Save Power, Hibernate Your Embedded Linux System

August 30th, 2017 4 comments

This is a guest post by Tharma Rajan G, Project Lead, e-con Sytems. What is the best way to save power consumption of your embedded Linux system? Is there any way to save max power and resume operation ? Yes. It is ‘hibernate’ mode, one of the Power Modes in Linux. This article talks about how we utilized this ‘hibernate mode’ in our Reference Platform Kit Meissa-I with eSOMiMX6-micro SOM. Meissa-I is a dual board solution that features eSOMiMX6-micro Computer on Module & carrier board. Meissa-I development board runs Linux and Android Marshmallow (under development). eSOMiMX6-micro is based on Dual/Quad core ARM CortexTM-A9 based CPU @ 800MHz/Core. It has 1GB LPDDR2 and 4GB eMMC FLASH (expandable upto 32GB). The eSOMiMX6-micro module also has the Wireless LAN and Bluetooth module. Linux Power Modes Power Management is a key feature in embedded Linux system and there are two types for implementing the power management on x86 platforms: Advanced Power Management (APM) Advanced…

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$6.10 Loraduino Board Combines LoRa and Atmega328P MCU

August 30th, 2017 8 comments

We’ve previoulsy seen low costs SX1278 LoRa modules @ 433 MHz  which you could connect to your own board, but Electrodragon is now selling Loraduino board with an Atmega328P MCU and SX1278 for just $6.10 / 5 Euros plus shipping, and using a layout similar to Arduino Pro Mini. Loraduino specifications: MCU – Microchip / Atmel Atmega328P MCU with Arduino pro mini bootloader Storage – 16Mbit SPI flash for data LoRa Semtech SX1278 IC with 433mhz, or 470mhz central frequency 10 km max range 20dbm max power rate (configurable by software) Tx current: 120 mA @ + 20 dBm; 90mA @ + 17dBm;  29mA @ + 13dBm Data Rate –  1.2K to 300Kbps with FSK;  18 bps to 37.5Kbps with LoRa Expansion SX1278 Lora: leadout for pins IO1, IO2, IO3 Atmega: 14x digital input/output pins (including 6x PWM outputs), 6x analog inputs (TBC) Misc – Programmable LED (D7),  power LED, and charge status LED. Power Supply – On-board Lithium battery…

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The Stress Terminal UI (s-tui) is a Pretty CPU and Temperature Monitoring Terminal App

August 30th, 2017 12 comments

While it’s possible to do monitoring with tools like RPI-Monitor on headless or remote systems, top and htop are likely the commonly used tools to monitor CPU and process usage in the terminal. There’s now a new and different option with the Stress Terminal UI that display pretty charts for frequency, CPU usage, and temperature in the terminal, and as its name implies it can also stress the system. I’ve first installed it in my main computer running Ubuntu 16.04.2 as follows:

and then just started it

It took the screenshot above after enabling stress operation for a few seconds, and while frequency and CPU utilization in percent are updated properly, temperature is not, at least on my system. I had to enable “Smooth Graph” option to see any changes in the first two charts. I tried to run the app again with sudo, but still no temperature update, and that’s because the program is confused since I…

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Categories: Linux, Testing, Ubuntu Tags: arm, how-to, Linux, tool, ubuntu, x86

$8 NanoPi Duo is a Tiny Breadboard Compatible Linux Board powered by Allwinner H2+ Quad Core SoC

August 29th, 2017 34 comments

It’s very easy to find breadboard compatible boards in the market with products based on Espressif chips such as NodeMCU or ESP32 boards, as well as OpenWrt board like Onion Omega2, or LinktIt 7688. However, it’s much more difficult to find powerful quad core boards in this form factor, but that’s exactly what FriendlyELEC has done with their NanoPi Duo board featuring an Allwinner H2+ quad core processor in a form factor slightly smaller than a Raspberry Pi Zero. NanoPi Duo specifications: SoC – Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz System Memory – 256 or 512 MB DDR3-1866 SDRAM Storage – micro SD card slot, footprint for SPI flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Allwinner XR819 module) with chip antenna, and u.FL/IPEX connector for external antenna USB – 1x micro USB OTG port Expansion headers – 2x 16-pin breadboard compatible headers with 2x USB host ports, GPIO, UART, SPI, I2C,…

