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Hardware

GNU/Linux on Devices and Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • Linux-driven module and starter kit tap Renesas RZ/G2

    TQ’s “TQMaRZG2x” module runs Linux on a dual- to octa-core, Cortex-A57 and -A53 based RZ/G2 processor with up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC plus an optional dev kit and -40 to 85°C support.

    When reporting on the SMARC 2.0 SoM collaboration between Renesas and RelySys last week featuring Renesas’ scalable, 64-bit RZ/G2 processor, we saw that we missed a September announcement from TQ Embedded about its own RZ/G2 module. The 77 x 50mm TQMaRZG2x is listed as “new” and is available with an optional new Embedded Starterkit STKaRZG2x evaluation board. The module is the first of several Renesas based products from TQ.

  • Mass-Produced, Librem 5 Linux Smartphone Begins Shipping to Customers

    Their announcement notes their work on software making desktop applications "adaptive" to phone form factors, adding "This suite of software has now become the most popular software stack to use on other handheld Linux hardware." And they close with an appreciative comment from Purism's founder and CEO Todd Weaver:

    "Shipping the Librem 5 has been an immense multi-year developmental effort. It is the culmination of people's desire to see an alternative to Android and iOS and fund it, coupled with dedication from a team of experts addressing hardware, kernel, operating system, and applications that has turned a lofty near-impossible goal into reality. We have built a strong foundation and with the continued support of customers, the community, and developers, we will continue to deliver revolutionary products like the Librem 5 running PureOS."

  • Understanding Open Source Hardware

    Open source hardware is “a set of design principles and legal practices, not a specific type of object,” says Opensource.com. Thus, although the term is often associated with electronics, it can apply to other objects as well, including boats, houses, industrial machines, and medical devices.

    The main principles defining open source hardware are similar to those of open source software. The Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Definition 1.0 is in fact “based on the Open Source Definition for Open Source Software, which was created by Bruce Perens and the Debian developers as the Debian Free Software Guidelines.”

  • Evaluating Precursor’s Hardware Security « bunnie's blog

    Hardware security is a multi-faceted problem. First, there is the question of “can I trust this piece of hardware was built correctly?”; specifically, are there implants and back doors buried in the hardware? We refer to this as the “supply chain problem”. It is a particularly challenging problem, given the global nature of our supply chains, with parts pulled from the four corners of the world, passing through hundreds of hands before reaching our doorstep. Precursor addresses this problem head-on with open, verifiable hardware: the keyboard, display, and motherboard are easy to access and visually inspect for correct construction. No factory or third-party tool is ever trusted with secret material. Precursor is capable of generating its own secret keys and sealing them within the hardware, without additional tools.

    We also use a special kind of logic chip for the CPU – an FPGA – configured by the user, not the factory, to be exactly the CPU that the user specified. Crucially, most users have no evidence-based reason to trust that a CPU contains exactly what it claims to contain; few have the inspection capability to verify a chip in a non-destructive manner. On the other hand, with an FPGA, individual users can craft and inspect CPU bitstreams with readily available tools. Furthermore, the design can be modified and upgraded to incorporate countermeasures against hardware exploits discovered in the FPGA’s underlying fabric. In other words, the current trustability situation for an ASIC-style CPU is basically “I surrender”, whereas with an FPGA, users have the power to configure and patch their CPUs.

    [...]

    Once Precursor has been glued shut, we propose the easiest method to recover the ciphertext and to gain access to the JTAG ports is to put the Precursor device into a precision CNC milling machine, mill out the PCB from the back side, and then place the remaining assembly into a pogo-pin based mechanism to perform the readout. This of course destroys the Precursor device in the process, but it is probably the most direct and reliable method of recovering the encryption keys, as it is very similar to an existing technique used for certain types of attacks on iPhones. Storing keys in BBRAM can greatly complicate the task of milling out the PCB by creating a high risk of accidental key erasure, but a sufficiently precise CNC with a non-conductive ceramic bit, or a precision laser-based ablation milling system can reduce the risk of key loss substantially. Cryogenic cooling of the FPGA chip itself may also help to preserve key material in the case of very short accidental power glitches.

  • ASUS unveils Tinker Board 2 SBC with faster Rockchip RK3399 / OP1 processor

    ASUS surprised the maker community in 2017 with the introduction of the Rochchip RK3288 powered Tinker Board to compete as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It was followed by Tinker Board S with built-in storage and other new features, as well as Tinker Board Edge T and Edge R SBC’s both with an AI accelerator namely Google Edge TPU and the NPU inside Rockchip RK3399Pro. The company has now launched a new model called Tinker Board 2 without AI accelerator, but featuring Rockchip RK3399, or more exactly the higher grade Rockchip OP1 used in Chromebooks, delivering 96% faster single-thread performance and a 64% boost in multi-core performance compared to the Rockchip RK3288 processor found in the original Tinker Board, while the GPU is around 28% faster with glmark2-es2 off-screen benchmark.

