Tag Archives: board

Kontron’s Latest COM Express Features Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake Processors

Kontron, a Germany based company has published its first product based on Intel’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” processors. The COMe-bCL6 joins other “Coffee Lake” based COM Express Basic Type 6 modules including the Congatec Conga-TS370 and Seco COMe-C08-BT6, which were announced early this month.

COMe-bCL6
COMe-bCL6

The COMe-bCL6 feature set is very related to all these products, with Coffee Lake enabled features like additional PCIe interfaces, support for three simultaneous 4K displays, and multiple USB 3.1 ports with up to 10Gbps transfer speed. The new COMe-bCL6 of dimension 125 x 95mm stands out with its options. The user can double the number of DDR4 memory slots to up to 64GB instead of the standard maximum of 32GB. Other special options include an onboard 1TB NVMe SSD, and the COMe-bCL6 supports Intel Octane memory.

The COMe-bCL6 provides optional –40°C to 85°C support in addition to the standard 0 to 60°C, and it also offers an extended -25°C to 75°C option. Another special R E2S version is available that includes the -40°C to 85°C support, as well as ECC memory and “integrated rapid shutdown”.

The COMe-bCL6 runs Linux, Windows 10, or VxWorks on the following Coffee Lake H- and M-series chips:

  • Intel Core i7-8850H(6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.6GHz/4.3GHz)
    • 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics 630
    • QM370 chipset
  • Intel Core i5-8400H(4x 8-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.5GHz/4.2GHz)
    • 8MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics 630
    • QM370 chipset
  • 3. Intel Xeon E-2176M, 8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.7GHz/4.4GHz)
    • 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics P630
    • CM246 chipset

The COMe-bCL6 offers a GbE controller and houses 4x SATA III4x USB 3.14x USB 2.0, and 2x RX/TX serial ports. Like its rivals, it includes a single PEG x16 and 8x PCIe x1 connections that support Intel Optane. The COMe-bCL6 is further enhanced with SPI, LPC, SMB, “Fast” I2C, a watchdog, and an RTC, There’s an 8-20V wide-range power input and ACPI 6.0 power management.

Pricing or availability information was not provided for the COMe-bCL6. More information may be found on Kontron’s COMe-bCL6 product page.

ApplePi DAC Audio HAT Add-on For The Raspberry Pi Features 24-bit DAC And A 128dB SNR

Orchard Audio quickly exceeded its $5K Kickstarter goal for its ApplePi DAC HAT board, which it is promoted as “the most advanced and highest performance sound card hat for the Raspberry Pi.” You can order the add-on board from May 13 starting at $175. Options include a $5 stacking header and a $25 5.25V, 3A power supply. The ApplePi DAC supports the Asus Tinker Board and Allo.com’s Sparky in addition to the Raspberry Pi.

“ApplePi DAC” audio HAT
“ApplePi DAC” audio HAT

A fully assembled $374 system provides the new HAT board, header, and power supply plus a Raspberry Pi 3 SBC, an acrylic stand, and an SD card with a choice of preconfigured Volumio, Rune Audio, or Raspbian. For $574, you get the assembled system plus a 7-inch touchscreen. All the products ship in July.

The board is powered by dual TI Burr-Brown DACs (PCM1794A) configured in monaural mode. The system has a dynamic range of >135dB and a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 128dB, which can bump up to 132dB. Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N) is listed as an impressively low <0.0005% (-106dB). The board supports both 16- and 24-bit bit rates, as well as sample rates of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz.

Orchard highlights the board’s ultra-low noise linear regulation and low jitter PLL clock generation. The mentioned derives are not from the usual crystal, but rather from a CS2300 IC from Cirrus Logic. This clock chip integrates a crystal, PLL, and clock multiplier into a single device, the input jitter is attenuated by 60dB (1/1000). It is remarkable that the onboard balanced (Mini XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) outputs are driven by dual differential output circuit stages. Orchard says that most competing boards offer only single-ended outputs. So, this feature really makes it stand out.

