Allwinner R329 Smart Speaker Processor Features Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit)

Allwinner R328 is a dual-core Cortex-A7 processor with 64MB or 128MB built-in RAM designed for low-cost smart speakers that was introduced last year and found into smart speaker sold in mainland China. According to a recent press release (in Chinese only), the company has now released a 64-bit update with Allwinner R329 dual-core Cortex-A53 processor equipped with dual HIFI4 DSP for audio post-processing and pre-processing, as well as Arm China’s AIPU (Artificial Intelligence Processing Unit) delivering up to 0.256 TOPS at very low power. There’s no product page for Allwinner R329 yet, so I extracted some specifications from the press release: CPU – Dual-core Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz DSP- Dual-core HIFI4 DSP @ 400 MHz AI Accelerator – Arm China AIPU with 0.256 TOPS Built-in DDR RAM Audio Embedded second-generation VAD hardware 5x audio ADCs 2x audio DACs with 100dB SNR I2S and DMIC controller 5-1-channel and 7.1 channel support Integrated dual LDO The company will also provide …

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Coronavirus Update: Many Chinese Companies to Stay Closed at Least until February 17

About 10 days ago, I wrote a post about the impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing and shipping from China. At the time, we knew the Chinese New Year “holiday” was extended until February 10 in order for the authorities to contain the outbreak. That meant manufacturing would be impacted, and not much will ship from China during that time period. At the time, we were also told packages shipped from China were safe as it took several days and the virus would just die off on the way. But there have been some updates since then. First, a new study shows the coronavirus may stay alive on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days at room temperature. So I’m not sure what that means for packages sent via courier services like FedEx or DHL. The previous link offers some solutions: … but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen …

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Coronavirus Impact on Manufacturing and Shipping from China

Unless you are living under a rock, you may have heard about the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. The Hubei province, and much of China, is in complete lockdown with many businesses closed, and people staying home as the government extended Chinese New Year for a few days until the epidemic is under control. This should obviously have an economic impact, at least in the short term, for the next few weeks or months since people are asked to stay home, and so much of what we consume is manufactured in China. And indeed, I’ve seen more and more companies announcing delays due to the virus, and I’ll provide some examples. Freetronics, an Australian company selling boards and other electronics products, has issued a notice explaining they are directly impacted since they work with manufacturers are based in Wuhan, Beijing, and Shenzhen: Bare PCBs for both Freetronics and SuperHouse products are mostly produced by Gold Phoenix, which is located in …

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MAG1 Intel Core m3-8100Y Mini Laptop Sells for $590 and up in China

MAG1 Intel Core m3-8100Y Mini Laptop

In recent years, we’ve seen mini laptops with sub-9″ displays from companies like GPD, One Mix, and CHUWI featuring Intel Gemini Lake or Amber Lake processors.  There’s another company joining the fray with MAG1 “Magic Small” mini laptop with an 8.9″ display, an Intel Core m3-8100Y Amber Lake processor coupled with 8GB or 16GB RAM, and 256GB or 512GB SSD storage that’s currently selling for 4,199 RMB (~$593 US) and up on JD.com. MAG1 specifications: SoC – Intel Core m3-8100Y dual-core/quad-thread Amber Lake processor @ 1.1 / 3.4 (Turbo) GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 615; 5W TDP System Memory / Storage Configurations 8GB DDR3 RAM + 256GB PCIe SSD + MicroSD slot 16GB DDR3 RAM + 512GB PCIe SSD + MicroSD slot Display – 8.9″ IPS touchscreen display with 2560 x 1600 resolution Video Output – Micro HDMI up to 4K @ 60 Hz Audio – Built-in microphone, 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac …

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Allwinner R328 Smart Speaker & System-on-Module Spotted in China

Allwinner R328 Smart Speaker

Earlier this year, Allwinner introduced some AIoT (AI + IoT) processors including Allwinner R328 dual-core Cortex-A7 processor for “low-cost voice interaction solutions” aka low-cost smart speakers. I did not pay too much attention at the processor at the time, but since then, the company has released a product brief with some more details about the processor. We can see it integrates 64MB to 128MB DDR3 memory which should be enough to run Linux without external memory, and truly provide a low-cost solution for smart speakers, and I was told the chip may cost around $3. I was also asked whether Allwinner R328 smart speakers were already shipping. A Google search in English did not help, so I had to switch to Chinese, and after visiting several sites, I could see some Allwinner A328 platforms including a smart speaker and a system-on-module were showcased at some event in China. We’ve got a photo, but that much more info about the speaker …

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FCC: That Cheap Chinese TV Box may end up Costing you $147,000

FCC TV Box Fine

Buying inexpensive TV boxes from China is fun, but in order to provide the lowest possible price, some manufacturers may cut corners, and forgo things like FCC certification. It seems the FCC has noticed an issue an enforcement advisory / public notice entitled “VIDEO TV SET-TOP BOXES, INCLUDING THOSE THAT STREAM INTERNET CONTENT, MUST COMPLY WITH FCC EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENTS” with the threat of fines exceeding $147,000. If you are an individual you may think that you are safe since you are not “marketing” anything, but a footnote explains the meaning of marketing: Importing, advertising and selling are three aspects of “marketing” under the Commission’s rules. The text of the notice further mentions that even just operating the device is a violation, and anyone doing so should stop immediately. The document explains a little more about the fines: Users, manufacturers, importers, and retailers that violate Commission marketing or operating rules may be subject to the penalties authorized by the Communications …

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Gaokede Building in HuaQiangBei Electronics Market Closed, Scheduled for Destruction

Huaqiangbei gaokede building closed

HuaQiangBei electronics market is one of the most popular places for makers in Shenzhen, as you can purchase any kind of components in shops spread across several multi-story buildings. If you can’t find something over there, you’re unlikely to find it anywhere else. So this morning when I read an article entitled “Vendors protest eviction from Shenzhen’s historic Huaqiangbei electronics market” with photos like the one above I was shocked initially thinking the complete market would potentially close. I can still clearly remember SEG building along the main street when I lived in China many years ago. This building is still up and running, and instead Technode reports about the closure of the eight-story Gaokede building which was planned since the end of 2018, and the owner cut off electricity and water supplies yesterday. Even if you are a regular visitor, you’d be forgiven if you forgot where Gaokede is located exactly. It’s building 2 on the map above, while …

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Black Friday 2018 – International Deals

Black Friday 2018 GearBest

November 11.11 is now behind us, but that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday are soon approaching and as usual I’ve gathered some deals or events geared towards an International audience, mostly through various China based online shopping websites. GearBest Black Friday activity has already started with the run-up stage on November 14-21 with deposit expansion and lucky draw, followed by the main event taking place on November 21-26 with $100-$200 coupons and 24-hour flash sale, and finally Cyber Monday event from November 26-31 with activity details to be determined. There’s also a Black Friday coupon that works sitewide: BlackFriday-GB. The coupon provides 10% discount on order of $10 or more on items located in the Chinese (CN-099) warehouse, and not yet discounted. The coupon is valid until November 26, 0:00 UTC+8 Beijing Time (unless more than 20,000 units are sold with the coupon) GeekBuying’s promise of up to 80% discount in their Black Friday event should probably be taken …

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