Linux 4.16 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Tweet Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.16: So the take from final week of the 4.16 release looks a lot like rc7, in that about half of it is networking. If it wasn’t for that, it would all be very small and calm. We had a number of fixes and cleanups elsewhere, but none of it made me go “uhhuh, better let this soak for another week”. And davem didn’t think the networking was a reason to delay the release, so I’m not. End result: 4.16 is out, and the merge window for 4.17 is open and I’ll start doing pull requests tomorrow. Outside of networking, most of the last week was various arch fixlets (powerpc, arm, x86, arm64), some driver fixes (mainly scsi and rdma) and misc other noise (documentation, vm, perf). The appended shortlog gives an overview of the details (again, this is only the small stuff in the last week, if you want the full 4.16 …

C.H.I.P, PocketCHIP & Voder’s Maker Next Thing Co. Is Still Up and Running (Correction)

Tweet [Update: Next Thing Co. CEO (Dave) contacted me to inform me the company was not closed, but there was just several unfortunate events: DNS problem with the site leading to the blog issue Next Thing Co Facebook page was closed months ago (due to too many requests from different sources) The Google Maps listing is not managed by Next Things Co themselves. I’ve left the rest of the post unchanged. (except the last sentence) ] Next Thing Co. introduced the $9 C.H.I.P computer powered by Allwinner A13/R8 in 2015, and worked with Free Electrons (now Bootlin) to bring mainline Linux to the platform. They also launched PocketCHIP portable Linux game console based on the module, and lateron introduced C.H.I.P Pro WiFi + BLE module based on Allwinner GR8 processor, and found in their Voder (previously Dashbot) car dashboard assistant. I’m actually still using a C.H.I.P board as a printer server, but this morning I was made aware that Next …

Onda V18 Pro Tablet Review – Part 2: Android 7.1 Firmware

Tweet Onda V18 Pro is one of the first tablet powered by Allwinner A63 processor allowing for low-cost tablets with high resolution 2K displays (2560×1600). I received a sample from GearBest, and I already checked out the hardware and run Antutu 7 benchmark in the first part of the review entitled “Onda V18 Pro (Allwinner A63) 2K Tablet Review – Part 1: Unboxing, First Boot, and Antutu 7 Benchmark“. I’ve now spent more time with the tablet browsing the web, watching YouTube videos, reading books, playing games, and running some more benchmarks, so I’ll report my findings in this second part of the review. General Impressions I’ve found the tablet’s high resolution 10.1″ display to be very good for reading books or browsing the web, albeit the latter feels a bit slower than on Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone (my main phone). As we’ll see later on, 3D graphics is not that good, so some games that work fin on my …

Onda V18 Pro (Allwinner A63) 2K Tablet Review – Part 1: Unboxing, First Boot, and Antutu 7 Benchmark

Tweet Announced last June, Allwinner A63 is the latest tablet SoC from the company, with a quad core Cortex A53 processor and a Mali-T760MP2 GPU capable of driving 2K displays. One of the first tablet to feature the SoC is Onda V18 Pro with a 10.1″ 2560×1600 high resolution display, 3GB RAM, 32 or 64GB internal storage, and the capability to play 4K H.265/H.264/VP9 videos (obviously downscale to the display resolution). I was interested in checking it out, and GearBest sent me a sample of the 32GB flash version. I’ll do a two part review, starting with unboxing, and first boot where I’ll run CPU-Z and Antutu, before publishing the rest of the review in a few weeks once I got to use it more and performed more tests. Onda V18 Pro Unboxing The tablet comes is a white “V-series” box, Onda likely uses for all their VXX tablets.They just differentiate between models with a sticker, in my case reading …

Bootlin Wants to Bring Allwinner VPU Support to Mainline Linux (Crowdfunding)

Tweet I wrote about Free Electrons several times in the past due to their work on porting Arm SoCs to mainline Linux. Free Electrons is no more. But don’t be sad, as it’s not because they closed shop, but instead they changed their name to Bootlin due to trademark trolls. Free Electrons Bootlin intensively worked on Allwinner processors, for example working with Next Things Co. to add CHIP board to mainline Linux, or more recently adding support for OpenGL ES in mainline Linux, albeit with closed-source user space binary blobs. The company normally work with partners for their work, but for their latest initiative aiming to bring Allwinner VPU (Video Processing Unit) to the official Linux kernel there’s asking funding from the community through a Kickstarter campaign. For those who do not know, the VPU is the IP block within the SoC used for hardware video decoding of codecs such as MPEG2, MPEG4 or H264.Bootlin already showcased a demo with Cedrus …

Pine64 ClusterBoard is Now Available for $100 with one Free SOPINE A64 System-on-Module

Tweet We’ve previously reported Pine64 had developed “Sopine Clusterboard” for a specific project with support for up to seven SOPINE A64 SoMs powered by Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor. At the time (August 2017), it was unclear whether the company would sell to the solution publicly, but they’ve now gone ahead and launched Pine64 ClusterBoard for $99.99 plus shipping, including one free SOPINE A64 module for a limited time. PINE64 ClusterBoard specifications: SoM Slots –  7x SO-DIMM slot for SOPINE A64 modules Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45) All SoMs are connected via Gigabit Ethernet using 7x RTL8211E transceivers and RTL8370N network switch (See diagram below) USB – 7x USB 2.0 port, one per SoM Expansion – Headers for each SoM with UART (serial console), I2C, key ADC, GPIOs, SPI, RESET/POWER 5V and GND Misc – RTC, reset button, optional EEPROM connected to RTL8370N Power Supply 5V/15A via power barrel jack ATX connector 2x battery slot for RTC battery …

Linux 4.15 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Tweet Linus Torvald has released Linux 4.15 last Sunday: After a release cycle that was unusual in so many (bad) ways, this last week was really pleasant. Quiet and small, and no last-minute panics, just small fixes for various issues. I never got a feeling that I’d need to extend things by yet another week, and 4.15 looks fine to me. Half the changes in the last week were misc driver stuff (gpu, input, networking) with the other half being a mix of networking, core kernel and arch updates (mainly x86). But all of it is tiny. So at least we had one good week. This obviously was not a pleasant release cycle, with the whole meltdown/spectre thing coming in in the middle of the cycle and not really gelling with our normal release cycle. The extra two weeks were obviously mainly due to that whole timing issue. Also, it is worth pointing out that it’s not like we’re “done” …

MeLE A1000 TV Box is Back! Cost: $29.99 Shipped

Tweet MeLE A1000 is an Android TV box powered by Allwinner A10 Arm Cortex A8 processor that was launched in 2012 with Android 2.3, and was featured prominently on this blog, as arm-netbook then linux-sunxi community was working on porting Linux to the platform at that time. I discovered the device after the launch of the first Raspberry Pi board, and its subsequent unavailability due to extreme demand, and was looking for an alternative which became MeLE A1000, since there was an active around the box that included a real SATA port as a bonus. Why am I writing about this today? Because the TV box just showed up in GeekBuying new arrivals feed for $29.99. The device’s appearance has not changed, and the hardware specifications are the same too: SoC – Allwinner A10 Arm Cortex A8 processor with Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM Storage – 4GB NAND flash, SD card slot, external SATA slot Video Output …