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Hardware

Open source RISC-V architecture is changing the game for IoT processors

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Linux
Hardware

Over the past decade, open source software has been one of the biggest catalysts in the tech world. Today, the power of open source, the freedom it enables, and the communities that it generates are gaining traction in the hardware world too. For these reasons, RISC-V is gaining huge popularity. Here is an introduction to RISC-V and the opportunities it opens.

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Devices/Embedded: ADL, Axiomtek, and FUD From Proprietary Embedded Software Firms

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Linux
Hardware

GNU/Linux Experiences With AMD's Latest

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • AMD's Raven Ridge Botchy Linux Support Appears Worse With Some Motherboards/BIOS

    With my launch testing of the Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G there were some stability issues to report and some hangs within games and mode-setting issues. It appears those issues are exacerbated with some motherboards: the past few days with two different AMD B350 motherboards have been a real pain getting the current AMDGPU driver stack working -- and even Linux 4.17 AMDGPU WIP code -- on either of these Raven Ridge APUs.

  • XDA’s First Full PC Build: An All-AMD Linux Desktop Featuring Ryzen and Polaris

    With GPU prices increasing exponentially over the past few months, it’s been hard to price out a PC. This particular build took us nearly a year to assemble; getting all the parts together was a challenge. (TK, our video producer, delivered the last piece of the puzzle after the Consumer Electronics Show in January.)

    Our goal was to show what a decent budget can get you in an all-AMD build, and what kind of performance you can expect from it. Thanks to AMD Ryzen and Polaris, we were able to do just that.

  • Ryzen 3 2200G Video Memory Size Testing On Linux

    One of the discussion items in the forums this week was about the video memory allowance for the Vega graphics on Raven Ridge APUs as well as efficiences or inefficiencies around the TTM memory manager as used by the AMDGPU kernel driver. Here are some vRAM size tests with the Ryzen 3 2200G.

Devices/Embedded: Nintendo Switch, Advantech, Renesa, PocketBeagle

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Linux
Hardware

Raspberry Pi Projects: Things Gateway by Mozilla, Bang and Olufsen and HiFiBerry

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Linux
Hardware

RISC-V Latest

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Linux
Hardware
  • First Open-Source RISC-V SoC for Linux Released

    Only months after debuting the Freedom U540, the world's first Linux-compatible processor based on the open-source RISC-V chip architecture, RISC-V chipmaker SiFive has surprised the open-source community again by unveiling a full development board built around the ISA.

    Called the HiFive Unleashed, the new development board is built around SiFive's Freedom U540, which is based on the company's U54-MC Coreplex. The chip is a 64-bit, 4+1 multicore processor that fully supports Linux, as well as other operating systems such as FreeBSD and Unix. The development board itself features a 8GB of DDR4 with ECC, a gigabit ethernet port, 32 MB of quad SPI flash memory, a MicroSD card slot, and an FPGA mezzanine card (FMC) connector for allowing peripherals and other expansion devices to be attached to the board.

  • RISC-V plans to fulfill open-source architecture innovation dreams

    Digital transformation and the proliferation of big data are driving a renaissance in software development, requiring new advancements in hardware and processors. With a range of needs from a variety of users and platforms, standard instruction set architectures are no longer fulfilling all use cases as the demand for flexibility and improved performance increases.

    “The world is dominated by two instruction set architectures. … Both are great, but … they’re owned by their respective companies. RISC-V is a third entrant into this world … it’s completely open source,” said Martin Fink (pictured, right), chief technology officer of Western Digital Corp. Through the RISC-V initiative, Fink and Dave Tang (pictured, left), senior vice president of corporate marketing at Western Digital, are working to provide an instruction set that can be freely shared to encourage innovation.

  • Fedora/RISC-V: Runnable stage 4 disk images

Add-on board brings BACnet building control to the Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Hardware

Contemporary Controls is launching a “BASpi” Raspberry Pi add-on that supports the BACnet building control standard and Sedona Framework, and provides 6x relay outputs and 6x inputs, including analog, temp, contact closure, pulse, and resistance inputs.

Home automation is a new phenomenon compared to more established building automation technology, which largely follows the BACnet (Building Automation Control network) standard. We have seen various Linux-ready IoT products that offer some BACnet support, including Echelon’s IzoT Router. However, Contemporary Controls’ new BASpi Raspberry Pi 3 add-on board is the first product we’ve seen that is specifically designed for the standard.

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Devices: ROS, Taicenn, Mycroft Mark

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Linux
Hardware
  • Your first robot: The controller [3/5]

    This is the third blog post in this series about creating your first robot with ROS and Ubuntu Core. In the previous post you were introduced to the Robot Operating System (ROS), and got your robot moving by ROSifying one of the CamJam worksheets. Today we're going to move beyond the CamJam worksheets, and work toward having our robot remotely controlled by focusing on our wireless controller: getting data out of it and into ROS messages.

  • Tough, Atom-based box PC supports EtherCAT

    Taicenn’s Linux-ready “TBOX-4000” industrial box PC provides an Atom D2550, dual GbE ports with EtherCAT support, mSATA, optional wireless, and shock, vibration, and extended temperature resistance.

    Shenzhen based Taicenn Technology has launched a rugged industrial computer that runs Linux or Windows on an old school Intel Atom D2550 “Cedar Trail” processor with dual 1.86GHz cores, 640MHz Intel graphics, and a separate Intel NM10 controller chipset. The TBOX-4000’s D2550 chip has the advantage of being reasonably power efficient (10W TDP), leading to the computer’s under 20W total consumption. It’s also likely to make this computer more affordable than most, although no pricing was listed.

  • Developing an Open Source Voice Assistant: Interview with Mycroft AI’s Steve Penrod

    Mycroft is an industry first. Where Amazon Echo and Google Home are unsurprisingly closed-lipped about their data gathering, we know that recordings gathered from these devices are stored for later use (whatever that might be). Mycroft Mark II, by comparison, is an open source voice platform.

    This means that users of the Mycroft platform can opt into sharing their usage data and designers can then use that data to learn more about demographics, language, and voice recognition.

    On the other hand, users could choose to keep their data private.

    What we know about Mycroft Mark II's hardware is that it has a Xilinx quad-core processor, specifically a Zynq UltraScale+ EG MPSoC. It has an array of six far-field PDM-based MEMs microphones and has hardware acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) for beamforming and noise reduction. It has stereo sound with dual 2" drivers (10 Watts), a 4" IPS LCD touchscreen, BT 2.1+EDR and BLE 4.2 Bluetooth In, and single-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz).

PocketSprite With GNUBoy

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GNU
Hardware
Gaming
  • You Can Now Buy Keychain Game Boys & 2018 Never Looked So Retro
  • PocketSprite Tiny Handheld Game System Launches From $45

    PocketSprite is a new tiny retro handheld games system, which has this week launched via the Crowd Supply crowdfunding website, and has already nearly raised its required $20,000 pledge goal. Thanks to over 380 backers with still 41 days remaining on its campaign. The tiny keychain PocketSprite games console comes pre-loaded with two emulators in the form of the GNUBoy and SMS Plus. Allowing you to play “every single game” from the Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Game Boy Color, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear consoles.

  • Retrogaming Dream Device PocketSprite is Almost Funded

    These days, dipping into the nostalgia pool is a surefire way to grab the attention of retro preservationists and lovers of geeky gadgetry. Team Pocket’s chibi-sized emulator is a case in point. The PocketSprite, a diminutive, open source emulation device, accomodates your old-school cravings with a lineup of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear and Sega Master System Games within a colour OLED display. It doesn’t make sacrifices on framerates, either; Sonic runs loop de loops at 60+ FPS in PocketSprite’s 5:4 aspect ratio.

  • The keychain Game Boy is now a real crowdfunded gadget, and I want one

    Interestingly, the PocketSprite isn’t the only pocket-sized GameBoy out there. There’s a slew of competitors, including the PocketStar (which is also crowdfunding on Kickstarter), the Arduino-based 8-bit Arduboy, and the NES-copying BittBoy Mini handheld.

  • PocketSprite is a tiny open source ‘Game Boy’ for retro games

    Unlike the “pocket games” of old, which were preloaded with generic, unchangeable random games, PocketSprite lets users upload their own preferred content.

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