MYiR Tech Announces Low Cost Rico and Z-turn Boards Powered by TI AM437x and Xilinx Zynq-7010 SoCs

Shenzhen based MYIR Tech has just launched two new single board computers with Rico board featuring Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x ARM Cortex A9 industrial processor, and Z-Turn board based on Xilinx Zynq-7010 ARM Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Both boards sell for $99 in single quantity. Rico Board Specifications: SoC – Texas Instruments AM4379 single core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU, and 4x PRU @ 200 MHz. Other AM437x on request. System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Options: 256MB or 1GB) Storage – 4GB eMMC, 256 or 512 MB NAND flash (reserved), 16MB QSPI flash, 32KB EEPROM, and micro SD slot Video Output – HDMI and LCD interfaces (LCD connector located on bottom of the board). Connectivity  – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 device port, 1x USB 2.0 host post Camera – 2x 30-pin camera interface Debugging – 1x debug serial port, 1x 20-pin JTAG interface, 1x 14-pin JTAG interface Expansion Headers …

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AllWinner Linux-sunxi Community Presentation and Status Report – FOSDEM 2014

Oliver Schinagl, a member of linux-sunxi community working on open source kernel and bootloader for AllWinner SoCs, has given a presentation of the community at FOSDEM 2014 to give an overview, and show what progress has been made to date. I’ll write a summary in this post, but if you want to watch the video and/or access the slides scroll down at the bottom of the post. After explaining what sunxi is, and introducing himself, he gave some information about AllWinner and their SoCs: Founded in 2007 in Zhuhai, Chiang now with 550 employees including 450+ engineers 15% market share in 2013 for tablet SoCs, only behind Apple. Products: F-series SoC (2010), A10 (2011), A13, A10s (2012), and A20 (2013). (cnsoft He skipped A31(s) and A80 here as they are not really supported by the community). They list “Open Source Source” and “GPLv3” in their marketing materials although they clearly violate GPL in some part of the code. Progress is …

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Geniatech Releases ATV510B Source Code, Teases Dual and Quad Core ATV130 and ATV180 mini PCs

XBMCHUB (not affiliated with XBMC) reports that Geniatech has released the Android and Linux source code for ATV510B, one of Geniatech set-top boxes based on AML8726-M3 Cortex A9 processor. ATV510B is the design used by devices such as Pivos XIOS DS, Jynxbox Android HD, Sumvision Cyclone Nano M3, and MyGica ATV510B Enjoy TV Nano 3, among others. Pivos has made U-boot, Linux and XBMC source code available in github for a little while now, but this new release is a pretty large file (2.39 GB) called xbmcandroid_com-ics-base-M3-20121212.tar.bz2 that includes Android 4.0 source including the kernel and the bootloader. This source code should work with “stvmc” hardware, as found in build.prop’s ro.product.name or ro.product.device keys. I haven’t looked into details, but here’s the content of the root directory of the archive: On a separate note, Geniatech also showed the picture below on their Facebook page, with 2 new Android TV Sticks: one based on AML8726-MX with MHL support called ATV130, and …

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Booting Linux in Less Than 1 Second in AllWinner A10 Devices? Yes! You Can!

threewater, a Chinese developer, has just posted a very interesting demo on linux-sunxi mailing list showing a device based on AllWinner A10 boot linux within 0.85s, and if you add a Qt app, the total time is just about 1.2s. This appears to be a custom hardware (EM6000), but we do know it’s based on AllWinner A10, comes with 512 MB RAM, and 4GB NAND Flash. On the software side, the device runs kernel 3.4 from linux-sunxi, with a customized version of uboot, a squashfs rootfs, and a Qt 4.7.4 app showing a gauge. Both the rootfs (7MB) and the kernel (2MB) have been compressed with LZO. All that boots from NAND flash for optimal speed. The 1.2 second time includes kernel + rootfs + app time, and the total time is a bit longer, but this is still impressive. Here’s the boot log: If you just boot to the command line, it’s even faster: This is not the first …

