Hikey 970 Development Board is Now Up for Pre-order for $299.99

Tweet Four A.I. development boards compliant with 96Boards specifications were announced at Linaro Connect HK 2018 last month: HiKey 970, Ultra96, as well as ROCK960 PRO & Enterprise Edition. So for we only knew pricing for Ultra96 ($249), but I’ve now noticed Hikey 970 “Super Edge AI Computing Platform”  is now up for pre-order for $299.99 on Lenovator website, with shipping planned for the end of April. [Update: Also found on Seeed Studio for the same price] Hikey 970 specifications: SoC – Huawei/Hisilicon Kirin 970 with 4x Cortex A73 @ 2.36GHz,  4x Cortex A53 @ 1.8GHz, Arm Mali G72-MP12 GPU, NPU (Neural Processing Unit) with 256MAC/cycle @ 960MHz System Memory – 6GB 1866MHz, 4 Channel LPDDR4x Storage – 64GB UFS storage, micro SD card slot, PCIe Gen3 on M.2 M key connector Video Output – HDMI 1.4 type A up to 1080p60 (TBC), 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI (via HS expansion connector) Video – MPEG2 @ 80 Mbps, MPEG4 @ 50 …

HEIF Image Container Format Leverages H.265/HEVC to Store Photos and Image Sequences

Tweet A few years ago, Google introduced WebP image format leveraging VP8 video codec, and the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has decided to do something similar but instead of using VP8, they went with their own H.265/HEVC video codec for HEIF image container format. HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image File, and is defined by ISO/IEC 23008-12 (MPEG-H Part 12). The storage of the data is based on ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF), and HEIF appears to be especially useful to replace animated GIFs file with better quality and much lower sizes, as well as burst photos. HEIF also appears to compress a little better than JPEG photo with similar quality, but HEIF appears to fallback to JPEG codec sometimes, so it may be improvement in the way metadata is handled? The comparison table show the different features between HEIF and other well-known image format (JEG, WebP, GIF, etc…). Source: Nokiatech Github.io page.   .heic JPEG/Exif PNG GIF …

Pine H64 Development Board Features Allwinner H6 processor, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and PCIe for $26 and Up

Tweet As expected, Pine64 has now launched Pine H64 development board, powered by Allwinner H6 quad core processor, and contrary to Orange Pi H6 boards, it exposes both Gigabit Ethernet, and a USB 3.0 port, which should please people wanting fast storage combined with Gigabit Ethernet. The board comes in three variants with 1, 2 or 3GB of memory, with all also equipped with a mini PCIe interface, and various I/O headers. Pine H64 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H6 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Arm Mali-T720MP2 GPU System Memory – 1, 2 or 3GB LPDDR3 PC-1600 RAM Storage – 128 Mbit SPI flash, micro SD card slot, and eMMC flash module connector (all bootable) Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz Audio – HDMI audio output, Video Decoding – 10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60 fps, VP9 and H.264 up to 4K @ 30 fps Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, headers for SDIO 3.0/UART wireless …

Samsung Announces Exynos 9810 Octa-core Processor Optimized for AI and Multimedia Applications

Tweet Samsung Electronics has just announced the launch of Exynos 9 Series 9810 (Exynos 9810) manufactured with Samsung’s 10-nm FinFET process, featuring an eight core processor clocked up to 2.9 GHz, a gigabit (1.2 Gbps) LTE modem and deep learning-enhanced image processing. Single core performance is aud to be improved by two-fold, while multi-core performance gets a 40% improvement compared to the previous generation chip, which should be Exynos 8895. ARM Mali-G72 GPU is said to bring more realistic graphics along with 20% more performance. Samsung Exynos 9810 specifications with extra cache and memory info from Anandtech: CPU Quad core custom Exynos M3 @ up to 2.9GHz optimized for performance; 512KB L2 cache per core Quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 @ up to 1.9GHz optimized for efficiency; 128KB L2 cache per core GPU – Arm Mali-G72MP18 Memory – LPDDR4x (4x 16-bit @ 1794 MHz) Storage – UFS 2.1, SD 3.0 Display –  Up to WQUXGA (3840×2400), 4K UHD (4096×2160) LTE Modem – …

