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Posts Tagged ‘amlogic’

Amlogic T962E SoC Powers $55 Alfawise H96 Mini TV Box with HDMI Input, HDMI Output

October 25th, 2017 19 comments

HDMI input can be a useful addition to Android TV boxes, or media centers, as they allow for functions such as PiP (Picture in Picture), PVR/DVR  (Personal / Digital Video Recording), and potentially video broadcasting with the box taking input from your set-top box (or other HDMI device), and broadcasting the video over your network in order to make it accessible to other computer or mobile devices on your home network, or the Internet.

We started to see HDMI input on devices powered by Mstar MSO9810 processor a few years, and more recently Realtek RTD1295 processor has become more popular with products such as Zidoo X9S, Beelink SEA I, or EWEAT R9 Plus.

Amlogic appears to have joined the fray with Amlogic T962E processor, a family normally used for TVs instead of TV boxes, found in Alfawise H96 mini 4K TV box with HDMI In and Out, 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash.

H96 Mini specifications [Updated based on comments]:

  • SoC – Amlogic T962E quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with ARM Mali-450 MP3 (GearBest says Mali-T820MP3)
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Video I/F –  HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, CEC, and HDCP 2.2 support, HDMI 2.0 input, AV port (composite)
  • Audio I/F – HDMI In/Out, AV port (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF
  • Video Playback – 4K HDR; 10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, VP9 Profile 2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, H.264 up to 4K @ 30 Hz, H.263, MPEG-4 codecs
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – TBD
  • Power Supply –  TBD
  • Dimensions – 10 x 10 x 1.9 cm
  • Weight – 130 grams

The device runs Android 7.1, and ships with a power adapter, a remote control, a HDMI cable, and an English user manual.

While Amlogic T962 is listed on Amlogic website, T962E is not, and provided the info on GearBest is correct, it appears to be a bit different with a least the GPU being Mali-T820MP3 instead of Mali-450MP3. The solution is quite not as powerful as RTD1295 since it lacks Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and SATA interfaces.

You’d think that with a fairly unique feature such as HDMI input, even claiming “the only one with HDMI IN / HDMI OUT”, that they’d explain the capabilities of the port, but nothing. Worse case it’s just a mostly useless built-in HDMI switcher, and best case, it rivals Realtek feature set with PiP, DVR and video broadcasting features. We could assume it support DVR since it’s likely derived from a TV SoC, but honestly we just don’t know. I’ll try to see if I can find more info.

What we know for sure is that the price is much cheaper, with H96 Mini selling for just $54.99 on GearBest with coupon GBH96MINI.

Via AndroidPC.es

Amlogic S805X Processor is Designed for Low Cost TV Boxes with 1080p H.264, H.265 and VP9 Video Support

September 20th, 2017 8 comments

The low end of the TV box market is now highly competitive with Rockchip and Amlogic battling to offer the cheapest solutions available, as we’ve seen in a recent factory price list of TV boxes with RK3229 based devices selling for as low as $17.8, and Amlogic S905W based boxes going for $17.5 and up (per unit) for orders of 200 pieces. Amlogic has been working on an even lower cost SoC with Amlogic S805X based on four Cortex A53 cores, the same Mali-450MP GPU, but no 4K support, and instead H.264, H.265 and VP9 video decoding up to 1080p60, as I found out in a document shared on Amlogic Open Linux website.

Amlogic 805X will be quite similar to Amlogic S905X and S905D with the same CPU by clocked at a lower 1.2 GHz frequency, the same penta-core GPU, TrustZone support, and Fast Ethernet. The main difference is that in order to lower costs, they limited the multimedia capabilities to 1080p video decoding, and 1080p video output. Those last two actually make it more similar to Amlogic S805 SoC, but instead of a four Cortex A5 32-bit cores, S805X comes with more powerful Cortex A53 64-bit cores, and VP9 support was added to S805X.

The processor is likely be used in both Android and Linux TV boxes, as the company’s Mbox P241 reference platform / development board based on S805X SoC, comes with either 512MB DDR3 or 1GB DDR4, coupled with eMMC flash, and an AP6255 wireless module supporting 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

I’ve yet to see any S805X TV boxes, even on Alibaba, but I’d expect them to sell retail for around $20 including shipping. The processor could also be an interesting choice for low cost development boards, competing against Allwinner H5 solutions.

