MHL: Mobile High Definition Link

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is a new standard that allows to connect your MHL-enabled phone to an MHL-enabled device (e.g. a TV) to output video, connect power and allows communication between both device with only one cable (micro-usb to HDMI cable with MHL signalling). The MHL Consortium has just been setup last year by Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Silicon Image and Nokia. The MHL™ Consortium is committed to enhancing the multimedia capabilities of mobile and portable devices. MHL specification version 1.0 is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other home entertainment products. It utilizes established connectors and features a single cable with a 5-pin interface, supports 1080p HD video and digital audio, and simultaneously provides power to the mobile device. It also enables the TV remote to control the mobile phone and access its contents. They have a few devices that will be MHL compatible soon, but the only …

Linaro Development Board “Snowball” by ST Ericsson

ST Ericsson unveiled a development board based on Nova A9500 (dual ARM Cortex A9 processor and MALI 400 GPU) at MWC 2011 called Snowball (or SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX) for the embedded Linux community and professional developers. This board was designed by CALAO Systems and can be pre-ordered on their website for 200 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C11 / Software Development Kit – SDK) or 300 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C01 / Production development Kit – PDK). The difference between the SDK and PDK is that the former has no expansion connectors, no battery backup for RTC and only support serial over USB port (for Linux console). First, some pictures with description of the snowball development board. The full documentations for Snowball development board can be found in Calao Systems File Repository, where you’ll get the bottom and top assembly diagrams for both C01 and C11, the major components datasheet, documentation and some photos. The specifications of the boards: – ARM Dual Cortex A9 @ 1GHz, – 1x Serial Port …

NVidia Processors Roadmap: 75 times the performance of Tegra 2 within 3 years

I have to say I was already impressed with Texas Instruments OMAP 5 announcement and even more so with Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon APQ8064, but NVidia new quad core processor and their processor  roadmap really blew my mind. NVidia Kal-El Quad Core Processor NVidia was already 1 year ahead compared to other companies with the Tegra 2, the first dual core mobile processor, so the others are playing catch up.  Whereas competitors quad core will be available later this year or early 2012, the new NVidia Quad Core processor codenamed Kal-El (Tegra 3?)  is already sampling and is being demo’ed at MWC 2011 in Barcelona. One the video below you’ll see a web browser benchmark (NVbench) making use of all four cores. Kal-El also have a new Geforce GPU with 12 cores, giving 5 times greater performance than Tegra 2. NVidia also provided benchmark results (Coremark 1.0) showing that Kal-El was faster than an Intel Core2 Duo T7200. NVidia Tegra …

Qualcomm Augmented Reality Challenge Winner: Paparazzi

Qualcomm announced the winner of their augmented reality challenge developed with Qualcomm Augmented Reality Software Development Kit (QCAR SDK): The top prize of $125,000 was awarded to a team of two developers from Lithuania, Paulius Liekis and Arminas Didžiokas for Paparazzi, an interactive augmented reality game where the player becomes a virtual paparazzo and sneaks pictures of a vain celebrity before he gets agitated and attacks the photographer. The second (50,000 USD) and third (25,000 USD) prizes were also awarded to augmented reality games respectively Inch High Stunt Guy by Defiant Development Pty Ltd. (Australia), a game where the player arranges various obstacles to enable a stuntman to successfully jump his motorcycle through a hoop and Danger Copter by Alex Beachum, Jonghwa Kim, Jason Mathias, Kedar Reddy and Evan Sforza (USA), a gaming adventure where the player becomes a helicopter pilot who maneuvers a water-spouting chopper to extinguish fires and rescue people from danger. Here’s the official announcement with a …

Another Monster Processor: Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon APQ8064

