Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit 2019 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference 2019 Schedule

In the last few years, I covered the Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit schedules since both were happening at the same time and in the same location. But the Linux Foundation have recently announced the Embedded Linux Conference will combine with the Open Source Summit, so the IoT Summit appears to have been phased out. The full schedule for the events taking place on August 21 – 23, 2019 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, USA, has also been released, so I’ll create a virtual schedule with some of the sessions most relevant to this blog. Wednesday August 21, 2019 11:30 – 12:05 – What’s New with U-Boot? by Simon Glass, Google LLC U-Boot is a widely used bootloader in embedded systems. Many users are unaware of the wide feature-set of U-Boot, particularly features added in the last few years. This talk aims to bring users (and prospective users) up to speed on the state of the art in …

Orange Pi Software Releases – Android 9.0 Firmware, Linux Source Code for RK3399 / MT6737

Orange Pi One Plus Android 9.0

Shenzhen Xunlong Software is used to release many different variations of their Orange Pi boards, and more often than not they tend to launch their boards fairly early before the software is fully ready. Many of their boards get supported by the community thanks to Armbian, linux-sunxi, etc… but sometimes the company does release firmware or source code themselves, as they did in the last two days with Android 9.0 firmware for one of their Allwinner H6 board, and Linux source code for Orange Pi 4G-IoT and Orange Pi RK3399. Android 9.0 for Orange Pi One Plus Launched in 2017, Orange Pi One Plus was the very first Allwinner H6 SBC launched on the market, and supported Android 7.0 at the time.  But following the release of Android 9.0 for Allwinner H6 TV boxes a few weeks ago,  you can now also upgrade your Orange Pi One Plus to Android 9.0, since the firmware is now available for download via …

Realtek RTD1296 U-boot & Linux Source Code Released, RTD1619 Cortex A55 SoC Shows up in Code

RTD1296 Linux Source Code

Media centers based on Realtek RTD1295 or RTD1296 processors have been around for a few years. They usually run both Android and OpenWrt operating systems for respectively media functions (4K video playback, HDMI input recording…), and NAS functions like file sharing. media downloads, etc…. SinoVoIP also unveiled Banana Pi BPI-W2 board powered by RTD1296 last year, but so far I was not aware of any source code for the target. Synlogy actually released a Linux 4.4 tarball a while ago, but more recently SinoVoIP released Linux 4.9.119 and U-boot source code for RTD1296 in Github. You’ll find instructions to build from source, and flash the resulting U-boot and Kernel image from the Github page. There’s also some mainline Linux support for RTD1295, but maybe this release will help further speed up mainline support. Beside code for RTD129x (RTD1295/RTD1296), we’ll find references to RTD139x (RTD1395) a cost-down version of RTD1295, as well RTD16xx, more specifically RTD1619, an hexa-core Cortex A55 processor …

$15 Orange Pi Zero Plus Board Released with Allwinner H5 SoC, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, and SPI flash

We had Orange Pi Zero, followed by Orange Pi Zero Plus 2, then Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5, but now there’s another “Zero” model that’s called Orange Pi Zero Plus, which like Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 board is based on Allwinner H5 processor, but adds a faster Gigabit Ethernet port, and offers a fairly different features set compared to the first Orange Pi H5 board, albeit in the same form factor. Orange Pi Zero Plus specifications with highlights in bold and stricken-through showing difference with Orange Pi Plus 2 H5 model: SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with hexa core Mali-450MP4 GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot + 2MB SPI flash Video Output – HDMI ; AV port via 13-pin header Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Realtek RTL8189FTV) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna. No Bluetooth USB – 1x micro USB …

Rockchip Has Setup an Official Open Source Website with Software & Hardware Documentation, Source Code

As a young engineer, I first understood the importance of good documentation thanks to an incomplete Holtek MCU datasheet that made us waste weeks of development, and the value open source software thanks to Sigma Designs’ SDK that was full of binary blobs with our applications often crashing inside those, leading to software development delays, especially since we had access to limited support. More recently, if you ever worked with the most popular Chinese processors found in ARM Linux development board, usually made by Allwinner, Amlogic, or Rockchip, you must have gone through roadblocks due to a lack of documentation and software support. So far, Allwinner is purely relying on linux-sunxi community and “leaks” of their documentation and SDKs, while Amlogic has had their “open linux” microsite  for several years, but you won’t find complete documentation like technical reference manual, schematics, and part of the source code requires you to sign an SLA. I’ve heard people who signed the later, …

Banana Pi BPI-R2’s U-boot & Linux 4.4 Source Code & MediaTek MT7623N Datasheet Released

Banana Pi BPI-R2 is a multimedia router board powered by MediaTek MT7623N quad core processor with 2GB RAM, 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to two SATA ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, and I/O headers. The board is not for sale yet, but the company has recently released the source code with U-boot and Linux 4.4.70, as well as a datasheet for MediaTek MT7623N processor. The source code can be found on Github, so let’s see if we can build it: After a couple of minutes, the build would end with: For the very last step, it asks you to login as root / sudoer, which it should not do… But we end up with the images, so at least it builds: MediaTek has also been active by committing patchsets for MT7623 to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, so mainline Linux is an eventual possibility for BPI-R2 board. We just don’t have a clear view of what works and …

Compulab’s Miniature “Bend & Fold” UCM-iMX7 System-on-Module Could Fit into a Watch

Many companies are still releasing NXP – soon to be Qualcomm – i.MX 6/7 system-on-modules, but I don’t cover all of them, since we have already many to choose from. But Compulab’s latest UCM-iMX7 SoM differentiates itself by it size, using the company’s “Ultra-compact Multilevel Module” (UCMM) technology, to pack NXP i.MX7 processor, 2GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC flash, and a wireless module into a 30 x 27 x 8 mm volume that could potentially fit into something as small as a watch. The picture above clearly shows how UCMM technology works with the module comprised of two rigid PCBs and one flexible layer routing signals between the two allowing to bend and fold the rigid parts together to form a vertical stack. The principle could be extended to more PCBs and flexible layers, sof for example you could have four PCBs with three flexible layers in future / custom designs. The rest of the specifications of UCM-iMX7 module are …

GnuBee Personal Cloud 1 Low Cost Linux NAS Supports Up to Six 2.5″ SATA Drives (Crowdfunding)

Networked Access Storage (NAS) with a large number of SATA bays usually cost several hundreds dollars up to thousands of dollars depending on the features set and performance, but there’s a new a project called GnuBee Personal Cloud 1, or GB-PC1, that delivers a MIPS Linux system supporting up to six 2.5″ SATA drives for less than $200. GB-PC1 NAS specifications: Processor – MediaTek MT7621A dual core, quad thread processor @ 880 MHz, overclockable to 1.2 GHz System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – micro SD card slot tested up to 64 GB, 6x 2.5” SATA HDD or SSD Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports Serial port – 3-pin J1 connector or 3.5 mm audio-type jack Power – 12 VDC @ 3 A via 5.5 mm x 2.1 mm, center-positive barrel jack Dimensions –  21.6 cm (L) x 7 cm (W) x 14 cm (H) Weight – ~210 g (without …