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Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi Industrial IoT Computer is Powered by Raspberry Pi CM3 Module

November 28th, 2017 5 comments

We’ve seen several industrial products powered by Raspberry Pi 3 board or CM3 module recently, with the likes of Industrial Shields Panel PC, TECHBASE ModBerry, or Pi/104 PC/104 compliant carrier board among others.

We can now add another industrial computer based on Raspberry Pi CM3 module with Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi IoT gateway, with dual Ethernet port, support for 3G/LTE modems, a rugged case, and working in a wide temperature range of -40°C to 80°C.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi specifications:

  • SoC –  Broadcom BCM2837 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4 to 64GB of soldered eMMC flash,  micro SD socket
  • Connectivity
    • 2x 100Mbps Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
    • 3G / LTE cellular modem via mini-PCie module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3, up to 1920×1080
  • Audio – 3.5mm stereo line out jack, HDMI audio
  • USB – 4x USB2.0 host port
  • Serial
    • 1x RS232 port, ultra-mini serial connector
    • 1x RS485, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • CAN – 1x CAN bus, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Expansion
    • RPI HAT expansion interface
    • 6x DIO, 5V tolerant, 100-mil header implemented with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Misc – RTC Real time clock with back-up battery
  • Input voltage Unregulated 10V to 36V DC input
  • Dimensions – 112 x 84 x 25 mm (Aluminum housing)
  • Weight – 450 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 60° C; extended: -20° to 60° C; industrial: -40° to 80° C
  • Shock, vibration, dust and humidity resistance

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The gateway uses passive cooling, so no fan is needed, it supports both VESA and DIN rail mounts, and hardware protection against unintentional DC plug pull out and unauthorized boot from external storage.

The gateway runs Raspberry Pi 3 OS images such as Debian Linux (Raspbian), Ubuntu Core and Windows 10 IoT Core, and is compatible with IoT frameworks like Microsoft Azure IoT or AWS Greengrass.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi will start selling next month with price starting at $110 for volume orders. Visit the product page for further information.

Armbian v5.35 Released with Linux 4.13, U-boot v2017.09, New Boards Support

November 27th, 2017 19 comments

Armbian v5.35 has been released last Friday as a major update that brings Linux mainline kernel to version 4.13, U-Boot mainline to version v2017.09, adds support for 7″ Raspberry Pi display, Realtek WiFi drivers (mainline), and new stable hardware support for NanoPi Duo, Pinebook, and Orange Pi R1.

Some other boards got experimental support, including Le Potato, NanoPi NEO 2, Orange Pi Zero Plus, Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 (H5). The desktop version of the images gets a full featured XFCE terminal, OpenVPN connector, a new wallpaper, and various other changes and fixes.

Armbian v5.35 on NanoPi NEO with Legacy Kernel

armbian-config is normally used to configure the board for example networking configuration, but the utility has become even more useful with support for Hotspot, Bluetooth, SSH server configuration, swtich between stable & beta builds and between kernel applications, adds the ability to start an RDP server, and install third party software such as SAMBA, OpenMediaVault, PiHole, Transmission BT, and so on.

If you have an existing installation, you can simply upgrade with the following commands, as I did for NanoPi NEO board above:

For a fresh installation, download the images from the download page instead.

Gameshell Portable Retro Gaming Console Features Clockwork Pi Allwinner R16 Board (Crowdfunding)

November 24th, 2017 3 comments

Allwinner R16 with its lowly four Cortex A7 cores and Mali-400MP2 GPU would not normally come to mind when designing a gaming console. But Nintendo used the R16 processor twice in their retro gaming consoles: NES Classic and SNES Classic Edition.

Clockwork, a startup based in Hangzhou, China, decided they could also do gaming console with the processor: Gameshell. But their product is quite different, as it’s both a portable console with 2.7″ display, and a development platform with the console based on Clockwork Pi development board, and an Atmel AVR (Arduino) based keypad board.

Gameshell specifications:

  • Clockwork Pi development board
    • SoC – Alwinner R16-J quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
    • System Memory – 512MB or 1GB (in future revision of the board)
    • Storage – 1x micro SDHC slot
    • Video Output / Display I/F – 18-bit RGB display interface, micro HDMI (planned in revision of the board),
    • Audio Output – Via HDMI, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
    • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
    • USB – 1x micro USB port
    • Expansion – 14-pin header with UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO
    • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or 3.7V battery
    • Dimensions – 70×50 mm
  • Keypad board
    • MCU- Microchip Atmel ATMega160p MCU
    • 30-pin header with flat headers
    • ISP programming connector
    • I2C? interface to Clockwork Pi
    • micro USB connector
  • Display – 2.7″ RGB display with 320×240 @ 60 Hz
  • Stereo Speaker Module
  • Battery – 1,050 mAh good for 3 hours of continuous use, 100 hours standby
  • Weight – 195 grams

The console runs Linux, and supported thousands of games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, SNES and more. Doom, and Cave Story are included in the console, with more free games coming in the future. The game console is designed to be disassembled, so that you can use it as a Linux + Arduino development platform for education and/or fun. You can run the company’ Clockwork OS with classic games support (apparently via RetroArch) and programming languages, but other OS will also be provided including Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian.