The ApplePi DAC runs at 4.5W and can be powered by a Raspberry Pi, but the manufacturer recommends using the optional 5V adapter. In addition to Volumio and Rune Audio, the ApplePi DAC supports moOde Audio, piCorePlayer, and Roon Network Endpoint software.

The ApplePi DAC is available on Kickstarter through May 13 starting at $175, with shipments due in July. More information may be found at the ApplePi DAC Kickstarter page and Orchard Audio’s ApplePi DAC product page.

Hardkernel Launches A Single-unit Version Of Its 32-core Odroid-MC1 Cluster Computer

Hardkernel has produced a single-unit version of its four-unit, 32-core Odroid-MC1 cluster computer for running Docker SwarmBuild Farm, and other parallel computing applications. The design offers greater flexibility for users to combine Odroid-MC1 Solo units for a “single unit, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or n stackable cluster”. The octa-core Odroid-MC1 Solo costs $48. Combing one or more Solo units with the original 4-unit MC1 acts as a single cluster.

Odroid-MC1 Solo
Odroid-MC1 Solo

The Odroid-MC1 Solo and Odroid-MC1 use an Odroid-XU4S SBC that is similar to the SBC that powers the Odroid-HC2 network attached storage (NAS) device. Both boards are smaller, stripped-down, headless version of the open-spec Odroid-XU4 SBC.

Like the Odroid-HC2 board, the MC1 board has removed the XU4’s HDMI port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, optional eMMC, and 30- and 12-pin GPIO connectors. Like the Odroid-XU4, the boards are powered by the Samsung Exynos5422 SoC with four Cortex-A15, four Cortex-A7 cores, and Mali-T628 GPU.

All these boards are equipped with 2GB LPDDR3 (in a PoP configuration), as well as a GbE port, USB 2.0 host port, and a bootable microSD slot with UHS-1 support. The XU4s used on the Odroid-MC1 lacks the one additional feature found on the HC2 NAS computer that is a USB 3.0-based SATA port.

The new Odroid-MC1 Solo board, including the stacking case, measures 92 x 42 x 29mm. These boards are powered by a 5V/4A power supply. A UART, an RTC with battery connector, as well as “M3 x 8mm” self-tapping screws are also there on this board. The XU4-compatible Linux image is based on Kernel 4.14 LTS.

Key Specs:

  • CPU  Samsung Exynos5422 ARM® Cortex™-A15 Quad 2.0GHz/Cortex™-A7 Quad 1.4GHz
  • DRAM Memory  2Gbyte LPDDR3 RAM PoP (750Mhz, 12GB/s memory bandwidth, 2x32bit bus)
  • GPU  Mali™-T628 MP6 OpenGL ES 3.1 / 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.2 Full profile
  • Micro-SD Slot  UHS-1 compatible micro-SD slot up to 128GB/SDXC
  • USB2.0 Host  HighSpeed USB standard A type connector x 1 port
  • LEDs  Power, System-status
  • Gbit Ethernet LAN  10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 Jack ( Auto-MDIX support)
  • Power Input  DC Barrel Jack Socket 5.5/21.mm for 4.8V~5.2V input
  • Size   92 x 42 x 29 mm

The Odroid-MC1 Solo is available now for $48. More information may be found at Hardkernel’s Odroid-MC1 Solo shopping page.

NXP i.MX8M SoC Powered ArmStone MX8M Pico-ITX SBC Runs Linux With 8GB LPDDR4 RAM

F&S Elektronik Systeme has unveiled its latest Pico-ITX format (100 x 72mm) SBC named ArmStone™MX8M. This board is powered by the NXP i.MX processor. Preliminary shipping will not until Q2 of this year.

armStone MX8M Single Board Computer
ArmStone MX8M Single Board Computer

The new ArmStone™MX8M is available with dual or quad-core variants of the 1.5GHz, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M. The SoC combines a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU and VPU, enabling 4K HEVC/H265, H264, and VP9 video decoding with HDR. It also provides a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core for real-time tasks, as well as a security subsystem. This is the first i.MX8M based board to support up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM instead of 4GB. The storage is supported by up to 32GB on eMMC and 1GB SLC NAND memory.

