Posts Tagged ‘snowball’

Snowball Board Phased Out, and Offered at a Discount

June 28th, 2013 9 comments

Snowball is a mobile development board based on ST Ericsson Nova A9500 dual core ARM Cortex A9 SoC , which was officially supported by Linaro (they still released Android and Ubuntu images), and designed by Calao Systems, but since ST-Ericsson venture fell apart, support for the board has been discontinued, and the developer’s community (igloocommunity) has recently been closed down.

ST Ericsson Nova A9500 Development Board

Snowball PDK Lite

The last message of the mailing list (now not accessible) reads as follows:

A small team of passionate ST-Ericsson people have dreamed about Snowball and they makes it possible. Since December 2011 after a management change, it has been difficult to maintain the program, but with your support, we succeed until this time. Nevertheless, you have been able to demonstrate the pertinence of this program, and its great potential with impressive realizations.

In December 2012, STMicroelectronics announced a new strategic plan, where STM takes the decision to exit ST-Ericsson. Then both companies Ericsson and STM agreed to split-up the joint venture(JV) ST-Ericsson. Despite our effort, Snowball failed to be transferred to ST and therefore decision has been taken to discontinue it.

It‘s a big sadness for me to lose an European platform that was aiming to catalyze and boot innovation projects in an open way. I would like to thank all of you that have shared our vision, believed and contributed to this program. Two special recognitions, for Calao-System that invested deeply their company in Snowball and Movial that made the IGLOO community a living reality. Thank to them, the website will still stay open several weeks… Then we still have the opportunity to continue to share our open source spirit in other places.


Calao Systems has decided to maintain a stock and to continue the distribution of the Snowball board, at least until a new platform is developed. They currently have 1500 boards in stock offered at a steep discount. The cheapest option is SKY-S9500-ULP-C22 board (aka SNOWBALL-SDK-LITE) selling for 89 Euros (exc. VAT) instead of the original 155.73 Euros (exc. VAT).  It has several sensors not found in most low cost boards, but by today’s standard the price is not that attractive, so I suppose it’s only really interesting if you already have project(s) based on the platform and you need some extra boards. You can find the discounted price for the different versions of the Snowball board on Calao Systems, and the company also provides links to development resources such as the schematics and a wiki.

Linaro 12.09 Release with Kernel 3.6 and Android 4.1.1

September 28th, 2012 No comments

Linaro release 12.09 has just been announced, and includes Linux Kernel 3.6-rc6 and Android Jelly Bean.

This release provides further improvement to Android Jelly Bean, Android benchmark characterization,  an ARMv8 OpenEmbedded image, UEFI bootloader support for Vexpress, origen and pandabords, and some improvement to big.LITTLE and power management.

Here are the highlights of the release:

  • Android
    • All Linaro patches are now available on Jelly Bean.
    • Accelerated graphics is now available on Snowball Jelly Bean build.
    • AndEBench, AndEBench Java, Linpack, CaffeineMark, Antutu 2D and 3D, NBench, Quadrant, I/O Benchmark, Vellamo benchmark hotspot characterization available.
    • An Origen tracking build is available and will be released this cycle as a Linaro Evaluation Build (LEB).
    • Audio works on Origen running Jelly Bean (WAV file only).
    • A Monkeyrunner script to run Streamline has been completed.
    • First rev of the NI PXIe-4154 based power measurement system is created. See
    • In-tree AOSP tests have been automated.
  • Developer Platform
    • Foundation for the ARMv8 OpenEmbedded porting mostly completed, with kernel and a very minimal rootfs already available for internal usage.
    • Kernel and test components were updated for the big.LITTLE project, based on the requirements for the 12.09 cycle.
    • Substantial progress on the Debian/Ubuntu Perl and Python multi-arch/cross-build support, with enough data to be used and supported during the ARMv8 Debian/Ubuntu bootstrap.
    • Hwpacks for Vexpress, Origen and PandaBoard now also include the support for UEFI, which can be selected while flashing the image with linaro-media-tools.
    • Linux Linaro tree updated with the latest kernel development topics provided by Linaro (including big.LITTLE MP), and also against the 3.6-rc6 upstream snapshot.
  • Infrastructure
    • The hardware pack v3 format now implements the “copy_files” directive, a list of files to copy from an optionally named packages to an optionally named destination.
  • Kernel
    • big.LITTLE System
      • Reordering and code cleanup of In-Kernel Switcher (IKS) is done.
      • Inter-Process Interrupt (IPI) for CPU wake-ups is done and the IKS code was adapted to use it.
      • Hierarchical cache flushing code has been submitted, waiting for acknowledgment and acceptance.
  • OCTO
    • Forward porting of existing UEFI port on Origen to latest UEFI release of Linaro.
  • Power Management
    • Version 8 of the big.LITTLE MP integration tree integrated into LLCT and in use in the TC2 builds. It contains:
      • Updated version of task placement patches for the scheduler.
      • Bug fixes to the mainline scheduler.
      • PMU patches for b.L from ARM.
    • Powertop rebased on upstream 2.1 release. Updated on Ubuntu and Android Linaro Evaluation Builds.
  • Toolchain
    • Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.09, updated to GCC 4.7.1+svn191123
      • Adds support for the NEON vext instruction when shuffling.
      • Backports improvements to scheduling transfers between VFP and core registers.
      • Backports support for the UBFX instruction on certain bit extract idioms.
      • PR54252 ICE with too wide alignment assertion on vectorised code – Fixed.
      • PR54212 ICE due to generating a predicated NEON vdup instruction – Fixed.
    • Linaro GCC 4.6 2012.09, updates to 4.6.3+svn191000.
    • Linaro QEMU 1.2.0 2012.09, rebased on upstream’s 1.2.0 release.
    • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2012.09, updated to latest Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.09 and Linaro GDB 7.5 2012.09
      • gdbserver is stripped.
      • gdbtui is replaced by “gdb –tui”.
  • LAVA
    • Versatile Express TC2 have been deployed in the Validation lab.
    • LAVA deployment tool now supports a non-interactive mode and can be completely automated.
    • LAVA test includes the validation test suite for TI ARM features on Linux.
    • Snowball boards have been added in the Validation lab.
Visit a list of known issues and further release details about the LEB, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Landing Team,  Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

