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Hardware

Banana Pi project forks, as competing gen-2 SBCs emerge

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Development
Linux
Hardware

SinoVoip is prepping an “Banana Pi M2″ update built with a quad-core Allwinner A31 SoC, while LeMaker has begun shipping a competing A20-based “Banana Pro.”

It appears that the Banana Pi project has forked into two rival groups that are now pushing their own Banana Pi updates: SinoVoip’s “Banana Pi M2,” which is announced but not yet shipping, and LeMaker’s recently released “Banana Pro.”

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Best of open hardware in 2014

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Hardware
OSS

Open hardware is the physical foundation of the open movement. It is through understanding, designing, manufacturing, commercializing, and adopting open hardware, that we built the basis for a healthy and self-reliant community of open. And the year of 2014 had plenty of activities in the open hardware front.

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Fedora 21 Released For POWER & AArch64 Hardware

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Red Hat
Hardware

While Fedora 21 was officially released last week, coming out today is the release of Fedora 21 for the PowerPC and ARM AArch64 architectures.

Fedora 21 and its packages are now officially available for IBM POWER servers as the only PowerPC systems being officially supported by the PPC release. Support for Apple's older PowerPC systems is mentioned as a PPC platform that's most likely broken and will not be working out-of-the-box. Fedora for POWER in the 21 release offers an installer for the Fedora Server product, support for 32-bit Power has been dropped in favor of 64-bit, and there's numerous enhancements to Fedora on POWER compared to older releases.

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Also: Red Hat and IBM Ratchet-Up Linux Partnership

Generic TrustZone Driver Proposed For Linux Kernel

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Hardware

ARM's security extensions are in the process of being bettered on Linux.

TrustZone is the marketing name for ARM's security extensions. TrustZone exposes two virtual processors with hardware access controls to let the application core switch between the two virtual states to avoid potentially leaking any information from one state/world to the other. TrustZone has been around going back to the ARMv6 days and there's been Linux support but it's largely been platform specific. Now, however, a generic TrustZone driver might finally come to the Linux kernel.

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Open source and Made in Italy: Arduino are circuit boards with a sense of style

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Hardware
OSS

One of the more surprising applications has been the natural marriage between the Arduino board and Lego. Once seen only as a child's building block toy, Lego is finding startling utility as an instant mechanical prototype maker for Arduino ideas.

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Expensive "Free/Libre Software Laptop" Uses A NVIDIA GPU

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Hardware

While there's been an ongoing discussion this week about delivering a $500 "open to the core" laptop that runs Ubuntu Linux and would be comprised of open-source software down to the firmware and Coreboot, announced last week was a high-end laptop that also aims to promote free/libre software. Though don't get out your wallets quite yet.

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Is the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX Intel Motherboard a Good ARM SBC Alternative?

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Linux
Hardware

In the recent series on ARM single board computers I have covered the BeagleBone Black, MaRS, TI's OMAP5432 Board, the Radxa, a few of the ODroid ARM machines, and many more. On the Intel desktop side I've covered the NUC and MinnowBoard. I've learned that outright performance is faster on the Intel NUC than any ARM machine reviewed so far -- the tradeoff, of course, is cost. This time around we'll see whether the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX motherboard retains the high performance characteristic of an Intel board but also dips down to the low cost and lower power draw of the ARM world.

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Imp mini PC is a tiny, ARM-based Ubuntu computer

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Hardware
Ubuntu

Want a small, low-power desktop computer that runs Ubuntu Linux, but don’t want to go through the hassle of installing and configuring the operating system yourself?

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Eben Upton: Google’s Eric Schmidt helped inspire Raspberry Pi Model A+ price cut

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Linux
Hardware

While the Raspberry Pi has always been cheap, the Foundation didn’t rest on their laurels with the Model A+ price. In fact, Google’s Eric Schmidt had a hand in making it cheaper…
While it would have been the easiest thing in the world to continue selling the Raspberry Pi at the same price, the charitable foundation behind the credit card-sized PC made it even cheaper with the recent release of the Model A+. Why did they abandon their already impressive $25 price? Eben Upton explains:

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AMD's HSA Run-Time Library Is Now Open-Source

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Hardware
OSS

Last week we reported on AMD's plans for a complete user-space open-source HSA stack. Today they have finally delivered!

The last remaining component,. the HSA run-time library was open-sourced this afternoon on GitHub. This HSA library goes with the AMD GPU LLVM back-end to form a complete user-space open-source driver stack for HSA applications using kernels written using OpenCL C99. This code goes along with AMD's new "AMDKFD" kernel HSA driver that's still in the process of being mainlined. The AMDKFD driver could potentially appear in the Linux 3.19 kernel but probably won't be merged before Linux 3.20 if going through the DRM subsystem pull.

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More in Tux Machines

LILO Boot-Loader Development To Cease At End Of Year

While most of you probably haven't used the LILO bootloader in years in place of GRUB(2), the developer of "LInux LOader" intends to cease development at the end of the year. This summer's intern, Eric Griffith, pointed out today an undated message on the LILO homepage about the bootloader project planning to end development at the end of 2015. Read more

Systemd Takes Over su, FCC Bans Open Source Firmware

Paul Carroty posted Friday of the news that Lennart Poettering merged an 'su' command replacement into systemd and Fedora Rawhide - coming to a Linux system near you next. Elsewhere, Hackaday.com's Brian Benchoff said new FCC regulations just killed Open Source firmware replacement and Phoronix.com today reported that LILO is being abandoned. Several polls caught my eye today as did the new Linux workstation security checklist. Read more

Accelerating Scientific Analysis with the SciDB Open Source Database System

Science is swimming in data. And, the already daunting task of managing and analyzing this information will only become more difficult as scientific instruments — especially those capable of delivering more than a petabyte (that’s a quadrillion bytes) of information per day — come online. Tackling these extreme data challenges will require a system that is easy enough for any scientist to use, that can effectively harness the power of ever-more-powerful supercomputers, and that is unified and extendable. This is where the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC’s) implementation of SciDB comes in. Read more

Open Source GPU now out

Hoping that MIAOW is not a catastrophe An open saucy general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) has been unveiled at the Hot Chips event. The GPGPU is relatively crude and is part of another piece of an emerging open-source hardware platform called MIAOW. Read more Also: Nvidia Linux Video Driver 355.11 Adds Experimental OpenGL Support to EGL