Xiaomi Mi A2 Review with Android 9.0 Pie

Mi A2 Review Android 9.0

I had been using Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One smartphone since the end of 2017,  and was mostly satisfied with it thanks to regular (monthly) firmware update, although I was a bit disappointed by the camera overtime. Eventually I had a serious issue with Mi A1’s eMMC flash, and stopped using it at the end of last year, or roughly after one year of service, since the phone became unusable, unbearably slow. Xiaomi Mi A2 and A2 Lite where released last summer, and having seen Mi A2 was getting an Android 9.0 firmware in Q4 2018, I asked GearBest whether they could send a sample to review the latest Xiaomi Android One phone. They accepted, and I posted the first part of the review in early December. However, at this time, I did not get the update, since it was not released in Thailand, but soon enough Xiaomi Mi A2 got upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie. I’ve now been using …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

ODROID-N2 Amlogic S922X SBC Coming in April for $63 and Up

ODROID N2

Due to RAM supply issues, Hardkernel canceled RK3399 based ODROID-N1 board last year, and decided to replace it with ODROID-N2 using a “newer SoC .. with faster CPU/GPU cores and native DDR4 support”, but they did not provide any details about the processor, and we speculated it could be the upcoming Amlogic S922X processor. Hardkernel has now formally unveiled ODROID-N2, the first Amlogic S922X SBC to be announced, with 2 to 4GB DDR4 RAM, 4x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0a video output up to 4K 60p and more. ODROID-N2 SBC specifications: SoC – Amlogic S922X hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, 2x Arm Cortex A53 cores @ 1.9 GHz, Arm Mali-G52 GPU @ 846MHz; 12nm manufacturing process System Memory – 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM @ 1320 MHz Storage – 8MB SPI flash, eMMC flash module socket, micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI up to 4K …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

MediaTek MT8183 Octa-core Cortex A73/A53 SoC Targets Chromebooks

MediaTek MT8183

MediaTek processors have been found in a few Chromebooks notably in MediaTek MT8173 powered Acer Chromebook R13, but the quad-core Cortex A72/A53 processor hasn’t made it into many models like the hexa-core Rockchip RK3399 “OP1” processor. However, I’ve been informed there are a few patchsets that have been submitted to mainline Linux and V4L2 mailing lists about MediaTek MT8183 octa-core Cortex A73/A53 processor. The latter adds a Digital Image Processing (DIP) driver on MediaTek MT8183 SoC, “which will be used in camera features on CrOS application” and some code related to MT8183 is found in Chromium OS repository, so those clues should confirm the octa-core processor will end up in Chromebooks, with the current MT8183 reference board being named Kukui. There aren’t any product pages for MT8183 on MediaTek website just yet, but by looking at the source code (e.g. Device tree file), and some clues around the web, we can derive the main features of the processor: CPU – …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

LIVA Q2 Review – ECS Micro PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

ECS LIVA Q2 Teardown

ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is a Taiwanese company that has been offering mini PCs for several years now. Last year they announced their ‘pocket-sized’ model the LIVA Q. Originally featuring Apollo Lake SoCs it has now been upgraded and renamed as the LIVA Q2 and offers a choice of Gemini Lake SoCs. The distinguishing feature of the LIVA Q series however is the form-factor. Compared with Intel Compute ‘stick’ PCs and Intel NUC ‘mini’ PCs the LIVA Q2 is a ‘micro’ PC. This micro PC is like a minimalist mini PC that includes just the minimum number of useful ports namely a couple of USB ports (3.1 and 2.0) on one side, a micro SD card slot on another and finally an HDMI (2.0) and gigabit Ethernet at the rear. The resultant micro PC is beautifully small consisting of a 70mm (2.76″) square case by 33.4mm (1.31”) tall which can still be mounted on the back of a monitor using …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amlogic S922X Cortex A73/A53 Processor Benchmarked

