Category: Favorite companies

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TechNexion Android Things dev kits, modules, embedded systems at the Embedded World 2018

Posted by Charbax – March 7, 2018

TechNexion shows off its Android Things development kits, modules, embedded systems and more new products at the Embedded World 2018. The TechNexion product lineup has grown once again in size. The company is showcasing Android Things development kits based on PICO-PI-IMX7 Low-cost system on modules that are modular, scalable and versatile. The Android Things development boards are based on the NXP i.MX7 applications processor. TechNexion is also launching several wireless communication modules, including PIXI-41Z and the PIXI-9377 low-cost, certified, 1x1 802.11 AC/BT4.1 module that deliver high transmission rates, low latency and improved range.

TechNexion is a provider of embedded systems and system-on-modules, in 2017, TechNexion was chosen by Google as a partner to develop the reference design for its Android Things development kit. That kit based on the PICO-PI-IMX7 board has been the go-to development kit distributed at developer shows and used for demoing the potential of Android Things.

The New TechNexion PIXI series is a communication module that delivers all IoT multi-mode communication needs in one ultra-compact and secure module series. It is specifically designed to enable better transmission rates, lower latency, better range and higher resistance to interference when two or more communication protocols – for example, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Thread - are needed to run concurrently on one system-on-chip. Multiple communication protocols in one chip means users can collect more data from disparate communication protocols, while also having the flexibility to use the right protocol to suit the type of data and distance from your hub.

Panel PCs – TechNexion has three human-machine-interface (HMI) panel computing series: TC, TEP and TWP. The TEP Series is available with either ARM or x86 architecture and has an IP65 anodized aluminum enclosure and a flux mounted projective capacitive touch, high brightness LCD display - ranging from 5 to 15.6 inches. The TWP Series is a fully waterproof, IP69K, panel PC designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high vibration, and cleaning with a jet spray. It is also available with either ARM or x86 architecture – ranging from 10 to 15.6 inches. The TEP-1560-IMX6 is their 15” panel computer based on i.MX6 and the TWP-1560-IMX6 is their NEW model that is waterproof, stainless steel, panel computer.

Fanless Box PCs - The TEK Series fanless computing systems are enclosed in a compact, fully ruggedized enclosure, and are perfect for controlling versatile end-equipment.

System-on-Modules – TechNexion continues to expand its SoM options through its two series, EDM and PICO. These series have an exhaustive range of options around size, processor capability and connector type enabling the creation of almost any kind of embedded device. They are designed to be scalable and come with fully open source software – Linux and Android - and schematics.

WandPi-8M community board – TechNexion were also showing the latest version of their community development board. It is based on NXP’s i.MX8M Quad application processor with ARM Cortex-A53 + M4 architecture to deliver 4K UltraHD with HDR video quality with pro audio fidelity. The WandPi-8M is available for pre-order and is expected to ship in Spring of this year.

Diamond Systems Zeta SBC, Ethernet switch solutions, Sabre enclosures at Embedded World 2018

Posted by Charbax – March 7, 2018

Diamond Systems founder Jonathan Miller shows the company’s newest products at Embedded World 2018 including the COM-based Zeta SBC, EPSM-10GX (used to connect to a carrier board) and EPS-24G2X Ethernet switch solutions. As Miller explains, the EPS-24G2X brings out all the signals including those for the two 10G SFI ports. There is a lot of Ethernet available via this solution. It’s all about communication, sharing information and so some people want more ports. The switches discussed are examples of those found in unmanned vehicles as well as many other rugged applications. Included in these new products is the EPS-12GMini, one of the world’s smallest 12-port Ethernet switches is a two-board design enabling its small form factor for on-board vehicle use (military and industrial).

The rugged enclosure called SABRE is the newest of Diamond Systems’ enclosures, this rugged box provides protection in the harshest environments and enables complete solutions for their customers. The one on display, Sabre, at this show is for the COM Express Mini form factor and it accommodates the 12-port switch. On the front is a set of three military connectors. Next is a an Industrial MIDI enclosure with a variety of I/O brought out to the front which accommodates an Eagle SBC which uses Toradex Apalis ARM modules and Diamond Eagle carrier board that goes inside along with a variety of I/O (serial ports, CAN ports, connectors, display, analog). Diamond has an ongoing relationship with partner Toradex who I also filmed at EW2018 here

More boards on display in their booth includes the Analog I/O modules: DMM-16-AT along with DMM-16RP-AT which is bus agnostic. Eaglet, a more compact version of the earlier noted Eagle SBC. The discussion turns to PC/104 where Miller notes the longevity of the product and long value it has had as a form factor. A little later, PCIe MiniCards are shown and discussed as used: I/O; CAN module, Analog I/O module; Ethernet and digital I/O.

