HiAPAD Hi-802 mini PC Unboxing and Review

Kimdecent has just sent me one HiAPAD Hi-802 mini PC powered by Freescale i.MX6 Quad, and running Android 4.0.4 ICS. This is the first quad core HDMI TV dongle available on the market, and it can run both Android and Linux distributions such as Ubuntu since Freescale released the source code for i.MX6 processor family. Today, I’ll just show some pictures of the device, and review the device by running some tests in Android. I’ll try the Ubuntu 11.10 image release for GK802 another day. Hi-802 Unboxing I received the package by DHL within 3 days, and it includes Hi802, a 5V/2A power supply, and a USB to microUSB cable. A closer look at the device reveals an aluminum casing with lots of ventilation holes (really needed since the device gets pretty hot). Hi802 features an HDMI male connector, a microSD card slot on the side, a full USB port, […]

XBMCHUB Releases XBMC for Android Version with HW Video Decoding on All Platforms

As you may know, XBMC developers have been working on XBMC for Android for a while, and have recently released XBMC 12.0 RC3 for Android APK. The only problem is that, apart from devices based on AMLogic AML8726-M1/3,  many platforms still do not support video hardware decoding, so this  must be handled by software. As the CPUs in most devices are not powerful enough to decode HD videos, some people have provided instructions to use an external player, for example with Telechips TCC8925 and Diceplayer. This is not ideal because you basically lose XBMC user interface during video playback, but it’s a good workaround until XBMC 4 Android supports more platforms. However, you still need to edit some config files by yourself. That’s why the guys at XBMCHUB have decided to release an XBMC for Android APK where all the configuration is done for you, so that you can get […]

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VIA Announces $79 APC Rock & $99 APC Paper Cortex A9 Board and PC

Following the launch of the $49 APC ARM11 board as a Raspberry Pi alternative last year, VIA has just announced two new APC products based on a WonderMedia WM8950 Cortex A9 processor: APC Rock – $79 Android board APC Paper – $99 Android PC with a case made of recycled cardboard Both products run Android 4.0 (ICS) and mostly share the same specifications: SoC – VIA WonderMedia WM8950 ARM Cortex-A9 @800Mhz + Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 512 DDR3 SDRAM Storage – 4GB NAND Flash + microUSB slot Video Output – HMDI (Rock & Paper) and VGA (Rock only) Audio I/O – Audio out / Mic in combo Ethernet – 10/100 Mbps USB – USB 2.0 (x2) and microUSB (OTG) 20-pin ARM-JTAG header Extra GPIO, SPI and I2C busses on a header Dimensions (Board) – 170 x 85mm (W x H), Neo-ITX Standard. APC Paper is basically the same as […]

Posibus Peripheral Emulator Powered by Emcraft SmartFusion (Cortex M3 + FPGA) Solutions

According to Wikipedia, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-8 was the first successful commercial minicomputer, and was introduced in March 1965. Mike Thompson, working at Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM), has restored a PDP-8/L system that was sold between 1968 through 1971. The system can be expanded with 4K of core, a paper tape reader (PR8/L), and/or a punch (PP8/L) controller. But the tape reader is not available anymore, so Mike decided to designe a Posibus peripheral (Tape Reader) emulator using a board with an FPGA + micro-controller. The easiest way to perform this task was to get an SoC that comes with an MCU and a FPGA to avoid having to create an FPGA <-> MCU interface. This is why he chose Emcraft Linux SmartFusion Evaluation Kit featuring a Microsemi Smartfusion cSOC with a Cortex M3 core and an embedded FPGA. The whole setup is shown below. Three FlipChip interface boards […]

Yocto Project Overview and Update – ELCE 2012

Last post about ELCE 2012 videos… David Stewart, manager of the Yocto Project team within the Open Source Technology Center at Intel, gives an introduction to the Yocto Project, as well as a status update at ELCE 2012. Abstract: The Yocto Project is a joint project to unify the world’s efforts around embedded Linux and to make Linux the best choice for embedded designs. The Yocto Project is an open source starting point for embedded Linux development which contains tools, templates, methods and actual working code to get started with an embedded device project. In addition, the Yocto Project includes Eclipse plug-ins to assist the developer. This talk gives a walk-through of the key parts of the Yocto Project for developing embedded Linux projects. In addition, features will be described from the latest release of the Yocto Project, v1.3. The talk will include demos of some of the key new […]

Video4Linux: Current Status and Future Work – ELCE 2012

Hans Verkuil, R&D software engineer at Cisco Systems Norway, talks about Video4Linux status, progress, and plans at the embedded Linux Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on November 7, 2012. Abstract: Video4Linux is a fast-changing subsystem where a lot of work is done to support the complex video hardware of embedded systems. This presentation will give an overview of the developments in the past year and the work that is planned for the near future. Hans covers SoC video devices support, core, control, and videobuf2 frameworks, HDTV timings & events API, video connector support, media controllers, codec & flash support, and more… You can also download the slides for this presentation. For further details about development, subscribe to linux-media mailing lists or chat on #v4l IRC channel on freenode.


LTSI (Long-Term Stable Initiative) Status Update – ELCE 2012

Tsugikazu Shibata, chief manager of OSS promotion center at NEC, gives a status update for LTSI, an LTS kernel for the consumer electronics market at ELCE 2012. Abstract: LTSI (Long-Term Stable Initiative) had been established October 2011 as an activity of CE Working Group of The Linux Foundation. LTSI will maintain Linux kernel for long term and stable for use of Consumer Electronics industry to share common cost and also help industry engineers to merge their patches into upstream. This talk will update latest status of LTSI project and discuss about next step such as how the development process going on and what version of Linux kernel will be maintained for long term and stably use. This talk will be intended to provide information for managers and engineers in the embedded industry and not necessary to have specific knowledge. Agenda of the talk: Status of Linux kernel development and maintenance […]

UBI Fastmap – ELCE 2012

Thomas Gleixner, Linux kernel programmer at Linutronix, talks about UBI flash management layer, and fastmap implementation to speed up boot times at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe, on November 7, 2012. Abstract: UBI is a flash management layer in the Linux kernel designed to handle especially the shortcomings of NAND flash. UBI itself has the requirement to scan the full flash at boot time. With flash sizes becoming larger and larger this can take quite some time. A recent development implemented fast mapping functionality which is designed to put an upper bound on the number of flash eraseblocks to scan. This allows faster boot times without sacrifying the robustness of UBI. This talk gives an overview of the UBI fastmap design and looks at costs and benefits. The talk provides an overview of UBI and its shortcomings, and explains UBI fastmap implementation in details showing it provides significant speedup proportional […]

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