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Hardware

Performance Impact of Serious CPU Defects

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
Security

4 New Arduino Nano Boards Are Here: More Powerful Than Before

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The open source Arduino Project was started long back in 2003 as a program for students to help them tinker with sensors and their applications without spending tons of money. Over the course of time, this open source platform evolved and facilitated the launch of various versions of the Arduino hardware.

Adding another chapter to Arduino’s hardware journey, the Italian boardmakers have announced the launch of four new products that will remind you of the classic Arduino Nano 3. The 4 Arduino product in the lineup serve different purposes, so let’s briefly tell you about them:

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Direct: What’s new at Maker Faire Bay Area 2019

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Am I Fomu ?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

A few months ago at FOSDEM 2019 I got my hands on a pre-production version of the Fomu, a tiny open-hardware FPGA board that fits in your USB port. Building on the smash hit of the Tomu, the Fomu uses an ICE40UP5K FPGA instead of an ARM core.

I've never really been into hardware hacking, and much like hacking on the Linux kernel, messing with wires and soldering PCB boards always intimidated me. From my perspective, playing around with the Fomu looked like a nice way to test the water without drowning in it.

Since the bootloader wasn't written at the time, when I first got my Fomu hacker board there was no easy way to test if the board was working. Lucky for me, Giovanni Mascellani was around and flashed a test program on it using his Raspberry Pi and a bunch of hardware probes. I was really impressed by the feat, but it also seemed easy enough that I could do it.

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Also: ItsyBitsy Snek — snek on the Adafruit ItsyBitsy

Google: TensorFlow, Open Hardware and More on Collaboration

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Beginner's guide for TensorFlow: The basics of Google's machine-learning library

    It is an open-source, accelerated-math library designed to help developers build and train machine-learning models using a wide range of hardware — CPUs, GPUs, and even specialized chips such as TPUs (Tensor Processing Units).

    While TensorFlow was originally designed for use with more powerful machines, it has evolved to be able to create models to run in all sorts of unlikely places, from browsers to low-power IoT devices. Today, TensorFlow can be used with a wide range of programming languages, including Python, Go, C++, Java, Swift, R, Julia, C#, Haskell, Rust, and JavaScript.

  • Google extends lowRISC FOSSi partnership

    Unlike proprietary processors, the design and instruction set architecture (ISA) for which are kept behind a typically expensive licence wall, free and open source silicon (FOSSi) does what it says on the tin: Projects like RISC-V provide both the ISA and key implementations under permissive licences, allowing anyone to use, modify, distribute, and commercialise the technology without a single license or royalty payment - including, in many cases, the ability to create a proprietary implementation, should they so choose.

    Following on from the news that it was a founding member of the Linux Foundation's CHIPS Alliance, an industry group set up to 'host and curate high-quality open source code relevant to the design of silicon devices', Google has now announced that it is extending its existing partnership with the lowRISC project to include additional funding, support, and the appointment of two Google staffers as board members on the project.

  • Google wants an open source silicon community for chip design

    As evidenced by Android and Chromium, Google has long been committed to open source software. The company now wants to foster a similar community for hardware and chip design, particularly open source silicon.

  • To Create Prosperity, Free Market Competition Isn’t Enough—You Need Collaboration Too

    What’s ironic is that all of this communal activity isn’t driven by beret-wearing revolutionaries plotting in coffee houses, but by many of today’s most powerful and profit-driven corporations, who act not out of altruism, but self-interest. The fact is that technology firms today who do not actively participate in open source communities are at a significant competitive disadvantage.

    For example, Chris DiBona, Director of Open Source at Google, once told me, “We released Android as an open source product because we knew that was the fastest way to grow adoption, which enabled us to preserve the relationships with customers for businesses like search, maps and Gmail.” That is the reality of today’s marketplace. You collaborate in order to compete effectively. Businesses that don’t accept that simple fact will find it difficult to survive.

