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Open/Hacker Hardware

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Hardware

Open Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
  • Open Source Hardware Comes of Age

    Most people have at least heard of the term “open source” but the wide popularity of open source has been in software rather than hardware. Open source software is well known. Home computer users recognize it in downloads like Office Libre, GIMP, and the VLC media player. More serious computer users realize that much of the Internet itself was built on open source technologies like Linux and the Apache Web Server. Open source software can quickly be defined as source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.

  • The Opposite of the EOMA-68 Modular Laptop

    In the photos of the laptop that David exposed and is keeping functional, the complexity of the design is clearly apparent. Huge heat sinks and heat pipes, a densely populated and really quite large PCB on both sides (which is costly to manufacture). Chances of repair and ongoing maintenance: absolutely zero. The only reason that David is even considering keeping this machine going is down to years of experience with computers - something that most people simply do not have time to do.

    By contrast, the EOMA68 Laptop Housing is kept to a bare minimum out of pure necessity: it’s a simpler design that’s been made using tools that the average electronics engineer could conceivably imagine owning… so that they can make or repair these devices, for themselves, or for other people.

    The main PCB (PCB1) is only 6” square with a small extension for the USB ports, and is approximately only 30% populated with components, only on one side. PCB2 (for the keyboard and mouse) is very small and has around 30 components on it, and PCB3 likewise. Here are some pictures taken last year: the first shows the 3 PCBs wired together and assembled in the 3D-printed case, whilst the second is a partially-populated PCB (USB2 connectors in the top left corner to give an idea of scale).

  • Earth-friendly EOMA68 Computing Devices

“Teensy” Arduino clone grows, with more I/O, USB, and faster CPU

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Hardware

PJRC is Kickstartering two new models of its “Teensy” Arduino compatible, featuring a faster 180MHz Cortex-M4, more memory, more pins, and a second USB.

In the world of Arduino compatibles, you can choose from bare-bones clones or value-added innovators that develop new software as well as hardware, and occasionally risk some compatibility in order to advance the capabilities of the entire Arduino platform. In the latter category is Teensy, a DIY breadboard-oriented Arduino project from Portland, Oregon based PJRC, led by Teensy inventor Paul Stoffregen, known for its superior USB-based keyboard/mouse, LED array, and audio support. The eight-year old company has now upgraded the Teensy board with a much faster MCU, more RAM and flash, many more I/O pins, and additional USB and CAN ports, making it one of the fastest Arduino clones around.

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Intel News

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Linux
Hardware
  • Intel “Aero” drone board runs Yocto on Cherry Trail

    Intel has launched a Linux-on-Atom powered “Aero Compute Board” and quadcopter, promising improved obstacle navigation based on Intel RealSense.

    Even more than last year’s Intel Developer Forum, this week’s IDF is focusing relentlessly on Intel RealSense. The 3D depth sensing camera technology is everywhere at IDF, including the new Windows-focused Project Alloy VR helmet and several Linux-infused drone, robotics, and camera kits. In fact, even the new Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake processors expected to be announced today include built-in support for RealSense. Here, we take a look at the Intel Aero Platform drone products: the Atom-based Intel Aero Compute Board and an Aero Ready To Fly quadcopter based on it.

  • Intel unveils its Joule chip module for the Internet of Things

    Joule is the latest product in Intel’s family of all-in-one chip modules for the Internet of Things.

    Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off the new Joule module during a keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The module is a follow-up to Edison, the prior IoT module introduced in 2014.

  • Intel Launches Project Alloy — An Open-source VR Headset That’s A Full PC [Ed: That’s a lie (even the headline). It’s not “Open Source”, it’s Microsoft rubbish.]

Intel Joule SOM runs Ubuntu Core Linux and makes Raspberry Pi look like garbage

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Hardware
Ubuntu

The original Raspberry Pi sparked the creativity of many developers and students, but it was woefully underpowered. Through several iterations, however, it slowly became more powerful. While the most recent version -- the Raspberry Pi 3 -- has a much more capable processor, some developers will still want even more horsepower.

Today, Intel announces a maker board that puts the Raspberry Pi 3 to shame. The Joule system-on-module mini-computer features RealSense camera support and runs Ubuntu Linux Core. Best of all, its specs are very impressive for what it is.

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Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • Russia's 3Dquality Continues to Expand and Impress with Growing Range of 3D Printers
  • Minimalist Cetus 3D Printer Soon to Hit Kickstarter
  • Qubie is an open hardware solution for tracking wait times at voting places

    With an incredibly important national election coming up, it’s more critical than ever that everyone who can vote does — and is able to. Election tech firm Free and Fair is hoping to help avoid overflowing voting locations with a simple, open source device that automatically monitors waiting times and keeps voters and officials informed.

    Free and Fair creates open source software for polling places, from checking in voters to actually taking and tallying votes — but Qubie is the company’s first original hardware, created for the Hackaday Prize. Founder Daniel Zimmerman explained that it was just another aspect of the voting process that struck them as out of date.

    “In the last few elections there have been reports of long queue times, people giving up and going home,” he told TechCrunch. “Election technology is in a pretty sorry state — we thought it’d be nice to gather data on that rather than anecdotes.”

AMD Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • Radeon RX 460 Released, Linux Review Later This Week

    Just days after the Radeon RX 470 began shipping, the Radeon RX 460 is shipping this morning and the embargo concerning the RX 460 has expired.

    This Polaris 11 graphics card has 14 compute units, 896 stream process, 1090MHz boost clock speed with 1200MHz boost clock speed, and is rated for up to 2.2 TFLOPS of compute power. The video memory is GDDR5 on a 128-bit bus. The TDP for this graphics card is less than 75 Watts.

  • AMD GPUOpen's CodeXL 2.2 Now Supports Linux With AMDGPU-PRO

    Earlier this year AMD made CodeXL 2.0 open-source as a developer tool with GUI centered around profiling/optimizing D3D, OpenGL, and Vulkan (since CodeXL 2.1) under Windows and Linux. Today marks the release of CodeXL 2.2.

Android and Devices

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Android
Linux
Hardware
  • Kernel.org Is Knocking On The Door Of My Odroid-C2

    If this ~$100 CDN tiny box pleases TLW, it’s Good Enough. When a proper video driver gets into Linus’ mainline, say, with Wayland, and distros have all the usual applications working, these things will take over. It surely blows away her old VIA box with 8 core-gHz CPU, gigabit/s networking and 2gB RAM compared to 0.4 core-gHz, 100 mbits/s, and 0.25gB RAM. We’re using files over NFS so TLW will be able to use her old desktop environment on Beast III if she wants. Otherwise, she can use the Odroid-C2 as a thick client well enough. Cost for the old ones was ~$150 CDN delivered a decade ago, with real money, not this inflated stuff. Life is good.

  • ​Google wants you to log in once on Android - with any password manager
  • Google Says Goodbye to Android Wear's 'Together' Watch Face
  • Here's an open source PC that can be a laptop, desktop or even tablet

    Would-be backers of the open-source, modular EOMA68 PC card can now support the crowdfunding campaign by purchasing several new gadgets that work with the system.

    Fund-raising for the 'Easy-on-Mother-Earth' EOMA68 PC began in July and have now reached $66,000, or just under half of the $150,000 targeted by the end of August.

    The concept, from UK firm Rhombus Tech, is designed to demonstrate that computers can be easy and cheap to fix or upgrade with a standardized PC board and 3D printable housing and components. It also hopes the modular design can cut the mountains of e-waste produced by the tech industry.

4-Disk Btrfs RAID Benchmarks On Linux 4.7

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Going along with the recent Linux 4.7 file-system benchmarks, here are some tests of Btrfs' built-in RAID functionality when tested on the Linux 4.7 kernel across four SATA SSDs.

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Open Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
  • AArch64 desktop hardware?

    Soon there will be four years since I started working on AArch64 architecture. Lot of software things changed during that time. Lot in a hardware too. But machines availability still sucks badly.

    In 2012 all we had was software model. It was slow, terribly slow. Common joke was AArch64 developers standing in a queue for 10GHz x86-64 cpus. So I was generating working binaries by using cross compilation. But many distributions only do native builds. In models. Imagine Qt4 building for 3-4 days…

    In 2013 I got access to first server hardware. With first silicon version of CPU. Highly unstable, we could use just one core etc. GCC was crashing like hell but we managed to get stable build results from it. Qt4 was building in few hours now.

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 1

    Last year I had open source instruction set RISC-V running Linux emulated in qemu. However to really get into the architecture, and restore my very rusty FPGA skills, wouldn’t it be fun to have RISC-V working in real hardware.

    The world of RISC-V is pretty confusing for outsiders. There are a bunch of affiliated companies, researchers who are producing actual silicon (nothing you can buy of course), and the affiliated(?) lowRISC project which is trying to produce a fully open source chip. I’m starting with lowRISC since they have three iterations of a design that you can install on reasonably cheap FPGA development boards like the one above. (I’m going to try to install “Untether 0.2” which is the second iteration of their FPGA design.)

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 2
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 3
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 4
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 5
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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Linux Kernel Podcast for 2017/03/21
  • Announcing the Shim review process [Ed: accepting rather than fighting very malicious things]
    However, a legitimate criticism has been that there's very little transparency in Microsoft's signing process. Some people have waited for significant periods of time before being receiving a response. A large part of this is simply that demand has been greater than expected, and Microsoft aren't in the best position to review code that they didn't write in the first place.
  • rtop – A Nifty Tool to Monitor Remote Server Over SSH
    rtop is a simple, agent-less, remote server monitoring tool that works over SSH. It doesn’t required any other software to be installed on remote machine, except openSSH server package & remote server credentials.
  • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.3 and KDE Applications 16.12.3, More
    Neofytos Kolokotronis from the Chakra GNU/Linux project, an open-source operating system originally based on Arch Linux and the KDE Plasma desktop environment, announced the availability of the latest KDE updates in the distro's repositories. Those of you using Chakra GNU/Linux as your daily drive will be happy to learn that the stable repos were filled with numerous up-to-date packages from the recently released KDE Plasma 5.9.3 desktop environment, KDE Applications 16.12.3 software suite, and KDE Frameworks 5.32.0 collection of over 70 add-on libraries for Qt 5.
  • YaST Team: Highlights of YaST development sprint 32
    One of the known limitations of the current installer is that it’s only able to automatically propose an encrypted schema if LVM is used. For historical reasons, if you want to encrypt your root and/or home partitions but not to use LVM, you would need to use the expert partitioner… and hope for the best from the bootloader proposal. But the new storage stack is here (well, almost here) to make all the old limitations vanish. With our testing ISO it’s already possible to set encryption with just one click for both partition-based and LVM-based proposals. The best possible partition schema is correctly created and everything is encrypted as the user would expect. We even have continuous tests in our internal openQA instance for it. The part of the installer managing the bootloader installation is still not adapted, which means the resulting system would need some manual fixing of Grub before being able to boot… but that’s something for an upcoming sprint (likely the very next one).
  • Debian stretch on the Raspberry Pi 3 (update) (2017-03-22)
    I previously wrote about my Debian stretch preview image for the Raspberry Pi 3.
  • Asus Tinker Board – Chromium YouTube Performance
    One of the many strengths of the Asus Tinker Board is its multimedia support. This 4K video capable machine is a mouthwatering prospect for the multimedia enthusiast. The machine has a respectable 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core processor. It’s only 32-bit (unlike the Raspberry Pi 3) but has a higher clock speed. The Tinker Board also sports an integrated ARM-based Mali T764 graphics processor (GPU).

Microsoft vs GNU/Linux

Netflix and GNU/Linux

today's howtos