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Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

Linaro 14.10 Release with Kernel 3.17 and Android 4.4.4, Debian ARM64 Port Almost Complete

October 31st, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.10 has just been released with Linux kernel 3.17 (baseline), Linux 3.10.54 & 3.14.19 (LSK, same versions as last month), and Android 4.4.2 & 4.4.4.

Most of the work is a continuation of previous months working member hardware, and ARM64, but one particularly interesting point is that 90% of Debian packages have been built for ARM64, and the next version of Debian should have an official ARM64 port.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.17-2014.10
    • updated linaro-android topic. In particular, CONFIG_IPV6=y is no longer the requirement for linux-linaro tree builds
    • GATOR version 5.19 (same version as in 2014.08 release). gatord is fixed to build for ARMv8.
    • dropped multi_pmu_v2 topic by ARM LT (no longer used)
    • updated topic from Qualcomm LT (include IFC6410 board support)
    • replaced integration-linaro-vexpress topic by integration-linaro-vexpress64. Starting from 2014.10 release, linux-linaro kernel tree will use the mainline support for 32-bit vexpress boards. integration-linaro-vexpress64 carried over FVP Base and Foundation models, and Juno support from the integration-linaro-vexpress.
    • updated LLVM topic (uses llvmlinux-2014.10.01 branch – the most recent v3.17-based version of llvmlinux-latest)
    • dropped ARMv7 big endian topic(obsoleted; most of the patches are upstream)
    • added ILP32 patch set v3 with one minor build fix. (ILP32 vs LP64 data models)
    • config fragments changes – distribution.conf: CONFIG_IPV6=y replaced with CONFIG_IPV6=m
  • Linux Linaro LSK 2014.10:
    • The v3.14 based LSK based on kernel.org 3.14.19 stable tree
    • Updates to:
      • kernel.org 3.10.55 stable tree
      • Android support (from Google and Linaro)
      • ARMv8 fixes and performance enhancements
      • UEFI support
      • Mailbox framework
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.10
    • based on GCC 4.9 and updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases (Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.10)
    • first release built with cbuild2, adding more maintainable code base and automatic testing
    • binary tarballs have been splitted into 3 parts. As a result, you can install only the parts needed:
      • gcc-linaro-*.tar.xz – the compiler and tools
      • runtime-linaro-*.tar.xz – runtime libraries needed on the target
      • sysroot-linaro-*.tar.xz – sysroot (a set of libraries and headers to develop against)
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 14.10
    • built with Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.10
    • AOSP master build for Juno is cleaned up. It now builds without any patches on AOSP projects. It builds by adding 9 projects to AOSP manifest related to device, kernel, toolchain and helper tools.
    • LSK Android testing issues are fixed for ARMv8 Fast Models
    • bc tool is added to ARMv8 Android Juno build
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.10
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.10
    • fixed shadow securetty for SBSA compatible UART
    • switched OpenJDK to upstream aarch64 hg repos
    • dropped mongodb from LAMP images
    • upstreaming:
      • updated acpica 20140828 release
      • updated acpitests 20140828 release
      • updated pm-qa to 0.4.14 release
      • added aarch64 support to libunwind
      • fixed PHP build warnings
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.10 – Updated packages: Juno firmware 0.8.2, LSK 3.10.58/3.14.22 and linux-linaro 3.17 kernels, xf86-video-freedreno 1.3.0
  • Debian arm64 support is going very well. More than 90% of the packages are built. The effort is on track to get next Debian release with an officially supported arm64 architecture.
  • KVM CI loop on Juno is completed. The remaining work is happening on Xen CI loop.

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1410/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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Banana Pro Allwinner A20 Development Board Looks Similar to Raspberry Pi Model B+

October 30th, 2014 No comments

Banana Pi development board was launched about half year ago with Raspberry Pi model B form factor, but with more powerful Allwinner A20 dual core processor, and extra interfaces such as SATA. A few months later, the Raspberry Pi foundation launched Raspberry Pi Model B+  with pretty much the same specifications, but a different board layout and connector placement, and LeMaker has now designed a new version of the AllWinner A20 development board called “Banana Pro” that’s somewhat similar to R-Pi B+ board layout, with a 40-pin header, and similar connector placement, minus a few differences, such as using two USB ports instead of four, and the addition of a Wi-Fi module.

