25 USD ARM11 Linux Computer

raspberry pi prototype

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has designed a 25 USD Linux computer prototype for computer education in both the developing and developed worlds. The foundation, a registered British charity, plans to develop, manufacture, and distribute the USB key-sized computer within the next 12 months. Their computer has a USB key form factor and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low-cost tablet. Provisional specifications: 700MHz ARM11 128MB of SDRAM OpenGL ES 2.0 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode Composite and HDMI video output USB 2.0 SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot General-purpose I/O Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python) This device is much cheaper than OLPC XO (target price 100 USD), however, it does not include a keyboard, display nor batteries, so the market is different as it won’t work in places where electricity is unreliable. Watch the video below of David Braben introducing the 25 […]

Yocto Project: Build Your Own Custom Embedded Kernel Image

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. The first official release (Yocto Project 1.0) has been made available on the 6th of April 2011. Yocto Project Overview See this short video presentation of the Yocto Project which explains its goals. It’s a complete embedded Linux development environment with tools, metadata, and documentation – everything you need such as emulation environments, debuggers, an Application Toolkit Generator, etc… It is not a new build system however such as buildroot, instead it relies on the Poky build tools that provide an open source development environment targeting the ARM, MIPS, PowerPC and x86 architectures. Here’s what the Yocto Project provides: A recent Linux kernel along with a set of system commands and libraries suitable for the embedded environment. System components such […]

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Khadas VIM4 SBC

Qualcomm Officially Releases its Augmented Reality SDK

Qualcomm has just released the official release of their Augmented Reality SDK with Unity 3.0 Support: Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced the immediate commercial availability of its Augmented Reality (AR) Platform for Android smartphones. Offered through Qualcomm’s online developer network, this 1.0 release marks the successful completion of the Company’s beta program. Developers can now build, market and commercially distribute applications based on the Qualcomm AR platform. … The platform supports multiple development environments. The Qualcomm AR Android SDK supports native Android development with the Android tool chain, including the Android SDK and NDK. The Qualcomm AR Unity Extension supports rapid development with the Unity 3 game development tool. A web application is also included for creating and managing image resources that can be used with either development environment. You may have check out the complete QCAR SDK Press Release. You can download the the latest Qualcomm SDK and […]

MIPS is Porting Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Platform

MIPS is currently working on the port of Android 3.0 to the MIPS architecture, here’s the press release: MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications, announced today that it has official source access to AndroidTM 3.0 also known as “Honeycomb.” MIPS Technologies is now porting this newest version of Android to the MIPS® architecture. For MIPS licensees and their customers who want to produce Android compatible devices, this will accelerate development of tablets and Google TV products based on the MIPS architecture. “The Android platform has been a game-changer for MIPS Technologies. When we first began working with Android, we focused on opportunities in devices beyond the mobile handset, and indeed we have already seen MIPS-Based televisions, set-top boxes and other products in the market based on Android. Android also opened the door for MIPS to […]

Gmail with Thunderbird on 2 Computers

If you have setup your gmail account (with  Google Apps or not) using POP3 in Thunderbird and want to retrieve your emails in more than one computer you’ll notice that the emails will only go to one of the computer, the first one to download the emails since last download. In order to go around this issue, you have to enable IMAP in your gmail account, by going to to Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and selecting Enable IMAP then click Save Changes (See screenshot below). On the computer already configured with POP3, you’ll have to create a new account and delete the old one. I basically followed the instructions available at http://kb.mozillazine.org/Convert_a_POP_account_to_a_IMAP_account with some modifications: Backup your profile using Mozbackup in case something goes wrong. Create a IMAP account using Tools -> Account Settings -> Add Mail Account and simply enter your name, email address and password, Thunderbird will configure […]

Ali M3701G: New MIPS based STB SoC

Ali, a Taiwan company, manufacturer of chips for multimedia devices such as DVD player , Set-top boxes, media player has recently announced a new chipset for DVB STB based on MIPS architecture called the M3701G. Here’s an excerpt of MIPS press release (25/04/2011) for this system on chip: MIPS Technologies, Inc.announced today that Taiwan’s ALi Corporation based its new system-on-chip (SoC), which is targeted for the emerging “triple play” market, on the popular MIPS32® 24KEfTM core. MIPS32 24K® cores are widely used across the globe in digital home and networking products including broadband access devices, digital televisions, set-top boxes, and digital media players. … With a hybrid design for DVB-C HD / DVB+IP dual-mode operation, the new M3701G chipset from ALi is targeted for products that support triple play services, such as the next generation of networked media players and set-top boxes. … The M3701G chipset is available now from […]

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ARM Based Android Set-Top Boxes at China Content Broadcasting Network Exhibition

The 19th China Content Broadcasting Network Exhibition (CCBN 2011) took place on March 23 – 25 2011 at the  China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. During this event, numerous Android STB were showcased with processors from several vendors. Trident Microsystems PNX8400 Trident Microsystems demonstrated their Cortex-A9 Apollo/Shiner SoC family, the PNX8400, which included all the major building blocks needed to develop Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) solutions.  NGB is a government initiative for smart tv in China. On 24th of March 2011, Trident Microsystems also announced that its STB SOCs were selected for the first trial deployments of NGB in China. LG (LG Smart Box) and Cycle Century demonstrated their Android based cable STB using Trident Microsystems NXP8400. This stb supports DVB, Conditional Access, 1080p video streaming, a browser with an Apps store, 3D gaming and VoIP. To see more about Trident Microsystems Android STB have a look at the video […]

Compile with ARM Thumb2 to Reduce Memory Footprint and Improve Performance

ARM claims that Thumb-2 instructions (for ARM Cortex cores and all ARMv7 processors) provides performance improvements and code size optimization: Thumb-2 technology is the instruction set underlying the ARM Cortex architecture which provides enhanced levels of performance, energy efficiency, and code density for a wide range of embedded applications. For performance optimized code Thumb-2 technology uses 31 percent less memory to reduce system cost, while providing up to 38 percent higher performance than existing high density code, which can be used to prolong battery-life or to enrich the product feature set. Thumb-2 technology is featured in the  processor, and in all ARMv7 architecture-based processors. Dave Martin (Linaro) has recently posted a message entitled “ARM/Thumb-2 kernel size comparison” on Linaro mailing list:

The results provided by Linaro at not as high as those claimed by ARM, but a 20% code size reduction is still impressive. If you want to use Thumb2 to compile […]

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