Linux 5.11 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 5.11 just in time for… “Valentine’s Day”: Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out. In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start. But in the meantime – and yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day here in the US – maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels. All right? Because I’m sure your SO will understand. Linus Last time around, Linux 5.10 was an LTS release that added EXT-4 performance enhancements, improved post-Spectre performance, as well as the enablement of BCM2711 (Raspberry Pi 4) display pipeline, among other many changes. Some of the notable changes in Linux 5.11 include: Support for Intel’s software guard extensions (SGX) […]

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Pine64 mailbag – PinePhone postmarketOS Edition, PineCone BL602 board, and Pinecil soldering iron

Pine64 community was pretty busy last year with the launch of several products. Recently I’ve received a couple of packages with some of those products, namely PinePhone Community Edition: PostmarketOS, PineCone WiFi & BLE IoT board based on BL602 RISC-V SoC, and Pinecil soldering iron also based on a RISC-V chip for control, but this time GD32V generic-purpose MCU. I’ll most show what I have received without going into too many details, except for PinePhone which I have already set up and used for one hour or so. PineCone BL602 board I received PineCone at the end of last year in a separate envelope with the board only. There’s not much to it with the BL602 processor offering WiFI and Bluetooth, a USB-C port for programming and power, and a few I/Os. The board is interesting as it is the first RISC-V IoT board with wireless connectivity built into the chip. There’s an SDK, but it’s not yet an easy-to-use […]

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100 Allwinner A20 EOMA68 CPU cards manufactured for testing

EOMA68 CPU Card

Last week, and technically last year, we wrote Dragonbox Pyra open-source hardware handheld Linux PC was ready to ship after 6 years in the making, and 4 years after initial pre-orders, highlighting that such projects can take a long time. But it’s not the only project to have suffered from long delays, but still slowly getting things done. Rhombus Tech started working on earth-friendly EOMA68 (Embedded Open Modular Architecture Standard) computing cards based on the 68-pin PCMCIA form factor in 2012, before launching Allwinner A20 based EOMA68 cards on Crowd Supply in 2016 together with laptop and micro PC shells. The project had regular updates over the year, mostly to discuss the progress of the project, and unexpected challenges encountered. But there may light in the tunnel,  as in the latest December 30th update, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton (LKCL) announced the company had managed to manufacture 100 OEMA68 cards based on Allwinner A20 dual-core Cortex-A7 processor with the help of […]

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Linux 5.10 LTS release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.10: Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too. There’s a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn’t get fixed, but nothing makes me go “we need another week”. Things look fairly normal. It’s mostly drivers – as it should be – with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.. The shortlog is appended, and scanning it gives a good idea of what kind of things are there. Nothing that looks scary: most of the patches are very small, and the biggest one is fixing pin mapping definitions for a pincontrol driver. This also obviously means that the merge window for 5.11 will start tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests pending – you guys know who you […]

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PinePhone KDE Community Edition smartphone with Plasma Mobile now up for pre-order

PinePhone Linux phone first launched as an early adopter phone without any OS when the “Brave Edition” was first introduced in November 2019. Since then Pine64 launched variant with different Linux mobile OS including PinePhone Community Edition: UBports, the PostMarket Edition that also added support for mobile/desktop convergence with a model with more RAM and storage, as well as a USB-C Dock, and more recently there was a batch with PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition. If you haven’t already gotten your hand on one of the earlier models, you’ll be glad to know the PinePhone KDE Community Edition is now available for pre-order for the same $149.99 price tag for the phone only or $199.99 with the convergence package. PinePhone comes with Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor that been around for many years. It’s not a performance beast, but it’s well supported by the open-source Linux community, and affordable. For $150, you’ll get 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, while the $200 […]

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Orange Pi Zero2 Allwinner H616 SBC runs Android 10 or Linux

Last year, Shenzhen Xunlong Software unveiled Orange Pi Zero2 SBC as an update to the popular Orange Pi Zero board with a faster Allwinner H6 processor, HDMI 2.0 video output, USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, and WiFi. Just one little problem: AFAIK they never sold it. But Orange Pi Zero2 board is now back with another design features instead equipped with a newer Allwinner H616 processor supporting Android 10, and various Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Debian. Orange Pi Zero2 (2020) specifications: SoC – Allwinner H616 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali G31 MP2 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and OpenCL 2.0 Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3 Storage – 2MB SPI flash and MicroSD card slot Video Output Micro HDMI 2.0a port up to 4Kp60 Video composite (CVBS) via 13-pin header (See Expansion section) Video Decoding 10-bit H265/HEVC up tp 4Kp60 or 6Kp30 VP9 up to 4Kp60 H264/AVC up to […]

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Allwinner A133 tablet processor pairs with XR829 or AW859A WiFi & Bluetooth chip

Last year, Allwinner published an updated roadmap for tablet processors that included A100, A200, and A300 SoC’s. None of those have been launched yet, but I’ve just noticed the Allwinner A133 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor showed up on the company’s website. That’s yet another entry-level processor coupled with a PowerVR GE8300 GPU, but you’d get support for Android 10, instead of the older Android 7.1/8.1 SDK provided for the earlier Allwinner A-series tablet processors. This time around, the company also pairs A133 processor with its own wireless chips, either XR829 WiFI 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 chip, or AW859A dual-band 802.11ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5 chip. Allwinner A133 specifications: CPU – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.6GHz with 32KB L1 I-cache + 32KB L1 D-cache per core, 512KB L2 cache, and CoolFlex power management architecture GPU – Imagination PowerVR GE8300 with support for OpenGL ES3.2, Vulkan 1.1, OpenCL 1.2 Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4/LPDDR3/LPDDR4, 32-bit width, up to 4GB Storage I/F – eMMC […]

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Linux 5.9 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.9 on lkml: Ok, so I’ll be honest – I had hoped for quite a bit fewer changes this last week, but at the same time there doesn’t really seem to be anything particularly scary in here. It’s just more commits and more lines changed than I would have wished for. The bulk of this is the networking fixes that I already mentioned as being pending in the rc8 release notes last weekend. In fact, about half the patch (and probably more of the number of commits) is from the networking stuff (both drivers and elsewhere). Outside of that, the most visible thing is a reinstatement of the fbdev amba-clcd driver – that’s a noticeable patch, but it’s basically just mainly a revert. The rest is really really tiny (mostly some other minor driver updates, but some filesystem and architecture fixes too). There’s just a bit more of those kinds of […]

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