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Hardware

A $1, Linux-Capable, Hand-Solderable Processor and Open Source Paramotor Using Quadcopter Tech

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Linux
Hardware
  • A $1, Linux-Capable, Hand-Solderable Processor

    Over on the EEVblog, someone noticed an interesting chip that’s been apparently flying under our radar for a while. This is an ARM processor capable of running Linux. It’s hand-solderable in a TQFP package, has a built-in Mali GPU, support for a touch panel, and has support for 512MB of DDR3. If you do it right, this will get you into the territory of a BeagleBone or a Raspberry Pi Zero, on a board that’s whatever form factor you can imagine. Here’s the best part: you can get this part for $1 USD in large-ish quantities. A cursory glance at the usual online retailers tells me you can get this part in quantity one for under $3. This is interesting, to say the least.

  • Open Source Paramotor Using Quadcopter Tech

    But not always. The OpenPPG project aims to create a low-cost paramotor with electronics and motors intended for heavyweight multicopters. It provides thrust comparable to gas paramotors for 20 to 40 minutes of flight time, all while being cheaper and easier to maintain. The whole project is open source, so if you don’t want to buy one of their kits or assembled versions, you’re free to use and remix the design into a personal aircraft of your own creation.

    It’s still going to cost for a few thousand USD to get a complete paraglider going, but at least you won’t need to pay hangar fees. Thanks to the design which utilizes carbon fiber plates and some clever hinges, the whole thing folds up into a easier to transport and store shape than traditional paramotors with one large propeller. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks a lot cooler.

Devices/Embedded/Development Boards

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Linux
Hardware
  • Aceinna launches open-source GNSS+IMU development kit for drones, robots

    MEMS-based sensing solutions company Acienna announces OpenIMU, a professionally supported, open-source GPS/GNSS-aided inertial navigation software stack for low-cost precise navigation applications.

    Integrating an inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based sensor network will greatly improve its navigation and self-location capabilities, Acienna said.

    It is aimed at developing autonomously guided vehicles for industrial applications, autonomous cars, factory or industrial robots, drones, remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) or any kind of smart machine that needs to move fast or slow, on land, in the air or in water.

  • Sensything Multi-Sensor Open Source Development Board

    Engineers, developers and hobbyists may be interested in the new multi sensor development board called Sensything. Offering an open source, high-resolution (24-bit), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled sensor interface platform that supports multiple sensor readings. “In most cases, it offers a single-board, single-platform solution for acquiring and logging multiple sensor readings that can be seen/sent through an Android app, an IoT or analytics platform, or over an ordinary USB connection.”

  • Compute module to debut faster i.MX8M Mini SoC

    Variscite unveiled a “DART-MX8M-Mini” module that runs on NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC, a 14nm variant of the i.MX8M with one to four 2GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a 400MHz Cortex-M4, plus scaled down 1080p video via MIPI-DSI.

    [...] it will almost certainly run Linux, if not Android.

Free/Libre/Open Hardware: DevBoy Modular Open Source System and RISC-V

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Hardware
  • Learn To Code Games With The DevBoy Modular Open Source System

    Developer Nicolai Shlapunov has created a new modular open source system specifically created for learning how to program and develop games. The DevBoy has this week launched via Kickstarter with the aim of raising $100,000 over the next 30 days to make the jump into production. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the modular hardware kit can help you learn to dove games and allows you to configure different gaming systems depending on your needs. “Ever wanted to build your own game console? Robot remote control? May be an oscilloscope? DevBoy is what you need!”

  • RISC-V microconference accepted for Linux Plumbers Conference

    The open nature of the RISC-V ecosystem has allowed contributions from both academia and industry to lead to an unprecedented number of new hardware design proposals in a very short time span. Linux support is the key to enabling these new hardware options.

Nano-ITX dev kit shows off Samsung Exynos 8895

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Android
Linux
Hardware

Howchip has launched a sandwich-style, Nano-ITX form factor “ExSOM-8895 DVK” that runs Android 7.0 and Linux 4.4.13 on Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 8895 SoC with 4GB DDR4, dual UFS 2.1 storage interfaces, and MIPI-DSI and -CSI.

A Chinese firm called Howchip, owned by Unibest, has launched an Android Nougat Development Platform. The ExSOM-8895 DVK showcases Samsung’s Exynos 8895, an octa-core SoC that is available on EMEA-bound versions models of the primarily Snapdragon 835 based Galaxy S8 phone. The 120 x 120mm Nano-ITX form-factor board integrates an unnamed 70 x 50mm compute module that houses the Exynos 8895 and runs Android 7.0 with Linux kernel 4.4.13.

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Touch-enabled version of Raspberry Pi based Kano kit arrives

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OS
Hardware

Kano has launched a $280 “Computer Kit Touch” version of its Raspberry Pi based computing education kit with an RPi 3B, a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, plus a keyboard, speaker, mic, and 3000mAh battery.

