TECHBASE ModBerry​ M300 Linux IoT Gateway ​is Powered by NanoPi NEO Board

November 15th, 2017 2 comments

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE Modberry industrial automation gateways based on popular development boards such as Raspberry Pi 3, NanoPi M1 Plus, and Intel Cherry Trail’s UP board, and designed for applications such as PLC controllers or MODBUS gateway / router. The company has now launched a new version with Modberry M300 powered NanoPi NEO Allwinner H3 board. ModBerry​ M300 gateway specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM Storage – micro SDHC card slot Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet port Optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, speed up to 150 Mbps, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2), LTE/3G modem, GPS module, ZigBee, Bluetooth, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, Nb-IoT USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host header Expansion I/Os 2x DIO ports 1x RS-232, 1x RS-485 1x 2-pin mBus master for up to 10 slave devices Optional up to 3 ExCard I/O modules for more RS-232/485 ports,…

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Xiaomi Mi A1 Smartphone Review – Part 2: Android 7.1.2 Firmware

November 15th, 2017 10 comments

Google recently announced several Android One smartphones, which are supposed to get 2 years of firmware updates, including to the latest version of Android, such as HTC U11 Life and Android One Moto X4. Many of those phones are limited to some specific countries, but Xiaomi Mi A1 will be launched in over 40 countries, and thanks to Chinese online shops is really available worldwide. GearBest sent me the latter last month, and in the first part of Xiaomi Mi A1 review I simply went through unboxing, booted the phone, perform an OTA update, and ran Antutu 6.x on the phone for a quick estimate of performance. Since then, I’ve had around four weeks to play with the smartphone running Android 7.1.2 (still), so I’m ready to report my experience in the second part of the review. General Impressions In the past year, I used Vernee Apollo Lite smartphone powered by Mediatek Helio X20 deca-core SoC, which in theory is…

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$9+ Libre Computer Tritium Allwinner H2+/H3/H5 SBCs Leverage Raspberry Pi 3 Form Factor (Crowdfunding)

November 15th, 2017 17 comments

A few months ago, Libre Computer introduced Le Potato board (aka AML-S905X-CC) powered by Amlogic S905X processor plus up to 2GB RAM, and using Raspberry Pi 3 form factor. The company is now back with three Tritium boards, using the same form factor, but instead powered by Allwinner H2+, H3, or H5 processors, with a lower price point as the Tritium IoT board (H2+ / 512 MB RAM) goes for $9 only. Tritium boards (ALL-H3-CC) specifications: SoC and Memory Tritium IoT – Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2, 512MB DDR3 Tritium 1GB – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2, 1GB DDR3 Tritium 2GB – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP4, 2GB DDR3 Storage – 1x micro SD Card slot, eMMC module connector Video & Audio Output Tritium IoT – HDMI up to 1080p60, AV port Tritium 1GB & 2GB – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K30, AV port Camera – Parallel camera interface…

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Magicsee C300 is a $70 DVB-T2/C & DVB-S2 Android Set-Top Box Powered by Amlogic S905D SoC

November 14th, 2017 10 comments

Amlogic S905D processor is an evolution of Amlogic S905X with Gigabit Ethernet support, and TS interfaces for digital TV tuners. That explains why most devices launched with the processor come with tuners. So far, we’ve covered or reviewed a few including Sen5 STB (2x DVB-T2/C), Mecool KI Pro (T2/S2), and TX95D TV box with a single DVB-T2 tuner. Magicsee C300 is another Amlogic S905D Android STB that comes with DVB-T2/C (Terrestrial & Cable), and DVB-S2 (Satellite) tuners, and sells for just under $70 on Aliexpress, and can be found on other shops such as GearBest. Magicsee C300 specifications are quite similar to the ones for Mecool KI Pro: SoC –  Amlogic S905D quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 32GB Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with support for HDR10 and…

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Tronxy X3S 3D Printer Review – Part 3: Upgrades to Fix Bed Leveling Issues (Permanently)

