Makerdiary nRF52840 Micro Development Kit Works with OpenThread, Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr OS, Mynewt, etc…

nRF52840 Micro Development Kit

If you want to play around with Bluetooth 5, Nordic nRF52840 is probably one of the best option, and among the development board, $9/$12 Particle Xenon is hard to beat when it comes to value. But if you need a bit more storage, I/Os and features, Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit looks like a good candidate to evaluate, especially it supports plenty of frameworks / operating systems such as Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr Project, OpenThread, Mynewt, and others. It’s also the first MCU class board I’ve seen with a USB type C port, although I’m not sure it brings any benefits to this type of hardware. Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit (nRF52840-MDK) hardware specifications: SoC – Nordic nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F WiSoC with 1 MB FLASH and 256 kB RAM, Arm TrustZone Cryptocell 310 security subsystem External Storage – 64-Mbit QSPI flash Wireless Connectivity (on-chip) Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh Thread, IEEE 802.15.4 ANT, 2.4GHz proprietary On-chip NFC-A tag On-board 2.4G chip …

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AWS DeepLens is a $249 Deep Learning Video Camera for Developers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Deeplens, the “world’s first deep learning enabled video camera for developers”. Powered by an Intel Atom X5 processor with 8GB, and featuring a 4MP (1080p) camera, the fully programmable system runs Ubuntu 16.04, and is designed expand deep learning skills of developers, with Amazon providing tutorials, code, and pre-trained models. AWS Deeplens specifications: SoC – Intel Atom X5 Processor with Intel Gen9 HD graphics (106 GFLOPS of compute power) System Memory – 8GB RAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot Camera – 4MP (1080p) camera using MJPEG, H.264 encoding Video Output – micro HDMI port Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, and HDMI audio Connectivity – Dual band WiFi USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports Misc – Power button; camera, WiFi and power status LEDs; reset pinhole Power Supply – TBD Dimensions – 168 x 94 x 47 mm Weight – 296.5 grams The camera can not only do inference, but also train deep …

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MCUBoot is an Open Source Secure Bootloader for IoT / MCUs

Bootloaders takes care of the initial boot sequence on the hardware before the operating system takes over. For example, U-boot is often used in embedded systems as the bootloader before starting the main operating systems such as Linux or FreeBSD. MCUBoot is also a bootloader, but it targets the IoT, here referring to MCU based systems with limited memory and storage capacity, and is born out of work on Apache Mynewt OS, when developers decided to develop the bootloader separately from the operating system. MCUBoot is designed to run on small & low cost systems running on MCU with ~512 KB flash, ~256 KB RAM, and currently supports Zephyr OS and Mynewt, with support for other RTOS also considered. Due to constraint the bootloader uses minimal features with a flash driver, a single thread, and crypto services. The project also aims at solving security and field firmware updates. To address the latter, the flash is partitioned in four sections, one for …

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$599 Softiron Overdrive 1000 Server is Powered by AMD Opteron A1100 64-bit ARM Processor

ARMv8 servers have been around for a year or so, but normally only available to companies, mostly due to their very high price. LeMaker Cello board based on AMD Opteron A1120 quad core SoC have changed that since it’s priced at $299, but I’m not sure it’s shipping right now, and it’s not a complete solution fitted with memory and storage, and lacks an enclosure. The good news is that Softiron has just launched Overdrive 1000 server powered by AMD Opteron A1100 series processor, with 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 1TB drive, and a case. Softiron Overdrive 1000 server specifications: SoC – AMD Opteron A1100 series quad core ARM Cortex A57 processor System Memory – 2x RDIMM slots fitted with 8GB DDR4 DRAM and expandable to 64GB Storage – 2x SATA 3.0 connector with one fitted with  a 1TB HDD Connectivity – 1x GBase-T Ethernet USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports Power Supply – ATX power supply; 100~240V @ 50-60Hz Dimensions …

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Apache Mynewt RTOS for IoT Includes an Open Source Bluetooth 4.2 LE Stack for MCUs

The Apache Software Foundation has recently released version 0.9 Apache Mynewt open source real-time operating systems for micro-controllers under… an Apache 2.0 license. The RTOS works on STMicro STM32 Cortex-M4, and Arduino Zero / M0 Cortex-M0 boards, but they’ve also implemented the  first open source Bluetooth Low Energy stack for MCUs, starting with support for Nordic Semi nRF52 Cortex-M4 and nRF51 Cortex-M1 evaluation boards, and acting as a replacement for Nordic SoftDevice Bluetooth Smart / LE solution. The operating system competes with ARM mbed, the Zephyr Project, and RIoT, but the foundation claims it is the only one that’s both community driven and permissively licensed (Apache 2.0) project in the embedded space. The OS is modular and can be configured with a Go-like build and package management tool with components such as secure boot loader, flash file system and TLV storage mechanism, rich logging infrastructure, circular buffering schemes, and Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy. WiFi, Thread, and Bluetooth 5 are also …

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How to Install PHP 5.6 (and Xibo Digital Signage CMS) in Ubuntu 16.04

Xibo is an open source digital signage using a client / server architecture, and in the past I wrote a tutorial showing how to use it, and ran Xibo Python client on ARM Linux TV box, but with software handling only so rendering scrolling text was not very smooth at all, and video decoding was not really possible. But now I have Star Cloud PCG02U Intel TV stick which costs just $70 shipped with Ubuntu 14.04, and that I have upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04, and I thought that would be a great low cost Xibo Linux client which should have pretty good performance. I started by installing Xibo server, only to find out that the cross-platform Python client had been phased out, with now only Windows and Android clients available. So I canceled my plan. I still had some challenges installing Xibo server on Ubuntu 16.04, so I’ll report my experience as it may be useful to others. There will …

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KVM on 64-Bit ARM with AppliedMicro X-Gene Developement Platform

Applied Micro announced X-Gene 64-Bit ARMv8 Server-on-Chip at ARM Techcon 2011, and later in 2012, they showcased Apache2 on an FPGA implementation of the chip. More recently, they showcased KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) on their X-C1 hardware platform with an actual X-Gene SoC at Linaro Connect Europe 2013, and Linaro has just uploaded the video of the demo. The development board features 8 ARMv8 64-­bit processors, PCI network, up to 6 SATA drives (but only one used in the demo), and they also have hardware fitted into a 1U rack. The demo below runs 4 SMP Linux virtual machines (with 2 VCPUs), including 2 ARMv7 32­-bit, and 2 ARMv8 64-­bit guests, running web servers concurrently on each VM using VirtIO-based network virtualization. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. http://www.cnx-software.com Support CNX Software …

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ARM vs x86 Servers Benchmark – Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 vs Intel Xeon E3-1240

Calxeda has released the results of ApacheBench benchmark comparing their ARM-based EnergyCore solution to an Intel Xeon server in order to showcase the performance and the much lower power consumption of their servers. Here’s the setup: Hardware: Single Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 @ 1.1 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3L-1066 memory, 1Gb Ethernet network port and 250 GB SATA 7200rpm HDD Intel Xeon E3-1240 @ 3.3 GHz, 16 GB memory and 1Gb Ethernet network port. No info on hard drive provided Software: Ubuntu Server v12.04 Apache Server v2.4.2 ApacheBench v2.3 (16k request size) They performed power measurements every 2 seconds and averaged the results. Power supply overhead and hard drive power consumption were not excluded in the measurement, but the entire SoC and DDR memory power consumption were included together. For the Intel server however, they could not measure directly, so they used published TDP values for the CPU (80 W) and I/O chipset (6.7 W), along with an estimate for DDR memory …

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