Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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Up2Stream Pro HiFi Audio Receiver Board Streams Audio over WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, or USB

Up2Stream Pro

Last December, we wrote about Up2Stream WiFi audio module designed for people wanting to build their own DIY wireless speakers. The module is based on  MediaTek MT7688AN MIPS processor with 64MB DDR2 and 16MB flash storage The module also comes with a small baseboard allowing for an easier connection to speakers. The company has now introduced Up2Stream Pro model based on the same module, but with a baseboard adding more features including Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, and audio jacks. Up2Stream Pro key features and specifications: Audio Output – 3.5mm AUX jack and I2S header Input –  3.5mm AUX-in SNR: 91db THD: 0.03% Sample rate –  24bit up to 192kHz FLAC, Wav, and APE codec supported, but NOT SBC, APT-X, APT-X HD, or LDAC. Multiroom & Multizone support EQ control Connectivity – Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth 5.0 Streaming Protocols – Airplay, DLNA, UPnP, Spotify Connect Compatible Services – Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Napster, iHeartRadio. Local Streaming from NAS or USB USB – …

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NXP i.MX RT106F & RT106A/L Cortex-M7 Processors Target Offline Face Recognition & Smart Audio Applications

NXP i.MX RT crossover processors combine real-time capabilities of microcontrollers with the performance of application processors thanks to an Arm Cortex-M7 core clocked at 528 MHz and more. The performance is indeed impressive as shown by Teensy 4.0 benchmarks, but so far NXP i.MX RT processor targeted general purpose applications. The company has now introduced three new crossover processors designed for AI applications. NXP i.MX RT106F is designed for offline face recognition and expression Identification, while RT106L and RT106A are made for local and cloud-based embedded voice applications. NXP i.MX RT106F Processor Highlights of the processor: CPU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ 600 MHz (3020 CoreMark/1284 DMIPS) Memory – 1 MB On-Chip SRAM plus up to 512 KB configurable as Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) External memory interface options – NAND, eMMC, QuadSPI NOR Flash, and Parallel NOR Flash Real-time, low-latency response as low as 20 ns Industry’s lowest dynamic power with an integrated DC-DC converter Low-power run modes at 24 MHz …

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MediaTek MT8516 2-Mic Development Kit is Designed for Alexa Voice Service (AVS)

MediaTek MT8516 AVS Devkit

MediaTek has just announced the MT8516 2-mic development kit for Alexa Voice Service (AVS) that aims to help developers build voice-assistant products faster, at reduced costs, and with advanced features such as multi-room music (MRM). The kit is based on MT8516 quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 application processor, which integrates audio front-end and post-processing technologies, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.   MediaTek MT8516 2-mic development kit specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT8516 quad core Cortex-A35 processor @ 1.3 GHz System Memory I/F – LPDDR2, DDR3, LPDDR3, DDR3L Video Output –  HDMI 1.4 with ARC Audio 2x DMIC Amazon Alexa support MediaTek PowerAQ Multi-Room Audio 2x 4-channel I2S S/PDIF TDM in/out up to 8 channels 2-channel PDM inputs 2-channel audio DAC and DAC Connectivity – Fast Ethernet, WiFi 4, Bluetooth 4.2 LE USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port MediaTek MT8516 supports the following technology components, although note that a license for each may be required: AVS Device SDK with C++-based …

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Using Sony PS3 Eye Camera as an Inexpensive Microphone Array

PS3 Eye

Almost exactly two years ago to the day, we published an article showing how microphone arrays performed against a single USB microphone, and the latter started to have a poor wake word detection success rate at around 3 meters array even in a silent room, and it got worse with white noise or background music, while the microphone arrays would pick up the wake word with a much higher success rate in all conditions. The price of smart audio development kits varies a lot from $500 for Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit to $129 for an Allwinner R18-based 3-Mic Far-Field Amazon AVS Development Kit, and $99 for ReSpeaker Core v2. If you’ve already got a Raspberry Pi 3/4 board, you can get cheaper options such as ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for $25, but nothing beats the price of Sony PS3 Eye camera that comes with a 4 microphone array and sells on Amazon for around $7.5. You may even already have …

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iMars Black is an Inexpensive Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Last year I wrote about a Bluetooth 5.0 audio amplifier board and the potential benefits of Bluetooth 5.0 for audio applications which include support for configurable periodic data broadcast which may improve power consumption, and reduction of reconnection times. It’s unclear to me whether those are clear advantages in practical terms but I’ve just noticed iMars Black, a Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio transmistter & receiver being sold on Banggood for $3.99. Bluetooth 5.0 (D00251) transmitter and receiver specifications: Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, and AVRCP (receiver mode only) Range – Up to 15m (line of sight) Pairing name: ZF-169 Audio ports – 3.5mm Tx and Rx audio jacks Misc – LED: red or Tx, blue for Rx; Button to switch between Tx and Rx modes Power Supply – 5V via USB connector Dimensions – 39x25x12mm The Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio dongle ships with two audio cables, and a user manual. There are basically two use cases. The first pictured above is …

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Arduino Partners with Chirp to Enable Data-Over-Sound M2M Connectivity

Announced on August 12, 2019, Arduino has partnered with the London-based Chirp, a wireless data-over-sound software solution for machine-to-machine connectivity.  The system has the ability to work online or offline, as long as there is a loudspeaker and a microphone available. The software works with the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense board in send and receive mode, while most Arduino MKR boards and Arduino Nano 33 IoT will also be supported by the SDK, but only to send data. The software and board are fully compatible with SDKs from a wide variety of platforms. The Nano 33 BLE Sense is available for purchase from the Arduino website, for $29.50. The sensor-rich Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense is application-ready right out of the box, and Chirp is ready to start sending encoded data from a device fitted with an audio speaker, to the board’s built-in microphone, where it is encoded and delivered. The sound is above the hearing range of human’s, …

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Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 Schedule – IoT, AI, Optimizations, Compilers and More

Linaro Connect San Diego 2019

Linaro has recently released the full schedule of Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 that will take place on  September 23-27. Even if you can’t attend, it’s always interested to check out the schedule to find out what interesting work is done on Arm Linux, Zephyr OS, and so on. So I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the most relevant and interesting sessions of the five-day event. Monday, September 23 14:00 – 14:25 – SAN19-101 Thermal Governors: How to pick the right one by Keerthy Jagadeesh, Software Engineer, Texas Instruments With higher Gigahertz and multiple cores packed in a SoC the need for thermal management for Arm based SoCs gets more and more critical. Thermal governors that define the policy for thermal management play a pivotal role in ensuring thermal safety of the device. Choosing the right one ensures the device performs optimally with in the thermal budget. In this presentation Keerthy Jagadeesh, co-maintainer of TI BANDGAP AND …

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