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Hardware

Threadripper, Ryzen, and AMD

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • LLVMpipe & OpenSWR OpenGL Riding Off Threadripper

    One of the unique test requests coming in as part of our Threadripper on Linux testing is to see how well the LLVMpipe and OpenSWR CPU-based OpenGL implementations within Mesa perform for this 16 core / 32 thread single-socket processor. Here are those results.

    A few days back I did a similar LLVMpipe/SWR comparison on a 80 thread Intel system so check out those numbers if you are unfamiliar with these CPU-based OpenGL drivers... This testing is done mostly for curiosity about the viability of LLVMpipe/SWR on CPUs with high core counts.

  • New Ryzen runs well under Linux

    After AMD confirmed the "performance marginality problem" for Ryzen Linux users, RMAs have been being issued and replacement Ryzen processors arriving for those affected. Now Phoronix has been able to confirm that the new Ryzen CPUs are now stable.

    For those who came in late, some Linux users reported a segmentation fault problem that would occur under very heavy workloads. Now the replacements have been shipped, Phoronix has been able to test the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X under the same heavy loads which caused it to go tits up.

Open Hardware: TinyCircuits, Numworks, and Open Source FPGAs

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Hardware
  • TinyCircuits Portfolio of Tiny Open Source Electronics Available Globally from Digi-Key

    TinyCircuits' selection of small-size open source electronics, including the TinyDuino, is available for immediate shipment worldwide through Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, thanks to a new distribution agreement between the two companies.

  • Numworks graphing calculator is made for students raised on tech

    Now, an open-source calculator called Numworks is taking them on with a clean, simple look, an intuitive interface and open source programming and design.

  • Retrocomputing With Open Source FPGAs

    A few years ago, we saw the reverse engineering of the Lattice iCE40 bitstream, opening the door to a completely Open Source development tool chain for FPGAs. This was an astonishing amount of work from [Clifford Wolf], [Mathias Lasser], and [Cotton Seed], but since then we haven’t seen a whole lot from Project IceStorm. Now, that’s about to change, and in the coolest way possible. [hoglet] is retrocomputing on an ICE40 development board.

    This is an implementation of the Acorn Atom on a myStorm BlackIce board. This board is basically just a Lattice iCE40 FPGA, a few support components, and a bunch of pin headers, some of which are in the not-so-handy Arduino pinout footprint. By porting some Acorn Atom implementations and a 6502 core to verilog, [hoglet] was able to stuff a cool old retrocomputer onto an Open Source FPGA development board. Video output is through a resistor DAC driving a VGA cable, and keyboard input is through PS/2.

Survey shows Linux and FreeRTOS out front in embedded tech

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

AspenCore’s 2017 survey of embedded tech developers reveals that open source OSes like Linux and FreeRTOS continue to grow as proprietary platforms decline.

Dozens of market studies are happy to tell you how many IoT gizmos are expected to ship by 2020, but few research firms regularly dig into embedded development trends. That’s where reader surveys come in handy. Our own joint survey with Linux.com readers on hacker board trends offer insights into users of Linux and Android community-backed SBCs. The AspenCore survey of its EETimes and Embedded readers has a smaller sample (1,234 vs. 1,705), but is broader and more in depth, asking many more questions and spanning developers who use a range of OSes on both MCU and application processors.

The survey, which was taken in March and April of this year, does not perfectly represent global trends. The respondents are predominantly located in the U.S. and Canada (56 percent) followed by Europe/ENEA (25 percent), and Asia (11 percent). They also tend to be older, with an average of 24 years out of college, and work at larger, established companies with an average size of 3,452 employees and on teams averaging 15 engineers.

