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Hardware

Graphics and Hardware

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • Nintendo's Switch Game Console Is Vulkan & OpenGL Conformant

    Since Nintendo's Switch game console launch powered by the NVIDIA Tegra we have suspected they were making use of Vulkan as the graphics API, particularly with Nintendo joining The Khronos Group, now it's been pretty much firmed up.

    The Nintendo Switch has been certified as a Vulkan 1.0 conformant implementation by The Khronos Group. Over on Khronos.org is now public confirmation with the Nintendo Switch currently being listed as the newest certified Vulkan product. The OS is listed as "Nintendo OS" and it passes the Vulkan 1.0.1.0 CTS.

  • AMD's ROCm 1.4 Now Available With OpenCL Support

    The Radeon Open Compute platform has been updated and quietly released prior to the weekend. The ROCm 1.4 release comes with preliminary OpenCL support.

  • Libav Now Supports VA-API HEVC Accelerated Decoding
  • Reworked Touchpad Acceleration For Libinput: No Longer Terrible

    Peter Hutterer has an early Christmas present for users of libinput on mobile devices with touchpads: much-improved touchpad acceleration.

    The Red Hat input developer explained, "This patchset is a cleanup and revamp of the touchpad acceleration code. It doesn't give us perfect acceleration, but it goes from the current rather abysimal state to one that should at least be good enough most of the time...he first 10 patches separate the touchpad code from the mouse acceleration code and switch it to use mm/s as base velocity unit (rather than the current 1000dpi-mouse-equivalency units). 11 is the main change that changes the acceleration pattern, mostly to start accelerating at a lot higher finger speed (found mostly by trial and error)."

  • The Power Efficiency From A Radeon HD 4890 Through The RX 480 & R9 Fury

    This past weekend I published a number of year-end 2016 AMD Linux benchmarks on a wide-range of AMD GPUs going back many generations while using the Linux 4.9 kernel on Ubuntu along with the Mesa 13.1-development code for having the newest open-source Gallium3D drivers. Those results were very interesting and go check them out now if you haven't done so already. For this article is a sub-set of those tests carried out again while monitoring the AC power consumption, GPU temperature, and CPU utilization while also automatically calculating the performance-per-Watt.

Arduino MKRZero shrinks Zero to MKR1000 dimensions

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Hardware

Arduino LLC’s $22 “MKRZero” shrinks the guts of the Arduino Zero board to the 65 x 25mm size of a MKR1000, but without the MKR1000’s WiFi.

Earlier this year when Arduino LLC debuted its $35, IoT focused MKR1000 board, we suggested it was like combining an Arduino Zero with its WiFi Shield. With its new MKRZero, Arduino LLC offers the same tiny 65 x 25mm footprint as the MKR1000, but with the 68 x 30mm Zero’s original Atmel (now Microchip) ATSAMD21 MCU rather than the WiFi-enabled ATSAMW25. It also lacks the MKR1000’s crypto chip, but does add a handy SD slot.

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Also: Maker Movement and FOSS: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Open Source Hardware

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Hardware
  • Is Open Source Hardware Growing Up?

    A few weeks ago, if I had heard of the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), it was only in passing. How things have changed. Kevin Morris has covered the announcement that RISC-V IP is available for a wide range of Microsemi's FPGAs. Around the 5th RISC-V workshop in November, there was a flurry of announcements. At several meetings and conferences I have attended, RISC-V has been discussed in the informal sessions. And now there are rumours in various places on the Internet that Samsung is planning a device using RISC-V.

    So what is it, and why is there a buzz now?

  • MEDIA ALERT: ESD Alliance to Host Discussion on Open Source, RISC-V Processor

Linux Devices

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Linux
Hardware

This might be the first fully open source notebook

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Open source hardware is still atypical for the technology world. However, you can now enthusiastically opt for a fully open source notebook PC to work on your next projects without looking at a proprietary solution.

Called Libreboot C201, the latest offering is a dream come true for the open source community. It features a 1.8GHz ARM Rockchip RK3288 processor coupled with 4B RAM and 16GB eMMC storage and sports an 11-inch HD display. On the connectivity front, the laptop lacks a built-in Wi-Fi chip but does come with an Atheros Wi-Fi dongle that works with open source drivers.

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Open Hardware/3-D Printing

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Hardware
OSS

Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • Accelerating Innovation: Michigan Tech patent database/app promotes open-source hardware

    Open-source innovation is making the traditional patent system obsolete. Michigan Technological University associate professor Joshua Pearce and his team work with what is called open-source hardware development.

    “What that means is sort of developing technologies that don’t rely on patents,” Pearce said. “We work collaboratively with engineers and scientists all over the world, and (it’s) fairly successful. And the reason it’s successful is because if you have thousands of people working on something, it tends to get pretty good pretty fast.”

    Pearce said the concept began some time ago with open-source software.

