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Posts Tagged ‘amlogic’

AMLogic Releases U-Boot and Updated Linux Kernel Source Code

November 22nd, 2012 14 comments

AMLogic released kernel 3.0.8 source code for AML8726-MX a few months ago, and yesterday they provided an updated tarballs with the kernel, and for the first time, AFAIK, released the source code for U-Boot.

There are 4 new files apparently generated from the (internal) git repository in AMLogic:

  • common-2012-11-20-git-b687495906.tar.gz  (108M) – This is the same kernel 3.0.8 release has last time, but with updated code.
  • m1-kernel-android-2012-11-20-git-5d0f6b8e93.tar.gz (103M) – This looks like an older kernel 2.6 for AML8726-M1 only.
  • uboot-master-2012-11-20-git-9b50e9a295.tar.gz (16M) – U-Boot 2010.06 possibly to use with the older 2.6 kernel. Only for M1 & M3 platforms.
  • uboot-next-2012-11-20-git-b0e532795a.tar.gz (40M) – U-Boot 2011.03 for use with M3 and M6 platforms.

I’ve already explained how to build the kernel in the previous post, so I’ll focus on U-Boot this time.

Ubuntu 12.04 arm-linux-gnueabi- toolchain fails to build U-Boot (uboot-next), so you’ll have to install Sourcery toolchain instead:

wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com/download/linux/ARM/gnutools/arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2
tar xjvf arm-2010q1-188-arm-none-eabi-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2

You’ll also need the ARC toolchain, and you’ll have to build it from source (Unless you still use Ubuntu 9.04) since there are no binary packages. First download the source code:

wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/arc-linux/files/ARC%20GNU%20Toolchain/ARC%20GNU%204.4/arc_gcc_rel4.4.tar.gz/download -O arc_gcc_rel4.4.tar.gz
tar xzvf arc_gcc_rel4.4.tar.gz
cd arc_gcc_rel4.4

Install some dependencies:

Build the ARC elf32 toolchain:

Where ARC_GNU is the path where you extract the ARC toolchain source code, and INSTALLDIR your chosen installation directory. After a while, the ARC toolchain should be installed in ~/edev/amlogic/arc-4.4-elf32 (INSTALLDIR). Add both Sourcery and ARC elf32toolchains to your path:

Extract the source code, and get a list of supported platform:

The listed directories correspond to the list of supported platforms. I used uboot-next in the example above, but the method is the same for uboot-master. I haven’t looked into the details and differences of each platform.

Finally select one platform to start the build, for example:

After a few minutes, U-Boot binary should be in build/u-boot.bin. To find out how to use it with the board, further reading in Amlogic U-Boot page should be helpful.

Via: J1nx Hackable Gadgets

Crowdfunding Initiative to Open AMLogic AML8726-M3 STB Source Code

October 31st, 2012 22 comments

J1nx (Peter Steenbergen) has spend a lot of time together with XBMC developers to try to bring XBMC (Linux) to ARM based set-top boxes, and initially AllWinner A10 processor seemed like a good candidate, unfortunately due to the lack of proper video engine libraries for Linux, progress on this SoC has been extremely slow. Then when Pivos and XBMC announced Pivos Xios DS set-top box based on AMLogic aml8726-M(1) would support XBMC natively, and the kernel and bootlooader (u-boot) source code was made available both on Pivos github account and AMLogic open source website, AML8726 series of processors appeared to be an ideal solution for this purpose.

Instead of AML8726-M (aka AML8726-M1) which is limited to 512 MB, it was decided instead to use a faster processor AML8726-M3 that supports 1 GB RAM. The STB of choice is based on “MBX – f16ref” which should be some kind of development board. You would think that since a lot of source code is already it should be feasible to simply use the existing source to run it on this hardware. However, some hardware config files (e.g. def_config) are missing, and attempts to reverse-engineer the configuration has failed. This is mainly a problem for u-boot, and to lesser extend for Linux.

