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Posts Tagged ‘arm’

ARM Cortex M0+ Based Arduino Zero Pro Board Gets Listed on Arduino.org

March 5th, 2015 3 comments

A new “Arduino Zero Pro” board has been listed on Arduino.org, which looks very similar to the Arduino Zero board announced last year, with Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU, and that is still listed as “Coming Soon” on Arduino.cc website. So it feels a little odd Arduino would release a board with basically the same features.

Arduino Zero (Arduino.cc) vs Arduino Zero Pro (Arduino.org) - Click to Enlarge

Arduino Zero (Arduino.cc) vs Arduino Zero Pro (Arduino.org) – Click to Enlarge

Arduino Zero Pro key specifications are indeed exactly the same:

  • Microcontroller – Atmel ATSAMD21G18 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash, up to 16KB EEPROM (By emulation). 48-pin LQFP package.
  • Digital I/O Pins – 14, with 12 PWM and UART
  • Analog Input Pins – 6, including 5 12bits ADC channels and one 10 bits DAC
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports
  • Debugging – USB via Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) on-board debugger, and JTAG
  • Misc – reset button, 5 LEDs (Tx, Rx, L, On, Debug)
  • Operating Voltage – 3.3V

If you look closer at the boards there are some small changes including different passive components, and SWD header is soldered, but all connector placements are the same. So what is going on here?

HackaDay has the explanation, and this is a case of Arduino vs Arduino, as there seems to be a rift in the original Arduino team, split into Arduino LLC (US) and Arduino Srl (Italy), both fighting for the Arduino trademark, and having different views about manufacturing. The US company (Arduino.cc website) wants to license manufacturing of the Arduino boards to third parties, while the Italian company (Arduino.org) wanted to keep manufacturing in Italy and list the company on the stock market.

So from a technical perspective Arduino Zero and Arduino Zero Pro have just the same functionalities, but it’s just the money that apparently flows to different parties. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the court case to find out who comes on top, or if the companies can find a win-win compromise.

Arduino Zero Pro is said to be available now, but I could only find it on little known website Semaf Electronics for $47.95, and using Arduino Zero pictures.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

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Xilinx Introduces Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC with Cortex A53 & R5 Cores, Ultrascale FPGA

March 5th, 2015 No comments

Xilinx Zynq-7000 dual core Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC family was announced in 2012, and provides a wide range of SoC with features and price range, and led to low cost ARM + FPGA such as ZedBoard, and more recently Parallela and MYiR Z-Turn boards. The company unveiled its successor with Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC providing five times more performance per watt, with four ARM Cortex A53 cores, two ARM Cortex R5 real-time MCU cores, a Mali-400MP GPU, an UltraScale FPGA fabric manufactured with 16nm FinFET+ process.

Zynq_Ultrascale+_MPSoCThere are two main sub-families in Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC for “smarter control & vision”, and “smarter network”. Both share the same processing systems (CPU, GPU, MCU, Peripherals, Security), but the networking family has beefier FPGAs,  and lacks the H.264/H.265 video processing unit found in the control & vision version:

  • Processing Systems
    • Processor – Quad ARM Cortex A53 MPCore up to 1.3GHz
    • Real-time Processor – Dual ARM Cortex-R5 MPCore up to 600MHz
    • GPU – Mali-400MP2 up to 466MHz
    • External Memory I/F – DDR4, LPDDR4, DDR3, DDR3L, LPDDR3, 2x Quad-SPI, NAND
    • High-Speed Connectivity – 2x USB3.0, SATA 3.0, DisplayPort, 4x Tri-mode Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe Gen2x4
    • General Connectivity – 2xUSB 2.0, 2x SD/SDIO, 2x UART, 2x CAN 2.0B, 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 4x 32b GPIO
    • Security – AES, RSA, and SHA
    • AMS System Monitor – 10-bit, 1 MSPS– Temperature, Voltage, and Current Monitor
  • Programmable Logic
    • FPGA
      • Control & Vision (C&V) – Up to 485K Effective LEs, 405K Logic Cells, 1,728 DSP Slices, 6.2 Mb distributed RAM,  11.2 Mb BlockRAM, 27 Mb UltraRAM
      • Networking (N) – Up to 1,095K Effective LEs, 920K Logic Cells, 3,528 DSP Slices, 11 Mb distributed RAM,  34.6 Mb BlockRAM, 36 Mb UltraRAM
    • PCI Express Interface – Gen4 x8;  Gen3 x16
    • 1x Video Codec Unit (C&V only) – H.264/H.265 up to 4Kx2Kp60 or 8Kx4Kp15
    • Serial Transceiver – C&V: 28 up to 16 Gb/s; N: 76 up to 33 Gb/s
    • Analog Mixed Signal (AMS) – System Monitor—10-bit, 1 MSPS ADCs with 17 Differential Inputs, Power supply line voltage monitoring & JTAG, PMBUS, I2C support

The processing systems and programmable logic are interfaced via 128-bit AMBA AXI4 interfaces.