Raspberry Pi Model B+ vs Banana PRO

Raspberry Pi Model B+ vs Banana PRO

Banana Pro specifications with differences against Banana Pi highlighted in bold:

  • SoC- Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, SATA 2.0 connector
  • Video output – HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm jack for composite + stereo audio (AV), and MIPI DSI connector
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV jack, and on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211E/D) + 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Realtek RTL8189ES)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG, 1x micro USB for power
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART console
  • Expansion – Raspberry Pi B+ compatible headers (40-pin header), Camera connector (CSI), and LCD connector (DSI).
  • Misc – 3x on-board buttons for reset, power, and u-boot (FEL mode), 3x LEDs (power, Ethernet, and user), and IR receiver
  • Power – 5V/2A via micro USB port. AXP209 PMIC.
  • Dimensions – 92 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 45 g

Banana_PROCompared to Banana Pi, Banana pro adds a Wi-Fi module, and a micro USB OTG port, replaces a full size SD card slot with a micro SD card slot, the RCA port and stereo audio port by a single AV port, and the 26-pin header by a 40-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B+.

The company provides firmware images for various Linux distributions including Lubuntu, Rasbpian, Android Jelly Bean, Bananian, LeMedia (XBMC in Debian), ArchLinux for ARM, Scratch, etc… These are the images for Banana Pi, but they most likely also run on the Banana PRO, although Wi-Fi support is probably not guaranteed (yet) with all of these images, some of which dates from May. Banana PRO BSP can be retrieved from github.

The board can be pre-ordered on Aliexpress for $68.88 including shipping, with actual shipping scheduled within 30 days, or I misunderstood and they expect the parcel to be delivered within 30 days. A few more details can be found on LeMaker homepage, and a forum thread.

Via Banana Pi Google+ Community and Nanik.

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Qualcomm Releases Userspace Adreno 320 GPU Drivers for Ubuntu

October 30th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm Developer Network has just sent the October Newsletter by email, and they had some news specific to Ubuntu / Linux support on IFC6410 development board powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor. Firs they link to a guest blog post on Qualcomm website entitled “Video Conferencing on Linux with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor“, where Qualcomm partner eInfochips stated:

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.’s leadership in mobile market with Linux Android support is well established. As the demand for Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., increase in adjacent markets, the need for non-Android Linux support becomes evident.

Which is always good to read. The rest of the post blog provides a few more details about their a low-latency (50ms glass-to-glass) video conferencing solution based on OpenEmbedded build with Linaro Linux Kernel, and making use of Qt5, Gstreamer, and Sofia SIP library. Further improvements will be achieved with hardware video decoding.

Qualcomm also released a developer preview user-mode Ubuntu Linux driver binaries for Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU on Inforce IFC6410 board. Linaro already releases a monthly Linaro Member Build for IFC6410 board. This release includes support for OpenGL ES 3.0 and has been tested with the Linaro 14.09 Ubuntu release. The Linaro image already included OpenGL 2.1 support for Adreno 320 GPU, but based on the open source freedreno GPU driver, instead of an official release by Qualcomm.

You can download adreno-ubuntu.tar.gz with your Qualcomm developer credentials.

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OpenELEC for M8 TV Box (Amlogic S802) with USB Tuner Support

October 28th, 2014 12 comments

M8 TV Box is an Android media player based on Amlogic S802 that’s relatively popular. We’ve already seen XBMC Linux ported to M8 device, for people who want a more pure XBMC experience, and automatic frame rate switching, but now OpenELEC Beta 2 is also available for the device thanks to Alex Deryskyba (Codesnake).

