IBOX Production Schedule Update 20140418

Core and baseboard production has been finished, and they are now being tested. It is expected that we can finish testing today.

Production of IBOX aluminum housing has been finished. We will begin assembly and packaging on next Monday.

Production of add-on board (Ibox Arduino Plug) has been finished, and we will begin testing on next Monday.

Therefore, we will not be able to send out the products on 18th, April as planned. We expect delivery on 23rd, April. We do apologize for the delay.


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Raspberry Pi 2.8″ TFT Add-on

Raspberry PI 2.8" TFT Add-on is customized for Raspberry Pi based on 2.8" TFT LCD display module. The screen is driven based on an 8-bit data bus and a 4-bit ILI9323DS to control bus interface, which can display 263K colors. Module controls contents to be displayed via GPIO on Raspberry Pi. With touch function, it can be used to display the desktop of Raspberry Pi and realize clicking, touch and feedback.

Before you start

  • You need a Raspberry Pi that can work properly and can be connected to network
  • You need a Raspberry Pi 2.8" TFT Add-on
  • All the following operations are based on the lastest official Raspberry Pi image RASPBIAN, the downloading address is http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest
  • All the following operations are to be performed by logging in RPI via SSH. You can also log in via console or operate directly by connecting to monitor via HDMI interface


RPI 2.8" TFT Add-on is customized for RPI, thus assembly is quite easy — there is a 26pin female header on the board, just plug it into the 26pin male header on RPI, as shown in the following photos:

Installation and settings


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Iteaduino Plus Work with OLED And 1602 Dispaly

Before maker faire 2014 commences, we finished version ITEAD OS 2.0BETA of A10 and A20 versions and upgraded the original ITEAD OS SDK. The new codes have been updated to github HERE.

In order to validate and demonstrate SDK, we made a DEMO:

Plug Arduino Plug into Iteaduino Plus, then connect it to ITEAD 1602 LCD shield, the real-time CPU occupacy rate of Iteaduino Plus can be displayed by OLED library and 1602  library in the SDK. For comparison, we also connected a 2.8 -inch TFT screen to display the current resource consumption of system .

ITEAD 1602 LCD shield is connected to Iteaduino Plus via GPIO, working in 4bit mode. We ported a 4bit 1602 driver library on Arduino directly. For more about the original library, please click here : LCD4Bit_mod

OLED screen is connected to Iteaduino Plus via IIC bus. We ported an Arduino OLED Arduino library of Adafruit to drive OLED screenon the Plug. For more about the original library, please click here : Adafruit_SSD1306

USB TFT LCD is connected to Iteaduino Plus via USB, you can see more detailed about this screen here: ROBOPEAK MINI USB DISPLAY

See the simple demo code here:

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Qing Ming Festival Schedule (2014)

Because of Qing Ming festival, ITEAD STUDIO will have a three-day holiday from 5th to 7h of April. Here, we would like to release the schedule in advance: 

Ordinary orders received from 31st, March to 2nd, April will be processed normally as usual, while for orders on 3rd and 4th, we will try our best to deliver before holiday – but as it takes time to deal with packaging, we cannot guarantee that orders in these two days can be sent out before the holiday. Thank you for understanding. For the pending orders received before holiday and during the holiday, we will process on 8th, April – due to backlog of orders during the holiday and increase of orders in post office after the holiday, we estimate that orders may be processed slightly slower than usual. However, we will make our efforts to deliver as soon as possible.

For orders of PCB service, generally PCB production costs about a week, while the number of orders often increases before the holiday, thus it will need a longer time to be processed. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the orders of PCB service received from 31st, March to be shipped before the holiday. However, for files received from 31st, March to 4th, April, we will arrange production, but the finished boards will be received and delivered after the holiday. For orders received during the holiday, we can only arrange the production after the holiday.

Above is our holiday schedule. For any inconvenience caused, we do hope you can understand, and you can arrange time for placing orders according to your own needs.


Using The ITEAD A20 CORE AS Control Host Of 3D Printer

In IBOX sample test phase, a trial user used this mini single-board computer as the dedicated control host for his 3D printer. He was wondering whether a baseboard can be customized to control 3D printer, and ITEAD A20 CORE and display can be installed on the baseboard, thus an external control host will not be needed.

We are very interested in this wonderful idea. However, because of the structure, it will take quite a long time to re-design a baseboard with driver circuit if we want to modify the reprap 3D printer, thus we simply made a baseboard with functions of control host and display to test the effect.

The block diagram of the overall project is as follows:

Basically, we did not make any modifications to this open-source reprap huxley printer except for adding a functional baseboard for ITEAD A20 CORE and a 7-inch screen.

The customized baseboard is connected to the driver board of printer via USB port. Besides, there are additional USB ports, which can be used to connect wireless mouse and keyboard for a variety of operations as well as WiFi dongle, thus the 3D printer can have access to the Internet via WiFi .

The customized baseboard also offers an LVDS interface, which you can use to connect a high-resolution 7-inch screen, and then fix the screen to the printer ( due to limited time, we used a blank customized baseboard PCB to fix the screen ) .

