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AMD, NVIDIA and Devices

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Hardware
  • Linux 5.7 Seeing Radeon FreeSync Fixes, Back-Ported Soft Recovery For Navi

    While yesterday GFX10/Navi soft recovery support was sent in to DRM-Next for Linux 5.8, today that material was sent in as a "fix" for Linux 5.7 along with a number of other AMDGPU driver alterations.

    The GFX10/Navi soft recovery is similar to what was already wired up for GFX9/Vega and allows for killing the waves for hung shaders as opposed to the existing GPU reset functionality already in place. This soft recovery support will help improve the experience ideally should any problems be encountered with shaders as opposed to needing a full GPU reset.

  • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.3 Released With New Extension, Various Fixes

    AMDVLK 2020.Q2.3 was released today as the newest version of this official open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems.

    This AMDVLK driver update now supports VK_EXT_pipeline_creation_cache_control, which allows for obtaining information on potentially expensive hazards during pipeline creation before-hand.

    The AMDVLK 2020.Q2.3 driver also removes a workaround and a botched optimization, provides a new optimization, and other changes.

  • NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX Developer Kit Preview

    Originally slated for the NVIDIA GTC event but then delayed due to the coronavirus, the Jetson Xavier NX Developer Kit is launching today for "cloud native computing" on edge/AI devices.

  • DFI GHF51 AMD Ryzen Embedded SBC Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Assembly

    Earlier this year, Taiwan based DFI launched GHF51 Ryzen Embedded R1000 SBC offering some similarities with Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, including a business card form factor, two Micro HDMI ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. But the comparison stopped there, as DFI GHF51 board will vastly outperform the Raspberry Pi 4 boards both in terms of CPU and graphics performance due to AMD Ryzen processor, and DFI embedded board does not target hobbyists nor students, but instead business and industrial customers.

  • Raima and MontaVista Announce Strategic Partnership
  • Raima and MontaVista Announce Strategic Partnership

    Raima Inc., a premium provider of embedded database technology, and MontaVista Software, LLC, a leader in commercial Embedded Linux products and services announce a strategic partnership offering a collaborative feature-rich and optimized platform for embedded and IoT developers. As part of this partnership, Raima Database Manager (RDM) extends support to Embedded Linux platforms with MontaVista's latest Linux Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) commercial distribution.

    Market demands for Embedded Linux distributions is growing rapidly in IoT edge applications where often a vast amount of data needs to be securely stored, sorted and managed. To gain market share, companies need a robust and secure embedded platform with an integrated real-time transactional database to accelerate development and deployment of IoT edge gateways and solutions. Raima and MontaVista now offer this comprehensive IoT platform, combining both the embedded Raima Database Manager with the carrier grade quality of CGX.

Toradex unveils Apalis i.MX8X module with Torizon Linux support

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Hardware

Toradex’s “Apalis i.MX8X” module runs Linux on NXP’s up to quad -A35 i.MX8X and offers ECC RAM support. The company also announced that its Torizon Linux distro is available for both the Apalis i.MX8X and smaller Colibri iMX8X.

In February while reporting on Toradex’s new Verdin form-factor and Verdin iMX8M Mini and Verdin iMX8M Nano modules, we noticed a teaser page for an Apalis iMX8X. Now Toradex has posted full specs for the module, which like the previously announced and now available Colibri iMX8X, runs Linux on NXP’s power-efficient, Cortex-A35 based i.MX8X.

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BeagleBone Green Gateway

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • BeagleBone Green Gateway SBC with Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth Launched for $60

    BeagleBone Green Gateway SBC was first unveiled last July as an update to BeagleBone Green Wireless board with Ethernet, and Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP along with some smaller changes like support for 12V power supply and I2C RTC + battery. The board did however lose two USB 2.0 ports to make space for the Ethernet connector.

    The board was not quite available at the time, but the good news is that you can now buy BeagleBone Green Gateway for $59.99 on Seeed Studio.

  • BeagleBone Green Gateway SBC offers LAN and WiFi too

    Seeed has launched a $59.90 “Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green Gateway” SBC that runs Linux on TI’s Sitara AM3358 and combines the Ethernet port of the BeagleBone Green with the WiFi/BLE function of the BB Green Wireless.

    Seeed has launched a new model in its line of BeagleBone compatibles that balances the feature sets of the $44 Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green and the $52.90 Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green Wireless. The $59.90 Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green Gateway provides the 10/100 Ethernet port of the BB Green along with the BB Green Wireless’ TI Wilink8 module with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The open spec board is equipped with 2x USB 2.0 ports instead of one port on the BB Green and 4x ports on the Wireless.

Initial AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Linux Performance Is Very Good

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

Since AMD Renoir laptops began shipping some weeks ago, I've been on the hunt for an interesting laptop to pick up for Linux testing and to potentially even use as my next main production laptop. Given the successes of AMD Zen 2 on the desktop and server front, I've been very eager to try out a Renoir laptop and last week picked up a Lenovo IdeaPad with Ryzen 7 4700U and the experience so far has been very good and with captivating Linux performance.

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Also: NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 440.66.14 released

Devices and Open Hardware With Linux

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Hardware

Open Hardware/Modding: 3-D Printing and Arduino

Filed under
Hardware
  • Team to design 3D-printable mask inspired by animal noses

    A multi-institution team, including a Cornell researcher, has received a National Science Foundation grant to design an open-source, 3D-printable medical mask inspired by the nasal structures of animals.

    The team has been awarded a special one-year, $200,0000 RAPID grant; co-principal investigator Sunghwan “Sunny” Jung, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, will receive $75,000 of the total to design the mask.

  • Open Source Arduino Stepper Motor Barometer displays air pressure

    I like this one – a super impressive Arduino-based barometer for measuring air pressure. There’s something satisfying about the link with nature, a tangible connection with outside weather.

    [...]

    Featured on the Arduino Project Hub, the project is open source and uses an Arduino UNO and Nano (above). It displays the pressure via a 12″ (300m) analogue display using three stepper motors, but this is just to scratch the surface of all the work involved. It’s a big, impressive project – read it in full (there are 28 sections of progress).

  • Open source published for 3D printing of its own high-quality microscope

    The open-source design from Bath University gives schools, homes, and laboratories the ability to 3D-print their own precision microscopes. It can be used to analyze samples and identify diseases. About this writes Biomedical Optics Express.

    The OpenFlexure microscope is a fully automated laboratory instrument with motorized sample positioning and focus control. It is unique among 3D printing microscopes in its ability to produce high-quality images. It is easy to use, with an intuitive software interface and simplified alignment procedures. It can be adapted for laboratory, school, and home.

  • Neat Open Source Pinhole Camera Design Can Be (Mostly) 3D Printed

    We’ve seen pinhole camera builds before, but this new one looks interesting. The Scura is a new open-source design for a pinhole camera that shoots on analog 35 mm film. It is all 3D printable except for a handful of screws, magnets, and the pinhole itself, which is laser cut. The cool and unusual part of the design, though, is the curved film holder, which produces 60 mm by 25 mm (2.3 in by 0.98 in) panoramic images that are sharp to the edges.

    Most pinhole cameras produce fuzzy-edged images because the distance from the pinhole varies across the film plane. That throws things out of focus, but the sample images from the Scura look much cleaner and sharper because the curved film holder keeps the film at a constant distance from the pinhole.

MNT Reform Open Source Hardware Laptop Launched for $999 and Up (Crowdfunding)

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS

MNT Reform DIY Arm Linux laptop has been in the works at least since 2017. The open source hardware laptop is also fully modular with Boundary Devices Nitrogen8M SoM featuring NXP i.MX 8M quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and 4GB RAM, M.2 NVMe SSD storage, and standard, replaceable 18650 batteries.

The good news is the laptop is now almost ready for prime-time and has been launched on Crowd Supply with price starting at $999 in DIY kit form without storage, and $1,300 for a complete, assembled system with 256GB NVMe storage. If you don’t have that amount of money to spend, but would like to support the project, a $40 MNT Reform T-shirt is also offered. Alternatively, the motherboard only goes for $550.

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Raspberry Pi based dev kit opens up HART-IP field communications

Filed under
Development
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The FieldComm Group has announced a HART-IP Developer Kit built around the Raspberry Pi for evaluation, demonstrating, and prototyping devices that use HART-IP, the company’s IP-enabled version of its HART Communication Protocol field communications solution. Some 375 FieldComm Group members representing major suppliers to the process industry are responsible for an installed base of over 40 million HART-enabled field instruments. HART is “by far the most dominant communications protocol used in process manufacturing facilities around the world,” says the company.

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Intel-related Linux Work

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux Writecache To See Much Greater Performance On Intel Optane Systems Soon

    The performance optimization now queued for Linux 5.8 is making use of CLFLUSHOPT within dm-writecache when available. CLFLUSHOPT is one of Intel's persistent memory extensions that allows for optimized flushing of cache lines by supporting greater concurrency. The CLFLUSHOPT instruction has been supported on Intel servers since Skylake and on AMD since Zen.

    The dm-writecache target will now check for CLFLUSHOPT support and use it when available, thereby helping the performance on Optane-like storage for this writeback caching. On unsupported CPUs, the existing behavior is maintained.

  • Intel Preparing Platform Monitoring Technology - Hardware Telemetry With Tiger Lake

    The kernel patches volleyed overnight I believe are the first time seeing "Intel Platform Monitoring Technology" and Google hasn't turned up many other hits besides these new patches. Which makes sense as the patches confirm this PMT feature is premiering with Tiger Lake. Intel Platform Monitoring Technology is for enumerating and accessing hardware monitoring capabilities for a device. Intel developer David Box says this is coming as a result of customers interested in hardware telemetry and making the data collection more discoverable and easier to manage.

    This is a hardware agnostic framework for collecting monitoring data. Intel PMT makes use of the PCIe Designated Vendor Extended Capability (DVSEC) bit for each instance/device. Box explained in the announcement, "The current capabilities defined by PMT are Telemetry, Watcher, and Crashlog. The Telemetry capability provides access to a continuous block of read only data. The Watcher capability provides access to hardware sampling and tracing features. Crashlog provides access to device crash dumps. While there is some relationship between capabilities (Watcher can be configured to sample from the Telemetry data set) each exists as stand alone features with no dependency on any other."

    The collected monitoring data is exposed to user-space via a new XML format for interested tools to parse.

  • WiFi & Cellular Router Focuses on Security, Always-on Connectivity with 2GB Free Monthly Data (Crowdfunding – US)

    I’m not sure what happens if the router dies in 10 years since the device is unlikely to still be manufactured due to OEL parts, but I assume they could always offer their upgraded device as a replacement to a defective unit. Shipping is expected by the end of this month since they already have 100 RC20 routers.

  • Intel adds support for Rocket Lake-S in its Linux drivers, confirms compatibility with 400 and 500 Series

    Later this year, Intel will launch Rocket Lake-S, its 11th generation of desktop processors, and is already preparing for market launch with driver support for its new integrated Gen12 based on the Xe architecture.

Manjaro Linux and Star Labs team up for their Linux-focused hardware

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Star Labs, a small Linux vendor from the UK has teamed up with Manjaro Linux to offer Manjaro as an option on their custom Linux laptops. Announced today previously you could get Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS but now your choice will include Manjaro too.

Unlike some other hardware vendors, Star Labs are not using generic Clevo casing and hardware. They originally did when the first started but nowadays they actually make their own. What they offer do look and sound great too. It's really awesome to see more Linux-focused hardware vendors.

What's also great, is that they're not focused on the top-end hardware that costs a small fortune. Instead they have the sweet little Star Lite Mk II with a 11-inch IPS display, with an Intel Pentium N4200 processor and Intel HD 505 Graphics, a very speedy 240GB SSD and 8GB RAM starting at £399...

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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

Top 5 Open Source Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Working and Online Meetings

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