Gameshell is now on Kickstarter, and it’s going rather well right now with over $180,000 raised for the project. A $109 early bird pledge will include the white and gray Gameshell, a micro SD card preloaded with the OS and games, and a logo sticker. They also have rewards with different a rear shell with a different colors, and bundles with multiple consoles. Shipping add $10 for one console, and delivery is planned for April 2018. You may also find more details on Clockworkpi.com website.

VoltaStream AMP1 Linux Audio Board Includes a Stereo Audio Amplifier, Adds WiFi and Bluetooth

November 23rd, 2017 1 comment

Last summer I wrote about VoltaStream ZERO an audio board powered by NXP i.MX6ULL processor, with up to 1GB RAM, a Texas Instruments DAC, and leveraging Raspberry Pi Zero form factor. The board runs a custom Linux distribution called PolyOS built with the Yocto Project, and including shairport-sync, librespot, SqueezeLite, a DLNA renderer, and more.

Polyvection, the company behind the project is now back with VoltaStream AMP1 audio development board, with half the board very similar to VoltStream ZERO, and the other half featuring an audio amplifier, and a wireless module for WiFi and Bluetooth.

Click to Enlarge

VoltaStream AMP1 board specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX6ULL ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ 996 MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Audio
    • 1x I2S for integrated DAC and AMP, 1x I2S for GPIO access, 1x TOSLINK-IN jack
    • Analog DAC – Texas Instruments PCM1862 (SNR 103 dB)
    • Amplifier – ISSI IS31AP2121 / class-D / SNR 104 dB; 2x 35 Watt (2x 25 watt continuous)
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 (Qualcomm QCA9377)
  • USB – 1x micro USB slave port (USB gadget mode supported), 1x USB type A host port
  • Expansion Headers – 40-pin GPIO header with 5V, 3V3, GND, 2x UART, flexCAN, 2x I2C, SPI, I2S, 3x PWM, S/PDIF input
  • Misc – Integrated button handler / accessible from header
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port (TBC), or 10 to 20V via barrel jack
  • Power consumption – TBD (For reference: Voltastream ZERO: 0.25 Watt – Linux idle)
  • Dimensions – 65 mm x 56 mm

Click to Enlarge

VoltaStream AMP1 board will ship with a 100 mm external antenna with adhesive, two wooden plates for a simple case together with required screws and spacers. You’ll need to add your own power supply (30W or greater), micro SD card with 2GB or greater capacity, and of source the speakers.

The board supports the same audio specific PolyOS operating system, or a more generic PolyBian Debian based Linux distribution. Documentation including a getting started guide and schematics (PDF), as well as download links can be found in the product page, where you’ll also be able to purchase the board for 83.19 Euros plus eventual VAT, and shipping costs.

Thanks to Frederic for the tip.

WandPi 8M Development Board Coming Soon with NXP i.MX8M SoC for $89 and Up

November 17th, 2017 21 comments

Wandboard launched in 2012 using Freescale i.MX6 Solo/Dual processor, following soon after by Wandbord Quad. We are not hearing much about those boards today, but since the processor comes with 10 to 15-year long term support, they are still being sold, and software keeps getting updated. For example, the board first shipped with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and the company recently provided Android 7.1 (Nougat) images, and Android 8.x Oreo is likely coming next year.

The company has now unveiled the next generation of Wandboard boards with WandPi 8M powered by NXP i.MX 8M Cortex A53/M4 processors, with up to 2GB DDR4, 16GB eMMC flash, and various network connectivity options and ports.

Three versions of the board (Lite, Pro, Deluxe) will be available with the following specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX8M Quad with four ARM Cortex A53 cores, a Cortex M4F real-time core, and Vivante GC7000Lite GPU with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2
  • System Memory / Storage
    • WANDPI-8M-LITE – 1GB DDR4 + 4GB eMMC flash
    • WANDPI-8M-PRO – 2GB DDR4 + 8GB eMMC flash
    • WANDPI-8M-DELUXE – 2GB DDR4 + 16GB eMMC flash
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Video Decode – 4K UltraHD HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG) up to 4Kp60 for H.265, VP9, 4Kp30 for H.264, 1080p60 for MPEG2, MPEG4p2, VC1, VP8, RV9, AVS/AVS+, h.263, DiVX.
  • Connectivity

