Allwinner R329 Smart Speaker Processor Features Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit)

Allwinner R329

Allwinner R328 is a dual-core Cortex-A7 processor with 64MB or 128MB built-in RAM designed for low-cost smart speakers that was introduced last year and found into smart speaker sold in mainland China. According to a recent press release (in Chinese only), the company has now released a 64-bit update with Allwinner R329 dual-core Cortex-A53 processor equipped with dual HIFI4 DSP for audio post-processing and pre-processing, as well as Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit) delivering up to 0.256 TOPS at very low power. There’s no product page for Allwinner R329 yet, so I extracted some specifications from the press release: CPU – Dual-core Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz DSP- Dual-core HIFI4 DSP @ 400 MHz AI Accelerator – Arm China AIPU with 0.256 TOPS Built-in DDR RAM Audio Embedded second-generation VAD hardware 5x audio ADCs 2x audio DACs with 100dB SNR I2S and DMIC controller 5-1-channel and 7.1 channel support Integrated dual LDO The company will also provide …

KDE Plasma Bigscreen for TVs and TV Boxes Offers a Linux Alternative to Android TV

Plasma Bigscreen

KDE Plasma is a desktop environment initially developed for Linux Desktop PC or SBCs, but that’s also available on Linux phones with Plasma Mobile (previously known as Plasma Active). The developers have now decided to work on a version for the big screens with Plasma Bigscreen suitable for TVs and TV boxes and offering an open-source, Linux-based alternative o Android TV. Plasma Bigscreen is community supported, completely free and open-source, and offers an interface fairly similar to Android TV launcher. It is optimized for IR remote control use including (experimental) CEC support, as well as voice control through MyCroft open-source AI & voice assistant and Bluetooth or RF remotes with a built-in microphone such as WeChip G20 or W2, or a USB microphone. By default, Plasmas Bigscreen connects to Mycroft’s Home server, which uses Google’s STT (Speech to text) sending anonymized utterances to Google, but it’s also possible to switch to self-hosted systems such as Mozilla DeepSpeech, or just de-activate …


This Non-Invasive AI Temperature Screening System Checks Multiple Persons On-the-Fly

Remote AI Temperature Monitoring System

Yesterday, I had to go to the bank with the branch located in a building where they closed all doors except one in order to make sure all people were wearing masks, check their temperature, and let them wash hands with alcohol hand gel. Those are good preventive measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus, but in case many people visit a location that’s also time-consuming. I’ve just come across a system that should speed up the process, as it can check forehead temperature of people as they walk by, using a camera and artificial intelligence for face detection, and an IR camera/thermometer to report temperature. Remote AI temperature screening system specifications: SoC/Memory/Storage – Don’t know, but I would not be surprised if it was based on RK3399 since Rockchip often promotes AI use cases for this processor. External Storage – MicroSD card, USB drive Video Output- HDMI 2.0 output Connectivity – Ethernet & WiFi with external antenna Camera …

M5Stack ATOM is a Compact, Fully Integrated ESP32 Development Kit

M5Stack ATOM Lite

When working on a project you may need an MCU or MCU board, an external display, a breadboard, and other accessories like sensors and jumper cables. It does the job, but it can be messy. Recently, we wrote about M5Stack M5StickV AI camera, but the company is better known for its ESP32 IoT development kits enabling neater project thanks to hardware that integrates MCU, I/O headers, display, and sensors into an enclosure. Their latest offerings are ATOM series toolkits that come in two versions: ATOM Lite and ATOM Matrix. Let’s have a look at both. M5Stack ATOM Lite Specifications: SiP – ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package with ESP32 dual-core processor with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0/5.1 Storage – 4 MB flash Crystal oscillator and passive components USB – 1x USB Type-C port Expansion 9-pin header with 6 GPIOs compatible with jumper cables 4-pin PH2.0 connector with 2x GPIO, 5V and GND Misc – Reset button, user button, RGB LED, IR LED Dimensions – …

