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Librem 5 Phone Progress Report

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Librem 5 Phone Progress Report – The First of Many More to Come!

    First, let me apologize for the silence. It was not because we went into hibernation for the winter, but because we were so busy in the initial preparation and planning of a totally new product while orienting an entirely new development team. Since we are more settled into place now, we want to change this pattern of silence and provide regular updates. Purism will be giving weekly news update posts every Tuesday, rotating between progress on phone development from a technology viewpoint (the hardware, kernel, OS, etc.) and an art of design viewpoint (UI/UX from GNOME/GTK to KDE/Plasma). To kickoff this new update process, this post will discus the technological progress of the Librem 5 since November of 2017.

  • Purism Eyeing The i.MX8M For The Librem 5 Smartphone, Issues First Status Update

    If you have been curious about the state of Purism's Librem 5 smartphone project since its successful crowdfunding last year and expedited plans to begin shipping this Linux smartphone in early 2019, the company has issued their first status update.

Yocto-on-i.MX6UL gateway serves up I2C and SPI on a DB9 port

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Axiomtek’s compact “IFB125” DIN-rail IoT gateway runs Yocto Linux on an i.MX6 UL SoC with dual LANs, mini-PCIe expansion, extended temperature and vibration resistance, COM and USB ports, and a DB9 port that supports both SPI and I2C.

Axiomtek has released a minor variation on its IFB122 IoT gateway. Like the IDB122, the new IFB125 runs Yocto Project code with Linux 3.14.52 on NXP’s 528MHz Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 UltraLight (UL) SoC. The headless gateway is designed for remote control and remote monitoring management applications such as unmanned control room, industrial automation, automatic parking lot, and traffic cabinets.

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Also: Display-oriented eNUC SBC runs on Apollo Lake

Toughened up SODIMM-style COM taps i.MX8M

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

CompuLab’s rugged, 68 x 42mm “CL-SOM-iMX8” computer-on-module runs Yocto or Android on NXP’s dual- or quad-core Cortex-A53 i.MX8M, with up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC, onboard wireless, and PCIe and HDMI 2.0 support.

CompuLab’s CL-SOM-iMX8 COM, which ships with an optional SBC-iMX8 Evaluation Kit, shares many features with Variscite’s recently announced DART-MX8M module, which similarly features NXP’s new i.MX8M SoC. The CL-SOM-iMX8 is slightly larger, at 68 x 42mm, and adds shock (50G/20ms) and vibration (20G/0-600Hz) resistance.

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Also: 5.25-inch SBCs offer Kaby Lake or Skylake in S- and H-series options

New Raspberry Pi: Zero

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

GPD Win 2 – A Pocket-Sized Linux Games Machine?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Gaming

Dream of owning a pocket-sized Linux games console? Well, your dream just inched a little nearer.

Early reviews of the 6-inch GPD Win 2 pocket computer claim that Linux runs “perfectly” — opening up the possibility to use the device as a portable Steam machine, with your full Linux games library literally in your hand.

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More Intel Catastrophes and Bricking of PCs Due to Intel's UEFI

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Hardware
Security

Intel is Full of Holes

Filed under
Hardware
Security
  • A Security Issue in Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT)
  • Backdoor In 30 Seconds: New Major AMT Security Flaw Is Here To Haunt Intel Laptops
  • Meltdown and Spectre FAQ: Crapification at Scale

    Yesterday, Yves posted a “primers on Meltdown and Spectre”, which included several explanations of the two bugs from different viewpoints; if you feel you don’t have a handle on them, please review it. Today, I want to give an overview of the two bugs. I will dig into the details of these two bugs in the form of a FAQ, and then I’ll open a discussion of the larger business and political economy issues raised in the form of a MetaFAQ. First, I should make one point: Meltdown is a bug; Specture is a class of bugs (or, if you prefer, a strategy).

    [...]

    What Are The Costs of the Meltdown and Spectre Bugs?

    A few billions.

