One of my Twitter followers, Mark Nottingham, is currently on a crusade to get rid of the teapot, or rather the 418 HTTP status code which equates to “I’m a teapot”. It all started out as a joke back in 1998 and has remained ever since. There are good arguments from both sides of the fence to getting rid of it. Mark, who incidentally has been tagged as, (for some reason), “the most boring man on the Internet“, just so happens to be the current chairman of the IETF HTTP working group. So he does have some clout. What does it mean for the average Maker? Well, nothing really, except that you may, or may not see the 418 status code go away. My money is on it staying based on the fact that us Makers are a stubborn lot.
Developer Preview number 5 of Android Things has a few updates and changes. The recent demise of Intel’s IoT products are of course not going to receive any updates, but the i.MX6 UL SoC is now supported as well as ES2.0, WebView and dynamic pin muxing on the Raspberry Pi3 and Android O support. Now, that’s nice to see.
Kaynes Technology have released a new SBC based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 SoC. It has 1G DDR3 RAM, 8G eMMC, SD slot, 100MbE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB, IMUs, audio in/out, HDMI and the usual 40 pin GPIO header. Runs from a 12v DC input or 2.5Ah battery. There’s also an optional 7″ capacitive touch display.
ACME systems have come out with a new SoM inventively called the RoadRunner. For 36 euros you get an SAMA5D27 SoC with 256M DDR3 RAM and 16MB SPI flash. It breaks out all the good stuff on to two Hirose 100 pin connectors such as 100MbE, touch panel interface, 7 I2C, 7 SPI, CAN, ADCs, USB, HDMI and 128 GPIOs. You can get at all of this using their 30 euro evaluation board.
Anaren have just released a new version of their cloud-based IoT development platform called Atmosphere and adding in BeagleBone support in the process. Atmosphere is a development platform allowing you to connect up your IoT devices to Amazon Web Services and supporting C#, C++ and Python.
Texas Instruments have released a really cheap, tiny project evaluation module for the BeagleBone Black. For US$99 you get the DLP2000 display module that can project a 640 by 360, 30 lumen adjustable display. This is pretty amazing as the previous version was selling for around US$600. I think I’m really tempted to pick one of these up.
Sony is mixing things up with their new boards called the Spritzer. It’s an Arduino compatible board with Sony’s own CDX5602 MCU which is Cortex-M4F MCU. It also has 8MB flash, SD card, 8 channel mics, audio codec driving speaker out and 2 camera interfaces. The CDX5602 is actually a GPS chip, so as an added bonus you get GPS as well.
A couple of my subs let me know about a new Orange Pi SBC, which is the Orange Pi Zero Plus. So that means we have the Zero 512, Zero 256, Zero Plus 2 H3, Zero Plus 2 H5 and now the Zero Plus. It’d be really nice if they gave them code names instead of confusing us. This new board has the Allwinner H5 and GbE, WiFi, 512MB RAM, SD slot and 2MB SPI flash.
Another set top box manufacturer is dipping it’s toes into the SBC market. This time from VideoStrong. They have released a fairly expensive board running the RK3399 hexacore SoC, with 4G DDR3 RAM, 16G eMMC, GbE, QiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, MIPI and DP out, mini PCIe, RK808 PMU, and a bunch of GPIOs. It’s an expensive board, but has a bucket load of options.
If you’re looking at doing some audio streaming, then the 50 euro VoltaStream Zero is a Pi compatible board that runs an i.MX6 ULL SoC with 1G RAM, PCM5121 DAC, TOSLINK audio jack, WiFi, USB port and Pi compatible GPIOs. It runs, of course, Linux with Volumio support on the cards. The board schematics has been released under the Creative Commons license, so it means you can create your own boards if you want. Nice.
The HardKernel guys have come to the party with two new boards called the ODROID-HC1 and the ODROID-MC1.
The HC1 is aimed at people wanting to create their own NAS solution and comes as a package with heatsink, space for housing a 2.5″ drive and a modified version of the XU4. All you need is a 5V supply and you’re away. The MC1 is essentially the same, minus the disk storage capabilities. Both products are stackable and they have demo-ed a very impressive 1600 CPU 400G RAM cluster made up of these boards. Wow. Both boards are expected to be released September 2017.
This next one isn’t exactly a Maker product, but interesting anyway. It’s a TV box, but it says it contains an Allwinner H6 SoC. This is probably the first time I’ve seen an H6 out in the wild. It contains all the usual stuff that you see on a set top box, but unlike the H5’s piddly 3G RAM, the H6 supports up to 64G DDR4 RAM and also USB3.0, HDMI 2.0 on 4K.