  • $89 Lite3DP resin 3D printer fits in the palm of your hand (Crowdfunding)

    I thought Selpic A-star 3D printer we recently covered was already small, but if you’re looking for an ultra-portable printer, it will be hard to beat the Arduino-based, open-source hardware Lite3DP resin 3D printer that can fit in the palm of your hand, and weighs just around 350 grams.

User-hostile Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
Microsoft
Mac
  • Linus Torvalds wants Apple’s new M1-powered Macs to run Linux

    Earlier this month, Apple revealed its own ARM-based M1 processor, along with new MacBooks and a desktop Mac Mini powered by this chip. Reviewers across the globe have been praising Apple‘s first attempt, giving it high marks for performance and battery life.

    All this positive coverage has tempted many to take the plunge and buy one of the new machines — even if some apps are not running natively at the moment. Even Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, wants one.

    [...]

    Linux support on MacBooks would’ve made it a more attractive bet for programmers. However, I don’t think any engineers at the Cupertino campus plan to make that happen anytime soon. Sorry, Linus.

  • New Microsoft chip will come with added costs, says ex-NSA hacker

    Microsoft's new security chip, announced last week, will have an impact on hardware-only attacks, an American security professional says, adding that it could also assist in firmware security, but would result in added costs.

Open Hardware: RISC-V and Raspberry Pi

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Hardware
  • ESP32-C3 WiFi & BLE RISC-V processor is pin-to-pin compatible with ESP8266

    When we reported about ESP32-S2-MINI modules last September, we also noted Espressif teased us with ESP32-S3 and ESP32-C3 with close to no details. ESP32-S3 is expected to be a multi-core WiFI & Bluetooth processor with AI instructions/accelerator, but there were no details about ESP32-C3 at all, and we only found out it would be a RISC-V processor several weeks ago.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 doing domotics

    There does not seem to be any packages for Domoticz. The standard installation method seem to be using an installer shell script. By default, running that script with require root access, to add package dependencies, and will install Domoticz as you current user. I want a dedicated user to run Domoticz ; neither root, nor myself.

  • Classify your trash with Raspberry Pi

Open Hardware/Modding: AOSP and Arduino Projects

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Khadas VIM3 & VIM3L SBC's become Android reference boards

    If you need to work on the very latest development version of Android or AOSP, you can either get one of the supported phones such as Google Pixel 5, one of the reference boards for Android which should be better for development and also fairly cheaper. We previously reported about Hikey, Hikey960, and DragonBoard 845c single board computers being part of the short list of reference boards for the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP), but Amlogic powered Khadas VIM3 and VIM3L have recently been added to the official devices page which makes them the first AOSP reference boards with a dedicated NPU / AI accelerator.

  • Arduino Blog » Monitor your heart rate while asleep with ZazHRM

    Have you ever wondered what your heart rate looked like when you were catching some Zs? Or perhaps you would like to check up on how someone nearby is sleeping, without actually disturbing that person. The ZazHRM monitoring system by Alan Do lets you do both, with a pulse sensor hooked up to an Arduino Uno, which in turn sends data to an Android phone in almost real-time via Bluetooth.

    The receiving device runs an MIT App Inventor routine, which can output alarms if the person under observation’s heart rate goes out of range. Results are also logged for later analysis.

  • Arduino Blog » What’s not to love about this realistic beating heart?

    This little motor rotates back and forth under control of an Arduino Uno, making it appear to pulse up and down on a table. One could see this enhanced in a variety of ways, perhaps with a bit of fake blood for an even more lifelike look, or with inputs to the Arduino for interactive capabilities.

Announcing coreboot 4.13

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Hardware

coreboot 4.13 was released on November 20th, 2020.

Since 4.12 there were 4200 new commits by over 234 developers.
Of these, about 72 contributed to coreboot for the first time.

Thank you to all developers who again helped made coreboot better
than ever, and a big welcome to our new contributors!

Read more

Hackers' Devices and Programming

Filed under
Development
Hardware
  • SiFive Pushes Open Source RISC-V Silicon Closer to Prime Time | Data Center Knowledge

    The open source RISC-V silicon specification flexes it's muscle with a new developers' board its maker, SiFive, is calling a PC.

  • Read RFID and NFC tokens with Raspberry Pi | HackSpace 37
  • Python OS module Common Methods – Linux Hint

    Python is a popular general-purpose programming language of recent times. It provides many built-in modules and functions to perform specific tasks. Python OS module allows performing the operating system related tasks. The OS module comes pre-installed in Python. The OS modules have many built-in functions to retrieve and interact with the file system. This article explains some functions of the OS module with examples.

