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Hardware

SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink.

Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping,

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Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini

Devices with Linux: Sm@rtDock, BalenaOS/Raspberry Pi 4 and More

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Sm@rtDock 15 Touch is a 15″ 2-in-1 Laptop Dock for Samsung DeX Devices and Smartphones with a USB-C Port

    We’ve already covered several laptop docks for smartphones such as NexDock 2. AFAICR, all those modes would come with a full laptop body with non-touch display and keyboard.

  • BalenaOS may be the First Fully Functional 64-bit OS for Raspberry Pi 4

    BalenaOS 64-Bit OS Balena just announced the release of a 64-bit OS for the Raspberry Pi 4, that latest release of the iconic SBC.

  • Compact Kaby Lake embedded PC supports Linux

    Axiomtek’s fanless, rugged “eBOX100-51R-FL” embedded PC runs Linux or Win 10 on a 7th Gen U-series CPU and offers a pair each of GbE, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and serial ports plus a DP++ port and M.2 slots for WiFi and SATA.

    Axiomtek announced a compact (142 x 87 x 58mm) embedded computer equipped with a power-efficient Intel 7th Gen “Kaby Lake U-series processor. Axiomtek calls the rugged eBOX100-51R-FL “the smallest embedded system with Intel Core ULT processor onboard.” Indeed, we have yet to see a smaller U-series based embedded PC. The system joins the larger Kaby Lake-U based Axiomtek ICO500-518.

  • Intel launches fanless, Apollo Lake based NUC mini-PC and SBC

    Intel has posted specs for a previously tipped “NUC 8 Rugged” mini-PC and 3.5-inch baseboard. The fanless NUC runs Linux or Windows on an Apollo Lake Celeron with soldered 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, M.2 for NVMe, and dual HDMI ports.

    Most of Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini-PCs are fan-cooled models with Intel Core processors, such as last year’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” based Bean Canyon NUCs. Now, several vendors have opened pre-orders for as low as $248 for a fanless, 150 x 108 x 32mm Intel NUC 8 Rugged model aimed at embedded applications.

Open Hardware/Modding

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Hardware
OSS
  • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

    After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

    The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

  • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

    An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

  • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
  • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

    Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where -- because of distance or war -- it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

    So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

  • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

    This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

  • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)

Linux VR Headset

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Linux
Hardware

Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

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Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux, SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released

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Linux
Hardware
  • Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

    Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to "serious bugs" in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

  • Intel's H.265 Encoder SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released With Optimizations & More

    While not quite as exciting as the big performance boost found with SVT-VP9 for AVX2 CPUs a few days ago, Intel's Scalable Video Technology team has released SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 as their newest feature release to this open-source H.265/HEVC video encoder.

    SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 now allows setting an arbitrary thread count for the program, there is a new tile group for better tile parallelism to help with performance, support for building both shared and static libraries, fixed motion vector out-of-bounds issues, and other fixes resolved.

TPC-71W next-generation Arm-Based Industrial Panel PC for IoT applications

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Advantech Industrial IoT Group, announced TPC-71W – the new generation of its industrial panel PCs aimed at machine automation and web-terminal applications. TPC-71W is a cost-efficient, Arm-based industrial panel PC that features a 7” true-flat display with P-CAP multi-touch control, high resolution and an NXP Arm Cortex -A9 i.MX 6 dual/quad-core processor to deliver high-performance computing. The system also features a serial port with a 120Ω termination resistor that supports the CAN 2.0B protocol and offers a programmable bit rate of up to 1 Mb/sec. Equipped with the Google Chromium embedded web browser and support for various operating systems, including Android, Linux Yocto, and Linux Ubuntu with QT GUI toolkits, TPC-71W allows system integrators to easily develop and deploy a wide range of industrial applications.

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Also: Raspberry Pi CM3+ based EagleEye Smart Camera Works with OpenCV and LabVIEW NI Vision

Devices Leftovers

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

It’s Now Easier to Install Acer Firmware on Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Y’know, the Linux Vendor Firmware Service!

It’s an awesome initiative spearheaded by open source developer Richard Hughes that enables well-known hardware companies — Dell! Lenovo! Wacom! Etc! — safely distribute firmware updates to Linux users, sans hassle.

Yup! And as Acer is one of the biggest laptop sellers in the world their addition to the ranks of the LVFS is pretty big news (just like I said in my opening line, keep up!).

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Also: Please welcome Acer to the LVFS

RK3399 hacker board upgrade adds 4GB LPDDR4 RAM

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

FriendlyElec has released an upgraded version of its Rockchip RK3399 based SBC, the NanoPi-M4. Called NanoPi M4V2, the new $70 board is mostly identical to its predecessor, but offers 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with two user buttons for power and recovery.