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Phoronix Benchmarks and AMD Recalls

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • Keeping The Ryzen Threadripper Busy With An Array Of Compiler Benchmarks

    While there are an array of interesting AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Linux benchmarks in this morning's review, after hitting a 36 second Linux kernel compilation time with this 16 core / 32 thread processor, I spent this afternoon seeing what I was getting for some other compile times of popular programs.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 7.4 M3 Released With OpenBenchmarking Seamless/Dynamic Comparisons
  • AMD Replaces Ryzen CPUs for Users Affected By Rare Linux Bug

    AMD’s Ryzen 7 has been generally well-received by the enthusiast community, but there’s been one low-level problem that we’ve been watching but haven’t previously reported on. In early June, Ryzen users running Linux began reporting segmentation faults when running multiple concurrent compilation workloads using multiple different versions of GCC. LVVM/Clang was not affected, and the issue appears confined to Linux. Moreover, it wasn’t apparently common, even among Linux users — Michael Larabel, of Phoronix.com, reported that his own test rigs had been absolutely solid, even under heavy workloads.

    Like the Pentium FDIV bug of yesteryear, this was a real issue, but one that realistically only impacted a fraction of a fraction of buyers. AMD had previously said it was investigating the problem (which isn’t present on any Epyc or Threadripper CPUs) and it’s now announced a solution: CPU replacement.

Devices: Triple-Display Linux Thin Clients, Asteroid (Linux) Spreads, Microsoft Dumped in New York City

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Compact thin client runs Linux, supports triple displays

    0ZiG’s “5900q” thin client features a quad-core Intel Braswell SoC, triple display and 4K support, and optional PoE, WiFi, and M.2.

  • Connect Watch: First Device To Run Asteroid OS Out Of The Box

    The Connect Watch is the first device to run the Linux based Astroid OS right out of the box, and leaving your phone at home is doable with this watch thanks to its nano sim slot with 3G capabilities with support for GSM bands 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 as well as WCDMA bands 850 and 2100. You’ll also be getting a 1.39-inch AMOLED display coming in at a resolution of 400 x 400 with no flat tire in sight. Under that display, is a 1.39GHz Quad Core processor with your choice of either 512MB or 1GB of RAM and 4GB or 8GB of internal storage. Also on board, are Bluetooth and GPS capabilities as well as a 2-megapixel camera with the ability to shoot 720p video. To take advantage of all these bells and whistles, the watch comes equipped with dedicated dialer, camera, and fitness tracking apps.

  • New York City cops will replace their 36,000 Windows phones with iPhones
  • New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

    The New York Police Department will scrap 36,000 smartphones, thanks to a monumental purchasing cock-up by a billionaire's daughter.

    The city spent millions on the phones back in October 2016 as part of its drive to bring the police force into the 21st century. And the woman behind the purchase – Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology, Jessica Tisch – praised them for their ability to quickly send 911 alerts to officers close to an incident.

    There was only one problem: Tisch chose Windows-based Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL phones, and Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 8.1 in July.

Intel Media SDK for Embedded Linux, Raspberry Slideshow 9.0, and Librem 5

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Purism's Librem 5, Jolla's Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X, NVIDIA's Jetson TX1 Developer Board

Filed under
Hardware
  • Purism's Librem 5 Is Nearing $100k In Funding, But A Long Journey Remains

    This week Purism announced their plans for the Librem 5 smart-phone as a GNU/Linux smartphone that is privacy-respecting, as open as possible, and costs $599 USD. The company believes they can have the phone ready for release by early 2019 if they raise $1.5 million USD over the next two months. In just about three days they have raised nearly $100,000, but it's not clear if the pacing will continue to reach the milestone in time.

    As of writing this morning, they have raised $93,994 USD since their announcement on Thursday. This includes 134 backers sending in $599 USD to effectively pre-order the device, just six sending in $299 USD for the developer kit, two sending in $1399 for getting the Librem 5 phone with a 24-inch monitor, and four pledging $1699 USD to get the Librem 5 phone with an unnamed 30-inch monitor.

