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Posts Tagged ‘open source’

LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) Project is a Fork of OpenWrt

May 4th, 2016 6 comments

2016 appears to be the year of splits in open source communities with Kodi losing its main Android developer, LibreELEC being born out of disagreements within OpenELEC community, and now LEDE project, a fork of OpenWrt, has been created because some people are not satisfied with the way the project is managed, and now “includes a significant share of the most active members of the OpenWrt community”.

LEDE_OpenWrt_ForkLEDE, which stands for “Linux Embedded Development Environment” , has three stated goals:

  • Building a great embedded Linux distribution with focus on stability and functionality.
  • Having regular, predictable release cycles coupled with community provided device testing feedback.
  • Establishing transparent decision processes with broad community participation and public meetings.

You can find more on LEDE Project website, and the source code is available on the project’s git server:

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

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Categories: Linux, OpenWRT Tags: fork, lede, open source, openwrt

Pyra Open Source Debian Handheld Computer & Game Console is Now Available for Pre-order

May 2nd, 2016 19 comments

The development of Pyra open source portable gaming console started in 2014, and after over two years of hard work, the developers are now ready to take pre-order of the Texas Instruments OMAP 5 powered device running Debian Linux.

Pyra-handheldPyra handheld specifications have changed a little bit since the announcement two years ago:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments OMAP 5432 SoC with 2x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 1.7Ghz with NEON SIMD, 2x ARM Cortex-M4, Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX544-MP2 GPU for 3D graphic, and Vivante GC320 GPU for 2D graphics
  • System Memory – 2GB or 4GB RAM
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash, 2x SDXC card slot, 1x internal micro SDXC card slot
  • Display – 720p 5″ LCD with resistive touchscreen
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio I/O – High-quality speakers, analog volume wheel, headset port, built-in Mic
  • Gaming controls – D-Pad, 4x shoulder buttons, 6x face buttons, 2x accurate analog controls with push-button
  • Keyboard – Backlit QWERTY keyboard
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1. Optional LTE and GPS module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port (one usable as eSATA with adapter), 1x micro USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB 2.0 for debugging and charging.
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
  • Misc – Fully configurable RGB-LEDs for notifications, vibration motor
  • Battery – 6,000mAh, same as for Pandora. Battery life is expected to be the same or better as Pandora (10 hours), except for CPU intensive tasks
  • Dimensions – 139 x 87 x 32 mm

So they’ve increased the battery capacity, added internal eMMC flash, reduced the display resolution to 720p, now offer two RAM options with either 2 or 4 GB memory, and a few other changes.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The internal design is comprised of the mainboard, a CPU module, and (not shown above) a display board. That means that if a more powerful CPU module is available later, you may be able to only replace the CPU module, while keeping the rest of the design. You’ll also be able to design your own better CPU module, since the Pyra will be open source hardware. As mentioned in the title and description the device runs the full desktop version of Debian Linux, and thanks to the micro HDMI port you could easily use it as a mini PC by connecting to a larger monitor, as well as a keyboard and mouse. More details about the hardware and software can be found in the Wiki.

Pyra_USB-3.0_USB-2.0

So how much does this unique device sell for? You’ll have four options:

  • Pyra Standard Edition, 2GB RAM: 500 Euros without VAT (=595 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Standard Edition, 4GB RAM: 529,41 Euros without VAT (=630 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Mobile Edition, 2GB RAM: 600 Euros without VAT (=714 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Mobile Edition, 4GB RAM: 626,05 Euros without VAT (=745 Euros incl. VAT)

The Mobile Edition adds mobile Internet (3G/4G), GPS, and some extra sensors namely an altimeter, hygrometer, barometer, and compass. They do mention they are not sure yet the 4GB RAM with be produced, in which case you may have to settle for the 2GB version. You won’t need to pay the full price for pre-order, as they ask for a downpayment of 330 or 400 Euros for the pre-order, but they don’t have estimated delivery time for now.

More details about the Linux game console can be found on Pyra Handheld website.

Thanks to buZz for the tip.

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Wandboard Development Boards Get Android 6.0 Marshmallow Support

May 2nd, 2016 No comments

Wandboard development boards powered by Freescale i.MX6 Solo, Dual and Quad Cortex A9 processors were released over 3 years ago with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Contrary to many other boards that don’t get an updated version, Wandboard boards got support for Android 4.4 Kitkat, Android 5.x Lollipop, and now the community has recently released Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Wandboard_android_6.0_Marshmallow

You can try the Android 6.0 SD card image as follows:

Where /dev/sdX is the device for your SD card. If you can remember the first Jellybean release had separate images for each version of the board, but thanks to device tree implementation, a single image is now released with all three versions.