A little over a year ago, FriendlyElec rolled out its third RK3399 based SBC of 2018, the NanoPi-M4. The board seemed to hit on a sweet spot tradeoff in terms of an affordable SBC with a decent amount of RAM. Now the company has launched an upgraded version, the NanoPi-M4 that has 4GB or RAM while moving to the more advanced LPDDR4, in contrast to the NanoPi M4’s LPDDR3. While the NanoPi-M4 costs $75 in its 4GB version ($50 for 2GB), the new NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB costs only $70. The new board adds two new users buttons—for power and recovery—that were not on the original NanoPi-M4. Other differences on the new NanoPi M4V2 include 2×2 MIMO support and an inconsequential heavier weight of 50.62 grams (versus 47.70g).

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Also: $70 NanoPi M4V2 SBC Gets 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Power & Recovery Buttons

Raspberry Pi 4 Review and Benchmarks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a Central Processing Unit (CPU) with other components built into the same chip. In the RPi4 the Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) is built-in to the CPU. Nearly every component on the board can be integrated into the CPU.

The Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) is made by the Arm Holdings which only develops designs. The ARM Holdings does not produce the chips but produces the designs of the processor and separate Intellectual Property (IP) Blocks.

An IP Block will consist of one component. For example, an IP Block can contain the design for a USB Hub Controller. Another example would be an IP Block for Bluetooth.

[...]

The RPi4 is a better improvement over the RPi3 in all of the hardware upgrades made to it.

There seem to be complaints about heating issues but this will occur on any type of higher end processor. If you run an RPi4 then you may want to invest in a fan to keep it cool.

The uses of the RPi4 are numerous for many projects which could benefit from a small system board. The Internet has many projects listed with designs for building anything you may want. These designs can range from arcade game consoles to sensors within your house. There are also designs for robots as well.

Once there are 64-bit Operating Systems available for the RPi4 then things will be more interesting. It is possible to get a 64-bit OS to work, but it requires a bit of hoops to jump through to make it work.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS: Cisco Openwashing, GitLab Funding, Amazon Openwashing, Chrome OS Talk and More Talks

  • Why Open Source continues to be the foundation for modern IT

    Open source technology is no longer an outlier in the modern world, it's the foundation for development and collaboration. Sitting at the base of the open source movement is the Linux Foundation, which despite having the name Linux in its title, is about much more than just Linux and today is comprised of multiple foundations, each seeking to advance open source technology and development processes. At the recent Open Source Summit North America event held in San Diego, the width and breadth of open source was discussed ranging from gaming to networking, to the movie business ,to initiatives that can literally help save humanity. "The cool thing is that no matter whether it's networking, Linux kernel projects, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects like Kubernetes, or the film industry with the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), you know open source is really pushing innovation beyond software and into all sorts of different areas," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation said during his keynote address.

  • GitLab Inhales $268M Series E, Valuation Hits $2.75B

    GitLab raised a substantial $268 million in a Series E funding round that was more than doubled what the firm had raised across all of its previous funding rounds and pushed its valuation to $2.75 billion. It also bolsters the company’s coffers as it battles in an increasingly competitive DevOps space. GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said in an email to SDxCentral that the new Series E funds will help the company continue to move on its goal of providing a single application to support quicker delivery of software. It claims more than 100,000 organizations use its platform. “These funds will help us to keep up with that pace and add to that with our company engineers,” Sijbrandij explained. “We need to make sure every part of GitLab is great and that CIOs and CTOs who supply the tools for their teams know that if they bet on GitLab that we’ll stand up to their expectations.”

  • Amazon open-sources its Topical Chat data set of over 4.7 million words [Ed: openwashing of listening devices without even releasing any code]
  • How Chrome OS works upstream

