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Hardware

GNU/Linux and Arduino in Devices/Embedded and Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • ODYSSEY expandable mini PC supports Win10, Linux and Arduino

    A versatile new mini PC is now available to order in the form of the ODYSSEY X86J4105864, offering an easy way to build Edge Computing applications with powerful CPU and rich communication interfaces, say its developers. The ODYSSEY X86J4105 mini PC is based on Intel Celeron J4105, is a Quad-Core 1.5GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.5GHz. There is also an onboard ATSAMD21 Core, an ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU that allows you to program Arduino on the x86 platform.

  • What is ESP32 and Why Is It Best for IoT Projects?

    ESP32 is a low-powered, low-cost microcontroller (MCU) board, with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, and is based on a dual-core processor mechanism. The first one is a powerful processor, such as a Xtensa LX6 (~240 MHz) with 512 KiB memory and the second an ultra-low coprocessor (ULP) with only 8 KiB memory designed to run when ESP32 is in deep-sleep mode.

    Other components include around 48 I/O pins (variable); an array of peripheral interfaces including temperature, hall effect, and capacitive touch sensors; and an 8-centimeter LCD panel, prominently visible here in an ESP32-WROVER board by Espressif Systems.

    [...]

    In fact, it runs on FreeRTOS, a leading operating system supported by Arduino. A big advantage of ESP32 is that it is readily supported by Arduino IDE as a “shield” which can be accessed from Board Manager. One can easily use functions from the FreeRTOS libraries when coding for the ESP32 within the Arduino IDE.

    Considering the scale of ESP32 applications which could be tiny, coin cell devices, it is better to use a predictable memory OS such as FreeRTOS rather than have its own complete OS, which is supported by Raspberry Pi, for example.

  • Kiwi TCMS is partnering up with Pionir

    We are happy to announce that Kiwi TCMS is going to partner with Pionir on the development of open source hardware for testers! Pionir is a free school focused on creating a new generation of digital leaders, an exponential culture and solving challenges using technology. They are located in Kikinda, Serbia.

    [...]

    Pionir will be developing hardware black boxes for teaching exploratory testing in cooperation with Kiwi TCMS. We have dedicated €2000 from our bounty program for students of the free school towards completing this project.

    The goal of the project is to produce at least 3 boxes and reference designs that will serve as a didactic tool for teaching, but also be free and open hardware, and as such, available to everyone to build from source.

    This project will be trusted to the students of the free school who will get opportunity to take part in the challenging process of building a digital appliance, from designing the machine logic, to develop and prototype hardware.

    The project includes designing, assembling, programming, documenting and delivering this hardware to us! Everything is expected to be open source: list of components, assembly instructions, 3D design files, source code, documentation and instructions! Our goal is that this will be relatively cheap and easy to build so everyone else can build their own boxes. During the next several months there will be new repositories created under https://github.com/kiwitcms to host the various boxes.

Open Hardware Monitor 0.9.4

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Hardware
OSS

The Open Hardware Monitor is a free open source software that monitors temperature sensors, fan speeds, voltages, load and clock speeds of a computer.

The Open Hardware Monitor supports most hardware monitoring chips found on todays mainboards. The CPU temperature can be monitored by reading the core temperature sensors of Intel and AMD processors. The sensors of ATI and Nvidia video cards as well as SMART hard drive temperature can be displayed. The monitored values can be displayed in the main window, in a customizable desktop gadget, or in the system tray.

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Hardware: Home Servers, Facial Recognition Systems and Nsight Graphics 2020.3

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Hardware
  • Has the home server gone the way of the Dodo?

    I used FreeNAS, which is a fork of FreeBSD, essentially a Unix-like operating system. It required me to hook up a monitor to the PC for setup, hence the need for the cheap video card.

    After that I disconnected the monitor, the server runs headless. Just enter a URL into the browser on another PC and you can access the dashboard and have control of everything.