Zqnq_Ultrascale_Plus_BLock_Diagram

Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

There are 5 parts for Control and Vision (XCZU2, XCZU3, XCZU4, XCZU5, and XCZU7), and 6 parts (XCZU6, XCZU9, XCZU11, XCZU15, XCZU1 and XCZU19) for Network, and even more if you include different packaging options. SKU details and nomenclature can be found in the product selection guide.

The Cortex A53 cores will run Linux, Cortex R5 cores FreeRTOS, and design tools include Vivado Design Suite, Xilinx SDK, and PetaLinux SDK. Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs can be used for connected control/machine-to-machine applications for manufacturing, 2D/3D vision application (video-processing, object detection…), wired and wireless networking, and data centers.

I could not find any availability information from Xilinx, but LinuxGizmos reports that “early access to the UltraScale+ processors starts in the second quarter, with samples coming later this year, and volume production due in 2016″.

Visit Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC page for more information.

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MYiR Tech Announces Low Cost Rico and Z-turn Boards Powered by TI AM437x and Xilinx Zynq-7010 SoCs

March 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Shenzhen based MYIR Tech has just launched two new single board computers with Rico board featuring Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x ARM Cortex A9 industrial processor, and Z-Turn board based on Xilinx Zynq-7010 ARM Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Both boards sell for $99 in single quantity.

Rico Board

Rico_BoardSpecifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments AM4379 single core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU, and 4x PRU @ 200 MHz. Other AM437x on request.
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Options: 256MB or 1GB)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, 256 or 512 MB NAND flash (reserved), 16MB QSPI flash, 32KB EEPROM, and micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI and LCD interfaces (LCD connector located on bottom of the board).
  • Connectivity  – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 device port, 1x USB 2.0 host post
  • Camera – 2x 30-pin camera interface
  • Debugging – 1x debug serial port, 1x 20-pin JTAG interface, 1x 14-pin JTAG interface
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 40-pin headers with access to 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 2x CAN, 4x UARTs, 1x MMC, and 8x ADC
  • Misc – 4x buttons (reset, power, and 2x user), 5x LEDs (reset, power, and 3x user), boot selection jumpers
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A power barrel
  • Dimensions – 100 x 65 x 1.6  mm (8-layer PCB)
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 70°C

Rico_Board_DescriptionThe company provides a Linux 3.14.0 SDK for the board with the source code for the bootloaders (SPL and U-boot), the kernel and relevant drivers, and buildroot build system, as well as a complete hardware development kit that includes a Rico Board, various cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a 5V/2A power adapter, and an optional 7-inch LCD Module with capacitive touch screen. Source code is provided with a CD that comes with the board.

You can find more information and order the board or kit on MYiR Tech Rico Board product page. The kit sells for $139, and you’ll need to add $99 for the 7″ touchscreen display.

Z-Turn Board

Z-Turn_Board
MYS-XC7010 / MYS-XC7020 boards specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx XC7Z010-1CLG400C (Zynq-7010) with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with 28K logic cells, 17,600 LUTs, 80 DSP slices. Zilinx Zynq-7020 optional.
  • System Memory – 1 GB of DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 512MB, 32-bit)
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash, 512 NAND flash (reserved), and a micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Debugging – USB-UART debug interface, 14-pin JTAG interface
  • User I/O (via two SMT female connector on the bottom of the board) – 90/106 user I/O (7010/7020), configurable as up to 39 LVDS pairs, or I/Os such as SPI. I2C, LCD, camera, CAN, Ethernet, etc…
  • Sensors – 3-axis acceleration sensor and temperature sensor
  • Misc – CAN interface, 2x buttons (reset and user), boot selection jumpers, 5x LEDs, 1x Buzzer
  • Power – 5V via USB, or 5V/2V power barrel
  • Dimensions – 102 x 63 x 1.6 mm (8-layer PCB)

Z-Turn_Board_Description
A Linux 3.15.0 SDK is provided with gcc 4.6.1, a binary bootloader, the source code for the kernel and drivers, and a minimal ramdisk and Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 root file systems.

MYiR Tech newsletter claims the board sells for $99, but on the product page, you’ll only find a complete kit with the board, cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a power supply, and CD for source code and documentation for $139, the same price as the TI Sitara kit. Z-Turn board is somewhat similar to the $189 ($125 for education) ZYBO board, so it’s probably the most cost-effective Zynq board available to date.