Amlogic S922X Benchmarks

Amlogic S922X is an upcoming hexa-core processor with four Cortex A73 cores and Cortex-A53 cores mostly designed for devices running Android TV P, but it could also become potentially interesting for development boards and other products like Arm laptops. There aren’t any products available for purchase, but some results appeared on Geekbench in recently showing Droidlogic galilei board with a 6-core processor from Amlogic which has to be Amlogic S922X processor. There’s also g12b_w400 with a 6-core processor from Amlogic, but that’s A311D. So Amlogic S922X benchmarks report 1212 points for the single-core score, and “only” 3,133 points for the multi-core score. The base frequency in “Droidlogic galilei” board is 1.80 GHz, but 1.90 GHz in g12b_w400 “A311D” platforms. Strangely enough, the single core score is only 9xx in the latter. It’s very likely the maximum frequency drops when all four Cortex A73 cores are under loads, as the multi-core score does not scale. Let’s compare those score to Amlogic …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Teardown heat pipe cooling

Pepper Jobs is a new company led by Ken Wong who was formerly MINIX’s product director and defined many innovative products such as NEO-X series Android media hubs and NEO-Z series Intel-based mini PCs. The first Pepper Jobs designed and released mini PC is the GLK-UC2X targeting small business, 4K home theater, and living room use with an emphasis on low power and great savings on electricity bills. The GLK-UC2X contains an Intel Celeron N4100 Processor Gemini Lake SOC which is a quad-core processor bursting up to 2.40 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It physically consists of an approximately 139mm (5.5″) square case about 33mm (1.3”) tall with a side panel that includes the power button, a couple of USB ports, a Type C USB port and a micro SD card slot with the rest of the ports including headphone jack, Type C USB, HDMI (2.0a), mini DP …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Test AI Performance in Android with AI Benchmark App

AI Benchmark App

Many new phones now come with Silicon-on-Chips (SoC) featuring a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) or similar IP block(s) aiming to accelerate A.I workloads such as facial recognition or object detection. Some silicon vendors will report performance in terms of TOPS (Trillion of Operation per Seconds) with for example 2.25 TOPS for the latest Mediatek Helio P90 processor, or 4.20 TOPS for Hisilicon Kirin 980 SoC. However, those numbers can be deceptive, and nothing beats actual tests. However, last time I checked Android benchmarks such as Antutu do not include tests specific to artificial intelligence just yet. Luckily there’s already an app for that called AI-Benchmark which you’ll find on Google Play. The benchmark includes 9 tasks: Object Recognition / Classification with MobileNet – V2 Object Recognition / Classification with Inception – V3 Face Recognition with Inception ResNet V1 Image Deblurring with SRCNN 9-5-5 neural network Image Super-Resolution with VGG – 19 neural network Image Super-Resolution with SRGAN neural network(CPU only) …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

AMD A6-9220C & A4-9120C Low Power Processors Target Chromebooks

AMD A6-9220C Processor

Intel will usually release new low power processors under 10W TDP every year, but that has not been the case for AMD, with the company releasing several 12-15W processors in the recent past like Ryzen Embedded  V1000 series and the Ryzen 7 2700U processor I’m currently using my Ubuntu laptop. However, AMD has now announced two new A-series processors with a 6W TDP, namely A4-9120C and A6-9220C dual-core processors that specifically target Chromebooks. AMD A4-9120C key features: Processor – 2x CPU cores, 2x CPU threads @ 1.6 GHz / 2.4 GHz  (Boost) Cache – 160KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache GPU – Radeon R4 graphics with 3x GPU Cores up to 600 MHz, support for H.26x, VP9 decode Memory – Single channel @ 1866 MHz Video Output – HDMI and DisplayPort Process – 28nm CMOS Package – FT4 TDP – 6 watts AMD A6-9220C key features: Processor – 2x CPU cores, 2x CPU threads @ 1.8 GHz / 2.7 GHz  …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon