Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and …

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Nordic Semi nRF52832 Powered PineTime Dev Kit is Now Available for $24.99

PineTime Dev Kit

PineTime was announced as a $25 smartwatch & companion for PinePhone Linux smartphone which itself sells for $150. PineTime specifications are still not frozen, but we do know it will be based on  Nordic Semi nRF52832 or nRF52840 wireless SoC, come with a 1.3″ 240×240 capacitive touch display, and support a variety of operating systems such as ZephyrOS, FreeRTOS, Arm Mbed or NuttX depending on community involvement. So far it was not available for purchase, but in Pine64’s December update about their various projects, Lukasz Erecinski announced the PineTime dev kit is now available for pre-order for $24.99. PineTime Dev Kit specifications: WiSoC – Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4F @ 64 MHz with 512KB Flash, 64KB RAM, Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity Storage – 4 MB SPI NOR Flash Display – 1.3″ 240×240 IPS capacitive touchscreen with 65K colors Sensors – Accelerometer, PPG Heart Rate Sensor Actuator – Vibrator Battery Built-in 170-180 mAh LiPo battery Charging via 2-pogo pin @ 5V/500mA …

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PinePhone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition Linux Smartphone is Now Available for $150

Pinephone

Pinephone is a Linux smartphone powered by an Allwinner A64 processor, and running one of the various Linux mobile distributions such as PostmarketOS or Ubuntu Touch among others. Last time we wrote about Pinephone mass-production schedule, the phone was expected to start shipping in October, and there has been a slight delay, but the good news is that Pinephone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition is now up for sale for $149.99. Note this batch is for enthusiasts as the phone may have some defects, and comes without operating system with the users having to flash it themselves. Pinephone specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash,  MicroSD Card (SDHC/SDXC) up to 2TB Display – 5.95″ IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1440×720 resolution Audio – Mono loudspeaker, 3.5mm stereo audio jack with mic support Cameras 5MP rear camera with 1/4″ sensor, LED Flash 2MP …

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PineTime Smartwatch Specifications Released, Availability Scheduled for H1 2020

PineTime Charging Cradle & Heart Monitor

A couple of weeks ago, we covered PineTime smartwatch for PinePhone Linux smartphone that should be launched next year for around $25. At the time we had limited information from a Tweet as well as information provided by TL Lim, founder of Pine64 community, such as the watch would be based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 or nRF52840 multi-protocol WiSoC.  But we now have much more details about specs and other details can be found in the Wiki. PineTime specifications: SoC (undecided, one or the other. See differences between nRF52832 and nRF52840 for details) Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ 64 MHz with 512KB Flash, 64KB SRAM, Bluetooth 5 (no long range) Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU with 1MB flash, 256KB flash, Bluetooth 5 (long range), 802.15.4 (e.g. for Zigbee), Arm Trustzone, etc… Storage – 8MB SPI NOR Flash (final product may use 16MB flash instead) Display – 1.3″ 240×240 IPS capacitive touchscreen display with 65K colors Connectivity – …

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PineTime is a $25 Smartwatch / Companion for PinePhone Linux Phone

PineTime

We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch. That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems.  It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement. Available information is limited to the discussion in the tweet at this stage, but we do know the watch will be made of zinc alloy &  plastic, come with a charging dock, a 20 mm wristband, an heart-rate monitor and last several days on a charge. We’ve also seen people interested in porting ZephyrOS to the watch, and others would like to make it work with Android and/or iOS smartphones. Development kits should …

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Librem 5 & Pinephone Linux Smartphones to Launch This Fall

Librem 5 vs Pinephone

There are too highly anticipated Linux smartphones currently in development namely Purism Librem 5 and Pine64 Pinephone. The first one, based on NXP i.MX 8M processor is fairly pricey ($699) partly because of better specifications, but mostly because the company handles software development internally, while Allwinner A64 Pinephone has somewhat lower specifications, but a much lower $150 price tag as software development is done by the community. Neither phones are available, and until a few days ago there were no clear launch dates. This has now changed as Purism announced Librem 5 would start shipping on September 24, while Pinephone first batch is scheduled for mid-October, which should also be the date for the launch of pre-orders, and shipment will start in November. This sounds great, but be warned the first phones will be for enthusiasts who do not mind having a few defects and missing hardware/software features, and the final products will really show up in 2020. Librem 5 …

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Pine64 SoEdge-RK1808 AI Module Delivers 3.0 TOPS via Rockchip RK1808 SoC

SOPINE Model A Baseboard + SoEdge-RK1808

A few weeks ago, Ameridroid reported Pine64 would soon launch SoRock and SoEdge systems-on-module, but at the time there was virtually no info except SoRock would be likely based on either RK3328 or RK3399 and work on the existing Clusterboard, while SoEdge would be an AI Neural module for Artificial Intelligence tasks, with up to 3 TeraFLOPS of performance. I did not write about it at the time, simply because there was so little information, but this morning I’ve just received some photos of SoEdge-RK1808 module fitted to a baseboard that looks to be SOPINE Model “A” carrier board. SoEdge-RK1808 SoM Let’s try to derive the specifications from the photos even though some components appear to be blurred out or just unclear: SoC – Rockchip RK1808 dual-core Cortex-A35 processor with 3.0 TOPS NPU (Neural Processing Unit) System Memory – 2GB RAM (2x 8GBit Micro DDR4-2400) but limited PC-2133 Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash (FORESEE NCEMAD9D-16G) PMIC – Rockchip RK809-2 …

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PineBook Pro Arm Linux Laptop now up for pre-order for $199.99

Pinebook Pro Laptop

Pine64 unveiled a Pinebook Pro laptop prototype at FOSDEM 2019 as an update to the original Allwinner A64 powered Pinebook laptop, but instead of just being a toy to play with, Pinebook Pro aimed to be used as a daily driver thanks to a relatively powerful Rockchip RK3399 processor combined with 4GB RAM, and 64/128GB storage, and equipped with a 14″ Full HD display all for a target price of $200. Last May, we noticed some good progress on the software development side with a demo showcasing Ubuntu & Debian with MATE desktop, 4K video playback, 3D graphics acceleration, and USB-C video output.  The good news is that Pinebook Pro has just launched and can be pre-ordered for $199.99 on Pine64 store. [Update: If you are an existing forum member, you may want to redeem your coupon here] Pinebook Pro laptop specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core Arm Cortex A72/A53 SoC with Arm Mali T860MP4 GPU System Memory – …

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