Gateworks Announces Release of Newport Family of SBC’s

Gateworks is proud to announce the release of the Newport family of single board computers, featuring the Cavium Octeon TX® ARM processor. This product line is the first to utilize the Octeon TX and represents the next generation of networking performance for embedded processor boards.

Gateworks Newport Family Highlights:

  • Cavium OcteonTX ARMv8 64-bit
  • Dual/Quad CPU up to 1.5GHz
  • DDR4 DRAM up to 8GB
  • eMMC Flash up to 64GB
  • Up to 5x GbE Ethernet Ports (optional fiber ports available)
  • Up to 4x Mini-PCIe Sites
  • USB 3.0
  • PCIe 3.0
  • Optional Maxim DS28C22 Secure Authentication and Encryption
  • Optional Ublox ZOE-MQ8 GNSS GPS Receiver with PPS
  • Optional Microchip MCP25625 2.0B CAN Bus Controller
The Newport family of processor boards will be available in four form factors to accommodate various connectivity and size requirements. The Newport boards are size-compatible with the Ventana family of products to easily upgrade existing solutions to a higher performance platform.
To learn more about the Gateworks Newport Family:

 

Drones & UAVs – Wireless HD Video Streaming

Drones and UAVs and SBCs

Nearly 7 million drones will be shipped by 2020 according to FAA estimates. UAVs require communication to a ground station over a wireless link providing information such as HD video and telemetry data.

Gateworks has Single Board Computers that are Drone & UAV Ready such as the Ventana GW5510 shown below:

Important Features:

  • HDMI Input for video cameras
  • High Power Mini-PCIe Slot for wireless radio
  • Communication busses for telemetry data
  • Industrial Temperature Ratings from -40 to +85C
  • Made in the USA
  • GStreamer Software Framework for video transmission

For videos and more about Gateworks SBCs for Drones and UAVS, visit the link below:

Gateworks Drone & UAV Showcase

Android Digital Signage – Simple & Low Cost

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Digital Signage has exploded over the last few years and is now utilized in businesses ranging from fast food restaurants for menu boards to factories for showing real time productivity analytics. The uses for digital signage is unlimited and the cost has come down to a price point that even small businesses can afford.

Gateworks has created a simple software signage solution for use on the Ventana Family of Single Board Computers. Connect the SBC to an HDMI or LCD display and point to the desired URL.

Gateworks Digital SignageFeatures:

  • Based on Android Lollipop, Optimized for 256MB Flash
  • Displays any local or remote URL in a full screen browser (Kiosk Mode)
  • Supports Hardware Acceleration for smooth playback ofweb content
  • Supports a failover URL
  • Supports automatic refresh

For more information, visit the Digital Signage Wiki Page.

NEW Embedded SBC With HDMI – Wireless – MicroSD for Digital Signage

New Low Profile SBC for Embedded Applications

Gateworks is proud to announce the newest member to the Ventana Family of Single Board Computers, the GW5530.

The GW5530 has an extremely low profile and small form factor ideal for applications inDigital Signage and Wireless Multimedia.

Features include:

  • NXP i.MX6 Processor
  • HDMI HD Video Output
  • New UBlox GPS (Optional)
  • Composite Video Input
  • Mini-PCIe Slot for WiFi or Cellular with SIM
  • MicroSD for storage
  • USB OTG
  • Gateworks GSC

To learn more about theGW5530, visit the following link: GW5530 Product Information

Android Lollipop Embedded Software Release

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Gateworks has just released Android Lollipop support for the Ventana family of Single Board Computers!

Notable updates include:

  • Update to the Android Open Source Projects 5.1.1 code base
  • Freescale i.MX6 performance and stability improvements
  • New3.14 based Linux kernel with many improvements
  • Vivante graphics libraries v5.0.11 p7
Gateworks recommends Lollipopfor all future Android support.

To get started with Android Lollipop, Click the Link Below:

 

Customizing Android & Yocto Splash Screens

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Customizing Android & Yocto Splash Screens

Have you ever wanted to replace that ugly default logo or animation that is shown when your system boots up? Now you can with custom splash screens!

What is a Splash Screen?

  • The logo or image displayed on screen during the boot process of an embedded system

3 Splash Screens can be Customized:

  • Bootloader
  • Linux Kernel
  • Operating System

Why are Splash Screens Important?

