Next Thing Has Released Software and Hardware Files for the $9 CHIP Computer

Next Thing CHIP computer powered by Allwinner R8 module, also referred as “the $9 computer“, had a very successful crowdfunding campaign having raised over $2,000,000 from nearly 40,000 backers. When launching an electronics products on a crowdfunding campaign, many companies claim their device will be open source, only to disappoint once the perks actually ship, and Next Thing made the same promise, except they appear to have delivered as shown in their latest update “Holy C.H.I.P! It’s C.H.I.P!!!” showing the first production samples, and providing links to hardware design files for the Alpha version, as well as buildroot, U-boot and Linux source code. All resources can be found on docs.nexthing.co, but let’s check what they’ve released so far. Hardware design files on Github include: A Bill of Materials (BoM) Schematics in PDF and DSN formats PCB Layout in BRD and PNG format Pinouts for U12 and U14 connectors Mechanical files in DXF format So everything appears to be there for …

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

Orange Pi Plus (Allwinner H3) Firmware Images and Linux SDK Released

Orange Pi Plus is a development board based on the new Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor that supports 4K video output and decoding. The boards comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SATA and more, and sells for $49 on Aliexpress. When I first covered the board in February, it was already listed on Aliexpress, but I could not find any firmware image, or source code, but this has now changed. There are now four firmware files: Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0_.img.xz – Lubuntu 14.04 image Raspbian_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0.img.xz – Raspbian for Allwinner H3 orangepi-plus-debian-server-card-v0.9.img.xz – A Debian server image sun8iw7p1_android_orangepi-plus_uart0.rar – Android 4.4.2 image that needs to be flash with PhoenixCard in Windows (Linux tools are not working yet) Beside the firmware images, the company also releases a Linux SDK (h3-lichee-1.0.tar.gz) with Linux 3.4 kernel source code, u-boot, and relevant tools. I assume these should also work on Orange Pi 2, the low cost version of the board without …

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

Armadeus Systems APF6_SP SoM Combines Freescale i.MX6 Processor and Altera Cyclone V GX FPGA

Xilinx Zynq and Altera Cyclone V are both SoC families combining an ARM processor (Hard Processor System  – HPS) with FPGA fabric into a single chip. But Armadeus Systems, a French company designing industrial ARM Linux processor modules, has unveiled a new module where the CPU and FPGA are two separate chips, namely Freescale i.MX6 (single to quad) and Altera Cyclone V GX FPGA, in order to provide more flexibility, and extra features like a GPU with OpenCL support, an hardware video processing unit, a dedicated SATA port, and so on. Armadeus APF6_SP SoM specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX6 single, dual or quad core Cortex A9 processor with Vivante GPUs FPGA – Altera Cyclone V GX (C4/C5/C7/C9) System Memory 512MB to 1GB DDR3 32-bit @ 800 MHz for i.MX6 Solo or Duallite 512MB to 2GB DDR3 64-bit @ 1066MHz for i.MX6 Dual or Quad Optional up to 768MB RAM dedicated to the FPGA Storage – 2 GB to 64 GB …

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

RaidSonic Releases Firmware and Source Code for Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi Audio Streamers

RaidSonic is a German company releasing products such as media players and multimedia accessories under their ICY BOX brand. One of those products is ICY Box IB-MP401Air music streaming received based on Atheros AR9331, and that looks very similar to SoundMate M2 I reviewed last year. But if you look on their product page, you’ll find out a few download links: ICY BOX IB-MP401Air  (multilang) – The Quick Start Guide and User’s manual in English and German IB-MP401Air (Source code) – a 648 MB rar file with source code for U-boot and OpenWRT IB-MP401Air (Firmware) – The firmware IB-MP401Air (Open Source Software) – Just the open source licenses So I’ve downloaded the source code file (IB-MP401Air_Sources_and%20License_Terms.rar) to have a look. It has two compressed files, one with the license, and IB-MP401Air_Sources.tar.gz with the source code. The file showing how to build the firmware (OpenWRT) explains you should not use a newer Linux distribution: Please note that this is an older …

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

DENX Computer Systems Introduces Atmel SAMA5D44 and Freescale i.MX6 System-on-Modules

