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Hardware

MIPS Preparing Many Changes For Linux 4.21

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Linux
Hardware

The MIPS CPU architecture has suddenly become a bit more interesting now that the processor ISA will be open-sourced in 2019. With the in-development Linux 4.21 kernel there are a number of MIPS support changes inbound.

The upstream Linux kernel code for MIPS continues to be improved, particularly for their newer efforts.

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Improved AMD CPU Microcode Handling On Deck For Linux 4.21

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Linux
Hardware

With CPU microcode updates having become increasingly important over the past year in light of the Spectre vulnerabilities and other security updates, the Linux 4.21 kernel is bringing several improvements to the AMD CPU microcode update handling.

The AMD CPU microcode update handling now does more verification work to ensure it's not corrupted, the microcode loading code has been cleaned up and seen more unification of the code paths, and other improvements.

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Devices: Atomic Pi and Raspberry Pi

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Hardware

Linux on AMD (Threadripper/EPYC)

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Linux
Hardware
  • The ECC DDR4 RAM Overclocking Potential With AMD Threadripper On Linux

    I recently treated myself to a new home development workstation, using a Threadripper 2950x, an ASUS X399-A Prime, and 64 GiB of ECC RAM.

    For a 24/7 high-uptime workstation with that much RAM, ECC is definitely a good idea. But Threadripper really likes memory frequency (since the Infinity Fabric is always locked to the same clock speed as the RAM) and ECC tends to be sold at relatively low clock speeds.

    Wendell from Level1 Techs has reported good results overclocking ECC RAM, so I decided to imitate his example and report my results.

  • AMD Platform QoS Support For Next-Gen EPYC Processors Landing In Linux 4.21

    The AMD Platform QoS support talked about a few months ago on Phoronix is landing for the upcoming Linux 4.21 kernel. While not officially confirmed, this Quality of Service system resource work appears almost surely for the next-generation 7nm EPYC processors coming out in the months ahead.

    The AMD QoS platform support is for monitoring the usage of different system resources as well as for allowing limits to be placed on these different resources. Among the initial functionality exposed is around L3 cache monitoring and limiting, L3 data prioritization, and memory bandwidth enforcement.

Open Hardware: MIPS and Porting Alpine Linux to RISC-V

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Hardware
OSS
  • What Does the Open Sourcing of MIPS Mean for RISC-V and the Rest of Us?

    The acquisition of the MIPS intellectual property [sic] seems to be part of Wave Computing’s pivot away from the data center, and towards edge computing. Which, of course, is another of the bigger trends we’ve seen during the year. It was also a role reversal of the typical trend we’ve seen over the last few years, with processor manufacturers like Intel buying up machine learning startups.

  • Porting Alpine Linux to RISC-V

    There are two phases to porting an operating system to a new architecture: bootstrapping and, uh, porting. For lack of a better term. As part of bootstrapping, you need to obtain a cross-compiler, port libc, and cross-compile the basics. Bootstrapping ends once the system is self-hosting: able to compile itself. The “porting” process involves compiling all of the packages available for your operating system, which can take a long time and is generally automated.

Open Hardware: MIPS/RISC and Beyond

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Hardware
OSS
  • On the first day of Christmas, MIPS sent to me: An open-source-ish alternative to RISC-V

    AI biz Wave Computing on Monday told the world it intends to open source the latest MIPS instruction set architecture (ISA) in the hope that fosters the development of more RISC-based custom chips.

    The outfit acquired MIPS, the fabless CPU design firm that had been sold twice before since 2013, back in June with the intention of using its well-established processor tech for running AI code on IoT devices at the edge of the network.

    Wave said under its MIPS Open Initiative, participants – who will be required to register – will have access to the 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS ISA at no charge, without any licensing or royalty fees. The key thing here is instruction set: the machine-code language your, for instance, C source compiles down to. It's how the chip interfaces with software. It's not how the insides of a processor works.

  • Western Digital SweRVs Towards Open Source with New RISC-V Core, ISS, and Cache Coherency

    Is open source changing the way we manage data? Western Digital, a data storage device company, switched to RISC-V's open-source ISA (instruction set architecture) a year ago. This month, they announced a series of open-source, collaborative initiatives that aim to make data more open, from processor cores to memory caches.

    [...]