Linaro 12.08 Release with Kernel 3.6 and Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean

August 31st, 2012 1 comment

Linaro release 12.08 includes Linux Kernel 3.6-rc2 and is the very first release with Android Jelly Bean (4.1.1-R4).

The Android platform team has managed to port Android Jelly Bean to all their main development platforms: Versatile Express, Versatile Express RTSM, Samsung Origen, TI PandaBoard, ST Ericsson Snowball, as well as Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. They’ve also added TINY_ANDROID, a minimal Android build that can be used for kernel development, toolchain work and other development where users only need a console. It’s possible to get the source code, build it and access the shell within 10 minutes. U-boot-Linaro has been updated and is now based on the latest upstream release v2012.07.

Next month, we might be able to see a preliminary port of Android on 64-bit platform (ARMv8).

Here are the highlights of the release:

  • Android
    • Automated Methanol ( browser benchmarking in Linaro Android.
    • Automated over 100 Jelly Bean AOSP tests.
    • Integrated the Ethernet Connection Manager into Linaro Jelly Bean builds.
    • Running Linaro Jelly Bean on Versatile Express, Versatile Express RTSM, Samsung Origen, TI PandaBoard, ST Ericsson Snowball and Galaxy Nexus.
    • Released the Linaro Toolchain for Android, based on Linaro GCC 4.7-2012.08.
    • Updated Linaro Android to R4.1.1-R4.
    • Lowered native benchmark variance to 2% and JAVA benchmark variance to 5% for AndeBench, Antutu, CaffeineMark, Geekbench2, GLBenchmark, Linpack, Nbench, Quadrant and Vellamo.
    • Created a TINY_ANDROID baseline.
  • Developer Platform
    • Linux Linaro is now tested and validated with CI, for all the supported flavours from the Landing Teams.
    • USB Host enablement testing is now available at LAVA, to help on USB support validation.
    • All packaged linux linaro kernels are cross compile tested and boot tested via LAVA before uploading them to Launchpad.
    • U-boot-Linaro is now based on the latest upstream release v2012.07.
  • Infrastructure
    • Filesystem images are provided for Android builds to facilitate testing and streamlined deployment.
  • Graphics and Multimedia
    • GLMark2: display benchmark results log in the Android GUI.
    • GLMark2: users can save and load benchmark lists from the Android GUI.
  • Power Management
    • Add the concept of max_power and current_power to the scheduler to tie in DVFS.
  • Toolchain
    • Fix partial-partial PRE since EEMBC bitmnp01 regressed significantly at -O3. Patch upstreamed and backported to Linaro GCC 4.7-2012.08
  • Validation
    • Ubuntu FastModel’s now executing big.LITTLE test suite in the lab.
    • OpenEmbedded images are bootable in LAVA.
    • WiFi antennas were added to the Snowball boards in the Validation lab to enable WiFi testing.

Visit for a list of known issues and further release details about the LEB, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Landing Team,  Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

Linaro 12.07 Release with Kernel 3.5 and Android 4.0.4

July 27th, 2012 No comments

Linaro has released version 12.07 based on Linux Kernel 3.5-rc3 and Android 4.0.4.

Some work has been done on Jelly Bean (but the port is for next month), several benchmark tools have been added to LAVA as Linaro wants to provide standard benchmarks for Android, Linaro ALIP image now uses LXDE by default with a smaller image and improved performance, and Open Embedded images are now available (minimal and LAMP stack).

Here are the highlights of the release:

  • Android
    • Jellybean baselines for Galaxy and Panda with Linaro extra’s available
    • Android Benchmarking apps were deployed for pandaboard, snowball and origen in LAVA including: vellamo, quadrant, nbench, linpack, glbenchmark, geekbench, caffeinemark, antutu, andebench
    • Improved native Benchmarks variance on Android to 1%, working on Java variance
    • ICS “tests” builds now produced by default and test lists generated
    • Open overlay tarballs working
    • pm-qa’s cpuidle cpufreq cpuhotplug sched_mc suspend integrated into the Android builds
    • Linaro Android Snowball 4.0.4 is now in par with Snowball 4.0.3
  • Developer Platform
    • Linaro ALIP is now using LXDE as the default environment, with a reduced image for better performance at ARM targets, such as Vexpress and FastModels (big.LITTLE architectures and standalone Cortex A15).
    • Kernel packages updated to reflect the latest development trees from Linux Linaro (lct/ll-3.5 and llt-3.4) and the Landing Teams
    • CI jobs for the Ubuntu Kernel Packages are now cross compiled at Jenkings once succesfull it’s pushed directly to the Kernel PPA, reducing the kernel package respin time considerably.
    • Linux Linaro updated on top of the latest upstream release (3.5), and also reflecting the latest changes and development available at Linaro, such as big.LITTLE MP.
    • OpenEmbedded ready targets for minimal and LAMP stacks compatible with ARMv7 are now available, generated automatically by and with images available at If you are interested in trying to build OE Linaro, here are the instructions.
    • U-Boot-Linaro updated with fixes for Omap 4 (Pandaboard) and also with the latest PXE-related changes from upstream.
    • Cross toolchain packages updated at both Ubuntu Quantal and Toolchain Backports PPA to reflect the latest version available.
  • Infrastructure
    • Linaro image tools now supports multiple boards and multiple bootloaders on a single hardware pack.
    • Build information can now be defined and exported for external use.
    • Create a skeleton Django-based web application for the CI dashboard with basic web serving, API framework, persistence layer and OpenID-based authentication and ACLs.
    • Click through license protection supports EULA versioning and branding and OpenID authentication.
  • Graphics
    • glmark2
      • Add Android GUI for defining and running benchmarks.
      • Add benchmark based on the WebGL jellyfish demo (scene ‘jellyfish’).
      • Add benchmark based on the WebGL dynamic terrain demo (scene ‘terrain’).
      • Extend texture scene with the option to compute texture coordinates in the shader (option ‘texgen’).
      • Add support for reading texture data from JPEG files.
      • Properly support options that have a finite set of acceptable values.
    • glcompbench
      • New ‘scale’ test to simulate window manager scaling effect.
      • Enhancements to test options for existing tests.
  • Kernel – No info available yet
  • Multimedia – No info available yet
  • Power Management
    • b.L MP tree integrated into linux-linaro but not enabled for TC2 due to unrelated last-minute problems for ARM LT
    • Bug fixes to PM-QA tests to not run if feature is not found
  • Toolchain
    • Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.07 is the fourth release in the 4.7 series. Based off the latest GCC 4.7.0+svn189098 release, it includes performance improvements around choice of auto-increment based addressing modes for floating point values.
    • Updates to GCC 4.7.0+svn189098
    • Implements improvements to ivopts selection of addressing modes of floating point values.
  • Validation
    • Added support for Android FastModels in LAVA
    • Created a new QA test view for daily testing

Go to for known issues and further release details about the LEB, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Landing Team,  Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

Linaro 12.06 Release with Kernel 3.5 and Android 4.0.4

July 1st, 2012 No comments

Linaro has released version 12.06 based on Linux Kernel 3.5-rc3 and Android 4.0.4 (r2.1).

This release brings further multimedia enablement for Android as well as some improvement to perf for Android, improved instructions & scripts for multi-arch on Ubuntu, and lots of little improvements and bugs fixes.

Here are the highlights of the release:

  • Android
    • Multimedia enablement on AOSP, patches are in review.
    • Most of the benchmarking applications have been automated via Monkeyrunner, working on PandaBoard and Snowball.
    • Update panda-ics-gcc47-tilt-tracking-blob build to the TI LT 3.4 kernel.
    • USB camera preview and still capture forward ported to tilt-tracking.
    • 3D graphics and multimedia working on tilt-stable.
    • IOMMU for Origen’s Multi format codec (MFC) enabled.
    • IOMMU for Origen’s FIMC enabled. (FIMC stands for Fully Interactive Mobile Camera, and it’s used for camera input).
    • Snowball upgraded to Android 4.0.4.
    • Cortex strings landed in Linaro Android and submitted to AOSP ( This is part of the Android optimizations discussed here.
    • Linaro Android updated to Android 4.0.4 r2.1.
    • Linaro Android panda-ics-gcc47-tilt-stable-blob build graphics acceleration upgraded with 4.0.4 binaries from AOSP.
    • perf for Android in PandaBoard, patches submitted to Linaro kernel maintainers for other boards and lkml (
    • Worked around PandaBoard graphics issue (Panda crashes after 10 min, by using a lower resolution.
  • Developer Platform
    • Kernel config fragments are now used by all the kernel packages available in the Linaro Evalution Builds, including one single fragment for the Ubuntu specific configs, which now allows all builds to behave similarly.
    • Pre-built images validation was improved for the supported Linaro Evaluation Builds flavors, including a html file that describe the image content, and displays the test results from LAVA.
    • Fixes for wifi-enablement, bluetooth-enablement, leb-basic-graphics and perf test cases. They should now be properly reflecting the Linaro Evaluation Builds images results.
    • Kernel packages updated to the latest development trees from Linux Linaro and Landing Teams.
    • A new Linux Linaro branch, called Linux Linaro Tracking, is now published. It contains the 3.4 Landing Team trees from TI, Samsung and ARM, delivering a single and unified tree which helps identifying conflicts and issues ahead of upstream.
    • Linux Linaro maintenance scripts are now available on;a=summary repository.
    • Improved instructions and scripts to easily cross-build a package using multi-arch with Ubuntu, available on
  • Infrastructure
    • Engineering views are now available for consumption by Linaro engineers and managers in Launchpad directly. e.g.
    • We are now in the process of using custom AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) preloaded with build dependencies for faster builds on and services.
    • Publishing improvements to infrastructure include: builds with license-protected binary blobs and builds with restricted access (OpenID-based)
    • Bug fixes and improvements made to (now functioning) and to linaro-image-tools.
  • Graphics
    • Added 2 new features to GLMmark2: running in fullscreen mode and some additional per-frame statistics (average time per frame rather than just the frames per second).
    • On the Graphics WG dashboard, multiple data series (for example from different sessions like Ubuntu/plain X/Android) can be displayed in the graphs.
  • Multimedia
    • The gathering of 5.1 and 7.1 test audio files now complete.
    • UCM support on PulseAudio 2.0 updated.
    • Libjpeg-turbo updated to 1.2.1+svn837.
  • Power Management
    • PowertTOP 2.0 made to work on ARM platforms
      • Patches sent upstream (in review).
      • package available in LInaro Ubuntu.
      • Work in progress on Android.
  • Toolchain
    • Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.06, updated to GCC 4.7.0+svn188038
      • Adds multilib support for use in the binary builds
      • Improves performance of 64 bit shifts in core registers
      • An off-by-one error in vrev
    • Linaro GCC 4.6 2012.06, updated to GCC 4.6.3+svn188320
      • Uses the new /lib/ loader for hard float binaries
    • Linaro GDB 7.4 2012.06, updated to GDB 7.4.1 code base
      • GDB now expands tildes in solib-search-path entries.
    • Linaro QEMU 1.1.0 2012-06, updated to QEMU 1.1.0
    • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2012.06
      • Refine the system root
  • Validation
    • lava-deployment-tool updated to use zc.buildout and provides greater reliablity in the management of server upgrades.
    • Serial port reset scripts developed to improve the reliability of device connections in the lab.
    • Dashboard bundle’s now include a link to the job details, allowing users to easily find the raw logs from a test job.
    • Improvements made on timeouts handling in tests.

