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Open Hardware/Modding

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Hardware
OSS
  • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

    After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

    The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

  • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

    An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

  • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
  • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

    Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where -- because of distance or war -- it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

    So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

  • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

    This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

  • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)

Linux VR Headset

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

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Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux, SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

    Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to "serious bugs" in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

  • Intel's H.265 Encoder SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released With Optimizations & More

    While not quite as exciting as the big performance boost found with SVT-VP9 for AVX2 CPUs a few days ago, Intel's Scalable Video Technology team has released SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 as their newest feature release to this open-source H.265/HEVC video encoder.

    SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 now allows setting an arbitrary thread count for the program, there is a new tile group for better tile parallelism to help with performance, support for building both shared and static libraries, fixed motion vector out-of-bounds issues, and other fixes resolved.

TPC-71W next-generation Arm-Based Industrial Panel PC for IoT applications

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Advantech Industrial IoT Group, announced TPC-71W – the new generation of its industrial panel PCs aimed at machine automation and web-terminal applications. TPC-71W is a cost-efficient, Arm-based industrial panel PC that features a 7” true-flat display with P-CAP multi-touch control, high resolution and an NXP Arm Cortex -A9 i.MX 6 dual/quad-core processor to deliver high-performance computing. The system also features a serial port with a 120Ω termination resistor that supports the CAN 2.0B protocol and offers a programmable bit rate of up to 1 Mb/sec. Equipped with the Google Chromium embedded web browser and support for various operating systems, including Android, Linux Yocto, and Linux Ubuntu with QT GUI toolkits, TPC-71W allows system integrators to easily develop and deploy a wide range of industrial applications.

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Also: Raspberry Pi CM3+ based EagleEye Smart Camera Works with OpenCV and LabVIEW NI Vision

Devices Leftovers

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

It’s Now Easier to Install Acer Firmware on Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Y’know, the Linux Vendor Firmware Service!

It’s an awesome initiative spearheaded by open source developer Richard Hughes that enables well-known hardware companies — Dell! Lenovo! Wacom! Etc! — safely distribute firmware updates to Linux users, sans hassle.

Yup! And as Acer is one of the biggest laptop sellers in the world their addition to the ranks of the LVFS is pretty big news (just like I said in my opening line, keep up!).

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Also: Please welcome Acer to the LVFS

RK3399 hacker board upgrade adds 4GB LPDDR4 RAM

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

FriendlyElec has released an upgraded version of its Rockchip RK3399 based SBC, the NanoPi-M4. Called NanoPi M4V2, the new $70 board is mostly identical to its predecessor, but offers 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with two user buttons for power and recovery.

A little over a year ago, FriendlyElec rolled out its third RK3399 based SBC of 2018, the NanoPi-M4. The board seemed to hit on a sweet spot tradeoff in terms of an affordable SBC with a decent amount of RAM. Now the company has launched an upgraded version, the NanoPi-M4 that has 4GB or RAM while moving to the more advanced LPDDR4, in contrast to the NanoPi M4’s LPDDR3. While the NanoPi-M4 costs $75 in its 4GB version ($50 for 2GB), the new NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB costs only $70. The new board adds two new users buttons—for power and recovery—that were not on the original NanoPi-M4. Other differences on the new NanoPi M4V2 include 2×2 MIMO support and an inconsequential heavier weight of 50.62 grams (versus 47.70g).

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Also: $70 NanoPi M4V2 SBC Gets 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Power & Recovery Buttons

Raspberry Pi 4 Review and Benchmarks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a Central Processing Unit (CPU) with other components built into the same chip. In the RPi4 the Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) is built-in to the CPU. Nearly every component on the board can be integrated into the CPU.

The Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) is made by the Arm Holdings which only develops designs. The ARM Holdings does not produce the chips but produces the designs of the processor and separate Intellectual Property (IP) Blocks.

An IP Block will consist of one component. For example, an IP Block can contain the design for a USB Hub Controller. Another example would be an IP Block for Bluetooth.

[...]

The RPi4 is a better improvement over the RPi3 in all of the hardware upgrades made to it.

There seem to be complaints about heating issues but this will occur on any type of higher end processor. If you run an RPi4 then you may want to invest in a fan to keep it cool.

The uses of the RPi4 are numerous for many projects which could benefit from a small system board. The Internet has many projects listed with designs for building anything you may want. These designs can range from arcade game consoles to sensors within your house. There are also designs for robots as well.

Once there are 64-bit Operating Systems available for the RPi4 then things will be more interesting. It is possible to get a 64-bit OS to work, but it requires a bit of hoops to jump through to make it work.

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6 Ingenious Arduino Shields You Should Check Out

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

No matter which model you pick, the Arduino is a great starting point for your Internet of Things projects. On its own though, an Arduino is fairly limited. Out of the gate, it lacks several things you’ll need for more advanced IoT builds. These include advanced networking, various sensors and more.

Fortunately, Arduino models are extensible with additional hardware known as Shields. These add all sorts of functionality to your Arduino, letting it rival or even exceed what you can do with a Raspberry Pi.

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CompuLab's Airtop 3 Is The Most Powerful Fan-Less Computer We've Tested Yet

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The past month and a half we have been putting CompuLab's Airtop 3 computer through some demanding benchmarks and a variety of endurance workloads. With the Airtop 3 under test loaded with an 8-core / 16-thread Xeon processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics, and 64GB of RAM with NVMe SSD storage there were some concerns over thermal throttling and if this fan-less industrial PC design could really deal with the generated heat. But after all of this testing, the Airtop 3 continues running strong and another shining example of CompuLab's engineering strength.

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