November 14th, 2017 3 comments

Karl here. I have had the Tronxy X3S 3D printer for a while now. It prints well but as I mentioned in previous articles I had to level for every print. Actually near the end I would just overpower the stepper motors while the skirt was printing and level. Leveling front to back was not affected. Only the z height. So this worked but it was frustrating. Before that I tried several different things to mitigate. I thought maybe the endstop for Z homing was inconsistent and replaced it. I tried heating the bed for extended period of time thinking that maybe some thermal expansion. Didn’t help. I finally did a major change to the X carriage with success. I even moved the printer to our local library and the bed stayed leveled for a demo. I call this a success, and will show how I did it. Inspiration for this modification came from the CR-10. This is the biggest…

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Categories: Hardware, Testing Tags: 3d printing, hack, review, tronxy

First OpenCL Encounters on Cortex-A72: Some Benchmarking

November 14th, 2017 8 comments

This is a guest post by blu about his experience with OpenCL on MacchiatoBin board with a quad core Cortex A72 processor and an Intel based MacBook. He previously contributed several technical articles such as How ARM Nerfed NEON Permute Instructions in ARMv8 or OpenGL ES development on Ubuntu Touch. Qualcomm launched their long-awaited server ARM chip the other day, and we started getting the first benchmarks. Incidentally, I too managed to get some OpenCL ray-tracing code running on an ARM Cortex-A72 machine that same day (thanks to pocl – an LLVM-based open-source OCL multi-platform implementation), so my benchmarking curiosity got me. The code in question is an OCL (half-finished) port of a graphics demo from 2014. Some remarks of what it does: For each frame: a single thread builds a sparse voxel octree from a dynamic voxel scene; the octree, along with current camera settings are passed to an OCL kernel via double buffering; kernel computes a screen-space map…

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Texas Instruments MSP430 Value Line Sensing MCUs Sell for 25 Cents and Up

November 13th, 2017 2 comments

Texas Instruments MSP430 16-bit mixed signal microcontroller has been around since at least 2004, and the last time I played with the MCU was with eZ430-Chronos wireless watch development kit in 2011. Over the years, the company has added more parts to  its MSP430 MCU portfolio, and they recently added two new MSP430 Value Line Sensing MCUs that offer up to 25 functions (timers, I/Os, reset controller, EEPROM…) for as low as 25 cents, as well as a new MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit . MSP430FR2000 and MSP430FR2100 MCUs have the same features set, except for the memory (512 vs 1024 bytes): 16-Bit RISC Architecture up to 16 MHz Memory / Storage MSP430FR2000 (new) – 0.5KB of Program Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) + 512 Bytes of RAM MSP430FR2100 (new) – 1KB of Program FRAM + 512 Bytes of RAM MSP430FR2111 – 3.75KB of Program FRAM + 1KB of RAM MSP430FR2110 –  2KB of Program FRAM + 1KB of RAM Supply Voltage Range – 1.8 V to 3.6 V Low-Power Modes (at 3 V) Active…

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Colorful C.J1900A-BTX Plus V20 Bay Trail Motherboard Takes 8 Graphics Cards for Cryptocurrency Mining

November 13th, 2017 12 comments

Intel Bay Trail processors are mostly found in tablets, 2-in-1 hybrid laptops, and mini PCs, and they’ve often give placed to Cherry Trail processors, and in some cases Apollo Lake ones. x86 compatibility, low cost and low power are the main selling points of the Bay Trail processor family. Colorful has found a different use case, as they designed a motherboard with 9 PCIe x16 slots, one for a card powered by an Intel Celeron J1900 processor, and 8 to add graphics card in order to mine cryptocurrencies. The blue PCI slot takes a PCI CPU card with an the following specifications: SoC –  Intel BayTrail J1900 quad core processor @ up to 2.42 GHz with 2M Cache, integrated Intel HD graphics; 10W TDP Memory – 1×DDR3L SO-DIMM, DDR3L 1333MHz/1066MHz Storage – 1x mSATA slot, 1x SATA 3.0 connector, 1x 4-pin SATA connector Video Output – HDMI Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet via RTL8111E USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports…

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