Embedded World 2015 exhibition and conference will take place in Nuremberg, Germany on February 24-26, 2015, and we should expect interesting news related to MCU, industrial processors, and related development kits and boards next week. DENX Computer Systems has already unveiled two new SoM families with MA5D4 based on Atmel SAMA5D44 Cortex A5 processor, and M6R based on Freescale i.MX 6 Cortex A9 processors. DENX MA5D4 System-on-Module MA5D4 SoM specifications: Processor – Atmel SAMA5D44 Cortex A5 @ 528MHz with 720p hardware video decoder supporting H264/263, VP8, JPEG. System Memory – 128 – 512MB DDR2 RAM Storage – 4 – 32GB eMMC Flash (or optionally 256MB NAND Flash); 4 MB MByte SPI NOR-Flash; I/Os via 230-pin MXM2 edge connector Video Out / Display Support –  HDMI.  TFT controller, overlay support for image composition, resitive Touchscreen controller Camera – CMOS image sensor interface external bus A/D 25/16 bit 2x 10/100MBit Ethernet, IEEE1588 support 2xUSB Host / 1x USB OTG RTC 1x/2x CAN …

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

Gateworks GW5520 Single Board Computer Features Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports, Two mini PCIe Slots

If you need industrial grade ARM Linux boards with lots of Ethernet ports and several mini PCIe slots, you may want to check out Gateworks Ventana boards. The company has now released a smaller member of Ventana family with GW5520 SBC powered by Freescale i.MX6 dual, with two Gigabit Ethernet port, two mini PCIe slots, and support for PoE. Gateworks Ventana GW5520 SBC specifications: SoC- Freescale i.MX6 Dual Cortex A9 processor @ 800MHz with Vivante Vivante GC2000 / GC355 / GC320 GPUs. Option: i.MX6 Quad System Memory – 512 MB DDR3-800 SDRAM (Up to 2GB RAM as option) Storage – 256 MB Flash (Up to 2GB as option), serial configuration EEPROM Video and Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports. USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports Expansion 2x Mini-PCIe sockets Optional mini-PCIe socket to supports a mSATA disk drive (i.MX6 Quad only)  I/Os Serial – CAN Bus 2.0B up to 1Mbps, 3x TTL serial ports …

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

Black Swift is a Tiny OpenWRT Wi-Fi Board Powered by Atheros AR9331 (Crowdfunding)

In case you thought there were not enough Wi-Fi board in the market already, here’s another one with Black Swift. The board runs OpenWRT, is a little larger than Vocore, and quite smaller than WRTnode, is powered by Atheros AR9331, provides access to I/Os via headers, and comes with two micro USB ports which should make it easy to use, and allow some interesting applications with USB devices. Black Swift specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 32-bit MIPS 24K CPU core @ 400 MHz, or 200 MHz in energy-saving mode selectable by software System Memory – 64 MB DDR2 SDRAM Storage – 16 MB NOR flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (1×1, up to 150 Mbps) with PCB antenna USB –  1 x microUSB for power, 1x microUSB 2.0 port Expansion –  Headers for 26x GPIO, 2x Fast Ethernet, SPI, I²C, 1x 16550 UART, 1x USB 2.0 Misc – Factory reset button Power Supply 5 V (with full USB support), 3.3 …

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

Zsun SD111 Wi-Fi Flash Drive Hacking Tentative

Two days ago, I reviewed Zsun SD111 a 8GB Wi-Fi flash drive based on Atheros AR9331, and I discovered the telnet port was open, but I could not access it because none of the standard username and password combinations (root/root, admin/admin, root/admin, etc…) would work, which is actually a good thing. However, as I opened the stick, the serial pins were clearly marked, so today I’ve soldered some Dupont wires to access the serial console. In order to open the stick, you need a rigid sharp object to push the top cover via the neck strap hole, as shown below, and another tool (mine looks similar to a scalpel) to help popping the cover up. Then I connected the three wires to a USB to TLL debug board, connected it to my PC, started minicom (115200 8N1), and pressed the power button. I could see U-Boot 1.1.4 message, so it seems to be successful, but unfortunately, the boot ended with: …

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