There’s a rash of open source hardware announcements today in advance of this weekend’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, California—and two are related to the popular Arduino microcontroller. While Arduino and its manufacturing partner Amtel are announcing Arduino Zero—a new high-end 32-bit version of the open-source microcontroller board—another Arduino partner is releasing a simplified version of the controller intended to make it easier for beginners to start prototyping devices with little or no knowledge of electronics.
Olimex has entered the computer-on-module market with three Linux- and Android-ready COMs, based on Allwinner’s A13 and A20 SoCs, and on TI’s AM3352.
In addition to selling oLinuXino branded open source single board computers based on Allwinner SoCs, such as the Allwinner A20-based A20-OLinuXino-Micro SBC, Bulgaria-based Olimex is now getting into computer-on-modules. Its first three COMs include.
Coreboot for Intel's low-power Bay Trail platform is a basic DPTF framework. The DPTF framework for Bay Trail isn't yet complete but is nearly working. DPTF is the Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework designed for "thin, quiet, and cool platform designs." As explained at 01.org, "Intel DPTF provides mechanisms for platform components and devices to be exposed to individual technologies in a consistent and modular fashion thus enabling a coordinated control of the platform to achieve the power and thermal management goals."
It's no secret that open source has shaken up the software world, not least for the savings it's brought both organizations and consumers. Now it's starting to look like open source hardware could have a similar, game-changing effect.
Though still nowhere near as ubiquitous as FOSS, open hardware is gaining ground rapidly -- especially with the booming popularity of open source 3D printing -- and some very compelling benefits are becoming clear.
In conjunction with its Project Skybridge and K2 announcement, AMD said that today it “demonstrated for the first time its 64-bit ARM-based AMD Opteron A-Series processor, codenamed ‘Seattle,’ running a Linux environment derived from the Fedora Project.” The Fedora-based Linux environment is said to enable development — and migration between — applications based on both x86- and ARM-based processors using common tools.
David has now posted working patches for his DP MST code on the DRI-devel mailing list. Right now his code has just been tested on a Lenovo Ultrabook boasting Intel "Haswell" graphics and it's working when connected to external hubs. There's still code that's a work in progress but overall it seems to be working fine. Right now this initial "preview code" works for Intel Haswell hardware with certain DP MST hubs.
A few links have been sent in to our news tip box with this page, which reads, "Open Source Mali-200/300/400/450 GPU Kernel Device Drivers." While the page mentions open-source drivers, it's only about the kernel portion of the driver and it's always been that way with ARM -- and most other ARM-based graphics vendors. The kernel portion is open, the user-space components are closed. Without an open user-space, having an open kernel driver is only of limited use, and will not be accepted into the upstream Linux kernel.
AMD rolled out the Beema and Mullins hardware yesterday. The AMD "Beema" APUs are targeted for mobile products like notebook PCs while AMD Mullins APUs are low-power processors for ultra low-powered devices. The low-end Mullins APUs sport Radeon R2/R3 Graphics. The AMD Mullins APUs include the A10 Micro-6700T, A4 Micro-6400T, and E1 Micro-6200Tl. The Beema APUs include the E2-6010, E2-6110, A4-6210, and A6-6310. The Mullins models top out at 4.5 Watts while the Beema APUs top out at 15 Watts.