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Freescale Kinetis based Mbed IoT Starter Kit Ethernet Edition Connects to IBM IoT Cloud

February 24th, 2015 No comments

ARM, IBM and Freescale have jointly announced Mbed IoT Start Kit – Ethernet Edition at Embedded World 2015 that consists of  a Freescale Kinetis Cortex M4 mbed-enabled development board and a sensor IO application shield that interface with IBM Bluemix cloud platform.

Mbed_IoT_Starter_Kit_Ethernet_Edition

Freescale FRDM-K64F Freedom development board specifications:

  • MCU – Freescale Kinetis K64 (MK64FN1M0VLL12) ARM Cortex M4 MCU @ 120 MHz with 1 MB flash memory, 256 KB RAM
  • External Storage – SDHC slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – Dual role USB interface with micro-B USB connector
  • Sensors – FXOS8700CQ accelerometer and magnetometer
  • Headers – Arduino R3 compatible I/O connectors
  • Misc – RGB LED, two user push buttons
  • Power Supply – OpenSDAv2 USB, Kinetis K64 USB, and external source

mbed_application_shield

The board also features a programmable OpenSDAv2 debug circuit supporting the CMSIS-DAP Interface software that provides a mass storage device (MSD) flash programming interface, or a CMSIS-DAP debug interface, or a virtual serial port interface. The board also support RF and Bluetooth add-on module but these are not included in the IoT kit, and instead a shield is provided with a 128×64 graphics LCD, two potentiometers, a joystick button, a PWM connected speaker, a 3-axis accelerometer, an RGB LED (connected via PWM), and a temperature sensor. A Xbee socket can be used to connect a Zigbee or WiFi module.

Getting started with the board is very easy. Connect the two boards, add an Ethernet cable, and a USB connection to your PC. The board will show as a storage device, and you can open IBM.html file to start the user interface in your web browser and monitor and play with the sensor and other hardware parts.

Mbed_IBM_Cloud_Web_InterfaceDevelopment is done via Eclipse and Mbed SDK. Pricing and avaibility have not been disclosed so far, but as reference FRDM-K64F board can be purchased separately for $35, and mbed Application Shield for 31 GBP exc. VAT, so the kit could go for around $80.

Further details can be found on mbed’s IBM Ethernet Kit page as well as a dedicated page on IBM website also including hardware design files.

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EZChip TILE-Mx100 is a Network Processor with 100 ARM Cortex A53 Cores

February 24th, 2015 3 comments

As ARM gets into the server and networking business, the number of ARM cores in SoC starts to shoot up, and after Cavium ThunderX 48 core processor, here comes EZChip TILE-Mx100 Hecta-core network processor with 100 ARM Cortex A53 cores and capable of delivering up to 200 Gigabit throughput.

Tile-MX100 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Tile-MX100 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Key features listed for EZchip TILE-Mx100:

  • One hundred 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 CPU cores in one chip
  • 3-level coherent cache architecture with over 40 Mbytes on-chip cache.
  • DDR4 DRAM controllers with ECC and supporting up to 1TBytes of memory.
  • SkyMesh coherent architecture for massive bandwidth, low latency and linear scalability
  • Multitude of networking hardware accelerators for high-performance data-path packet processing including
    • Wire-speed mPIPE packet processing engine delivering 300 million packets-per-second I/O.
    • Integrated 5-level hierarchical Traffic Manager with 256,000 queues.
    • MiCA™ acceleration engines for over 100Gbps of crypto.
  • Over 200Gbps of integrated I/O including 1G, 10G, 25G, 40G, 50G, 100G Ethernet, Interlaken, PCIe 3.0.
  • Precision packet timestamp and IEEE1588v2 support.
  • Best power/performance ratio for small systems’ rack and power footprint
Close Up on Quad Cortex A53 Cluster in TILE-Mx100

Close Up on Quad Cortex A53 Cluster in TILE-Mx100

Target networking applications for the processor include load balancing, security, network monitoring, NFV & SDN, virtualization, IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection/Prevention), application recognition and video processing, for markets such as data center, cloud, enterprise and carrier networks. The processor will also leverage ARM software and tools, run Linux, and supports C/C++ / Java programming model, as well as hypervisors like KVM or Xen.

TILE-Mx is scheduled to sample in the second half of 2016, and the company also plans to offer 64 and 36 ARM cores version of the chip. More details can be found on EZchip TILE-Mx Multicore processor page, and a presentation will be given at the Linley Data Center Conference on February 25, 2015 in San Jose, California.