    Science’s commitment to communal effort is not at all new, but is a thread running deep in America’s long history of technological dominance. And it’s not all about private companies competing with each other, either: it’s about how the market can benefit from public investment. When Vannevar Bush submitted his famous report, “Science, The Endless Frontier,” to President Truman at the end of World War II, he argued that scientific discovery should be considered a public good crucial to the competitiveness of the nation. The crux of his argument is that such efforts build capacity through creating what he called “scientific capital” and pointed out that “New products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science.”

Modding Devices and Freedom: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Brushless Motors, HestiaPi and More

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Hardware
OSS
  • How to Build Your Own Futuristic Smart Mirror

    A smart mirror can show your calendar, weather, and news like something out of a sci-fi movie. Powered by a Raspberry Pi, you can build your own with some simple tools and hardware.

  • Arduino launches new Nano board range

    Arduino has established itself as one of the leading small open source single-board microcontroller and microcontroller kit makers on the market with its designs popular with enthusiasts through to schools and universities. Founded in Italy, the company has launched its new Nano range of compact project boards that also happen to be among the cheapest it currently offers. They range in price from just US$9.90 for the Nano Every through to US$29.50 for the Nano 33 BLE Sense that includes Bluetooth as well as a range of proximity, gesture and environmental sensors.

    [...]

    Also new from Arduino is a MKR GSM 1400 Cellular SIM Kit. The Nano Every and the Nano 33 IoT will ship from mid-June while the Bluetooth-equipped Nano 33 BLE and Nano 33 BLE Sense will ship from mid-July.

  • An Open Source ESC For Brushless Motors

    For something basic like a brushed DC motor, speed control can be quite simple, and powering up the motor is a simple matter of just applying voltage. Brushless motors are much more demanding in their requirements however, and won’t spin unless driven just right. [Electronoobs] has been exploring the design of a brushless speed controller, and just released version 1.0 of his open-source ESC design.

    The basic design is compact, and very similar to many off-the-shelf brushless ESCs in the low power range. There’s a small PCB packing a bank of MOSFETs to handle switching power to the coils of the motor, and a big capacitor to help deal with current spikes. The hacker staple ATMEGA328 is the microcontroller running the show. It’s a sensorless design, which measures the back EMF of the motor in order to determine when to fire the MOSFETs. This keeps things simple for low-torque, low-power applications.

  • A Customizable Open Source Mechanical Numpad

    Mechanical keyboards with reduced key counts are all the rage these days, but while those streamlined input devices might look cool on your desk, there are times when the traditional number pad or navigation keys are quite handy. Rather than just going without, [Mattia Dal Ben] decided to put together his own mechanical auxiliary input device for when the main board just isn’t cutting it.

  • Little Printer returns as an open-source messaging device

    Berg’s Little Printer, an adorable internet-connected box that printed out tiny snippets of news, Instagram photos, and to-do lists, stopped working when the studio and its servers shut down in 2014. Now, design consultancy firm Nord Projects has brought it back to life with a brand-new app, and it added the ability to send messages between devices, as reported by Core77.

  • Perfecting the Open Source RC Controller

    For this entry into the 2019 Hackaday Prize, [Vitor de Miranda Henrique] is working on his own version of the ultimate open source remote control. His design follows some of the trends we’ve already seen in terms of outward design and hardware expandability, but also branches off into some new territory with features such as dual integrated displays.

  • HestiaPi Touch open source Raspberry Pi smart thermostat

    This month Google has made a number of changes to its Nest smart thermostat platform and services, some of which will have a profound effect on the integration of the thermostat with other Internet of Things services. If you are interested in moving away from corporate smart thermostats a new open source thermostat specifically designed for controlling HVAC and water systems has been created by the team at MakeOpenStuff.

    The HestiaPi smart thermostat is powered by integrated Raspberry Pi Zero W to offer wireless connectivity has been equipped with the 3.5-inch LCD display together with a host of sensors to monitor and control home heating and water. What she demonstration video below to learn more about the open source system that allows you to build your very own smart home thermostat and offer root access and increased privacy and security from the prying eyes of large corporations.

