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Hardware

Devices: Coreboot, Toradex and Digi, Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Another Micro-ATX Haswell Era Motherboard Working With Coreboot But Needs Tiny Blob

    There are many Sandy Bridge era motherboards that have been freed by Coreboot while if you are looking for more options on something (slightly) newer, a micro-ATX Haswell-era motherboard from ASRock now works under this open-source BIOS implementation.

    The ASRock H81M-HDS is the latest motherboard port now mainline in Coreboot. The ASRock H81M-HDS supports Haswell Core and Xeon CPUs, supports two DDR3/DDR3L DIMMs, one PCI Express x16 slot, onboard display outputs, four SATA ports, and multiple USB3/USB2 ports. This motherboard can be found refurbished still from some Internet shops for about $70 USD.

  • Toradex and Digi launch i.MX8X-based Colibri and ConnectCore COMs

    Toradex and Digi have released Linux-friendly i.MX8X-based modules via early access programs. The Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X each provide WiFi-ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

    NXP’s i.MX8X SoC has made quite a splash this week. Eight months after Phytec announced an i.MX8X-based phyCORE-i.MX 8X module, Variscite unveiled a VAR-SOM-MX8X module and then Congatec followed up with the Qseven form-factor Conga-QMX8X and SMARC 2.0 Conga-SMX8X. Now Toradex and Digi are beginning shipments of i.MX8X based modules for early access customers.

  • New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ launched for only $25

Qualcomm and Intel: a Linux Perspective

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • SBC showcases Qualcomm’s 10nm, octa-core QCS605 IoT SoC

    Intrinsyc’s compact “Open-Q 605” SBC for computer vision and edge AI applications runs Android 8.1 and Qualcomm’s Vision Intelligence Platform on Qualcomm’s IoT-focused, octa-core QCS605.

    In April, Qualcomm announced its QCS605 SoC, calling it “the first 10nm FinFET fabricated SoC purpose built for the Internet of Things.” The octa-core Arm SoC is available in an Intrinsyc Open-Q 605 SBC with full development kit with a 12V power supply is open for pre-orders at $429. The products will ship in early December.

  • Second-gen Intel Neural Compute Stick shows off new Myriad X VPU

    Intel has launched a $99 “Neural Compute Stick 2” AI accelerator built around a new Myriad X VPU that adds a Neural Compute Engine and more cores for up to 8x greater performance.

    Intel may be scaling back a bit on its IoT business, but it continues to push hard with the Myriad neural network acceleration technology it acquired when it bought Movidius. Intel has just released its third-gen “Myriad X” technology for AI acceleration on edge devices, debuting on a $99 Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (NCS2).

AMD Hiring Another Mesa/RadeonSI Driver Developer, Changes for Linux 4.21

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Linux
Hardware
  • AMD Is Hiring Another Mesa/RadeonSI Driver Developer

    AMD is hiring another open-source Linux graphics driver developer with a focus on the Mesa/RadeonSI driver stack.

    There is a new job posting for a Senior Software Development Engineer with a focus on open-source graphics. This job role will be working on their open-source graphics driver, work on driver bring-up, debug issues, improve driver performance, coordinate with Linux distributions, and engage with the open-source graphics development community. I've been able to confirm with AMD that this is focused on their Mesa/RadeonSI driver as opposed to say just their AMDGPU kernel driver.

  • AMD Stages Latest Radeon/AMDGPU Changes For Linux 4.21 Kernel

    AMD has posted their initial set of AMDGPU driver changes slated to go into the future Linux 4.21 kernel by way of DRM-Next.

    This is the first of likely two or three feature pull requests to DRM-Next for staging until the Linux 4.21 kernel cycle kicks off in the final days of 2018 or early 2019.

Linux-Ready Devices With Intel (Back Door/ME) Chips

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Rugged, low-cost Bay Trail SBC runs Linux

    VersaLogic released a rugged, PC/104-Plus form-factor “SandCat” SBC with a dual-core Intel Bay Trail SoC, -40 to 85℃ support, plus SATA, GbE, and mini-PCIe and more, starting at $370 in volume.