Amlogic A111, A112 & A113 Processors are Designed for Audio Applications, Smart Speakers

September 9th, 2017 6 comments

Amlogic processors are mostly found in TVs and TV boxes, but the company is now apparently entering a new market with A111, A112, and A113 audio processors. I was first made aware of those new processors through Buildroot OpenLinux Release Notes V20170831.pdf document posted on their Open Linux website, where two boards with Amlogic A113D and A113X are shown.

S400 Version 03 Board

First, S400 board with the following key features/specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic A113D CPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 512MB SLC NAND flash
  • Display I/F – MIPI interface
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet SDIO WiFi/BT (AP6356S)
  • Audio
    • SPDIF_IN/SPDIF_OUT
    • LINE_IN/LINE_OUT
    • 2x Audio headers (MIC_Connector & SPK_Connector)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG
  • Expansion – 2x PCIe ports
  • Misc – 6x ADC Keys, IR_IN/IR_OUT, UART Interface (RS232)

The second S420 board is based on A113X SoC, and comes with less features (no display, no Ethernet, no PCIe…), less memory:

  • SoC – Amlogic A113X CPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 512MB SLC NAND flash
  • Connectivity – SDIO WiFi/BT (AP6356S)
  • Audio
    • SPDIF_IN
    • LINE_IN/LINE_OUT
    • 2x Audio headers (MIC_Connector & SPK_Connector)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG
  • Misc – 6x ADC Keys, IR_IN/IR_OUT, UART Interface (RS232)

The document also explains how to build Linux built with buildroot (you’ll need an Amlogic account), and use audio via applications or frameworks such as aplay, gstreamer, alsaplayer, shairport (Airplay), VLC, DLNA, etc…

Information about Amlogic A113X/A113D processor is lacking on the web, but I eventually found that Amlogic had a YouTube account with now a whopping two subscribers (including yours truly), and one of the two videos was an Alexa voice services demo on Amlogic A113 with what looks like a microphone array inserted on the top of the board.

Further research led me to a page in Chinese discussing Amlogic A111, A112, A113 audio processors, and revealing that Xiaomi AI smart speaker is based on Amlogic A112 quad core Cortex A53 processor, that also shows up in GeekBench running Android 6.0. They also report that A113 features the same four Cortex 53 cores, but has better audio capabilities with 8x PDM interfaces, and 16x I2S interfaces. I also found a page about a microphone array designed for Amlogic S905/S912/A112, and based on Knowles SPH0645LM4H-B miniature microphones .

Finally, I decided to go directly to Amlogic website, and they do have pages for A111 and A112 SoCs, strangely not indexed by search engines so far.

Amlogic A111 key features:

  • CPU – Quad-core ARM Cortex-A5
  • Audio Interface
    • 2-channel I2S input and output
    • TDM/PCM input and output, up to 8 channels
    • S/PDIF output
  • Video Interface – LVDS and MIPI-DSI panel output
  • Security – Supports secure boot and secure OS
  • Ethernet – 10/100/1000M MAC
  • IP License (Optional) – Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Digital Surround, DTS HD, DTS Express
  • Process – 28nm HKMG

Amlogic A112 key features:

  • CPU – Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53
  • Audio Interface
    • 8-channel I2S and S/PDIF input and output
    • TDM/PCM input and output, up to 8 channels
    • 2-channel PDM input
  • Video Interface – RGB888 output
  • Security – Supports secure boot and secure OS
  • Ethernet – 10/100M MAC+PHY
  • IP License(Optional) – Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Digital Surround, DTS HD, DTS Express
  • Process – 28nm HKMG

If you are interested in evaluating / playing with those processors, and cannot get hold of Amlogic boards (since they only deal with companies), one solution is to get Xiaomi AI smart speaker available for pre-order/arrival notice on sites likes GearBest or GeekBuying, and expected to ship on October 1st.

Thanks to vertycall for the tip.

X96 Mini Amlogic S905W Android TV Box Sells for $25 and Up

August 24th, 2017 17 comments

Last week, we discovered Amlogic S905W processor through Tanix TX3 Mini TV box, with the processor maxing out at 4K @ 30 Hz in order to provide cost-competitive solutions, for example against Rockchip RK3229 TV boxes. However, at the time, the price was not that attractive. Prices have come down quickly, as Tanix TX3 Mini can be purchased for about $29 with 1GB RAM /16GB flash, and $32 with 2GB RAM/ 16 GB flash using coupon PYNNHDAH. X96 Mini is an even cheaper option as the Amlogic S905W is sold for as low as $24.99 shipped on Banggood.