Onyx Boox Nova 2 7.8″ eReader Runs Android 9.0

Onyx Boox Nova 2

We wrote about reMarkable 2 10.3″ e-Paper Tablet running Linux a few days ago, but there’s now another option with Onyx Boox Nova 2 eReader equipped with a 7.8″ display and running an operating system based on Android 9.0. The device comes with an unnamed octa-core processor coupled with 3GB  RAM, 32GB storage, support for Wacom pen and touch input, and a 3,150 mAh battery. Onyx Boox Nova 2 specifications: SoC – Unnamed octa-core processor @ 2.0 GHz, but likely Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 found in the company’s Boox Max 3 eReader. System Memory – 3GB RAM Storage – 32GB flash, MicroSD card reader Display – 7.8″ E Ink Carta Plus inductive Wacom + capacitive touch screen with 1872×1404 resolution, 16 shades of grey, and the SNOW Field function to reduce artifacts during a partial refresh Frontlight – MOON Light 2 to use the device in the dark or under poor lighting conditions Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFI 5 and Bluetooth …

ESP32-S2 WiFi SoC Sells for $1, ESP32-S2-WROOM & ESP32-S2-WROVER Modules for $2 and Up


Espressif Systems ESP32-S2 was announced in May 2019, before the release of the datasheet and first internal development boards a few months later.  Mass production was delayed due to COVID-19, but earlier this month we reported ESP32-S2 mass production had started and the company has a new ESP32-S2-Kaluga-1 multimedia development board in the works. So it was just a question of time before the processor, modules, and boards become available. Unexpected Maker recently got a development kit with ESP32-S2 final silicon, so I thought maybe I could find ESP32-S2 hardware on Aliexpress. I had no luck finding modules or boards at this time, but one seller is currently selling ESP32-S2 for just $1 per piece, but the trick is that you’d have to purchase 2,000. It’s also about the same price on Digikey. As a reminder, ESP32-S2 SoC is based on a single Xtensa LX7 core clocked at 240 MHz, supports Wi-Fi HT40 @ 2.4 GHz, and provides up to …


Can You Clean Your Smartphone Off Bacteria and Viruses with a $23 UV Disinfection Box?

UV Light Disinfection Box

This morning, as I browsed the web looking for products or other news, I found out that Banggood was selling a $23 UV sterilizer disinfection box that can clean & disinfect your smartphone, and other small items like surgical masks, using 3-minute of exposure to ultraviolet light. I suppose it showed up in the new arrival feed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a relevant entry on Wikipedia states that UV light can kill bacteria and viruses since it destroys DNA and RMA. It works on humans too, and when I say work, it means humans should not subject themselves to strong UV light since it will damage their DNA too. An article on Digital Trends mentions that while there aren’t many studies about the UV light effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, it’s been shown to be effective against the similar SARS and MERS viruses, and hospitals are using robots zapping UV light to disinfect hospital rooms while …

NanoPi R2S Dual GbE IoT Board and Gateway Launched for $22 and Up

NanoPi R2S Dual Gigabit Ethernet SBC

We first covered NanoPi R2S SBC back in mid-January 2020. Specifically designed for headless and IoT application the board features a Rockchip RK3328 processor combined with 1GB RAM, and contrary to most competing platforms on the market such as Orange Pi R1 or NanoPi R1S, R2S comes with two true Gigabit Ethernet ports. At the time, the board was not available for sale, but now FriendlyELEC has started to take orders for just $22.00, and adding a yellow case adds $3 to the total. This is around $5 extra compared to NanoPi R1S gateway which was expected with extra RAM (1GB) and true dual GbE connectivity. But in the age of COVID-19, nothing runs quite as smoothly as it used to and the company expects shipping delays: Because of the epidemic, postal services in a lot of countries get delayed. Customers who need orders urgently need to choose DHL. EU customers who need DHL service to deliver orders need to …