Other major features include the availability of a 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. These also a PCIe interface with SIM card support inbuilt. There are 4x USB 2.0 host ports, an RS232 interface, and extra SPI and I2C signals. A Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port is also available as additional I/O option.

The board is going to be shipped with a BSP that includes Linux 4.9.x, U-Boot, Yocto Project 2.2 or optional Buildroot build system and documentation and sample code. Configurations for standard cases (minimal, X11, Qt5, Wayland/Weston, Framebuffer) got very easy with this new board. The BSP release also includes precompiled binary images that can directly be downloaded to the board.

Key specifications of the ArmStone™MX8M:

  • Processor:

NXP i.MX8M (2x or 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Vivante GC7000Lite GPU; Cortex-M4 @ 266MHz

  • Memory:
    • Up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Up to 32GB eMMC
    • Up to 1GB SLC NAND
    • Optional SD slot
  • Multimedia:
    • 2x 24-bit LVDS
    • DVI
    • Analog resistive and PCAP touch via I2C
    • MIPI-CSI
    • Audio line-in/out/mic
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.1 LE (with BT 2.1+EDR support)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O Ports:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • CAN
    • RS232
    • 2x TTL UART
    • 4x I2C
    • 2x SPI
    • 32x DIO
  • Power — 5V DC input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C; optional -20 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Weight — 60 g
  • Operating system — BSP with Yocto 2.2/Buildroot, Linux 4.9.x, U-boot

More information may be found at F&S Elektronik Systeme’s ArmStone MX8M product page.

TS-4100 – A i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) Bases Hybrid SBC With FPGA And Programmable ZPU Core

Technologic Systems has begun testing its first i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) based board, which is also its first computer-on-module that can work as a single board computer. The footprint of 75 x 55mm TS-4100 module features a microSD slot, onboard eMMC, a micro-USB OTG port with power support, and optional WiFi and Bluetooth. This board offers long-term support and a temperature operating range of -40 to 85°C, and ships with schematics and open source Linux images (Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian Jesse).

Technologic System's Hybrid SBC TS-4100 (front)
Technologic System’s Hybrid SBC TS-4100 (front)

This board contains a low-power (4k LUT) MachX02 FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor. Technologic has improved the FPGA with an open source, programmable ZPU soft core that provides support for offloading CPU tasks as well as harder real-time on I/O interactions. The 32-bit, stack-based ZPU architecture offers a full GCC tool suite. In this implementation, it’s imbued with 8K of BlockRAM, which can be accessed by the i.MX6 UL, and has full access to all FPGA I/O.

The low-power i.MX6 UL and its power management IC are utilized to provide an efficient 300mW typical power usage. The module is equipped with 512MB to 1GB DDR3. The specification list concludes only 4GB MLC eMMC or 2GB of “robust” SLC eMMC as options, but the block diagram suggests you can load up to 64GB eMMC.

The TS-4100 is equipped with a pair of 10/100 Ethernet controllers plus LCD and I2S interfaces for media connectivity. There are also several serial and USB interfaces along with the micro-USB OTG port. Other interfaces are listed as an accelerometer, gyro, SPI, I2C, and PWM and 2 separate CAN buses.

