Beagleboard.org launched the Beaglebone Cape Design Contest back in November, several designs were submitted, and yesterday, they announced the 3 winning CAPEs who will be manufactured and sold by Circuitco Electronics:
Since today I’ve started to write about 3D printing, let’s carry on and have a closer look at the Replicape.
The Replicape 3D printer cape includes:
5 stepper motors (X, Y, Z, Ext1, Ext2)
3 high power MOSFETs (PWM controlled) for 2 extruders and 1 HPB
3 medium power MOSFETs (PWM controlled) for up to 3 fans
3 analog input ports for thermistors
3 inputs for end stops (X, Y, Z)
Programmable current limits on steppers motor drivers (SMD). No need to manually adjust a pot meter.
Microstepping individually programmable for each SMD from 1 to 32.
X, Y and Ext 1 SMDs wired to PRUICSS for hard real time operation.
Option for stackable LCD cape
It seems to be working, albeit slowly, as a control board for the Makerbot Cupcake.
The replicate hardware files (schematics, bill of materials, gerber files), and the source code (Python and C) for the PRU and controlling stepper motors, are available on Bitbucket. So you could make it yourself, or buy the Replicate from Circuitco when it’s available, and improve the source.
It haven’t looked into the source code in details yet, but hopefully, this will allow developers to customize the firmware running on Telechips TCC8925 based mini PCs such as CX-01 mini Android TV Box or Zero Devices Z900.
Here are the specifications of OLinuXino single board computer:
Freescale iMX233 454Mhz ARM9 processor
64MB of RAM
Linux bootable image from SD-CARD
USB host for Keyboard, camera, WiFi, etc interfacing
UEXT connector and GPIO connectors with the same style as DuinoMite so that developers can add external modules supporting Zigbee, Bluetooth, RFID readers, relays, switches, sensors, etc…
The company also plans to provide 2 plug-in modules for this board:
iMX-LCD – a 4.3″ TFT 24 bit color LCD with touchscreen (EUR 30)
MX-HUB – A board adding 2 USB hosts and Ethernet (EUR 15)
[Update: The company will actually make 2 versions of this board: The MINI and the MAXI (pictured above). The MAXI version will have 2 USB 2.0 host ports and 10/100Mbit Ethernet, whereas the MINI version will just have one USB 2.0 host port. Price is 29.95 Euros for MINI and 44.95 Euros for MAXI with cheaper prices for larger quantities. Check http://www.olimex.com/dev/pricelist.html for details]
The first ten boards will be used for testing and further software development, and the company expects to have the firsst mass production batch ready in May..
The Advanced SIMD extension (aka NEON or “MPE” Media Processing Engine) is a combined 64- and 128-bit single instruction multiple data (SIMD) instruction set that provides standardized acceleration for media and signal processing applications for ARM Cortex A (ARMv7) processors and the goal of these instructions is similar to MMX, SSE and 3DNow! extensions for x86 processors.
Starting early 2011, ARM has been working internally on a project codenamed Snappy to develop common functions accelerated by NEON. They have now released the first version of Snappy, now called the Ne10 library, which is available on GitHub at https://github.com/projectNe10/Ne10 .
The code has been developed in C and Assembler and tested on Ubuntu on ARM (Linaro). A Makefile is also included to build it for Android (AOSP). The current functions include vector and matrix operations accelerated by NEON instructions.
Since the library is open source, ARM hopes developers to make use of the Ne10 library in their open source packages, add new functions and port the Ne10 libraries to other operating systems.
In the video below Rod Crawford, Principal Engineer at ARM, explains why they started the NE10 Project, what can be done with it, and what’s next for the project.
If you would like to contribute to the project, you can join the community at www.ProjectNe10.org.
Mark Gisi, Sr. Manager of Intellectual Property at Wind River , discusses SPDX (Software Package Data Exchange) at Embedded Linux Conference 2012.
Sharing Critical Licensing Information within a Linux Device Supply Chain Embedded Linux device runtimes are derived from 100s of open source packages. A common misunderstanding is that just one or two licenses govern a given open source package, when in fact; often a dozen or more apply. Therefore a device runtime could be under 100s of unique licenses. Determining which licenses are relevant is challenging. SPDX, the Linux Foundation’s license exchange format, provides an effective mechanism for recording and sharing licensing information within a device vendor supply chain. We present an overview of SPDX along with a detailed source code example on how to create and extract relevant licensing information. The target audience includes developers, engineering managers, release operation engineers and license compliance professionals. They will learn what SPDX is, how it’s created, and how it is used. A basic understanding of open source licensing is helpful.