Via EETimes.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux, Processors Tags: Linux, arm, armv8, ezchip, server

ARM Releases Kernel Drivers for Mali-T880 / T860 GPUs, User Space Drivers for Mali-T76x GPUs

February 23rd, 2015 16 comments

ARM Mali GPU drivers includes both open source kernel drivers, and binary userspace drivers supporting framebuffer and/ior X11 implementation. The former is rarely an issue and is quickly released, but the latter requires porting and testing for a specific hardware platform, as well legal work, which greatly delay the releases.

ARM_Mali_GPU_Drivers

Release r5p0-06rel0 for User Space Binary Drivers

Mali-T880 GPU was announced at the beginning of the month together with ARM Cortex A72, and on February 17, 2015, ARM released an update to their Mali-T600 series, Mali-T700 series & Mali-T860/T880 GPU kernel device drivers with revision r5p1-00rel0 that adds supports to Mali-T860 and Mali-T880 GPU. These open source drivers are available for Android and Linux, and also support early Mali-T700 and T600 GPUs.

Separately, the company has also released Mali-T76X GPU drivers for Firefly board powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor featuring a Mali-T764 GPU. The first release only supports the framebuffer driver, but ARM is expecting to be able to release the X11 version in the next release (r5p1) planned at the end of March, which means some Linux desktop graphics accelerated will soon be available on Rockchip RK3288, and not only some OpenGL ES 3.0 demos on the framebuffer. The latest release (r5p0-06rel0) also supports Exynos powered Arndale Octa board, Samsung Chromebook 2, Arndale board, and Samsung Chromebook. According to an ARM representative, Rockchip also plans to release their own Linux GPU drivers targeting “TopMetal” hardware platform (should probably read PopMetal).

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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 618 and 620 ARM Cortex A72 / A53 Processors

February 20th, 2015 4 comments

Qualcomm has announced four new processors including Snapdragon 415 and 425 octa-core Cortex A53 processor, as well a Snapdragon 618 and 620 big.LITTLE processor with the latest Cortex A72 cores coupled with four Cortex A53 little cores.

Qualcomm_ARM_Cortex_A72Snapdragon 618 is the hexa-core version with 2 Cortex A72 cores, while Snapdragon 620 comes with eight cores including 4 Cortex A72, but apart from the difference in number of cores, both share the same technical specifications:

  • CPU
    • Snapdragon 618 – 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
    • Snapdragon 620 – 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
  • GPU – Next generation Qualcomm Adreno GPU with support for the latest graphics APIs, hardware tessellation and geometry shading
  • DSP – Qualcomm Hexagon V56 DSP
  • Memory – Dual channel LPDDR3 (933MHz)
  • Modem
    • Integrated X8 LTE, with Global Mode supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSPA+, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE
    • Cat 7 speeds of up to 300 Mbps down/100 Mbps up via 2×20 MHz carrier aggregation in the downlink and uplink on LTE FDD and LTE TDD
    • Support for LTE Broadcast, LTE multimode dual SIM and VoLTE with HD Voice and SRVCC
    • RF – Qualcomm RF360 front end solution
  • Connectivity
    • USB – USB 2.0
    • Bluetooth – Bluetooth Smart 4.1
    • WiFi – Qualcomm VIVE 1-stream 802.11ac
    • GPS – Qualcomm IZat Gen8C
  • Video
    • 4K@30fps capture, 1080p@120fps capture
    • Hardware HEVC (H.265) encode and decode
  • Audio
    • Qualcomm Immersive Audio
    • Hi-Fi 192kHz/24bit music playback
    • Support for low power Snapdragon Voice Activation
  • Camera – Dual ISPs can support up to 21MP and 930MP/sec throughput
  • Display
    • Primary Quad HD 2560×1600
    • Miracast support for up to 1080p wireless display
  • Fast Charging – Quick Charge 2.0
  • Security
    • Snapdragon StudioAccess Content Protection
    • Qualcomm SafeSwitch Technology
    • Qualcomm SecureMSM hardware and software foundation

Qualcomm will soon release Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) versions of the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425 and 415 processors to OEM partners, with retail devices expected in H2 2015. You may find more details on Snapdragon 618 product page, and Snapdragon 620 product brief (PDF).

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Linux 3.19 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

February 9th, 2015 4 comments

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 3.19 yesterday:

So nothing all that exciting happened, and while I was tempted a couple of times to do an rc8, there really wasn’t any reason for it.

Just as an example, Sasha Levin used KASan and found an interesting bug in paravirtualized spinlocks, but realistically it’s been around forever, and it’s not even clear that it can really ever trigger in practice. We’ll get it fixed, and mark it for stable, and tempting as it was, it wasn’t really a reason to delay 3.19.

And the actual fixes that went in (see appended shortlog) were all fairly small, with the exception of some medium-sized infiniband changes that were all reverting code that just wasn’t ready.

So it’s out there – go and get it. And as a result, the merge window for 3.20 is obviously also now open.

Linus

Linux 3.18 improved performance of the network stack, received BTRFS and EXT-4 file systems improvements, introduced overlayfs for live CDs, and more.

Some changes made to Linux 3.19 include:

  • Btrfs: support scrubbing and fast device replacement in RAID 5&6Btrfs  – Added support for fast & live device replacement (see btrfs-replace), much faster and efficient than adding the new device and removing the old one in separated commands. This feature could not fast-replace devices from file systems using RAID 5 & 6, this release has removed that limitation. Support for the process of scrubbing a btrfs filesystem (with btrfs-scrub) has also been added for RAID 5&6 file systems.
  • Support for Intel Memory Protection Extensions – Intel’s Memory Protection Extension (MPX) is a set of CPU instructions which brings increased robustness to software by checking pointer references usurped maliciously at runtime by buffer overflows. This Linux release adds support in the Linux kernel, although CPUs with MPX support are not sold yet (To be introduced with Intel Skylake and Goldmont microarchitectures). LWN article: Supporting Intel MPX in Linux
  • SquashFS adds LZ4 Compression Support
  • Work on year 2038 bug – do_settimeofday(), timekeeping_inject_sleeptime(), and mktime() now have 2038-safe replacements
  • The networking layer has a new subsystem for offloading switching and routing duties to suitably capable hardware
  • Audio – Intel Baytrail-based audio devices, Samsung Exynos7 I2S controllers, NXP Semiconductors TFA9879 amplifiers, and Texas Instruments TS3A227E headset chips.

Some of the new features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture include:

  • Allwinner:
    • Simple Framebuffer and USB phy driver support for usb0  for Allwinner A10 / A10s / A13 / A20 / A31 / A23
    • NAND Flash driver for Allwinner A10 & A20
    • DMAengine driver for Allwinner A23 (Shared with A31)
    • Allwinner A80 – initial machine support, basic clocks and reset, pinctrl driver, extra UART, I2C, LEDS
    • New boards: Mele M3, LeMaker Banana Pi, Merrii A80 Optimus Board, Olimex A20-OLinuXino-Lime2
  • Rockchip
    • RK3288 – Basic SMP support
    • Device tree for MarsBoard RK3066
    • Added support for rk3066-tsadc variantof rockchip_saradc
    • Add support for the mmc clock phases using the framework
  • Amlogic
    • Added DTSI for Meson8 SoCs
    • Driver for Meson IR remote control
    • Support for Meson SPIFC
  • Mediatek
    • Basic support for MT6592, MT8127 and MT8135
    • DTS for 8127 Moose board, MT8125 evaluation board, and MT6592-EVB
  • ARM64
    • Added Device tree for Juno and AMD Seattle platform
    • Added framework for legacy instruction emulation, secomp suport, SMBIOS/DMI support, etc…
  • Atmel AT91 architecture has gotten rid of board files, and is now fully converted to device tree
  • Other new device tree files: Altera Arria10 SoC, Synology DS213j/DS414, Braodcom BCM5301X devices (Asus RT-N18U, Buffalo WZR-1750DHP, Buffalo WZR-600DHP2, Netgear R6300 V2 ), DLink DIR665, Raspberry Pi model B+, Freescale LS1021A, TBS2910 Matrix ARM mini PC, NHK15 board (nomadik)

Some changes have been listed for MIPS architecture too:

  • BMIPS: Add PRId for BMIPS5200 (Whirlwind)
  • Enable VDSO randomization
  • Loongson-3 –  Add PHYS48_TO_HT40 support, Add RS780/SBX00 HPET support, Add oprofile support
  • Loongson1B – Add a clockevent/clocksource using PWM Timer
  • Loongson –  Allow booting from any core
  • Support for hybrid FPRs
  • ath25 – Add basic AR2315 SoC support, add AR2315 PCI host controller driver, add basic AR5312 SoC support
  • bcm3384 – Initial commit of bcm3384 platform support
  • ralink – add mt7628an support, add rt2880 pci driver, add support for MT7620n

A more detailed changelog for Linux 3.19 will soon be available on Kernelnewbies.org. You can also checkout ARM architecture and drivers sections for more details about changes related to ARM, MIPS and other platforms.

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