Key specifications for the TS-4100:

  • 512MB to 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 4GB MLC eMMC or 2GB SLC eMMC (possibly up to 64GB eMMC)
  • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless — 802.11 b/g/n with antenna; Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
  • 2x 10/100 Ethernet controllers
  • Parallel LCD
  • I2S audio
  • Micro-USB OTG port (with power support)
  • USB 2.0 OTG (with power support)
  • 2x RS232
  • RS232 for Linux console
  • SPI, I2C, 2x CAN buses
  • Optional FPGA/ZPU-linked 16-pin expansion header (5x DIO, 1x SPI, 1x I2C) for optional daughter cards
  • 46x DIO (linked to FPGA)
  • 8x PWM
  • Accelerometer/gyro
  • 5V input via USB or via baseboard
  • 0.3W typical consumption
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 75 x 55mm
  • Operating systems — Linux 3.14.52 (Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian Jessie)

LC-04 4 Channel Logic Converter 3.3V – 5.0V

If you have ever tried to connect a 3.3V device to a 5V system, you know what a challenge it can be. The LC-04 bi-directional logic level converter is a small device that safely steps down 5V signal to 3.3V and steps up 3.3V to 5V at the same time. In this instructable, mybotic explained the procedure to use the LC-04 bi-directional logic converter.

Description:

The LC-04 module offers bi-directional shifting of logic level for up to four channels. The logic level HIGH (logic 1) on each side of the board is achieved by 10K Ω pull-up resistors connected to the respective power supply. This provides a quick enough rise time of logic level to convert high frequency (400KHz I²C, SPI, UART etc.) signals without delay.

This module has the following features:

  • Dual-supply bus translation :
    • Lower-voltage (LV) supply can be 1.5 V to 7 V
    • Higher-voltage (HV) supply can be LV to 18 V
  • Four bi-directional channels
  • Small size: 0.4″ × 0.5″ × 0.08″ (13 mm × 10 mm × 2 mm)
  • Breadboard-compatible pin spacing

    The bi-directional level-shifting circuit
    The bi-directional level shifting circuit

The Pinout:

The LC-04 logic level converter has two types of pins:

  1. Voltage input pins :
    • 2 pins (GND and LV) on Low Voltage  side
    • 2 pins (GND and HV) on High Voltage  side
  2. Data channels :
    • 4 pins (LV1, LV2, LV3, and LV4) on Low Voltage  side
    • 4 pins (HV1, HV2, HV3, and HV4) on High Voltage  side

Pin HV and LV set HIGH (logic 1) logic level on High voltage side and Low voltage side respectively, with respect to the GND.

Data channel pins shift logic levels from one voltage reference to another. A low voltage signal sent into LV1, for example, will be shifted up to the higher voltage and sent out through HV1. Similarly, a high voltage signal sent into HV1 will be shifted down to the lower voltage and sent out through LV1.

LC-04 Bi-directional logic level converter pinout
LC-04 Bi-directional logic level converter pinout

Parts List:

  1.  LC-04 4 Channel Logic Level Converter
  2. Arduino Uno Board and USB Cable
  3. Breadboard
  4. Crocodile Clip (optional)
  5. Multimeter

The Wiring:

The wiring is pretty simple. You may even omit the breadboard by making end-to-end connections. Two types of connections are required:

  1. Pin connection to shift down (5V to 3.3V)
  2. Pin connection to shift up (3.3V to 5V)
Pin Connection to Shift Down:
  1. LV to 3.3V
  2. LV’s GND to multimeter’s black probe
  3. LV3 to multimeter’s red probe
  4. HV to 5V
  5. GND to UNO’s GND
  6. HV3 to Digital Pin 4
Logic level shift down using LC-04 logic level converter
Logic level shifting down using LC-04 logic level converter
Pin Connection to Shift Up:
  1. LV to 3.3V
  2. LV’s GND to UNO’s GND
  3. LV3 to Digital Pin 4
  4. HV to 5V
  5. GND to multimeter’s black probe
  6. HV3 to multimeter’s red probe
Logic level shifting up using LC-04 logic level converter
Logic level shifting up using LC-04 logic level converter

4 Channel Large Current Relay Board

4-channel-large-current-relay-board-img1

4-Channel Relay Board is a simple and convenient way to interface 4 relays for switching application in your project. The project has large Relay which can switch current up to 20Amps.

