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Talos II Lite

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

    For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

    The Talos II Lite is still a very competent beast of a system and features a single POWER9 CPU socket, EATX chassis, 500W ATX power supply, and is sold as a barebones package. The Talos II Lite motherboard supports up to the 22-core POWER9 CPU, eight DDR4 ECC RAM slots, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, one PCI Express 4.0 x8 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

  • A little Talos of your very own

    Overall, that $3300 really does translate into greatly improved expandability in addition to the beefier power supplies, and thus it was never really an option for my needs personally. Maybe my mini:Quad analogy wasn't so off base. But if you want to join the POWER9 revolution on a budget and give Chipzilla the finger, as all right-thinking nerds should, you've now got an option that only requires passing a kidneystone of just half the size or less. It ships starting in July.

Gadgets With Linux or Modding

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Open-source WearOS alternative “AsteroidOS” now available for several smartwatches
  • AsteroidOS 1.0 released: Open source smartwatch operating system (for Wear OS devices)
  • AsteroidOS 1.0, an open source smartwatch OS, released for certain Android Wear watches
  • Building a DIY amp kit that's great for vinyl records

    About a week after I wrapped up my last article where I talked about needing another stage of amplification to take advantage of my new 0.4mV phono cartridge, all the remaining bits and pieces I had ordered online to build the Muffsy phono head amplifier kit arrived. I had the amplifier kit, the power supply kit, the back-panel kit (all from Muffsy), the case (from a very efficient supplier in China), the temperature-controlled soldering station, and the wall wart (from a very efficient supplier in California).

    I watched the entertaining "how to solder" videos linked on Muffsy's site and realized I needed a few more things—like the thin solder mentioned on those videos and some solder wick. So, on an unusually bright and sunny Saturday morning, I visited a local electronics supply store, picked up the last items, and started building.

    [...]

    I contacted "the person behind Muffsy," Håvard Skrodahl, with some questions. He responded very quickly, and we ended up having a most delightful conversation. Moreover, it turns out Håvard is a system administrator and does this "kit thing" as a side gig. We discussed (or maybe lamented) that "back in the good old days" it was possible to buy all sorts of electronics kits, from Heathkit, Dynaco, David Hafler, and others. Today, there are still audio kits available, but it seems to be of lesser interest. Too bad! I am very grateful to Håvard for open sourcing so much of his materials.

  • UP Core SBC begins shipments

    Aaeon has begun shipping its community-backed “UP Core” SBC starting at $99, featuring a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi, BT, HDMI, USB 3.0, and RPi HAT compatibility.

    Aaeon has achieved volume production for its UP Core SBC, a smaller (66 x 56.5mm) version of the UP board. The UP Core supports the same OSes as the UP — Android 6.0, Ubuntu, Ubilinux, and Yocto based Linux, as well as Windows 10 and Windows IoT Core — running on the same quad-core, up to 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family.

Open Hardware: RISC-V and 3-D Printing

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Develop your Linux apps on this RISC-V board

    A funny thing happened on the way to a writing up this hardware announcement. Going through all the cool features (which I’ll get to in a minute), I realized that this announcement is really about the software, whether that was the intention or not.

  • RISC-V Benchmarks Of SiFive's HiFive Unleashed Begin Appearing

    Over the past week, benchmarks of this first RISC-V development board have begun appearing on OpenBenchmarking.org by the Phoronix Test Suite. Here are some of those initial benchmark numbers.

    SiFive's HiFive Unleashed as a reminder is the first RISC-V Linux development board and uses the Freedom U540 SoC. SiFive claims this is the "world's fastest RISC-V processor" and is in a 4+1 multi-core design with clock speeds up to 1.5GHz, features a 2MB L2 cache, Gigabit Ethernet, 64-bit DDR4 with ECCm and is manufactured on a 28nm process. The HiFive Unleashed development board has 8GB of DDR4, 32MB quad SPI flash, microSD card for storage, and more via SiFive.com.

  • paradiddle, an open-source 3D-printed drumming prosthesis by dominic siguang ma

    ‘paradiddle’, an essential rudiment of drum beats, is an open-source 3D-printed upper-extremity prosthesis designed specifically for amputee drummer by young china-born and USA-based designer dominic siguang ma. to develop unique features that would allow the drummer to play more intuitively and comfortably, the designer worked with renowned amputee drummer greg anton.

Devices: Advantech, Alphamax, EVOC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Advantech continues its Arm push with QuadMax based Qseven module

    Advantech’s “ROM-7720” Qseven module runs Linux or Android on a hexa-core i.MX8 QuadMax with 4K, USB 3.0, PCIe, and SATA. The company is also partnering with Timesys on security services for its Arm-based boards and is co-hosting a Timesys webinar on the topic.

