Embedded Linux Boot Time Optimizations – ELCE 2012

Alexandre Belloni, embedded Linux engineer and trainer at Adeneo Embedded, gives a presentation about different techniques to optimize boot time for Embedded Linux at ELCE 2012. He also explains how they’ve measured the boot time. Abstract: A common problem faced when embedding Linux is the long boot time before the system is functional. There are many ways to improve boot up time. For a particular project, we had to answer a CAN message from Linux userspace in less than 420 ms from going out of CPU reset. We will describe our methodology and the techniques we finally chose to implement in that particular use case. We will also detail how we measured the boot time efficiently. A live demo will show the results of our work. More specifically, Alexandre discusses two projects at Adeneo where boot time was critical: An automotive platform based on Freescale i.mx53 needs to reply to […]

Inside Android’s User Interface – ELCE 2012

Karim Yaghmour, Opersys inc, talks about the internals of the Android user interface at Embedded Linux Conference Europe on November 5, 2012. Abstract: Android is a very complex stack comprising several dozens of novel components and moving parts. Still, it’s intrinsically a user-centric system and, therefore, its parts which deal with user interface are of special interest for anyone aiming to put Android in a device. This talk will examine the internals of Android’s user-facing components. Specifically, we will cover the inner-workings and interactions of the Window Manager, Surface Flinger, Input Method Manager, and the rest of the system. We will also cover key display and input components such as the Status Bar, Soft Keyboard and Notifications. This talk will be especially useful to developers intending to use Android in user-facing embedded systems, those needing to implement support for their graphics hardware and anyone interested in the internals of Android’s […]

Khadas Edge2 Arm mini PC

Near Field Communication with Linux – ELCE 2012

Samuel Otiz, software engineer at the Intel Open Source Technology Center, talks about NFC support for Linux at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in , on November 5, 2012. Abstract: Linux recently gained support for NFC (Neard Field Communication), and this presentation will describe the status of the current NFC stack in terms of actual features, hardware support and also distribution availability.After showing how this stack is architectured, we will also explain what our long and short term plans are. NFC hardware is typically found on mobile devices, many of them running Linux or Android. Up until recently, only Android provided a real and viable software support for those chipsets. During this presentation I will show how the Linux NFC stack is now getting on par with the Android stack features and API wise and how its design allows for an already broader range of supported chipsets. The presentation is divided into  […]

Are We Headed for a Complexity Apocalypse in Embedded SoCs? – ELCE 2012

Free-electronics has made nearly 50 videos of Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2012 available at http://free-electrons.com/blog/elce-2012-videos/ in webM format. I’ll upload the ones I find most interesting to Youtube to make them accessible to a larger audience, and post them in this blog together with a short summary, and links to presentation slides when available. I did the same last year, so you can have a look at ELCE 2011 videos if you wish. Some 2012 videos are just an update from 2011. The first video is a keynote by Matt Locke, the Director of the Linux Developer Center at Texas Instruments, about the future of Embedded SoCs. First, he compares the block diagrams of a Power PC chip from 1995 and the latest TI OMAP 15 SoC. In the former, we can see the details of the architecture, but in the latter, we can only see an overview as it has […]

$14 Marstek MPR-N9 WiFi/3G Router with 2,400 mAh Battery

One of my readers (Onebir) brought Poray M3 mini Router to my attention a few days ago, as it just cost $17 at the time (now over $20) and OpenWRT developer Squonk seems very interested about it since it features microSD and SD card slots missing in TL-WR703N. However, the device only has 16 MB memory which makes it somewhat difficult to run OpenWRT, or at least some of its features. But today, I’m not going to talk about this. Mentions of Poray M3 router came in HAME MPR-A1 OpenWRT forum thread, and I discovered a new (to me) type of low cost, small form factor device: portable Wi-Fi/3G routers. Those devices are about the size of android mini-PC and contain the chips to handle Wi-Fi, USB host (for external 3G dongle), and comes with a built-in battery so that you can use them anywhere (beach, mountain, car…), as long […]

InfoTMIC iMAPx15 Dual Cortex-A5 SoC To Power $35 Android Tablets

InfoTMIC has recently launched the iMAPx15 SoC featuring 2 Cortex A5 and a Mali-400 GPU. Infotmic iMAPx15 is a low cost version of iMAPx820 that is cost optimized for tablets, and lacks features such as SATA and GPS. Charbax interviewed InfoTMIC marketing director at CES 2013, where they discussed the new processor, and showcased a 7″ Android 4.1 tablet powered by iMAPx15 that is said to cost just $35. The device is not sold on Chinese websites yet, so I could not confirm this claim. At first, I thought it would be  unlikely to be the retail price, but there are some 7″ Android tablets selling for about $40 on Aliexpress (Update: The sellers at this price don’t have feedback, so those could be scams). So the $35 price tag could either be the unit price for 1K orders or the retail price in China. iMAPx15 is not listed on […]

UP 7000 SBC

Android Cortex A8 Keyboard / Advanced Remote for TV

Remote Solution,  a small technology company based in Hong Kong South Korea, has shown off an Android 4.0 powered keyboard controlling an Android STB at CES 2013. The device is designed to be used as an advanced TV remote control, looks like a small tablet with 8 control button, and can be inserted into a full sized QWERTY keyboard for faster typing. The specifications are as follows: SoC – ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ 720 MHz (I’d guess a TI OMAP3 or Sitara processor at this freq) System Memory – 512MB RAM Storage – 2GB flash Display – 3.5″ touchscreen display (480 x 320) Connectivity – WiFi and Bluetooth Misc – IR port to be used as a universal remote. The touchscreen allows you to launch apps on your TV, move a cursor by using a virtual touch-pad, use an on-screen keyboard (when the screen is not connected to the keyboard), […]

Etnaviv Project Vivante GCxxx GPU Open Source Driver

You have most probably heard of Lima, an initiative to provide fully open source Mali-200 & Mali-400 drivers by reverse-engineering the closed source Mali GPU drivers. A separate effort, Etnaviv Project, has now started to offer open source drivers for Vivante GCxxx GPU used in SoC such as Marvell Armada 1500 (notably used in mainly Google TV platforms), Rockchip RK2918 (present in many older tablets),  Freescale i.MX6 (used in newer tablets, low cost development boards, some SoMs and GK802/Hi802 mini PCs). The project is called Etnaviv. The introduction of Etnaviv Project reads as follows on the corresponding Github account: Project Etnaviv is an attempt to make an open source user-space driver for the Vivante GCxxx series of embedded GPUs. The current state of the project is experimental. It is currently only of use to developers interested in helping develop open source drivers for the hardware, reverse engineering, or in interfacing […]

Khadas VIM4 SBC