Orange Pi Development Boards

Kodi 18 Features and Improvements (FOSDEM 2018 Video)

February 8th, 2018 6 comments

Most Kodi users are now running Kodi 17.x Krypton that was initially released in February 2017, with the latest point version being Kodi 17.6. At the time of Krypton release, the developers had also started working on Kodi 18 “Leia” which should now be in “alpha”, and the stable release may only be a few months away although Kodi developers do not provide an ETA. What they did provide however – via Martijn Kaijser at FOSDEM 2018 – is a progress report for Kodi 18 “Leia”, as well as some insights into Kodi 19 whose development has just started. Kodi 18 has gone through a lot of cleanup with the code upgraded to C++11 standard, duplicate code and obsolete libraries removed, dropped unmaintained feature, and so on. They also moved non-core features such as audio encoders and decoders, PVR, picture decoding, etc…  to external plugins. This work resulted into 299,476 deleted lines of codes, and 387,205 added lines of codes…

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TECHBASE ModBerry​ M300 IoT Gateway Adds Support for NanoPi and Orange Pi Allwinner H5 Boards

February 8th, 2018 1 comment

Announced at the end of last year TECHBASE launched the ModBerry​ M300, a Linux IoT gateway powered by FriendlyELEC NanoPi NEO board equipped with Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor. The company has now made four extra variants of the gateway with Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 based development boards from FriendlyELEC and Shenzhen Xunlong: Modberry M300 N2 – Based on NanoPi NEO2 Modberry M300 N2+ – Based on NanoPi NEO Plus2 adding 8GB eMMC flash, WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0, and an extra USB port over the N2 model Modberry M300 O1 – Based on Orange Pi Zero Plus Modberry M300 O2 – Based on Orange Pi Zero Plus2 adding 8GB eMMC flash, HDMI, one extra USB port, and Bluetooth 4.0 over the O1 model, but falling back to 10/100 Ethernet, while all three models above come with Gigabit Ethernet To avoid confusion, the original NanoPi NEO model has changed name to ModBerry M300 N1. The specifications summary / comparison…

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Sixfab Launches Arduino and Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shields with Four Sensors

February 8th, 2018 2 comments

SixFab previously introduced a 3G/4G base shield for the Raspberry Pi boards that would take Quectel based mini PCIe card in order to add cellular connectivity to the popular development boards. The company is now back with NB-IoT shields that should better suited to IoT projects with lower hardware and data costs, and support either 40-pin Raspberry Pi boards or Arduino. SixFab Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield Specifications & features: Module – Quectel BC95-B20 NB-IoT Module supporting 800MHz frequency (suitable for the European market) Micro SIM card socket, PCB Antenna and u.FL socket for external antenna I/O expansions 4x Channel 12-bit ADC via ADS1015 Relay with optocoupler protection (24V DC, 120-220V AC Switching) 3-pin 1-Wire interface for DS18B20, DHT21, etc… 4-pin I2C interface 3.3V reference voltage Sensors MMA8452Q 3-axis accelerometer HDC1080 temperature sensor (-40 to +125 °C) HDC1080 humidity sensor (0 to 100%) ALS-PT19 ambient light sensor Misc – User button and LED Optocoupler (3 – 12 VDC switching) Compatible with…

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PicoCORE MX7ULP is a Compact Module Based on NXP i.MX 7ULP Ultra Low Power Processor

February 7th, 2018 13 comments

NXP unveiled another variant of their i.MX 7 Cortex A7 processor last year, and I missed it. NXP i.MX 7ULP offers many of the same features as i.MX 7, but is manufactured using FD-SOI (Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator) process technology to offer lower power consumption, as low as 15 mW or less in deep sleep, or 17 times less in comparison to i.MX 7 devices, while the dynamic power efficiency is improved by 50 percent on the real time domain (Cortex-M4). I found out about it thanks to an email from F&S Elektronik Systeme about the introduction of their  PicoCORE MX7ULP module – based on i.MX 7ULP processor – at  the Embedded World 2018 conference. PicoCORE MX7ULP CoM specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 7ULP Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 800 MHz,  with Arm Cortex-M4 real-time core, and 2D/3D graphics accelerator System Memory – Up to 1GB LPDDR3 Storage – Up to 64 MB SPI flash, up to 32GB…

