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Hardware

MIPS tempts hackers with Raspbery Pi-like dev board

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Hardware
OSS

Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board.

In a bid to harness some of the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the ISA’s counter to ARM’s popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. These days, every processor vendor simply must have a community supported dev board in order to engage with the developer communities. (Incidentally, Intel’s is the MinnowBoard Max and AMD’s is the Gizmo.)

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Device Tree Overlay Support Lands Upstream

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Pantelis Antoniou originated device tree overlay support for the purpose of enabling dynamic hardware configuration under Linux on devices like BeagleBone that use device tree for hardware configuration. Device tree was introduced to Linux for the purpose of putting the description of hardware into data structures, rather than building it up programmatically, greatly reducing the amount of code required to be maintained within the Linux kernel sources. Until now, the device tree data structure was only processed at boot time and that simply can't work for devices that might change hardware configurations after boot. While many BeagleBone capes can be probed by the bootloader, a common use-case is hardware that is reconfigurable. The most obvious example is a cape with an FPGA on it.

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Re-Clocking Your NVIDIA GPU With Nouveau On Linux 3.17

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Linux
Hardware

If you are trying to re-clock your NVIDIA GPU with the Nouveau driver when using the Linux 3.17 kernel, there's an extra step involved, but still your mileage may vary and the re-clocking is still mostly for Kepler GPUs.

With the Nouveau driver changes for Linux 3.17 there are no magic breakthroughs when it comes to re-clocking -- allowing the GPU's core and memory clocks to run at their rated frequencies and voltages rather than any (often much lower) values programmed by the video BIOS at boot time. With Linux 3.17 came re-clocking for Kepler GPUs and now it works, but generally not all performance levels/states properly function. If you are running a GeForce 400/500 "Fermi" GPU or other generations of NVIDIA hardware aside from the few integrated mobile chipsets, chances are you're out of luck in being able to tap the full potential of the GPU when using this open-source, reverse-engineered NVIDIA GPU.

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Eltechs Debuts x86 Crossover Platform for ARM Tablets, Mini-PCs

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Linux
Hardware
Software

The product, called ExaGear Desktop, runs x86 operating systems on top of hardware devices using ARMv7 CPUs. That's significant because x86 software, which is the kind that runs natively on most computing platforms today, does not generally work on ARM hardware unless software developers undertake the considerable effort of porting it. Since few are likely to do that, having a way to run x86 applications on ARM devices is likely to become increasingly important as more ARM-based tablets and portable computers come to market.

That said, the ExaGear Desktop, which Eltechs plans to make available next month, currently has some steep limitations. First, it only supports Ubuntu Linux. And while Eltechs said support for additional Linux distributions is forthcoming, there's no indication the product will be able to run x86 builds of Windows on ARM hardware, a feat that is likely to be in much greater demand than Linux compatibility.

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The Many Things You Can Build With A Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Red Hat
Hardware

Ruth Suehle and Tom Callaway are presenting at LinuxCon 2014 Chicago tomorrow about many different Raspberry Pi hacks and other Linux capabilities of these low-cost, low-performance single board computers.

The two Fedora contributors cover the back-story of the Raspberry Pi for anyone that's been sleeping under a rock, how to go about getting parts for the RPi, and the process to get Linux running on the ~$35 ARMv6 system. With Linux running on the Raspberry Pi, the possibilities are nearly endless for this low-cost development-friendly board.

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Raspberry Pi Devices Spread in Schools, Help Teach Programming

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Linux
Hardware

According to a new DigiTimes report, sales of credit-card sized Raspberry Pi devices, which run Linux, remain very strong. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that 3.5 million units have sold worldwide, with demand from China and Taiwan staying strong. The devices are helping to teach children basic programming skills and are arriving in educational systems all around the world.

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Raspberry Pi was created to solve talent crisis at Cambridge: Eben Upton [Interview]

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Development
Hardware
Interviews

Raspberry Pi needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular credit card sized single board computers which has become a revolution in its own right. The $25 (and $35 for B model) hardware is being used in so many fields that it’s hard to keep a tab on it.

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Project aims to build “fully open” SoC and dev board

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Hardware
OSS

A non-profit company is developing an open source, 64-bit “lowRISC” SoC that will enable fully open hardware, “from the CPU core to the development board.”

University of Cambridge spinoff “lowRISC” is a not-for-profit company with a goal of making a completely open computing eco-system, including the instruction set architecture (ISA), processor silicon, and development boards. The first step is to develop a new system-on-chip design based on the new, 64-bit RISC-V ISA developed at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Linux-based controller mixes Atom SoC with Kintex-7 FPGA

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

NI’s new 4-slot CompactRIO control system combines a dual-core Atom E3825 with a Kintex-7 FPGA, and features industrial temperatures and NI Real-Time Linux.

The National Instruments (NI) “CompactRIO 4-slot Performance Controller” is the high end “performance” big brother to NI’s “value” CompactRIO cRIO-9068 model, introduced a year ago. Whereas the cRIO-9068 runs NI Linux Real-Time OS on a Xilinx ARM+FPGA hybrid Zynq-7020 system-on-chip, the new CompactRIO splits processing duty between an Intel Atom processor and a higher-end Xilinx Kintex-7 325T FPGA. The CompactRIO uses a dual-core, 1.33GHz Atom E3825 SoC from the latest, 22nm Bay-Trail-I generation, featuring a relatively low, 6 Watt TDP.

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Raspberry Pi-powered Bigtrak

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Hardware
Gadgets

The Raspberry Pi is a small, low-cost computer designed to promote an interest in computing and programming – but it doesn’t have to be straight-laced computing. In fact, in this article we’ll be showing you how you can use it to turn a Bigtrak into a robot. That’s educational, right?

The Bigtrak is a toy that takes in a list of straightforward commands (Go forwards, turn left, turn right) and then executes them. To make things more interesting we’re going to remove the existing circuitry and replace it with a Raspberry Pi, using a small motor driver to safely control the motors in the Bigtrak, which we’ll then set up to be controlled via a PlayStation 3 DualShock controller.

Everything required on the software side comes pre- installed on the latest Raspbian OS images, so all we need to translate changes from the controller to the motors is a small Python script that uses the Pygame and RPI.GPIO modules.

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