  • The Rise of ROS: Nearly 55% of total commercial robots shipped in 2024 Will Have at Least One Robot Operating System package Installed
  • Raptor's Blackbird micro-ATX POWER9 System Is Ready To Take Flight This Week

    The much anticipated Raptor Blackbird is set to begin shipping over the days ahead. Blackbird is the lower-cost (compared to the Talos II Secure Workstation) micro-ATX motherboard for IBM POWER9 systems and offers open-source firmware as currently one of the most open, high-performance systems available.

    The Raptor Blackbird supports up to 8-core 160W Sforza POWER9 CPUs, two DDR4 ECC modules, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot (and one PCIe 4.0 x8), dual Gigabit Ethernet, 4 x SATA 3.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and other standard connectivity.

Intel Chips Get Slower (Again) Because of the Defects

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • MDS / Zombieload Mitigations Come At A Real Cost, Even If Keeping Hyper Threading On

    The default Linux mitigations for the new Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulnerabilities (also known as "Zombieload") do incur measurable performance cost out-of-the-box in various workloads. That's even with the default behavior where SMT / Hyper Threading remains on while it becomes increasingly apparent if wanting to fully protect your system HT must be off.

    MDS was announced on Tuesday and now back from the Open-Source Technology Summit I am running a number of MDS/Zombieload mitigation benchmarks including the likes now of comparing the overall Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS impact and also if going the "full" route of disabling Hyper Threading. Tomorrow will be the first featured (multi-page) article with MDS data on multiple systems while here are some initial numbers I am seeing when just looking at the new default cost of this MDS mitigation.

  • Intel's Coffeelake OpenCL Performance Between Beignet & Their Modern NEO Driver

    A few days back I posted a number of Intel OpenCL benchmarks between their former Beignet and new "NEO" Linux compute stacks that was done using a Skylake NUC for the Iris Pro 580 graphics. For those wondering how these two open-source Intel OpenCL implementations compare for the more common UHD Graphics 630, here are some benchmarks using an Intel Core i9 8700K "Coffeelake" processor.

    With an Intel Core i7 8700K sporting UHD Graphics 630, I ran some benchmarks comparing the latest Git code of the now-deprecated Beignet OpenCL driver against the modern OpenCL NEO driver. These are complementary data points to last week's Iris Pro benchmarks. As outlined in that earlier article and is also the case for Coffeelake, Beignet only provides OpenCL 2.0 while the current NEO driver offers OpenCL 2.1 capabilities at present and is the default Intel Linux OpenCL implementation moving forward.

hgTerm Is A DIY Mini Raspberry Pi Computer That Runs PlayStation Games

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Raspberry Pi has been used in a number of mini laptops that run on tiny single-board computers. But a recent one, developed by hgTerm, could be one of the best DIY mini PCs made till date.

The pocket-sized hgTerm computer comes with a 4-inch touchscreen display and rocks a 270-degree hinge that can be flipped backwards to use the device as a stand.

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Linux-powered LattePanda And Nvidia GTX 1650 Make A Perfect Match

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Linux-powered LattePanda Alpha is one of the most powerful Single Board Computers (SBC) on the market. Unlike several SBCs available, the LattePanda Alpha features an X86-based Intel Processor, a PCI express slot for installing GPU, eMMC storage, a USB type-c port and a lot more.

However, the Linux-powered LattePanda becomes even more valuable with another piece of hardware called the Nvidia GTX 1650. The entry level Graphics card was launched a few weeks ago and it is a perfect match for the LattePanda.

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Raspberry Pi-Sized DIY Retro Gaming Console Lets You Relive Childhood

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Roshambo Pro has released a retro DIY gaming console which is sure to please the inner child in you. The kit includes a retro gaming console shell, heat sink, controllers and much more. The best part is that the retro console shell, which resembles SNES Europe or Super Famicom, can use a number of tiny SOCs.