Here are the known issues for this release:

  • Android
    • Bluetooth does not work on Origen
    • Tethering over Bluetooth/WiFi/USB missing in ICS
    • Missing GL ES 2.0 drivers, unable to run GLMark2 benchmark
    • Define “OpenAccessory” test steps
    • Panda: Audio record and audio playback fails
    • vexpress-a9: No sound in Android
    • vexpress-a9: ADB over USB doesn’t work
    • vexpress-a9: USB mass storage doesn’t work
    • Phone app missing on ICS
    • USB mass storage functionality missing
    • Wifi doesn’t work on ICS on Panda
    • Camera App does not work on ICS
    • Messaging crashes if try to use it
    • vexpress-a9: ICS: Suspend-Resume doesn’t work
    • vexpress-a9: ICS: No thumbnails in gallery application
    • vexpress-a9: Video playback fails in Gallery app
    • Pandaboard: Serial log shows “line disc installation timed out” continously
    • Panda: Resume failing on tracking-panda build
    • glmark2 crashed on tracking-panda#145
    • Downloading an .apk from a Site never finishes. Rights issue?
    • No USB camera support
    • Manual ethernet configuration required to enable browsing
    • Youtube video does not work in small screen mode(Origen Board)
    • android: kernel 3.3 doesn’t come out of hibernation
    • Device Tree is unavailable on Linaro Android build for Snowball Board
    • Device Tree is unavailable on Linaro Android build for Samsung Origen Board
    • vexpress: Angrybirds display severely trucated
    • vexpress: YouTube video playback fails
    • vexpress: Device-tree not yet supported on A9
    • Testing calendar app requires Exchange server
    • Ethernet default interfaces are invalid.
    • Email account setup fails on Linaro Android image.
    • Snowball: Audio recording does not work as expected.
    • Panda: Bluetooth file transfer fails (Rfcomm socket connect exception)
    • Panda: Youtube video playback fails
    • Snowball: Running powertop causes crash
    • Suspend / resume failed on Origen Android image after the first suspend & resume cycle.
    • Hear nothing while play back the audio file generated by Speech Recorder (Origen Android).
    • The “Native” test suite can’t be run in Origen Google Hangout Android release.
    • Video can’t be played on Origen Android Google Hangout release.
    • The USB works unstable on Origen Android Google Hangout image.
    • USB Tethering doesn’t work on Origen 12.05 Android image.
    • DNS needs to be manually set on Origen Android image when using WiFi
    • Can’t play video on Origen Linaro Android image.
    • Panda: Hardware graphics enablement missing on “panda-ics-gcc47-tilt-tracking-blob/#build=101” and later
    • Snowball Android: Need to configure ethernet manually after bootup on
    • Panda: adb over usb broken on panda-ics-gcc47-tilt-tracking-blob/#build=101″
    • GLMark2 is unstable on Origen Linaro Android image.
    • Can’t listen music through Bluetooth headset on Origen Linaro Android build.
    • SD-MMC test failed on Panda 4430 with Linaro Android image.
    • Snowball : SDCard partition not mounted
    • Kernel panic when run “powertop” on Panda 4430 with Linaro Android image.
    • “Phone” app is unavailable on Panda 4430 with Linaro Android image.
    • Snowball: Bluetooth and WiFi functionality broken on “snowball-ics-gcc46-igloo-stable-blob”
  • Ubuntu:
    • HW graphics acceleration does not work on Origen with Ubuntu LEB
    • Origen: device tree not enabled at Ubuntu
    • Audio jack input and output not working on Panda
    • Snowball kernel for ubuntu does not use device tree
    • Origen: Missing automatic detection of the HDMI Video output
    • Origen: HDMI Audio not working
    • vexpress-a9: ubuntu: Reboot and shutdown don’t work
    • Snowball: Reboot fails in Ubuntu
    • LCD and LEDs are still enabled after halting the kernel
    • Pandaboard ES freezes with the default CPU scaling governor ondemand
    • Snowball: Audio functionality broken, audio playback and audio record doesn’t work
    • Snowball: bluetooth file transfer fails
    • Microphone doesn’t work on Origen ubuntu image
    • HTML5 video playback is not smooth
    • Panda: Video playback is distorted (using totem player + 480p video)
    • Ubuntu: halt command throws error messages continuously and fails to shut down board
    • Hardware accelerated Video playback support missing on Origen
    • Video playback is not smooth and shows artifacts for HD video playback
    • Snowball: Running powertop causes crash
    • Panda: Bluetooth functionality broken
    • Panda: ubuntu-omap4-extras-multimedia package not available for Precise
    • There are some error information when run “glmark2-es2” in Panda ubuntu image.
    • The UI response is quite slow on Panda ubuntu image.
    • No way to set the sound playback from HDMI on Panda ubuntu image.
    • Audio Record & Playback doesn’t work in Panda ubuntu image.
    • [snowball] bluetooth headset does not play audio
    • Power Management LAVA test failed on “checking ‘ondemand’ directory exists”.
    • vexpress: No sound in Ubuntu
    • snowball does not work with usb powered hub
    • Linaro ubuntu image performance is poor on vexpress board.
    • YouTube video can’t be played smoothly on Origen Linaro ubuntu image.
    • Many SD card errors in vexpress Linaro ubuntu image.
    • HDMI audio for html5 videos have breaks/artifacts
    • snowball wifi device mac address changes every boot
    • snowball UI doesn’t return after screen blank
    • lockdep warning during boot with tilt-3.4
    • System hangs when sending files to another Bluetooth device.
    • Hear nothing when playing music through a paired Bluetooth headset.
    • Panda: sigabort at xorg while trying to open at firefox
    • Testsuite fails on Panda 4430 with Linaro ubuntu image
    • Ethernet icon is wrong in vexpress Linaro ubuntu image.
    • YouTube can’t be played smoothly on vexpress Linaro ubuntu image.
    • No hardware acceleration on vexpress Linaro ubuntu image.
    • Can’t play 480p video smoothly on vexpress board with Linaro ubuntu image.
    • Can’t play 1080p video on vexpress board with Linaro ubuntu image.
    • Bluetooth is unavailable on vexpress board with Linaro ubuntu image.
    • Several “pwrmgmt” test suites failed on vexpress board with Linaro ubuntu image.

