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Hardware

Raspberry Pi 3: Testing out Manjaro ARM 18.12

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Linux
Hardware
Reviews

It now exists as a project with its own web page, a small group of dedicated developers, and a focus on the Raspberry Pi 3 and Odroid C2 SBCs, and the Pinebook laptop. When I saw the announcement of Manjaro-ARM 18.12.1 on the Manjaro News page, I decided it was time to get back to this, so here we go!

First, a few words about supported devices. I'm not sure that I really understand everything about this; the release announcement specifically mentions the Pi 3, Odroid C2 and Pinebook laptop, with LXQt and KDE desktops, and a "minimal" version which I assume is CLI-only for the Pi and Odroid. However, it doesn't specifically mention the Raspberry Pi 2, and although there is not a new image for the Pi 2, it does say that "Old images should just keep on rolling". I will just give that a try before I finish this post.

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Arria 10 module drives high-end embedded camera

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Linux
Hardware

Critical Link’s “MityCAM-C50000” embedded camera runs Linux on an Intel Arria 10 SX SoC deployed on a “MitySOM-A10S” module and showcases a new 47.5-megapixel, 7920 x 6004 @ 30fps CMV50000 sensor.

In 2017, Critical Link released a Basler-equipped MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit built around an Intel Cyclone V-based MitySOM-5CSx module, and then upgraded the kit in March of last year to feature dual camera support. Now it has turned to the faster Intel Arria 10 SX SoC in a Linux-driven camera kit for machine vision and video. The camera features AMS’ high-end CMV50000 sensor and offers both U3V and HDMI preview output interfaces.

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Linux-driven i.MX ULL board drives $99 touch-panel kit

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Linux
Hardware

MYIR’s new “MYD-Y6ULX-HMI” dev board, built on a previous iMX6 ULL module, also drives a new $99 “MYD-Y6ULX-CHMI” 7-inch touch-panel display kit with a pre-installed Linux HMI stack and optional wireless add-on.

MYIR has launched a $59 and up development board built around its MYC-Y6ULX computer-on-module, which runs Linux on NXP’s power-sipping i.MX6 ULL SoC. The MYD-Y6ULX-HMI dev board powers a new 7-inch capacitive touch-panel display called the MYD-Y6ULX-CHMI. The kit features a pre-installed Linux HMI stack and offers an optional MYB-Y6ULX-HMI-4GEXP IO wireless add-on board.

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Clear Linux Exploring "libSuperX11" As Newest Optimization Effort

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

As another optimization for Intel's Clear Linux distribution, a "libSuperX11" library is being considered that fundamentally changes how the X.Org libraries are handled.

Intel Fellow Arjan van de Ven has laid out a proposal for creating a "libSuperX11" that would be a single library file representing what is currently many small X11 libraries. When X11 was modularized, it was split up into many small libraries. Most GUI tool-kits and other large users of X11 directly end up loading these more than a dozen small libraries where the goal of libSuperX11 is to eliminate having so many small libraries.

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Krste Asanović : RISC-V Momentum is Massive in India

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Hardware
OSS

When Krste Asanović, chief architect and leader of the team at UC Berkeley that defined the open RISC-V ISA recently visited India for the first time, he was absolutely confident that he would come again.

Not just because he loves Indian food which he had fallen in love with during his childhood in England but because there has always been a long-standing and strong Indian connection with IIT, Madras which has been working on RISC-V through its Shakti Project.

Now the Indian connect just grew stronger after Krste’s co-founded company, SiFive acquired Bengaluru-based Open-Silicon, a system-optimized ASIC solution provider which would now start focusing more on RISC-V. Its customised ASIC work would also simultaneously continue. SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized semiconductors based on the RISC-V and founded by some of the team members from Berkeley, helps organizations turn semiconductor designs based on the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) into chips.

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MIPS Joins RISC-V as Second Open Source Alternative to Arm

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Hardware
OSS

The open source silicon space has suddenly become more crowded. Shortly before Christmas, Silicon Valley AI startup Wave Computing, which is developing hardware for running deep learning applications in data centers and offices, announced plans to open source its MIPS instruction set architecture, or ISA, under what it's calling the "MIPS Open" program. When the process is completed in the first quarter, participants will have full access, with no licensing fees or royalties, to the most recent versions of the 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS ISA, along with licensing for MIPS’s "hundreds of existing worldwide patents."

