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Posts Tagged ‘seeed studio’

HiKey 960 Android Development Board Gets a 4GB RAM Version for $250

January 13th, 2018 6 comments

Hikey 960 development board is one of the most powerful Arm boards on the market thanks to Huawei/Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor with four ARM Cortex A73 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU, fast storage with 32GB UFS 2.1 flash, and 3GB LPDDR3 memory. Like the earlier Hikey (620) board, the board is also an official reference board for AOSP, so you should be able to run the latest Android version, and also play with sensors using Neonkey SensorHub 96Boards mezzanine board.

If you are somehow limited by the 3GB RAM on the board, you can rejoice as Seeed Studio has just launched a 4GB RAM version selling for $249, or about $10 extra. Note that shipping is only scheduled for February 2, 2018, so those are pre-orders.

The rest of the specifications for Hikey 960 4GB RAM version are unchanged:

  • SoC – Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.3 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU @ up to 900 MHz
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM @ 1866 MHz
  • Storage – 32GB UFS flash storage + micro SD card slot up to 2TB (SD3.0, SRD104)
  • Video Output / Display Interface – 1x HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p; 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI connector up to 3840×2400 @ 60 Hz via HS expansion connector
  • Video Decode – H265\HEVC MP/High Tier, Main/High Tier, H.264 BP/MP/HP, MPEG 1/2/4, VC-1, VP6/8, RV8/9/10, DIVX, H265 up to 4K @60fps
  • Video Encode – 4K @30fps H.265/H264
  • Audio – Via HDMI, Tensilica HiFi 3.0 DSP audio subsystem
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/a WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 with two antennas (TI Wilink 8 WL1837 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 type A host ports, 1x USB 2.0 type C OTG port
  • Camera – 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI, 1x 2-lane MIPI CSI via HS expansion connector
  • Expansion
    • PCIe Gen2 on M.2 M Key connector
    • 40 pin low speed (LS) expansion connector with +1.8V, +5V, DC power, GND, 2x UART, 2x I2C, SPI, I2S, 12x GPIO
    • 60 pin high speed (HS) expansion connector: 4L MIPI DSI, 2L+4L MIPI CSI, 2x I2C, SPI (48M), USB 2.0
  • Misc – LEDs for WiFi & Bluetooth, 4x user LEDs, power button, reset button
  • Power Supply –  8V-18V/2A via 4.75/1.7mm power barrel (EIAJ-3 Compliant); 12V/2A power supply recommended; PMU: Hi6421GWCV530, Hi6422GWCV211, Hi6422GWCV212;
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 55mm
  • Weight – 60 grams

Click to Enlarge

Hikey 960 is purely an Android development platform, as even though there are references to Debian Dekstop/Developer images, there don’t seem to be available for download, so AFAICS there’s no Linux support. Beside information provided in Android developer’s website (linked above), you’ll also find software and hardware documentation on 96Boards Github account.

Arduino & Grove Compatible StitchKit Mixes Fashion & Technology (Crowdfunding)

December 16th, 2017 No comments

I don’t really get fashion. For example, I don’t understand why somebody would spend $100 on a pair of “Jean-Patrick Coultier” trousers, while you could get pretty much the same for about $20. My clothes just need to keep me warm and comfortable. And now I can see people starting to attach blinking lights to their clothes. Heresy!!!

But others have a different opinions, and people interested in fashion, may not be interested in electronics, but still want those shiny things on their clothes. StitchKit is an Arduino compatible board that can also take Seeed Studio Grove module designed for those kids, teachers, designers, and cosplayers who want to easily add LEDs and other electronics to clothes or other wearable pieces without having to dig into the technical details.

The system works around MakeFashion board powered by an Arduino compatible Microchip / Atmel ATMega32U4 AVR micro-controller with two rows of 6 pin headers, and holes to lock the wires to modules. The board will be powered through a USB type C port (photos look like micro USB), usually via a power bank for this type of application. You can then connect Grove module like RGB LED strip, and other sensor modules. It’s unclear whether they use the Arduino IDE for programming, or a simple-to-use visual programming tools, but sample code is coming soon, and instructions are included in the various kits. The next step is to fit the electronics under or on your clothes, and you could end up with results as shown below.