M8 Android TV Box (Click to Enlarge)

M8 Android TV Box (Click to Enlarge)

The firmware image (OpenELEC-Meson8-K200-devel-test build 2.zip) will work on M8 / TM8, and any other Amlogic S802 devices based on K200 board. It is based on OpenELEC 4.1.2 and Linux 3.10, and a beta version, so there may still be some bugs, for example Bluetooth is not working. One very interesting feature is built-in VDR / Tvheadend DVB backends which means you should be able to use one of these USB tuners to watch Live TV from your box via satellite (DVB-S/S2), cable (DVB-C) or digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T2/ATSC) dongle.

The zip files contains three files (OpenELEC-CodeSnake-Meson8-K200-update.zip, factory_update_param.aml, recovery.img), and installation should be easy, as you just need to copy these three files to an SD card, enter recovery mode, and wait for the update to complete. This will complete overwrite your Android firmware, so if you just want to try it out, make sure you backup your app/data before doing an update.

Thanks to Ovidiu for the tip!

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Applied Micro X-Gene (64-bit ARM) vs Intel Xeon (64-bit x86) Performance and Power Usage

October 26th, 2014 5 comments

A group of researcher at CERN have evaluated Applied Micro X-Gene 1 64-bit ARM XC-1 development board against Intel Xeon E5-2650 and Xeon Phi SE10/7120 systems, and one of them, David Abdurachmanov, presented their findings at ACAT’ 14 conference (Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques) by listing some of the issues they had to port their software to 64-bit ARM, and performance efficiency of the three systems for data processing of High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments like those at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where performance-per-watt is important, as computing systems may scale to several hundred thousands cores.

HEP_Test_Systems_X-Gene_Intel_Xeon
Intel Xeon Phi platform based on Many Integrated Cores (MIC) computer architecture was launched the HPC market, and contrary to the table above features 61 physical cores. Applied X-Gene 1 (40nm process) was used instead of X-Gene 2 built on 28-nm process which was not available at the time. The ARM platform ran Fedora 19, whereas the Intel processor used Scientific Linux CERN 6.5.

The researchers run the CERN’s CMSSW applications for testing. Let’s jump to the results.

AOM_X-Gene_1_vs_Intel_XeonAs expected Intel Xeon processor and Phi coprocessor both have more performance than X-Gene 1 ARM SoC.

X-Gene_Intel_Xeon_Phi_Performance_Per_WattHowever, when it comes to performance-per-watt, APM X-Gene 1 is clearly ahead of Intel Xeon E5-2650 and there’s no comparison against Xeon Phi systems.

The conclusion of the report reads as follows:

We have built the software used by the CMS experiment at CERN, as well as portions of the OSG software stack, for ARMv8 64-bit. It has been made available in the official CMS software package repository and via the CVMFS distributed file system used by Grid sites.

Our initial validation has demonstrated that APM X-Gene 1 Server-on-Chip ARMv8 64-bit solution is a relevant and potentially interesting platform for heterogeneous high-density computing. In the absence of platform specific optimizations in the ARMv8 64-bit GCC compiler used, APM X-Gene 1 shows excellent promise that the APM X-Gene hardware will be a valid competitor to Intel Xeon in term of power efficiency as the software evolves. However, Intel Xeon Phi is a completely different category of product. As APM X-Gene 2 is being sampled right now, built on the TMSC 28nm process, we look forward to extending our work to include it into our comparison.

You can read the full report “Heterogeneous High Throughput Scientific Computing with APM X-Gene and Intel Xeon Phi” for details.

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Boardcon Compact 31S is an Allwinner A31s based Development Board with HDMI, VGA, and LCD Interfaces

October 25th, 2014 4 comments

Boardcon Embedded Design, an ODM providing industrial Computer-on-Module, and board, announced Compact A31S powered by Allwinner A31s quad core Cortex A7 processor, with 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, HDMI, LCD and VGA video outputs, and various other ports.

