TI SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 Brings WiFi Connectivity to All Devices

Yesterday, Texas Instruments unveiled the SimpleLink product family, a portfolio of wireless connectivity technologies for low-power, low-cost embedded applications, which includes self-contained wireless processors supporting Wi-Fi, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, and ANT. The most noticeable product is the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000, a self-contained 802.11 (WiFi) network processor, that can be added to any embedded application and provide WiFi connectivity to the Internet of Things. With this solution, you can add WiFi to any device, even those powered by MCUs without operating systems such as dishwashers, toasters, refrigerators, thermostats, and factory automation equipment. I wish they’ll make new version of the MSP430 Chronos Wireless Watch with WiFi connectivity, this would remove the need for the RF Dongle. This solution features TCP, UDP and IP software stacks in the chip, it consumes 0.5% of the resources as compared to traditional Wi-Fi and only requires 6KB Flash and 3KB RAM. The company claims it can be ported to a new MCU within hoursthanks to its standard …

Xibo Digital Signage in Raspberry Pi Emulator (Step 1)

Xibo (pronounced eX-E-bO) is an open source, multi-display, multi-zone, fully scheduled digital signage client/server solution written in Python and dotNET. If you are not familiar with Xibo you can visit http://xibo.org.uk/ or/and read my introduction XIBO: An Open Source Digital Signage Server/Client. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost board based on Broadcom BCM2835 (ARM1176 Core) that should be available for sale at the end of January / beginning of February at http://www.raspberrypi.com. There are two versions of the board: Model A: 128 MB RAM and no Ethernet Model B: 256 MB RAM with 10/100 Mbit Ethernet BCM 2835 also features a Videocore GPU supporting OpenGL and 1080p30 video decoding that makes it ideal for multimedia applications such as digital signage players. The board support both HDMI and composite video output. You should also be able to connect a LCD via the DSI interface. If we can make Xibo run on Raspberry Pi, we would have a low cost digital …


Cross-compiling libavg 1.7 for ARM on Debian

libavg is a high-level development platform for media-centric applications using Python as scripting language and written in C++ and I’ve already written a post to cross-compile libavg 1.6 in Ubuntu (with linaro cross toolchain) and using Beagleboard qemu image. Since I’ve doing some preparation work to have software running on the Raspberry Pi and that the latter won’t support Ubuntu, I’ve had to cross-compile it again. This time, I’ve found a cleaner way to do the cross-compilation with dpkg-cross and xapt tools which can load the required armel package to the arm toolchain. Those tools really make life easy, as previously (a few years ago), I would have had to cross-compile all dependencies manually. Here are the steps I followed: Install Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain and Tools in Debian. Download libavg 1.7 source code Extract it Install the following armel development packages: sudo /usr/share/pdebuild-cross/xapt -a armel libpango1.0-dev libavformat-dev libavcodec-dev libswscale-dev python2.6-dev libboost-python-dev libboost-thread-dev libglu-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libgtk2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libsdl-dev libxml2-dev libxxf86vm-dev …

Android and Tizen on Intel Medfield Atom Z2460 (Video Interview)

Intel announced the MedField Soc (Atom Z2460) targeted at smartphones and tablet and showcased a smartphone reference design running Android based on this platform. Mike Bell GM of Intel’s Mobile Communications Groups (MCG) has been interviewed by EETimes. He talks about Intel entry into the mobile phone market and explains that MedField boasts similar power consumption than top competitors with better performance (3 to 4 times faster in some web browser benchmark). He mainly talks on what they have done to port Android on the platform (and shows Angry Bird a lot) and what you may expect in the future. He also quickly mentioned Tizen. Here’s the original EETimes’ article.

Samsung Merges Bada OS With Tizen

Samsung has announced that it was merging Bada operating system with the new Tizen project (Linux OS with HTML5 API) at CES 2012.  The work has already started, but Samsung did not provide any estimated completion date. If you have been developing Bada applications, the good news is that Tizen will support mobile applications written with bada’s SDK (software development kit) and previously published bada apps will be backwards compatible. Bada and Tizen developers will be given the same software tools (SDKs and APIs) so that if you know how to program in Bada, you will also be able to make Tizen apps. Samsung expects Tizen will be used in entry-level smartphone powered by single core processors as well as other devices targeted by Tizen such as tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) devices. One or two Tizen devices should be released in 2012, and the company said it. In some ways, Samsung kills Bada, and renames it …

Resize a VirtualBox VDI Image in Windows XP/7

I had a VDI image set to 8GB that was nearly full and re-sized it to 16 GB with the following command: “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe” modifyhd  “C:\Documents and Settings\Jean-Luc\VirtualBox VMs\Debian 6.0.3\Debian 6.0.3.vdi” –resize 16384 16384 is the new virtual harddisk size in MB (16 GB). This will increase the size of the Virtual disk. However, it won’t increase the size of the partition in your virtual disk. You have then 2 solutions: Create a new partition with the extra free space Use Gparted Live ISO image to increase the size of your current partition.


Ubuntu TV Works on OMAP4 Pandaboard

Ricardo Salveti, Software Engineer at Canonical,  has written a blog post saying that Ubuntu TV now support full video hardware acceleration on the Pandaboard, TI OMAP 4 low cost development board. A demo of Ubuntu TV on the ARM platform with Ubuntu TV UI and 720p/1080p video playback can be seen in the video below. Pandaboard is the first ARM platform that can fully run Ubuntu TV. If you have a Pandaboard, you can try it out by installing the packages available at Linaro’s Overlay PPA. Qt and Qtmobility are not there yet (Patches are available at https://github.com/robclark/qtmobility-1.1.0), but he said they would be soon. The source code for Ubuntu TV is available at https://code.launchpad.net/~s-team/ubuntutv/trunk  

Installing Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain in Debian

I had previously installed Sourcery G++ ARM Linux toolchain in Ubuntu to build some software running in Debian, but I encountered some issues with some libraries (libavg) that use gethostbyname in static libraries without any easy way to make it dynamic. In that case, the library in the rootfs and cross-compiler must match.  So I decided to install Debian Squeeze (6.0.3) and the corresponding cross-toolchain by Emdebian (short for Embedded Debian). First to use this toolchain, add the URL to get Emdebian packages to /etc/apt/sources.list: # # — Emdebian cross toolchains # deb http://www.emdebian.org/debian/ squeeze main Then install Emdebian public key: apt-get install emdebian-archive-keyring apt-get update If you don’t install the key, you’ll get the following error: W: GPG error: http://www.emdebian.org squeeze Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY B5B7720097BB3B58 Search and install packages for the architecture that you need, in this case ‘armel’: apt-cache search armel This command will return a …