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Hardware

All the Possible Ways to Reduce Laptop Overheating in Linux

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Hardware

Laptop overheating is a serious issue faced by many users worldwide. It happens primarily to people who use their notebook for a long period. Moreover, modern notebooks tend to be much slimmer than their older counterparts, and thus it’s hard to implement efficient cooling solutions for them. So, either users need to buy a flagship notebook or invest in additional cooling hardware. Thankfully, overheating in Linux can be managed pretty easily if you implement some useful policies. Today, we will discuss some proven methods to bring the thermal issues of laptops in control for Linux users.

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GNU/Linux in Robotics and New Hardware

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Hardware
  • Robot controller and SBC run Ubuntu and ROS 2 on Coffee Lake CPUs

    Adlink unveiled a “ROScube-I” robot controller that runs Ubuntu and Adlink’s ROS 2 based Neuron SDK on 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. There is also an 8th Gen based ROScube-I Starter Kit SBC.

    Adlink and Intel have collaborated to launch a ROScube-I robotics computer and other Intel-based robotics products that that run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The products also include Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit amd Adlink’s Neuron SDK based on the latest Foxy Fitzroy version of ROS (Robot Operating System) 2 middleware.

  • Ubuntu/ROS robotics SBC has RPi-style GPIO and a choice of Atom or Rockchip PX30

    Adlink announced a “ROScube Pico Development Kit” SBC with 40-pin GPIO and a Myriad X VPU that runs Ubuntu and ROS 2 on an Apollo Lake or Rockchip PX30. There is also a Lidar-equipped, 6th Gen Skylake based NeuronBot robot.

    Earlier today, we looked at Adlink’s ROScube-I robot controller and ROScube-I Starter Kit SBC based on Intel Coffee Lake processors. Part two of that announcement concerned a new ROScube Pico Development Kit and NeuronBot robot that we cover here.

  • Exor GigaSOM GS01 SoM and Devkit Combine Intel Atom E39xx CPU and Cyclone 10 GX FPGA

    EXOR International has worked in collaboration with Arrow Electronics to design and manufacture GigaSOM GS01 system-on-module combining an Intel Atom E39xx Apollo Lake processor and Cyclone 10 GX FPGA.

  • Rockchip PX30 3.5-inch SBC Targets Automotive Infotainment, Retail PoS, and Digital Signage

    While Rockchip RK3326 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor is found in ODROID-GO Advance portable game console, it was brought to my attention that there weren’t any RK3326 SoM nor SBC on the market.

    But Rockchip PX30, with virtually the same design, only adding support for dual VOP (dual independent display support), is already found on several system-on-modules including ADLINK LEC-PX30 SMARC module and ARBOR SOM-RP301. It turns out there’s also a Rockchip PX30 SBC courtesy of Shenzhen based TechVision “3.5’SBC-PX30-TVI3329A“.

LVFS 1.2.0

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Hardware

Hi all,

First, a big thank you: Last week we hit the 16 million downloads mark
on the LVFS, which is awesome. The number of downloads and also the
number of OEM uploads is increasing linearly month-on-month and we now
have over 80 vendors that have uploaded over 4000 firmware files, of
which ~2000 are available to the public. That's >25GB of firmware!

I've tagged 1.2.0 of the lvfs-website code. Whilst tagged releases for
webapps are not terribly useful to end-users (as we tend to deploy
straight away to fix serious bugs) having the release checkpointed
does make verifying things like corporate deployment upgrades much
easier. The main thing of note is that we've now moved away from cron
jobs and are using celery for async operations. From a user point of
view the only change will be that a lot of the actions that you used
to wait 5 minutes to complete are now done almost instantly. The
restrictions on regenerating stable and testing remotes are still in
place for CDN performance reasons.

If anyone notices anything that's not working correctly (e.g. firmware
that's not being signed within a few seconds, or tests that get
"stuck" for more than a few minutes) please let me know. As we scale
up I'll be adding more workers to the pool so that tasks like the yara
queries can happen on a completely different (and more powerful)
machine. The detailed changelog can be found here:
https://lvfs.readthedocs.io/en/latest/news.html

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Also: LVFS 1.2 Released As The Project Serves Up 16 Million Firmware Downloads

Devices/Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi/Arduino, Beelink, American Portwell Technology, RISC-V ISA

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Hardware
  • STM32 based Indoor Air Quality Sensor Connects to Raspberry Pi or Arduino (Crowdfunding)

    Even before the COVID-19 lockdown, people spent most of their time indoors (around 90% according to some studies), so it’s important to monitor air quality and other metrics like light and sound levels in our homes, workplaces, schools, cars, etc…

  • Beelink GS-King X Android TV Box, Dual HDD NAS & HiFi Audio System Launched for $250

    Beelink GS-King X is an Android 9.0 TV box and a NAS with two 3.5″ SATA bays powered by Amlogic S922X-H processor combined with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash that was unveiled last month with some blurry renders.

    We now have for the details about the device, which has started to sell for $249.99 plus shipping on GeekBuying when using a “Fixed Priced” coupon, in my case 4ATAOTO6.

  • Industrial Apollo Lake mini-PCs offer a mix of I/O, M.2, and mini-PCIe links

    American Portwell Technology has launched a fanless Lynx-6000 Series of compact, rugged industrial computers. The progressively more advanced Lynx-6110, Lynx-612E, and Lynx-612G follow Portwell’s very similar Kuber-2000 Series. The new systems are slightly larger, starting at 100 x 92 x 53.5mm (0.42 kg) for the base-level Lynx-6110, and use an internal passive thermal solution rather than an external heatsink.

  • Data61's seL4 security enforcement now available to the RISC-V ecosystem

    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Data61 has completed the proof of implementation correctness of the open-source seL4 microkernel for the RISC-V instruction-set architecture (ISA).

    Unlike most other ISA designs, the RISC-V ISA is provided under open source licences that do not require fees. According to Data61, many organisations are developing processors based on the open RISC-V ISA, targeting platforms ranging from embedded and cyberphysical systems to high-end servers.

What is the Raspberry Pi Smart Mirror?

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Hardware

The Raspberry Pi smart mirror, also known as a magic mirror, is a futuristic digital mirror that displays everything from the current time and date to weather information, scheduled appointments, or the latest news headlines.The chances are that you have seen a Raspberry Pi smart mirror on YouTube or somewhere else on the internet. If so, you probably assumed that putting it together required a lot of time and effort, right? Well, what if we told you that you could create your own Raspberry Pi smart mirror in a day, using the tools you most likely already have at home plus a few parts from eBay or Amazon?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the entire process of building a Raspberry Pi smart mirror step by step and explain how you can customize it to display any information you want.

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Linux-driven module and dev kit combine Apollo Lake with FPGA

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Hardware

Exor and Arrow announced a “GigaSOM GS01” module and 10GbE equipped dev kit that runs RT Linux on an Apollo Lake along with a Cyclone 10 GX FPGA. The products offer TSN, fieldbus protocol, and Corvina Cloud support.

Italian embedded hardware firm Exor Embedded is collaborating with Arrow to launch a GigaSOM GS01 module and a GS01 development kit based on it that combine an Intel Apollo Lake SoC with an Intel Cyclone 10 GX FPGA. The processors are tightly linked via a high-throughput, dual-lane PCIe Gen2 interconnect, and the module is soldered to the dev kit’s carrier board, which features dual 10GbE SFP+ ports. The platform provides the combined capabilities of an industrial PC, an HMI controller, and PLCs, says Exor.

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Open Hardware/Modding: FPGAs, AR, HardwareX, COVID-19 and More

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Hardware
  • An Open Source HDMI Implementation For FPGAs

    With some clever hacks and fast IO work, it’s possible to get your average garden-variety microcontroller to output some form of video. Old analog standards like composite and VGA are just slow enough that it’s possible to bitbash one’s way to success. If you’re serious about video work, however, you’ll want something more capable. For those use cases, [purisame]’s got what you need – an open source HDMI implementation for FPGAs.

  • CR Deck Mk.1 open source AR headset soon available via Kickstarter

    Combine Reality as unveiled their new open source augmented reality headset which is based on the Project North Star that utilizes Ultraleap hand-tracking. The AR headset will soon be available via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign which is expected to launch very soon.

    Unfortunately very little is known about the new CR Deck Mk.1 AR headset currently in development by Combine Reality but as soon as more information regarding specifications or a launch date for the Kickstarter campaign our revealed we will keep you up to speed as always.

  • African scientists leverage open hardware

    A 2018 article in the journal HardwareX details “an open source hardware setup to measure locomotor activity in rodents”. It has a simple design. But for developer Victor Kumbol, then a neuroscience master’s student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, that device, called Actifield, has had an outsized impact.

    Actifield is an actimeter, a device that quantifies animal activity (V. Wumbor-Apin Kumbol et al. HardwareX http://doi.org/ggb8hw; 2018). “I needed the actimeter to test for potential drug compounds that could modify behaviour in mice. But my department had only one actimeter available, and it was outdated,” Kumbol says. “So I decided to build one for myself.”

  • Open-Source Release Allows Coventor to Be Produced Worldwide

    The design for a low-cost ventilator created at the University of Minnesota has now been released as open-source, giving manufacturers around the globe a way to help supply care providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ventilators serve a crucial role in treating COVID-19—but the surge in patients sickened by the pandemic is outpacing the number of ventilators available. The Coventor was designed by a team of UMN Twin Cities researchers and an alumnus as a compact, first-of-its-kind alternative to traditional ventilators, giving physicians another means to increase the oxygen levels in patients’ blood.

  • Improved swing trajectory

    While not the entirety of the problem by any stretch, I figured fixing the swing trajectory was a fine first step that would be mostly independent of any other resolutions. I wanted the swing phase of the leg movement to have a few properties:

    Continuous velocity profile (I don’t care about jerk)

    When lifting off and touching down, maintain the ground velocity for a brief period of time

    For now, I’m not doing whole body control, so the trajectory can be scripted, and it is acceptable to lock in the target position at foot liftoff time

    I decided to tackle the problem independently in the Z axis and in the XY plane. In both cases, the approach is based on piecewise cubic bezier curves. In one dimension, these curves have a continuous first and second derivative, but only the position and first derivative are controllable.

Devices: Netbooks, Raspberry Pi and RISC-V

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Hardware
  • Netbooks: The Form Factor Time Forgot

    The first machine to kick off the craze was the Asus EEE PC 701, inspired by the One Laptop Per Child project. Packing a 700Mhz Celeron processor, a small 7″ LCD screen, and a 4 GB SSD, it was available with Linux or Windows XP installed from the factory. With this model, Asus seemed to find a market that Toshiba never quite hit with their Libretto machines a decade earlier. The advent of the wireless network and an ever-more exciting Internet suddenly made a tiny, toteable laptop attractive, whereas previously it would have just been a painful machine to do work on. The name “netbook” was no accident, highlighting the popular use case — a lightweight, portable machine that’s perfect for web browsing and casual tasks.

    But the netbook was more than the sum of its parts. Battery life was in excess of 3 hours, and the CPU was a full-fat x86 processor. This wasn’t a machine that required users to run special cut-down software or compromise on usage. Anything you could run on an average, low-spec PC, you could run on this, too. USB and VGA out were available, along with WiFi, so presentations were easy and getting files on and off was a cinch. It bears remembering, too, that back in the Windows XP days, it was easy to share files across a network without clicking through 7 different permissions tabs and typing in your password 19 times.

  • Raspberry Pi–powered robot farmers
  • Efinix Releases Three RISC-V Software-Defined SoC’s Optimized for Trion FPGA’s

    Efinix has announced three RISC-V Software-defined SoC’s based on Charles Papon’s VexRiscv core and optimized for the company’s Trion T8 to T120 FPGA’s.

    VexRiscv is a 32-bit RISC-V CPU using RISCV32I ISA with M and C extensions, has five pipeline stages (fetch, decode, execute, memory, and writeback), and a configurable feature set. Each SoC includes a RISC-V core, memory, as well as various I/O and interfaces.

NexDock Touch Laptop Shell Features a Touchscreen Display, an Optional Magnetic Mount for Your Phone

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Hardware

NexDock is a Motorola Lapdock alternative launched in 2016 with a 14.1″ non-touch display, a built-in battery, and a Bluetooth keyboard. It was followed by NexDock 2 last year with a Full HD display and a USB-C port.

The company has now announced they had started manufacturing NexDock Touch based on NexDock 2 but adding a touchscreen display and some other features, and the company has also developed a magnetic mount – compatible with all NexDock models – to conveniently attach your phone to the side of the display.

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Also: Rikomagic DS02 Android Digital Signage Player Supports 4G LTE or WiFi Connectivity

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Astro Pi and OpenPower Foundation

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Hardware
  • Low-cost air quality sensor works with Raspberry Pi

    Metriful is launching a $39 “Sense” indoor air quality sensor module that works with the Raspberry Pi and other I2C-enabled systems. Other sensors include temperature, humidity, air pressure, light, and sound.

    In recent months, much of the world’s population has spent a lot of time indoors, often crowded into small apartments. If the air quality has improved outside due to the pandemic, the same cannot always be said for the indoor realm.

    Metriful has gone to Kickstarter launch a remarkably low-cost sensor board called Sense to help you find how much pollution has come inside and how much is being generated from within from HVAC, cooking, and manufactured goods. It also checks temperature, humidity, air pressure, light, sound, and even gives you a rough estimation of CO2. Metriful has posted example code and setup instructions for Raspberry Pi and Arduino on GitHub and offers additional documentation.

  • 6558 programs from young people have run on the ISS for Astro Pi 2019/20!
  • OpenPower Puts Open Source Software Guru In Charge

    Effective today, Kulina, is the new executive director of the OpenPower Foundation, and his appointment follows the trend of gradually moving from a systems-centric view from the people at the top to one where people are more familiar with the open source software movement and how to build ecosystems. We had a chat about the OpenPower effort and what plans Kulina has to shape what the foundation does and to make Power more broadly implemented than it is currently today.

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Android Leftovers

Recovering audio from a lost format with open source

Back in the early 2000s, we made a family decision to upgrade the living room stereo. The equipment in place at the time was based on a collection of gear that I had purchased some 20 years earlier when I first had a steady post-university income. That early collection could best be described as "industrial chic," most notably the Hafler amplifiers I had built from kits and the Polk speakers made from some kind of composite wood product and finished with an ugly faux-rosewood vinyl wrap. They produced decent sound, but the dorm-room-style decor just wasn't working out in the living room. Those of you who remember the early 2000s will recall that most of the world was still consuming music on CD. Our family was no exception, and we ended up with a fine CD player that had an interesting feature—it was able to decode regular CDs as well as high-definition-compatible digital (HDCD) discs. According to Wikipedia, HDCD is a proprietary audio encode-decode process that claims to provide increased dynamic range over that of standard Red Book audio CDs, while retaining backward compatibility with existing compact disc players. Read more

today's howtos

Linus Torvalds: "I Hope AVX512 Dies A Painful Death"

Linux creator Linus Torvalds had some choice words today on Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) found on select Intel processors. In a mailing list discussion stemming from the Phoronix article this week on the compiler instructions Intel is enabling for Alder Lake (and Sapphire Rapids), Linus Torvalds chimed in. The Alder Lake instructions being flipped on in GCC right now make no mention of AVX-512 but only AVX2 and others, likely due to Intel pursuing the subset supported by both the small and large cores in this new hybrid design being pursued. Read more Also: The Linux Team Approves New Neutral Terminology background on AVX-512