  • Vue.js Click Events – Linux Hint

    Vue.js is a very powerful, easy to learn, and approachable library that with the knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, we can start building web applications in it. Vue.js is built by combining the best features from already existing Angular and react Frameworks. It is a progressive and reactive Javascript framework that is used to build UIs (User Interfaces) and SPAs (Single-page Applications), which is why the developers love to code and feel freedom and comfort while developing applications in Vue.js.If we take a look at the Event Listening and Handling in Vue.js., we will know that it provides a “v-on” directive to listen and handle events. We can use the “v-on” directive to listen to the DOM and perform the required tasks. It also provides many event handlers. However, in this article, we will only learn and keep our focus on the click events. So, let’s get started!

TUXEDO InfinityBook S 14 Linux Laptop Gets Tiger Lake CPU Upgrade, Thunderbolt 4 Support

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Hardware

The TUXEDO InfinityBook S 14 laptop is the perfect computer for people who are always on the go and also love Linux. It features a 16.8 mm thin, magnesium alloy case and weights less than 1.1 kg, while also offering huge battery life to keep you working all day long `and a lid tiltable at 180 degrees.

And now the Linux laptop it gets even better thanks to the addition of the 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 “Tiger Lake” CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads, and integrated Intel Iris Xe high-performance graphics, as well as a full featured USB-C 4.0 port with Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort 1.4b, and Power Delivery DC-In support.

Read more

SolidRun's Latest

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • SolidRun launches i.MX 8M Plus SOM and devkit for AI/ML applications

    SolidRun already offers NXP based solutions with AI accelerators through products such as SolidRun i.MX 8M Mini SoM with Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2803S AI accelerator, or Janux GS31 Edge AI server with NXP LX2160A networking SoC, various i.MX 8M SoCs and up to 128 Gyrfalcon accelerators.

    All those solutions are based on one or more external Gyrfalcon AI chips, but earlier this year, NXP introduced i.MX 8M Plus SoC with a built-in 2.3 TOPS neural processing unit (NPU), and now SolidRun has just unveiled the SolidRun i.MX 8M Plus SoM with the processor together with development kits based on HummingBoard carrier boards.

  • SolidRun takes on Google's Raspberry Pi-like computer

    Israeli edge-computing outfit SolidRun has launched a new lineup of Raspberry Pi-like computers based on NXP's new i.MX 8M Plus application processor.

    SolidRun makes edge computing kit containing Arm-based and Intel chips. Earlier this year, it teamed up with application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip manufacturer Gyrfalcon Technology to build the Arm-based, Linux Janux GS31 AI inference server.

  • [Repeated] SolidRun's i.MX8M Plus module launches with HummingBoard Mate board

    The iMX8M Plus CoM supports Linux (Debian 10 and Yocto 3.1 “Dunfell”) or Android 10 on dual- or quad-core models of the i.MX8M Plus. The module ships with up to 8GB LPDDR4-4000, with optional ECC, and has an eMMC socket. A module with 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0 is optional.

GNU/Linux Devices: Raspberry Pi, Tinker Board 2, Librem 5 and More

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • SolidRun's i.MX8M Plus module launches with HummingBoard Mate board

    The iMX8M Plus CoM supports Linux (Debian 10 and Yocto 3.1 “Dunfell”) or Android 10 on dual- or quad-core models of the i.MX8M Plus. The module ships with up to 8GB LPDDR4-4000, with optional ECC, and has an eMMC socket. A module with 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0 is optional.

  • Allwinner H6 SBC is loaded with media features

    Boardcon’s 4K-ready “EMH6” SBC runs Android on a quad -A53 Allwinner H6 with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, Fast and GbE LAN ports, HDMI 2.0, eDP, RGB, CVBS, analog and digital audio, 2x USB, and an M.2 slot.

    Boardcon is targeting the 4K OTT, DVB, and IPTV set-top markets with an EMH6 SBC that runs Android 7.1.2 on Allwinner’s media-friendly Allwinner H6. The H6 SoC, which supports 4KP60 HDR video, is found on Linux/Android hacker boards including Pine64’s Pine H64 Model B and Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi 3.

  • Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 With New Form Factor Announced For $25

    In a surprise move, Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new addition to its family of single board computers – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. It is a simmered down variant of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with a new form factor. The Compute Module 4 is aimed at users who want a compact form factor or onboard eMMC storage.

    It is based on the same 64-bit quad-core BCM2711 application processor as Raspberry Pi 4 but brings faster CPU cores, better multimedia, and interfacing capabilities. With Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, the Pi foundation has, for the first time, introduced different RAM options for users to choose from along with wireless connectivity options.

