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Devices: Banana Pi, Firmware in Your Firmware, Amlogic/Arm and Arduino

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  • Raspberry Pi: Banana Pi maker touts this new rival board with Amlogic chip and 4GB RAM

    Chinese SinoVoip has teased a Raspberry Pi-style single-board computer, the Banana Pi BPI-M5, with an Amlogic S905X3 four-core Cortex-A55 processor.

    The Raspberry Pi rival features a system on chip with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port, and just like its fruity rival, a 40-pin GPIO (general-purpose input/output) rack to connect other devices.

  • Putting The Firmware In Your Firmware

    Performing over-the-air updates of devices in the field can be a tricky business. Reliability and recovery is of course key, but even getting the right bits to the right storage sectors can be a challenge. Recently I’ve been working on a project which called for the design of a new pathway to update some small microcontrollers which were decidedly inconvenient.

    There are many pieces to a project like this; a bootloader to perform the actual updating, a robust communication protocol, recovery pathways, a file transfer mechanism, and more. What made these micros particularly inconvenient was that they weren’t network-connected themselves, but required a hop through another intermediate controller, which itself was also not connected to the network. Predictably, the otherwise simple “file transfer” step quickly ballooned out into a complex onion of tasks to complete before the rest of the project could continue. As they say, it’s micros all the way down.

  • Low-cost Amlogic S905L2 TV Boxes Show Up on Aliexpress for $20+

    Amlogic has plenty of variants to its S905 processors, and so far I had never heard about Amlogic S905L2 processor that can be found in some Android 9.0 TV boxes sold for a little over $20 including shipping.

    There are only two such TV boxes listed with the quad-core Cortex-A53 processor so far, and they are basically the same X7 model except for different storage and memory configuration.

  • Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition Raises Licensing Questions

    This could accelerate an industry shift away from Arm designs to RISC-V, according to a Reuters source.

  • Get ready to Explore IoT with Arduino Education

    This week we are launching our Arduino Explore IoT Kit, which allows high school and college students to take their first steps in building connected devices. Educators can make a complex subject simple – explore the Internet of Things right now with Arduino Education.

    Aimed at the beginner, there is a complete set of easy to follow online projects providing students with a gateway into the digital world of connected objects and how people work together.

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