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Linux Devices: Building a Raspberry Pi Rover and Linaro Turns 9

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Building a Raspberry Pi Rover: My Big Fat Linux Weekend

    Linux! Such a wonderful, rich, capable operating system has blessed us, and all for the low, low cost of absolutely free.

  • Nine years of Linaro

    Nine years ago at 11:00 a group of developers gathered in a small room. I was one of them and did not knew anyone from a group before entering the room.

    The meeting took place in Dolce La Hulpe Hotel and Resort in a village close to Brussels, Belgium. It was on first day of UDS-M.

    This was the first meeting of NewCo developers. The organization now known as Linaro.

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More in Tux Machines

Distros: Draco in Sparky, Fedora Issues and Optional Dependencies in Debian

  • Draco Desktop
    There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Draco
  • Archiving 26 500 community Q&As from Ask Fedora
    Ask Fedora is the Fedora Linux community’s questions-and-answers portal, and it recently transitioned from a forum software called Askbot to Discourse. Changing the underlying forum software doesn’t have to be destructive but Ask Fedora decided to go with a nuke-and-pave migration strategy: They decided to start from scratch instead of copying user accounts and the user-contributed content to the new software. The first time I learned of the migration was a few days after it had happen. I’d run into an issue with my Fedora installation and went online looking for solutions. Every useful search result was from the old Ask Fedora site and every link returned an HTTP 404 Not Found error message as those answers hadn’t been migrated to the new Ask Fedora website.
  • Attention epel6 and epel7 ppc64 users
    If you are a epel6 or epel7 user on the ppc64 platform, I have some sad news for you. If you aren’t feel free to read on for a tale of eol architectures. ppc64 (the big endian version of power) was shipped with RHEL6 and RHEL7 and Fedora until Fedora 28. It’s been replaced by the ppc64le (little endian) version in Fedora and RHEL8.
  • Optional dependencies don’t work
    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article. [...] Software is usually not built by end users, but by packagers, at least when we are talking about Open Source. Hence, end users don’t see the knob for the optional dependency, they are just presented with the fait accompli: their version of the software behaves differently than other versions of the same software. Depending on the kind of software, this situation can be made obvious to the user: for example, if the optional dependency is needed to print documents, the program can produce an appropriate error message when the user tries to print a document. Sometimes, this isn’t possible: when i3 introduced an optional dependency on cairo and pangocairo, the behavior itself (rendering window titles) worked in all configurations, but non-ASCII characters might break depending on whether i3 was compiled with cairo. For users, it is frustrating to only discover in conversation that a program has a feature that the user is interested in, but it’s not available on their computer. For support, this situation can be hard to detect, and even harder to resolve to the user’s satisfaction.

Servers: Kubernetes, Microservices, Containers and SUSE's Enterprise Storage 6

  • Is bare Kubernetes still too messy for enterprises?
    Kubernetes is touted as a computing cure-all, fixing up multicloud networking to data mobility. The open-source platform for orchestrating containers (a virtualized method for running distributed applications) may or may not be the panacea it’s hyped up to be. What is certain is that user-ready Kubernetes isn’t as easy as it sounds, so customers should shop carefully for a provider. Enterprise users of Kubernetes and containers may not guess just how many moving parts are under the covers. There are a ton of tiny pieces that have to line up just so in order for them to work, according to Mark Shuttleworth (pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Canonical Ltd. He likens these technologies to carefully constructed “fictions.”
  • Data as a microservice: Distributed data-focused integration
    Microservices is the architecture design favored in new software projects; however, getting the most from this type of approach requires overcoming several previous requirements. As the evolution from a monolithic to a distributed system takes place not only in the application space but also at the data store, managing your data becomes one of the hardest challenges. This article examines some of the considerations for implementing data as a service.
  • Container Adoption Shoots Up Among Enterprises In 2019: Survey
    Majority of IT professionals now run container technologies, with 90 percent of those running in production and 7 in 10 running at least 40 percent of their application portfolio in containers — an impressive increase from two years ago, when just 67 percent of teams were running container technologies in production. According to the joint 2019 Annual Container Adoption Survey released by Portworx and Aqua Security, enterprises have started making bigger investments in containers. In 2019, nearly one in five organizations is found to be spending over $1 million annually on containers (17%) as compared to just four percent in 2016.
  • SUSE Rolls Out Enterprise Storage 6
    SUSE has announced the latest version of its software-defined storage solution powered by Ceph technology. With SUSE Enterprise Storage 6, IT organizations can adapt to changing business demands. They may also reduce IT operational expense with new features focused on containerized and cloud workload support, improved integration with public cloud, and enhanced data protection capabilities, SUSE said.