Here are some key points I noted from this presentation:
SPDX will generate one file per package in XML/RDF format.
SPDX only uses info within a given package (e.g. no access to licensing info on a give website)
SPDX only provides raw data about licenses and does not provide about patents or legal interpretation.
It looks at each source files to gather license data (there can be several license per file), then tries to determine the library license(s) and finally the application license(s)
The SPDX file layout is composed of 6 sections:
Spec Info (SPDX specs)
Creation Info (who created it and when, etc…)
Package Info (Name, Licenses…)
Other licenses (For licenses not part of the SPDX license list)
File Info (For each file in a given package)
There are around 40 licenses supported by SPDX such as several versions of GPL, LGPL, Apache, MIT, BSD etc…
The key benefits of SPDX:
Helps sharing licensing information
Brings greater accountability
Detects potential licensing incompatibilities (e.g. Apache 2.0 and GPL 2.0)
Promotes Licensing Discipline.
Ideally, SPDX file should be generated by the copyright holder.
Nodoby has adopted SPDX yet, as SPDX 1.0 has just been released at the end of 2011 but the Linux foundation is committed to make this work and some work is being done with Hewlett Packard.
The presentation slides are not (yet) available at elinux.org. You can get more information on SPDX website including the specifications, a white paper and a short (3 minutes) webinar.
The Embedded World Conference 2012 will taken place on the February 28 – March 1 in Nuremberg, Germany. There will be over 1,000 exhibitors for the tenth conference (it started in 2003) showcasing their new products and solutions for the embedded markets. Beyond the exhibition, there will also be 13 classes and 22 sessions during those 3 days.
February 28th 2012
09:30 – 15:30 – Modeling Behavior with UML: Interactions and Statecharts by Dr. Bruce Douglass, IBM
16:00 – 17:00 – Agile Systems Engineering by Dr. Bruce Douglass, IBM
09:30 – 18:00 – Introduction to Real-Time Operating Systems by Dr. David Kalinsky, D. Kalinsky Associates
09:30 – 18:00 – Hands-on-Workshop Safety Critical Linux – Automated debugging and code screening with formal methods by Prof. Nicholas Mc Guire, OSADL Safety Critical Linux Working Group and Andreas Platschek, OpenTech.
09:30 – 16:30 – Cryptography and embedded Security – The Workshop chaired by Dr. Thomas Wollinger, escrypt – Embedded Security and Dr. Jan Pelzl, escrypt – Embedded Security.
There will also be a few other speakers addressing automotive (e.g. SHE: Secure Hardware Extension), industrial and medical security in embedded system in 30 minutes to 1 hour presentations during the day.
09:30–17:30 – Embedded Software Development on Virtual Platforms – Ready for Prime Time ? by Dr. Adam Morawiec, ECSI (Electronic Chips and Systems design Initiative).
14:30 – 18:00 – ARM Cortex-A Workshop by Jens Stapelfeldt and Frank Walzer, Texas Instruments
Part I: ARM Cortex-A for industrial real time communication
Part II: ARM Cortex-A for Industrial real-time communication! – Running an EtherCat Slave on an ARM Cortex-A8 based MPU!
4-hour sessions (14:00 – 18:00):
Session 1: Smart Grid / Smart Metering chaired by Prof. Dr. Axel Sikora
Session 2: Managing Embedded System Development and life Cycle chaired by Dr. Torsten Klie
Session 3: Achieve High Embedded Software Quality chair by Dr. Jens Gerlach
February 29th 2012
09:00 – 17:00 – Software Design for Multicore Systems – 2012 Edition by Dr. David Kalinsky, D. Kalinsky Associates
09:00–17:00 – Hands-on-Introduction to RT-Linux by Prof. Nicholas Mc Guire, OSADL Safety Critical Linux Working Group; N.N., Linutronix
Microprocessor Architectures and Cores, Part II – Cortex-M
13:30–18:00 – Application programming with the new leading edge Cortex-M4 by Stefan Grohmann, Hitex Development Tools
All day sessions:
Session 4: ARTEMiS – Visions, Projects and Results chaired by Alun Foster, Laila Gide (morning) and Ad ten Berg (Afternoon)
Artemis is a European initiative whose goal is to design a “common Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) which acts as a reference for the Embedded Computing domain to attract investment from the stakeholders”.
