Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Compact COM Express-based subsystem packs plenty of DAQs

Zeta is a Single Board Computer (SBC) from Diamond Systems that combines a COM Express Mini Type 10 module based on Apollo Lake or Bay Trail SoCs with a DAQ-rich carrier, and a heat spreader mounted below. The Zeta COM Express Mini Type 10 supports the quad-core Atom E3940 and Pentium N4200 from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation, as well as a dual-core Atom E3825 from the earlier Bay Trail family. Measures 84mm by 55mm, Diamond, Creators of Zeta do not promote their creation as a standalone Computer -on-Module product mostly because of its extra add-ons and functionality.

Diamond Systems Zeta

According to Diamond, the 84 x 55mm Zeta offers functionality and performance equivalent to Diamond’s Bay Trail-based Aries PC/104 SBC, at just 40 percent of its 116 x 102mm size.

The Zeta processor choice can be obtained in two Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), one has 16x DIO lines while the other has an FPGA-driven data acquisition circuit that replaces the 16x DIO with a 27x DIO connector. The second SKU also adds 4x channels of 16-bit digital outputs, eight 32-bit timers, 16x channels of 16-bit analog inputs among other features.

The Zeta offers 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB RAM depending on the type of processor chosen. There’s also a microSD slot, as well as a mini-PCI express slot with mSATA support. Standard features include 2x GbE, VGA, LVDS, USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 4x RS-232/422/485. It also comes with an optional daughter board to act as an expansion set. The daughter board has a full-size mini-PCI express slot, an M.2 M-key 2242 for an SSD, and audio I/O.

General Specifications for the Zeta Serial Board Controller are:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake or Bay Trail:
    • Atom x5-E3940 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.6GHz/1.8GHz; 9W TDP
    • Pentium N4200 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz; 6W TDP
    • Atom E3825 — 2x Bay Trail cores @ 1.33GHz; 6W TDP
  • Memory & Storage:
    • 2GB (E3825), 4GB (E3940) or 8GB (N4200) RAM
    • MicroSD slot (bootable for Linux)
    • mSATA via mini-PCIe slot
    • M.2 M-key 2242 for SSD on an optional daughterboard
  • Display — VGA; LVDS
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Expansion Options:
    • Mini-PCIe slot with PCIe, USB, and mSATA support.
  • Expansion daughterboard:
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot with PCIe and USB
    • HD audio (Realtek ALC892) line-in, mic-in, line-out
    • 16x DIO (via I2C) with configurable 3.3V/ 5V logic levels and Pull-up/down resistors
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0
    • 4x USB 2.0
    • 4x RS-232/422/485 (software-programmable with termination)
    • 16x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels
    • Optional DAQ circuit (separate SKU):
    • 27x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels (replaces original 16x DIO)
    • 16x 16-bit analog inputs
    • +/-10V, +/-5V, 0-10V, and 0-5V input ranges
    • 100KHz max sample rate with 2048-sample FIFO
    • 8x differential voltage inputs
    • 4x channels of 16-bit analog outputs
    • 8x 32-bit counter/timers.
    • 4x 24-bit PWMs
  • Power — Optional 9-36V input
  • Operating temperature — -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 84mm x 55mm (COM Express Mini Type 10)
  • Operating system — supports Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) and Windows 10 IoT with optional SDKs
  • Other features — watchdog; heat spreader; dev kit version with cables and SDKs
Block Diagram

Zeta’s small size and high feature density make it an ideal choice for mobile applications. It stands ready to meet the challenges of these environments with a wide range 6-36VDC input voltage, a -40 to +85°C operating temperature range, and fanless heat spreader cooling (heat sink options are available). Zeta is available for order online at an undisclosed price. More information for the Diamond Systems Zeta can be found on the product page.

Ubuntu Core to the i.MX6 based TS-7970

Technologic Systems,Inc. announced that it will be partnering with Canonical to make Ubuntu Core available for their newest single board computer: the TS-7970. The TS-7970 is a high-performance single board computer based on the NXP i.MX6 CPU which implements the ARM® Cortex A9 architecture clocked at 1 GHz.

Bob Miller, founder of Technologic Systems said, “With the functionality of our TS-7970 and the flexibility of Ubuntu Core, I can see these powering virtually anything from industrial Internet of Things gateways, plant automation, network equipment, high definition digital signage, to remote monitoring stations.”

The TS-7970 is ideally suited for deployment into a wide range of robust industrial applications and is truly a high end general purpose single board computer ideal for smart devices, auto entertainment systems, medical systems, enterprise class intelligent control, plant automation, or any high-end embedded systems. Ubuntu Core is ideal for this environment because of its rich networking and protocol support. In addition, Ubuntu Core offers a secure, reliable, and remotely upgradeable platform to easily update and maintain IoT devices making for a more secure and cost-effective deployment.

More IoT with Compute Module 3 and Ubuntu Core OS

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced recently that its IoT OS, Ubuntu Core, is available on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 – the general-purpose compute product from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. This OS, the smallest Ubuntu ever, is the perfect host operating system for IoT devices and large-scale cloud container deployments. Actually, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3), is a micro-version of the Raspberry Pi 3. With its new features, it provides a simple and affordable single board computer.