  • Splash screen are displayed immediately conveying proper operation and responsiveness to the user
  • Replacing the splash screen logo with a company logo will effectively brand a product for customer deployment

Readmore on the Gateworks Software Wiki:
Customizing the Splash Screen

LCD Touchscreens for Gateworks SBCs

lcd

Gateworks offers a LVDS connector on the Ventana Family of Single Board Computers to allow the connection of a LCD touchscreen display. LCD Displays are a great fit for control panel applications as well as Digital Signage. The displays work with Android, OpenEmbedded Yocto, Ubuntu and more.

The LVDS connector has all the necessary pins for the display signaling as well as I2C for touchscreen control.

Gateworks offers a 7-inch LCD Display with a PCAP Touchscreen. This display is great to get started in development as well as for production projects.

All of the cables, adapters and LCD can be found right on the Gateworks Online Shop so getting up and running is very seamless.

Please review the following links for more information:

Gateworks Product Change Notification

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Gateworks has world classcustomer support. Part of this supportincludes keeping customers up to date with any changes to the single board computers that Gateworks designs and manufactures. Customers expect to be notified of any changes so they can be prepared properly.

Gateworks provides it’s Product Change Notification (PCN) service to notify the customer of any of the following:

  • A new revision of anystandard product single board computer.
  • GSC Firmware Updates
  • Pre-Built Firmware that is shipped on standard product single board computers.
  • Hardware Errata

Gateworks has a page on their Wiki site dedicated to PCN notices as well as a mailing list that will automatically email any updates.

For more information and to join the mailing list, please view the PCN Wiki Site.

For customers who require revision locking, Gateworks offers a Specials program. More information can be found on the Specials Program Wiki Site.

There are many ways to stay connected to Gateworks. Gateworks recommends viewing our wiki section that describes all of the ways here.

Embedded Android App & OS Development

Android is growing fast inembedded applications. TheGateworks Android Development kitis a great starting point for customers that need to get going quickly with both the hardware and software.

To aid in Android software development, Gateworks has developed an example Android application showcasing the interaction of the software with the Gateworks Android hardware. The application features support for the user GPIO, LEDs and more. An easy to useAndroidlibrary is also provided which can be utilized for any customapplication development.

Gateworks has documented Android Software onthe following wiki pages:

  • OS Development –This wiki page coversitems dealing with the lower level operating system. This includes items on the serial console command line such as init scripts, ADB, partitions, command line networking, LED control, GPIO control and other hardware integration.
  • App Development – This wiki pagedetails the building of anAndroid App(APK file) independent of building the entire Android OS. Topics covered include setting up the Android Studio IDE, writing sample code for a Hello World App, as well as using an external Gateworks code library for accessing low level items through the app such as GPIOs, LEDs and more.
    • Gateworks Android Library – This is a library that allows easy integration to low level system items such as LEDs, GPIO, PWM and voltage and temperature.

Gateworks Android Demo App

Gateworks has used the information above to create a Gateworks Demo App that is publicly available on GitHub here. The app features auser friendly front end for controlling some hardware features on the board utilizing the GateworksUtil library. Screenshots of the app can be seen below:

gateworks-demo

Figure 1. (Above) LED control of the trigger and the on / off state. GPIO as input or output and state.

gateworks-demo_hwmon

Figure 2. (Above)Hardware system statistics

gateworks-demo_pwm

Figure 3. (Above)PWM enable, period and duty cycle.

References:

Linux Wireless AP Configuration

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Configuring wireless in Linux can be complex. A very common question is how does one configure an IEEE802.11 radio as an Access Point (AP) from the command line interface (CLI). This question is difficult to answer due to evolving wireless technologies. Several tools have been created to aid in configuring these devices, but are generally not user friendly or portable across operating systems (OS).

For example, in the OpenWrt OS, the UCI System allows users to configure their wireless devices easily through the CLI. But because this tool is tightly integrated into OpenWrt, it is not easily portable to other OS’s such as Yocto or Ubuntu. Other OS’s attempt to solve wireless configuration in their own way, but fail to provide an easy solution from the serial console (e.g. using NetworkManager in Ubuntu).

Gateworks has created an open-source script called hostapd-conf that creates configuration files for the Host Access Point Daemon (hostapd), a standard Linux user space daemon that is capable of creating and managing wireless APs. Both tools are provided by default on our Yocto 1.8 BSP. The inspiration came from the simplicity of the tool wpa_passphrase, a simple CLI tool that allows for an easy way to connect to wireless APs.

The hostapd-conf script is written for users wanting to create an AP out of a radio with optional WPA2 encryption. It gathers information on a specified wireless interface through iw and uses the data to generate a proper hostapd.conf file. It has only a few dependencies to run: iw, sed, grep, and cut. It should be noted that the ‘full’ version of these tools are required as opposed to the ‘busybox’ version.