This is why j1nx has decided to contact several Chinese manufacturers who would be willing to release the full source code for their STB based on AML8726-M3. After several week, he managed to find one, but there’s a condition: ordering 500 pieces. This is where crowdfunding comes into play with “Open up the AMLogic box” campaign on Indiegogo, where you can either donate or commit funds to buy a STB with the following specs:

  • Amlogic-8726M3 Cortex A9, CPU Max 1GHz.
  • Mali-400 GPU
  • 1 GB memory
  • 4 GB flash storage
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100Mbps LAN
  • 2 USB
  • Cardreader slot
  • Coaxial Jack / Optical Socket / HDMI Socket
  • Remote control

Getting the box via Indiegogo will cost $99. You may think it is expensive, but since it is imported into Europe, it will already include VAT, import duties and shipping. With taxes around 35%, this is equivalent to $74 if you buy through websites such as Aliexpress and Dealextreme assuming individual buyers also pay VAT and import duties. It may also be the small price to pay to get a better XBMC ARM Linux media player.

If the campaign is successful, you’ll get the following:

  • The Set Top Box with external wifi antenna
  • A populated UART connector on the inside
  • FULL software build system
  • Linux kernel sources and drivers
  • The U-Boot bootloader system sources including the proper def_config file.

The UART board (debug board) can be connected the same way as it is in the Mele A1000/A2000, and no soldering is involved.

If you have questions/comments, you can post them below or directly in j1nx’s blog.

Droid Stick A2 – AMLogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Android 4.1.1 mini PC

October 10th, 2012 45 comments

Since it was first announced in August, Rockchip RK3066 dual core mini PCs have been popping up everywhere, and AFAIK those are currently the only low cost (sub $100) dual core Android TV Sticks available. But according to a recent Kimdecent announcement, this is about to change with the release of the Droid Stick A2 based on AMLogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM and 4 to 8 GB Flash running Android Jelly Bean.

Kimdecent Droid Stick A2

Here are Droid Stick A2 specifications:

  • CPU – Amlogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz
  • GPU – Mali400 Dual Core, 2D/ 3D/ OpenGL ES2.0/ OpenVG1.1.
  • System Memory – 1 GB RAM
  • Storage – 4/8 GB Nand Flash + microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • WiFi – 802.11b/g/n
  • Video Output – HDMI (1080P)
  • Video Decoding – Supports up to  [email protected]
  • Video Encoding – Supports encoding in H.264. [email protected], [email protected]
  • USB – 1xUSB 2.0, 1x Mini USB
  • Misc. ports – 1xMic, 1x Infra receiver port

For Linux lovers this device should potentially be a much better option than Rockchip RK3066 since AMLogic did release the kernel source for their dual core processor, and native (Linux and Android) XBMC support should be possible, unless there is much difference between AML8726-M3 and AML8726-MX on the video decoding front.

The device is not yet listed on Kimdecent aliexpress shop, as the device is in the final stages of development and should be available within 2 to 3 weeks. No pricing information is available at this time.

$86 ZAP-A10 Android 4.0 Set-Top Box Powered by AMLogic AML8726-M3

August 27th, 2012 15 comments

You may already know that XBMC has been working on the Pivox XIOS DS set-top box based on AMLogic AML8726-M3. Pivosgroup has sponsored the development of XBMC for Android and Linux on their new media player, and it costs about $115 on sites like Amazon, but it’s not available worldwide right now.

If you’re looking for an alternative AMLogic AML8726-M3 device, and are a bit adventurous, you may have a look at the ZAP-A10, an Android 4.0 networked media player featuring AML8726-M3 Cortex A9 processor, with 1GB RAM and 4 GB Flash.

ZAP-A10 / GV-12 Android Media Player

ZAP-A10 Android Media Player

Here are the specs of this set-top box:

  • SoC – Single core Cortex A9 @ 1GHz (AML8726-M3) with Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB Flash & SD card slot
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 4x USB Host port
  • Video Output – HDMI and component (YPbPr)
  • Video Containers – M2TS / RM/RMVB / BD-ISO / AVI / MPG / VOB / DAT / ASF / TRP / FLV etc.
  • Audio Codecs – MP3 / OGG / WMA / WMAPRO
  • Dimensions – 11.6 cm x 11.6 cm x 2.7 cm
  • Weight – 274 g

The player is sold with an IR Remote control, a 12V/1.5A (TBC) power adapter, 1 component (YPbPr) cable, 1 audio cable (RCA) and a user manual in Chinese and English. This device features are similar to the ones for Mele A1000 except it comes with more memory, features component output & one more USB port, but does not feature a SATA port. I also do not know if debug port (JTAG/Serial) are easily accessible.