    Western Digital, a company best known for data storage devices, is one of the companies in the growing RISC-V environment. One year ago, they announced that they were moving to RISC-V. Now, they're doubling down on their commitment to this open source architecture, aiming to facilitate new innovation and help lead the charge into the future of data processing and, eventually, data storage.

  • The End of Industrial Automation (As We Know It)

    At present, much embedded software (even if it originates in open source) includes many proprietary elements. For security reasons, today it’s increasingly important to update embedded software, but sadly this is often difficult or impossible to do. As a result, cybersecurity has become a chronic problem for embedded systems, especially in the consumer electronics segments. This creates other problems, too. Applications are inflexible. The operating systems and software tool chains are fragmented. Development speed is slow. Hardware/software integration remains problematic. And worse, there's a relatively small base of experienced embedded system software developers.

  • China looks to private capital, open source technology for global tech game advantage

    China is racing against time to establish its own technological intellectual property, particularly in the semiconductor industry. The moves come amid growing pressure on Chinese tech companies overseas, underscored by the recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and punitive measures by the US on Huawei rival ZTE.

    This time around, China appears to be taking a more discreet approach, pursuing more low-profile strategies rather than eye-popping, state-led partnership initiatives such as the National Integrated Circuit (IC) Industry Investment Fund, which was set up in 2014 and raised RMB 138.7 billion ($20.1 billion) in its initial phase.

Open Hardware: MIPS/RISC and Beyong

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • On the first day of Christmas, MIPS sent to me: An open-source-ish alternative to RISC-V

    AI biz Wave Computing on Monday told the world it intends to open source the latest MIPS instruction set architecture (ISA) in the hope that fosters the development of more RISC-based custom chips.

    The outfit acquired MIPS, the fabless CPU design firm that had been sold twice before since 2013, back in June with the intention of using its well-established processor tech for running AI code on IoT devices at the edge of the network.

    Wave said under its MIPS Open Initiative, participants – who will be required to register – will have access to the 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS ISA at no charge, without any licensing or royalty fees. The key thing here is instruction set: the machine-code language your, for instance, C source compiles down to. It's how the chip interfaces with software. It's not how the insides of a processor works.

  • Western Digital SweRVs Towards Open Source with New RISC-V Core, ISS, and Cache Coherency

    Is open source changing the way we manage data? Western Digital, a data storage device company, switched to RISC-V's open-source ISA (instruction set architecture) a year ago. This month, they announced a series of open-source, collaborative initiatives that aim to make data more open, from processor cores to memory caches.

    [...]

    Western Digital, a company best known for data storage devices, is one of the companies in the growing RISC-V environment. One year ago, they announced that they were moving to RISC-V. Now, they're doubling down on their commitment to this open source architecture, aiming to facilitate new innovation and help lead the charge into the future of data processing and, eventually, data storage.

  • The End of Industrial Automation (As We Know It)

    At present, much embedded software (even if it originates in open source) includes many proprietary elements. For security reasons, today it’s increasingly important to update embedded software, but sadly this is often difficult or impossible to do. As a result, cybersecurity has become a chronic problem for embedded systems, especially in the consumer electronics segments. This creates other problems, too. Applications are inflexible. The operating systems and software tool chains are fragmented. Development speed is slow. Hardware/software integration remains problematic. And worse, there's a relatively small base of experienced embedded system software developers.

  • China looks to private capital, open source technology for global tech game advantage

    China is racing against time to establish its own technological intellectual property, particularly in the semiconductor industry. The moves come amid growing pressure on Chinese tech companies overseas, underscored by the recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and punitive measures by the US on Huawei rival ZTE.

    This time around, China appears to be taking a more discreet approach, pursuing more low-profile strategies rather than eye-popping, state-led partnership initiatives such as the National Integrated Circuit (IC) Industry Investment Fund, which was set up in 2014 and raised RMB 138.7 billion ($20.1 billion) in its initial phase.

The Slimbook Eclipse: Powerful Enough to Put Other Linux Laptops in the Shade?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

If not I’d love to find the latest Linux laptop from Spanish PC company Slimbook neatly wrapped and waiting for me under my not-so-neatly decorated Christmas tree!

The 15.6-inch workstation is being pitched at those working with HD multimedia creation, on-the-go Linux gaming, or serious number crunching.

