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Devices: AirTab, ASUS PN50 and Raspberry Pi

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Devices: Linux Plumbers Conference, RISC-V and Advantech

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  • Linux Plumbers Conference: Linux Plumbers Conference Registration Opening Postponed

    The committee is relentlessly working on recreating online the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) experience that we have all come to appreciate, and take for granted, over the past few years.

    We had initially planned to open registration on June 15th. While travel planning is not one, there are still very many aspects of the conference being worked on. We are now aiming to open registration for Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) on June 23rd.

    Right now we have shortlisted BigBlueButton as our online conferencing solution. One of our objectives is to run LPC 2020 online on a full open software stack.

  • Real-time Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Real-time Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

    After another successful Real-time microconference at LPC last year, there’s still more to work to be done. The PREEMPT_RT patch set (aka “The Real-Time Patch”) was created in 2004 in the effort to make Linux into a hard real-time designed operating system. Over the years much of the RT patch has made it into mainline Linux, which includes: mutexes, lockdep, high resolution timers, Ftrace, RCU_PREEMPT, priority inheritance, threaded interrupts and much more. There’s just a little left to get RT fully into mainline, and the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in view. It is expected that the RT patch will be in mainline within a year (and possibly before Plumbers begins!), which changes the topics of discussion. Once it is in Linus’s tree, a whole new set of issues must be handled.

  • WCH CH32V103 General-Purpose RISC-V MCU Offers an Alternative to GD32V RISC-V Microcontroller

    Last year, WCH introduced their first RISC-V MCU with CH572 Bluetooth LE microcontroller which came with 10KB SRAM and a not so convenient 96KB OTP flash. But I’ve just been informed the company has introduced their first general-purpose RISC-V MCU family with several CH32V103 microcontrollers featuring up to 64KB Flash and 20KB SRAM, and all sort of peripherals you’d expect from a general-purpose MCU.

  • Linux-ready, 3.5-inch Coffee Lake SBC has four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports

    Advantech’s 3.5-inch “MIO-5393” SBC ships with Ubuntu 18.04 and Win 10 images and an 8th/9th Gen Coffee Lake-H CPU and offers triple display support, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, and 2x M.2 slots.

    Advantech has launched a semi-rugged 3.5-inch SBC that supports Intel’s 9th and 8th Gen Coffee Lake/Refresh processors. The Linux-ready MIO-5393 shares some features with the company’s less feature-rich, 3.5-inch MIO-5373, which runs on 8th Gen Whiskey Lake CPUs. Applications include military defense micro-servers, AOI machines, passenger information systems, outdoor kiosks, railways, and factory environments.

GNU/Linux on Raspberry Pi and Jetson Xavier NX

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Hardware News and Open Hardware: Qualcomm, Intel, AMD, ARM, and Raspberry Pi

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  • Qualcomm IPQ8074 Embedded Board Offers 802.11ax WiFI 6 12×12 MIMO DBDC Connectivity

    Qualcomm IPQ8074 802.11ax WiFi 6 SoC was first unveiled in 2017 and designed for high-end routers, gateways, and access points supporting up 12×12 MIMO configuration (8×8 5GHz + 4×4 2.4 GHz) using Dual-Band Dual Concurrency (DBDC).

    I was just informed about a Qualcomm IPQ8074 embedded board going under the names DR8074A or HK01 depending on the company promoting it, respectively Wallys Communication and Compex.

  • Intel Announces Jim Keller's Departure, Other Leadership Changes

    Legendary processor engineer Jim Keller has resigned from Intel just over two years since he joined the company to much fanfare.

    Intel confirmed today that Jim Keller has resigned effective today due to "personal reasons" while he will continue serving as a consultant for Intel over the next six months.

  • Chip designer Jim Keller has resigned from Intel

    Jim Keller, something of a legend when it comes to chip design has formally resigned from Intel over 'personal reasons'.

    If you don't follow AMD / Intel too closely to know any of the specifics, Keller was the lead architect of the AMD K8 and also the original AMD Zen. Keller also worked with Apple, Tesla and most recently joining Intel in 2018 which turned a few heads because they're obviously quite the name.

    Yesterday, Intel put out a press statement simply mentioning that Keller had resigned 'effective June 11, 2020, due to personal reasons'. However, Keller will be sticking around as a consultant for six months to assist with any transitions.

  • ARM Faces a Boardroom Revolt as It Seeks to Remove the CEO of Its Chinese Joint Venture

    ARM, the British silicon ship designer backed by SoftBank (TYO:9984), is currently embroiled in a nail-biting boardroom conflict, equipped with an equally appropriate dramatic flareup.

    To wit, ARM issued a statement on Wednesday, disclosing that the board of its Chinese joint venture – ARM China – has approved the removal of the incumbent chairman and CEO, Allen Wu. Bear in mind that the British chip designer was purchased by the Japanese behemoth, SoftBank, in 2016 for £24.3 billion. ARM currently holds a 49 percent stake in its Chinese JV, with a consortium of investors led by the Chinese equity fund, Hopu Investment, retaining the residual 51 percent stake.

  • Key Mime Pi: Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Remote Keyboard

    Recent versions of the Raspberry Pi support USB on-the-go (USB OTG), which allows them to impersonate USB devices such as keyboards, thumb drives, and microphones. To take advantage of this, I made an open-source web app that turns my Pi into a fake keyboard. I call it Key Mime Pi.

    This post demonstrates how Key Mime Pi works and how you can build one for yourself.

  • I replaced my MacBook Pro with a Raspberry Pi 4 8GB for a Day

    So, in summary, would I recommend the Pi 4 as a worthy general computer for anyone? Definitely no. Would I recommend it as a worthy general computer for a certain subset of computer users. Definitely yes!

    If your use of the computer is more oriented towards the browser, a code editor, and the command line (e.g. backend web development, infrastructure development, writing/blogging, and the like), the Pi is perfectly adequate, and with 8GB of RAM, Chromium runs just fine, even if you have a bunch of tabs open. With a Flirc case, it's also silent.

    All-in cost would be close to $250 for a decent keyboard, mouse, monitor, external SSD and the $75 Pi, which is competitive with low-end Chromebooks and older used laptops.

Librem 5 Dogwood and Open Hardware Updates

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  • Librem 5 Dogwood Update 2

    “Almost all” turned out to be a key phrase. Since that post, we discovered a new antenna issue outside of the GNSS one we reported before, along with a microphone regression (in both cases something we weren’t expecting, but that were related to the new PCB design). This set us back a couple of weeks as we dove into troubleshooting these unexpected issues. Now though, we have firm ship dates. We will manufacture all Dogwood phones this week and next, begin individual order packaging and fulfillment immediately with first shipments going out the first week of July.


    As far as Evergreen and Librem 5 USA shipping dates go, while there are parts of that process that are running in parallel to Dogwood, there are other parts (such as moulds and FCC/CE testing on the final mass-produced PCB) which must wait until after the final Dogwood phones have arrived and have been thoroughly evaluated. Before we commit to a revised shipping date for Evergreen and Librem 5 USA, we’d like a few more weeks to complete the evaluation of the final Dogwood phones.

  • LiteDIP: Creating Open-Source IP Blocks For Generic Linux Drivers On FPGAs

    Martin Peres who is known for his decade plus in the X.Org community for his longstanding work on the open-source Nouveau driver and in recent years working on Intel's open-source graphics driver team has been brewing a new hobby project around generic open-source Linux drivers for FPGAs.

    Peres this week wrote a blog post regarding his personal opinions on why there are so few open-source drivers for FPGAs / open hardware especially when it comes to upstream support.

  • Orange Pi 4 SBC Gets a $16 4G LTE mini PCIe Card based on Rockchip RM310

    Orange Pi 4 SBC is one of the most cost-effective Rockchip RK3399 SBC’s, as it sells for as low as $50 with 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0 output, etc..

    The board also comes with a 24-pin PCIe connector that’s not of much use on its own, so the company introduced a $4 PCIe adapter board providing access to a standard mPCIe socket and a SIM card slot so you could install your own. 4G mini PCIe cards can easily cost around $50 or more, but Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now launched its own 4G LTE mini PCIe card based on Rockchip RM310 module and sold for $16 on Aliexpress, excluding shipping.

  • TTGO T-Internet-POE Board Provides Ethernet, PoE, WiFi, Bluetooth for $16

    There’s no much in terms of software apart from an Arduino Sketch initializing Ethernet and connecting to Baidu.

    I’m not sure why the 6-pin programming interface is needed, but a separate CH340C based “Downloader” board with Micro USB and USB-C ports is sold as an option with the board. ESP32 should be programmable via the USB-C port unless the specs are wrong, and there isn’t any on-board CP2104 chip… The board photos are not clear enough to confirm…

All the Possible Ways to Reduce Laptop Overheating in Linux

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Laptop overheating is a serious issue faced by many users worldwide. It happens primarily to people who use their notebook for a long period. Moreover, modern notebooks tend to be much slimmer than their older counterparts, and thus it’s hard to implement efficient cooling solutions for them. So, either users need to buy a flagship notebook or invest in additional cooling hardware. Thankfully, overheating in Linux can be managed pretty easily if you implement some useful policies. Today, we will discuss some proven methods to bring the thermal issues of laptops in control for Linux users.

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GNU/Linux in Robotics and New Hardware

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  • Robot controller and SBC run Ubuntu and ROS 2 on Coffee Lake CPUs

    Adlink unveiled a “ROScube-I” robot controller that runs Ubuntu and Adlink’s ROS 2 based Neuron SDK on 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. There is also an 8th Gen based ROScube-I Starter Kit SBC.

    Adlink and Intel have collaborated to launch a ROScube-I robotics computer and other Intel-based robotics products that that run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The products also include Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit amd Adlink’s Neuron SDK based on the latest Foxy Fitzroy version of ROS (Robot Operating System) 2 middleware.

  • Ubuntu/ROS robotics SBC has RPi-style GPIO and a choice of Atom or Rockchip PX30

    Adlink announced a “ROScube Pico Development Kit” SBC with 40-pin GPIO and a Myriad X VPU that runs Ubuntu and ROS 2 on an Apollo Lake or Rockchip PX30. There is also a Lidar-equipped, 6th Gen Skylake based NeuronBot robot.

