Broadcom BCM7218X STB SoC Comes with AV1 Hardware Decoding, WiFi 6

Broadcom-BCM7218X STB SoC AV1 Codec

CNX Software first covered AV1 open-source, royalty-free video codec aiming to compete against H.265 and succeed VP9 in 2016. I also tried the reference implementation and both encoding and decoding were really slow at that time and an AMD FX8350 powered computer would only achieve 0.36 fps encoding on a 352 x 288 video, while decoding was much faster at over 1,000 fps. This was really early work, and the final AV1 specifications were only released in March 2018, before companies like YouTube and Netflix started to publish AV1 video samples, and now I’ve noticed the former is sometimes streaming videos using AV1 codec on desktop computers and laptops. This still relies on software decoding, and most Arm platforms and entry-level level Intel computer may not be able to handle AV1 decoding, so hardware decoding will eventually be required, especially on battery-operated devices since it will consume much less power. Which brings me to Broadcom BCM7218X, which is the first …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Xilinx Arm FPGA, Snapdragon SoM’s, and Wandboard SBC Field Trip to Space

SpaceX Starlink Satellites Falcon Rocket

Most embedded systems are used here on planet earth, but some do take off heading for space, and this week I come accross two separate projects leveraging Arm processors and FPGAs, as well as Ubuntu/ROS and Android operating systems: SpaceX Starlink communication satellites and Astrobee robots roaming in the international space station (ISS) SpaceX Starlink Satellites with Xilinx Ultrascale+ Arm + FPGA SoC SpaceX is about to launch a cloud of 60 Starlink communication satellites that aims to provide internet communication anywhere in the world. That’s just a start as eventually the plan is to get up to 12,000 of those satellites. Usually, we would not know many technical details about the satellites, but as one reader pointed out (Thanks Lawrence!), a Reddit thread about the launch, also pointed to a NASA document revealing the satellites are powered by Xilinx Ultrascale+ quad core Cortex-A53 processor with FPGA fabric. Milestone 2 in Article 4 of the document explains a bit more: …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Gateworks GW16130 Mini PCIe Satellite Modem Targets IoT Applications

Iridium Satellite mini PCIe

Some IoT applications may require 24/7 worldwide coverage, and cellular networks are suitable since they may not provide coverage in remote locations, at sea, or at altitude. The only solution in that case is to go with satellite communication through thank to networks such as the ones provided by Iridium Communications. Gateworks GW16130 makes it easy to add a satellite modem card to your projects thanks to it’s mini PCIe form factor and USB 2.0 interface. Gateworks GW16130 mini PCIe card key features & specifications: Iridium 9603N SBD (Short Burst Data) Satellite Transceiver Max Message payload – 340 bytes upload, 270 bytes download Automatic message notification on incomming messages Operates anywhere on earth including North & South Poles Supports E-mail messages or HTTP POST UART AT command interface Operating frequency – 1616MHz to 1626.5MHz 1.6W Average transmit power -117dBm Receiver sensitivity Onboard u.Fl antenna port for antenna connection Host Interface – USB 2.0 via mini PCIe socket Operating Voltage – …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Sigfox Targets Worldwide Coverage with Satellite Launch

Sigfox Satellite

LPWAN technologies such as NB-IoT, Sigfox, and LoRa deliver low power, long range communication at low bitrate and can be used for asset tracking, environmental monitoring, water & electricity meters, and so on. The line-of-sight range between the closest gateway and nodes is usually 10 to 20 km, and coverage can be expanded by connecting several gateways to form a network. However, this is not workable in all locations worldwide, so Sigfox plans to launch a Sigfox satellite in collaboration with Eutelsat in order to provide coverage in places like large deserts such as the Sahara desert, the two poles, as well as oceans as explained by Franck Siegel, chief operating officer at Sigfox. This will for instance enable tracking and monitoring of oil platforms and vessels. The press release does not explains much except Sigfox and Eutelsat will test the first Satellite in H2 2019 before the commercial launch of the “ELO” constellation in 2020. An article on ConnectedBaltics, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Air Hybrid 4K HDR Set-top Box Now Available for 119 Euros and Up