Read more

Also: Parabola officially supports librebooted Asus Chromebook C201

Open Hardware/Modding and Linux on Embedded

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • That's A Lisp Machine In Your Pocket

    Computer languages have always advanced faster than computer hardware. Case in point: we’re just now getting CPU instructions for JavaScript floating point numbers. The 1970s and 80s wasn’t the garbage fire of JavaScript instructions in silicon, instead they were all about garbage collection. Lisp machines were CPUs designed to run Lisp efficiently. They were great, until the companies responsible realized you had to sell a product to stay in business. Combine an interesting architecture with rarity and historical interest, and you have a centerpiece of any retrocomputing enthusiasts collection. Yes, we all want a Lisp machine.

    Now there’s an interesting project on CrowdSupply that will make that possible. It’s the MakerLisp Machine, a credit card-sized computer that runs bare-metal Lisp.

    We first saw the MakerLisp Machine in its raw prototype form at VCF West last August, and it was in a very, very raw state. That was just a prototype, though, but the MakerLisp business card-sized computer still features the Zilog eZ80 running at 50MHz. The basic board includes a USB port for a serial connection and a microSD card slot for storage. It boots into a Lisp environment, and you don’t even have to use a NuBus card. We’re living in the future here.

  • DARPA Delegates Look to POSH Chips, Page 3 for Defence Inspiration

    As Linux.com contributor Eric Brown puts it: “Such divergent applications often require highly divergent mixes of processors, including novel chips like neural net accelerators. DARPA envisions the tech world moving toward a wider variety of SoCs with different mixes of IP blocks, including highly customized SoCs for specific applications. With today’s semiconductor design tools, however, such a scenario would bog down in spiraling costs and delays. ERI plans to speed things up.”

  • Vidtoo Technology Licenses Codasip's Bk3 RISC-V Processor for High-Performance Computing SoC

    Codasip, the leading supplier of RISC-V® embedded processor IP, announced today that Vidtoo Technology, a leader in semiconductor products for machine learning and high-performance computing, has selected Codasip’s Bk3 processor for future HPC chips.

  • Module Sets Performance Milestones For Autonomous Machines

    The NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier module delivers up to 32 TOPS of accelerated computing capability in a compact form factor consuming under 30W. This yields more than 20X the performance and 10X the energy efficiency of its predecessor...

    [...]

    Jetson AGX Xavier is supported by NVIDIA JetPack, which includes a board support package, an Ubuntu Linux OS, NVIDIA CUDA, cuDNN, and TensorRT software libraries for deep learning, computer vision...

  • Intel Bean Canyon NUC review

    Sure, the $460 starting price doesn’t seem bad for a system with this kind of performance, you have to remember to factor in the cost of memory, storage, and maybe an operating system. Those additional costs can easily add $300 or more to the base price, although Linux users can probably spend a bit less since they won’t need to spend $100 on a Windows license.

Hardware With Linux: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Nordic Semiconductor, Gigatron and LibreRouter

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Ever evolving

    A recent core movement has been greatly helped by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Makers around the globe had been tinkering more and more with open hardware – with the Arduino for one – as the price and complexity fell. The Raspberry Pi was the icing on the home-made cake, with all the abundant resources the Foundation brought with it. This issue we’re celebrating maker culture and helping all the many people that we expect will be wondering what to do with their new toys after Christmas. So jump on board and join the maker revolution and build something fun, something shared and something open source!

  • Customizable, Atom-based DIN-rail PC supports Linux

    Lanner’s “LEC-3034” is a fanless, Intel Bay Trail based DIN-rail box PC with up to 4x GbE, 4x USB, and 8x isolated serial ports plus SATA and mSATA storage and M.2 support for 4G.

    Lanner’s line of industrial computers, which includes its recent, Apollo Lake based NVA-3000 embedded vision computer, now has a new DIN-rail mountable PC that harkens back to Intel’s previous Bay Trail generation of Atom SoCs. The fanless, 169.5 x 127 x 69mm LEC-3034 runs Linux 2.6 or Windows 7 on a dual-core, 1.33GHz Atom E3825 and supports -40 to 70°C temperatures.

  • Nordic Thingy:52 Dev Kit (First impression)

    Today I'm playing around with a Nordic Thingy:52 Bluetooth 5 development kit from Nordic Semiconductor.

