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Pumpkin SBCs feature new MediaTek SoCs and mainline Linux/Android SDK

Jan 17, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 4304 views

MediaTek has launched two “Pumpkin i300 EVK” SBCs with a quad -A35 MediaTek i300 and unveiled a Pumpkin i500 EVK based on the octa-core -A73/-A53 i500. The SBCs feature a BayLibre-developed, MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 with Yocto and Android 10.

At CES last week, MediaTek teased an OLogic built Pumpkin i500 EVK AI Vision SBC built around its powerful octa-core Cortex-A73 and -A53 MediaTek i500. Due in February, the SBC will join two recently launched Pumpkin i300 EVK SBCs built around different variations of the quad-core, Cortex-A35 based MediaTek i300 (MT8362) SoC.



Pumpkin i500 EVK AI Vision (left) and as seen at BayLibre booth at CES
(click images to enlarge)

The $229 Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Hub Edition uses an i300A while the $199 Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition offers an audio-focused i300B. At least that’s what MediaTek says. The Seeed shopping pages its product page points to instead list similar quad -A35 MediaTek SoCs: the MT8167 and MT8516, respectively (see farther below).

 
MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0

French embedded Linux development shop BayLibre showed off the three boards at CES without the Pumpkin branding. As announced by MediaTek, and reported by CNXSoft, the chipmaker has launched a BayLibre-developed MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 for the boards. BayLibre has previously collaborated with Libre Computing on the SDKs for SBCs such as La Frite and has helped develop mainline Linux kernels for Amlogic SoCs.



MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Based on Linux Kernel 5.4 LTS, the SDK provides Yocto 3.0 with Wayland and Android 10 AOSP, both with source code to avoid vendor lock-in. MediaTek drivers have been upstreamed into the mainline Linux kernel for long term support.

The MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 provides U-Boot 2019.10, DSP Concepts Audio Weaver, ARM Trusted Firmware 2.2, and Linaro’s OP-TEE 3.6 Trusted Execution Environment. Quarterly OTA services via Mender.io Enterprise are also available.

The Rich IoT SDK v20.0 provides graphics and AI acceleration for the PowerVR Series8XE GE8300GPU (MediaTek i300A) and Mali-G72 GPU (i500). AI acceleration is also provided for the i500’s APU. There’s no acceleration for the MediaTek i300B on the Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition SBC because there’s no GPU or AI chip on the i300B. The SDK does, however, support “the core technology needed for voice assistant devices based on Amazon Alexa Voice Services or Google Assistant.”

Pre-integrated, third-party services and solutions include Amazon AVS SDK, Vesper MEMS microphone array support, Spotify eSDK, Homekit mFI, and Airplay2. BayLibre also offers extensive design and customization services.

 
Pumpkin boards

There were no details on the Pumpkin i500 EVK AI Vision SBC. The board is based on the MediaTek i500 SoC, which was announced (translated) with the MediaTek i300 in April. In July, MediaTek followed up with its high-end MediaTek i700 (AI IoT platform i700). All three of these “AIoT” platforms are designed for media-enhanced edge computing, with the i500 and i700 also targeting AI on the edge.



Pumpkin i500 EVK AI Vision closeup from BayLibre’s CES booth
(click image to enlarge)

The MediaTek i500 is the mid-range model of the three, despite having specs that would beat or match any Arm processor running on one of the 136 open-spec SBCs featured in our recent Linux hacker board roundup. The SoC combines 4x Cortex-A73 and 4x Cortex A53 cores, all clocked at 2.0GHz. There’s also an 800MHz Arm Mali-G72 MP3 and the 500MHz AI processor (APU) based on the Tensilica Vision P6. Together these enable deep learning, neural network acceleration, and computer vision applications.


MediaTek Smart Hub (left) and Smart Audio boards shown at BayLibre’s booth at CES
(click images to enlarge)

The “cost-effective MediaTek i300 is built around 4x power-efficient Cortex-A35 cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz. We saw no announcement for the MediaTek i300A (MT8362A) and i300B (MT8362B) variants found on the Pumpkin boards. Like the MediaTek i300, the i300A is equipped with an Imagination PowerVR Series8XE GE8300 GPU and a MediaTek MT7668 chipset for dual-band 802.11ac (WiFi 5) with Bluetooth 5.0.

The headless, audio-focused i300B is limited to 2.4GHz 802.11/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, but like the i300, the Cortex-A35 cores can reach 1.5GHz instead of 1.3GHz on the i300A. All three models have an ISP that supports 13-megapixel and 720P images and video.

We reached out to MediaTek several days ago about the mismatch between the Pumpkin i300 boards and the non -i300 MediaTek SoCs found on the Seeed shopping pages but have not heard back. Because the supposedly i300A-based Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Hub Edition is actually listed with a 1.5GHz MediaTek MT8167 and the supposedly i300B based Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition is listed with the 1.3GHz MediaTek MT8516, we cannot be sure these are the same boards with the same specs.



Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Hub Edition (left) and Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition from Seeed shopping pages
(click images to enlarge)

Most likely, the specs listed on the Seeed page are representative, however, since both these SoCs are very similar quad -A35 SoCs. The MediaTek MT8167 is also appearing on Google’s upcoming Coral Dev Board Mini, where it’s paired with Google’s Edge TPU for AI acceleration. The MediaTek MT8516 was briefly floated as a Google Android Things SoC and COM reference design, but Google then discontinued its Android Things modules

The $229 Seeed version of the Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Hub Edition, which is currently out of stock, has 2GB LPDDR3, 8GB eMMC, and microSD slot plus 10/100 Ethernet and USB Type-C, Type-A, and micro-B serial ports. There are MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces, a 40-pin GPIO connector, and analog and digital audio features including a pair of digital PDM mic connectors.

The $199 Seeed version of the Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition has 1GB LPDDR3, 4GB eMMC, and microSD slot. Aside from lacking MIPI interfaces, the feature set appears to be identical to that of the Smart Hub Edition.

MediaTek says both Pumpkin i300 boards provide options including camera and display adapters and a circular microphone array from Vesper. The latter is shown in the CES BayLibre image for the Smart Audio Edition (see farther above) but is not mentioned on the Seeed page.

Despite the open source Rich IoT SDK, there is no evidence the Pumpkin hardware is open source. The Seeed pages have minimal documentation.

 
Further information

MediaTek’s Pumpkin i500 EVK AI Vision board will be available in February at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in MediaTek’s announcement.

BayLibre’s MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 appears to be available now. More information may be found in MediaTek’s Rich IoT announcement and Rich IoT product page, which links to the two Seeed Pumpkin i300 product pages.

The Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Hub Edition is currently out of stock at Seeed for $229, but as noted, with a slightly different MediaTek MT8167 SoC.

The Pumpkin i300 EVK Smart Audio Edition is available at Seeed for $199, but with a slightly different MediaTek MT8516 SoC.
 

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One response to “Pumpkin SBCs feature new MediaTek SoCs and mainline Linux/Android SDK”

  1. raph says:

    I guess this will be the start of SBCs featuring A35 cores.

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