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Welcome to CubieTruck world! A series of open ARM miniPC!

27 Jun

DVK570 kit for Cubietruck gets ready to ship

Do you still remember Wave Share team? They are a Chinese company who is producing lots of add-ons and accessories for the famous open source hardware or SBC, such as Aduino, Respberry-pi… They made DVK521 kit for Cubieboard2 last year. And now, DVK570 for Cubietruck is all ready to ship.

 

Purchaisng link.

http://cubietruck.com/collections/frontpage/products/cubietruck-cubieboard3-cortex-a7-dual-core-2gb-ram-8gb-flash-with-wifi-bt

 

DVK570 is made of a piece of daughter board and 5 pcs module boards which include GPS, Magnetameter, RS485, SPI Flash, and temperature sensor. A USB camera will also be included in this package.

And more, DVK570 daughter board breaks out some features which can not provided on Cubietruck main board such as analog TVIN, analog TVOUT, LINEIN, ZigBee, more keys and buzzer.

This kit can surely speed up your work in platform evaluation and features development in hardware. Another touching action is they put a lot of efforts in documents and sample applications.

06 May

CubieTech Will Promote A80 High-performance Mini PC

(The final board will be different!)

 

We have always had a dream to spread the open source Linux system to millions of households. Closed Apple system and Windows system have had a dominant position in the market for years, which has seriously impeded the development of computer education. In such circumstances, it is difficult for the enterprises to do customization with depth.

 

(These are 3D simulation pictures of CC-A80. These are not real photoes!!!)

 

“Cubietech is made up of several young passionate individuals with a dream to help technological enthusiasts establish more better open-source platform to form a community through their efforts. By now, the achievements of Cubietech is obvious to us.” Allwinner sales marketing director Jack Lee saidTo use the highest performance A80 SoC to develop Cubieboard 8 is a great pioneering work, which will let us feel more exciting and amazing!”

 

With the help of communities (especially linux-sunxi community), CubieTech has succeeded in selling the Cubieboard1/2/3 in more than 100 countries around the world since its foundation and has been supported by a number of Linux distributions (such as Fedora , Debian, Crux-arm, freebsd, ArchLinux , etc. ). We will continue to support the open source communities and provide cost-effective hardware platform for them.

Recently, Allwinner Technology has given permission to Cubietech for jointly development of open source development Cubieboard 8 microcomputer based on UltraOctaA80 chipset. A80 is a 28nm 8 -core high-performance application processor with a CPU dominant frequency of 2GHz. It also has the following amazing features:

1. A new generation of 64-core GPU graphics core PowerVR G6230
2. A new generation of display engine that supports H.265 hardware solution, 4K resolution codec, 3-screen simultaneous output
3. It supports more than 2GB of memory
4. It supports USB 3.0
5. It supports 16 million -pixel high-definition camera


At present, the engineers from Cubietech and Allwinner are making intense effort on this development and it can be expected that Cubieboard 8 will be available for the end sales in mid- June. (UPDATE: Project delayed! the board was back, but we still need some time to debug ). Let’s wait and see!

 

 

15 Apr

The first Spark/Hadoop ARM cluster runs atop Cubieboards

The Big Data Zone is presented by Splunk, the maker of data analysis solutions such as Hunk, an analytics tool for Hadoop, and the Splunk Web Framework.

 

An ARM chip is not for processing Big Data by design. However, it’s been gradually becoming powerful enough to do so. Many people have been trying to, at least, run Apache Hadoop on top of an ARM cluster. Cubieboard’s guys have posted in the last August that they were able to run Hadoop on an 8-node machine. Also, Jamie Whitehorn seems to be the first guy who successfully ran Hadoop on a Raspberry Pi cluster, in October 2013. Both show that an ARM cluster is OK to up and run Hadoop.

But is it feasible to seriously do Big Data on a low-cost ARM cluster? This question really bugs me.

We know that is doing operations on disk. With the slow I/O and networking of these ARM SoCs, Hadoop’s MapReduce will really not be able to process a real Big Data computation, which average 15GB per file.

Yes, the true nature of Big Data is not that big. And we often do batch processing over a list of files, each of them is not larger than that size. So if a cluster is capable of processing a file of size 15GB, it is good enough for Big Data.

To answer this question, we have prototyped an ARM-based cluster, designed to process Big Data. It’s a 22-node Cubieboard A10 with 100 Mbps Ethernet. Here’s what it looks like:

The cluster running Spark and Hadoop

As we learned that Hadoop’s Map Reduce is not a good choice to process on this kind of cluster, we decided to use only HDFS then looked for an alternative, and stumbled upon Apache Spark.