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Zidoo X7 Review – Part 2: Android 7.1 Firmware, ZDMC, WiFi, and More

August 29th, 2017 9 comments

Zidoo X7 is an Android TV box powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor similar to Bqeel MVR9 with 2GB RAM, but instead of provide Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, it comes with Fast Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, so is better suited to people using WiFi instead of Ethernet for media streaming. You’ll find plenty of photos in the first part of the review entitled “Zidoo X7 TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown“, and I’ll report my experience with Android 7.1.2 firmware in this second part. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I connected two RF dongles for  MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad via a USB hub, a USB keyboard to take screenshot, and a Seagate USB 3.0 hard drive to the single USB 3.0 port on the box. I perform tests with Ethernet in most reviews, but with Zidoo X7, I’ve decided to use 802.11ac WiFi instead, so I only…

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ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array is $25 Quad Microphone Add-on Board for Raspberry Pi

August 29th, 2017 4 comments

Last year, Seeed Studio launched ReSpeaker WiFi Audio / IoT board based on Mediatek MT7688, as well as an optional microphone array board with 7 microphones and 12 LEDs. Later on, they introduced a $10 2-mic array board for Raspberry Pi Zero (W), and today the company has started to take orders for ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi board for $24.50 plus shipping. Respeaker 4-Mic Array board specifications: Audio X-Powers AC108 quad-channel ADC with I2S/TDM output transition 4 Microphones Expansion 2x Grove interfaces (1x I2C, 1x GPIO port using pins 12 & 13) 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header Misc – 12 LEDs (APA102) connected over SPI, GPIO5 enables power Dimensions – 65mm x 65mm x 9mm Weight – ~20 grams The board will give Raspberry Pi board the ability to do Voice Activity Detection (VAD) aka “hot word” detection, estimate Direction of Arrival (DoA) and show the direction via the LED ring, just like Amazon Echo or Google Home. I’m using an Orange Pi Zero board with a single microphone with Google Assistant and while it works fine most of the times range is limited to about 5 meters, and “OK…

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Intel Introduces Movidius Myriad X Vision Processing Unit with Dedicated Neural Compute Engine

August 29th, 2017 No comments

Intel has just announced the third generation of Movidius Video Processing Units (VPU) with Myriad X VPU, which the company claims is the world’s first SoC shipping with a dedicated Neural Compute Engine for accelerating deep learning inferences at the edge, and giving devices the ability to see, understand and react to their environments in real time. Movidius Myraid X VPU key features: Neural Compute Engine – Dedicated on-chip accelerator for deep neural networks delivering over 1 trillion operations per second of DNN inferencing performance (based on peak floating-point computational throughput). 16x programmable 128-bit VLIW Vector Processors (SHAVE cores) optimized for computer vision workloads. 16x configurable MIPI Lanes – Connect up to 8 HD resolution RGB cameras for up to 700 million pixels per second of image signal processing throughput. 20x vision hardware accelerators to perform tasks such as optical flow and stereo depth. On-chip Memory – 2.5 MB homogeneous memory with up to 450 GB per second of internal…

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MediaTek Helio P23 & P30 Processors Unveiled for “Premium” Mid Range Smartphones

August 29th, 2017 8 comments

MediaTek has introduced two more octa-core Cortex A53 processors with respectively Helio P23 for worldwide markets, and Helio P30 for China. Both processors build upon Helio P20/P25 design, but are upgraded with a faster Mali G71MP2 GPU, LTE Cat 7/13 modem, and in the case of Helio P30 the ability to record 4K videos with H.265 codec, instead of just H.264, and a new “vision processing unit”. Mediatek Helio P23 & P30 specifications: CPU – 8 core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 2.3 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.65 GHz GPU – ARM Mali-G71MP2 GPU clocked @ 770 MHz (P23) or 950 MHz (P30) Memory I/F – 2 x 16-bit @ 1600 MHz LPDDR4X, P23 only: 1 x 32-bit @ 933 MHz LPDDR3 Storage I/F – No info Display – Up to 2160 x 1080 resolution Video Encoder – P23: 2160p30 H.264; P30: 2160p30 H.264 & HEVC Decoder – 2160p30 H.264 & HEVC Camera P23 – 24MP…

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