    We missed Advantech’s announcement about the NXP i.MX8 QuadMax based ROM-7720 module in the flurry of embedded news coming out of Embedded World show in late February. Full specs have now been posted for the 70 x 70mm Qseven 2.1 form-factor module, which is expected to ship in Q4. In related news, Timesys recently announced it is partnering with Advantech on security solutions for its Arm-based boards, and will host a webinar series on the topic starting May 17 (see farther below).

  • FPGA-driven Raspberry Pi add-on enables overlays on encrypted video

    Alphamax is crowdfunding an open source “NeTV2” video development add-on board for the Raspberry Pi with an Artix-7 FPGA, 4x PCIe lanes, 2x HDMI inputs, 2x HDMI outputs, and Python programming for overlaying content on encrypted video signals.

    Back in 2016, hardware hacker Bunnie Huang joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to sue the U.S. government to overturn the “onerous provisions” of Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The provisions restrict access to copyrighted material “even where people want to make noninfringing fair uses of the materials they are accessing,” according to the EFF.

  • 15-inch touch-panel PC runs on Skylake or Bay Trail

    EVOC’s “PPC-1561” is a 15.6-inch, HD-ready, capacitive touch-panel computer with a 7th Gen “Skylake-U” or Bay Trail Celeron CPU, IP65 protection, SATA, mini-PCIe, and up to 4x GbE, 6x COM, and 6x USB ports.

Linux-Friendly Arduino Simplifies IoT Development

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Arduino’s support for Linux IoT devices and single-board computers (SBCs) announced at the Embedded Linux Conference+Open IoT Summit NA in March cemented Arduino’s focus on cloud-connected IoT development, extending its reach into edge computing. This move was likely driven by multiple factors — increased complexity of IoT solutions and, secondarily, by more interest in Arduino boards running Linux.

In a “blending” of development communities for the masses — Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone — Arduino’s support for Linux-based boards lowers the barrier of development for IoT devices by combining Arduino’s sensor and actuator nodes with higher processor-powered boards like Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone. Top this with a user-friendly web wizard to connect the Linux boards via the cloud and it simplifies the entire process.

The expanded support for more architectures by the cloud-connected Arduino Create web platform is an inevitable and natural evolution of Arduino’s mission that was born out of a thought to simplify complex technologies with easy-to-use and open-source software, enabling anybody to innovate by making complex technologies simple to use.

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Linux-based networking SBC features five GbE ports and optional SFP

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Gateworks has launched a rugged, headless “Newport GW6400” SBC that runs Linux on a dual- or quad-core Cavium OcteonTX with 3x mini-PCIe, 2x USB 3.0, 5x GbE ports (2x with PoE) and optional SFP.

Last November, Gateworks announced a new product family of rugged Newport SBCs that run OpenWrt or Ubuntu on Cavium’s dual or quad-core ARMv8.1 Octeon TX networking SoCs. The debut model was a 105 x 100mm GW6300 SBC. Now, Gateworks has followed up with the promised high-end, 140 x 100mm Newport GW6400 model, which has 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of 3x on the GW6300. Later this year we’ll see a GW6100 with a single gigabit port and a GW6200 with 2x GbE.

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Devices: Green Hills Software 'Spam', Librem 5 Design, VIA Kit, Android P

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Choosing between Embedded Linux or a proprietary real-time operating system [Ed: "Author Bio: Marcus Nissemark is a Field Applications Engineer at Green Hills Software" - so it's not really an article or a comparison but a commercial for his employer's proprietary software]
  • Librem 5 design report #5

    Hello everyone! A lot has happened behind the scenes since my last design report. Until now, I have been reporting on our design work mainly on the software front, but our effort is obviously not limited to that. The experience that people can have with their physical device is also very important. So in this post I will summarize some recent design decisions we have made both on the software side and the hardware product “experience” design.

  • VIA Joins In The AI Race, Linux/Android Support For Their New Developer Kit

    It's been a while since last seeing any interesting products out of VIA with having been focusing on digital signage solutions and fabricating some basic ARM boards. The company has been exploring deep learning and AI and today announced the VIA Edge AI Developer Kit.

    The VIA Edge AI Developer Kit isn't powered by any of their own ARM SoCs (or VIA-owned WonderMedia) or even VIA/Zhaoxin x86 processors, but rather have tapped Qualcomm with their Snapdragon 820E platform. 

    [...]

    Those interested in learning more about this Linux/Android-powered Edge AI Developer Kit can do so at ViaTech.com. The complete kit will set you back $629 while just the module and carrier board are $569 USD and if you want a 10.1-inch MIPI LCD touch panel that is an additional $179.