  • Lilbits: Single board PCs, under-display cameras, and YouTube angers… everyone

    The latest Asus Tinker Board single-board-computers are the Tinker Board 2 with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and up to 4GB of RAM, and the Tinker Board 2S, which also has 16GB of onboard eMMC storage. Both also support microSD cards.

  • Librem 5 Visual Walkthrough

    Lilbits: Single board PCs, under-display cameras, and YouTube angers… everyone

  • BBC Doctor Who "HiFive Inventor" Coding Kit aims to teach IoT to kids

    In what should be one of the first RISC-V education platforms, the BBC, Tynker, and SiFive have just announced the BBC Doctor Who “HiFive Inventor” Coding Kit that comes with an MCU board with WiFi & Bluetooth and guided lessons for kids that teach them to code for the IoT.

    The HiFive Inventor board is based on a SiFive FE310 RISC-V microcontroller ( the same chip as found in the HiFive1 board) and an ESP32 Solo module for WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.x/5.x connectivity. Just like the BBC Micro:bit, HiFive Inventor provides a kids-friendly edge connector with I/O, an LED matrix, sensors, and more.

Raspberry Pi News and Bits

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • 8-MOSFET solid-state power driver works with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ESP32 and other maker boards (Crowdfunding)

    Using inexpensive relays to switch AC or DC loads work well in most cases, but those relays will be quickly damaged when faced with high DC voltages, fast switching times, or other endurance requirements for which MOSFET’s are better suited, and that’s why MOSFET power supplies are found in 3D printers. Sequent Microsystems has made a habit to provide specialized Raspberry Pi HAT with relays or terminals for resistance temperature detectors that are stackable to supports a larger number for I/O or sensors. The company is now back at it with the 8-MOSFET stackable, DIN-rail mountable board that works not only with Raspberry Pi SBC, but also popular Arduino, ESP32, and other maker boards.

  • Box86 is an x86 Emulator for Raspberry Pi and other 32-bit Arm platforms

    Last week, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan project status and future plans, and one person commented they are currently trying to get dxdk to work Box86, and that CNX Software should write about the latter. Cool, but what does that mean? dxdk is an open-source Vulkan-based implementation of D3D9, D3D10, and D3D11 for Linux, and Box86 is a Linux userspace x86 emulator that works on 32-bit Arm targets like the Raspberry Pi SBC.

  • Building A Dashcam With The Raspberry Pi Zero W | Linux Journal

    I've been playing around with the Raspberry Pi Zero W lately and having so much fun on the command line. For those uninitiated it's a tiny Arm computer running Raspbian, a derivative of Debian. It has a 1 GHz processor that had the ability to be overclocked and 512 MB of RAM, in addition to wireless g and bluetooth.

    [...]

    I wanted the camera and Pi Zero W mounted on the dashboard and to be removed with ease. On boot it should autostart the RamDashCam (RDC) and there should also be 4 desktop scripts dashcam.sh, startdashcam.sh, stopdashcam.sh, shutdownshutdown.sh. Also create and a folder named video on the Desktop for the older video files. I also needed a way to power the RDC when there is no power to the vehicle's usb ports. Lastly I wanted it's data accessible on the local LAN when the vehicle is at home.

  • Raspberry Pi vs Jetson Nano: The Differences in 2020
  • Defeat evil with a Raspberry Pi foam-firing spy camera
  • Best Raspberry Pi Cluster Case [Ed: The link there is spammy]
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Xfce Virtual Machine Images For Development

The openSUSE distributions offer a variety of graphical desktop environments, one of them being the popular and lightweight Xfce. Up to now there was the stable tested branch available in Tumbleweed already during install. Furthermore, for interested users the development OBS repository xfce:next offered a preview state of what’s coming up next to Tumbleweed. Xfce Development in openSUSE Thanks to the hard work of openSUSE’s Xfce team there is a third option: Xfce Development Repository aka RAT In a playful way, a rat is meant to represent the unpolished nature of this release: a rat is scruffy looking compared to a mouse (the cute and beloved mascot of Xfce). And the RAT repository provides packages automatically built right from the Git Master Branch of Xfce upstream development. The goal of this project is to test and preview the new software so that bugs can be spotted and fixed ahead of time by contributing upstream. The packages pull in source code state on a daily basis and offer a quite convenient way to test and eventually help development. So this is where the team builds and tests the latest and unstable releases of Xfce Desktop Environment for openSUSE. Read more

Radeon RX 6800 Series Performance Comes Out Even Faster With Newest Linux Code

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today's howtos

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Android Leftovers