Alfawise T1 Mini PC Powered by Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake Processor is Going for $200

Alfawise T1 mini PC

It’s been a long wait, but it appears it’s now possible to purchase Gemini Lake mini PCs and get them shipped within a few days. One example would be Alfawise T1 mini PC based on Intel Celeron N4100 quad core processor that’s now selling for $199.99 on GearBest with shipping expected on May 19-22. Alfawise T1 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad core Gemini Lake processor up to 2.4 GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 600; 6W TDP System Memory – 4GB DDR4 Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, 2.5″ SATA bay, M.2 SSD slot, micro SD card Video Output – 2x HDMI 2.0 ports up to 4K @ 60 Hz Audio – Via HDMI, built-in microphone, 3.5mm audio jack Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB type C port Misc – Power button and LED, Kensington lock Power Supply – 12V/3A DC Dimensions – 16.00 …

MT3620 Development Board for Azure Sphere is Up for Pre-order for $84.90

Microsoft unveiled Azure Sphere solutions last month in order to provide a complete secure IoT solution from the hardware to the cloud with three main components: a secure MCU, Linux based Azure Sphere OS, and Azure Sphere Security (Cloud) Service. The company already stated Mediatek MT3620 would be the first Azure Sphere compliant MCU,  and today Seeed Studio has announced MT3620 development board for Azure Sphere is up for pre-order for $84.90 with a $5 deposit, and shipping scheduled for the end of September. Preliminary specifications of MT3620 development board for Azure Sphere: WiSoC – Mediatek MT3620AN single core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 500 MHz, dual core Arm Cortex-M4F real-time core, Pluton security sub-system, and WiFi. System Memory – Over 5MB of embedded RAM, split among the various cores (4MB for Arm Cortex A7 core) Storage – 2x 8MB dual channel quad SPI (16MB in total) Connectivity –  Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi 1T1R with main and aux PCB antennas, …

ULEWELL Z28 MINI is a $40 RK3328 TV Stick with 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage, and a USB 3.0 Port

ULEWELL-Z69-TV-Stick

While we’ve already covered many Rockchip RK3328 TV boxes and development boards, if you want a TV stick form factor the choice becomes much more limited. So far I was only aware of Rikomagic RKM V3 , but today I’ve come across  ULEWELL Z28 MINI, selling for about $40 on Aliexpress with 2GB RAM, 16 GB storage, HDMI 2.0a, and a USB 3.0 port. ULEWELL Z28 MINI TV stick specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 2 GB RAM Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8 Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 3.0 port Misc – Power button and LED Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port Dimensions – 94 x …

Arduino Introduces Two New IoT Boards – MKR WiFi 1010 (ESP32) and MKR NB 1500 (NB-IoT + eMTC)

MKR-NB-1500

Arduino introduced its MKR family of breadboard compatible maker boards with MKR1000 featuring an Atmel SAMD21 microcontroller combined with a Microchip WINC1500 WiFi module. The board was followed by MRKZero without wireless connectivity,  then MKRFOX1200 Sigfox board, and finally MKR WAN 1300 & MKR GSM 1400 boards at the end of 2017 with LoRaWAN and 3.75G cellular connectivity. The company has now launched two new boards: Espressif ESP32 based MKR WiFi 1010 with WiFi and Bluetooth, and MKR NB 1500 equipped with an NB-IoT & LTE CAT M1 module. Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 MKR WIFI 1010 is an evolution of the MKR1000 board, and is equipped with a U-Blox ESP32 module. Preliminary specifications: MCU – Microchip SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256 KB flash memory Wireless Connectivity – 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE via U-blox NINA-W10 Series module based on ESP32 processor. I/Os 8x digital I/Os 12x PWM pins 1x UART, 1x …

Running out of RAM in Ubuntu? Enable ZRAM

htop-zram

Whenever I ran out of RAM on a Linux system, I used to enable swap memory using the storage device to provide an extra bit of memory.  The main advantage is that it’s does not require extra hardware, but come at the cost of much slower access, and potential issues or wear and tear, unless you only use it temporary. This week-end, I compiled Arm Compute Library on ODROID-XU4Q board, and the first time it crashed because the system ran out of memory, so I enable swap on the eMMC flash module to restart and complete the build successfully. However, I was told it would have been better to enable ZRAM instead. So what is ZRAM? Wikipedia explains: zram, formerly called compcache, is a Linux kernel module for creating a compressed block device in RAM, i.e. a RAM disk, but with on-the-fly “disk” compression. So it’s similar to swap, expect it operates in RAM and compresses memory. It’s also possible …

How to Run Chrome OS in Android Emulator

Chrome-OS-Emulator

While it’s possible to run the open source Chromium OS in your computer or a virtual machine, AFAIK there was only was way to test Chrome OS: purchasing an actual Chromebook, or other device running the operating system. But this week-end, I read the news that Chrome OS was now available in Android Studio, and you can run in Android Emulator while emulating a Pixelbook, so I gave it a try by following the instructions on Android Developer website. If you haven’t done so already, we first need to install Android Studio. I’m running Ubuntu 16.04 in my computer, but this will also work in Windows and Mac OS X. After download the IDE zip file, we can extract it… and then open a console, go into “{installation home}/bin” and run the program:

After a few seconds, we got into Android Studio 3.1.2 welcome screen. We can now click on Configure, and select SDK Manager… … and SDK Update …

How to Get Started with OpenCL on ODROID-XU4 Board (with Arm Mali-T628MP6 GPU)

ODROID-XU4-OpenCL-Convolution

Last week, I reviewed Ubuntu 18.04 on ODROID-XU4 board testing most of the advertised features. However I skipped on the features listed in the Changelog: GPU hardware acceleration via OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2 drivers for Mali T628MP6 GPU While I tested OpenGL ES with tools like glmark2-es2 and es2gears, as well as WebGL demos in Chromium, I did not test OpenCL, since I’m not that familiar with it, except it’s used for GPGPU (General Purpose GPU) to accelerate tasks like image/audio processing. That was a good excuse to learn a bit more, try it out on the board, and write a short guide to get started with OpenGL on hardware with Arm Mali GPU. The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to run an OpenCL sample, and OpenCL utility, and I won’t go into the nitty gritty of OpenCL code. If you want to learn more about OpenCL coding on Arm, one way would be to …

NeTV2 Open Video Development Board Works with Encrypted and Unencrypted Video Streams (Crowdfunding)

NeTV2

Chumby NeTV was an open source hardware Linux IPTV media player based on a Xilinx Spartan FPGA and a Marvell Armada 166 processor, and unveiled in 2011. Many years have passed since then, and now Bunnie Huang has come up with a new version. The NeTV2 development board is also optimized for open digital video application, but based on a more powerful Xilinx Artik-7  FPGA, and a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ can be added for things like seamless JTAG configuration and overlay video generation. Key features and specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Artik-7 XC7A35T-2FGG484 (available with XC7A50T option during campaign only) System Memory – 512 MB RAM, 32-bit wide DDR3-800 Storage – micro SD card, 8 MB SPI  flash Video Ports 2x HDMI type A inputs 1 x HDMI type A output 1 x HDMI type D output. One input/output pair configured for in-line ‘NeTV mode’ video filtering. Max Video Bandwidth –  1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz Connectivity – 10/100M …