    VersaLogic has spun a simpler, more affordable alternative to its BayCat single board computer, which similarly offers a Linux supported Intel Bay Trail SoC in a PC/104-Plus form-factor board. The rugged new SandCat is limited to a dual-core, 1.33GHz Atom E3825, and offers a somewhat reduced feature set, but launches at less than half the price of the dual-core version of the BayCat, selling at $370 in volume.

  • Rugged DIN-rail PC taps Skylake-U

    Aaeon has launched a Linux-friendly DIN-rail “Boxer-6750” DIN-rail computer with a dual-core Intel 6th Gen CPU, dual displays, extended temp and vibration resistance, plus 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, and 4x serial ports.

New Part Day: A $6 Linux Computer You Might Be Able To Write Code For

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The latest news from the world of cheap electronics is a single board computer running Linux. It costs six dollars, and you can buy it right now. You might even be able to compile code for it, too.

The C-Sky Linux development board is listed on Taobao as an ‘OrangePi NanoPi Raspberry Pi Linux Development Board” and despite some flagrant misappropriation of trademarks, this is indeed a computer running Linux, available for seven American dollars.

This board is based on a NationalChip GX6605S SoC, a unique chip with an ISA that isn’t ARM, x86, RISC-V, MIPS, or anything else that would be considered normal. The chip itself was designed for set-top boxes, but there are a surprising number of build tools that include buildroot, GCC and support for qemu. The company behind this chip is maintaining a kernel, and support for this chip has been added to the mainline kernel. Yes, unlike many other single board computers out there, you might actually be able to compile something for this chip.

Read more

Also: Modular automation controller builds on UP Squared SBC

Arduino Gets a Command Line Interface

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Hardware
OSS

When using an Arduino, at least once you’ve made it past blinking LEDs, you might start making use of the serial connection to send and receive information from the microcontroller. Communicating with the board while it’s interacting with its environment is a crucial way to get information in real-time. Usually, that’s as far as it goes, but [Pieter] wanted to take it a step farther than that with his command line interpreter (CLI) for the Arduino.

The CLI allows the user to run Unix-like commands directly on the Arduino. This means control of GPIO and the rest of the features of the microcontroller via command line. The CLI communicates between the microcontroller and the ANSI/VT100 terminal emulator of your choosing on your computer, enabling a wealth of new methods of interacting with an Arduino.

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Microsoft and Apple Against Repairs

Filed under
Hardware
Microsoft
Mac

POWER On-Chip Controller Driver Coming For Linux 4.21

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The IBM POWER On-Chip Controller (OCC) driver is queued for inclusion in the next version of the Linux kernel. This on-chip controller driver collects sensor data from the system and processor, including temperature and power metrics, and exposes that to the user as well as handling thermal/power management tasks.

The on-chip controller is embedded into POWER processors with P8/P9 processors. The newly-queued OCC driver exposes via sysfs temperatures, frequencies, power usage, power capacity/minimum/maximums, and other sensor data. The OCC driver documentation covers the information in more detail.

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GCC 9 Lands Initial Support For The OpenRISC Architecture

Filed under
Development
GNU
Hardware

It's been a long journey for the OpenRISC CPU instruction set architecture not to be confused with RISC-V, but with the GCC 9.1 compiler release due out in early 2019 will finally be initial mainline support for this ISA.

There had been GCC OpenRISC patches for a while, but the original developers were not okay with assigning their copyrights to the Free Software Foundation as is required to contribute to the GCC project (and most other FSF projects for that matter). Since earlier this year a clean-room rewrite of the GCC OpenRISC port has been taking place and the GCC steering committee approved of this CPU architecture seeing a port in GCC.

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Linux-driven 96Boards SBC features AI and RISC-V companion chips

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Bitmain announced a “Sophon BM1880 EDB” 96Boards CE SBC featuring its new Sophon BM1880 AI chip plus dual Cortex-A53 cores that run Linux. There’s also a RISC-V chip and optional Raspberry Pi and Arduino modules.

Beijing-based Bitmain, which is known primarily as a leading vendor of bitcoin mining chips and computers, also has a “Sophon” AI chip business built around its BM1680 and more recent BM1682 Tensor Computing Processor (TPU) AI chips. Bitmain recently announced a third-gen BM1880 TPU along with a Sophon BM1880 Edge Development Board (EDB) 96Boards CE SBC, referred to by 96Boards.org as the “Sophon Edge.”

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