Session 5: Cryptography and embedded Security chaired by Prof. Dr. Andreas Grzemba, Prof. and Dr. Axel Sikora
Session 6: The Multicore Session chaired by Dr. Ronald Veldema and Friedrich Schön
Session 7: Model Based Development of Embedded Systems chaired by Prof. Dr. Ralf Gessler
Session 8: Functional Safety of Embedded Systems chaired by Dr. Jens Gerlach
Session 9: Software Development in High Level Languages chaired by Jaroslav Svacina, Friedrich Schön
Session 10: Software Development and Debug Methods chaired by Hartmut Lackner
Session 11: RToS chaired by Robert Hilbrich
March 1st 2012
09:00–17:00 – Fault Tolerant Design of Embedded Systems by Dr. David Kalinsky, D. Kalinsky Associates
09:00–12:30 – How to use the iPad as an embedded interface – program your iPad interface for Embedded Systems by Matthias Müller, HTWK Leipzig; N. N., IEQualize Leipzig/TQ Group
13:30–17:00 – MCU System Design with RTOS and Middleware Components by Matthias Hertel, ARM
Half-day and All-day sessions:
Session 12: Communication by Embedded Systems Institute Erlangen
Session 13: Open Source Projects chaired by Dr. Torsten Klie
Session 14: Embedded Linux and Android – Development & Trends chaired by Prof. Dr. Andreas Grzemba
Session 15: Embedded System Architectures and SoC chaired by Dr. Alexander Borusan
Session 16: Internet Technology and M2M chaired by Prof. Dr. G. Kupris, K.-D. Walter
Session 17: Wired and Wireless network Technologies chaired by Prof. Dr. Axel Sikora
Session 18: Development tools chaired by Prof. Dr. Holger Schlingloff
Session 19: Test and Verification chaired by Dr. Norbert Oster
Session 20: Embedded System Applications chaired by Prof. Dr. Peter Fromm
Session 21: Low Energy Embedded Systems chaired by Dr. Thomas Ußmüller
Session 22 : oSADl – FloSS Safety chaired by Dr. Carsten Emde, Prof. Nicholas Mc Guire, OSADL
The sessions are chaired by academics, but most speakers come from the industry with companies such as NXP, ARM, Dassault Systèmes, IBM, Wind River, etc.. being represented.
Exhibition, Classes and Sessions Fees
If you are interested in going to the exhibition or attending classes or exhibitions, here are the ticket prices and fees (excluding 19% VAT).
The ticket for the exhibition costs 25 Euros and can be purchased online.
None of the classes and sessions are not sponsored in this events, and the price is relatively steep:
Half Day Class 340 Euros.
Full Day Class 520 Euros.
1 Conference Block 280 Euros.
2 Conference Blocks 405 Euros.
3 Conference Blocks 530 Euros.
4 Conference Blocks 630 Euros.
Full Conference (Classes excluded) 720 Euros.
You can also register for the classes and session online.
There has been a lot of controversy around GPU drivers and open source, as GPU drivers usually come with a blob (a binary file). If you have been lurking in Raspberry Pi forums you’ll know what I mean.
But this will change thanks to Lima. No, not the capital of Peru but the open source graphics driver for ARM Mali GPUs (Mali-200 and Mali-400) also called Lima whose goal is stated as follows:
The aim of this driver is to finally bring all the advantages of open source software to ARM SoC graphics drivers. Currently, the sole availability of binary drivers is increasing development and maintenance overhead, while also reducing portability, compatibility and limiting choice. Anyone who has dealt with GPU support on ARM, be it for a Linux with a GNU stack, or for an Android, knows the pain of dealing with these binaries. Lima is going to solve this for you, but some time is needed still to get there.
This is not a release in the sense of having a stable binary, but an alpha (beta?) source code release. As explained on Lima’s website:
The Lima driver currently only has some preliminary and highly experimental support. This experimental phase is necessary to gain a full and complete understanding of how the Mali GPUs work. Once more is known, an actual graphics driver (most likely based off of Mesa/Gallium) can be written.
The Lima driver is supported on the following ARM SoC:
AMLogic 8726-M – Single core Cortex A9 with Mali-400 found in many cheap Android Tablets.