Boardcon_Compact_A31sBoardcon Compact A31s hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A31s quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1 GHz with 256 KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache, and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU compliant with OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenCL 1.x, DX 9_3
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ 1866MHz
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, VGA (up to 1280×800), and 40-pin FPC connector for LCD with capacitive touch screen support
  • Audio Output – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M/1000M Ethernet, Wi-Fi
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Camera – CMOS Camera interface
  • Expansion – 1x 20-pin expansion connector for GPIOs
  • Misc – Real Time Clock, powered by external lithium battery, IrDA, 3x User buttons, for Volume +/-, menu
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A, external battery support
  • Dimensions – 92 x 65mm

The company provides an Android 4.2.2/4.4 SDK with uboot 2011.09, Linux 3.3, various drivers, gcc toolchain, as well as the tools for development including SecureCRT.exe, Ubuntu 12.04-64bit (VM?), and PhoenixSuit.

Boardcon did not reply to my email request for availability and pricing information. More details may be found on Broadcon Compact A31S product page.

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Forlinx OK335xD Industrial Single Board Computer Supports Android, Linux and WinCE

October 23rd, 2014 2 comments

Forlinx, an embedded systems design and manufacturing company based in Hebei province in China, has announced OK335xD industrial (temperature) single board computer powered by Texas Instruments Sitara AM335X processor, and which appears to be a high-end version of their OK335xS-II SBC with more ports. Potential applications include communication devices, medical equipment, automotive computers, control panels, data acquisition devices, industrial control, industrial automation equipment, and more.

Forlinx_OK335xDOK335xD single board computer is composed of a CPU module (FET335xD), and a baseboard simply called “OK335xD Base Board”.

Listed specifications for FET335xD computer-on-module:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3354 Cortex A8 processor @ 800MHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – 256MB SLC NAND Flash
  • Interfaces available via CoM connector:
    • 1x USB 2.0 Host; 1x USB2.0 OTG
    • Ethernet Dual Gigabit Ethernet
    • 3x MMC
    • 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 6x UART / IrDA
    • Various GPIO pins
    • 8x ADC
    • 2x CAN
    • LCD Interface
  • Misc – Watchdog (SP706SEN)
  • Power Supply – 5V; PMU – TPS65217C
  • Dimension – 46mm x 70mm
  • Temperature Range – -40℃~+85℃ (Operating)

Features listed for OK335xD baseboard:

  • Processor/Memory/Storage – Via FET335xD CoM
  • External Storage – 1x SD/SDHC card slot up to 32GB
  • Display
    • LCD interface with optional 4.3″, 5″, 7″, 8″, 10.4″ resistive or capacitive displays with various resolutions (480×272, 800×480, 800×600).
    • VGA is supported via an optional LCD to VGA board
  • Audio – 1x headphone jack, 1x MIC jack, 1x Line IN
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet, connector for external SDIO Wi-Fi module
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB device port
  • Serial Ports
    • 3x Serial Port (2x RS232, 1x TTL)
    • 1x RS485 (Horizontal connectors with isolation protection)
    • 1x CAN (Horizontal connectors with isolation protection)
  • Other Expansion Headers
    • “BUS” header with 12-Bit address bus, 16-bit data bus
    • “I2C” header with 2x I2C
    • “SPI” header with 1x SPI,  1x PWM?
    • “AD” header with 8x ADC (4 for resistive touching, and 4 for user),
  • Debugging – JTAG connector
  • Misc – 4x LED, 6x user keys, 1x reset switch, 1x power switch, 1x boot switch (SD or NAND boot), on-board RTC
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • Power Consumption – 1.35W in standalone mode; 3.5 W to 5W with 7″ LCD in various scenario.
  • Dimensions – 190 x 130 mm
  • Temperature Range – -40℃~+85℃ (Operating), except the RTC chip.

The company provides BSPs for Android 4.2,  Linux 3.2, and WinCE 6.0 / 7.0 with several drivers for each operating systems, but the Linux BSP appears to come with some extra command line and graphical test tools. The documentation and source code are available online, and must be included on a CD/DVD with the kit.

OK335xD single board computer will be available next month for $259 (reference price, subject to change), and FET335xD computer-on-module for $112. You can find a little more information and/or contact the company for details on Forlinx OK335xD product page.

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