    If I did this again, I’d save money by skipping the sound card. But now I want know if this is still worth it? My files are backed up in OneDrive and Google Drive. It’s nice to have a home-based copy and a cloud copy, though.

  • iWave Systems i.MX8M Mini Devkit Targets Low-cost Facial Recognition Systems

    The board supports Linux 4.14.98, and Android 9.0. NXP eIQ machine learning software is based on OpenCV and includes pre-optimized libraries and tools for computer vision applications. C++, Python, and Java API, and integration with MCUXpresso SDK and Yocto development environments aims to accelerate the development flow of the ML applications.

  • NVIDIA Announces Nsight Graphics 2020.3

    Nsight Graphics 2020.3 is now available for download. We’ve added a number of features that dramatically expands the functionality of our tools.

    Applications that use the provisional VK_KHR_ray_tracing extension can be captured, profiled and exported to a C++ Capture. While the extension is still evolving, the NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver will allow for experimentation before it is fully ratified (and is required).

  • NVIDIA Nsight Graphics 2020.3 Supports Profiling KHR Ray-Tracing

    NVIDIA on Friday released Nsight Graphics 2020.3 as the newest version of their proprietary tool for profiling and debugging Direct3D / Vulkan / OpenGL / OpenVR software.

    One of the big changes with Nsight Graphics 2020.3 is now supporting the VK_KHR_ray_tracing extension, the official Vulkan ray-tracing extension compared to the prior NVIDIA-specific vendor extension. Nsight Graphics can now capture and profile VK_KHR_ray_tracing using software and export it to a C++ capture.

Devices: Wind River Linux, Arduino Robot, 96Boards and Jetson With GNU/Linux

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Hardware
  • NVIDIA container runtime for Wind River Linux

    Training and using AI models are tasks that demand significant computational power. Current trends are pointing more to deep neural networks, which include thousands, if not millions of operations per iteration. In the past year, more and more researchers have sounded the alarm on the exploding costs of deep learning. The computing power needed to do AI is now rising seven times faster than ever before [1]. These new needs are making hardware companies create hardware accelerators like Neural processing units, CPUs, and GPUs.

    Embedded systems are not an exception to this transformation. We see every day intelligent traffic lights, autonomous vehicles, intelligent IoT devices, and more. The current direction is to have accelerators inside these embedded devices, Systems On-Chip mainly. Hardware developers have embedded small accelerators like GPUs, FPGAs, and more into SOCs, SOMs, and other systems. We call these modern systems: heterogeneous computing architectures.

    The use of GPUs on Linux is not something new; we have been able to do so for many years. However, it would be great to accelerate the development and deployment of HPC applications. Containers enable portability, stability, and many other characteristics when deploying an application. For this reason, companies are investing so much in these technologies. For instance, NVIDIA recently started a project that enables CUDA on Docker [2].

    One concern when dealing with containers is the loss of performance. However, when comparing the performance of the GPU with and without the containers environment, researchers found that no additional overhead is caused [3]. The consistency in the performance is one of the principal benefits of containers over virtual machines; accessing the GPU is done seamlessly as the kernel stays the constant.

  • Spherical Quadruped Arduino Robot

    [Greg06] started learning electronics the same way most of us did: buy a few kits, read a few tutorials, and try your hardest to put a few things together. Sound familiar? After a while, you noticed your skills started increasing, and your comfort level with different projects improved as well. Eventually, you try your hand at making your own custom projects and publishing your own tutorials.

  • 96Boards CE Extended SBC taps the quad -A7 Quectel SC20 4G module

    Shiratech’s “SRT-96B-MAIN-SC20-E/A” is a 96Boards CE Extended SBC that runs Android on a Quectel SC20 module equipped with a quad -A7 Snapdragon 210, 4G LTE, GNSS, and WiFi/BT. The SBC features a CSI cam, a MEMs mic, accelerometer, and photometric sensor.

