NanoPC-T4 Review with Android 7.1 Firmware

NanoPC T4 Connected

NanoPC-T4 is one of the many Rockchip RK3399 SBCs now available, and as we’ve seen in the “unboxing review” the company sent me two samples. So far, I’ve been reviewing RK3399 boards with Linux distributions in posts such as “Checking Out Debian and Linux SDK for VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 Board” and more recently “AIO-3399J Development Board Review with Ubuntu 16.04“. But in this NanoPC-T4 review, I’ll switch to Android, specifically Android 7.1, as I’ll soon try Android 8.1 on Firefly-RK3399 which might make for an interesting comparison between the two versions of the OS, before switching to Linux with Pine64 RockPro64 board which I received yesterday. First Boot with NanoPC-T4 Development Board I had already assembled  the board in the first part of the review, so I just added the two WiFi antennas, the optional USB to serial debug board, and connected various accessories and cables from left to right: USB keyboard and mouse, HDMI cable to 4K TV,  USB 3.0 …

Checking out DevCheck System Info App for Android on NanoPC-T4 Development Board

DevCheck-Dashboard

There are already  a few ways to get system information in Android. The most obvious is just going into the Settings menu, another solution more detailed but less convenient is to access the terminal via adb or an app and run some commands, and finally you can also install apps such as CPU-Z. I’ve been made aware of a new system info app recently called DevCheck, and decided to try it on an Android development board, namely NanoPC-T4 RK3399 SBC. Those apps are often mainly tested on smartphones, so running them on TV boxes or boards do not always yield perfect results. We’ll see. The dashboard section looks good as the app correctly detects six cores and show difference frequencies for each. The hardware part appears to show two clusters one supporting frequencies between 408 MHz and 1416 MHz (Cortex-A53 cores) and another between 408 MHz and 1800 MHz (Cortex-A72 cores).  The GPU is also correctly identified as an Arm …

A Quick Look at MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter, and Windows 10 M.2 SSD Card for N42C-4 Mini PC

MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter Android 7.1

A couple of weeks ago, MINIX announced their NEO C Plus USB type C adapter with 9 ports including two HDMI outputs. The company has now sent me samples of the adapter, as well as an M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4 pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. I’ll first have a look at the accessories I received before testing MINIX NEO C Plus adapter with Android 7.1 running on NanoPC-T4 board. MINIX NEO C Plus and M.2 SSD Unboxing I received two USB-C multiport adapter with dual HDMI output which are identical, except for the color with one white version and a silver version, as well as a “128GB M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4”. The USB-C adapter comes with a bilingual English-German user manual. We learn some interesting information and limitations from the device. First, the adapter is only certified to use with MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, and some of the limitations include: Total USB output is limited …

FriendlyELEC NanoPC-T4 Board Kit Unboxing and Assembly

NanoPC T4 Case

FriendlyELEC introduced NanoPC-T4 RK3399 SBC (Single Board Computer) last May for $129. The board comes with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, dual-band WiFi module and an M.2 socket with NVME (PCIe) SSD support. The company has now sent me the device with accessories for review / evaluation. In this post, I’ll check out all items received, and show how to assemble all components. NanoPC-T4 Board Kit Unboxing Let’s getting started, and open the package… I received two identical kits with two NanoPC-T4 boards, acrylic enclosure with spacers, screws and nuts, 12V/2A power supply, heatsink, and an RC-100 IR remote control. In theory, I also expected two WiFi antennas per kit since that’s part fo the kit in their website, but I did not see any. The remote control is an optional item. [Update: Ooops. I found the antennas inside the package for NanoPC-T4 board.] I’ve already gone through all specifications in the announcement post, but …

NetBSD ARM64 Images Now Available with SMP for Raspberry Pi 3, Some NanoPi Boards, and Pine64 Boards