In fact, this module is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware, providing twice the RAM and roughly 10x the CPU performance of the original Module, launched in 2014. Even though CM3 is replacing the original Compute Module, but CM1 is still compatible with the new Compute Module IO Board V3, and remains available for sale.

CM3 takes care of the complexity of routing out the pins, the high speed RAM interface and core power supply. Also, it allows a simple carrier board to provide what is necessary for external interfaces and form factor. The module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, sockets by several manufacturers, are easily available, and are inexpensive.

Software Defined Everything?

As a vision for Canonical, The CM3 with Ubuntu Core allows developers to create new IoT products and devices. As well as offering a potentially smaller and more efficient replacement for some devices that contain larger Raspberry Pi boards.

“Gaining official support for Ubuntu Core is highly significant for our Compute Module 3. It opens up a huge community of developers keen to leverage Ubuntu’s particular advantages in the IoT world; its resource-efficient footprint, versatility, and industry leading security benefits,” says Eben Upton, CEO at Raspberry Pi.

Finally, more comprehensive information on the Compute Modules is available in the this hardware documentation, and includes a datasheet and schematics. In addition, you can check this step-by-step tutorial to install Core OS on your Compute Module 3 by Ubuntu Developer.

Orange Pi PC2 $20 Quad core Linux Computer

Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO., Limited is now offering  a new addition to the community of single board computers. The latest edition of Orange Pi is the $20 Orange Pi PC 2.
Even though this 85mm×55mm board isn’t as cheap as the $4 VoCore2 Lite, its $20 price tag is justified by the hardware it packs inside. And, it also saves you $15 if you don’t want to go for the $35 Raspberry Pi 3. Orange Pi PC 2 is a single-board quad-core 64-bit computer capable of running Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Banana Pi, and Raspberry Pi images.

best-seller-orange-pi-pc-h3-support-the-lubuntu-linux-and-android-mini-pc-beyond-raspberry

The board includes an Ethernet port and three USB ports. It has 1GB of memory, H5 High Performance Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53, and a standalone graphics chip. It supports camera input as well as HDMI out and even has a physical power switch and IR blaster. It takes power using a separate power connector despite the fact that it has a micro-USB port. The absence of WiFi and Bluetooth is a slight turn-down but USB 2.0 ports can be used to add these things.

orangepipc2_info

Full hardware specifications

CPU: Allwinner H5 64-bit Quadcore (Cortex-A53).
RAM: 1GB DDR3.
GPU: Mali-450.
Storage: 2MB NOR Flash, up to 64GB via MicroSD card.
Connectivity: 2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 2.0 OTG, HDMI, 10/1000 RJ45, IR receiver, camera interface, 40-pin header.
Audio: 3.5mm jack, inbuilt mic.
Operating System: Ubuntu Debian, Raspbian, Android.
This board is an advanced edition of the recent Orange Pi PC with different CPU, GPU and Ethernet connection.

Getting Started with Orange Pi PC 2

  1. You need to get these accessories to start using your Orange Pi:
    TF card (minimum 8 GB), HDMI to HDMI lead or HDMI to DVI lead (for monitors with DVI input), AV video lead, DC power adapter, keyboard and mouse, plus Ethernet cable/USB WiFi and Audio lead as an option.rms
  2. Prepare your TF card
    1. Insert your TF card into your computer. The size of TF should be larger than the OS image size, generally 8GB or greater.
    2. Format the TF card. (using this tool for Windows, and some commands for Linux)
      1. Run fdisk –l  /dev/sdx command to check the TF card node.
      2. Run umount /dev/sdxx to unmount all the partitions of the TF card.
      3. Run sudo fdisk /dev/sdx command to configure TF card. Use o command to delete all partition of TF card and use n command to add one new partition. Use w command to save change.
      4. Run sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdx1 command to format the new created partition of TF card as FAT32.
        (x should be replaced according to your TF card node)
    3. Download the OS image from the Downloads webpage.
    4. Unzip the download file to get the OS image
    5. Write the image file to the TF card using this software on Windows and this command on Linux: sudo dd bs=4M if=[path]/[imagename] of=/dev/sdx (x should be replaced according to your TF card node)
  3. Set up your Orange Pi PC following the steps in the diagram
    sketch_map_pipc_en
    Note : Avoid using the micro-usb power connector, because micro-usb power does not supply power.
  4. Shut down your board
    You can use the GUI to shut down the Orange Pi PC2 safely or just run this command in the terminal:  sudo halt or  sudo shutdown –h now
    This will shutdown the PI safely, (just use the power key to turn off might damage the TF-cards file system). After that you can press the power key for 5 seconds to turn it off. Full guide and any updates on the OS image will be available here.

This open source SBC (single board computer) is a great option to start building IoT devices, DIY projects and for development purposes. You can use it as a mini-computer, a wireless server, music and video player,etc. You should remember that the limit is the sky when it comes to open source boards.

The Orange Pi PC 2 is up for sale on AliExpress and you can get it now for $20. You can apply for free products from Orange Pi through this application by defining your purpose of using the product and following the steps mentioned here.

You can check the official website to find more details and updates about Orange Pi PC2 and other boards from Orange Pi. Codes and source files are available at Github.