OSS: 3scale, Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, LibreOffice Conference 2020, DataStax Openwashing and IGEL

  • Red Hat completes open sourcing of 3scale code
    At Red Hat we have always been proud of our open source heritage and commitment. We are delighted that more of the industry now shares our viewpoint, and more companies are looking to promote their open source bona fides of late. Open source software energizes developers and teams of committed developers working in parallel can outproduce the large development hierarchies of the last generation. We believe working upstream with open source communities is an important innovation strategy. Occasionally, however, innovation does originate in traditional commercial organizations under a proprietary development model. Three years ago, Red Hat discovered just such a company that was doing exciting things in the API economy.
  • Enbies and women in FOSS Wikipedia edit-a-thon
    To be brief, I’ll be hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon on enbies and women in free and open source software, on June 2nd, from 16:00 – 19:00 EDT. I’d love remote participants, but if you’re in the Boston area you are more than welcome over to my place for pancakes and collaboration times.
  • LibreOffice Conference 2020, it could be in your city
    LibreOffice Conference 2020 will be an event to remember, for a couple of reasons: it will be the 10th of a series of successful conferences, and it will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LibreOffice project and the 20th of the FOSS office suite. In 2020, The Document Foundation will be on stage at many FOSS events around the world, and the LibreOffice Conference will be the most important of the year. Organizing this conference is a unique opportunity for FOSS communities, because the event will make the history of free open source software.
  • DataStax and the Modern Commercial Open Source Business
    One month ago, Google announced a set of partnerships with seven commercial open source providers. Among those announced was DataStax, which held its annual conference this year and, for the first time, an analyst day. While DataStax and the open source project it is based on, Cassandra, are differentiated on a technical basis, the company also represents an interesting contrast with its peers directionally both among the newly minted Google partners and more broadly. Of the seven commercial open source partners Google announced, for example, DataStax is one of two along with InfluxData that has not introduced a non-open source, hybrid license as a means of protecting itself from competition from the cloud providers. This is not, notably, because the company doesn’t seem them as a threat; asked about who the competition was in the analyst sessions, the CEO of DataStax candidly acknowledged that the company’s primary competitive focus was not on premise competition such as Oracle, but cloud-based managed services offerings.
  • IGEL Developing Linux Distro For Windows Virtual Desktop Users [Ed: IGEL used to support #GNU/Linux and now it's just helping Microsoft enslave GNU/Linux insider Windows with NSA back doors.]

Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet

Linux Mint no longer may be an ideal choice for above-par performance out of the box, but it still can serve diehard users well with the right amount of post-installation tinkering. The Linux Mint distro clearly is the gold standard for measuring Cinnamon desktop integration. Linux Mint's developers turned the GNOME desktop alternative into one of the best Linux desktop choices. Linux Mint Cinnamon, however, may have lost some of its fresh minty flavor. The gold standard for version 19.1 Tessa seems to be a bit tarnished when compared to some other distros offering a Cinnamon environment. Given that the current Linux Mint version was released at the end of last December, it may be a bit odd for me to focus on a review some five months later. Linux Mint is my primary driver, though, so at long last I am getting around to sharing my lukewarm experiences. I have run Linux Mint Cinnamon on three primary work and testing computers since parting company with Ubuntu Linux Unity and several other Ubuntu flavors many years ago. I have recommended Linux Mint enthusiastically to associates and readers in my personal and professional roles. Read more