According to Wave, open sourcing the design will open the door for semiconductor companies, developers, and universities to adopt and innovate using MIPS for next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

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Open-spec, i.MX6 UL based SBC features DAQ and wireless features

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Hardware

Technologic’s industrial temp “TS-7180” SBC runs Linux on an i.MX6 UL and provides extensive DAQ and communications features, with the latter including WiFi/BT, XBee, cellular, optional GPS and Ethernet with optional PoE.

Technologic Systems has announced an engineering sampling program for a wireless- and digital acquisition focused SBC with open specifications that runs Debian Linux on NXP’s low-power i.MX6 UL SoC. The -40 to 85°C tolerant TS-7180 is designed for industrial applications such as industrial control automation and remote monitoring management, including unmanned control room, industrial automation, automatic asset management, and asset tracking.

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Also: Librem 5 Production Challenges

Libre RISC-V M-Class

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Hardware
  • Libre RISC-V M-Class

    All of these turn out to be important for GPU workloads.

    One of the most challenging aspects of Simple-V is that there is no restriction on the “redirection.” Whilst one instruction could use register five and another uses register ten, both of them could actually be “redirected” to use register 112, for example. One of those could even be changed to 32-bit operations whilst the other is set to 16-bit element widths.

    Our initial thoughts advocated a standard, simple, in-order, SIMD architecture, with predication bits passed down into the SIMD ALUs. If a bit is “off,” that “lane” within the ALU does not calculate a result, saving power. However, in Simple-V, when the element width is set to 32-, 16-, or 8-bit, a pre-issue engine is required that re-orders parts of the registers, packing lanes of data together so that it fits into one SIMD ALU, and, on exit from the ALU, it may be necessary to split and “redirect” parts of the data to multiple actual 64-bit registers. In other words, bit-level (or byte-level) manipulation is required, both pre- and post-ALU.

    This is complicated!

  • More Details On The Proposed Simple-V Extension To RISC-V For GPU Workloads

    With the proposed Libre RISC-V Vulkan accelerator aiming to effectively be an open-source GPU built atop the open-source RISC-V ISA there were recently some new details published on how the design is expected to work out.

    For this very ambitious libre RISC-V SoC design. that EOMA68 developer Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wants to pursue through crowdfunding, it's just not a matter of spinning his own RISC-V design but for making the SoC suitable for GPU workloads he has talked of a "Simple-V" extension he envisions.

Asus Enters the Small but Growing Chrome OS Tablet Market

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Google
Hardware

Full tablets powered by Google’s Chrome OS are thin on the ground, but with the Pixel Slate now making its way to users’ hands, it’s growing faster. Asus, frequent Chromebook manufacturer, is introducing its first model at CES.

The Chromebook Tablet CT100—which, yes, is a tablet and not a “book” of any note-like description, and lacks a keyboard—shares a lot of similarities with the first Chrome OS tablet from Acer. Its 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 screen runs on top of a Rockchip ARM-based processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage, making its hardware closer to an entry-level iPad than a Pixel competitor. Expansion comes from a MicroSD card slot and a USB-C port.

Asus claims that it’s designed the CT100 with “young kids” in mind, and to that end has coated the body with rubber that can stand a drop from a meter. 2MP and 5MP cameras on the front and rear are nothing to write home about, but the included stylus slides into its own bay in the tablet, something that’s not always a given in today’s market.

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Linux Hacker Board Trends in 2018 and Beyond

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Linux
Hardware

When I read Brian Benchoff’s recent claim in Hackaday that the maker board market was stalling, I had a sense that there might be some truth to it. The novelty of community-backed, open-spec SBCs has worn off, and there were few new boards in 2018 that seem destined to become Raspberry Pi killers. Yet, the more I researched open-spec Linux/Android maker SBCs for LinuxGizmos’ New Year’s edition SBC catalog, the more I realized that the sector was very much alive -- just a bit quieter than before.

There were 19 new SBC entries since our June roundup of 116 SBCs (compared to 13 new products that appeared in that reader survey catalog since the January 2018 New Year’s hacker catalog roundup of 103 boards). Despite the removal from market of several older products in Q2 2018 and the dissolution of The Next Thing and its Chip board -- and even after we eliminated several older boards with fading communities, such as the 86Duino and PCDuino8 -- we ended up with 122 boards, six more than in June.

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GNOME 3.32 Desktop Environment Gets a Second Beta Release, RC Lands March 6th

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Tumbleweed Snapshots Are Steadily Rolling

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