[Updated 12:00PM] — Marvell has posted detailed datasheets on its previously opaque Armada 370 and XP SoCs, used in Linux-based NAS systems from Buffalo, Netgear, and Synology.
Until now, datasheets and other details about the ARM-based Armada 370 and Armada XP system-on-chips have been available only under NDA to Marvell customers and partners. During the past month, however, the chipmaker released detailed datasheets on the SoCs, with no restriction or registration required. Both functional and hardware spec datasheets were released, each of which is more like a manual than a typical datasheet.
We were tipped to the Marvell Armada 370 and XP datasheet releases by embedded Linux development and training specialist Free Electrons. (The company is well known here for its regular contributions of videos and slide decks from shows like the Embedded Linux Conference, released under a Creative Commons license.)
Denon debuted a line of Sonos-like wireless multi-room HiFi speakers that stream audio from both Internet and local sources, and run on embedded Linux.
Like the similarly Linux-powered devices available from Sonos, Denon’s “Heos” wireless streaming speakers offer multi-room (multi-speaker) synchronized audio, and can deliver multiple audio streams from disparate sources to individual speakers or stereo-configured speaker pairs distributed around the home. Subscription streaming sources initially offered by Denon include Rhapsody, Pandora, Spotify, and TuneIn, with additional services offering DRM-free tracks “coming soon,” says the company.
While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren't tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn't working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.
TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.
The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.
Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.
While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has "major changes" to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.
Beginning in 2011, Red Hat began providing assistance to the fledgling Fedora ARM distribution. I was Red Hat’s project manager for this initiative. Back then it was a humble secondary architecture under the stewardship of Seneca College. Seneca was working on an OS distribution for the Raspberry Pi, a promising educational tool. Red Hat partnered with Seneca, provided resources to advance development and helped build a community, the open source way. Though Linux had been used on ARM for many years, kernel ports tended to exist in different source trees. Likewise, many userspace packages had been written without multi-core, thread-safe ARM code, so there was a lot of work to be done.
In the mean time Eben Upton and the team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation will be focussing on the software side of the Raspberry Pi, as well as the forthcoming Raspberry Pi touchscreen display. “There’s plenty of life in Raspberry Pi 1 and there’s still plenty of low-hanging fruit on the software side. We’re still finding system level components that we can optimise that deliver really meaningful amounts of performance uplift for the user,” Upton explained.
From new cloud platforms, to changes in virtualization and container technologies, to how data is stored and transmitted, every innovation in the data center has a Linux-based or open source component, says Imad Sousou vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of the Intel Open Source Technology Center at Intel.
“To a great degree... the speed with which solutions can be brought online is the result of Linux and open source in the data center,” said Sousou, who is also on the OpenStack Foundation board of directors. “The amount of collaboration around the future of the data center is very encouraging.”
Today, the Raspberry Pi foundation have announced the release of an updated version of the Raspberry Pi model B, known as the B+ (the official announcement is here). There have been a couple of tweaks to the design over the past couple of years, but this is the first major revision. The big news is that it still has the same CPU, SoC and memory (which means that it should run exactly the same software as the previous version). However, there have been a number of important improvements across various parts of the board.
One of the biggest challenges with the Nouveau open-source graphics driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware in recent times has been with regard to GPU / video memory re-clocking. As a minor step forward, NVIDIA has contributed re-clocking patches for the GK20A graphics processor.
Re-clocking has long been a big challenge for the Nouveau driver to obtain maximum graphics performance while also maintaining optimal performance-per-Watt and being efficient while idling. With the Linux 3.16 kernel for select generations of GPUs is faster performance but it can be buggy while now today for Tegra K1 owners NVIDIA has come to the table with re-clocking code for the "GK20A" GPU found within this high-end NVIDIA ARM SoC.
As we've noted here many times, when it comes to the top open source stories of the past couple of years, it's clear that one of the biggest is the proliferation of tiny, inexpensive Linux-based computers at some of the smallest form factors ever seen. Surely, the diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi, priced at $25 and $35, is one of the most widely followed of these miniature systems. It's been implemented for use in home security systems, synthesizers and even in a supercomputer mashup using Lego pieces to bind the parts together, as seen in the photo here.
The Odroid-XU3 runs on a 5V 4A power supply, and once again features four energy monitoring chips for tracking the Big.Little cores. A plastic enclosure and an active cooler are available, along with numerous optional modules. OS support has been boosted to Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu 14.04, available with full source code.
Schematics will be posted upon shipment, and community support is available via the Odroid project. The quad-core Exynos4412 based Odroid-U3 board came in at third place after the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black in our recent Top 10 Hacker SBC survey.
The CamJam EduKit was developed in partnership by Cambridge Raspberry Jam and The Pi Hut, and launched at CamJam this month. Designed to get kids interested in the fascinating world of electronics and programming, CamJam EduKit will soon have them building their own electronic circuits, flashing LEDs, reading button presses and making beeping noises by programming their Raspberry Pi with Python.
Would you buy a high-end laptop built completely around open hardware and the Linux distro of your choice? Novena offers that opportunity, but it comes with an out-of-the-box experience that might be beyond the reach of the typical computer consumer.
That said, the Novena laptop's experimental technology has the potential to offer new options to a sluggish computer industry. Novena is an open-hardware computing platform that is flexible and powerful. It is designed for use as a desktop, laptop or standalone board.
Two engineers cofounded Sutajio Ko-usagi, an operations-oriented company focused on the manufacturing and sales of hardware to OEMs and hobbyists.
Since Sutajio Ko-usagi is difficult to pronounce in English, the Novena developers shortened it to "Kosagi," noted cofounder Andrew "Bunnie" Huang. Huang also runs the IP-oriented Bunniestudios