WeTek Air

We previously covered WeTek Air,  an upcoming Android TV set-top box taking DVB-T2/C, DVB-S2 or ATSC tuner cards and certified by Google. The company has now officially launched the device, and you can buy WeTek Air for 119.00 Euros without tuner or for 129.90 Euros with either a DVB-S2 or DVB-T2/C tuners. Just two caveats, only 400 pieces are available now, and they will only ship to Europe, although a worldwide launch is planned for the next batch. Here’s a reminder of the specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905D quad core Arm processor System Memory – 2 GB DDR4 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDR-10 support Video codecs – H.265 & H.264 AVC up to 4K60Hz, H.264 MVC, MPEG-4 ASP, VC-1, AVS, MPEG-2, MPEG-1 up to 1080p60 Audio codecs – MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC, Ogg, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Air Android TV 4K HDR Set-Top Box Comes with DVB-T2/C, DVB-S2 or ATSC Tuners

WeTek Air

WeTek was one of the first manufacturers to launch Android set-top boxes with built-in tuners starting with WeTek Play, later followed by WeTek Play 2 model a few years later. In recent years, the company also introduced other Android media devices for the business sector with WeTek Hyperion 4G LTE Android TV TV box, and WeTek Nix with all DRM required for the IPTV market. But it appears WeTek is coming back to the consumer market with their Google certified WeTek Air TV box running Android TV, and equipped with DVB-T2/T/C (Europe), ATSC (US), or DVB-S2 (Worldwide) tuner. WeTek Air hardware specifications are pretty similar to their WeTek Play 2 model, but with various improved features thanks to a new processor: SoC –  Quad core Arm processor (Likely S905D, TBC) System Memory – 2 GB DDR4 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

FOSSASIA Summit 2018 Schedule – March 22-25

FOSDEM is the “Free & Open Source Software Developers’ European  Meeting” takes place the first week-end of February every year in Brussels, Belgium.  It turns out there’s an event in Asia called FOSSASIA Summit that’s about to take place in Singapore on March 22-25. There are some differences however, as while FOSDEM is entirely free to attend, FOSSASIA requires to pay an entry fee to attend talks, although there are free tickets to access the exhibition hall and career fair. There are also less sessions as in FOSDEM, but still twelve different tracks with: Artificial Intelligence Blockchain Cloud, Container, DevOps Cybersecurity Database Kernel & Platform Open Data, Internet Society, Community Open Design, IoT, Hardware, Imaging Open Event Solutions Open Source in Business Science Tech Web and Mobile Since the event is spread out over four days, it should be easier to attend the specific sessions you are interested in. I’ve created my own virtual schedule,  but since talks about IoT …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

VideoStrong Introduces Low Cost Version of KI Plus T2 S2 Hybrid Android TV Box with Amlogic S805X Processor

VideoStrong K1 Plus T2/S2 is an Android 5.1 set-top-box with DVB-S/S2 and DVB-T/T2 tuner that was launched roughly two years ago with Amlogic S905 quad core processor. Since then, the company has now launched variant of the model with Amlogic S912 (e.g. KIII Pro hybrid TV box)  or Amlogic S905D (e.g. KI Pro set-top box) processors. But now, provided the information on Alibaba is correct, the company has launched a new version of KI Plus T2/S2 with Amlogic S805X which should be cheaper, run a more recent Android 7.1 operating system, at the cost of losing support for 4K decoding, since the processor only support Full HD (1080p60) decoding at most. Since the company updated an existing product, some specific details are wrong on Alibaba, but KI Plus T2 S2 (2018) specifications should be as follows: SoC –  Amlogic S805X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.2 GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon