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PocketBeagle Single Board Review

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Hardware
Reviews

The PocketBeagle is a single board PC which is different from other single board systems. Most other single board systems are based off the ARM Application (A series) chips. The Pocket Beagle has a Cortex-A8 CPU as well as an M series or Micro-controller. The Micro-controller is a Cortex-M3 processor.

The PocketBeagle board can be used as a controller for projects in which you may need it. Some projects I have seen online include Remote Control (RC) devices, gaming systems, etc.

The Beagle Board website (BeagleBoard.org) has image downloads (http://beagleboard.org/latest-images) for the PocketBeagle which includes Debian 9.5. I will show you how to update this to Debian 10 which was released July 6, 2019. Now, let’s cover the PocketBeagle hardware.

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[libre-riscv-dev] power pc

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
OSS

So as you know, the RISCV Foundation is seriously impeding progress. There
is huge momentum around RISCV itself, however as far as open *innovation*
is concerned, the sheer arrogance of the Foundation in failing to respect
the combination of Libre goals and business objectives has us completely
isolated from key critical resources such as the closed secret lists and
wiki.

We cannot even get access to documentation explaining how to propose new
extensions.

I have been considering for some time to reach out to MIPS and PowerPC.
Yesterday I wrote to the OpenPower Foundation and was really surprised and
delighted to hear back from Hugh Blemings, whom I worked with over 20 years
ago.

I outlined some conditions (no NDAs, open mailing lists, use of
Certification Marks and Compliance Suites) and he replied back that this
was pretty much along the lines of what they were planning.

I will have a chat with him some time, in the meantime I found the spec:

https://openpowerfoundation.org/?resource_lib=power-isa-version-3-0

It is eeenooormous, however Hugh reassures me that they want to break it
into sections.

Why would we even consider this?

The lesson from RISCV is really clear: if the ISA is set up as a cartel,
Libre innovation is not welcome.

If we had a goal to just *implement* a *pre existing* Extension, there
would be no problem.

It is the fact that we wish to implement entirely new extensions, for CPU
and GPU *and* VPU purposes, but not as a separate processor (which would be
classified as "custom") that is the "problem".

So starting at page 1146, we need to work out how to shoe horn a ton of
stuff into the ISA, as well as fit 16 bit compressed in as well.

L.

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Also: Libre RISC-V Open-Source Effort Now Looking At POWER Instead Of RISC-V

Open Hardware: Ploopy, Shapeshifter, AR3 and More

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Hardware
OSS
  • Ploopy is an open-source trackball kit (pre-order one or build your own)

    These days there are plenty of ways to interact with computers including mice, touchpads, touchscreens, and pens (and keyboards, of course). But one option that’s largely fallen by the wayside is the trackball.

    While a handful of companies continue to offer “trackball mouse” accessories that are basically mice with a rolling wheel in the side, there aren’t many decent standalone options.

  • Shapeshifter – An Open Source Drum Machine

    Shapeshifter’s design is open-source, with everything available on Github for the curious musical tinkerers out there. The device is built around a PCB with only through-hole components, making assembly easy for even the least experienced enthusiasts out there. A Teensy 3.6 is then slotted into the socket on the board, providing 180MHz of grunt to run the show. It’s an excellent choice, as the Teensy platform has a huge range of libraries which make it simple to work with audio.

    Being open-source, not only is it a cinch to make your own, but there’s plenty of room to remix the design to your personal tastes. There’s even a breadboarding area and the capability to add an expansion card for even more possibilities. Some users have even gone so far as to add displays and filter mods to really open things up.

  • Speeding the Idea-to-Prototype Process with the Arduino Open-Source Ecosystem
  • Open-Source Arm Puts Robotics Within Reach

    In November 2017, we showed you [Chris Annin]’s open-source 6-DOF robot arm. Since then he’s been improving the arm and making it more accessible for anyone who doesn’t get to play with industrial robots all day at work. The biggest improvement is that AR2 had a closed-loop control system, and AR3 is open-loop. If something bumps the arm or it crashes, the bot will recover its previous position automatically. It also auto-calibrates itself using limit switches.

    AR3 is designed to be milled from aluminium or entirely 3D printed. The motors and encoders are controlled with a Teensy 3.5, while an Arduino Mega handles I/O, the grippers, and the servos. In the demo video after the break, [Chris] shows off AR3’s impressive control after a brief robotic ballet in which two AR3s move in hypnotizing unison.

  • Makr Mirror open source Raspberry Pi smart mirror

    Makr Mirror is an open source smart mirror created to provide a “customisable out of the box experience”. The smart mirror It has been launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available to back with earlybird pledges starting from $649, providing a fully finished Raspberry Pi smart mirror with shipping available throughout the United States. Watch the project video below to learn more about the Makr Mirror and its inspiration to provide a fully open source and extensible smart mirror.

  • BCN3D renews commitment to open source releasing files for Sigma & Sigmax R19 3D printers

    Releasing the news into the community, BCN3D asked RepRap pioneer Richard Horne, better known as RichRap, for his input. Deemed a “step beyond” the usual release of machine CAD files by the open source advocate, Horne says ““This release of the Sigma R19 and the Sigmax R19 source files also comes [with] an even greater gift to the open source hardware community, this being the inclusion of the designs and information that BCN3D use to manufacture, test and assemble all aspects of the machine during production.”

    “With this level of commitment to the open source hardware movement,” Horne adds, “it allows others to learn and further benefit from the R19 project and it’s journey from design to stable production 3D printers.”

  • Intel And AMD’s Biggest Cloud Threat May Be An Open X86 Instruction Set

    Meanwhile, academics at Berkeley created the new RISC-V (pronounced “risk-five") open source instruction set, which is being commercialized by the RISC-V Foundation. Many current and potential Arm server processor designers are evaluating the potential for RISC-V based server processors. They include some large IaaS clouds, like Alibaba Group and Google, plus some chip companies not currently in the server processor design business, like NVIDIA.

  • Open Source VR - Heads-On with HTC Vive Cosmos

    Depending on your position, VR is either dead or dying, or just waiting on that eureka technological leap to fully realise its promised potential. HTC's Vive Cosmos headset, released this month, might just be that virtual reality saviour. And we got a complete heads-on experience with it.

Linux Devices/Open Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
  • Site.js and Pi

    Chatting about Pi, on a Pi, with a chat server running on Site.js on the same Pi.

  • This MicroATX Motherboard is Based on Phytium FT2000/4 Arm Desktop SoC @ 3.0 GHz
  • Rikomagic R6 Review – Part 1: Android Mini Projector’s Unboxing and First Boot

    Rikomagic R6 is a mini Android projector that looks like a vintage radio, or depending on your point of view a mini vintage television.

  • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

    Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent.

    In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully.

    The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

Devices Leftovers

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Khadas VIM3L (Amlogic S905D3) Benchmarks, Settings & System Info

    Khadas VIM3L is the first Amlogic S905D3 SBC on the market and is sold as a lower-cost alternative to the company’s VIM3 board with a focus on the HTPC / media player market.

  • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver to Deliver Cheaper, More Efficient Gateways
  • In-vehicle computer supports new MaaS stack

    Axiomtek’s fanless, rugged “UST100-504-FL” automotive PC runs Ubuntu 18.04 or Windows on 6th or 7th Gen Intel chips, and offers SATA, HDMI, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, 3x mini-PCIe, a slide-rail design, and the new AMS/AXView for MaaS discovery.

    Axiomtek announced a rugged in-vehicle PC that runs Ubuntu 18.04, Windows 10, or Windows 7 on Intel’s Skylake or Kaby Lake processors. The UST100-504-FL is aimed at “in-vehicle edge computing and video analytics applications,” and is especially suited for police and emergency vehicles, says Axiomtek. There’s also a new Agent MaaS Suite (AMS) IoT management suite available (see farther below).

  • Google Launches the Pixel 4 with Android 10, Astrophotography, and Motion Sense

    Google officially launched today the long rumored and leaked Pixel 4 smartphone, a much-needed upgrade to the Pixel 3 and 3a series with numerous enhancements and new features.

    The Pixel 4 smartphone is finally here, boasting upgraded camera with astrophotography capabilities so you can shoot the night sky and Milky Way without using a professional camera, a feature that will also be ported to the Pixel 3 and 3a devices with the latest camera app update, as well as Live HDR+ support for outstanding photo quality.

  • Repurposing A Toy Computer From The 1990s

    Our more youthful readers are fairly likely to have owned some incarnation of a VTech educational computer. From the mid-1980s and right up to the present day, VTech has been producing vaguely laptop shaped gadgets aimed at teaching everything from basic reading skills all the way up to world history. Hallmarks of these devices include a miserable monochrome LCD, and unpleasant membrane keyboard, and as [HotKey] found, occasionally a proper Z80 processor.

    [...]

    After more than a year of tinkering and talking to other hackers in the Z80 scene, [HotKey] has made some impressive headway. He’s not only created a custom cartridge that lets him load new code and connect to external devices, but he’s also added support for a few VTech machines to z88dk so that others can start writing their own C code for these machines. So far he’s created some very promising proof of concept programs such as a MIDI controller and serial terminal, but ultimately he hopes to create a DOS or CP/M like operating system that will elevate these vintage machines from simple toys to legitimate multi-purpose computers.

Open Hardware: DS3231 and CHIPS Alliance

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • i2c clock : DS3231

    Like any clock, the DS3231 must be set at the 1st start. The registers listed in Figure 4 are accessible for reading and writing. This allows us to program the exact time and date at the time of initialization. Then the DS3231 operates autonomously, with leap years up to 2100 Wink To compensate for the power failure, a CR1220 battery can be added to the back of the Adafruit ADA3013.

  • CHIPS Alliance Growth Continues With New Members and Design Workshop this November
  • CHIPS Alliance growth continues with new members and design workshop this November

    CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common, open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced Codasip GmbH and Munich University of Applied Science have joined the CHIPS Alliance. In addition, on November 14–15, CHIPS Alliance will be joining the university for a workshop on open source design verification.

    CHIPS Alliance is a project hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code relevant to the design of open source CPUs, RISC-V-based SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

    Codasip is a leading supplier of configurable RISC-V® embedded processor IP. Codasip provides a portfolio of various RISC-V implementations along with a suite of processor developers tools to allow for rapid core customization, and will contribute to working groups on verification platforms and open cores.

    “Codasip has years of processor development experience and has shown its dedication to open platforms by its contributions to open source compiler and compliance projects. We welcome their participation in the CHIPS Alliance to facilitate the adoption of open architectures,” said Zvonimir Bandić, senior director of next-generation platforms architecture at Western Digital and Chairman, CHIPS Alliance.

Devices/Embedded: RAK Wireless, Lichee Tang FPGA and Quixant

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Hardware
  • LPWAN Market Update – An Interview with RAK Wireless CEO
  • $5 Tang Nano FPGA Board Features GOWIN GW1N “LittleBee” FPGA

    Last year, we wrote about Lichee Tang FPGA board powered by Anlogic EG4S20 FPGA and targeting RISC-V development for just under $15.

  • Gaming system run on Ryzen V1000 or R1000

    Quixant’s Linux-ready “QXI-7000 LITE” casino gaming PC runs on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded R1000 or V1000 with up to 32GB DDR4, dual SATA, up to 4x displays, and the Quixant Gaming Ecosystem with up to 16MB PCIe Gen2 NVRAM and new QxATS tracing system.

    Quixant has launched the QXI-7000 LITE casino gaming system it promised in April with the launch of AMD’s Ryzen Embedded R1000. This minor variant of the almost identical, Ryzen Embedded V1000 based QXI-7000 supports the V1000 in addition to the slightly lower-end R1000 SoC. The system supports Linux, Windows 10 IoT, and for a blast from the past — Windows Embedded.

16 Places To Buy A Linux Laptop With Linux Preloaded

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Are you looking for Linux laptops? Do you want a Linux system without having to pay a Microsoft tax? The hardest part of using Linux is to find out the correct hardware. Hardware compatibility and drivers can be a big issue. But where one can find Linux desktops or Laptop for sale? Here are sixteen places to buy a preinstalled Linux Desktop and Laptop.

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Devices/Embedded: Win Enterprises and Raspberry Pi 4

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Hardware
  • Win Enterprises unveils Atom-based LAN gateway and compact SBC

    Win Enterprises unveiled a fanless “PL-82000” networking gateway with 6x GbE and 2x SFP ports based on an Atom C3000. It also launched a Raspberry Pi sized “MB-5000” SBC that runs Ubuntu or Win 10 on Intel Apollo Lake.

    We tend to forget Win Enterprises because as its name suggests, the company typically sticks to Windows-supported products. Yet, they have increasingly produced barebones products without listed OS support, such as the new PL-82000 networking appliance, as well as Linux supported systems such as the MB-5000 SBC announced back in June. (In 2017, we covered an Intel Bay Trail based MB-80580 SBC and Win IoT-380 Gateway with Linux support.)

  • Raspberry Pi 4 PCI Express: It actually works! USB3, SATA… GPUs?

    Recently, Tomasz Mloduchowski posted a popular article on his blog detailing the steps he undertook to get access to the hidden PCIe interface of Raspberry Pi 4: the first Raspberry Pi to include PCIe in its design. After seeing his post, and realizing I was meaning to go buy a Raspberry Pi 4, it just seemed natural to try and replicate his results in the hope of taking it a bit further. I am known for Raspberry Pi Butchery, after all.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 B+ - PCI Express

    Why did I do it? Because I wanted to see if it can be done. Because Raspberry Pi 4 might be the cheapest device that is PCIe capable after a relatively minor modification (if I didn't lift the capacitors when desoldering the VL805, this is literally 12 soldering points). That, in turn, can be quite handy for developing own PCIe cores for various FPGA based experiments.

    I'm sharing it to allow people to learn from this - and to dispel the myth that PCIe is somehow out of reach of hobbyists due to some concerns over signal integrity or complexities. Stay tuned for more Pi4/PCIe experimentation!

today's howtos and hardware news

Filed under
Hardware
HowTos
  • Blue Mail now available for Linux
  • How to Enable EPEL Repository on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 Server
  • How to set up Cairo dock on the Linux desktop
  • Open source Raspberry Pi microscope project

    Micropalaeontologist Martin Tetard has been developing a Raspberry Pi microscope aptly named the microscoPI. The Raspberry Pi based microscope can capture, process, and store images and image analysis results. Watch the video embedded below to learn more about the unique Raspberry Pi microscope, which features a rechargeable battery secured under the base of the microscope, making the system completely portable and measuring less than 30 cm in height.

  • Open Source Hardware Trends, Arm Takes a Different Tack

    The open-source movement that has driven software innovation is now creating a buzz in the microprocessor realm, thanks to the growing popularity of open-source microprocessor instruction set architecture RISC-V. Although the term “open source” conveys sentiments such as research sharing and community building, leading semiconductor IP provider Arm, which supports 95 percent of smartphone embedded processors, is not a fan.

    Synced recently sat down with Rhonda Dirvin, who is Arm’s senior director of Embedded, IoT and Automotive Marketing. Dirvin believes today’s open source hardware landscape is not as simple and straightforward as it may seem: “We’re starting to see some people say free is not free. Because at the end of the day they have to look at what it takes to verify that and what it takes to implement the instruction or architecture. You don’t have the whole ecosystem out there that supports it the way that you do with Arm or some of the other more established vendors.”

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today's howtos

MX Linux 19 'Patito Feo' is here!

In the classic story The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, a bird is bullied and tormented by a bunch of mean ducks -- simply because his appearance is different, and he is perceived as ugly. Spoiler alert: he grows up to be a beautiful swan and has the last laugh. Take that, mean ducks! In many ways, Linux users have been like that bullied bird -- made fun of for being different, but as time marches on, it is clear that they are the true swans of the computing world. And so, how appropriate that MX Linux 19, which is released today, is code-named "Patito Feo," which is Spanish for ugly duckling. Yes, following some beta releases, the increasingly popular Debian 10 Buster-based distribution is finally here. The operating system features kernel 4.19 and uses the lightweight Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. It even features a patched sudo, so you don't need to worry about that nasty security vulnerability that had some folks worried. Of course, there is a bunch of great software installed, such as Firefox 69, Thunderbird 60.9, LibreOffice 6.1.5, VLC 3.0.8, GIMP 2.10.12, and more! Read more

Red Hat is positioning itself as the digital transformation partner of the enterprise

Although the concept of digital transformation isn't new, the way in which companies are leveraging technology to make changes to their day-to-day business is constantly evolving, according to Red Hat senior vice president of cloud platforms Ashesh Badani. Using packaging and logistics giant UPS as his example, Badani said the organisation has been working with Red Hat on how it can make its monolithic architecture more modern, in a way that can support them into the future, but also allow for faster innovation. "Essentially take processing to the edge to improve the way they schedule packages, deliver them, increase efficiency routes," he told Red Hat Forum in Melbourne last week. "Be able to do that quickly, because every customer wants personalisation, and they want to be able to make sure that they can see where their packages are." Badani said UPS is now taking advantage of micro services-based technologies, which he said allows for the analytics to take place at the edge, useful in places such as distribution centres that are closest to the actual customers. Read more

Android Leftovers