X96 mini TV box specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905W quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 or 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, AV port (composite + stereo audio)
  • Video Codecs – [email protected] H.265 [email protected]L5.1, [email protected] VP9 Profile-2, MPEG1/2/4, H.264, HD AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6 , RealVideo8/9/10
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (No Bluetooth)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports: 1x host, 1x device (OTG?)
  • Misc – IR receiver, IR expansion port
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 82 x 82 x 17mm

 

X96 Mini can be cheaper than Tanix TX3 because it comes with less internal storage (8GB vs 16GB), they’ve done without optical S/PDIF audio output, and the device is smaller. The box runs Android 7.1.2, and ships with an HDMI cable, a remote control, an IR remote control, a power adapter, user’s manual, and just like the older X96 TV box,  some mounting kit with “magic tape” in order to hook the device behind the TV. A photo of the board has also been provided, sop we can look a more details about the design:

Click to Enlarge

  1. The IR port is marked IR/COAX, so I suspect it can also be used as a coaxial S/PDIF output port
  2. An 8GB Samsung KLM8G1GEME-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash is used which means they’ve used the best 8GB Samsung flash available with 185/40 MB/s sequential R/W speed, and 5.2K/2.5K R/W IOPS, meaning performance should be decent at all times. The 16GB should be even faster, if they’ve used the same eMMC 5.1 family.
  3. The WiFi chipset reads something like 5V6051P… I have no idea what brand or model that is…

The 2GB/16GB version of X96 mini is sold for $34.99, that’s about $2 more than the equivalent Tanix TX3 price. You’ll also find both X96 Mini models on Aliexpress.

As a side note, Banggood is organizing a promotion for their 11th Anniversary, and while I have not been able to find any big discount myself, but just around 5% off compared to normal price, you may be luckier.

As a second side note, Amlogic S805X – 4x Cortex A53 limited to 1080p – is also coming, as I learned via Stane1983’s rant about the latest Amlogic Android SDK…

Via AndroidPC.es

How to Use Octoprint on Orange Pi Lite Board, Amlogic S905X and S912 TV Boxes

July 11th, 2017 15 comments

Karl here. This was article originally going to be how to setup Octoprint 3D printer server on an Orange Pi Lite. But after looking and running through the instructions it seemed like it would be too much so I created an img to simplify things. I also explored running Octoprint on an Amlogic S905x or S912 device and it turned out to be an even better solution. You get a case, power supply, and eMMC flash storage.

What is Octoprint?

I use Octoprint mainly for its ability to start and stop prints without having to use an sd card. Time lapse is also a nice feature. And one last thing is that I setup a pushbullet notification when it is complete. For a full list of features check out http://octoprint.org/.

What is needed?

Orange Pi Lite Kit – Click to Enlarge

Octoprint Setup

Common Instructions

  • Download Orange Pi Lite img from here and Amlogic img from here.
  • Burn to your micro SD card with Win32DiskImager, dd, or Etcher..

Credentials

Login: root password: octoprint
Login: cnx password: cnx

Hostname

Orange Pi Lite: orangeocto.local
Amlogic: amlogicocto.local

Amlogic Instructions

  1. Boot and find the update app
  2. Click Select
  3. Choose the aml_autoscript.zip
  4. Click Update
  5. Then Update again
  6. Once it boots log in with root and run “sudo /root/install.sh”
  7. Now we need to see if WiFi is working. Run “nmtui”. This should be self explanatory, and if you see your access point stop. Don’t bother to connect. Exit run “shutdown” wait for it shutdown, remove the SD card, and pull the power and power back on. You can skip the next few steps in this section.
  8. If you did not see your access point exit out of “nmtui” and run the command “sudo modprobe wifi_dummy” repeat looking for access point in step 7.
  9. If you still don’t see your access point run the command “sudo modprobe dhd” repeat looking for the access point in step 7.
  10. If you have to modprobe either to get wifi working once you boot from the internal storage log in with root and run the command “sudo nano /etc/rc.local” and add your “sudo modprobe xxxxxx“ command before exit 0. Cntrl X then y then enter to exit nano and save. Reboot and continue.

