AWS EC2 6th Gen Instances are 7x Faster thanks to Graviton 2 Arm Neoverse N1 Custom Processor

AWS ECS2 Graviton 2 Instances

Last year Amazon introduced their first 64-bit Arm-based ECS2 “A1” instances which were found to deliver up to 45% cost savings over x86 Instances for the right workloads. A few months ago, AWS (Amazon Web Services) provides a new offering with bare-metal A1 instances, and with re:invent 2019 now taking place the company has unveiled AWS ECS2 6th generation Arm instances (which they did not call A2 instances yet) powered by Graviton 2 processor comprised of custom Arm Neoverse N1 cores and promising up to 7x the performance of the original A1 instances. There will be three types of Graviton2-powered EC2 instances with the d suffix indicating NVMe local storage: M6g and M6gd for General Purpose workloads (application servers, mid-size data stores, microservices, and cluster computing) with 1 to 64 vCPUs and up to 256 GB of memory. C6g and C6gd for Compute-Optimized workloads (high-performance computing, video encoding, gaming, and CPU-based machine learning inference acceleration) with 1 to 64 vCPUs …

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USB Armory Mk II USB Linux Computer Targets Security Applications (Crowdfunding)

USB Armory Mk II

Back in 2014, Inverse Path launched USB Armory computer dongle running headless Linux from a MicroSD card and designed for security applications. The company got bought by  F-Secure Foundry in 2017, and the latter has now launched another crowdfunding campaign for an upgraded version USB Armory Mk II keeps a similar USB dongle form factor but replaces the NXP i.MX53 Cortex-A8 processor with a more efficiency NXP i.MX 6ULZ Arm Cortex-A7 processor, the USB type-A port with a modern USB-C port, adds 16GB eMMC flash, Bluetooth 5 LE connectivity, and new security features. USB Armory Mk II specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX6ULZ Arm Cortex-A7 @ 900 MHz System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + external microSD Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 LE + mesh module (U-blox ANNA-B112) with Arm Cortex-M4 MCU (nRF52832) USB – 2x USB type-C ports: 1x DRP (Dual Role Power) receptacle + 1x UFP (Upstream Facing Port) plug HW Security Chip …

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PineBook Pro Arm Linux Laptop now up for pre-order for $199.99

Pinebook Pro Laptop

Pine64 unveiled a Pinebook Pro laptop prototype at FOSDEM 2019 as an update to the original Allwinner A64 powered Pinebook laptop, but instead of just being a toy to play with, Pinebook Pro aimed to be used as a daily driver thanks to a relatively powerful Rockchip RK3399 processor combined with 4GB RAM, and 64/128GB storage, and equipped with a 14″ Full HD display all for a target price of $200. Last May, we noticed some good progress on the software development side with a demo showcasing Ubuntu & Debian with MATE desktop, 4K video playback, 3D graphics acceleration, and USB-C video output.  The good news is that Pinebook Pro has just launched and can be pre-ordered for $199.99 on Pine64 store. [Update: If you are an existing forum member, you may want to redeem your coupon here] Pinebook Pro laptop specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core Arm Cortex A72/A53 SoC with Arm Mali T860MP4 GPU System Memory – …

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FOSSASIA 2019 Schedule – March 14-17

FOSSASIA 2019 Schedule

As its name implies, FOSSASIA is a Free and Open Source Software  event taking place every year in Asia, more specifically in Singapore. I first discovered it last year, and published a virtual FOSSASIA 2018 schedule last year to give an idea about the subjects discussed at the event. It turns out FOSSASIA 2019 is coming really soon, as in tomorrow, so I’m a bit late, but I’ll still had a look at the schedule and made my own for the 4-day event.  Thursday – March 14, 2019 10:05 – 10:25 – For Your Eyes Only: Betrusted & the Case for Trusted I/O by Bunnie Huang, CTO Chibitronics Security vulnerabilities are almost a fact of life. This is why system vendors are increasingly relying on physically separate chips to handle sensitive data. Unfortunately, private keys are not the same as your private matters. Exploits on your local device still have the potential to grant bad actors access to your screen …

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PineBook Pro Linux / BSD Rockchip RK3399 Laptop Coming Up for $200

Pinebook Pro

Pine64 announced the Pinebook laptop in 2016. The ultra cheap ($89 and up) laptop was based on Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor coupled with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 11.6″ or 14″ display. It was never meant to be a replacement for your current laptop due to the low end specifications, but you could still use it to tinker with Arm Linux or *BSD, as a lightweight portable terminal, etc… Pine64 made several announcements in a single blog post right before FOSDEM 2019 where they’ll showcase some of their upcoming products including the Pinephone development kit that’s use to develop software for the upcoming Pinephone open source phone, PineTab *BSD/Linux-only tablet with  Allwinner A64 SoC, and an 11.6″ display like Pinebook laptop, a retro gaming case compatible with Rock64 and Rock64Pro boards, an open source IP camera based on Allwinner S3L processor,  Pine H64 Model B (Allwinner H6) board with Rock64 form factor, Rock64 Rev.3 with some …

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Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …

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FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM 2019

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to generate the correct code. In order to achieve this, extensive …

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Check for Spectre, Meltdown, and L1 Terminal Fault Vulnerabilities with Spectre-meltdown-checker Script

Spectre Meltdown Foreshadow Checker

Yesterday, we wrote a little bit about the new speculative execution vulnerability known as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) or Foreshadow, and a reader – MHSadri – pointed to an interesting script that checks for all three speculative execution vulnerabilities, and runs in Linux and BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD)  across multiple architectures: Intel x32, AMD64, Arm and ARM64. Other architectures will also work, but mitigation reporting may not be correct. So I tried it on my own machine, a computer running Ubuntu 18.04 on an AMD FX8350 processor. Installation is easy: The developer recommends to check the script manually first, just for security sake. You can have two way to run it: either directly inside your OS, or via docker which may be a better idea since it would not be able to mess with your system especially I had to run it with sudo to avoid permission issues. Here’s the full output while running the script in a terminal window …

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