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa Core Kryo 385 SoC to Power Premium Smartphones, XR Headsets, Windows Laptops

Tweet Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor was expected since May 2017 with four custom Cortex A75 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, Adreno 630 GPU, and X20 LTE modem. with the launch planned for Q1 2018. At least, that what the leaks said. Qualcomm has now formally launched Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and rumors were mostly right, as the the octa-core processor comes with four Kryo 385 Gold cores (custom Cortex A75), four Kryo 385 Silver cores (custom Cortex A55) leveraging DynamIQ technology, an Adreno 630 “Visual Processing System”, and Snapdragon X20 modem supporting LTE Cat18/13. The processor is said to use more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) allowing what the company calls “extended reality (XR)” applications, and will soon be found in flagship smartphones, XR headsets, mobile PCs, and more. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (SDM845) specifications: Processor 4x Kryo 385 Gold performance cores @ up to 2.80 GHz (custom ARM Cortex A75 cores) 4x Kryo 385 Silver efficiency cores @ up to 1.80 …

Amlogic S905X vs Rockchip RK3328 vs Allwinner H6 Processors – Benchmarks & Features Comparison

Tweet Rockchip, Amlogic and Allwinner are all battling for the lower and mid range segment of the TV box market, so it may be interesting to compare their solutions. We won’t look into the ultra low-end market with 32-bit ARM Cortex A7 processor, but instead compare some of the recent quad core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 processor for 4K HDR TV box from the company with respectively Amlogic S905X, Rockchip RK3328, and Allwinner H6 SoCs. We’ll compare some of the benchmarks obtained with Android TV boxes, as well as other features like video support, USB and Ethernet interfaces. Benchmarks Let’s start with results for popular Android benchmarks: Antutu 6.x, Vellamo 3.x, and 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme v1.2 with results obtained from 3 TV boxes: Mini M8S II (Amlogic S905X), A95X R2 (Rockchip RK3328), and Zidoo H6 Pro (Allwinner H6). A score is highlighted in green is there’s a clear winner, and in red for a clear loser. Amlogic S905X Rockchip …

Zidoo H6 Pro (Allwinner H6) TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 7.0 Firmware

Tweet Zidoo H6 Pro is the very first Allwinner H6 based 4K TV box. The Android 7.0 device support H.265, H.264 and VP6 4K video decoding, comes with fast interfaces such as USB 3.0, and network connectivity with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac WiFi. I’ve already checkout the hardware in the first part of the review entitled “Zidoo H6 Pro (Allwinner H6) TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown“, and since then, I’ve had time to play with the TV box, and report my experience with Android 7.0 in this second part of the review. First Boot and OTA Firmware Update I’ve connected a USB keyboard and a USB dongle with RF dongles for an air mouse and gamepad on the two USB ports, a USB 3.0 hard drive to the single USB 3.0 ports, as well as HDMI and Ethernet cables before powering up the TV box. I also added two AAA batteries to the IR/Bluetooth remote control. …

H.265 / HEVC License Pricing Updated for Low Cost Devices

Tweet Most video codecs such as H.264, H265/HEVC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4… requires the manufacturer to pay a license fee. The fees are then added to the final product, but the actual codec fees are usually unknown to the end user. One of the exceptions are VC-1 and MPEG-2 license fees for Raspberry pi boards which are sold separately for respectively £1.20 ($1.58 US) and £2.40 ($3.16 US). So I assumed that licenses pricing was mostly private and negotiated based on volume. But a recent article stated that HEVC Advance, independent licensing administrator, revised the royalties for lower-price devices (<$40) with the price table below providing a good insight into pricing for different device types, unit prices and regions. The new discounted royalty rate category applied to consumer and commercial products selling for less than $40 including set-top boxes, surveillance cameras, game console and others. A simplified Patent License Agreement (PPL) was also announced in order to reduce costs for licensees. The table above requires …