The project has launched on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $10,000 CAD, and nearly $8,000 CAD raised so far with 42 days to go. Rewards start with $49 CAD ($38 US) FashionTech Starter kit including MakeFashion board, a full color LED pixel string, Grove button and connector, plastic case, a USB type C cable, and instructions. You could go up to $199 CAD (~$155 US) for the FashionTech Creator kit with everything from the Start kit plus a one meter sewable RGB LED strip, RGB LED halo rings, 5 meter waterproof RGB LED strip with 300 LEDs, more Grove modules (Vibration, Light sensor, Loudness sensors…), 50cm long Grove cables, and more. Bundles for educations and collectors are also offered. Rewards are expected to ship in April 2018. More details nay also be found on StitchKit.io website.

 

 

International Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals in 2017

November 21st, 2017 32 comments

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 deals have started to show up on some Chinese e-retailers website, so as every year, I’ll go through a non-exhaustive list with the most popular websites.

GearBest’s 2017 Black Friday event offers discount from 8% up to 15% for mobile phone, tablets & computers, and appliances. One example if Alfawise S95 TV Box with S905W/2GB RAM/16GB flash going for $29.99 shipped. They also offer coupons up to 20% or a just amount in dollars. You can purchase lucky bags with a surprise product, some flash sales will be organized, as well as a lucky draw to win Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphone.

Aliexpress is ready for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday with some games to win coupons, and deals per category. I have not found any specific yet, but while the games are on, the actual Black Friday sale will only take place between November 24 and 26, and Cyber Monday on 27-28.

GeekBuying’s Black Friday Sale will take place between November 22-29, with coupon from 8 to 20% for various category of products, or even specific products such as Yi M1 camera.Flash deals will also be launched at low price, but as usual with very low quantity – as on all sites for this type of offer – so you’ll have to be right on time to benefit from the offers.

DX Thanksgiving Sale has started and will run until November 27. $3 and $6 coupons are up for grab, and a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 smartphone will be offered to one lucky winner. They have discount for various categories and products, and I did not see any specific deals for products I’ve familiar with. I’ve come across a $25 (not 3D printed) Nintendo NES case for Raspberry Pi which can be interesting to some people.

Tinydeal is also taking part in the event with some deals on specific product, but I did not find much interesting there, maybe you will

If you’d like a piece of dying tech / history, SeeedStudio has a Thanksgiving sale with Intel Galileo ($35.95 – out of stock) and Intel Edison ($85.95) kits, as well as other DIY electronics such as UDOO NEO board ($59 going to $32.45 during the flash sales). The company also offers free shipping (excluding Fedex and DHL) for any order above $99 during their Thanksgiving promotion, until November 28.

For users in the US, PocketBeagle board is apparently (I’m blocked) sold for $19.99 on Micro Center website.

I’ll add further Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals  as I find / receive them in the comments section.

WifiMETRIX Wi-Fi Networks Analyzer Supports Packet Injection, Throughput Analysis

November 2nd, 2017 No comments

Nuts about Nets (that’s the company name…) WifiMETRIX is a dual band WiFi diagnostic tool used to analyze, monitor and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks. The handheld device implements two main features:

  • AirHORN RF signal / channel generator that transmits RF signals for each of the Wi-Fi channels, and aids in testing Wi-Fi antennas, RF shields and wireless networks.
  • WiFiPROBE for per channel’s throughput analysis

The device operates in standalone mode and does not need to associate with the access point to perform the functions.