    Google has a long and interesting history contributing to the upstream Linux kernel. With Chrome OS, Google has tried to learn from some of the mistakes of its past and is now working with the upstream Linux kernel as much as it can. In a session at the 2019 Open Source Summit North America, Google software engineer Doug Anderson detailed how and why Chrome OS developers work upstream. It is an effort intended to help the Linux community as well as Google. The Chrome OS kernel is at the core of Google's Chromebook devices, and is based on a Linux long-term support (LTS) kernel. Anderson explained that Google picks an LTS kernel every year and all devices produced in that year will use the selected kernel. At least once during a device's lifetime, Google expects to be able to "uprev" (switch to a newer kernel version). Anderson emphasized that if Google didn't upstream its own patches from the Chrome OS kernel, it would make the uprev process substantially more difficult. Simply saying that you'll work upstream and actually working upstream can be two different things. The process by which Chrome OS developers get their patches upstream is similar to how any other patches land in the mainline Linux kernel. What is a bit interesting is the organizational structure and process of how Google has tasked Chrome OS developers to work with upstream. Anderson explained that developers need to submit patches to the kernel mailing list and then be a little patient, giving some time for upstream to respond. A key challenge, however, is when there is no response from upstream. "When developing an upstream-first culture, the biggest problem anyone can face is silence," Anderson said. Anderson emphasized that when submitting a patch to the mailing list, what a developer is looking for is some kind of feedback; whether it's good or bad doesn't matter, but it does matter that someone cares enough to review it. What the Chrome OS team does in the event that there is no community review is it will have other Chrome OS engineers publicly review the patch. The risk and worry of having Chrome OS engineers comment on Chrome OS patches is that the whole process might look a little scripted and there could be the perception of some bias as well. Anderson noted that it is important that only honest feedback and review is given for a patch.

  • Open Source Builds Trust & Credibility | Karyl Fowler

    Karyl Fowler is co-founder and CEO of Transmute, a company that’s building open source and decentralized identity management. We sat down with Fowler at the Oracle OpenWorld conference to talk about the work Transmute is doing.

  • What Is Infrastructure As Code?

    Rob Hirschfeld, Founder, and CEO of RackN breaks Infrastructure As Code (IaC) into six core concepts so users have a better understanding of it.

  • Everything You Need To Know About Redis Labs

    At the Oracle OpenWorld conference, we sat down with Kyle Davis – Head of Developer Advocacy at Redis Labs – to better understand what the company does.

Programming: Java, Python, and Perl

  • Oracle Releases Java 13 with Remarkable New Features

    Oracle – the software giant has released Java SE and JDK 13 along with the promise to introduce more new features in the future within the six-month cycle. The Java 13’s binaries are now available for download with improvements in security, performance, stability, and two new additional preview features ‘Switch Expressions’ and ‘Text Blocks’, specifically designed to boost developers’ productivity level. This gives the hope that the battle of Java vs Python will be won by the former. Remarking on the new release, Oracle said: “Oracle JDK 13 increases developer productivity by improving the performance, stability and security of the Java SE Platform and the JDK,”. [...] Speaking of the Java 13 release, it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 along with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE). The director of Oracle’s Java SE Product Management, Sharat Chander stated “Oracle offers Java 13 for enterprises and developers. JDK 13 will receive a minimum of two updates, per the Oracle CPU schedule, before being followed by Oracle JDK 14, which is due out in March 2020, with early access builds already available.” Let’s look into the new features that JDK 13 comes packed with.

  • 8 Python GUI Frameworks For Developers

    Graphical User Interfaces make human-machine interactions easier as well as intuitive. It plays a crucial role as the world is shifting.

  • What's In A Name? Tales Of Python, Perl, And The GIMP

    In the older days of open source software, major projects tended to have their Benevolent Dictators For Life who made all the final decisions, and some mature projects still operate that way. Guido van Rossum famously called his language “Python” because he liked the British comics of the same name. That’s the sort of thing that only a single developer can get away with. However, in these modern times of GitHub, GitLab, and other collaboration platforms, community-driven decision making has become a more and more common phenomenon, shifting software development towards democracy. People begin to think of themselves as “Python programmers” or “GIMP users” and the name of the project fuses irrevocably with their identity. What happens when software projects fork, develop apart, or otherwise change significantly? Obviously, to prevent confusion, they get a new name, and all of those “Perl Monks” need to become “Raku Monks”. Needless to say, what should be a trivial detail — what we’ve all decided to call this pile of ones and zeros or language constructs — can become a big deal. Don’t believe us? Here are the stories of renaming Python, Perl, and the GIMP.

  • How to teach (yourself) computer programming

    Many fellow students are likely in the same boat, the only difference being that the vast majority not only that don’t list computer science as one of their passions (but more as one of their reasons for not wanting to live anymore), but they get a very distorted view of what computer science and programming actually is.

    Said CS classes tend to be kind of a joke, not only because of the curriculum. The main reason why they are bad and boring is the way they are taught. I am going to address my main frustrations on this matter together with proposed solutions and a guide for those who want to start learning alone.

  • [Old] Perl Is Still The Goddess For Text Manipulation

    You heard me. Freedom is the word here with Perl.

    When I’m coding freely at home on my fun data science project, I rely on it to clean up my data.

    In the real world, data is often collected with loads of variations. Unless you are using someone’s “clean” dataset, you better learn to clean that data real fast.

