Khadas Vim Amlogic S905X Android and Linux Development Board Sells for $50 and Up

Last summer I wrote about Shenzhen Tomato TVI development board powered by Amlogic S905X processor, and at the time the company focused on business to business customers, but the board is now sold as Khadas Vim through GearBest with 2 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, and price starting at $49.99 including shipping. Khadas Vim and Vim Pro boards’ specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage Vim – 8 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Vim Pro – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Video & Audio  Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz Connectivity Vim – Fast Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Ampak AP6212 module) with IPEX connector Vim Pro – Fast Ethernet port, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 (Ampak AP6255) with IPEX connector USB – 2x USB …

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Linux 4.7 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.7 is out: So, after a slight delay due to my travels, I’m back, and 4.7 is out. Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn’t all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There’s a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it’s fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there’s random small noise spread all over. And obviously, this means that the merge window for 4.8 is open.Judging by the linux-next contents, that’s going to be a bigger release than the current one (4.7 really was fairly calm, I blame at least partly summer in the northern hemisphere). Linus Linux 4.6 brought USB 3.1 superspeed, OrangeFS distributed file system, 802.1AE MAC-level encryption (MACsec), and BATMAN V protocol support, improved the reliability of OOM task killer, and more. Linux 4.7 …

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Review of Light Biz OS Operating System for Desktop Use (Writing a Blog Post)

This is take 2 of using an Android mini PC as a desktop PC, as I’m currently writing this post from GeekBox TV box with Rockchip’s Light Biz OS, an operating systems based on Android 5.1 with some optimizations for desktop use. I’ve already installed various productivity apps such as Gimp and Microsoft Excel, and at first this was a problem sinc Light Biz OS “internal storage” partition was too small to install some programs, so I had to resize the “userdata” partition to 6GB to make it usable. I normally blog with Firefox in Ubuntu 14.04, so right now, I’m writing with Firefox for Android, and not WordPress Android app, which would have been another option. One of the first challenge was to create links, and I could copy links with a long click providing access to copy tools in Firefox, and copy the links with Ctrl+V in Firefox. All good, except I could not select text and create …

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How to Upgrade Rockchip Firmware in Linux for RK3288, RK3328, RK3368, RK3399, etc..

I’ve been looking for ways to upgrade firmware on Rockchip RK3368 based GeekBox in a computer running Ubuntu 14.04, but while they’ve provided firmware update instructions for Windows, which remains basically the same as upgrading firmware on Rockchip RK3288, there’s no such information for Linux. However, I could remember than Radxa Rock supported upgrade_tool utility, but since the tool linked on Radxa website might be outdated, I instead searched for some RKtools repository on Geekboxzone Github account, and I was lucky enough to find one. Here’s what I did to flash Light Biz OS to GeekBox with my Linux computer: Get the tools, and make sure upgrade_tool is there. Download and extract the firmware, e.g. Cross_Lollipop_BizOS_V151208.7z: Now connect a USB cable to the USB OTG port of your device or board. In case of GeekBox that’s the micro USB port. Now as the board is powered on, keep pressing the Update key while pressing the Reboot key for a short …

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GeekBox and Landingship Android Overview and Benchmarks

This week-end I checked out GeekBox TV box, and Landingship baseboard, explained how to connect the two together and install various optional accessories such as an RTC battery and a cooling fan. GeekBox comes pre-loaded with Android 5.1 + Ubuntu dual boot image, and as I’ve already reviewed other Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes, and GeekBox is also a development platform, I’ll simply run several benchmarks on GeekBox, as well as test SATA performance with an SSD connected to Landingship carrier board in Android, before checking out the Linux part a little latter. That’s no quite how you want to place the fan, but I wanted to show the USB to TTL debug board and other wires can be connected with the case closed. This allowed me to easily check whether the fan was spinning during testing, and it never did… According to one forum post, the temperature currently needs to reach 80 C for the fan to spin, so I …

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GeekBox TV Box Unboxing and Development Kit Assembly Guide

GeekBox is both an Android TV box based on Rockchip RK3368 octa-core processor, and a Linux development kit thanks to the CPU module inside the device, a baseboard and various accessories. The company has sent me a review sample, as well as the accessories currently available. So today, I’ll have a look at the box, and show how to connect everything together. GeekBox TV Box Unboxing I’ve received two carton boxes via DHL, one with GeekBox itself, and the other with some accessories. You could use GeeBox has a TV box, and forget about its development attributes, as the device comes with the usual accessories include a case, an HDMI cable, an infrared remote control, and a 5V/2A power supply. I was really surprised by how small it was compared to other 64-bit ARM TV boxes recently launched on the market, and looks very much like a small router with its two antennas. When you look the user’s manual, you …

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Light Biz OS Firmware, Android and Ubuntu Image, and Android SDK Released for GeekBox (RK3368)

GeekBox is an upcoming Android TV box based on Rockchip RK3368 octa-core processor that doubles as a system-on-module and development board. The company has now uploaded the Android 5.1 SDK, including Linux 3.10.79 kernel, on github. It’s not for the Android SDK for RK3368, but at least it’s not just an outdated tarball, and will hopefully be regularly updated directly on github. Beside the source code, the company also released three firmware image including Rockchip’s Light Biz OS desktop operating system based on Lollipop: Biz OS for GeekBox – V151208 (8th of December 2015) Android and Lubuntu dual boot image  – V151129 (29th of November 2015) Android 5.1 image – V151129 (29th of November 2015) It’s quite possible those images will also work on other Rockchip RK3368 platform with some modifications, e.g. an updated device tree file for a given hardware. I’ve downloaded Biz OS adn the dual boot image, and the firmware files are of “update.img” type, so they …

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GeekBox is a Hackable Android and Linux TV Box Powered by Rockchip RK3368 SoC

There are many Android TV boxes on the market based on Rockchip RK3368 processor, while I’m not aware of any development board based on the latest Rockchip octa-core processor, and Linux support is basically inexistent. One device may fill both gaps: GeekBox. This TV box can run both Android and Ubuntu Linux, while it’s easily disassembled to access expansion headers. The hardware specifications are a little higher-end than most Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes we’ve seen so far: SoC – Rockchip RK3368 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with PowerVR G6110 GPU System Memory – 2GB [email protected] Storage – 16GB Samsung eMMC v5.0 flash + micro SD slot Video Output / Display I/F HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with CEC support Display + touchscreen headers Audio Output – HDMI Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n + 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO @ 867 Mbps (AP6354 module), Bluetooth 4.1 USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG …

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