ECS LIVA Z2, LIVA Q2 & LIVA One SoC Gemini Lake Mini PCs Introduced at CES 2018

Tweet ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) was another company introducing their Gemini Lake mini PC at CES 2018, or as they call them “ultra-compact form-factor” (UCFF)  PCs. They had three models with two upgrade from Apollo Lake systems: LIVA Z2 & LIVA Q2, and another system called “LIVA One SoC” which instead offers an entry-level version of their barebone LIVA One mini PC based on Core i3/i5/i7 processors. ECS LIVA Z2 LIVA Z2 specifications: SoC – Intel Gemini Lake processor System Memory – 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM slots Storage – 32 or 64GB eMMC flash, 1x 2.5″ SSD/HDD bay Video Output – HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 ports (dual HDMI) Audio Output – Via HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, digital microphone Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 USB – 3x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 type C port Misc – Power button, Kensington lock Power Supply – 19V/3.42A Dimensions – 117 x 128 x 51 mm The …

Amlogic A113X1 6-Mic Far-Field Devkit is Designed for Amazon Alexa

Tweet Allwinner unveiled their SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Development Kit for Amazon AVS last week, but they are now joined by another low cost silicon vendor as Amlogic has just launched their own A113X1 far-field dev kit officially support for Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS). The development kit is powered by Amlogic A113X SoC designed for such applications with “an audio pipeline that supports high fidelity audio with soft DSP algorithms for both frontend and backend processing”.   Amlogic A113X1 far-field devkit specifications: Mainboard SoC – Amlogic A113X quad core Cortex A53 processor System Memory – 512MB DDR3 Storage – 512 MB NAND flash Connectivity – SDIO WiFi/BT (AP6356S) Audio SPDIF_IN jack LINE_IN/LINE_OUT jacks 2x Audio headers (MIC_Connector & SPK_Connector) USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port Expansion – SPI header Misc – 6x ADC Keys, IR_IN/IR_OUT, UART Interface (RS232), LEDs Power Supply – 12V/2A Microphone board 6x digital microphones in a circular array Texas Instruments PCA9557PWR IO expander Speaker …

Develop NXP i.MX 8M Voice Controlled Smart Devices with MCIMX8M-EVK Evaluation Kit

Tweet We first heard about NXP i.MX 8M processsors in October 2016, and at the end of last year, WandPi 8M development board was unveiled with shipping scheduled for Q2 2018 once the processor will start manufacturing. Other exciting i.MX 8M projects include Purism Librem 5 smartphone, MNT Reform DIY modular computer, and I’m sure there will be others development board & products, and plenty of system-on-modules introduced with the processor in 2018. NXP i.MX 8M processor also got in the news at CES 2018, because it will be one of the hardware platforms certified for Android Things, and NXP also issued a press release to announced the processor’s multimedia capability with be used in voice controlled devices with or without video. The PR refers to Gartner Research saying that “voice commands will dominate 50 percent of all searches in the next two years”, and explains that with thinner and thinner TV, sound bars and smart speaker swill become more …

MeLE PCG63-APL4 Fanless Gemini Lake Mini PC To Launch in Q2 2018

Tweet Gemini Lake mini PCs are being announced at CES 2018, and we can expect them to sell in Q2 2018 for a price similar to Apollo Lake models all other features being equal. We’ve already seen ZOTAC ZBOX PI226 & PI336, ASUS unveiled their PN40 mini PC with few details, and of course Intel’s own GLK NUCs should be brought to market soon enough. MeLE has made some decent Apollo Lake mini PCs in the past year with their PCG35 Apo and PCG03 Apo models, so it’s no surprise the company is now showcasing their upcoming PCG63-APL4 based on Gemini Lake processors at CES 2018.MeLE PCG63-APL4 specifications: SoC (one or the other) Intel Celeron J4005 dual core Gemini Lake processor up to 2.0/2.7 GHz with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600 @ up to 700 MHz; 10W TDP Intel Celeron J4105 quad core Gemini Lake processor up to 1.5/2.5 GHz with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600 @ up to 750 …