    Yes, Perl is fast. It’s lightening fast.

Server: Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule, IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu and SUSE on Cloud Foundry Foundation and More LF

  • Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule and Expected Features

    This is a continually updated article to inform you about Ubuntu 19.10 release date, features and other important things associated with it. The development for Ubuntu 19.10 is nearing its end and it’s time to look at what new features and improvement this new release brings. Ubuntu 19.10 is an important release because it will set the course of development for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (long term support). I have always felt that the LTS version release takes a lot of features from its predecessor. In other words, Ubuntu 19.10 will be a glimpse of the features you would be getting in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu

    Enterprises today need the most secure, and flexible system to support their initiatives, and for that system to grow and evolve for tomorrow. The latest LinuxONE system was designed to support mission-critical initiatives and allow enterprises to be innovative as they design and scale their environment. LinuxONE III provides features for advanced data protection and privacy, enterprise resiliency and scalability, and cloud enablement and integration. Reliability and continuity are critical to the success of any business. With this release, they’ll benefit from up to 10:1 consolidation for key workloads, and up to 190 cores and 40TB of memory. And with 99.999%* availability and up to 7.4x better resilience, enterprises can confidently run and scale their business-critical workloads. The new LinuxONE III provides the highest levels of availability and scalability, so business-critical workloads run flawlessly, recover quickly, and grow seamlessly.

  • Project Quarks: Native Cloud Foundry for Kubernetes

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Vlad Iovanov of SUSE gave a keynote demo of Project Quarks, the project that integrates Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, by packaging the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime as containers instead of virtual machines. Vlad explains the current capabilities of Quarks, with a look at its future as a Kubernetes Operator. It’s a fairly technical topic, but Vlad uses creative diagrams and an understandable demo to show the power of Quarks. Cloud Foundry Foundation has posted all recorded talks from CF Summit EU on YouTube. Check them out if you want to learn more about what is happening in the Cloud Foundry world! I’ll be posting more SUSE Cloud Application Platform talks here over the coming days. Watch Vlad’s talk below...

  • Broad Deployment Of Cloud Foundry Almost Double In Just 2 Years

    As businesses embark on their digital transformation journey, developers are driving innovation across cloud native environments for building into the future. According to a recently released report by Cloud Foundry Foundation, 45 percent of user respondents describe their Cloud Foundry use as “broad” compared to 30 percent in 2018 and 24 percent in 2017. The report also revealed that 39 percent of developers are deploying applications in less than one day. What points out towards a healthy and growing community of developers is the fact that almost one in five respondents started using Cloud Foundry in just the last 12 months.

  • The Linux Foundation to Host Open Source Project for Drone Aviation Interoperability

    The Linux Foundation today announced it will host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project to enable trusted, secure and scalable interoperability between UAS Service Suppliers (USSs) that advances safe, equitable and efficient drone operations. Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS Traffic Management (UTM, also referred to as U-Space) to support rapidly increasing and highly diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers orUSPs) assist drone operators to conduct safe and compliant operations. USSs can provide service in overlapping airspace and share data when required to support services such as a strategic deconfliction of flight plans and remote identification and industry is developing standards for this data sharing through organizations such as ASTM International. The InterUSS Project provides a forum for collaboration and development of standards-compliant, open source implementations that facilitate communication in the UTM/U-Space environment.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox and kernel), Debian (thunderbird), Fedora (curl), openSUSE (curl and python-Werkzeug), Oracle (kernel and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-nginx114-nginx), SUSE (curl, ibus, MozillaFirefox, firefox-glib2, firefox-gtk3, openldap2, openssl, openssl1, python-urllib3, and util-linux and shadow), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and wpa).

  • SGX and security modules

    Software Guard Extensions (SGX) is a set of security-related instructions for Intel processors; it allows the creation of private regions of memory, called "enclaves". The aim of this feature is to work like an inverted sandbox: instead of protecting the system from malicious code, it protects an application from a compromised kernel hypervisor, or other application. Linux support for SGX has existed out-of-tree for years, and the effort of upstreaming it has reached an impressive version 22 of the patch set. During the upstreaming discussion, the kernel developers discovered that the proposed SGX API did not play nicely with existing security mechanisms, including Linux security modules (LSMs).

  • GitHub acquires Semmle to help developers spot security vulnerabilities [Ed: Company in NSA PRISM pretends to care about security (and also, Microsoft now uses GitHub to change people's code without asking the developers)]

    Software hosting service GitHub has acquired Semmle, a code analysis platform that helps developers discover security vulnerabilities in large codebases.