    Last week we reported on Shiratech’s Linux-driven Stinger96 96Boards IoT Edition SBC with a dual Cortex-A8 STM32MP157 SoC and a Quectel BG96 LTE CAT-M1 radio for NB-IoT communications. We now see that Shiratech has posted specs for a SRT-96B-MAIN-SC20-E/A SBC, AKA the 96Board Main with SC-20. The board uses the 96Boards Consumer Edition Extended form factor and offers 4G LTE via a Quectel SC20 module that integrates a 1.1GHz, quad -A7 Snapdragon 210.

  • Advantech Edge AI Computer and PoE NVR Feature NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX SoM

    Following the launch of NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX SoM last year, we noted several third-party carrier boards and embedded PCs had been announced, and we expected more to come soon. Advantech has now unveiled two systems based on NVIDIA latest module with respectively MIC-710AIX edge AI computer and MIC-710IVX NVR system equipped with eight PoE ports.

Raspberry Pi: Argo Tunnels, HackSpace and Storage

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Hardware
  • Self Hosting with Raspberry Pi and Argo Tunnels

    On the whole, Argo Tunnels create an encrypted tunnel between your server and the Cloudflare network using the `cloudflared` daemon. Because of this, users won’t directly connect to your server, instead they will connect via proxy trough Cloudflare’s network. This brings a few benefits worth mentioning.

  • Design your own Internet of Things with HackSpace magazine
  • Turn your Raspberry Pi homelab into a network filesystem

    A shared filesystem is a great way to add versatility and functionality to a homelab. Having a centralized filesystem shared to the clients in the lab makes organizing data, doing backups, and sharing data considerably easier. This is especially useful for web applications load-balanced across multiple servers and for persistent volumes used by Kubernetes, as it allows pods to be spun up with persistent data on any number of nodes.

    [...]

    I am running Fedora Server on a Raspberry Pi, but this project can be done with other distributions as well. To run an NFS server on Fedora, you need the nfs-utils package, and luckily it is already installed (at least in Fedora 31). You also need the rpcbind package if you are planning to run NFSv3 services, but it is not strictly required for NFSv4.

Devices: Librem 5, MARK and Ameba/Arduino

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Hardware

  • Librem 5 Update: Fresh Dogwood Pictures

    As we mentioned in our Dogwood update post, we have been busy testing the significant changes that have gone into the Dogwood batch. In the previous post we just showed a few pictures of the board with some testing wires attached but we figured you’d like to see more. Now that we are about ready to wrap up testing we wanted to share some additional Dogwood pictures. Like with previous batches Dogwood is a small batch process. We’ll see mass-production processes with the next batch Evergreen.

  • MARK AI Robot Kit Aims to Teach AI & Robotics to 12+ Years Old (Crowdfunding)

    Tinkergen offers pre-trained model to recognized objects like humans, books, pens, or smartphones, as well as traffic signs, numbers from 1 to 9, as well as domestic and wild animals. As such, the company also provides signs, as well as optional illustrated and numbered cards together with magnets and card stands to facilitate various AI recognition applications.

  • Ameba RTL8722DM Cortex-M33/M23 IoT Development Board Now Available for $23.90

    Earlier this year, we noticed some RealTek RTK8720DN dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 IoT modules, and quickly mentioned Ameba RTL8722DM development board available for under $50.

    [...]

    It ships with one IPEX antenna, as well as two Arduino female headers that you’d need to solder if you plan on using Arduino shields. Seeed Studio also explains the final version of the board will have all the GPIO pins bent at an angle of 90° from the board to allow convenient access to the Arduino pins.

This DIY laptop costs as much as a MacBook Air — How is it selling so well?

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Hardware
Debian

Storage can either be via an SSD in the M.2 socket or there is an SD slot as well. The company views the latter as a nice option for those with particularly sensitive data that could run a separate OS or leave their sensitive work on that SD card to be easily removed when traveling.

The MNT Reform features a full HD 12.5-inch IPS display and while it lacks any USB-C ports, it has an abundance of USB Type-A with three external USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports inside. It also includes HDMI, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, and a power input jack.