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VIA Announces $79 APC Rock & $99 APC Paper Cortex A9 Board and PC

Following the launch of the $49 APC ARM11 board as a Raspberry Pi alternative last year, VIA has just announced two new APC products based on a WonderMedia WM8950 Cortex A9 processor: APC Rock – $79 Android board APC Paper – $99 Android PC with a case made of recycled cardboard Both products run Android 4.0 (ICS) and mostly share the same specifications: SoC – VIA WonderMedia WM8950 ARM Cortex-A9 @800Mhz + Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 512 DDR3 SDRAM Storage – 4GB NAND Flash + microUSB slot Video Output – HMDI (Rock & Paper) and VGA (Rock only) Audio I/O – Audio out / Mic in combo Ethernet – 10/100 Mbps USB – USB 2.0 (x2) and microUSB (OTG) 20-pin ARM-JTAG header Extra GPIO, SPI and I2C busses on a header Dimensions (Board) – 170 x 85mm (W x H), Neo-ITX Standard. APC Paper is basically the same as APC Rock, except it lacks VGA, but comes with a …

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Barebox Bootloader Status Update – ELCE 2012

Sascha Hauer, kernel developer at Pengutronix, gives an update about the status of Barebox bootloader at the Embedded Linux Conference 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Abstract: Booting Linux is still a hot topic on embedded systems. It has been 3 years since the last presentation about Barebox at ELC-E, and the barebox community has grown and developed many new and unique features during that time. The talk gives an update on the status of barebox, including MMU support, compressed images, menu system, automouter, tftp, nfs filesystem, USB updating techniques and other goodies. The presentation is for kernel porters who need a robust, flexible,extensible and well structured tool to bring up Linux on embedded hardware. It is equally suitable for new and experienced barebox users. Agenda of the talk: Tour through Barebox – Basic hardware initialization (SDRAM, clocks), Startup, User Interface, Start operating system, Update and Initial hardware bring-up. Devicetree support Multi-platform Bootloader Barebox live demo on Freescale i.MX53 LOCO You can …

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Upgrading Embedded Linux Without Bricking – ELCE 2012

Arnout Vandecappelle, senior embedded software architect at Essensium/Mind, talks about ways to greatly decrease the risk of bricking your board/device during upgrade thanks to gubies scripts and tools at the Embedded Linux Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on November 6, 2012. Abtract: Embedded systems are often modified remotely, e.g. to upgrade the firmware or change the configuration. This may however break the system and render it inaccessible, which is a major problem if the device is hard to reach physically. Unfortunately, no catch-all failsafe solution exists to make sure that the device stays accessible remotely even if a modification goes wrong. Instead, the possible failures have to be anticipated and covered. This talk discusses some of the frequently occurring failures, how they can be detected and handled. These include power failure, kernel crashes, network failure and data corruption. We include examples of concrete use cases. Finally, there is room for discussion about possible alternative or more generic solutions than the ones proposed. …

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Board Bringup: You, Me, and I2C – ELCE 2012

David Anders, embedded systems developer at Texas Instruments, explains how to work with I2C in Linux based embedded systems at ELCE 2012. Abstract: Board bring up is one of the most under documented aspects of embedded development. I2C is such a powerful, low-cost, and ubiquitous method of communication, that a basic understanding of it’s usage is essential to the embedded linux developer to quickly bring up and debug embedded designs. This presentation will look at the various software and hardware aspects of working with I2C using simple case studies highlighting the implementation of an EEPROM and a GPIO Expander. Most embedded Linux developers at some point in their career will be handed a piece of hardware that is untested. This presentation intends to provide some information about core tools and methods for bring up of I2C interfaces and assorted I2C based peripheral devices. David Anders has previously presented at Embedded Linux Conference 2012 with “Board Bringup: LCD and Display Interfaces“. …

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