The full source code is also available in a 5.0 GB tarball.

Since Freescale, now NXP, i.MX6 processors will be available until November 2022, we can most probably expect a few more Android releases for the board.

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LibreELEC (OpenELEC Fork) v7.0.0 Released with Kodi 16.1

April 27th, 2016 2 comments

It’s not always easy to get along in life, and recently this has been true in Kodi developer community and related project, with Koying leaving his role as the main Kodi Android developer, possibly meaning Kodi 17 won’t get an Android port, and more recently several OpenELEC developers, not satisfied with some of the current project developments, decided to fork it, and create LibreELEC. The team of 25 or so members has now released LibreELEC v7.0.0 based on Kodi 16.1 which had also  been released a few days ago.

LibreELEC

The changelog only reads:

The 7.0.0 release contains Kodi Jarvis 16.1 (final) and a fix for Verisign SSL certificate changes that impacted Pandora add-on users. It also addresses a bluez crash, a firmware update for Intel Skylake users, and a fix for an Amlogic CEC issue on WeTek Play/Core. Most importantly it also contains our new logo branding.

The images are available for x86 (Intel/AMD PCs), Raspberry Pi and Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, WeTek Core and Play TV boxes,  as well as NXP i.MX6 based platforms. LibreELEC source code can be found on github.

I’m not entirely sure about the main differences with OpenELEC, but I understand LibreELEC developers intend to release a new version more often.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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Intel Launches $15 Quark D2000 Arduino Compatible Board

April 14th, 2016 2 comments

Intel introduces three new Quark Micro-controllers last year, and I already experimented with Intel System Studio tools, quite similar to the Arduino IDE, and designed for hardware such as Intel Quark D1000 Customer Reference Board. So far the company had not released any boards available to the general public, but this has now changed since they’ve launched the “Intel Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000”.

Intel_Quark_MCU_D2000_Development_Platform

Intel Quark D2000 development board specifications:

  • MCU – Intel Quark D2000 32-bit processor Intel Pentium x86-compatible without x87 FPU @ 32 MHz with 8 KB SRAM, 32 KB instruction flash, 8 KB OTP flash and 4 KB OTP data flash
  • USB – 1x micro USB (JTAG) for power and programming/debugging
  • Sensors – 6-axis Accelerometer / magnetometer with temperature sensor (Bosch Sensortec BCM150)
  • Expansion options:
    • Arduino Uno compatible SIL sockets (3.3V IO only)
    • Booster pack compatible SIL headers (3.3V IO only)
  • Misc – Reset and user buttons, jumpers, RTC
  • Power Supply
    • External (2.5V – 5V) DC input via screw terminal
    • USB power (5V) via debug port
    • Coin cell battery (type CR2032 not supplied)
  • Dimensions – 8.4 x 5.7 cm
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board can also be developed with Intel System Studio for Microcontrollers IDE with support for GCC 5.2.1, Intel-enhanced GDB 7.9, Integrated Performance Primitives for Microcontrollers 1.0, Floating Point Emulation library, sample applications, a BSP for the Intel Quark Microcontroller Software Interface (Intel QMSI)
OpenOCD 0.8.0, TinyCrypt 0.1.0, Python 2.7.10, and more. The IDE works in Linux 64-bit (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Fedora 21), and Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit. All manufacturing and hardware design files have been released (Cadence Allegro), and documentation includes hardware and user’s guides.

The board can be purchased for $14.95 on Mouser, and you can visit Intel Quark Microcontroller D2000 product page for more details about the MCU and the development board, including all documentation.

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PULPino Open Source RISC-V MCU is Designed for IoT and Wearables

April 6th, 2016 4 comments

lowRISC is not the only open source processor project based on RISC-V instructions, as researchers at ETH Zurich university and the University of Bologna have developed PULPino open-source processor based on RISC-V instructions set, optimized for low power consumption, and targeting wearables and the IoT applications.

PULPino Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

PULPino Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

PULPino is a single core processor derived from the PULP project (Parallel Ultra-Low-Power Platform) featuring a quad core RISC-V SoC with new RI5CY Signal Processing ISA extensions designed by the universities.

