of the new features, and if you have time you can watch the video (25 minutes) embed below, or the slides. Early last year, Linux 4.10 already supported general I/Os, USB host (for S905), Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC/SD/SDIO, PSCI for SMP, and SCPI for DVFS for Amlogic processor, and BayLibre was said to be working on HDMI display support, Mali (as external module), audio input/output, and high-speed eMMC modes. Based on the slide above, with Linux 4.14, the (e)MMC driver now support HS200 @ 50 MHz,…

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Categories: AMLogic, Linux, Linux 4.x, Video Tags: amlogic, arm, kernel, lima, Linux, mali

$6 Maker UNO Arduino UNO Clone Comes with Micro USB Power, I/O LEDs, and a Buzzer

January 24th, 2018 4 comments

Arduino UNO is one of the older Arduino boards, but also one of the most popular, and there are already many clones, which you can buy for as low as $3 shipped. But Malaysian based Cytron Technologies has decided to make their own Arduino UNO Compatible board, designed specially for students to learn coding and microcontroller, that brings some tweaks to the original design. First, they’ve done away with the power jack, and instead went with a more convenient micro USB port for power. They also added an LED for each digital I/O, so students can easily see I/O activity, and finally included a piezo buzzer to play sounds or melodies, as well as a push button. Maker UNO specifications with differences highlighted in bold: MCU – Microchip Atmel ATMega328P AVR micro-controller @ 16 MHz with 32KB flash, 2KB SRAM, 1KB EEPROM I/Os 14x digital I/Os including 6x PWM 6x 10-bit analog inputs 1x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI 2x…

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BigClown is a Battery Powered Modular Wireless IoT Kit for Makers (Crowdfunding)

January 24th, 2018 No comments

BigClown IoT Kit is designed to be as easy to use as building a castle from LEGO bricks or an IKEA cabinet. The open source kit is comprised of a coreboard module with STMicro STM32L0 Cortex M0+ micro-controller, and a sub GHZ (868/915MHz) radio for wireless communication, that accepts one or more compatible modules (currently ~30 different options), and communicate to a gateway such as Raspberry Pi or Turris Omnia where you’d connect BigClown RF USB dongle, although it’s also possible to include a Sigfox module for communication, and , LoRa & NB-IoT module appear to be planned. That’s for the hardware…The kit then connects to your chosen gateway via MQTT, which in turns accesses cloud services such as Ubidots, Microsoft Azure IoT, AWS, IFTTT, etc… , and you can monitor the data or control the kit through a web based dashboard or your own application. Core Module specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32L083CZ Arm Cortex M0+ MCU with 192KB flash,…

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Pulurobot is a Low Cost Open Source Raspberry Pi based Load Carrying Autonomous Robot

January 23rd, 2018 3 comments

Earlier today I wrote about FOSDEM 2018 schedule, and among the various talks I selected for my virtual schedule was “How to build an autonomous robot for less than 2K€”.  Some excerpt from the abstract including a short description of the project, and its “open-sourceness”: PULUrobot solves the autonomous mobile robotics complexity issue without expensive parts, without compromise. By fearless integration and from-scratch design, our platform can do SLAM, avoid obstacles, feed itself, and carry payload over 100kg, for less than 2,000 EUR. Application ecosystem can be born around it, as we offer a ready-made Open Source (GPLv2) solution in a tightly coupled HW-SW codesign. So I decided to have a closer at this project, which can be used as a robot maid/helper of sort, and other applications. The robot was made by a brand new (July 2017) startup called Pulu Robotics Oy and based in Finland. They have three models: Pulurobot S – Small version capable of carrying up…

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Nordic nRF91 Multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT SiP Embeds Arm Cortex-M33, Arm TrustZone, and Assisted GPS

January 23rd, 2018 5 comments

Nordic Semi will soon launch nRF19 series low power cellular IoT solution, that consists of a system-in-package (SiP) combining a global multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, an Arm Cortex-M33 core, Arm TrustZone security solution, assisted GPS, and flash memory into a 16x10x1.2 mm package. Nordic Semi nRF91 specifications known to far: CPU – Arm Cortex-M33 ARMv8-M host processor Memory / Storage – Built-in RAM and flash Memory Connectivity Multimode LTE-M (eMTC) and NB-IoT modem by Nordic SAW-less transceiver Custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo. Location – Optional assisted GPS combining cellular and GPS technology for fast and accurate positioning Security – Arm TrustZone security via Arm CryptoCell-310 security IP Power Management Package – 16 x 10 x 1.2 mm Nordic Semiconductor nRF91 Series is said to include a complete suite of software and development tools for product development, but no details were provided at this stage. The solution has already been demonstrated on the Verizon Wireless Network in the U.S….

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FOSDEM 2018 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

January 23rd, 2018 5 comments

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) occurs every year on the first week-end of February, where developers meet for two days discussing about open source software projects. FOSDEM 2018 will take place on February 3-4 this year with  652 speakers, 684 events, and 57 tracks, an increase over  last year 608 speakers, 653 events, and 54 tracks. There will be 8 main tracks namely: Community, History, Miscellaneous, Performance, Python, Security and Encryption, Space, and Global Diversity CFP Day. There will also be 33 developer rooms, and since the full schedule is now available, I’ll make a virtual schedule mostly based on sessions from the Embedded, mobile, and automotive, Hardware Enablement, and Internet of Things devrooms. Saturday 3, 2018 09:50 – 10:15 – Turning On the Lights with Home Assistant and MQTT by Leon Anavi In this presentation you will learn the exact steps for using MQTT JSON Light component of the open source home automation platform Home…

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