Pandora box with connectors on the board for connecting directly into the box. Plug in and go. Typically used on a controller.

Products shown on the right half of the booth are proven designs that they have had on the market now already for a while. A large part of the sales are based on these designs and are custom in some fashion depending on customer's request.

Next for Diamond are more small things, COM Express, small form factors and more. You can read more about their solutions at http://diamondsystems.com

Toradex Apalis iMX8QM, NXP i.MX 8QM, and more demos at EW2018

Posted by Charbax – March 7, 2018

Toradex booth tour at Embedded World 2018 featuring their new Toradex Apalis iMX8 QM System on Module (SoM) based on the NXP’s i.MX 8QuadMax processor. Toradex’s demos featuring the Apalis iMX8QM includes one with Qt 3D Studio. The Apalis iMX8QM offers one click OS installation via the Toradex Easy Installer and offers 2x Arm Cortex-A72 cores, 4x Cortex-A53 cores, and 2x Cortex-M4 cores. The Apalis iMX8QM also contains on-board dual-band 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and is Bluetooth 5 ready. This SoM offers advanced hardware security and safety features, and is ideal for signal processing, computer vision and HMI applications. Interested third parties can sign up for early access for the Apalis iMX8QM here

In addition, Toradex is also showing their soon to be available Toradex Colibri iMX8X SoM, based on NXP’s i.MX 8X processor. With 2-4x Arm Cortex-A35 cores and 1x Cortex-M4 core, the SoM is ideal for industrial automation, HMI, robotics, building applications and healthcare. The Colibri iMX8X also contains on-board dual-band 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and is Bluetooth 5 ready.

Toradex also showcases some of their other demos such as a Deep Learning demo featuring its Toradex Apalis TK1 SoM in collaboration with its partner Vertex.AI, the demo highlights Vertex.AI’s Vision deep learning and object detection software, and is a complete end-to-end deep learning demo, showcasing pasta detection. Additionally, Toradex has a demo in collaboration with its partner, Roboception, which integrates Toradex’s Apalis TK1 SoM for high-performance onboard processing, the demo has onboard SLAM for indoor and outdoor navigation, accurate visual-intertial motion estimation, and standard interfaces for an intuitive WEB-GUI.

Toradex also has a range of demos highlighting its Toradex partner ecosystem. From CODESYS’ real-time SoftPLC with EtherCAT, Crank’s low- and high-end UI, DiSTI’s safety focused HMI, Green Hills’ INTEGRITY RTOS on Colibri iMX6, Antmicro’s Android on Vision Kit, Acontis’ optimized EtherCAT, TES’ 3D Surround View/Guiliani, Mender.io’s over-the-air updates, Christmann’s Apalis computer cluster, Gumstix’s voice control carrier board, MVTec’s HPeek and more.

To stay up-to-date with news from Toradex, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

ARM Machine Learning (ML) Processor

Posted by Charbax – March 2, 2018

The Arm Machine Learning processor provides up to 4.6 Trillions of Machine Learning Operations Per Second, as part of the Project Trillium, Arm’s Machine Learning (ML) platform, enables a new era of advanced, ultra-efficient inference at the edge with Programmable layer engines for future-proofing, Highly tuned for advanced geometry implementations, Specifically designed for ML and neural network (NN) capabilities, the architecture is versatile enough to scale to any device, from IoT to connected cars and servers.

Built from the ground up for optimal performance and efficiency, Project Trillium completes the Arm Heterogenous ML compute platform with the Arm ML processor, the second-generation Arm Object Detection (OD) processor and open-source Arm NN software.