Qualcomm SnapDragon APQ8064 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, will make NVidia Tegra 2 look like your (grand-) father processor and even make Texas Instrument OMAP 5 processor look slow. This new processor will available in earlier 2012 and will probably make it to devices by end 2012, beginning 2013. Here’s a press release excerpt: Barcelona, Spain – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its quad-core Snapdragon™ chipset designed to meet the requirements of next generation tablets and computing devices. The new quad-core APQ8064™ is the flagship chipset in the new family of Snapdragon chipsets and is based on the new micro-architecture code named “Krait.” With the purpose of being built for mobile devices, this 28nm micro-architecture will redefine performance, achieving speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and minimizing power consumption and heat generation to enable new, thin and light form factors. The Snapdragon APQ8064 chip will be designed to enable the next generation of …

Samsung at MWC 2011: Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S 2

Samsung will showcase two highly expected products at Mobile World Congress 2011, in Barcelona: The Galaxy S II smartphone with a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display and dual-core processor and the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 (aka Galaxy Tab 2) with a 10.1″ display (1280×800) running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Samsung GALAXY S II Product Specifications are as follows: Network GSM 850/900/1800/1900 HSPA+ 21 850/900/1900/2100 OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread Display 4.27” WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED Plus Processor ( BB& AP ) 1 GHz Dual Core Application Processor Camera Main(Rear): 8.0-Mega Pixel Camera AF with LED Flash Front: 2.0-Mega Pixel Camera Single Shot, Beauty Shot, , Panorama Shot, Smile Shot, Action Shot, Cartoon Shot Video Codec : MPEG4/ H.264/ H.263/ DivX VC-1 Playback : FULL HD(1080p)@30fps Recording : FULL HD(1080p)@30fps Audio MP3, AAC, AAC+, eACC+ 3.5mm Ear Jack & Speaker, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Voice Recorder Hub Social Hub – Integrated Contacts, Integrated Calendar, Unified Inbox – Premium: SNS push notification, Push …

AMD Embedded G-Series mini-PC, motherboard and thin client

AMD announced its embedded processor G-Series at CES 2011. Here are some products that will be soon available based on this platform. Futjisu Mini-ITX mainboards – models D3003-S1 and D3003-S2 The D3003-S1 motherboard will feature an AMD Single-Core T44R (1.2GHz/9W) and the D3003-S2 an AMD Dual-Core T56N (1.6GHz/18W). Both models will have an onboard ATI graphics card with VGA, DVI, LVDS (D3003-S1 only) and diplayport  (D3003-S2 only) outputs, HD Audio,  dual GbE LAN, serial ATA III RAID, mSATA socket support, USB 2.0, 8 Bit GPIO connector and be designed for fanless operation. Mass production of the boards will start in April 2011. Check the preliminary specifications for details. CompuLab’s fit-PC3 mini-PC Compulab already manufactures the fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i based on the Intel Atom platforms running Linux, Windows XP and Windows 7. The Israel-based company  will embed AMD Embedded G-Series processor in its latest fit-PC3 mini-PC. This “miniature fanless industrial PC” will come in several flavors (TBD) with the following features: …

Emulate an ARM Plaform with QEMU on Ubuntu 10.10

When developing software for embedded systems, you may need to support multiple architectures such as  arm, mips, x86, powerpc, alpha etc.. but you may not have the hardware required on hand to test them. This is where QEMU – a processor emulator – comes to the rescue. In a way, QEMU is similar to VirtualBox, VMWare or Citrix Xendeskop except it can support multiple architectures. I’ll show how to run Debian Lenny ARMEL in QEMU on a computer running Ubuntu 10.10 (aka Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat). QEMU (Qemu-kvm) Installation First install qemu-kvm and qemu-kvm-extras (the latter contains qemu-system-arm): sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm qemu-kvm-extras Let’s check qemu version: [email protected]:~/edev$ qemu –version QEMU PC emulator version 0.12.5 (qemu-kvm-0.12.5), Copyright (c) 2003-2008 Fabrice Bellard Debian ARM Installation in QEMU Create a directory to store the required files for the emulator and  download the Debian Lenny ARMEL kernel (vmlinuz) and debian installer rootfs (initrd.gz): mkdir ~/arm-emul cd ~/arm-emul wget ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/installer-armel/current/images/versatile/netboot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-versatile wget ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/installer-armel/current/images/versatile/netboot/initrd.gz Create a raw …