ROCK64 NetBSD ARM64

NetBSD on Arm started in 2014 with the release of version 7.0, and last year device tree support was implemented and tested on some Allwinner H3 boards. But apparently, so far NetBSD only supported 32-bit Arm, with initial support for 64-bit Arm (ARM64) committed last April, but good progress has been made, and NetBSD ARM64 bootable firmware images are now available with SMP (multi-core) support. Eight different NetBSD ARM64 images can be downloaded: Generic NetBSD 64-bit image for Raspberry Pi 3 and NVIDIA Tegra X1 Two images for FriendlyELEC boards namely NanoPi NEO2 and NEO Plus2 boards Five images for the following Pine64 boards and hardware platforms Pine A64/A64+ Pine A64-LTS / Sopine with baseboard Pine H64 Pinebook laptop ROCK64 (ROCK64Pro not yet supported) The supported hardware matrix shows most features are supported, but there are still a few things missing such as GPU, crypto and MIPI CSI on all platforms, USB OTG is still experimental, and PCIe support is …

96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Boards Cluster is a DIY Portable Solution to Teach or Develop Distributed Software

96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Cluster

Nick Smith has been messing around with clusters made of Arm boards for several years starting with Raspberry Pi boards, including a 5-node RPI 3 cluster, before moving to other boards like Orange Pi 2E, Pine A64+, or NanoPC-T3. His latest design is based on twelve NanoPi Fire3 boards with 8 cores each, bringing the total number of cores to 96.  The platform may not be really useful for actual HPC applications due to limited power and memory, but can still be relied upon for education and development, especially it’s easily portable. Nick also made some interesting points and discoveries. It’s pretty with shiny blinking LEDs, and what looks like proper cooling, and the cluster can deliver 60,000 MFLOPS with Linpack which places it in the top 250 faster computers in the world! That’s provided we travel back in time to year 2000 through 🙂 By today’s standard, it would be rather slow, but that’s an interesting historical fact. Nick …

FriendlyElec Launches Smart6818 Samsung S5P6818 CPU Module

Smart4418 S5P4418 SoM Development Kit

Yesterday, we covered Core4418 low profile board based on Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor, but that’s not the only product launched by FriendlyElec this week, as the company also introduced Smart6818, a Samsung S5P6818 CPU module following Smart4418 module design, and equipped with 1GB DDR3, and 8 to 32 GB eMMC flash. Smart6818 specifications: SoC – Samsung S5P6818 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.4GHz, Arm Mali-400MP GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 up to 800 MHz Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (16GB and 32GB optional) Connectivity – Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver Audio – ES8316 Audio codec Board to Board Headers 2x 70-pin 2.0mm pitch headers with RGB LCD, LVDS, HDMI Tx, I2C, PWM, USB host, UART, SPI, GPIOs, SDIO, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio input/output, Camera I/F 1x 34-pin 2.0mm pitch unpopulated header with GPIOs, MIPI CSI, ADC, PWM Power Supply – 5V Power Management – Dynamic voltage scaling, software power on, RTC alarm power-on Dimensions …

FriendlyELEC Core4418 is a Low Profile Samsung S5P4418 Board

Core4412-LCD-Display

Samsung (Nexell) S5P4418 & S5P6818 quad/octa core Cortex A9 processors used to have dismal Linux support with a very old & unsecure Linux 3.4 kernel, but in the last year or so software support has greatly improved, likely because those processors are used in some Samsung Artik IoT modules. FriendlyELEC has been manufacturing several S5P boards starting from their NanoPi2 board launched in 2015, and more recently they introduced NanoPi Fire2A & Fire3 boards based on S5P4418 & S5P6818 processor respectively. But this month, they’ve launched two more S5P platforms, and today I’ll look at Core4418 board, which has a lower profile than any of their previous board since the RJ45 Ethernet jack and USB type A ports are not included. FriendlyELEC Core4418 specifications: SoC – Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.4GHz, Arm Mali-400MP GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD Slot up to 128 GB Connectivity – Gigabit …