The hostapd-conf script usage is shown below:

root@ventana:~# hostapd-conf --helphostapd-conf [OPTIONS] <iface> <ssid> <channel> [<htmode>] [<passphrase>]Options: --help           - This help --br-name <name> - Name of bridge --wds <0|1>      - Enable WDS --version        - Print this version: v1.0

hostapd-conf also has the ability to list supported MCS Rates (e.g. HT20, VHT80 etc) per channel that the radio is allowed to emit radiation on. For example, the WLE350NX radio, an 802.11a/b/g/n radio, has the following channels that it may emit on:

root@ventana:~# hostapd-conf wlan0ERROR: SSID is emptyAvailable Channel Information on phy2=====================================Band 1:Channel  Freq  Allowed HT Modes0        0000  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-1        2412  HT20 HT40 HT40+2        2417  HT20 HT40 HT40+3        2422  HT20 HT40 HT40+4        2427  HT20 HT40 HT40+5        2432  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-6        2437  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-7        2442  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-8        2447  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-9        2452  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-10       2457  HT20 HT40 HT40-11       2462  HT20 HT40 HT40-Band 2:Channel  Freq  Allowed HT Modes0        0000  HT20 HT40 HT40+ HT40-36       5180  HT20 HT40 HT40+40       5200  HT20 HT40 HT40-44       5220  HT20 HT40 HT40+48       5240  HT20 HT40 HT40-149      5745  HT20 HT40 HT40+153      5765  HT20 HT40 HT40-157      5785  HT20 HT40 HT40+161      5805  HT20 HT40 HT40-165      5825  HT20 HT40 HT40+

From the above output, it is shown that the WLE350NX radio has two bands to select from, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Each band offers a specific range of channels it can output on with their allowed MCS Rates, which hostapd-conf details out. Please note that the ‘0’ channel is special to hostapd. It enables Automatic Channel Selection (ACS) in order to allow the radio to pick the best channel to emit radiation on.

The following invocation of hostapd-conf will create a configuration file to output at 5.18GHz with 40MHz bandwidth, with an SSID of “wlan0-ssid” and WPA2 passphrase of “nowayinside”:

root@ventana:~# hostapd-conf wlan0 "wlan0-ssid" 36 HT40 "nowayinside"Settings: IFACE:      wlan0 PHY:        phy2 SSID:       wlan0-ssid CHANNEL:    36 FREQ:       5180 BANDS:      1 2 HWMODE:     a HTMODE:     HT40 PASSPHRASE: nowayinsideWritten to hostapd-phy2.conf

The output of the script, hostapd-phy2.conf, now holds the proper configuration required by hostapd to configure the radio to these specifications. Please take care to edit this newly created file manually if your country requires Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) for the channel you are emitting on. The following lines may need to be uncommented / edited:

country_code=USieee80211d=1ieee80211h=1

In an example system, four wireless radio’s were connected to a Gateworks GW5400 Single Board Computer: 1x using ath5k, 2x using ath9k, and 1x using ath10k. After following the above steps for each of the radio’s in the system, hostapd was invoked and all four radio’s were configured with different channels and technologies.

By default, hostapd will use the configuration file located at /etc/hostapd.conf. Because of this, first stop any hostapd instance that is running. Then, simply start it as a background process, for example:

root@ventana:~# /etc/init.d/hostapd stopStopping HOSTAP Daemon: stopped /usr/sbin/hostapd (pid 14876)hostapd.root@ventana:~# hostapd -B hostapd-phy0.conf hostapd-phy1.conf hostapd-phy2.conf hostapd-phy3.confConfiguration file: hostapd-phy0.confConfiguration file: hostapd-phy1.confConfiguration file: hostapd-phy2.confConfiguration file: hostapd-phy3.conf[   34.390709] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan3: link is not readywlan3: interface state UNINITIALIZED->HT_SCAN[   34.409563] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan2: link is not readyUsing interface wlan2 with hwaddr 00:24:2b:38:be:db and ssid "wlan2-ssid"[   34.473223] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan2: link becomes readywlan2: interface state UNINITIALIZED->ENABLEDwlan2: AP-ENABLED[   34.514817] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not readywlan0: interface state UNINITIALIZED->HT_SCAN[   34.542100] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan1: link is not readywlan1: interface state UNINITIALIZED->HT_SCANroot@ventana:~# [   34.614847] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan3: link becomes ready[   34.798881] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan0: link becomes ready[   35.620978] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan1: link becomes ready

Other examples may also be found here on our Wireless wiki page. There are examples on how to create a routed AP, bridged AP, and includes other valuable information

References: