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Hardware

RISC-V based SoC is 5G basestaton on a chip

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Hardware

OpenRAN-based solutions with components from different vendors offer more flexibility and programmer access, with more functions running in software than hardware, typically under a Linux OS, explains ArsTechnica. However, O-RAN projects are often more expensive and power-hungry, and require more technical expertise, says the story. TechCrunch quotes Ravuri as saying O-RAN tends to provide a “clunky solution” with higher power consumption.

EdgeQ, which is compatible with OpenRAN option 7.x and option 6, promises to offer greater flexibility and openness without the power consumption, expense, and complexity of typical O-RAN projects. Many of these goals are achieved by integrating more functions on a single processor.

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Also: New RISC-V hardware designs from 5G startup EdgeQ

Devices and Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • EasyOS Dunfell 2.6.1 released for the Raspberry Pi4

    The very first release of EasyOS Dunfell-series for the Raspberry Pi4 was version 2.6, released on January 19. See announcement:
    https://bkhome.org/news/202101/easyos-dunfell-26-released-for-the-raspberry-pi4.html
    Since then, some package version bumps: SeaMonkey is now version 2.53.6 and includes the IRC chat module, ffmpeg is 4.3.1. LibreOffice is still a somewhat old version, 7.0.1.2, but I recompiled it with PDF-import support, which seemed like a good thing to have.
    Version 2.6.1 also has Samba, which had been left out of 2.6. Also added package 'smbnetfs'. Oh yes, also added package 'tigervnc', that Forum member rufwoof reported as very fast. Added package 'libvdpau-va-gl' though don't really know why.
    There were some performance issues with 2.6, that have mostly been fixed. SeaMonkey was often temporarily freezing, which seems to have been fixed by changing to 'kyber' IO scheduling. Plugging in a USB-stick, the kernel now consistently recognizes it first go -- due to version bump of the kernel from 5.10.4 to 5.10.9 and update of the device-tree.

  • Build a programmable light display on Raspberry Pi | Opensource.com

    This past holiday season, I decided to add some extra joy to our house by setting up a DIY light display. I used a Raspberry Pi, a programmable light string, and Python.

    [...]

    Each light can be individually programmed using an RGB set of integers or hex equivalents. These lights can be packaged together into matrices, strings, and other form factors, and they can be programmatically accessed using a data structure that makes sense for the form factor. The light strings I use are addressed using a standard Python list. Adafruit has a great tutorial on wiring and controlling your lights.

    [...]

    The neopixel_controller Flask application, in the neopix_controller directory of the github repository (see below), offers a front-end browser graphical user interface (GUI) to control the lights. My raspberry pi connects to my wifi, and is accessible at raspberrypi.local. To access the GUI in a browser, go to http://raspberrypi.local:5000. Alternatively, you can use ping to find the IP address of raspberrypi.local, and use it as the hostname, which is useful if you have multiple raspberry pi devices connected to your wifi.

  • OnLogic Elkhart Lake fanless mini PC's are made for IIoT applications

    OnLogic mini PCs can be configured to meet the specific requirements, and run a range of Windows or Linux operating systems. The company also offers custom branding, software imaging, custom fulfilment services, and lifecycle management support.

  • Elkhart Lake embedded PC quartet deliver triple 4K displays

    OnLogic is adding to its line of Helix and rugged, higher-end Karbon embedded PCs with four new Helix 300 and Karbon 400 models that run Linux or Windows on Intel’s Elkhart Lake.

    OnLogic has announced four fanless embedded systems built around Intel’s 10nm-fabricated, MCU-equipped Elkhart Lake Atom, Celeron, and Pentium processors. The smaller Helix 310 (HX310) and Helix 330 (HX330) and more expandable and rugged Karbon 410 (K410) and Karbon 430 (K430) all run Linux or Windows and will ship in the second quarter.

  • Arduino Create Agent 1.2.0 is finally here

    It’s been a while since the last release of the Arduino Create Agent.

    We tried to give some love to this awesome tool, in order to enhance the experience with the Create ecosystem.

  • Arduino Blog » Portenta Vision Shield now available with LoRa® module

    What better way to announce the availability of the Portenta Vision Shield LoRa than at The Things Conference 2021 – a global showcase for all the top-notch LoRaWAN products and services.

    The LoRa® module option of the Portenta Vision Shield is specifically designed for edge ML applications, enabling low-power, long distance communication over LoRa® wireless protocol and LoRaWAN networks. It’s the perfect addition to the powerful Arduino Portenta H7 which makes possible machine learning on-device, thereby greatly reducing the communication bandwidth requirement in an IoT application.

A closer look at Raspberry Pi RP2040 Programmable IOs (PIO)

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Hardware

The popularity of Raspberry Pico board powered by RP2040 microcontroller has made every reader wanting to know more about the board and chip. So today we will be talking about RP2040’s Programmable IOs, a feature that makes it different from most other microcontroller boards.

The two PIO blocks or let’s call it the hardware interfaces in the RP2040 have four state machines each. These two PIO blocks can simultaneously execute programs to manipulate GPIOs and transfer raw data. Now, what do these state machines do? Well, the PIO state machines execute the programs fetched from various sources. Sometimes the programs are taken from the PIO library (UART, SPI, or I2C) or user software.

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Also: Mini replica of DEC PDP-11 computer runs 2.11 BSD UNIX on ESP32 SoC

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Thomas Petazzoni (Bootlin) on Training

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Hardware

  • Qsync fixed on the Pi4 and FF compiled

    The Raspberry Pi4 does not have a hardware battery-backed clock, so relies on getting the date and time from an Internet time server. In EasyOS, Qsync is the utility that does that.

    At first bootup, QuickSetup has a checkbox to enable getting time from the Internet, which will launch Qsync. At first bootup on the Pi4, if you are going to connect to Internet via wifi, not ethernet, then there won't be an immediate Internet access. No problem, Qsync will run once the Internet connection is established.

    Qsync will run just once at bootup and after Internet connection. That's fine, but I couldn't understand why it would suddenly stop working. Then discovered that /etc/init.d/qsync was getting its executable-flag cleared.

  • Arduino Blog » This children’s console looks like something straight out of a superhero’s lair

    Kids have wonderful imaginations, and to help students at a primary school have a super time, creator “palladin” was asked to construct a console for them to use.

    The device features a variety of lights and sci-fi additions, including glowing “reactor” tubes that diffuse light using hair gel and a “memory bank” that emits flashing patterns for a 1950s supercomputer look.

  • Arduino Blog » This pen plotter draws detailed maps the size of walls

    Christopher Getschmann wanted a wall-sized map of the world. He soon realized, however, that it’s tough to actually buy such a map that’s both beautiful and detailed enough to satisfy his cartographic tastes. While many would simply move on to the next “thing,” Getschmann instead took things into his own hands, and built a pen plotter specifically to draw massive 2×3 meter map for his wall.

  • New training course: embedded Linux boot time optimization

    For many embedded products, the issue of how much time it takes from power-on to the application being fully usable by the end-user is an important challenge. Bootlin has been providing its expertise and experience in this area to its customers for many years through numerous boot time optimization projects, and we have shared this knowledge through a number of talks at several conferences over the past years.

    We are now happy to announce that we have a new training course Embedded Linux boot time optimization, open for public registration. This training course was already given to selected Bootlin customers and is now available for everyone.

Use your Raspberry Pi as a productivity powerhouse

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Hardware

In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 16 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

The Raspberry Pi is a pretty amazing little computer—small, surprisingly powerful, and very easy to set up and use. I have used them for home automation projects, dashboards, and a dedicated media player. But can it be a productivity powerhouse as well?

The answer is, quite simply, yes.

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Firefly dual-lens AI camera module comes with Rockchip RV1109 or RV1126 processor

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Hardware

The camera module runs Linux, and it supported by Rockchip RKNN toolkit working in Windows, Linux (64-bit x86 and Arm), and Mac OS. The AI camera module connects to a host platform such as an Android tablet. Considering the cameras are all fixed focus with a 80 cm focus distance, the main application is face recognition and detection. There’s no documentation in English for now, but the Chinese version of the Wiki has plenty of information and resources to get started.

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Devices and Open Hardware Leftovers

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Hardware

  • Rugged mini-PC dips into Elkhart Lake

    Neousys unveiled a fanless, 112 x 87 x 50mm “POC-40” computer with an up to 3.0GHz, dual-core Atom x6211E plus up to 32GB DDR4, 2x GbE, 4x USB, 3x M.2, and DP, 2x serial, and isolated DIO.

    Last month, Neousys announced one of the first Intel Elkhart Lake based embedded PCs with its ultra-compact (153 x 108 x 56mm) POC-400. The company has followed up with an even smaller (112 x 87 x 50mm) and similarly rugged POC-40 using the same 10nm processor family. The industrial, DIN-rail mountable mini-PC supports applications such as space-constrained factory data collection systems, rugged edge computers, and mobile gateways.

  • Pipo W12 Arm Windows 10 Laptop finally launched for $422 and up

    The project provides a Debian image for the aforementioned Yoga C630, so with some efforts a port to Pipo W12 may be possible.

  • Arduino Blog » Access control unit designed with a Raspberry Pi CM4 and an Arduino Micro

    Whether granting access to public transit or restricting unauthorized personnel in buildings, NFC card readers can be extremely useful. Although most might not consider how they work – and simply happy getting through a turnstile – there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

    In his video, Daniel Raines shows off a pair of prototype access control units (ACUs) that he’s constructed. The two networked devices are each based on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 along with an Arduino Micro that controls six relays to allow or deny entry, provide feedback, fire, and lock up.

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  • Arduino Blog » 2002 Audio TT dashboard gets a digital speedometer upgrade with a custom CAN bus shield

    While it’s hard to beat analog instruments for instantaneous automotive feedback, Finnish electrical engineering student Jussi Ristiniemi also wanted a digital speed readout on his 2002 Audi TT.

    His particular model normally uses the car’s controller area network (CAN) to transmit the radio station or CD track to the uppermost section of the digital display. For this speedometer mod, audio data was replaced with “KM/H” readings, supplied by the vehicle’s CAN bus system via an Arduino Nano and custom interface shield.

Alder Lake S Support Added To Intel's Open-Source Media Driver

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Linux
Hardware

Last quarter Intel began upstreaming their open-source Alder Lake S graphics support for Linux. It hasn't been too big of a feat or revealed many details since it's still Gen12 / Xe graphics seen since Tiger Lake. But it's been coming along and over the past month is now wired up into Intel's open-source Media Driver stack too.

Merged back on Christmas was the initial decode patch for Alder lake S (ADL_S) that was just a few hundred lines of code thanks to largely re-using the existing Gen12 driver code paths.

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Also: Intel Alder Lake S Graphics Support Nearing The Mainline Linux Kernel - Phoronix

Raspberry Pi: Boot to BASIC

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Hardware

40 years ago this Christmas, I got my first “personal computer”. It was a Sinclair ZX81 with 1KiB of RAM and a tape deck for storage. Every time I powered it on, like all ‘81 owners, I was greeted with this.

A couple of taps later, and I had written some code!

Ok, not a super auspicious creation, but it’s a start. It’s likely the same first program you wrote if you had one. Perhaps with rude words, who knows, they were fun times back in the ’80s. Through the following years I had a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K (later upgraded to 48K), a Spectrum +2 128K and an Amstrad CPC 464. All of which also booted directly to a programming language - BASIC.

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Getting Started with Raspberry Pi Pico using MicroPython and C

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Hardware
Reviews
Ubuntu

Raspberry Pi Pico board was just launched last Thursday, but thanks to Cytron I received a sample a few hours after the announcement, and I’ve now had time to play with the board using MicroPython and C programming language.

I went to the official documentation to get started, but I had to look around to achieve what I wanted to do, namely blinking some LEDs, so I’ll document my experience with my own getting started guide for Raspberry Pi Pico using a computer running Ubuntu 20.04 operating system. The instructions will be similar for Windows and Mac OS.

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