    Earlier today, we looked at Adlink’s ROScube-I robot controller and ROScube-I Starter Kit SBC based on Intel Coffee Lake processors. Part two of that announcement concerned a new ROScube Pico Development Kit and NeuronBot robot that we cover here.

  • Exor GigaSOM GS01 SoM and Devkit Combine Intel Atom E39xx CPU and Cyclone 10 GX FPGA

    EXOR International has worked in collaboration with Arrow Electronics to design and manufacture GigaSOM GS01 system-on-module combining an Intel Atom E39xx Apollo Lake processor and Cyclone 10 GX FPGA.

  • Rockchip PX30 3.5-inch SBC Targets Automotive Infotainment, Retail PoS, and Digital Signage

    While Rockchip RK3326 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor is found in ODROID-GO Advance portable game console, it was brought to my attention that there weren’t any RK3326 SoM nor SBC on the market.

    But Rockchip PX30, with virtually the same design, only adding support for dual VOP (dual independent display support), is already found on several system-on-modules including ADLINK LEC-PX30 SMARC module and ARBOR SOM-RP301. It turns out there’s also a Rockchip PX30 SBC courtesy of Shenzhen based TechVision “3.5’SBC-PX30-TVI3329A“.

LVFS 1.2.0

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Hi all,

First, a big thank you: Last week we hit the 16 million downloads mark
on the LVFS, which is awesome. The number of downloads and also the
number of OEM uploads is increasing linearly month-on-month and we now
have over 80 vendors that have uploaded over 4000 firmware files, of
which ~2000 are available to the public. That's >25GB of firmware!

I've tagged 1.2.0 of the lvfs-website code. Whilst tagged releases for
webapps are not terribly useful to end-users (as we tend to deploy
straight away to fix serious bugs) having the release checkpointed
does make verifying things like corporate deployment upgrades much
easier. The main thing of note is that we've now moved away from cron
jobs and are using celery for async operations. From a user point of
view the only change will be that a lot of the actions that you used
to wait 5 minutes to complete are now done almost instantly. The
restrictions on regenerating stable and testing remotes are still in
place for CDN performance reasons.

If anyone notices anything that's not working correctly (e.g. firmware
that's not being signed within a few seconds, or tests that get
"stuck" for more than a few minutes) please let me know. As we scale
up I'll be adding more workers to the pool so that tasks like the yara
queries can happen on a completely different (and more powerful)
machine. The detailed changelog can be found here:

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Also: LVFS 1.2 Released As The Project Serves Up 16 Million Firmware Downloads

Devices/Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi/Arduino, Beelink, American Portwell Technology, RISC-V ISA

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  • STM32 based Indoor Air Quality Sensor Connects to Raspberry Pi or Arduino (Crowdfunding)

    Even before the COVID-19 lockdown, people spent most of their time indoors (around 90% according to some studies), so it’s important to monitor air quality and other metrics like light and sound levels in our homes, workplaces, schools, cars, etc…

  • Beelink GS-King X Android TV Box, Dual HDD NAS & HiFi Audio System Launched for $250

    Beelink GS-King X is an Android 9.0 TV box and a NAS with two 3.5″ SATA bays powered by Amlogic S922X-H processor combined with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash that was unveiled last month with some blurry renders.

    We now have for the details about the device, which has started to sell for $249.99 plus shipping on GeekBuying when using a “Fixed Priced” coupon, in my case 4ATAOTO6.

  • Industrial Apollo Lake mini-PCs offer a mix of I/O, M.2, and mini-PCIe links

    American Portwell Technology has launched a fanless Lynx-6000 Series of compact, rugged industrial computers. The progressively more advanced Lynx-6110, Lynx-612E, and Lynx-612G follow Portwell’s very similar Kuber-2000 Series. The new systems are slightly larger, starting at 100 x 92 x 53.5mm (0.42 kg) for the base-level Lynx-6110, and use an internal passive thermal solution rather than an external heatsink.

  • Data61's seL4 security enforcement now available to the RISC-V ecosystem

    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Data61 has completed the proof of implementation correctness of the open-source seL4 microkernel for the RISC-V instruction-set architecture (ISA).

    Unlike most other ISA designs, the RISC-V ISA is provided under open source licences that do not require fees. According to Data61, many organisations are developing processors based on the open RISC-V ISA, targeting platforms ranging from embedded and cyberphysical systems to high-end servers.

What is the Raspberry Pi Smart Mirror?

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The Raspberry Pi smart mirror, also known as a magic mirror, is a futuristic digital mirror that displays everything from the current time and date to weather information, scheduled appointments, or the latest news headlines.The chances are that you have seen a Raspberry Pi smart mirror on YouTube or somewhere else on the internet. If so, you probably assumed that putting it together required a lot of time and effort, right? Well, what if we told you that you could create your own Raspberry Pi smart mirror in a day, using the tools you most likely already have at home plus a few parts from eBay or Amazon?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the entire process of building a Raspberry Pi smart mirror step by step and explain how you can customize it to display any information you want.

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