Dealextreme only mentions a Cortex A9 processor, not the exact processor used, but I asked on their forums, and one person who bought one reported that it is indeed an AML8726-M3. After further research, I found what is apparently the same product, but called GV-12 on Aliexpress, uses AML8726-M3. The seller on Aliexpress (Eny Technology) also appears to be the manufacturer, and could can check more details about the GV-12 on their site.

If you want to play around AMLogic AML8726 single core devices (M1 and M3 processors), you could check out AMLogic OpenLinux ARM Wiki , Pivosgroup github repositories and/or consult Pivos XIOS DS forums. Even if this platform is similar to Pivos XIOS DS, it does not mean all Pivos software (especially Linux/ U-Boot) will work on the Zap-A10/GV-12, and If you just want to use XBMC, you’d probably better stick to the Pivos STB, at least for now.

ZAP-10 media player sells for $86.40 on Dealextreme including shipping.

More AMLogic AML8726-MX Source Code Released by Ainol

August 25th, 2012 21 comments

Last week, I found out that AMLogic released the kernel source code for AML8726-MX, its dual core Cortex A9 processor, but this code is only for the “common” platform, and some source code specific to tablets or media players is missing (e.g. some drivers). But today, Ainol released the source code for the Ainol Novo 7 Elf II and Aurora II tablet, both of which are based on on AML8726-M6 dual core processor:

The files are pretty big, and the download very slow on my side (“1 day, 16 hours remaining”), so I’ll probably have to give up. I assume “fards” will import the source code into a new repo in his github account. Anyway, this potentially makes AMLogic AML8726-MX a very interesting development platform, although we’ll have to see if the bootloader source code is released, and what kind of multimedia libraries (GPU: OpenGL ES| Video Decoder/Encoder) for Android and Linux will be released.

I haven’t been able to look into this code (obviously since it’s still downloading), but I’m expecting to get the source code for the LCD display(s), touch screen, HDMI drivers and more. HDMI drivers are especially interesting for media player development, and hardware platforms such as Geniatech ATV1200 or ATV1600 might hopefully become hackable like the Mele A1000 with AllWinner A10.

Via: Ainol BBS

AMLogic Releases AML8726-MX Linux 3.0.8 Source Code

August 18th, 2012 29 comments

While doing a Google search to locate the open Linux page of AMLogic, I noticed another link reading “Amlogic AML8726-MX Linux kernel code released“. Interesting. So AMLogic appears to have released the kernel source code for their latest dual core Cortex A9 processor at the beginning of August and the tarball is available from their open source site:  kernel-common-2012-08-03-git-a63244fb9c.tar.gz.

A github user (fards) also imported the code to github, but he’s not affiliated with AMLogic, so don’t expect commits from AMLogic there. Let’s retrieve it:

AML8726-MX is codenamed MESON6 in the source code, and the code is in arch/arm/mach-meson6/, but let’s see if we can find a config file in arch/arm/configs. Yes! There are 4:

  • meson6_android_defconfig – Android config file (Single core)
  • meson6_defconfig – Linux config file (Single core) all Android config disabled.
  • meson6smp_android_defconfig – Android config file with smp (symmetric multiprocessing) support
  • meson6smp_defconfig – Config file with smp (symmetric multiprocessing) support, Android stuffs enabled, but no touchscreen support…

The descriptions are my guesses based on the file names and a quick look and the configs.

Since ARM8726-MX is a dual core processor, and it’s no fun using the single core version, let’s try  meson6smp_defconfig:

The warnings mean we won’t have access to some board config and drivers specific to AMLogic’s customer board, but we should still be able to build the kernel with one of AMLogic reference platforms.

There are 2 Meson6 boards available in menuconfig:

  • Meson6 socket board
  • Meson6 reference board

I have no idea what those are, so let’s carry on with the default setting (Meson6 socket board).

I first tried to build with Linaro toolchain, but this failed with :

arch/arm/mach-meson6/hotplug.c:18:20: error: inlining failed in call to always_inline âmeson_set_cpu_ctrl_regâ: function body not available

which appears to be a bug in gcc-4.7. So I’ve used the toolchain provided on openlinux.amlogic.com (Code Sourcery G++) instead:

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=~/amlogic/arm-2010q1/bin/arm-none-linux-gnueabi- -j 12 uImage
...
UIMAGE  arch/arm/boot/uImage
Image Name:   Linux-3.0.8-g42697c8
Created:      Sat Aug 18 18:14:00 2012
Image Type:   ARM Linux Kernel Image (lzma compressed)
Data Size:    2943441 Bytes = 2874.45 kB = 2.81 MB
Load Address: 80008000
Entry Point:  80008000
Image arch/arm/boot/uImage is ready

Great, the kernel builds fine. Let’s complete this by building and installing the modules:

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=~/amlogic/arm-2010q1/bin/arm-none-linux-gnueabi- -j12 INSTALL_MOD_PATH=build_modules modules
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=~/amlogic/arm-2010q1/bin/arm-none-linux-gnueabi- -j12 INSTALL_MOD_PATH=build_modules modules_install

Those last steps will build the Mali drivers (ump.ko and mali.ko), and “install” all modules in build_modules directory.

For AMLogic AM8726-MX set-top boxes such as Geniatech ATV1200 (See video), this code might be enough, but fads mentioned in a comment that lcd/ips code is missing and it might be more difficult to use this code on tablets such as Ainol Novo 7 Aurora II. He also started a developers thread in slatedroid.com, join the discussion if you are a developer interested in this project.

Ainol Novo 7 Aurora II Android 4.0 Tablet Features AMLogic AM8726-MX Cortex A9 Processor

May 9th, 2012 No comments

Last week, I wrote about the Rockchip RK3066 based Cube U30GT Android 4.0 Tablet, and today I’ll blog about the Ainol Novo 7 Aurora II, one of the first Android 4.0 tablet powered by the new AMLogic AM8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 processor.

AMLogic AM8726-MX Android 4.0 Tablet

Ainol Novo7 Aurora II

Here are the specs of the device:

  • CPU – AMLogic AM8726-M6 Cortex-A9 Dual Core processor @ 1.5 GHz
  • GPU – Mali 400MP
  • RAM – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB NAND Flash / microSD Card slot (Support up to 16GB)
  • Display – 7″ capacitive touch screen (5-point) IPS LCD (1024×600)
  • Camera: 2.0 MPixel front camera
  • Sensors – 4-way G-sensor
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi b/g/n. 3G via external 3G/WCDMA dongle
  • Battery – 3700mAh
  • Dimensions – 187 x 111 x 12 mm
  • Weight – 360 grams

The Aurora II will be available later this month and sell for about 190 USD. The company will also offer the cheaper Novo 7 Elf II tablet (without IPS display) for 149 USD.

Source: Liliputing

AMLogic Announces AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor

April 11th, 2012 11 comments
Amlogic AML8726-MX Cortex A9 | Mali 400 SoC

Amlogic AML8726-MX (via redtabletpc.com)

Amlogic announced the availability of the AML8726-MX, a SoC based on a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor clocked at 1.5 GHz with a Mali-400 MP GPU. It is the successor of the similarly named AML8726-M with a single core Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz.

The company explains this SoC is particularly suitable for Over The Top (OTT) delivery, 3D Gaming and other Internet applications and targets the tablet, set-top-box and smart-TV markets.

AMLogic AML8726-MX include 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 2x USB interfaces, 3-in-1 Card Reader support, Analog and digital video outputs, LVDS and T-CON (Timing Controller) with backlight control, digital video and camera interfaces. Wi-Fi is supported via external chipsets.

Here are the highlights of the AML8726-MX family provided by AMLogic:

  • A dual-core Cortex-A9 processor achieving over 7500 DMIPS of performance
  • Direct to panel connection with advanced scaling, de-interlacing and picture quality enhancement
  • Industry leading power management technology to extend battery life in mobile applications
  • The ability to run Android 4.0 (ICS), Linux 3.X, OpenGL ES 2.0

Android-sale has published benchmark results (Sunspider + other?) which show AML8726-MX being noticeably faster than TI OMAP4460 and NVidia Tegra 2 (frequencies used are not mentioned however), and slightly faster than as Apple A5X (IPAD 3 processor). Those test were done with a Ramos W70 PRO 7″ Tablet which should cost 199 USD once it is available.

AMLogic Processor Benchmark

AML8726-MX vs Tegra 2 vs OMAP4460 vs Apple A5X

Amlogic AML8726-MX chips are available now for sampling and a reference development platforms running Android 4.0.3 will be available later this month.