Linaro Announces First Development Board Compliant with 96Boards TV Platform Specification background image

Linaro Announces First Development Board Compliant with 96Boards TV Platform Specification

Linaro - Author

Cambridge, UK: 30 August 2016

Linaro Ltd, the collaborative engineering organization developing open source software for the Arm® architecture, today announced support for the HiSilicon ‘Poplar’ board - the first development board compliant with the 96Boards Enterprise Edition TV Platform specification. The board is the latest addition to the 96Boards family, the open specification defining a platform for the delivery of low-cost 32-bit and 64-bit Arm ecosystem developer boards. It is available to purchase for under $100 from Tocoding Technologies.

Developed by HiSilicon, Poplar is a TV reference development board targeted at set-top box (STB) developers, the hobby community, and the open-source community. The board features the Hi3798C V200 with an integrated quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex A53 processor and high performance Mali T720 GPU, making it capable of running any commercial set-top solution based on Linux or Android. Its high performance specification also supports a premium user experience with up to H.265 HEVC decoding of 4K video at 60 frames per second. The board will be launched with Android 5.1.1 pre-installed for an instant boot out of the box.

The TV Platform specification is a joint effort between 96Boards, the Linaro Digital Home Group (LHG) and its members. The specification is designed to deliver a low-cost, high performance board for software developers working on advanced media frameworks and secure digital media delivery and playback solutions. The Poplar board delivers the latest 64-bit Armv8 platform with advanced codecs and graphics support, combined with a full complement of audio and video interfaces. Remote control, tuner card, and SmartCard module add-ons are also available. The optional tuner card enables traditional linear services delivered via terrestrial, cable and satellite to be simultaneously processed with media content received via broadband sources (OTT, IPTV).

“Providing the Poplar board is a key part of our strategy to enable all players in this ecosystem to quickly and easily develop and prototype new state of the art digital home solutions with our SoCs,” said Ji Wang, Vice President of Engineering at HiSilicon. “Our partnership with Linaro and 96Boards not only ensures that independent developers, our partners and customers have access to our SoC in a convenient form factor with a choice of interfaces, but will also ensure that they have the necessary software building blocks to accelerate their own development.”

The Poplar board will serve as a common platform for LHG members to continue creating optimized, high-performance secure media solutions for Arm on both Linux- and Android-based platforms. Licensees of the RDK (Linux) will be able to create Open Embedded/Yocto RDK builds for Poplar. The Poplar board will also serve as a common development platform for Android TV (AOSP) as well as for TVOS-based STB solutions used in China.

“The Poplar board is an exciting example of what can be achieved through collaboration,” said Mark Gregotski, Director of the Linaro Digital Home Group (LHG). “Software engineers now have access to a rich and powerful platform to develop innovative solutions for the digital home. Linaro’s Linux kernel support and reference software builds will enable developers to focus on differentiating their solutions while building on a high-performance and reliable foundation.”

Developers using the Poplar board can experiment with “secure world” operating systems, such as OP-TEE, running on Arm TrustZone™, with reference platform builds provided by Linaro. The Poplar board has security processing capabilities that allow developers to integrate commercial DRMs and downloadable conditional access (DCAS) solutions. Poplar supports HDCP 2.2 copy protection to protect 4K Ultra HD content.

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About Linaro Linaro is leading collaboration on open source development in the Arm ecosystem. The company has over 250 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the Arm architecture, including developer tools, the Linux kernel, Arm power management, and other software infrastructure. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone by working upstream, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation. The effectiveness of the Linaro approach has been demonstrated by Linaro’s growing membership, and by Linaro consistently being listed as one of the top five company contributors, worldwide, to Linux kernels since 3.10.

To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro’s work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro engineering work is open to all online. To find out more, please visit and