Thursday, June 28, 2012

MK802: Adding bluetooth, 1080p, custom kernels

A quick update on the MK802.

I've succeeded in getting it to boot a kernel I've compiled, which means I can add Bluetooth support, among other things, and you saw in my earlier post that I'd enabled 1920x1080p resolution via modifying evb.bin. Another user, Suzuke, was able to extend the memory to use closer to the full 1GB.

Unfortunately, this was only on the 3.0.8+ "lichee" kernel, not the latest branch of Amery's linux-allwinner. But it's a step closer.
We still really need to get onto the latest Linux kernels to fix some bugs, and get the Mali GPU working, hopefully.

In the meantime, my modified kernel is here, along with the config used to build it:
(Also mirrored by Eric Betts at )

The modified evb.bin:

Suzuke's modified uboot for more memory:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MK802 PC-onna-stick - first impressions and enabling 1080P

I received my MK802 in the mail today, and have been playing with in, both in Android and Ubuntu.

Initial impressions are that the firmware isn't quite there yet.. The Android build mostly worked well, but the resolution is locked at 1280x720, despite claims that it can do 1920x1080, and even up to 2160P!
It also seemed a bit slower than I was hoping, given the claims of being a 1.5 GHz Cortex A8 clone. (For comparison, my old Samsung Galaxy S was a 1 GHz A8, and it really flew! Whereas the MK802 couldn't even play Angry Birds smoothly..)

The Ubuntu port is very early days as well -- It only supports 512 Mb of the 1Gb of ram, and it's running in a simple framebuffer X mode, rather than using the Mali GPU properly. It was limited to 1280x720 as well :(
It's using the Android kernel rather than a proper Ubuntu one :/
However apart from that, it worked reasonably well as long as you didn't hit swap..

After all this, I read up on the mk802 forums, discovered the sunxi-tools for hacking around with the booting binaries, and messed around a bit, and managed a little world-first.. I managed to get 1920x1080 working at 50 Hz in Ubuntu, and it looks like that'll get ported into the Android version soon enough too. Hurrah!

I'm extremely dubious about claims the device can do up to 2160P.. It seems like it can barely do 1920x1080 at 50 Hz -- I tried 60 Hz, and there was a lot of tearing and glitches. But.. maybe with the Mali GPU being used it'd be OK?

Time will tell -- and for the moment, it's still a nifty device. It's amazing that they didn't bother putting Bluetooth into it though! You can put a bluetooth dongle on it, but then you need to use a hub too, so you can also plug in a mouse to let you configure the bluetooth pairing. :/