    40-pin Header Pinout Diagram

    • Gigabit Ethernet port via Atheros AR8035 chip
    • WANDPI-8M-PRO/DELUXE – Dual band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2 via Atheros QCA9377; MHF4 antenna connector
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion Header
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi (mostly) compatible GPIO header with I2C, UART, SPI, PWM, GPIO, SAI/I2S, 5V, 3.3V and GND
    • mikroBUS socket with SPI/I2C/UART/PWM/GPIO/Analog for MikroElectronika Click Boards (now over 250 modules)
  • Debugging – 1x micro USB port for serial console access
  • Misc – Reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB type C port
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 x 17.5 mm
  • Weight – Working on it
  • Environment / Reliability –
    • Temperature Range – 0 to 50°C
    • Humidity – 10 to 90% RH humidity
    • MTFB – 50,000 hours
    • Shock – 50G/25ms
    • Vibration – 20G/0-600Hz
  • Certifications – Compliant with CE / FCC / RoHS / REACH directives

The block diagram also reveals MIPI camera display (FPC) and MIPI camera (BTB) which are not listed in the specifications.

WandPi 8M Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Information about software is currently limited, and we just know the boards will run Linux with “open source code and binary images that are easily accessible” as well design guides and schematics just like the previous Wandboards. The company also shows some logos for the Yocto Project, Ubuntu, Android, Kodi, and Debian, so we can expect support for those.

WandPi 8M boards will ship in Q2 2018, but the company is already taking pre-orders for $89 (LITE), $99 (PRO) and $119 (DELUXE). You’ll find purchase links and a few more details on the product page. Those relatively low cost development boards could also be good news for other open source i.MX8 projects such as Purism Librem 5 smartphone, and MNT reform DIY modular laptop, as more developers may be involved on working on i.MX 8M software support.

TECHBASE ModBerry​ M300 Linux IoT Gateway ​is Powered by NanoPi NEO Board

November 15th, 2017 2 comments

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE Modberry industrial automation gateways based on popular development boards such as Raspberry Pi 3, NanoPi M1 Plus, and Intel Cherry Trail’s UP board, and designed for applications such as PLC controllers or MODBUS gateway / router.

The company has now launched a new version with Modberry M300 powered NanoPi NEO Allwinner H3 board.

ModBerry​ M300 gateway specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – micro SDHC card slot
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet port
    • Optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, speed up to 150 Mbps, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2), LTE/3G modem, GPS module, ZigBee, Bluetooth, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, Nb-IoT
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host header
  • Expansion I/Os
    • 2x DIO ports
    • 1x RS-232, 1x RS-485
    • 1x 2-pin mBus master for up to 10 slave devices
    • Optional up to 3 ExCard I/O modules for more RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, etc…
  • Misc – RTC with battery, watchdog timer
  • Power Supply – 9~30V DC up to 20Watts without modem; 40W with modems
  • Dimensions – 91 x 71 x 61 mm (ABS case with DIN rail mount)
  • Weight – 100 grams
  • Operating Conditions
    • Temperature –  Standard : 0 ~ 60°C; extended range: -40 ~ 70°C
    • Humidity – 5 ~ 95% RH (non-condensing)

Modberry M300 Features and Options – Click to Enlarge

The gateway can run Debian, or Ubuntu Core based on Linux 4.11.2+ and u-boot, as well as the company’s iMod software to handle various industrial or other protocols such as M-Bus, Modbus, SNMP, MQTT, etc…

Pricing is not available just like with other Modberry gateways, and you’ll find more details on the products page. Not directly related, but found in the same TECHBASE’s November 2017 newsletter, the company also mentions M-Bus/WM-Bus support for their Moduino ESP32 gateways.

NanoPi Fire2A & Fire3 Boards Released with Samsung/Nexell Quad & Octa Core Processors

November 12th, 2017 31 comments

FriendlyElec previously launched NanoPi 2 Fire board powered by Samsung (Nexell) S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 SoC, mostly interesting because of its small form factor, camera and LCD interfaces.

The company has now launched two new boards based on S5Pxx18 processors, namely NanoPi Fire2A powered by S5P4418 SoC, and NanoPi Fire3 based on S5P6818 octa-core Cortex-A53 SoC. Both boards share the same form factor, which remains quite similar to the one of NanoPi 2 Fire, except the HDMI connector now makes place for a micro HDMI port, the USB 2.0 has moved into vertical position, and a few other tweaks have been made to positions of buttons and components.