It’s kind a lucky for us that Spark is an in-memory framework which optionally spills intermediate results out to a disk when a computing node is running out-of-memory. So it’s running fine on our cluster. Although the cluster has total 20GB of RAM, there’s only 10GB available for data processing. If we try to allocate a larger amount of memory, some nodes will die during the computation.

So what is the result? Our cluster is good enough to crush a single, 34GB, Wikipedia article file from the year 2012. Its size is 2-times larger than the average Big Data file size, mentioned above. Also, it’s 3-times larger than the memory allocated to process data.

We simply ran a tweaked word count program in Spark’s shell and waited for 1 hour 50 mins and finally the cluster answered that the Wikipedia file contains 126,938,368 words of “the”. The cluster spent around 30.5 hours in total across all nodes.

The result printed out from Spark’s shell
(Just don’t mind the date. We didn’t set the cluster date/time properly.)

Design and Observation

We have 20 Spark worker nodes, and 2 of them also run Hadoop Data Nodes. This enables us to understand the data locality of our Spark/Hadoop cluster. We run the Hadoop’s Name Node and the Spark’s master node on the same machine. Another machine is the driver. The file is stored in 2 SSDs with SATA connected to Data Nodes. We set duplication to 2 as we have only 2 SSDs.

We have observed that the current bottleneck may be from 100 Mbps Ethernet, but we still have no chance to confirm this until we create a new cluster with 1Gbps Ethernet. We have 2 power supplies attached and the cluster seems to consume not much power. We’ll measure this in detail later. We are located in one of the warmest cities of Thailand, but we’ve found that the cluster is able to run fine here (with some additional fans). Our room temperature is air-conditioned to 25 degrees Celsius (or 77 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s great to have a cluster running without a costly data center, right?

Conclusions

An ARM system-on-chip board has demonstrated an enough power to form a cluster and process non-trivial size of data. The missing puzzle-piece we have found is to not rely only on Hadoop. We need to choose the right software package. Then with some engineering efforts, we can tune the software to fit the cluster. We have successfully used it to process a single large, 34 GB, file with acceptable time spent.

We are looking forwards to develop a new one, bigger by CPU cores but we’ll keep its size small. Yes, and we’re seriously thinking of putting the new one in the production.

Ah, I forgot to tell you the cluster’s name. It’s SUT Aiyara Cluster: Mk-I.

02 Apr

ChirdTeam Frist Use CubieTruck as i-cloud Embedded Training Platform in Hangzhou

Chird Team made up of several individuals who are passionate about Technology. Chird is a young start-up specializing in embedded technology training and embedded products R&D,located in Hangzhou-China.

Chird Team compared with numerous board solutions by careful assessments, CubieTruck works more available and conforms to icloud-education.

Chird is a famous embedded training institution, firstly introduces ARM @ i-cloud service in education field by CubieTruck.  Chird Team actively promotes teaching mode reform.  It is the first step towards a combined education system with local colleges and universities. As a practice teaching platform, CubieTruck provides an effective way to train up  advanced technologies in embedded  system development  by all dimensions.

Why choose Cubietruck as embedded i-cloud education platform? 

Most of the traditional embedded training institutions  usually adopt PC + ARM target board  solution. By installing  virtual machine in PC for students using, the utilization rate of PC resources and development efficiency of students is very low. In either case, there is no help for students to absorb the knowledge of Linux system , and to understand hardware peripherals in this way.

The Cubietruck installed Debian Linux, provides i-cloud service for students and helps them deepen understanding of linux system throughout runtime environment. Every student gets a user account from Windows server, and connects to it by RDP protocol. The students can study and practice in the Cubietruck terminal. It can promote utilization of sever resources.

Some Technical Features  

  • Cubietruck works in the combination of one server and multiple cloud terminal by Giga byte network transmission, sharing with the same PC sever resources.
  • Every student gets a user account in PC sever center installed Windows system, which is convenient for students to write or reviews documents.
  • The cubietruck installed Debian Linux, provides i-cloud service for students and help them deepen understanding of linux system throughout runtime environment. Students also can freely log into windows system by RDP applications such as rdesktop、freerdp. Chird classroom offers data transfer by Giga bybe cables and switcher to guarantee
    a smooth network.
  • With Linux virtual machine installed under the Windows OS of  PC sever center, students can connect to the PC sever center to compile and develop. It can save precious time and improve work efficiently , further more reduce Cubietruck heavy burden.