WifiMETRIX technical specifications:

  • Dual-band 802.11 Wi-Fi chip
  • Antennas / connectors
    • Dual-band antenna for 2.4 and 5.x GHz ISM bands
    • Standard 50 ohm SMA antenna connector
    • 50 ohm SMA terminator to protect antenna connection
    • SMA terminator (dummy load) also used for calibrating the device
  • Functions
    • AirHORN channel / signal generator functionality (packet injection)
    • WifiPROBE channel analyzer functionality
  • Display – 128×64 built-in LCD screen
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging
  • Dimensions – 210mm x 155mm x 39mm (Solid aluminum case plus silicon rubber boot protector)
  • Weight – 425 grams
  • Certifications – CE and FCC compliance

The AirHORN feature can be used to test WiFi antennas & amplifiers, test the effectiveness of RF shield designs,  stress-test wireless networks, align directional Wi-Fi antennas, quick evaluation of receiver performance, and locating Wi-Fi dead spots.

The WifiPROBE feature can be used to detect presence of RF interferences,  determine whether performance can be improved by using a different channel, quantify expected change in performance that would result from using a different channel,  configure Wi-Fi networks with the goal of improving throughput performance, and as a tool to help placing Wi-Fi devices into a location offering the best performance.

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You can find how to use the device in the documentation page, which also explains how to interpret the results. The WiFiMETRIX is on back order on Seeed Studio for $295 with shipping expected on November 11.

Rock960 Board is a 96Boards Compliant Board Powered by Rockchip RK3399 SoC

September 29th, 2017 24 comments

So it looks like Rockchip is soon going to join 96Boards family with Rock960 board. Developed by a Guangzhou based startup called Varms, the board will be powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core SoC, and comply with 96Boards CE specifications.

Rock960 board preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Rochchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with two ARM Cortex A72 cores up to 1.8/2.0 GHz, four Cortex A53 cores @ 1.4 GHz, and  ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1 to 3.2 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL 1.2 and DX 11 support
  • System Memory – 2 or 4GB RAM
  • Storage – 16 or 32GB eMMC flash + micro SD card
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 up to [email protected] Hz with CEC and HDCP
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO up to 867 Mbps, and Bluetooth 4.1 LE (AP6356S module) with two on-board antennas, two u.FL antenna connectors
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 type C port with DP 1.2 support
  • Expansion
    • 1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO, I2S
    • 1x 60 pin high speed expansion connector – MIPI DSI, USB, MIPI CSI, HSIC, SDIO
    • 1x M.2 key M PCIe connector with support for up to 4-lane PCIe 2.1 (max bandwidth: 2.0 GB)
  • Misc – Power & u-boot buttons. 6 LEDS (4x user, 1x Wifi, 1x Bluetooth)
  • Power Supply – 8 to 18V DC input (12V typical) as per 96Boards CE specs; Battery header
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm (96Boards CE form factor)

The board will support Android (AOSP), Ubuntu, the Yocto Project, and Armbian. The website shows the word “official” for the first three, and lists Canonical as partner. The company will also offer various at least one expansion board, and starter kit based on Seeed Studio Grove system with a mezzanine board with plenty of Grove headers, an LCD display, and various Grove modules like buzzers, relays, buttons, LEDs, temperature sensors, and so on.

Rock960 is both simpler and smaller than other RK3399 boards such as Firefly-RK3399 and VS-RK3399, so I’d expect it to be cheaper, hopefully below $100, once it becomes available. The website is still very much under construction, but you may find few more details there.

Thanks to mininodes for the tip.

Wio LTE GPS Tracker Board Comes with a 4G Modem, Supports Espruino Firmware (JavaScript Programming)

September 6th, 2017 8 comments

Seeed Studio launched Wio GPS tracker with a 2G GSM module a few months ago, and while it should work in some countries, others are phasing out 2G networks, and only support 3G or 4G. The company has now launched an update with Wio LTE board with the same form factor, and most of the same features except they replaced the 2G/Bluetooth/GNSS module with a 4G LTE/GNSS module, and Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller by an STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex-M4F MCU.