Android Things is Finally Getting into Products: Smart Speakers, Smart Displays, and More

Tweet Android Things was first introduced as Brillo in October 2015, before being renamed to Android Things the following year when a developer preview was released with support for Raspberry Pi 3, as well as Intel and NXP development boards. But if you can’t remember the last time you’ve purchased a device running Android Things that’s normal, because so far, there was none. Google announced this is going to change as the first set of Android Things products have been announced at CES 2018. The first category of devices to run Android Things will be Google Assistant enabled smart speakers with the launch of products such as iHome iGV1 and LG ThinQ WK7.  ODM partners have also created full speaker reference designs based on certified Android Things and Cast System-on-Modules (SoMs) powered by Rockchip RK3229, Mediatek MT8516, or based on Qualcomm SD212 Home Hub Platform. NXP i.MX 8M solutions are also expected later this year. Android Things will also find …

Semtech Improves LoRa Efficiency and Range, Reduces Footprint with SX1261, SX1262, and SX1268 LoRa Chips

Tweet LoRa is one of the most popular LPWAN technology deployed around the world with chips made by Semtech, as it allow long range, low power communication at low bitrate, and is especially useful for asset tracking, smart parking, and all sort of remote monitoring of persons (e.g. elderly fall for seniors) or assets (e.g. leak detection). Depending on your applications, i.e. data size and update frequency, a coin cell battery can last up to 10 years The company has now introduced the second generation LoRa technology with three new RF chips that are 45% smaller, reduce power consumption by 50% (4.5 mA) , and extend range by 20%. The new chips also offers a high-power transmit option (+22 dBm), supports FSK modulation for migration to LoRaWAN from legacy protocols, and includes a new spreading factor for dense networks. Full list of new features listed by the company: 50% less power in receive mode 20% more extended range +22 dBm …

SKIIN Smart Underwears Support Energous’ WattUp Near, Mid, and Far-Field Wireless Charging

Tweet Near-field wireless charging has been around for several years, but for wireless charging to become really disruptive it needs to work at a distance, and Energous has been working on mid and far-field technology with their WattUp transmissive to charge devices respectively on the desk (mid-field) or in the room (far-field). You need to have compatible devices to work with the technology, and wearables are a prime target, but I was expecting fitness trackers or smartwatches to embed the technology at first, but instead one of the first WattUp compatible wearables are smart underwears from SKIIN. The module found in SKIIN underwears and bras have many of the same features as your typical fitness tracker, and some extras: Sensors ECG sensors for Heart Rate monitoring (HRM) Accelerometer and Gyroscope to measure motion & posture BIA (Bioelectrical impedance analysis) to monitor water intake levels and how your sweat affects your hydration, as well as you body fat levels Knitted Strain …

Lenovo Miix 630 2-in-1 Detachable Runs Windows 10 S on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Tweet Lenovo Miix 630 is joining other Qualcomm 835 powered always-on always connected Windows 10 PCs such as HP Envy x2 2017, and ASUS Novago TP370. Like its peers, the 2-in-1 laptop supports both WiFi and LTE connectivity, and promises ultra-long battery life for example up to 20 hours of local video playback. The device also includes a digital pen with 1024 levels of sensitivity, and a backlit keyboard. Another similarity is a high price, as Miix 630 pricing with keyboard and  digital pen will start at $799.99 in Q2 2018. Lenovo Miix 630 preliminary specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor @ up to 2.6GHz with Adreno 540 GPU System memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 128GB UFS 2.0 storage Display – 12.3″ WUXGA (1920×1200) touchscreen display Audio – Speaker and microphone (support for Cortana) Backlit keyboard Connectivity – 4G LTE and WiFi Camera – Infrared camera compatible with Windows Hello Battery – good for up to 20 hours of …