  • Jolla officially launches Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X, but at a hefty price

    Sailfish OS will debut on Xperia X handsets soon, as Sony has tied up with Jolla to optimise the new mobile OS for its flagship series. After a few failed attempts with Intex, Fairphone and TRI, the Sailfish OS is all set for a comeback with a new moniker 'Sailfish X'. It will be offered as a paid software on Xperia X smartphones.

  • NVIDIA Rolls Out Jetson TX1 Developer Board SE At $199 USD

    For those looking for a very capable ARM developer board but have previously been put off by the Jetson TX1 at $579 USD, they now have a $199 developer board.

Devices: Khadas Vim2, ODROID HC1, Librem 5

Filed under
Hardware
  • Open-spec SBC features octa-core -A53 SoC

    The “Khadas Vim2” SBC runs Android 7.1 or Ubuntu 16.04 on an octa-core, -A53 Amlogic S912 with up to 3GB DDR4, WiFi, GbE, HDMI 2.0, and dual USB ports.

    Late last year, the Khadas project launched an open spec Khadas Vim SBC that runs on the Amlogic S905X, a cheaper version of the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Amlogic S905 used on Hardkernel’s Odroid-C2. Now, Khadas is back with a similarly open-spec Khadas Vim2 board that advances to the octa-core Amlogic S912.

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  • [Video] ODROID HC1 : Home Cloud One Introduction

    ODROID-HC1 is a mini PC which can be an affordable solution for a network attached storage (NAS) server. This home cloud-server centralizes data and enables users to share and stream multimedia files to phones, tablets and other devices on a network. Ideal for a single user on many devices, sharing between family members, developers or a group. Tailor the ODROID-HC1 to your specific needs. Plenty of software is available with only simple configuration. Determine the storage capacity of your server with a higher HDD/SSD. Depending on your needs, the frame is made to be stackable.

  • The Librem 5: Your Ultimate GNU/Linux FLOSS Smartphone

    Purism is well known for Linux based laptop with Coreboot. Now they started a crowdfunding campaign today for its smartphone called Purism Librem 5. What is so special about this phone? It is 100% powered by GNU/Linux. You can run any Linux distro on it. The phone provides high security and privacy features, i.e., it does not track you. This seems like an excellent device. One that I would certainly purchase or recommend to a privacy-conscious person.

  • The Librem 5 from Purism: A Matrix Native Smartphone.

    We’ve been approached by Purism to partner up to provide the communications subsystem for their upcoming Librem 5 smartphone – for which they are launching a crowdfunding campaign starting today! The whole idea of the phone is to provide unprecedented privacy, security and autonomy by running an entirely FOSS Debian-based GNU/Linux stack (even including CPU & GPU drivers!), and we are incredibly proud and overexcited that the folks at Purism have asked the Matrix core team to provide the native dialler and messaging app for the phone.  Yes, this means that the phone will literally boot by default into Matrix for all its primary communications (although, being FOSS, you could of course use a different dialler if you wanted).  The intention is to be a very usable and flexible phone for folks who value freedom, privacy and simplicity over the (relative) quagmire of iOS or Android – and of course jumping way ahead of where Apple or Google are in terms of integrating next-generation communications into the very heart of the device.

Meet the Entroware Zeus, a Powerful Linux Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

A hulking great 15.6-inch laptop with the power to match. On paper, I’m impressed at how well the Entroware Zeus manages to balance top tier performance and yet retain the benefits of portability.

The sleek aluminium chassis measures just 18.6mm thick, and the whole laptop weighs in at just 1.9KG — surprisingly light for a portable workstation.