Wio LTE board specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F405RG ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 168 MHz with 1MB flash, 192+4KB SRAM
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Connectivity via Quectel EC21-A (America) module
    • LTE Cat.1 modem:
      • FDD LTE: B2/B4/B12 WCDMA: B2/B4/B5
      • AT Command: 3GPP TS27.007 and enhanced AT Commands
      • Data – LTE-FDD Max 10Mbps(DL) Max 5Mbps (UL)
      • NanoSIM card
      • 2x u.FL antenna connectors
    • GNSS – GPS/BeiDou/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS with 1x u.FL GNSS antenna connector
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack with mic and stereo audio
  • Expansion – 6x Grove Connectors (2x Digital, 2x Analog, 1x UART, 1x I2C)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and firmware update
  • Misc – RGB LED, LTE power button, MCU reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, 2-pin JST 1.0 header for battery
  • Dimensions – 54.7mm x 48.2mm

When I reviewed Wio GPS Tracker, the instructions provided to use with the Arduino IDE did not work very well. So let’s hope they will come up with a better and up-to-date getting started guide for Wio LTE board in their Wiki. Alternatively, the new board also supports Espruino for JavaScript programming for the I/Os, micro SD card, 4G, SMS, and GPS, and shown in Espruino Wio LTE page.

Seeed Studio is now taking pre-order for Wio LTE US Version for $97.50 plus shipping. Quectel also has other EC21 modules like EC21-E (EMEA, Korea, Thailand, India), EC21-AUT (Australia), and others, so I’d expect Seeed Studio to also launch variants of Wio LTE board that work in other countries.

ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array is $25 Quad Microphone Add-on Board for Raspberry Pi

August 29th, 2017 4 comments

Last year, Seeed Studio launched ReSpeaker WiFi Audio / IoT board based on Mediatek MT7688, as well as an optional microphone array board with 7 microphones and 12 LEDs. Later on, they introduced a $10 2-mic array board for Raspberry Pi Zero (W), and today the company has started to take orders for ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi board for $24.50 plus shipping.

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Respeaker 4-Mic Array board specifications:

  • Audio
    • X-Powers AC108 quad-channel ADC with I2S/TDM output transition
    • 4 Microphones
  • Expansion
    • 2x Grove interfaces (1x I2C, 1x GPIO port using pins 12 & 13)
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Misc – 12 LEDs (APA102) connected over SPI, GPIO5 enables power
  • Dimensions – 65mm x 65mm x 9mm
  • Weight – ~20 grams

The board will give Raspberry Pi board the ability to do Voice Activity Detection (VAD) aka “hot word” detection, estimate Direction of Arrival (DoA) and show the direction via the LED ring, just like Amazon Echo or Google Home. I’m using an Orange Pi Zero board with a single microphone with Google Assistant and while it works fine most of the times range is limited to about 5 meters, and “OK Google” detection may be a problem with background noise like music. For example, I’ve found out it may be tricky to turn off the alarm with “OK Google. Stop” while it is ringing. Such board should help.

You’ll find a getting started guide & Google Assistant tutorial on Github, where you can also download the hardware design files (PDF and Eagle), and X-Power AC108 datasheet (currently wrongly? linking to “AC101 user manual”).

Buy Raspberry Pi 2 Board for Just $19.50 (Promo)

July 31st, 2017 12 comments

With the launch of Raspberry Pi 3 last year, there’s been much less interest for the Raspberry Pi 2 board, especially there has not been any official price cut. But Seeed Studio has an interesting promotion right now where the company sells Raspberry Pi 2 board for just $19.50, or $20 off the normal price on their website.

That price does not include shipping, but this can apparently be combined with TENOFFSHIP coupon to bring the total price with shipping to Germany to $21.66. If the same laws are still in place, it’s below the 22 Euros limit in Europe meaning you won’t need to pay for VAT or custom duties on the board. You need to use the coupon before July 31, midnight (GMT+8), so there are only a few hours left.

The main downside is that only 10 are available on backorder with shipping scheduled for August 11.