Orange Pi Lite Instructions

  1. Connect a keyboard and connect to a monitor or tv
  2. Login with root
  3. Run the command “sudo cfdisk /dev/mmcblk0”
  4. Delete /dev/mmcblk0p1 with the arrow keys
  5. Make a new one and it should fill in the full size of your sd card.
  6. Then finally write. It will prompt you are you sure and type out yes.
  7. Arrow over to quit and enter.
  8. Reboot with the command “sudo reboot” and wait for the Orange Pi to reboot.
  9. Log back in with root and run the command “sudo resize2fs /dev/mmcblk0p1
  10. Reboot again with the command “sudo reboot” and wait for the Orange Pi to reboot.

Remaining Octoprint detup instructions common to all devices

  1. Log back in and run the command “nmtui” to connect to your network. This should be self explanatory. After connecting to wifi if you choose to set a static IP address quit and go back in to nmtui and edit the connection to set the IP address. When setting the IP address suffix the IP address with a /24 to denote a 255.255.255.0 subnet mask
  2. Finally quit and run the command “shutdown” and wait for it to turn off.
  3. Move the Octoprint server and connect to your printer.
  4. To log in open your browser and navigate to http://x.x.x.x:5000 or orangeocto.local:5000 or amlogicocto.local:5000.
  5. Run through the setup it is self explanatory and in settings add /home/pi/OctoPrint/ as your git update path.

Notes

I really recommend setting static IP addresses through your router if it has the ability. Or you can use the .local address above if you have zeroconf/avahi on your machines .

I also recommend the Amlogic server. You get a board, enclosure, power supply, and eMMC flash to run off of. You still need an SD card to get started, but it is not permanent. I ran into trouble on Orange Pi Lite, but it does work. I think the Orange Pi Lite board I received is flakey.

You have a lot of headroom on these to provide other services, e.g.. home automation, media server with no transcoding, NAS, Minecraft server, or anything else that runs on Linux.

Big thanks to balbes for making Linux work,  Jean-Luc, and Armbian forum members who tested Orange Pi Lite version.

Tested on

  • X96 1/8 S905X with wifi dummy
  • X96 2/16 S905X with wifi dummy
  • Tanix TX 5 Pro S905X with dhd
  • Yoka KB2 S912 with wifi dummy

It looks like Realtek (RTLxxxx) WiFi chips need the wifi dummy, and Ampak (apxxxx) chips need the dhd.

Cura

Cura 2.6 came out just just recently with the ability to connect directly to Octoprint. It is really cool feature.

To setup login to octoprint and grab API key.

Then open Cura 2.6 and go to manage printers. Highlight printer and press Connect Octoprint.

Add an Octoprint instance, set preferences, and input API key.

Now you can start prints directly from Cura and monitor prints.

Click to Enlarge

I would really like to thank Gearbest for sending the Orange Pi Lite board, power supply, and SD card, as well as Amlogic boxes and 3D printers from previous reviews. If you decide to do this project yourself, please think about ordering from Gearbest through our links. It helps us out to continue to experiment with different hardware and provide these articles.

Khadas Vim Amlogic S905X Development Board Gets Android 7.1 Firmware and SDK

March 22nd, 2017 1 comment

Khadas Vim is a development board powered by Amlogic S905X quad core processor that officially supports Ubuntu 16.04, OpenELEC and Android 6.0. Shenzhen Wesion Technology , the maker of the board, has now released Android 7.1 firmware image and SDK for the board.

Click to Enlarge

As we’ve seen before Amlogic Android 7.1 SDK still relies on Linux 3.14.29, but Linux 4.4 is also in the works.

If you want to give it a try on your board, download Vim_Nougat_170321.7z directly, or from the firmware download page. The current image installs to the eMMC flash via USB or a bootable micro SD card (Windows methods only), so it will wipe whatever OS you have already on the board.

The firmware is based on the features of their Android 6.0.1 image, but upgraded to Android 7.1.1 with Chrome and Gapps (for Google Play Store support).

Source code for the Android 7.1 SDK can be found via several repositories on Khadas Github account. Once the manifest file is updated, you should be able to follow the instructions to build Android for Khadas Vim board in order to build your own Android 7.1 image from source.