  • Non-profit creates open-source drinking water filter for 1/10th of the cost

    The high-tech vision of open-source software meets low-tech design at non-profit organization OHorizons, an international coalition of innovators working to solve persistent global challenges. The team’s most recent invention is the open-source Wood Mold, designed to allow even the least experienced person to create a BioSand Filter that can deliver clean water at 1/10th of the cost of the traditional method. The Wood Mold is designed to be accessible by anyone who has the DIY, open-source construction manual that OHorizons offers for free online.

Pico-ITX SBC runs Ubuntu on Braswell

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Hardware
Ubuntu

DFI announced an Intel Braswell based “BW051” Pico-ITX SBC with up to 8GB DDR3L, mini-PCIe, SATA 3.0, mSATA, and Linux support.

DFI, which earlier this year tapped Intel’s “Braswell” generation of SoCs for its BW968 COM Express Compact Type 6 module, has now chosen Braswell for a Pico-ITX SBC. The 100 x 72mm BW051 ships with 4-6W Braswell processors including dual or quad-core Celeron models, the quad-core 1.6GHz Pentium N3710, and quad-core, 1.04GHz Atom x5-E8000.

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Arduino-Compatible RISC-V and More

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Hardware
  • HiFive1 Is an Open-Source, Arduino-Compatible RISC-V Dev Kit

    Bay Area startup SiFive has announced the Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) system-on-chip — the industry’s first commercially-available SoC based on the free, open-source RISC-V architecture, along with the corresponding low-cost, Arduino-compatible HiFive1 development kit.

  • Samsung Defection From ARM to RISC-V.

    It was always thought that, when ARM relinquished its independence, its customers would look around for other alternatives.

    The nice thing about RISC-V is that it’s independent, open source and royalty-free.

    And RISC-V is what Samsung is reported to be using for an IoT CPU in preference to ARM.

  • Neutralize ME firmware on SandyBridge and IvyBridge platforms

    First introduced in Intel’s 965 Express Chipset Family, the Intel Management Engine (ME) is a separate computing environment physically located in the (G)MCH chip (for Core 2 family CPUs which is separate from the northbridge), or PCH chip replacing ICH(for Core i3/i5/i7 which is integrated with northbridge).

Open/Hacker Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
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Red Hat News

Leftovers: Ubuntu

Linux Devices

  • AsteroidOS 1.0 Alpha on the Asus Zenwatch 3
    In a previous article, I published a small userspace image and Linux kernel for the Zenwatch 3 that enables root access with SSH over USB on the watch. By now, I reached my initial goal to get AsteroidOS, the alternative Android Wear operating system, running on the Zenwatch 3. Similar to SailfishOS and Ubuntu Touch, AsteroidOS uses the original Android kernel - a patched Linux kernel - with a GNU/Linux userspace that, in turn, also uses some of the original, closed-source Android libraries to access certain hardware like the GPU. As the Android libraries expect a different software ecosystem, e.g., a different C library called bionic, we cannot simply call the Android libraries from within a common GNU/Linux application. Instead, we need an additional software layer that translates between the Android and the common GNU/Linux world. This layer is called libhybris.
  • How Ironic: Harman Kardon’s Microsoft Cortana Speaker Is Powered by Linux
    Harman Kardon, the company recently acquired by Samsung, has developed its very own Cortana speaker, which is very similar to the Amazon Echo but featuring Microsoft’s famous digital assistant. And since Cortana is the key feature of this little device, it only makes sense for Harman Kardon to turn to Windows 10 to power the device. And yet, it looks like the so-called Harman Kardon is actually running Linux.
  • MontaVista® Launches Carrier Grade eXpress®(CGX) 2.2 Linux® for 5G and IoT at MWC 2017
  • The Numbers Article for Mobile in 2017 - All the Statistics You Could Ask For
    Mobile is the hottest industry. Banking and payments are rushing to mobile. Governments doing healthcare and education with mobile. Travel from airlines to taxis to trains and busses to hotel bookings is going mobile. Your driver's licence is migrating to the mobile phone as are your keys to your home. And all the other big tech stories from Internet of Things (IoT) to 'Big Data' analytics to Cloud computing - are all dependent on mobile. And next week we have the massive industry event in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress. My brand new TomiAhonen Almanac 2017 is now finished and is released today. So this is the perfect time to do my annual 'State of Mobile' blog of the major statistics. What are the big numbers. Lets start with reach. Yes, mobile is by far the most widely-spread communication technology humankind has ever witnessed.
  • Tizen Store Expands Its Service Coverage to 222 Countries
    The Tizen Store, as the name suggests, is the Tizen Application Store for developers to publish their free and paid for Tizen apps. In April 2015, we saw the store expand it’s coverage to include 182 countries, which was mainly for FREE apps, but we saw this as setting the foundation for providing paid for apps further down the road.

Android Leftovers