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Hardware

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

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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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Solar plant monitoring system taps Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Hardware

Storm Energy has upgraded its “SunSniffer” solar plant monitoring system to a Linux-based platform running on a Raspberry Pi SBC.

Germany-based Storm Energy is the latest of a growing number of companies building commercial products based on the hackable Raspberry Pi single board computer. The company’s SunSniffer system is designed to monitor photovoltaic (PV) solar power installations of all sizes, and the latest version can also control the equipment, says the company. The new SunSniffer version adds a Raspberry Pi SBC along with a custom expansion board and customized Linux OS, which combine to enhance the system’s flexibility and upgradability.

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Mile High Milestone: Tegra K1 “Denver” Will Be First 64-bit ARM Processor for Android

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Android
Hardware

This means that future mobile devices using our 64-bit Tegra K1 chip can offer PC-class performance for standard apps, extended battery life and the best web browsing experience – all while opening new possibilities for gaming, content creation and enterprise apps.

Look forward later this year to some amazing mobile devices based on the 64-bit Tegra K1 from our partners. And for hard-core Android fans, take note that we’re already developing the next version of Android – “L” – on the 64-bit Tegra K1.

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NVIDIA Performance Counters In Nouveau Hoped For With Linux 3.19

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Linux
Hardware

Samuel Pitoiset continues making steady, great progress on his Google Summer of Code project as a student developer reverse-engineering and implementing NVIDIA hardware performance counters within the open-source Nouveau driver.

For months now he's had a solid understanding of how NVIDIA's performance counters operate and has been working towards exposing them in a NVPerfKit-like open-source manner and exposing them to OpenGL developers. Samuel's latest update revealed his MP counter work was up to a prototype stage while today he has a new blog post concerning the approaches to exposing the performance counters in Nouveau.

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Lots Of New ARM Hardware To Be Supported By Linux 3.17

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Linux
Hardware

Several new ARM devices will be supported by the in-development Linux 3.17 kernel while some less-than-optimally-supported ARM hardware is also getting stripped from the mainline kernel tree.

Olof Johansson emailed in the large batch of ARM changes today for the Linux 3.17 merge window. Some highlights for the pull request consisting of around 750 patches include.

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Raspberry Pi add-on board controls entire buildings

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Linux
Hardware

UniPi is seeking Indiegogo funding for a Raspberry Pi add-on for building automation with analog and digital I/O, changeover relays, and 1-Wire interfaces.

The Raspberry Pi has found its way into many a home automation project, from lighting controls to automatic sprinkler systems, and is often used as a prototype for commercial systems. But is the modest RPi up for managing an entire building? No problem, says Czech startup UniPi, which is offering Indiegogo funding packages of 99 Euros ($133) and 109 Euros ($146) for its UniPi building automation add-on board.

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The Wacom Input Driver Gets Enhanced With Linux 3.17

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Hardware

The input subsystem pull request has been submitted for the Linux 3.17 merge window.

Among the items in the input pull sent in by Dmitry Torokhov is a rework of the Wacom driver, which now has been converted to the kernel's HID infrastructure and the USB/Bluetooth support has been unified where as previously Wacom was just treated as a USB driver. This big Wacom driver update was done by Benjamin Tissoires. In the Wacom space, there's also now a driver for serial Wacom devices.

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RasPi magazine launches today – get your free downloads here

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Hardware

Our brand new sister magazine RasPi is here! Issue #1 is out today, available to download through Apple’s App Store. It’s jam-packed full of amazing content and only costs 69p/99¢.

Each month we’ll be walking you through a big Pi project, showing off some of the best work in the community, sharing your tweets, letters and emails, and of course giving you a whole bunch of tutorials to teach you how to get the most from your Raspberry Pi and make amazing things with it.

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Leftovers: Software

Intel Beignet Is Working Out Surprisingly Well For OpenCL On Linux

Beignet is the project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center for exposing GPGPU/compute capabilities out of Ivy Bridge hardware and newer when using a fully open-source Linux stack. While Beignet differs greatly from Gallium3D's Clover state tracker, this Intel-specific open-source OpenCL implementation is working out quite well for Ubuntu Linux. While I've been writing about Intel's Beignet project since early 2013, it's probably been about a year now since I tried out the code, which is developed by Intel's OTC graphics team in China. This weekend I tried out Beignet v0.9.2 as trying out the newest Intel OpenCL code has been on my TODO list for a while and it's been working out rather well in my initial tests. Read more