Android 7.1 Nougat on Amlogic TV Boxes – A First Quick Look

March 14th, 2017 18 comments

Last year, we found out that Amlogic was working on Linux 4.4, possibly for their Android 7.0 Nougat SDK. As a developer who signed all relevant NDAs, Stane1983 has now been working on Amlogic Android 7.0 for a few day, and reported some of his findings.

First Amlogic source code is based on Android 7.1.1 R6 (NMF26Q), but still with Linux 3.14.29, possibly because Mali-T830 GPU drivers are still r11p0, and Linux 4.4 may come later. One good thing is that the Nougat SDK supports 64-bit Android OS instead of the 32-bit Android we are all currently using in our TV boxes. A not-so-good news is that internal storage partitions have changed, which means most current TV boxes are unlikely to get an update, becau it may not be possible to perform OTA updated, and instead would require an updated via Amlogic USB burning tool.

Click to Enlarge

But let’s look at the user interface and settings. The default launcher has not changed, but if you click on the Settings icon, the Settings will appear on the right of the screen. Note that this only work with the default launcher, other launchers will not be able to open Settings that way, at least in the current version of the SDK, and there are some inconsistency in the way settings are displayed with some shown “Android Marshmallow style”. Hopefully those issues will be addressed before reaching end-users.

Another new mysterious new feature is “Upgrade bluetoothremote”, which asks you to select a Bluetooth device, but it’s unclear whether it is for smartphones, or Bluetooth remote control will start selling with TV boxes.

The normal Android 7.0 Settings app will open from the app drawer, i.e. it will work with any launcher, but currently sub menus will crash, so it still needs some work.

The default browser is Browser2, basically WebView component tester. Not exactly ideal, but Nougat does not come with a browser by default, so you’ll need to install your preferred one, or maybe the manufacturers will add it themselves to their firmware.

Media playback still have some issues, but Stane did not test into details saying to “wait for CNX to get one of boxes with Nougat installed”. I guess that must be me, and I have some work to do once it is released :).

Developers will also need to be aware the way to handle remote control codes has changed. The /system/etc/remote.conf is gone, and instead Amlogic defines the codes in a specific DTSI (Device tree) file  for remote code that includes definition for 3 remotes and starts with:

It looks to be the standard way IR remote controls are handled in mainline Linux kernel, at least the top section, but it may not be so common to declare maps within a DTSI file…

Finally, Stane could also update Amlogic SDK to Android-7.1.1_r26 (NOF27C) instead of r6 (NMF26Q), so developers can always make sure the latest minor version and security patchsets are included. Based on his feedback, it may still take a few weeks or months before we see Amlogic S9xx devices sold with Android 7.0.

Mainline Linux on 64-bit ARM Amlogic SoCs, and TV Boxes such as Wetek Hub / Player 2, NEXBOX A1 / A95X, etc…

March 6th, 2017 30 comments

We’ve already seen Neil Armstrong, part of BayLibre, worked on adding Amlogic SoC (S905/S905X/S912) to mainline Linux via our virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2017. But at the time, although we could see some activity in Linux 4.10 including support for Nexbox A95X and Nexbox A1, they did provide that much details the work that had been done, but since then, ELC 2017 videos have been released, and BayLibre wrote a short post about 3D Graphics support in mainline Linux.

Click to Enlarge

We can see that I/Os, USB host, composite video output, Ethernet, eMMC/SDIO, and PSCI and SCPI features have already been added to Linux 4.10. but some important features have not yet including HDMI, Mali support, Audio, and high speed eMMC modes. HDMI is actually planned for Linux 4.12, which could be released in about 18 weeks if we keep the 10 weeks kernel release schedule we had in the past. WeTek Hub and Play 2 devices tree files have been submitted for Linux 4.11. Beside TV boxes, development boards such as ODROID-C2 and Khadas Vim will also be supported and benefit from this work.

While Mali is not supported in mainline Linux yet, the patchsets for Mali-450 GPU are available on github in order to enable 3D graphics acceleration in Amlogic S905, S905X and S905X. If you are interested to get more details, you may want to watch Neil Armstrong presentation at ELC 2017 which explains the status of Amlogic Linux before working on mainline, the work achieved, the work in progress, and an overview of the community.

You may also want to download the presentation slides for an overview of the talk, and check out linux-meson.com and BayLibre blog for future updates.

Thanks to Space Invader, theguyuk, and Harley for the tips.