The core has an IPC (instructions per cycle) close to 1, full support for the base integer instruction set (RV32I), compressed instructions (RV32C) and partial support for the multiplication instruction set extension (RV32M). PULPino also features peripherals such as I2S, I2C, SPI and UART.

PULPino FPGA Implementation Running on ZedBoard

PULPino FPGA Implementation Running on ZedBoard

PULPino has already been taped out as an ASIC in UMC 65nm at the beginning of the year, but the RTL code be run on Xilinx Zynq-7010 powered Zedboard, and all source files, test programs, and tools have been released in github under the Solderpad hardware license derived from the Apache 2.0 software license meaning you can basically do what you want with the design.

An implementation of FreeRTOS is said to be available for PULPino and PULP processor, but I could not find it. They’ve also compared RI5CY core to ARM Cortex-M4 to show a similar area and power consumption using 65nm process.

RI5CY_vs_ARM_Cortex_M4

You can find more details about PULPino and PULP projects on Pulp Platform website, and PULP page on ETH Zurich university website. lowRISC.org also mentions there are three proposed projects for PULPinfo as part of Google Summer of Code: porting CMSIS-DSP to PULPino, Doom on PULPino, and porting the Arduino libraries to PULPino.

Via EETimes

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Open Source Mali-200 / Mali-400 GPU Lima Driver Gets New Commits

April 3rd, 2016 6 comments

The Lima driver, a project aimed at providing an open source driver for ARM Mali-400 and Mali-200 GPUs, was introduced 4 years ago, and after some reverse engineering work, a Quake 3 demo was showcase later in 2013 with an intermediate version of the Lima drivers. However, the main developer (libv) eventually lost interest or lacked time to further work, and the latest commit was made in June 9, 2013. But another developer (oklas) committed some code to limadriver-ng just a few days ago.

Lima_Driver_Pull_RequestBut don’t get too excited, as the modifications are minor with some build fixes, some other Makefile modifications, and only one C file modified with 6 new lines of code. But maybe that’s just the beginning… We’ll see.

Mali-400 GPU is now rather old, so why would somebody work on this? One explanation could be C.H.I.P and Pine A64 boards are both based on Allwinner SoCs with a Mali-400 GPU, but a more likely explanation is that libv invited new developers on limadriver.org:

2015-12-20: this project looking for developers, if you’d like to try, come to our IRC #lima :)

So we’ll have to see how this all turns out, and if somebody is indeed motivated on working on the port. If so, C.H.I.P and Pine A64 boards, as well as other Mali-400 based platforms, could get open source GPU drivers.

Thanks to Luka via Reddit, where you can find some more details about the timeline.

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Learn How to Build Your Own Open Source Hardware ESP8266 Smartwatch

March 28th, 2016 4 comments

ESP8266 might be the cheapest WiFi SoC for IoT application available, but it’s not really renowned for its power efficiency, and is often not considered the best choice for battery powered applications. This has not stopped Jeifa from developing a WiFi smartwatch based on the chip, and the 250 mAh battery used in the design is said to be good enough for 1 or 2 days of operation on a charge.

ESP8266_Smartwatch

Click to Enlarge

Main components of Jeija’s ESP8266 smartwatch:

  • SoC – Espressif ESP8266 with 32Mbit of flash memory
  • Display – SSD1306 OLED Display, 128×64 resolution
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (via ESP8266)
  • Sensor – Invensense MPU-9250 gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass
  • Debugging / Programming – FT232RQ for USB communication
  • Misc
    • RV-3029-C2 Real Time Clock with alarm function, and temperature sensor
    • 3x user buttons
    • Vibration Motor
  • Power
    • 250mAh LiPo battery
    • MCP73831 LiPo charger
  • Dimensions – 35 x 39 x 11mm (board)

He designed the PCB with Kicad, and the firmware is based on esp-open-sdk, with all hardware and software files released in github under respectively Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA), and MIT licenses. Bear in mind that the project is mostly a hardware project, and the firmware is used to show the hardware works, so you may have to tweak the code to have the watch do what you want.

Jeija also shot a video showing how to solder the components and test the watch as you build it. Interestingly enough, he could not buy ESP8266-EX chip directly, so instead he bought ESP-01 module, and unsoldered the chip to solder it back on the watch PCB.

His other videos show how it can be used as a compass or game controller.

Via ESP8266COM Tweet

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