The advantages of Cubietruck cloud classroom

  • Saving cost in hardware, Cubietruck is much cheaper than a PC computer
  • Very convenient to manage and maintain.
  • Small size (less than palm size), low power consumption, high integration and high performance
  • Easier to help students understanding Linux system
  • Provided  Mulit-interfaces and experiment cases for students, to activate their creative idea

Desire of Chird

Set embedded training , embedded teaching plan and embedded product development into a whole. Help train embedded  talents and  build a bridge for students and company personnel. To form an embedded engineer social circle, facilitating everybody to make like-minded friends, to understand industry dynamic,and to enrich lives…

25 Feb

CubieBoard colocation service Named Cubiebox first launched in France

Dynamic team made up of two talented individuals who are passionate about IT Technology, NanoXion is a young start-up specialising in hosting solutions in France, located in Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrénées) – FRANCE. They provide all kinds of high availability professional hosting solutions, server administration, maintenance and serverhousing service in their datacenter.

 

Currently, NanoXion is the only company in France that provides a CubieBoard colocation service directly for consumers. In fact, consumers do not need to send their own CubieBoard because NanoXion can provides preconfigured CubieBoard ready for use.

NanoXion has worked out an agreement with located telecom partners to provide CubieBoard colocation. This includes unlimited traffic, ability to reboot 24×7 through their manager software, native IPv6 and pre-installation of CubieBoard servers.

 

Why the choice of CubieBoard hosting solution ?

More and more companies are searching flexible and better advanced evolutionary methods to manage effectively their IT infrastructure. However, the supplies are often not properly dimensioned to perform the demand,  especially for the small and very small businesses.

Indeed IT Technologies should include another aspect in their strategy and include an environment friendly approach.The current trend is towards a more efficient IT equipment to improve the global resource efficiency. IT management must now wholly participate to a “green” approach or risk becoming a weak link in eco-responsibility chain of the company.

 

Nanotechnology has improved the chip technological design. Development board Cubieboard is small (less than palm size),  compact, energy-saving and environmental-friendly with the help of high integration and high performance dual-core main control chip. It also uses DDR3 1G memory and ARM contex-A7 dual-core architecture. The CPU frequency is up to 1Ghz and the operating power consumption is less than one percent of ordinary PC. So it is an excellent choice as a small dedicated server. As the small-sized version of IT service equipment, Cubieboard can work individually or in the combination of multiple ones according to the server operating environment requirements.

 

Some technical features 

NanoXion has developed its own monitoring tools that is not based on proprietary solutions. These tools are written in PHP, Shell, WLanguage and other web technologies. The whole process of running CubieBoard in their computer racks is controlled by their own manager (codenamed “Infinity”).

Power supplies have been resized to accommodate their racks. NanoXion completely redesigned its rack infrastructure to save time and improve flexibility. Each rack has two sensors : one for temperature and one for humidity. The temperature sensors are present to make sure that the rack is functioning properly and to provide warnings of emerging risks. They are also very careful with security : tracking MAC addresses, IP addresses and network paths.

NanoXion offers customers a control panel to manage their CubieBoard. This panel includes graphs of bandwidth, power management and SSH access. NanoXion provides dedicated solutions based on server-oriented Linux Debian ARM HF distributions, specifically optimised for hosting solutions.

 

Service level commitment

NanoXion operates with the fibre optic Public Initiative Network (PIN) implemented in the Hautes-Pyrénées. They provide a high quality service, thanks to their secure datacenter that has an uptime of 99.977% (corresponding to an unplanned downtime maximum of 2 hours a year), close proximity of the technical team, a global 24/7 technical support in case of critical issues and proactive infrastructure monitoring.

 

Their secure and reliable professional hosting environment ensures their NX-BOX service has guaranteed quality of service and security. The entire architecture has been redesigned to achieve the best possible performance.

That’s the reason why NanoXion would like to launch its own colocation service with “NX-BOX”,  drawing on NX-BOX technology for example.

 

Vision

This new hosting solution allows to provide an efficient, dedicated and unexpensive solution, participating on the basis of sustainable development principles thanks to their energy savings.

NanoXion commented, first of all, they want to stimulate digital development, by offering to everyone a secure environment to develop and implement groundbreaking belongings in this digital world.

They are also curious to observe what role these compact and energy efficient devices can fulfill in a professional hosting environment.