The Arm Machine Learning processor consists of state-of-the-art optimized fixed-function engines that provide best-in-class performance within a constrained power envelope. Additional programmable layer engines support the execution of non-convolution layers, and the implementation of selected primitives and operators, along with future innovation and algorithm generation. The network control unit manages the overall execution and traversal of the network and the DMA moves data in and out of the main memory. Onboard memory allows central storage for weights and feature maps, thus reducing traffic to the external memory and therefore, power.

Google for Education at Bett 2018: Chromebooks, G Suite, Jamboard and more…

Posted by Charbax – February 22, 2018

Google booth tour at the BETT education technology conference, showcasing some of the newest Chromebooks released for the education market, new security features to help schools prepare for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU (more information at Google Blog), collaborative tools for teachers and students, the Jamboard interactive whiteboard display device, Google Expeditions using Augmented Reality and VR. Chromebooks are the leading device for the K-12 education market in the USA and now also in Sweden, Canada and New Zealand with 25 million users worldwide. G Suite for Education is used by 80 million users worldwide.

Robin Saxby Lecture: Growing a start-up into a global powerhouse

Posted by Charbax – February 20, 2018

At the 2017 IET Christmas Lecture, Hub Mentor and pioneering technology entrepreneur Sir Robin Saxby, founding CEO and Chairman of ARM Holdings (who I interviewed here) shares his advice for growing a start-up with limited resources into a global powerhouse. Under his leadership, ARM became the world’s leading semiconductor Intellectual Property (IP) company, and now connects over 5 billion people, powering everything from supercomputers to each Whatsapp message on your phone.

[You can auto-translate the english subtitles to any language from YouTube on a desktop, the video is also available with only external subtitles here]

He answers questions like:
How can a small start-up compete with far bigger competition?
How do you build the right team?
What is the most common mistake technical founders make?

Sir Robin continues to champion entrepreneurship in the UK, and is a committed supporter of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub (https://enterprisehub.raeng.org.uk/)

Exciting Liverpool Technology start up:
http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/

Robin and Friends Bandcamp
https://robinandfriends.bandcamp.com/

Participated in creating this video:
Jan Mary Baloyo, IET
Nilar Shyun Mya, IET PSB Academy On Campus
Syafiq Shahul, IET PSB Academy On Campus
Stanley Liau, IET Singapore LN

Better Gaming with HDMI 2.1 using VRR, QMS, QFT, ALLM

Posted by Charbax – February 10, 2018

HDMI 2.1 Specification Supports a Range of Features for Enhanced Gaming:
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
- Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.
- Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.

48Gbit/s HDMI 2.1 cable, up to 10K120

Posted by Charbax – February 10, 2018

HDMI 2.1 Specification Supports Ultra High Speed Bandwidth Up to 48Gbps enabling Higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz and support for resolutions up to 10K120 compressed. The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable supports 48Gbit/s bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support and has very low emissions of Electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Dynamic HDR with HDMI 2.1, Technicolor Advanced Dynamic HDR

Posted by Charbax – February 10, 2018

Dynamic HDR support ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast and wider color gamuts. Here this interview is with Technicolor about their implementation of Dynamic HDR supported as part of the new HDMI 2.1 Spec.

eARC with HDMI 2.1, Enhanced Audio Return Channel at up to 40mbit/s

Posted by Charbax – February 10, 2018

eARC in HDMI 2.1 simplifies connectivity and supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, highest audio quality, and ensures compatibility between audio devices and upcoming HDMI 2.1 products, enabling to deliver those formats via an eARC-enabled HDMI port on a future HDMI 2.1 TV. eARC also provides support for the TV’s over-the-air tuner, streaming apps received by the TV, and audio from HDMI sources connected to the TV.

A key advantage of eARC is that it enables a TV-centric living room or home theater configuration that can provide a more seamless experience. Today, an AV receiver—or a similar repeater device—is necessary to extract high quality audio from an HDMI link, while the video is processed and passed through to the TV. The user may have to switch inputs on both the TV and an audio device to find the source of their content, and content sourced within the TV and from TV inputs is frequently limited to stereo or, in the best case, one of a very small number of compressed formats.

With eARC, it will be possible to connect all sources through the TV and send audio to the sound system completely uncompromised. Furthermore, eARC will make possible a new breed of audio-only receivers that will yield greater value and ease-of-use by eliminating a video subsystem. So, in theory anyway, overall video and audio performance will improve with eARC.