  • The Best New Features in Android P, Available Now in Beta
  • Android P Tackles Phone Addiction, Distraction

    Google on Tuesday revealed some major new features in the next version of its Android operating system for mobile devices.

    Now in public beta, the OS known as "Android P" includes features designed to address growing concerns about phone addiction and distraction.

    For example, a dashboard will show users how often, when and for how long they use each application on their phone. What's more, they can set time limits on usage.

'Open' Photography and Hardware (RISC-V)

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Building a freedom-based photography community

    Several years ago, Pat David, an engineer, a photographer, and a member of the GIMP team, realized there was no central place for people interested in photography to learn about free and open source creative software and methods. He was also unhappy to see that most of the open source photography tutorials didn't measure up to his quality standards.

    Thus was born Pixls.us, a site "to provide tutorials, workflows, and a showcase for high-quality photography using nothing but free software." Pat and Pixls.us also advocate for releasing creative content under open licenses for others to use and reuse.

  • Microsemi and SiFive Launch HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board, Enabling Linux Software and Firmware Developers to Build RISC-V PCs for the First Time

    Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, today announced the launch of the HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board, its latest collaboration with SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors. Leveraging the two companies' strategic relationship as part of Microsemi's Mi-V™ RISC-V ecosystem, the new expansion board broadens the capabilities of SiFive's HiFive Unleashed RISC-V development board, further enabling software and firmware engineers to write Linux-based applications targeting a 1GhZ+ RISC-V 64 bit central processing unit (CPU).

  • RISC-V workshop

    I’m giving a talk tomorrow afternoon about Fedora on RISC-V.

Devices: RISC-V, Avalue, AOSP

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • RISC-V expansion board for Linux software and firmware developers

    In collaboration with SiFive, Microsemi has launched the HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board as part of its Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem, aiming to broaden the capabilities of SiFive's HiFive Unleashed RISC-V development board, further enabling software and firmware engineers to write Linux-based applications targeting a 1GhZ+ RISC-V 64 bit central processing unit (CPU).

  • Apollo Lake module lets you choose between GbE and extra PCIe

    Avalue, which last fall produced a Linux-ready EQM-APL Qseven module based on Intel’s Apollo Lake, has now returned with a 95 x 95mm COM Express Compact Type 6 module that taps the same system-on-chip family. In this case, the Atom models are not invited, but you can choose a quad-core Pentium N4200 or a dual-core Celeron N3350, both of which have a low 6W TDP. The module supports Linux 4.5 or later, as well as Windows 10 Enterprise.

  • Win a device from Sony by becoming a Hero Open Source Developer

    Sony is one of the largest contributors to the Android Open Source Project, bringing us RRO themes and more. The company has always been fairly open in development as well, running its Sony Open Devices Program to entice people to contribute to Sony device development and get custom ROMs running. To further entice people into helping contribute to AOSP development on these devices, the company is reopening the Hero Open Source Developer initiative, which aims to repay developers who contribute heavily to AOSP development on Sony devices.

Powerful GNU/Linux Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
  • Upgrading the home server rack

    My original home server rack is being upgraded to use more ARM machines as the infrastructure of the lab itself. I've also moved house, so there is more room for stuff and kit. This has allowed space for a genuine machine room. I will be using that to host test devices which are do not need manual intervention despite repeated testing. (I'll also have the more noisy / brightly illuminated devices in the machine room.) The more complex devices will sit on shelves in the office upstairs. (The work to put the office upstairs was a major undertaking involving my friends Steve and Andy - embedding ethernet cables into the walls of four rooms in the new house. Once that was done, the existing ethernet cable into the kitchen could be fixed (Steve) and then connected to my new Ubiquity AP, (a present from Steve and Andy)).

    Before I moved house, I found that the wall mounted 9U communications rack was too confined once there were a few devices in use. A lot of test devices now need many cables to each device. (Power, ethernet, serial, second serial and USB OTG and then add a relay board with it's own power and cables onto the DUT....)

    Devices like beaglebone-black, cubietruck and other U-Boot devices will go downstairs, albeit in a larger Dell 24U rack purchased from Vince who has moved to a larger rack in his garage. Vince also had a gigabit 16 port switch available which will replace the Netgear GS108 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch downstairs.

  • A semi-review of the Raptor Talos II

    After several days of messing with firmware and a number of false starts, the Talos II is now a functioning member of the Floodgap internal network. It's under my desk with my other main daily drivers (my Quad G5, MDD G4, SGI Fuel and DEC Alpha 164LX) and shares a KVM. Thanks to the diligent folks at Raptor, who incredibly responded to my late night messages at 2am Pacific, the fans are now much more manageable and I'm able to get proper video output from the Radeon WX 7100 (though more on that in a minute). As proof of its functionality, I'm typing this blogpost on the Talos instead of on the G5.

  •  

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