Go to for further release details about the LEB, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Landing Team,  Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

List of 39 Low Cost Linux Friendly Boards and Products

June 26th, 2012 20 comments

Dmitry (omgfire), one of my awesome readers, compiled a great tabular list of Linux friendly boards and products that sells for less than $300 US (usually less than $200). This list includes technical details such as the processor, GPU, memory, NAND flash, connectivity, ports, supported Linux distributions… as well as availability and pricing information.

There are currently 39 Linux devices in total. The vast majority are ARM based boards, but he also included 2 x86 products by VIA, but those are relatively pricey ($265 and up).

Here’s a summary list with SoCs used, links to blog posts and product pages (if available), as well as price information.

35 USD Raspberry Pi Broadcom BCM2835

Raspberry Pi Board Model B

    • Raspberry Pi Model B – Broadcom BCM2835 (ARM11) – Blog post (That’s my first post about the R-Pi last year, and the board is much different now) –  Product page – Price: $35 + shipping
    • Rikomagic MK802 – Allwiner A10 (Cortex A8) –  Blog post –  Price: $70 to $80 inc. shipping
    • Mele A1000 – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $70 + shipping to $100 (inc. shipping)
    • Rhombus-Tech A10 EOMA-68 – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $15 (Estimated BOM Cost only)
    • Gooseberry board – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: 40 GBP + shipping
    • A13-OLinuXino – AllWinner A13 (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: 40 Euros (without Wi-Fi) or 50 Euros (Wi-Fi version)
    • VIA APC – Wondermedia WM8650 (ARM11) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $49 + shipping
    • VIA ARTiGO A1200 – VIA Eden X2 (x86) –  Product page – Price: $310 + shipping
    • VIA ARTiGO A1150 – VIA Eden X2 (x86) – Product page – Price: $265 + shipping
    • BeagleBoard Rev. C4 – TI OMAP3530 (Cortex A8) – Blog posts (articles related to Beagleboard) –  Product page – Price: $125 + shipping
    • BeagleBoard-xM – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: $149 + shipping


    • BeagleBone – TI Sitara AM3359 (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page– Price: $89 + shipping
    • PandaBoard – TI OMAP4430 (Cortex A9) – Blog posts (articles related to Pandaboard) –  Product page – Price: $174 + shipping
    • PandaBoard ES – TI OMAP4460 (Cortex A9) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $189 + shipping
    • Cotton Candy – Samsung Exynos 4210 (Cortex A9) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $199 + shipping
    • CuBox – Marvell Armada 510 (ARMv7 architecture like Cortex-A) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $135 + shipping
    • Hawkboard – TI OMAP-L138 (ARM9) – Product page – Price: $161 + shipping
    • ISEE IGEP v2 – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) –  Product page – Price: 188 Euros + shipping
    • ISEE IGEP COM Proton – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: 160 Euros
    • ISEE IGEP COM Module – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: 164 Euros
    • Gumstix Overo series – TI Sitara and OMAP processors (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $115 to $229 + shipping
    • Origen Board – Samsung Exynos 4210 (Cortex A9) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $199 + shipping .By the way, it seems the Quad core version is coming in Q3 2012.
    • Ionics Plug Nimbus – Marvel Kirkwood 6281 (ARM9) – Product page – Price: $99 + shipping
    • Ionics Plug Stratus – Marvel Kirkwood 6281 (ARM9) – Product page – Price: $139 to $145 + shipping
    • SheevaPlug dev kit (Basic) – Marvel Kirkwood 6281 (ARM9) –  Product page – Price: $101.99 + Shipping
    • GuruPlug Standard – Marvel Kirkwood 6281 (ARM9) – Product page – Price: $103 + Shipping
    • GuruPlug Display – Marvell ARMADA 168 (ARMv7 architecture) – Product page – Price: $199 + Shipping
    • DreamPlug – Marvel Kirkwood 6281 (ARM9) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $163 + Shipping
    • D2Plug – Marvell PXA510 –Product page – Price: $253 + shipping
    • Trim-Slice series – NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Cortex A9) –Product page – Price: $213 – $338 + Shipping
ST Ericsson Nova A9500 Development Board