NanoPi Fire2A / Fire3 specifications:

  • SoC
    • Fire2A – Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.4GHz, Mali-400MP GPU
    • Fire3 – Samsung S5P6818 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.4 GHz, Mali-400MP GPU
  • System Memory
    • Fire2A – 512MB DDR3
    • Fire3 – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 1x Micro SD Slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Video Output / Display I/F- 1x micro HDMI 1.4a port up to 1080p60, RGB LCD interface
  • Camera – 24-pin DVP interface; 0.5mm pitch
  • USB – 1x USB Host port; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port for power and data
  • Expansions Headers – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with UART, I2C, SPI, GPIOs…
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – Power and reset buttons, power and system LEDs, RTC battery header
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port; STM32F03 ARM Cortex M0 MCU for power handling (SW power off, sleep , and wakeup function)
  • Dimension: 75 x 40 mm

Other differences with the earlier model: AXP288 PMIC is gone, and replaced by an STM32 Cortex M0 MCU, and the company has now added mounting holes for a heatsink. The company provides FriendlyCore, and Debian firmware images for both hardware, and an extra Android image for Fire3 board. FriendlyCore is based on Ubuntu Core 16.04 with Linux 4.4, Qt 5.9 with OpenGL, and GStreams with VPU acceleration. The good news is the Linux kernel got an upgrade from Linux 3.4 to a more recent Linux 4.4 LTS kernel.

You’ll find download links and instructions to get starting in the Wiki pages here and there. NanoPi Fire2A is sold for $28 plus shipping, while NanoPi Fire3 goes for $35. You may also be interested in compatible accessories and external modules, including S430 4.3″ capacitive touch screen LCD display, X710 7.1″ capacitive touch screen LCD display, HD101 10.1″ touchscreen LCD display, CAM500B 5MP CMOS camera, Matrix GPS module, and others which you can find by browsing in the store.

NanoPi Fire2A/3 Connected to LCD430 Display (Left) and GPS Matrix Module (Right)

Voladd Cloud-Connected Linux 3D Printer is Powered by BeagleBone Black Board (Crowdfunding)

October 24th, 2017 No comments

So far, all of the 3D printers that have been reviewed on this blog require you to design or download a 3D object on your computer, and print it from an SD card. But thanks to OctoPrint software and cheap ARM Linux developments boards, it has become possible to add a Linux computer with webcam to remotely start and control the 3D printer for a few dozens dollars. Karl has even released an OctoPrint image for Orange Pi Lite board.

Voladd 3D printer already embeds a Linux board, namely the BeagleBone Black running Debian, which allows the 3D printer to be easy to use since no software  installation is required. You can start printing by selecting an object in a web browser or an app in your smartphone, and they’ve also taken steps to eliminate/reduce maintenance tasks, such as the inclusion of a filament cartridge.

Voladd 3D printer specifications:

  • Internal computer – BeagleBone Black based on TI AM335x ARM Cortex A8 processor
  • Connectivity – Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and NFC; MQTT protocol supported
  • Print area – 175 x 125 x 150 mm (xyz)
  • Printing plate – Surface treated, removable, and adjustable with 3 rollers; optional glass platform
  • Print head – 0.2 (coming next year), 0.4 or 0.6 mm
  • Noise attenuated fans
  • Misc – On/off button, switch dial for cartridge, LEDs for connectivity status, general status, server interaction and head heating.
  • Power Supply – 100-240V @ 50/60 Hz
  • Dimensions – 29 x 40 x 29 cm (xyz)
  • Weight – 4.5 kg
  • Certifications – CE, EAC

Voladd 3D printer will ship with a Cartridge with 420 grams of white filament, the printing base, , a quick start guide and warranty. Voladd Cartridges, made of biodegradable, recyclable, and plant-based PLA bioplastic, come in 7 possible colors (20 colors planned for next year), and it appears you can’t just buy filament from anywhere for a refill. So if I understand correctly, you’ll be tied to the company for both the cloud service and filament. But if it really works as advertised: no assembly, no manual calibration, no jamming, no cleaning, etc…,just select an object to print online, it could be a good option for people that just want something that works…

The company also explains the 3D printer will save you money in the long run, it’s good for the environment (no factory, no transportation, biodegradable materials..), secure (AES/TLS), sharable with friends, and Voladd Cloud also include support for the creation of simple objects like personalized signs.

They’ve also provided a tablet comparing Voladd to more typical and harder to use 3D printers.

The 3D printer has already surpassed its 25,000 Euros funding target on Kickstarter. Pledges start at 499 Euros for a “super early bird” rewards include the printer, a white PLA cartridge, and access to Voladd Cloud platform. Shipping adds 25 to 50 Euros if you live in the “Western World”, but for any other countries it goes up to 350 Euros, which means it could costs close to 1000 Euros once local taxes are included. Delivery is scheduled for December 10, 2017. More details may also be available on Voladd website.

Via LinuxGizmos