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Example Of Applying ITEAD A20 CORE With RDM8800

By using ITEAD A10/20 CORE with different functional baseboards, you can easily achieve a variety of specific application development. Here, we’d like to show you an example of applying ITEAD A20 CORE with NFC intelligent system baseboard.

Framework of the entire system is shown as below:

Development of the baseboard is quite simple, as which does not need complex high-speed digital circuit design, and it only requires a simple two-layer board . CORE is connected to a 7-inch screen via LVDS interface, and then connected RDM8800 (an NFC card reader module) through UART interface. In order to facilitate the development , the board also extends 4 USB ports through USB HUB chip.

RDM8800 is also an open-source NFC card reader module which can be used for secondary development according to the needs. After the information such as card number is read through the module, it will be transmitted to A20 main control via UART to process and to perform relevant actions.

As a DEMO, we only display the NFC card number that is read in a simple UI window, which is not quite significant. However, with more deepgoing development, we can imagine more applications for it:

If operating system running on CORE is installed with database and specific application, it can work as intelligent attendance system to record the commute time by card punching for statistical data analysis – a WIFI dongle can be installed via USB port, thus such data can be synchronized to the Internet through WIFI or directly downloaded to U disk via USB port.

It is our goal to achieve a variety of quick prototyping development by using ITEAD A10/20 CORE with simple customized baseboard and application. As this is only a function presentation and time is limited, it looks quite rough. We do welcome fellows of ideas to offer more proposals, or you can even join us to create a new open-source NFC intelligence system project together or to provide a more stable and more mature open-source NFC intelligent center solution.

IBOX Operating System Startup Location

As we mentioned before , IBOX can run various versions of operating systems, including linux and android , etc. Some guys are wondering about the differences between the operating system of FLASH version and SD card version, thus we’d like to give a simple reply here :

Whether it is linux or Android, NAND FLASH version and the SD card version only differ in the installation position: one is installed in the NAND FLASH and another is installed in a Micro-SD card. System of SD card version cannot work in NAND FLASH, vice versa.

At present, IBOX boot sequence gives priority to SD card, if there is an SD card and a system that can run on the SD card , it will boot directly from the SD card. If there is no SD card or no operating system that can run on the SD card, the system will boot from NAND FLASH. It should be noted that, some system of SD card version were found to perform some operations to NAND FLASH after startup, which will damage system on NAND FLASH and then the NAND FLASH system cannot get started. If you encounter such issue, you will need to burn in new operating system for NAND FLASH.

Here, the vedio shows booting into the system with a few different versions of Linux and Android. If you know other unlisted compatible systems, you are welcome to tell us.

We would like to thank Santyago , who offers Sunflower Linux 1.0 Beta system for Iteaduio Plus A10 users. The system is featured as follows :

  • Based on Linaro 12.11 Precise Pangolin,
  • Linux 3.4.67+ with various modules,
  • FBTURBO driver with G2D for X11 / 2D acceleration,
  • OpenGL ES. 2.0,
  • Support for Cedar / CedarX included,
  • HW Accelerated XBMC 12.2 with OpenGL ES 2.0 + Librhybris / CedarX
  • Selectable resolution 720p / 1080p via boot.scr,
  • Reseverd 128MB for Mali400 and 128MB for G2D,
  • HDMI Audio Output,
  • Other optimalizations,
  • Fastest libiteadIO – GPIO Speed to 1.1MHz

For more information, please click HERE.

In the future, we will continue to update tutorials on how to install Open GL and XBMC on A20 system, thus IBOX can support more multimedia applications, so stay tuned.

IBOX Samples are Ready to be Sent

Since IBOX sample sending activity began, we received many application E-mails. After selection, we decided to send samples to the following applicants via DHL, and we will inform you of the tracking numbers via E-mail.

Thank you all for your time to test and to publish the review. Please send us the link after publishing it. We expect to receive your E-mail in 2 weeks. If you have any problems, feel free to contact us.


VIP Upgrade by Supporting IBOX on indiegogo

IBOX, a mini multi-function single board computer developed by Itead Studio, will be launched in early April. We are now raising funds for it on indiegogo, and the campaign will be ended on 10th, April.

If you support IBOX on indiegogo before the product is officially launched and share your experience with IBOX on your blog, or with users on social networking sites such as Facebook or other forums after receipt of the product, you will have chances to get a one-year VIP account on imall, with which you can enjoy a 5 % discount when purchasing on imall. To win the VIP account, please note the following details:

  1. Time: from 5th, March to 30th, May
  2. Participant: individual customers only, excluding Itead agents and dealers.
  3. Contents: reviews can be supplied in both written form and video form. The written review must illustrate the advantages of the product for users to make choices as well as defects and suggestions with pictures for Itead to improve in the future. 
  4. Assessment and award: After your review is published, please send E-mail to ivy.long@itead.cc. Here, I would like to unify the E-mail format: the E-mail title should be: IBOX Review – Review Title – Author; the body part should be the review link. We will then check and evaluate. Once your review is approved, you will receive an E-mail notice of Imall VIP account. There will be 30 VIP accounts offered in all. Besides, you may be invited to try Itead’s new products and to write reviews for them in the future.