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Devices: Portwell’s and Habey’s Linux-Ready Boards

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Sunjun partners with Collabora to offer LibreOffice in the Cloud
  • Tackling the most important issue in a DevOps transformation
    You've been appointed the DevOps champion in your organisation: congratulations. So, what's the most important issue that you need to address?
  • PSBJ Innovator of the Year: Hacking cells at the Allen Institute
  • SUNY math professor makes the case for free and open educational resources
    The open educational resources (OER) movement has been gaining momentum over the past few years, as educators—from kindergarten classes to graduate schools—turn to free and open source educational content to counter the high cost of textbooks. Over the past year, the pace has accelerated. In 2017, OERs were a featured topic at the high-profile SXSW EDU Conference and Festival. Also last year, New York State generated a lot of excitement when it made an $8 million investment in developing OERs, with the goal of lowering the costs of college education in the state. David Usinski, a math and computer science professor and assistant chair of developmental education at the State University of New York's Erie Community College, is an advocate of OER content in the classroom. Before he joined SUNY Erie's staff in 2007, he spent a few years working for the Erie County public school system as a technology staff developer, training teachers how to infuse technology into the classroom.

Mozilla: Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society, New AirMozilla Audience Demo, Firefox Telemetry

  • Net Neutrality, NSF and Mozilla's WINS Challenge Winners, openSUSE Updates and More
    The National Science Foundation and Mozilla recently announced the first round of winners from their Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenges—$2 million in prizes for "big ideas to connect the unconnected across the US". According to the press release, the winners "are building mesh networks, solar-powered Wi-Fi, and network infrastructure that fits inside a single backpack" and that the common denominator for all of them is "they're affordable, scalable, open-source and secure."
  • New AirMozilla Audience Demo
    The legacy AirMozilla platform will be decommissioned later this year. The reasons for the change are multiple; however, the urgency of the change is driven by deprecated support of both the complex back-end infrastructure by IT and the user interface by Firefox engineering teams in 2016. Additional reasons include a complex user workflow resulting in a poor user experience, no self-service model, poor usability metrics and a lack of integrated, required features.
  • Perplexing Graphs: The Case of the 0KB Virtual Memory Allocations
    Every Monday and Thursday around 3pm I check dev-telemetry-alerts to see if there have been any changes detected in the distribution of any of the 1500-or-so pieces of anonymous usage statistics we record in Firefox using Firefox Telemetry.

Games: All Walls Must Fall, Tales of Maj'Eyal

  • All Walls Must Fall, the quirky tech-noir tactics game, comes out of Early Access
    This isometric tactical RPG blends in sci-fi, a Cold War that never ended and lots of spirited action. It’s powered by Unreal Engine 4 and has good Linux support.
  • Non-Linux FOSS: Tales of Maj'Eyal
    I love gaming, but I have two main problems with being a gamer. First, I'm terrible at video games. Really. Second, I don't have the time to invest in order to increase my skills. So for me, a game that is easy to get started with while also providing an extensive gaming experience is key. It's also fairly rare. All the great games tend to have a horribly steep learning curve, and all the simple games seem to involve crushing candy. Thankfully, there are a few games like Tales of Maj'Eyal that are complex but with a really easy learning curve.

KDE and GNOME: KDE Discover, Okular, Librsvg, and Phone's UI Shell

  • This week in Discover, part 7
    The quest to make Discover the most-loved Linux app store continues at Warp 9 speed! You may laugh, but it’s happening! Mark my words, in a year Discover will be a beloved crown jewel of the KDE experience.
  • Okular gains some more JavaScript support
    With it we support recalculation of some fields based on others. An example that calculates sum, average, product, minimum and maximum of three numbers can be found in this youtube video.
  • Librsvg's continuous integration pipeline
    With the pre-built images, and caching of Rust artifacts, Jordan was able to reduce the time for the "test on every commit" builds from around 20 minutes, to little under 4 minutes in the current iteration. This will get even faster if the builds start using ccache and parallel builds from GNU make. Currently we have a problem in that tests are failing on 32-bit builds, and haven't had a chance to investigate the root cause. Hopefully we can add 32-bit jobs to the CI pipeline to catch this breakage as soon as possible.
  • Design report #3: designing the UI Shell, part 2
    Peter has been quite busy thinking about the most ergonomic mobile gestures and came up with a complete UI shell design. While the last design report was describing the design of the lock screen and the home screen, we will discuss here about navigating within the different features of the shell.