Snowball PDK Lite

  • Snowball – ST-Ericsson Nova A9500 (Cortex A9) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: 144.84 € – 322.57 € + shipping
  • i.MX53 Quick Start Board – Freescale i.MX53 (Cortex a8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $149 + shipping
  • Pineriver H24/MiniX – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) – Blog post –  Product page – Price: $77 inc. shipping
  • Smallart UHOST – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) – Blog post (Oval Elephant HDMI stick based on UHOST) –  Product page – Price: $89 (512MB), $95 (1GB)with shipping
  • Genesi Efika MX Smarttop – Freescale i.MX515 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: $129 + shipping
  • Embest DevKit8600 – TI Sitara AM3359 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: $189 + shipping
  • Embest SBC8018 – TI Sitara AM1808 (ARM9) – Product page – Price: $99 + shipping
  • Embest SBC8530 – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: $199 + shipping
  • Embest DevKit8500D – TI DM3730 (Cortex A8) – Product page – Price: $199 + shipping

The list is obviously not exhaustive (this would include hundreds of boards), but this still pretty good. Bear in mind, that is also included some recently phased out boards (e.g. Hawkboard) and devices (e.g. Genesi Efika MX Smarttop), but you might get one of those second hand on eBay or similar sites.

You can download Dmitry’s PDF file that shows side-by-side comparison of 5 devices at a time.

Linaro 12.05 Release with Kernel 3.4 and Android 4.0.4

June 1st, 2012 No comments

Linaro has just released version 12.05 based on Linux Kernel 3.4 and Android 4.0.4.

This release provides lots of improvement for Origen (Samsung Exynos 4) on Android,  further work has been done on big.LITTLE processing and ARMv8 work appears to have started for Ubuntu and Debian. armel vs armhf benchmarks show a massive improvement (up to 15x) when using armhf for povray (3D rendering),. but for most other tests, there is little improvement, and in some rare cases armhf is slightly slower than armel.

Here are the highlights of the release:

  • Android
    • Created a stable Google hangout build for Origen
    • Updated DS-5 and gator daemon to 5.10
    • Stress tests from big.LITTLE testing have been integrated into LAVA
    • Completed big.LITTLE Android tasks
    • Monkeyrunner tests for automating common Android usage have been integrated into LAVA
    • Ordered a new power measurement device from National Instruments
    • Updated and Origen 3.4 rc7
    • Completed Android HAL upgrades for mainline MM drivers like display, codec and HDMI
    • Android Kernel on Origen is now completely in-sync with mainline drivers
    • Video playback of H264, MPEG4 [email protected] both on both HDMI and LCD on Origen
    • Upgraded to the latest and greatest 3D S/W and HAL libraries from MALI on Origen
    • Performance improvement is seen on Graphics Benchmark on 0xBenchmark, GlMark2, in the 1205 release will all latest components integrated
    • Linaro Android is now compiled with Linaro’s version of gcc 4.7, and with many optional features, such as ISO C++ 11 support, enabled.
    • We have also started providing experimental builds of gcc trunk (the version that will at some point become 4.8), and running test builds with it, helping detect problems early.
    • All changes needed to get Android to work with the new tools are being submitted to the Android Open Source Project.
  • Developer Platform
    • big.LITTLE ARM Reference/Integrated Switcher developer platform components have been updated to reflect the latest development deliverables.
    • Developer Platform now supports A15 Fast Models with a kvm kernel and kvm image.
    • Ubuntu Sauce is now published as a topic branch for the Linux Linaro Baseline.
    • The Developer Platform Team now provides an image for big.LITTLE testing, with all testing components integrated by default.
    • ARMv8 bootstrap plan for Debian and Ubuntu is now published for Linaro.
    • Cross Toolchain updated at both Ubuntu Quantal (12.10) and Linaro GCC CI, based on GCC 4.7
    • Cross buildd now supports Quantal, also reporting status for the cross build bootstrap required packages.
    • Pre-built images are now tested on LAVA on a daily basis, with per image report with the build and tests results.
    • Linaro GCC cross package is now produced by a CI loop, built, tested and published automatically at the Ubuntu LEB.
    • Snowball is now fully supported at u-boot-linaro, and used as the default boot loader at the Snowball Ubuntu LEB.
    • Linaro Sysroots updated reflecting toochain and platform changes for 12.05.
    • Linux Linaro 12.05 was released with ARM LT and Samsung LT integrated by default.
  • Infrastructure
    • Jenkins does not spawn infinite ec2 slaves when disk space is low.
    • Linaro CI now supports restricted-access builds in order to support our members licensing/business requirements.
    • Upcoming work per team is reported on a new status page in Launchpad.
    • The code of the license-protection publishing feature is now unit tested, and the testing process has been documented.
  • Graphics
    • Add full cairo-gles2 support for platforms not supporting GL_OES_texture_npot (e.g. SGX and Tegra) by implementing repeat wrap modes in shaders.
    • Ideas in Motion scene based upon classic SGI OpenGL demo.
    • Allow user configuration of visual used for rendering.
    • Rendering to the glmark2 is always opaque for a consistent visual result across platforms and compositing environments.
    • Updates to the Util class to make it more useful and clearer to use.
  • Kernel
    • Set and run big.LITTLE Switcher demo at Connect Q2.12.
    • Add pin control for ux500 and Snowball.
    • Support pin configuration of things like pull-up, pull-down, driving, schmitt-trigger input, slew rate, and other things about pins that software can control on the SoCs we know.
  • OCTO
  • Multimedia
    • Easy-to-use Audio Validation Suite for Linux.
    • Pulse Audio v2 with ucm support
    • libjpeg-turbo refresh to 1.2.1+svn829
  • Power Management
    • PM-QA gained thermal testing support (disabled by default)
    • Merged additional cpuidle tests
  • Toolchain
    • Linaro Toolchain Binaries, a pre-built version of Linaro GCC and Linaro GDB that runs on generic Linux or Windows and targets the glibc Linaro Evaluation Build.
      • Updates the system root to Ubuntu Precise
      • Switches to the arm-linux-gnueabihf triplet
      • Compiles programs for hard float by default
      • Includes soft float support for ARMv4T and later systems
      • Includes debug symbols for debugging and backtracing the C library
    • Linaro QEMU 2012.05 is the latest monthly release of qemu-linaro. Based off upstream (trunk) QEMU, it includes a number of ARM-focused bug fixes and enhancements.
      • Beagle bootrom emulation now correctly handles FAT12/FAT16 images (thanks to Peter Chubb for the bug report and patch).
      • We now support running ARM BE8 userspace binaries (ie byte-invariant big-endian data and little-endian code).
    • Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.05 is the second release in the 4.7 series. Based off the latest GCC 4.7.0+svn187448 release, it includes performance improvements especially around 64 bit operations.
      • Updates to GCC 4.7.0+svn187448
      • Uses the new /lib/ loader for hard float binaries
      • Adds support for negating 64 bit values in NEON
      • Improves loading of 64 bit immediate values in NEON
  • Validation
    • LAVA master images can be constructed automatically in a reproducible way.

