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Hardware

The "Chinese EPYC" Hygon Dhyana CPU Support Still Getting Squared Away For Linux

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Linux
Hardware

Back in June is when the Linux kernel patches appeared for the Hygon Dhyana, the new x86 processors based on AMD Zen/EPYC technology licensed by Chengdu Haiguang IC Design Co for use in Chinese data-centers. While the patches have been out for months, they haven't reached the mainline kernel quite yet but that might change next cycle.

The Hygon Dyhana Linux kernel patches have gone through several revisions and the code is mostly adapting existing AMD Linux kernel code paths for Zen/EPYC to do the same on these new processors. While these initial Hygon CPUs appear to basically be re-branded EPYC CPUs, the identifiers are different as rather than AMD Family 17h, it's now Family 18h and the CPU Vendor ID is "HygonGenuine" and carries a new PCI Express device vendor ID, etc. So the different areas of the kernel from CPUFreq to KVM/Xen virtualization to Spectre V2 mitigations had to be updated for the correct behavior.

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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

Filed under
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

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Privacy, R.I.P., and Consent Management at Mozfest 2018

  • Firefox collects data on you through hidden add-ons

    Mozilla, the organisation that produces the Firefox browser and makes a loud noise about its open source credentials, is quietly collecting telemetry data on its users by the use of hidden add-ons, even though publicly visible telemetry controls are not selected.

  • R.I.P., Charles W. Moore, a fine man who liked fine Macs
    A farewell and au revoir to a great gentleman in making the most of your old Mac, Charles W. Moore, who passed away at his home in rural Canada on September 16 after a long illness. Mr Moore was an early fan of TenFourFox, even back in the old bad Firefox 4 beta days, and he really made his famous Pismo PowerBook G3 systems work hard for it.
  • Consent management at Mozfest 2018
    Good news. It looks like we're having a consent management mini-conference as part of Mozfest next month. (I'm one of the organizers for the Global Consent Manager session, and plan to attend the others.)

Android Leftovers

LibreOffice: A history of document freedom

My reminiscing led me to reach out to the Document Foundation, which governs LibreOffice, to learn more about the history of this open source productivity software. The Document Foundation's team told me that "StarWriter, the ancestor of the LibreOffice suite, was developed as proprietary software by Marco Börries, a German student, to write his high school final thesis." He formed a company called Star Division to develop the software. In 1999, Sun Microsystems bought Star Division for $73.5 million, changed the software's name to OpenOffice.org, and released the code as open source. Anyone could download the office suite at no charge for personal use. The Document Foundation told me, "For almost 10 years, the software was developed under Sun stewardship, from version 1.0 to version 3.2. It started with a dual license—LGPL and the proprietary SISSL (Sun Industry Standard Software License)—but it evolved to pure LGPL from version 2.0." Read more

Learn the 37 most frequently used shortcuts in GIMP

GIMP is a fantastic artist's tool for editing digital images, especially with the bevy of impressive features in the recent release of version 2.10. Of course, like all creative applications, you can get working more quickly if you can make yourself familiar with the various keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys available. GIMP, of course, gives you the ability to customize these shortcuts to match what you're personally comfortable with. However, the default shortcuts that GIMP ships with are impressive and generally easy to get used to. This cheat sheet is not an exhaustive list of all of the defaults GIMP has available. Instead, it covers the most frequently used shortcuts so you can get to work as fast as possible. Plus, there should be a few in here that make you aware of a few features that maybe you weren't aware of. Read more