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Hardware

AMD surprise: pin-compatible ARM and x86 CPUs

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

In conjunction with its Project Skybridge and K2 announcement, AMD said that today it “demonstrated for the first time its 64-bit ARM-based AMD Opteron A-Series processor, codenamed ‘Seattle,’ running a Linux environment derived from the Fedora Project.” The Fedora-based Linux environment is said to enable development — and migration between — applications based on both x86- and ARM-based processors using common tools.

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DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport Starts Working On Linux

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Hardware

David has now posted working patches for his DP MST code on the DRI-devel mailing list. Right now his code has just been tested on a Lenovo Ultrabook boasting Intel "Haswell" graphics and it's working when connected to external hubs. There's still code that's a work in progress but overall it seems to be working fine. Right now this initial "preview code" works for Intel Haswell hardware with certain DP MST hubs.

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No, ARM Didn't Open-Source Their Full Mali Linux Driver

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

A few links have been sent in to our news tip box with this page, which reads, "Open Source Mali-200/300/400/450 GPU Kernel Device Drivers." While the page mentions open-source drivers, it's only about the kernel portion of the driver and it's always been that way with ARM -- and most other ARM-based graphics vendors. The kernel portion is open, the user-space components are closed. Without an open user-space, having an open kernel driver is only of limited use, and will not be accepted into the upstream Linux kernel.

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AMD Publishes Open-Source Graphics Code For Mullins & Beema

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
OSS

AMD rolled out the Beema and Mullins hardware yesterday. The AMD "Beema" APUs are targeted for mobile products like notebook PCs while AMD Mullins APUs are low-power processors for ultra low-powered devices. The low-end Mullins APUs sport Radeon R2/R3 Graphics. The AMD Mullins APUs include the A10 Micro-6700T, A4 Micro-6400T, and E1 Micro-6200Tl. The Beema APUs include the E2-6010, E2-6110, A4-6210, and A6-6310. The Mullins models top out at 4.5 Watts while the Beema APUs top out at 15 Watts.

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World's First Open Source Laptop Gets Wideband Software-Defined Radio

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

When Bunnie Huang firstannounced the Novena laptopback in December 2012 it was like an early Christmas present to hackers the world over. This was true even though there was only a suggestion that, given sufficient demand, a limited number maybe made available.

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AMD Shows Off Beema & Mullins But Its Linux Fate Is Unclear

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

AMD has now revealed their newest APUs, codenamed "Beema" and "Mullins" while their Linux fate remains unclear.

The AMD "Beema" APUs are targeted for mobile products like notebook PCs while AMD Mullin APUs are low-power processors for ultra low-powered devices. The low-end Mullin APUs sport Radeon R2/R3 Graphics.

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xf86-video-modesetting Now Supports Server-Managed FDs

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

The generic xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver that's designed to work universally across Linux KMS drivers now has support for sever-managed file-descriptors, which will help this driver work on non-root X Servers.

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Raspberry Pi Clones Match the Connectors, But Boost the Firepower

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Ever since the Raspberry Pi burst onto the scene in 2012, open source hardware projects have been promoting their Linux-ready hacker boards as offering faster, more capable alternatives. Considering the Pi's 700MHz ARM11 processor and relatively modest feature set, that's not such a stretch, but matching the $35 price is another story. If you can't match the price, what you really need to get the attention of Pi-lovers looking for a bit more oomph is to look and act like a Pi.

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Raspberry Pi-like boardset packs quad-core i.MX6

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Hardware

SolidRun created the community-backed HummingBoard to serve as a modular motherboard for use in its Linux- and Android-ready CuBox mini-PCs, including the recent CuBox-i models. Like the recently announced, Allwinner A20-based Banana Pi single board computer, the HummingBoard is a faster near-clone of the Raspberry Pi. It also similarly offers Pi-like ports and layout, as well as the RasPi’s 26-pin expansion connector for add-on module compatibility. But unlike the Pi boards, the HummingBoard’s processor core resides on a tiny computer-on-module.

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Easter egg: DSL router patch merely hides backdoor instead of closing it

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Hardware
Security
Legal

First, DSL router owners got an unwelcome Christmas present. Now, the same gift is back as an Easter egg. The same security researcher who originally discovered a backdoor in 24 models of wireless DSL routers has found that a patch intended to fix that problem doesn’t actually get rid of the backdoor—it just conceals it. And the nature of the “fix” suggests that the backdoor, which is part of the firmware for wireless DSL routers based on technology from the Taiwanese manufacturer Sercomm, was an intentional feature to begin with.

Back in December, Eloi Vanderbecken of Synacktiv Digital Security was visiting his family for the Christmas holiday, and for various reasons he had the need to gain administrative access to their Linksys WAG200G DSL gateway over Wi-Fi. He discovered that the device was listening on an undocumented Internet Protocol port number, and after analyzing the code in the firmware, he found that the port could be used to send administrative commands to the router without a password.

After Vanderbecken published his results, others confirmed that the same backdoor existed on other systems based on the same Sercomm modem, including home routers from Netgear, Cisco (both under the Cisco and Linksys brands), and Diamond. In January, Netgear and other vendors published a new version of the firmware that was supposed to close the back door.

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Librem 15 Is a Beast of a Linux Laptop with a Gorgeous Finish

Librem 15 aims to be the only laptop coming with completely free software and its makers are looking to get some funding through a crowdfunding campaign. You might think that if a laptop ships with any Linux distribution, then it would stand to reason that it would be loaded with free and open source software, but the truth is that it's not that simple or even intuitive. For example, it's true that the Linux kernel is an open source project and that it's freely distributable, but there are some people in the community that say it's not enough. Read more

Google and Facebook feel the wrath of German open source advocate

Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna has hit out at the closed nature of services offered by Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook. Speaking in Paris earlier this month, Laguna said many of Silicon Valley's largest companies, and others like them, need to open up their proprietary systems to comply with laws around the world and uphold many of the citizen’s rights that people have fought for over the last several hundred years. Read more

Best of open hardware in 2014

Open hardware is the physical foundation of the open movement. It is through understanding, designing, manufacturing, commercializing, and adopting open hardware, that we built the basis for a healthy and self-reliant community of open. And the year of 2014 had plenty of activities in the open hardware front. Read more

Open Source Online Game Gets Students Excited About Linux

When Razvan Rughinis began teaching the introductory operating systems course at University Politehnica of Bucharest in Romania 10 years ago, he was challenged to get students interested in Linux and keep them interested for the entire three-month course. Many first-year computer science students have no experience with Linux, and they have no interest in learning it, said Rughinis a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. And those students who do know Linux are regarded as unusual and treated as social outcasts, he said. “They wouldn't pay attention to the first experience to see what Linux has to offer; not just the desktop, but how the services work and the depth of the system,” he said. “It's a steep learning curve for students coming from high school. Their first encounter was too difficult.” Read more