Specifications

  • Input supply 12 VDC @ 360 mA
  • Output four SPDT Relay
  • Relay specification 20 A @ 230 VAC NC/30A NO
  • Trigger level 2 ~ 5 VDC
  • Box Header connector for connection of trigger signal
  • LED on each channel indicates relay status
  • Power-On LED indicator
  • Screw terminal connector for easy relay output and power in connection
  • Four mounting holes of 3.2 mm each
  • PCB dimensions 65 mm x 116 mm

4 Channel Large Current Relay Board – [Link]

Simple ESP-01 testboard

ffbz6zbiuyd3sjw-medium

PrzemekM1@ instructables.com build a simple ESP01 development board.

I hate to connect ESP01 modules on breadboard so I’ve made simple devboard with programmer, some LEDs and switches on board.

Now I can easy test some IoT projects 🙂

Simple ESP-01 testboard – [Link]

NanoPi S2, A $45 Development Board For Professionals & Hobbyists

FriendlyArm has released NanoPi S2, a small board with WiFi, Bluetooth and eMMC for professionals, enterprise users, makers and hobbyists.

nanopi-s2_en_06

This NanoPi board uses the Samsung Quad Core Cortex-A9 S5P4418 SoC with dynamic frequency scaling up to 1.4GHz. It comes with 1G DDR3 RAM, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 module. The NanoPi S2 is powered over the MicroUSB port, It also has video input/output interface, 3.5mm audio jack, USB port and MicroSD card slot, serial debug port and ADC pin-header.

Hardware Specifications:
  • CPU: S5P4418, dynamic frequency from 400Mhz to 1.4GHz
  • PMU Power Management Unit: AXP228. It supports software shutdown and wake-up functions.
  • DDR3 RAM: 1GB
  • eMMC: 8GB
  • Wireless:802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth:4.0 dual mode
  • MicroSD Slot: 1 x MicroSD Slot
  • Audio: 3.5mm jack/Via HDMI
  • Microphone: 3.5mm jack
  • USB Host: 1 x USB 2.0 Host
  • Micro USB: 1 x MicroUSB, USB 2.0 for both data transmission and power input
  • LCD Interface: 0.5 mm pitch 45-pin SMT FPC seat, for full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
  • HDMI: microHDMI,1080P60 output
  • DVP Camera Interface: 0.5mm pitch 24-pin FPC seat.
  • LVDS:0.5mm pitch 24-Pin FPC seat
  • GPIO1: 2.54mm pitch 40pin, compatible with Raspberry Pi’s GPIO. It includes UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, IO and etc
  • ADC: onboard ADC pin header
  • Serial Debug Port:2.54mm pitch 4-Pin header
  • Antenna Interface: IPX
  • User Key: 1 x Power , 1 x Boot Mode Switch
  • LED: 1 x Power LED, 1 x System LED
  • RTC: RTC Pins
  • PCB Size(mm): 75 x 40, 8 layer, ENIG
  • Power Supply: DC 5V/2A
  • OS/Software: u-boot, Android5.1, Debian8

nanopi-s2_en_04

The NanoPi S2 has various interfaces, ports such as LVDS, and GPIOs which are compatible with Raspberry Pi’s GPIOs and ts PCB dimension is 40 * 75 mm.
The NanoPi S2 works with most of the modules and OS images that are developed for FriendlyElec’s S5P4418 based boards.

To start using NanoPi S2 you need MicroSD Card/TF Card, a DC 5V/2A power, HDMI monitor or LCD, USB keyboard, mouse and possibly a USB hub, a host computer running Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit system. It’s recommended to use a Class10 8GB SDHC TF card to boot and run fast.

nanopi-s2_en_05

NanoPi S2 is similar to NanoPi 2 with replacing one of the micro SD slot by an eMMC flash, and adding an LVDS connector, an audio jack, and  an ADC header. The S2 is supported with the same software of NanoPi 2 with Android 5.1 and Debian 8 images. The NanoPi S2 is available for $45 directly on FriendlyARM website.

