QtAV running on A13-OLinuXino-WIFI with hardware acceleration


QtAV is a media playing library based on Qt and FFmpeg.

Miroslav Bendik made QtAV with CedarX video hardware acceleration running on A13-OLinuXino.

Source code of QtAV branch with cedarv decoder is here: https://github.com/mireq/QtAV.

He posted this amazing video made with QtAV:


CedarX for Allwinner is liberated!


We all know the great work done with the GPU Mali 3D accelerator by Lima project, the open source driver performs better than the binary blob which ARM sells.

The Mali is used for 3D graphics i.e. used mostly by the games rendering engines and 3D CAD software.

Beside the GPU Allwinner chips have also VPU which can do hardware encoding and decoding of audio and video, as you guess VPU drivers (http://linux-sunxi.org/CedarX) are again made as binary blobs, so these were not used in the Linux Kernel and distributions.

A group of hackers (jemk, wingrime, nove) worked on the reverse engineering of CedarX http://linux-sunxi.org/CedarX/Reverse_Engineering.

Yesterday was announced that there are already preliminary open source CedarX drivers for Allwinner SoCs.

On this video you can see tablet with A10 playing video using the hardware decoding without using the CedarX binary blobs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z__RxeVmYCQ

This makes Allwinner SoCs one step ahead all competitors as the GPU/VPU proprietary blobs is what makes most of ARM devices not completely opened.

All Linux implementations so far were not using these co-processors like the GPU/VPU which made the video operations slow as done completely by software in the main processor. Now when Open Source drivers exist the main processor will be released from video and graphics related tasks which will increase remarkable the speed.

Allwinner SoC thanks to open source community now is one of the most Open Source friendly SoC with: Open Source bootloader (contributed by Allwinner), Open GPU (lima project), Open VPU (cedarus).

Still lot of work is to be done, but liberating the video decoding is something which many people were waiting – Allwinner CedarX drivers were among the top priorities of FSF http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects/reverse-engineering

Meet OliGoBot – robot chassis with A20-OLinuXino, WIFI and Web camera


Few days ago Dimitar Gamishev asked me to try one of our new 4 wheel Robot chassis platforms https://www.olimex.com/Products/RobotParts/Chassis/


He seems created a little monster as he put A20-OLinuXino on it with WiFi adapter and Web camera.



You can see the robot in action on this video:


The camera is streaming video via the WiFi and you can control the robot via web interface.

EasyCap – Low Cost USB Video Capture board drivers for A13-OLinuXino


EasyCap is low cost video capture USB dongle based on stk1160 chipset which could be find at low cost from ebay. It allow 1 to 4 cameras to be connected and to implement DVR security survilance on your PC.

Kaloyan Yovchev sent us tested drivers which works with A13-OLinuXIno and kernel 3.0.42+ which we uploaded on GitHub https://github.com/OLIMEX/OLINUXINO/tree/master/SOFTWARE/A13/EASYCAP

A13-OLinuXino running Debian preview


Many people ask what is the situation with the Linux support on A13. Last Friday Dimitar Gamishev came to our office to show us what he did.

He uses the “community” Uboot and the Kernel from http://linux-sunxi.org/Main_Page and made boot-able SD-card with Debian and made small show to us:



you even have Gimp






Libre office:



Needless to say USB keyboard, mouse, USB-to Ethernet based on AX77882 dongles and the RTL8188CU WIFI adapters are supported, so you got small board consuming 2W with desktop perfrormance.

Unfortunately the video accelerator is not supported by the “community” Linux image as they are available only as binaries and not GPL compliant, let’s hope Allwinner will release proper GPL sources soon, they promissed this to XBMC group but it’s hard to say when this will be available.

Meantime we ran Linaro video test at @30 fps and here you can see that even without video accelerator A13 is capable to play the video without any slow down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHMCGD59t54

With this Linux bootable SD-card you can keep your Android image in the NAND flash and experiment with Linux on A13.

A13-OLinuXino video problem is fixed and board works correctly now

We made simple hardware fix for the software initialization probelm with A13 video generation.

As you can see from this video now A13 is working correctly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0q2e6u_vc4

The fix require just one transistor and 1 resistor and we will include these to the new REV.C

The boards which we have now in stock from Revision B will be patched so we will ship now boards with fixed video.

For all developers who already received boards from Rev.B I will post here how they can do the fix by themself, it’s pretty easy!

We just got message on Twitter that Mouser now lists A13-OLinuXino and they are ready to take orders. Note that we will supply Mouser with the new fixed Revision C of the board about the end of the month, so they will actually start shipping A13-OLinuXino not earlier than middle of October.

We have some small quantity from Rev.B in stock, which we will sell on our web shop and we are goinf to fix the video on all of these.

EDIT: The video fix instructions are here: https://www.olimex.com/dev/OLINUXINO/A13-OLinuXino/A13-OLinuXino-WIFI-DEV_fix.pdf

iMX233-OLinuXino image with TV video output for console


Dimitar Gamishev generated Linux Kernel image and rootfs with console using the framebuffer and the TV video output. I uploaded these image in SOFTWARE/TV-CONSOLE folder at GitHub.

Now you do not need USB-SERIAL-CABLE to work with iMX233 in console mode as you can do same with USB keyboard and TV attached to the board.

There is still something to tweak on the Kernel as the first left column of characters are missing and the last line of the rows is also missing, I guess this is something with the Kernel setup.

If somebody have worked with iMX233 and TV video output with PAL settings please help 🙂

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