After much information being made public in March concerning AMD's AM1 platform that delivers socketed APUs for low-cost desktop systems, the first of these new socketed APUs are shipping today under the restored Athlon and Sempron branding. We've been fortunate enough to have one of the new Athlon AM1 APUs at Phoronix for a few days of testing.
As we've reported many times, the diminutive $25/$35 Linux computer dubbed Raspberry Pi has emerged as one of the biggest open source stories anywhere over the past couple of years. It's attracted all kinds of developers and tinkerers, is now running many different flavors of Linux, and there is even now a supercomputer consisting of many Pi devices lashed together with Lego pieces. In some of the more exotic new applications for Raspberry Pi, it's being used in music, robotics and security scenarios.
Changes for the F2FS file-system with Linux 3.15 include the introduction of support for large directories, performance improvements for some server workloads, new sysfs entries for better tuning F2FS configurations, and several bug-fixes.
Every month Valve publishes a comprehensive hardware and software survey that reflects what is being used to run the Steam client. It’s been pretty accurate until now, but a couple of months ago Valve made a few small modification and eliminated most of the inconsequential entries for various other distros.
Not to be outflanked by rivals, Intel has released the $99 Minnowboard Max, a tiny single-board computer that runs Linux and Android. It is completely open source – you can check out the firmware and software here – and runs a 1.91GHz Atom E3845 processor.
The board’s schematics are also available for download and the Intel graphics chipset has open-source drivers so hackers can have their way with the board. While it doesn’t compete directly with the Raspberry Pi – the Pi is more an educational tool and already has a robust ecosystem – it is a way for DIYers to mess around in x86 architected systems as well as save a bit of cash. The system uses break-out boards called Lures to expand functionality.
The Jetson board was announced with a $192 MSRP and a pledge to ship in April. Now that it's April, some Phoronix readers who also jumped on this bandwagon may be wondering about more details... Through more sources, I've found out that it's planned for a late April debut. Those who pre-ordered the Jetson will find their boards shipped in about three weeks if they ordered via NewEgg or NVIDIA.com. Everything I've heard from my sources about this Tegra K1 board remain very positive and that it's performing very well. Stay tuned and in three weeks we'll have up some very interesting new ARM benchmarks on Phoronix.
Improvements to the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) code within the Linux kernel allow for more code to be shared amongst drivers for this SATA disk interface. In particular, a lot of embedded platforms were implementing AHCI controller support and were doing so in a variety of different ways. With Linux 3.15, libahci and the AHCI platform code have been improved so that these platform drivers can share more common code. There's also been the introduction of some new drivers to replace older drivers.
Cherryview Atom SoCs aren't being released for several months but the first bits of hardware enablement have landed within the open-source Mesa 3D Linux graphics driver. Cherryview with the Cherry Trail platform is the next-generation successor to the wonderful Bay Trail hardware.