TE0722 Zynq DIPFORTy1 “Soft Propeller” Module

The DIPFORTy1 is a powerful Xilinx based FPGA board with small form factor and many programmable I/Os. It is popular for its high performance at most competitive price.

DIPFORTy front face-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy front face

Introduction:

The TE0722 is based on the Xilinx Zynq-7000, a System on Chip. It contains a FPGA and a Dual Core ARM A9+ processor with enough logic gates to become a Propeller. The board also has 16 MByte of flash used for configuration. Everything fits on a Propeller-compatible DIP 40 pin board. The 16 MByte storage space is good enough for primary boot, though a micro-SD card can be attached as MIO/ZYNQ secondary boot media.

DIPFORTy back side-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy back side

The DIPFORTy1 ‘Soft Propeller’ is the lowest cost Zynq based module ever made. It’s also the first Zynq module that can use existing bases and project boards (Parallax Propeller chip compatibility). All this in a compact 1.8 x 5.1 cm form factor, at the most competitive price.

Quick look at specs:

DIPFORTy1 quick specs-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy1 quick specs

About FPGA:

It’s good to have some knowledge about FPGA before getting to know about DIPFORTy.

field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a designer after manufacturing. The FPGA configuration is generally specified using a hardware description language (HDL), similar to that used for an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

FPGA
A Spartan FPGA from Xilinx

FPGAs contain an array of programmable logic blocks. The hierarchy of configurable interconnects allows the blocks to be “wired together”. It’s just like many logic gates that can be inter-wired in different configurations. Logic blocks can be configured to perform complex time-independent logics. Blocks also can perform merely simple logic gates like AND and XOR. In most FPGAs, logic blocks also include memory elements. It can be simple flip-flops or more complete blocks of memory.

Features of TE07722 DIPFORTy1:

The DIPFORTy1 has lots of features. Lets have a look:

  • Xilinx ZYNQ-7: XC7Z010-CLG225
    • Dual Core ARM A9+
    • 16 MByte SPI Flash (primary boot)
    • 33.333 MHz clock (MEMS Oscillator)
  • DIP40 form factor
    • 2 x 20 holes for socket pins or pin-header
    • Size: 18 mm x 51 mm
  • 3.3 V single supply
  • RGB LED (PL I/O connected)
  • “Done” LED (inverted polarity)
 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Total user accessible PL I/O: 46 (+3 Input only)
    • DIP40 header pins: 34 I/O
    • XMOD J1: 6 I/O
    • XMOD J2: JTAG + 2 I/O (or 3 input + 2 I/O)
    • XMOD J3: 4 I/O
  • User LED (ARM CPU MIO GPIO)
  • MicroSD card socket (MIO, ZYNQ secondary boot media)
  • Sil1143 proximity and ambient light sensor

Pin-Out Of DIPFORTy1 :

dipforty1-pinout-FPGA-Board
dipforty1-pinout

Processor of DIPFORTy1 :

The FPGA board is designed using Xilinx ZYNQ-7: XC7Z010-CLG225.

zynq-mp-core-dual-FPGA Board
zynq-mp-core-dual

Zynq-7000 devices are equipped with dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors integrated with 28nm Artix-7 or Kintex®-7 based programmable logic for excellent performance-per-watt and maximum design flexibility. With up to 6.6M logic cells and offered with transceivers ranging from 6.25Gb/s to 12.5Gb/s, Zynq-7000 devices enable highly differentiated designs for a wide range of embedded applications.

Conclusion:

As the DIPFORTy1 is an industrial-grade Zynq-7000 SoC module, it’s highly powerful and appropriate for wide range of embedded applications including multi-camera drivers assistance systems and 4K/2K Ultra-HDTV. The board is totally value for money.

You can purchase it from trenz electronic or Digi-Key.

Vivado HL WebPACK Edition (free Version) is the recommended software.