Kano’s Raspberry Pi Model B based Kano kit computing education platform and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B based Kano Computer Kit were huge hits in both the educational and consumer markets. The company has now returned with a Computer Kit Touch version, which similarly aims to teach kids age 6 to 13 to program using visual tools and its Debian-based Kano OS.

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Coreboot Improvements For FU540 Land Following SiFive's Open-Source Boot Code

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Hardware

Last week SiFive published their HiFive Unleashed open-source boot-loader code for this first RISC-V SoC on their Linux-friendly development board. This code being open-sourced has already helped improve the support for the FU540 SoC within Coreboot.

The code open-sourced last week by SiFive allows for a fully open-source boot process after this first RISC-V developer board received some criticism for some of its initialization code being closed-source, namely around the SDRAM start-up code.

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Also: Intel Releases New BSD-Licensed Open-Source Firmware Implementation

ACEINNA Launches the First Open Source IMU Development Kit for Drones, Robots and AGVs

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Hardware
OSS
  • ACEINNA Launches the First Open Source IMU Development Kit for Drones, Robots and AGVs

    ACEINNA Integrated Hardware and Software Can Slash Development Time and Costs by Up to 80%

  • Open source IMU dev kit slashes design costs

    The OpenIMU is what Aceinna presents as the first professionally supported, open-source GPS/GNSS-aided inertial navigation software stack for low-cost precise navigation applications.

  • Open-source software stack for INS/GPS algorithm development

    Whether you are developing autonomously guided vehicles for industrial applications, autonomous cars, factory or industrial robots, drones, ROVs, any kind of smart machine which needs to move – fast or slow, on land, in the air, or in water, integrating an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) based sensor network will greatly improve its navigation and self-location capabilities.

    “Our breakthrough open-source Software for INS/GPS algorithm development is the first professional grade open-source navigation stack running on a low-cost IMU,” says Mike Horton, CTO of ACEINNA. “Not only will this kit save developers time and money, it is simple to use and does not require a PhD.”

Refund offered for Raspberry Pi PoE HAT due to power issues

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Hardware

With several users reporting problems with the recently released Raspberry Pi Power-over-Ethernet HAT, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering to refund customers that have purchased the faulty board.

In the days since its release in late August, users had been reporting limitations in the power supplied by the Raspberry Pi PoE HAT. The HAT is an add-on to the popular Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ SBC. Over the intervening weeks, engineers at the Raspberry Raspberry Pi Foundation have been wrestling to figure out the nature of the problem. And interesting play-by-play can be followed on the Raspberry Pi forums.

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RK3399 based 96Boards SBC starts at $99

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Linux
Hardware

Vamrs has begun shipping the “Rock960” — the first 96Boards SBC based on the hexa-core Rockchip RK3399. The community-backed SBC sells for $99 (2GB/16GB) or $139 (4GB/32GB).

Shortly before Shenzhen-based Vamrs Limited launched a Rockchip RK3399 Sapphire SBC in Nov. 2017, the company announced a similarly open-spec Rock960 SBC that uses the same Rockchip RK3399 SoC, but instead adopts the smaller, 85 x 55mm 96Boards CE form factor. The Rock960 was showcased in March along with other AI-enabled boards as part of Linaro’s 96Boards.ai initiative announcement.

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Also: Bixel, An Open Source 16×16 Interactive LED Array

AMD's Latest Linux and Free Software Work

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Linux
Hardware
  • AMD Sends Out Initial Open-Source Linux Graphics Support For "Picasso" APUs

    Adding to the exciting week for AMD open-source Linux graphics is that in addition to the long-awaited patch update for FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync/VRR, patches for the Linux kernel were sent out prepping the graphics upbringing for the unreleased "Picasso" APUs.

    Picasso APUs are rumored to be similar to Raven Ridge APUs and would be for the AM4 socket. Picasso might launch in Q4 but intended as a 2019 platform for AM4 desktops as well as a version for notebooks. It's not expected that Picasso will be too much greater than the current Raven Ridge parts.

  • AMD's Marek Olšák Is Dominating Mesa Open-Source GPU Driver Development This Year

    With Q3 coming towards an end, here is a fresh look at the Mesa Git development trends for the year-to-date. Mesa on a commit basis is significantly lower than in previous years, but there is a new top contributor to Mesa.

    Mesa as of today is made up of 6,101 files that comprise of 2,492,887 lines of code. Yep, soon it will break 2.5 million lines. There have been 104,754 commits to Mesa from roughly 900 authors.

  • AMD Lands Mostly Fixes In Latest Batch Of AMDVLK/XGL/PAL Code Updates

    The AMD developers maintaining their "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver have pushed out their latest batch of code comprising this driver including the PAL abstraction layer, XGL Vulkan bits, and LLPC LLVM-based compiler pipeline.

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