  • Fixing Chipmageddon Will Slow Down Older Computers

    Microsoft has come out and said it: cures for the pervasive chip flaws Meltdown and Spectre are likely to dent the performance of your PC if it’s a few years old.

  • Intel needs to come clean about Meltdown and Spectre

    Intel hasn’t had the best of times recently. Meltdown and Spectre security flaws have helped reveal fundamental issues with processor designs over the past 20 years, and the software updates to protect PCs will have performance impacts. Even as I write this, it’s still not clear to anyone exactly how bad these performance impacts will be for older desktop systems, or how significant they’ll be to server-based cloud platforms. It’s all a bit of a mess, and Intel hasn’t helped with its lack of transparency. It’s time for Intel to stop hiding behind cleverly worded statements.

  • Intel details performance hit for Meltdown fix on affected processors
  • Keeping Spectre secret

    When Graz University of Technology researcher Michael Schwarz first reached out to Intel, he thought he was about to ruin the company’s day. He had found a problem with their chips, together with his colleagues Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, and Stefan Mangard. The vulnerability was both profound and immediately exploitable. His team finished the exploit on December 3rd, a Sunday afternoon. Realizing the gravity of what they’d found, they emailed Intel immediately.

  • Intel's telling some customers to avoid its fix for the Spectre and Meltdown attacks — because of a big bug
  • Everything running smoothly at the plant? *Whips out mobile phone* Wait. Nooo...

    The security of mobile apps that tie in with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems has deteriorated over the last two-and-a-half years, according to new research.

    A team of boffins from IOActive and IoT security startup Embedi said they had discovered 147 vulnerabilities in 34 of the most popular Android mobile apps for SCADA systems.

    Mobile applications are increasingly being used in conjunction with SCADA systems. The researchers warned these apps are "riddled with vulnerabilities that could have dire consequences on SCADA systems that operate industrial control systems".

Tiny module and SBC run Linux or Android on i.MX8M

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

Variscite’s 55 x 30mm “DART-MX8M” showcases NXP’s 1.5GHz, quad-A53 i.MX8M SoC with up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, PCIe, and HDMI 2.0, plus an optional carrier that’s also sold as a “VAR-DT8MCustomBoard” SBC.

Variscite unveiled a “coming soon” DART-MX8M computer-on-module and VAR-DT8MCustomBoard carrier board/SBC that tap NXP’s new i.MX8M SoC. The DART-MX8M follows other NXP-based DART modules, such as the i.MX UL based DART-6UL, which in November received a clock rate upgrade to up to 900MHz.

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PiTalk, Gemini PDA, and Eelo take different paths to the Linux phone

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The PiTalk is an RPi phone add-on board. The Gemini PDA is a clamshell re-spin of the Psion. Eelo is a privacy-oriented phone ROM. Samsung is planning to load Ubuntu desktops on Galaxy phones. They all want to reinvent the Linux phone concept.

Since our September story surveying a new crop of Linux smartphone contenders, including the Raspberry Pi based ZeroPhone and Purism’s Librem 5, we’ve seen several more Linux phone projects pop into view. New entries covered here include a successfully Kickstarted PiTalk phone add-on for the Raspberry Pi. There’s also a Gemini PDA with 4G support that dual-boots Linux and Android. It won Indiegogo funding last year and has now opened for additional orders.

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Also: Tiny solderable quad Cortex-A17 module has 4GB RAM and HDMI 2.0

Tiny industrial temperature module runs Linux on a Zynq-7000

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

iWave’s “iW-RainboW-G28M” is a SODIMM-style module that runs Linux on a Zynq-7000 FPGA SoC, and offers -40 to 85°C support, up to 1GB DDR3, 512MB flash, a GbE controller, and optional WiFi/BT.

iWave has produced several Altera FPGA based computer-on-modules including the Cyclone V based IW-RainboW-G17D, but the 67.6 x 37mm, SODIMM form-factor iW-RainboW-G28M appears to be its first Xilinx Zynq based module. Other SODIMM-style Zynq COMs include PLDA’s SoMZ-7045.

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