The keyboard is a point of pride for the MNT Reform team, this laptop isn't shooting for any thin and light awards which leaves plenty of room for the mechanical keyboard with Hailh Choc Brown switches and a dimmable backlight. It should make for a pretty untouchable laptop typing experience.

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Related (Purism): Anti-interdiction Update: Six Month Retrospective

Devices With GNU/Linux: BOXiedge, Raspberry Pi and Xiaomi Mi Router

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Hardware
  • Fanless edge server has 24-core Arm SoC and 3-TOPS-per-Watt NPU

    Foxconn, Socionext, and Hailo are launching a fanless “BOXiedge” AI edge server with Socionext’s Linux-driven SynQuacer SC2A11 SoC with 24x Cortex-A53 cores. The system also features an up to 26-TOPS Hailo-8 NPU for analyzing 20 streaming cam feeds in real time.

    In January, Foxconn, Socionext, and Network Optix announced a BOXiedge AI video analysis solution that combined a Foxconn edge computer equipped with an unnamed AI acceleration card and Socionext’s SC2A11 Arm server SoC. The BOXiedge also incorporated Network Optix’s Ubuntu compatible Nx Witness v4.0 video processing and analytics software. Now Foxconn and Socionext have followed up with a new BOXiedge model that omits the Nx Witness v4.0 stack and replaces the AI card with an up to 26 TOPS Hailo-8 deep learning processor.

  • Make it rain chocolate with a Raspberry Pi-powered dispenser
  • $31 Honor Router 3 WiFi 6+ Router Supports 3000 Mbps Data Rates

    I wrote about the “Most Affordable WiFi 6 Router Yet“, namely Xiaomi Mi Router AX1800, just two days ago, as it sells for around $60 on Aliexpress and 329 CNY ($46) in China. But the Xiaomi router did not hold the top spot for long, as Honor Router 3 WiFi 6 AX3000 router was just launched for 219 CNY (about $31 US) in China.

Embedded computers tap Jetson Xavier NX and AGX Xavier

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Hardware

Advantech’s “MIC-710AIX” edge AI computer and 8x PoE “MIC-710IVX” NVR system run Linux on Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX. There’s also an AGX Xavier based MIC-730AI system.

Advantech has launched two embedded computers built around Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX module, which recently began shipping with a $399 Jetson Xavier NX Dev Kit. The MIC-710AIX is a compact, rugged AI inference edge computer while the MIC-710IVX targets network video recorder (NVR) applications for H.264/H.265 cameras connected via 8x PoE ports.

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Devices: AMS210, ESP32 and Raspberry Pi

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Hardware
  • Coffee Lake Box PC offers PCIe and PCI expansion

    Ibase’s semi-rugged “AMS210” box PC runs on 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs with features including dual SATA bays, 4x GbE, 6x USB, 3x DP, and PCI and PCIe expansion slots.

    Ibase announced an industrial embedded box PC and “automatic control system” for factory automation, machine vision, digital signage, and industrial IoT applications. The AMS210 has a lot of in common with last month’s AMI230 series, including the 8th and 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs, dual SATA bays, 4x GbE ports, and PCIe expansion slots. No OS support is listed, but we imagine that like the AMI230 series, the AMS210 supports Linux and Windows.

  • Olimex ESP32-S2-Devkit-LiPo WiFi Board Consumes as Little as 2uA in Sleep Mode

    When we covered ESP32 powered TTGO T-Watch-2000 smartwatch this week-end, people noted that with a 350 mAh battery, the watch would last about 3.65 days considering a 4mA drain with the screen always off, WiFI and Bluetooth off, and around 65mA when the screen is on good for about 5 hours of continuous use without Bluetooth nor WiFi.

    [...]

    Despite the added battery charger and circuitry, ESP32-32-Devkit-LiPo will have the same size as ESP-32-Saola-1R, and use the same ESP32-S2-WROVER module with 2MB RAM and 4MB Flash.

  • Coolest Projects goes online and everyone is welcome!
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