  • Gigatron – some assembly required

    I don’t know if 74 chips have got smaller since I was a kid or if I’ve just got bigger but this is a test of dexterity.

  • Gigatron – chips are down
  • The LibreRouter project aims to make mesh networks simple and affordable

    In the city, we’re constantly saturated with the radio waves from 10 or 20 different routers, cell towers and other wireless infrastructure. But in rural communities there might only be one internet connection for a whole village. LibreRouter is a hardware and software project that looks to let those communities build their own modern, robust mesh networks to make the most of their limited connectivity.

    The intended use case is in situations where, say, a satellite or wired connection terminates at one point, the center of an area, but the people who need to use it live nearby — but well outside the hundred feet or so you can expect a Wi-Fi signal to travel. Often in such a case it’s also prohibitively expensive to run more wires or install cellular infrastructure.

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More in Tux Machines

Server: HTTP Clients, IIS DDoS and 'DevOps' Hype From Red Hat

  • What are good command line HTTP clients?
    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In my view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications. The Unix philosophy spawned a “software tools” movement which focused on developing concise, basic, clear, modular and extensible code that can be used for other projects. This philosophy remains an important element for many Linux projects. Good open source developers writing utilities seek to make sure the utility does its job as well as possible, and work well with other utilities. The goal is that users have a handful of tools, each of which seeks to excel at one thing. Some utilities work well independently. This article looks at 4 open source command line HTTP clients. These clients let you download files over the internet from the command line. But they can also be used for many more interesting purposes such as testing, debugging and interacting with HTTP servers and web applications. Working with HTTP from the command-line is a worthwhile skill for HTTP architects and API designers. If you need to play around with an API, HTTPie and curl will be invaluable.
  • Microsoft publishes security alert on IIS bug that causes 100% CPU usage spikes
    The Microsoft Security Response Center published yesterday a security advisory about a denial of service (DOS) issue impacting IIS (Internet Information Services), Microsoft's web server technology.
  • 5 things to master to be a DevOps engineer
    There's an increasing global demand for DevOps professionals, IT pros who are skilled in software development and operations. In fact, the Linux Foundation's Open Source Jobs Report ranked DevOps as the most in-demand skill, and DevOps career opportunities are thriving worldwide. The main focus of DevOps is bridging the gap between development and operations teams by reducing painful handoffs and increasing collaboration. This is not accomplished by making developers work on operations tasks nor by making system administrators work on development tasks. Instead, both of these roles are replaced by a single role, DevOps, that works on tasks within a cooperative team. As Dave Zwieback wrote in DevOps Hiring, "organizations that have embraced DevOps need people who would naturally resist organization silos."

Purism's Privacy and Security-Focused Librem 5 Linux Phone to Arrive in Q3 2019

Initially planned to ship in early 2019, the revolutionary Librem 5 mobile phone was delayed for April 2019, but now it suffered just one more delay due to the CPU choices the development team had to make to deliver a stable and reliable device that won't heat up or discharge too quickly. Purism had to choose between the i.MX8M Quad or the i.MX8M Mini processors for their Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone, but after many trials and errors they decided to go with the i.MX8M Quad CPU as manufacturer NXP recently released a new software stack solving all previous power consumption and heating issues. Read more

Qt Creator 4.9 Beta released

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.9 Beta! There are many improvements and fixes included in Qt Creator 4.9. I’ll just mention some highlights in this blog post. Please refer to our change log for a more thorough overview. Read more

Hack Week - Browsersync integration for Online

Recently my LibreOffice work is mostly focused on the Online. It's nice to see how it is growing with new features and has better UI. But when I was working on improving toolbars (eg. folding menubar or reorganization of items) I noticed one annoying thing from the developer perspective. After every small change, I had to restart the server to provide updated content for the browser. It takes few seconds for switching windows, killing old server then running new one which requires some tests to be passed. Last week during the Hack Week funded by Collabora Productivity I was able to work on my own projects. It was a good opportunity for me to try to improve the process mentioned above. I've heard previously about browsersync so I decided to try it out. It is a tool which can automatically reload used .css and .js files in all browser sessions after change detection. To make it work browsersync can start proxy server watching files on the original server and sending events to the browser clients if needed. Read more