Sony Spresense Board Review with NuttX based Spresense SDK

Sony Spresence Kit Assembled

Sony Spresense Arduino compatible board with audio and global navigation sateliite systems (GNSS) support and its extension board launched in Japan this summer. The company has now expanded markets, and is offering the boards in the United States and Europe as well. They also tasked an agency to send samples to various reviewers, and I got selected to receive one as well. I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, shortly discuss software development options, and report my experience with Spresense SDK. Sony Spresense Unboxing I received two packages… … one the main board, and the other for the extension board. The main board package only comes with CXD5602PWBMAIN1 board and an information sheet. The top of the board includes a reset button, four user LEDs, a power LED, a boot recovery button, the camera interface, Sony CXD5247 power management and audio analog interface chip (Black on the photo below, but in reality it’s a reflective surface), Sony CXD5602 hexa …

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ESP-EYE ESP32 AI Development Board Supports Face detection, Voice wakeup

ESP-EYE Board

Sometimes last month, Espressif Systems contacted me to send a mysterious new development kit together with a 10-year anniversary T-shirt, an offer I found hard to decline 🙂 So I got a new year present this morning delivered by DHL… The letter lists the main specifications of ESP-EYE development board: WiSoC- ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with WiFi and Bluetooth Memory – 8MB PSRAM Storage – 4MB flash Camera – 2MP OV2640 camera Audio – Microphone USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming Misc – Reset, boot and function buttons, 2x LEDs Dimensions – 41 x 21 mm It reminds me of ESP32-CAM camera board, except it adds a microphone, it’s even smaller, and as an official Espressif board, software support might be better. AI features such as face recognition or detection, and voice wake-up are supported out of the box. The board ships with a micro USB cable, and a card with a block diagram, …

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Year 2018 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Stats

cnx software year 2018 review

That’s it, we’ve already reached the last day of 2018, and it’s time to have a look back at what happened during the past year. On the mini PC front, Gemini Lake based mini PCs took over from Apollo Lake with some performance improvements, but I expected the price point to be a bit lower than it is today.  Apart from further developments with regards to mobile processors, it feels 2018 was an off-year for processors, such as the ones found in TV boxes and development boards, with mostly more of the same. Allwinner and Rockchip did not release any really interesting processor, and Amlogic only launched S905X2 and S905Y2 which are mostly evolutions of their previous generation with an OpenGL 3.x capable GPU and USB 3.0. Rockchip RK3399 stood out this year, as despite being launched in 2016, it suddenly became popular again with many RK3399 SBCs coming to market, and RK3399Pro was announced – but not launched yet …

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Khadas Edge Review – Part 3: Android 7.0 Preview

Khadas Edge Android 7.0

Hey Karl here with a look at a preview of Android on the Khadas edge. Jean-luc has done 2 parts already. The first one looking at the hardware side, and a second looking at Ubuntu. A third img is available that for LibreELEC. The initial release was very barebones, and the 2nd version is much more polished with the Play Store installed now and overall feels snappier. Khadas is supposed to be sending an Edge over to Super Celeron, and I hope they follow through. DHL DHL really messed up my board. Here are some pics. I will only be testing with Ethernet because the WiFi antenna got damaged badly and even bent the heatsink. I think the board is slightly damaged as well. I can only flash using the buttons on the board and not the carrier board. Everything else seems OK. Due to the damage I am using a heatsink that I had. I took some temp readings …

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NXP i.MX 6ULZ Cost Efficient Processor Drops Ethernet, Display, & Camera Interfaces

NXP i.MX 6ULZ

Freescale i.MX 6 processor was first announced in January 2011, and in the first few years I covered many products and development boards based on the single to quad core Cortex A9 processor. Further down the road, the company became part of NXP, and launched Cortex A7 variant such as i.MX 6ULL providing both lower costs and power consumption. But now, I usually skip new products based on i.MX6 because they are often just more of the same, and not really new worthy. But yesterday while writing about Linux 4.20 release, I realized I missed the announcement of i.MX 6ULZ processor similar to i.MX 6UL (UltraLight), but cost optimized for applications that do not require Ethernet, display, nor camera interfaces. NXP i.MX 6ULZ key features and specifications with differences with i.MX 6UL highlighted in bold or stricken-through: CPU – ARM Cortex A7 core @ up to 900 MHz with 128KB L2 cache Memory I/F – 16-bit DDR3/DDR3L, LPDDR2 Storage I/F …

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Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.20 Changelog

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just try to keep to the normal merge window schedule, even …

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Fomu FPGA board fits inside a USB port, Supports Python, RISC-V Softcore

Fomu FPGA Board

Sutajio Ko-usagi launched Tomu, a tiny open source hardware USB board that fits inside a USB port at the very beginning of this year. The company is back with a similarly shaped board, but instead of featuring a Silicon Labs EFM32 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller, Fomu is equipped with a Lattice ICE40 UltraPlus FPGA. Fomu specifications: FPGA – Lattice ICE40UP5K FPGA with 5280 logic cells System Memory – 128 kB RAM for a soft CPU Storage – 1 or 2 MB SPI flash Clock – 48 MHz crystal oscillator USB – 1x USB 2.0 FS (12 Mbps) port Misc – 4x buttons, 1x RGB LED The default Fomu firmware exposes a USB bootloader running a RISC-V softcore, and the platform is powerful enough to run a port of Python. It’s also possible to experiment with LM32 and OpenRISC softcores on the platform. Using the board is pretty straightforward as just you need to insert it into one of the port of …

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Khadas Captain / Edge SBC Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 18.04

Khadas Edge Ubuntu 18.04

I received Khadas Edge Developer Package with Khadas Edge RK3399 module, Khadas Captain carrier board, and several accessories a few weeks ago, and after checking the hardware in the first part of the review, I’ve now taken the time to review software support, specially Ubuntu 18.04 on the board. Khadas Edge / Captain Firmware There are currently four main choices of firmware for Khadas Edge / Khadas Captain: Ubuntu 18.04 OS with LXDE desktop environment @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Ubuntu/ Android ROM @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Android/ with Android Nougat being a proper release, Android Oreo (available now) a temporary version that will not be supported, and Android P that will be released and supported by Rockchip later on in 2019 Armbian RK3399 for Khadas Edge that looks to be work-in-progress right now LibreELEC for playing videos on the platform I decided to focus on Ubuntu 18.04 for this review, and Karl who has he own sample will review the stable Android Nougat firmware that has …

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