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AV1 Open Source Video Codec Update at FOSDEM 2018 (Video)

February 7th, 2018 11 comments

We first covered the Alliance for Open Media’s AV1 video codec in summer 2016, as an open source, royalty-free video codec aiming to replace VP9, and compete or even surpass H.265 capabilities. At the time, everything was pretty new, and when I tried the open source implementation encoding was really slow. Since then, AV1 has gained momentum with for example Apple, Facebook, and IBM recently joining AOMedia, and Mozilla adding HTML5 AV1 video support to Firefox Nightly builds at the end of last year. I was able to play a 720p video @ 800 Kbps almost smoothly in my computer based on AMD FX8350 processor. Many companies want AV1 to succeed since they may not be willing to pay MPEG LA license fee for H.265 and future MPEG codecs (e.g. H.266), and there indeed seems to be issues with the currently MPEG licensing business model. However, AV1 is not quite ready yet, although it’s getting there as you’ll find out…

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Categories: Video Tags: av1, fosdem 2018

Mozilla Project Things Framework for the IoT Works with Raspberry Pi 3 and Other Boards / Computers

February 7th, 2018 No comments

The Internet of Things today relies on many standards, and for example Google Cloud relies on Weave, Amazon AWS IoT and Samsung SmartThings on MQTT, Apple iCloud and so on. The web also relies on many different markup or programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, etc.. but as a user you don’t need to care, and in most cases, you can access any website with the same web browser. Last year, Mozilla started working on Project Things to bring the same ease of of use to the IoT, by implementing the proposed Web of Things standard by W3C that aims to reduce IoT fragmentation by allowing different vendors’ IoT offerings to work together. Mozilla has now announced the release of  Project Things “open framework for connecting your devices to the web” suitable not only for hackers and developers, but easy enough to use for end users. The release includes the following key features: Ability to use the microphone on…

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Categories: Linux Tags: gateway, IoT, mozilla, raspberry pi

Shuttle DL10J Fanless Gemini Lake Mini PC Features Intel Celeron J4005 Dual Core Processor, 3 Video Outputs

February 7th, 2018 3 comments

Several mini PCs based on Intel Gemini Lake processors were unveiled at CES 2018, including Zotac PICO PI226, MeLE PCG63-APL4, and ECS LIVA Gemini Lake models all of which slated to launch in Q2 2018. ASRock and GIGABYTE also announced Gemini Lake motherboards a few weeks later. Most of the products above are for the consumer market, but if you’re after a Gemini Lake mini PC more geared towards business use cases like digital signage and multi-display solutions, Shuttle is now showcasing their DL10J mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron J4055 Gemini Lake dual core processor, and offering 3 video output ports at Integrated Systems Europe 2018 (ISE 2018). Shuttle DL10J mini PC specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J4005 dual core GLK processor @ 2.00/2.70 GHz with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600; 10W TDP System Memory – 2x DDR4 slots @ 2133 MHz up to 8GB Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA III bay, 1x M.2 2280 M Key slot,…

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MicroSemi ZL38063 Audio Processor is Designed for Microphone Arrays

February 6th, 2018 6 comments

I’ve already been experimenting with DIY smart speakers and corresponding services for example using ReSpeaker board with Microsoft Bing Speech API, or Orange Pi Zero with Google Assistant SDK. But so far all the hardware platforms I used only came with one microphone, no microphone array that help with wake word detection in noisy environments. Last week-end, I received Espressif Audio Mic HDK, an ESP32 board with a 3-microphone array which I’ll review a in a few weeks once documentation becomes available and I clear some other items in my review list. In the meantime, I checked out the hardware, and found out the mainboard also comes with Microsemi ZL38063 audio processor specifically designed for microphone array. The chip was released las year, and can be already found in the company’s AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS, but since I’m going to use a board based on ZL38063 I’d thought to have a closer look to better understand its capabilities….

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