Here are the known issues for this release:

    • Linaro Android:
      • ADB over USB doesn’t work on i.MX53
      • Snowball: Hang when DUT goes to suspend, (USB OTG port is free – no cables connected)
      • Adb on panda and staging-panda hangs when device goes to suspend mode
      • Android tracking-panda build 9+ re-enters suspend immediately after resume
      • iMX53 10.11 build 3 hangs after mmc0: card 1234 removed dmesg
      • DVI out port is not working with staging-panda or tracking-panda
      • Pandaboard goes into reboot loop with kernel 3.1.1.
      • Snowball: Bootup failures observed due to sd card corruption (ICS )
      • BT doesn’t work on ICS on Panda
      • iMX53: Hang observed frequently during bootup when USB keyboard/mouse connected to board
      • Resume fails on panda builds
      • vexpress-a9: ICS: Suspend-Resume doesn’t work
      • Panda: Resume failing on tracking-panda build
      • Tracking-Panda: Kernel Panic observed on blank screen (after 10-15 minutes idle): Debug assertion failed! [684, drivers/gpu/pvr/sgx/sgxutils.c]
      • Intermittent: cg2900 fails to start
      • Panda :Display fails to come up(on HDMI out) sometimes after flashing and bootup sequence
      • Resume fails on Snowball
      • Switch to OpenJDK (Sun JDK not part of distributions anymore)
      • Wifi does not always work on Samsung Origen
      • Can’t change Gator counter configuration
      • Origen: tracking-origen build fails to boot up
      • Monkeyrunner fails to run on fastmodels
      • Snowball kernel fails to build with gcc 4.7
      • Errors about syste monkeyrunner test scripts
      • Performance of android with 3.4 kernel on fastmodel is bad
      • Panda: Continous “System UI has stopped” messages on main UI on setting wallpaper.
      • Surfaceflinger takes more that 50% of the CPU usage on the latest Android builds
    • Linaro Ubuntu:
      • [mx51evk] root not found and boot failed to initramfs shell
      • MMC doesn’t work at IGEPv2 with linux-linaro-omap
      • Unfinished work items for cross Buildable Nano PPA, Natty based
      • HW graphics acceleration does not work on Origen with Ubuntu LEB
      • Origen: device tree not enabled at Ubuntu
      • Quickstart oneiric totem video playback is very poor: lack of hw video decoder
      • imx53/imx6 compiz fails to run: lack of gles drivers
      • [regression] No DVI output on the PandaBoard with kernel 3.1.0-1402-linaro-lt-omap
      • [regression] desktop performance at quickstart is a lot worse with 11.11
      • 11.12 Sound does not work on imx53
      • Panda: only low resolution on 1080p plasma
      • Audio jack input and output not working on Panda
      • Can’t install multiple linux-header packages
      • Origen: HDMI Audio not working
      • Request lttng test case to be included at the lava daily tests
      • IMX6: invalid default mac address for the ethernet interface
      • OpenGL ES based applications crash at Snowball when running with X11
      • Enable more kernel features in Linaro kernels?
      • iMX6: sound doesn’t work after a reboot
      • Pandaboard fails to boot with LT 3.3 based kernel with SCHED_MC on
      • Panda: suspend resume fails

Go to for further release details about the LEB, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Landing Team,  Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

Ubuntu, Tizen, XMBC… Demos at Q2.12 Linaro Connect in Hong Kong

May 24th, 2012 No comments

Linaro has announced several demos would take place at Linaro Connect on June 1st, 2012 in Hong Kong:

  • Big.LITTLE in-kernel Switcher (Linaro)
  • SIProp – Combat Scouter – How much your Combat Power? (SIProp)
  • Android Toolchain Improvements (Linaro)
  • Origen Running Awesome Code (Linaro)
  • Snowball with MM enablement (Linaro)
  • Tizen on Snowball (Linaro)
  • Google+ Hangouts on an ARM Board (Linaro)
  • Low-Cost Logic Analyzer (Linaro)
  • XBMC on Snowball – ST Ericsson Snowball (Linaro)
  • (Ubuntu) Unity 3D on Snowball (Linaro)
  • Ubuntu TV on Snowball (Linaro)
  • PCM (Phase Change Memory) : Linaro kernel meets with the PCM technology (Micron)
  • ARM DS-5 & Linaro (ARM)

Most of the demos will be organized by Linaro, but three others companies will also shown the “show”, namely SIProp, Micron and ARM. It’s always interested to see what happens at Linaro because it gives a view into the future to what may comes to the new products and developers can see what new features are available for ARM Linux and possible use Linaro’s work into their design.

ST Ericsson Snowball board seems to be the new favorite at Linaro, with at least 5 demos running on the board. The reason for the choice is that it’s 100% ARM, meaning that both the CPU cores (Cortex A9) and the GPU (Mali-400) are provided by ARM. Other processor like the AllWinner A10 also feature a Mali 400 GPU and it might be possible to make use of 2D/3D hardware acceleration developed on the Snowball for other Mali 400 platforms, although I’m not sure at all about that. Hardware video decoding is often proprietary so it won’t be usable on hardware not based on ST Ericsson Nova A9500.

I’ve been looking around to see if I could find some existing videos or information about the demos about to take place in Hong Kong.

Big.LITTLE in-kernel Switcher

This will be a demo of Big LITTLE (Cortex A15 / Cortex A7) kernel switching showing how it can switch between the 2 cores depending on the system load and reduce power consumption.

Technical details about this implementation are available on Launchpad “Test big.LITTLE on Android 12.04“.

If you don’t already know about big.LITTLE processing, you can always watch a presentation and short demo in Gingerbread done in October 2011.

SIProp – Combat Scouter

I’m not exactly sure what will this demo be. But SIProp is the team who showcased the Pandaboard Cloud last year, so I’m sure it will be interesting. Their latest project is a Treasure Hunting Robot based on Pandaboard and running Linaro Ubuntu and kernel, but I suppose they’ll show another interesting demo at Linaro Connect.

Android Toolchain Improvements

You can more information about this on Linaro Android Toolchain page. I’ve just discovered that there was a different gcc for Android as Google added features and bug fixes to gcc that won’t go into mainline.

Snowball Demos

    • Multimedia Enablement
      This will demo GPU hardware acceleration on Android 4.0.4 for the Snowball board. I assume MM enablement includes 3D support and hardware video and after 2D hardware acceleration was implemented and demo’ed last December in Android ICS.
    • Tizen on Snowball
      Great! There are already a few video about this demo. Further details (including Tizen 1.0 image for Snowball board) are available on the IglooCommunity.

  • XBMC on Snowball

Linaro has already showcased XBMC on Snowball during Q1.12 Linaro Connect with software video decoding (accelerated with NEON instructions) as you can see in the video below.

Thanks to Snowball MM enablement discussed above, XBMC is now (probably) fully hardware accelerated on the Snowball, which could make a nice platform (although still a bit expensive) for this open source media center.

XMBC is part of linaro overlay ppa, so you should be able to try in any ARM board running Ubuntu 12.04, although many boards won’t support 2D/3D hardware acceleration and most boards won’t support hardware video decoding. I’ve installed XBMC on my Mele A1000 and the UI can start, but the menu is very slow (as in unusable) because it’s using software rendering. But don’t worry, XBMC developers are working on it.

  • Ubuntu Unity 3D on Snowball

Another Snowball multimedia enablement demo, that will showcase 3D acceleration on Snowball running Ubuntu 12.04. If you’ve ever tried to use Unity 3D on a board without 3D acceleration you will see your mouse pointer nearly come to an halt when you move it over the dashboard as a little program called “compiz” will take 100% CPU usage.

  • Ubuntu TV on Snowball

I’m not sure about this particular demo, as I cannot find any links related to Ubuntu TV on snowball, so it must be very new. You can check out Ubuntu TV in Pandaboard to see what you might expect.

Google+ Hangouts on an ARM Board

I could not find details, but I assume they will use Google+ app on Android which allows Mobile Hangouts video conference with up to 9 persons.

PCM (Phase Change Memory)

Phase Change Memory is a new type of memory apparently only available from Micro. It support bit-alterability, fast write and is non-volatile. Micron claims it merges the best attributes of NOR, NAND, and RAM. It is currently available in 32Mb, 64 Mb and 128 Mb density and targets embedded applications. For details visit

Since it will be demo’ed at Linaro Connect, I supposed it’s now part of the kernel or some serious work is done on supporting it.

ARM DS-5 & Linaro

ARM Development Studio 5 is a development suite provided by ARM. Last year they released a Community Edition that can be downloaded for free by individual developers and small companies. You can watch some very short video demos on Freescael, Xilinx and Samsung boards shot at Design West 2012. If you want to know how to debug linaro image with DS5 check out this ARM blog post.

That’s all for today, I’m sure we’ll see many videos about Linaro Connect Hong Kong thanks to the Novacut team and Charbax who is rumored to attend the event.