PinePhone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition Linux Smartphone is Now Available for $150

Pinephone

Pinephone is a Linux smartphone powered by an Allwinner A64 processor, and running one of the various Linux mobile distributions such as PostmarketOS or Ubuntu Touch among others. Last time we wrote about Pinephone mass-production schedule, the phone was expected to start shipping in October, and there has been a slight delay, but the good news is that Pinephone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition is now up for sale for $149.99. Note this batch is for enthusiasts as the phone may have some defects, and comes without operating system with the users having to flash it themselves. Pinephone specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash,  MicroSD Card (SDHC/SDXC) up to 2TB Display – 5.95″ IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1440×720 resolution Audio – Mono loudspeaker, 3.5mm stereo audio jack with mic support Cameras 5MP rear camera with 1/4″ sensor, LED Flash 2MP …

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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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Librem 5 & Pinephone Linux Smartphones to Launch This Fall

Librem 5 vs Pinephone

There are too highly anticipated Linux smartphones currently in development namely Purism Librem 5 and Pine64 Pinephone. The first one, based on NXP i.MX 8M processor is fairly pricey ($699) partly because of better specifications, but mostly because the company handles software development internally, while Allwinner A64 Pinephone has somewhat lower specifications, but a much lower $150 price tag as software development is done by the community. Neither phones are available, and until a few days ago there were no clear launch dates. This has now changed as Purism announced Librem 5 would start shipping on September 24, while Pinephone first batch is scheduled for mid-October, which should also be the date for the launch of pre-orders, and shipment will start in November. This sounds great, but be warned the first phones will be for enthusiasts who do not mind having a few defects and missing hardware/software features, and the final products will really show up in 2020. Librem 5 …

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Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe 2019 Schedule – October 28-30

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2019 Schedule

I may have just written about Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 schedule, but there’s another interesting event that will also take place this fall: the Embedded Linux Conference Europe on  October 28 -30, 2019 in Lyon, France. The full schedule was also published by the Linux Foundation a few days ago, so I’ll create a virtual schedule to see what interesting topics will be addressed during the 3-day event. Monday, October 28 11:30 – 12:05 – Debian and Yocto Project-Based Long-Term Maintenance Approaches for Embedded Products by Kazuhiro Hayashi, Toshiba & Jan Kiszka, Siemens AG In industrial products, 10+ years maintenance is required, including security fixes, reproducible builds, and continuous system updates. Selecting appropriate base systems and tools is necessary for efficient product development. Debian has been applied to industrial products because of its stability, long-term supports, and powerful tools for packages development. The CIP Project, which provides scalable and customizable base image and BSP layers, is now used in …

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TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers Benchmarked on Linux SBCs

TensorFlow Lite microcontrollers benchmark linux SBC

Dimitris Tassopoulos (Dimtass) decided to learn more about machine learning for embedded systems now that the technology is more mature, and wrote a series of five posts documenting his experience with low-end hardware such as STM32 Bluepill board, Arduino UNO, or ESP8266-12E module starting with simple NN examples, before moving to TensorFlow Lite for microcontrollers. Dimitris recently followed up his latest “stupid project” (that’s the name of his blog, not being demeaning here :)) by running and benchmarking TensorFlow Lite for microcontrollers on various Linux SBC. But why? you might ask. Dimitris tried to build tflite C++ API designed for Linux, but found it was hard to build, and no pre-built binary are available except for x86_64. He had no such issues with tflite-micro API, even though it’s really meant for baremetal MCU platforms. Let’s get straight to the results which also include a Ryzen platform, probably a laptop, for reference: SBC Average for 1000 runs  (ms) Ryzen 2700X (this …

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Linux 5.2 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.2 Changelog

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.2 last Sunday: So I was somewhat pre-disposed towards making an rc8, simply because of my travels and being entirely off the internet for a few days last week, and with spotty internet for a few days before that [*]. But there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for another rc, since it’s been very quiet. Yes, I had a few pull requests since rc7, but they were all small, and I had many more that are for the upcoming merge window. Part of it may be due to the July 4th week, of course, but whatever – I’ll take the quiet week as a good sign. So despite a fairly late core revert, I don’t see any real reason for another week of rc, and so we have a v5.2 with the normal release timing. There’s no particular area that stands out there – the changes are sosmall that the appended …

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C.H.I.P. is Back via PopCorn Computer with Allwinner or Amlogic Processor (Crowdfunding)

Super Popcorn

C.H.I.P was a $9 Linux computer launched in 2015 by Next Things Co., and followed by the $16 C.H.I.P Pro in 2016. Sadly the company eventually encountered financial troubles and had to fold last year. But the design was open source hardware, Source Parts managed to get hold of several original Allwinner GR8 systems-in-package, and in April we reported that they sold Kettlepop, a limited edition of a CHIP Pro derivative fitted with 8GB eMMC flash. Source Parts is now back with three CHIP lookalikes: Popcorn Original based on Allwinner R8/A13 Arm Cortex-A8 processor with 512MB RAM, and 32GB eMMC flash and 100% software compatible with the original C.H.I.P computer Super Popcorn Computer powered by Amlogic S905D quad-core Cortex-A53 processor Super ‘8’ Popcorn Computer powered by Amlogic S912 octa-core Cortex-A53 processor Popcorn Original is basically the same as C.H.I.P board except for the 32GB eMMC flash storage replacing the 4GB NAND NAND on the original board, as well as a …

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MOVI Shield Enables Offline Speech Recognition of 150 Sentences on Arduino and Raspberry Pi

MOVI Shield Arduino

Smart speakers normally work both offline and online, but their offline ability is usually limited to just one or two wake words, that when detected let the speakers listen to speech that it will send the cloud for further processing. It’s done that way because the speakers would not have enough resources, e.g. processing power, storage to contain the whole data required for natural speech processing, and wake words reduce the number of requests to the cloud, and improve privacy. But in some cases, you may not need the full language, and instead would like to use several voice commands to control a device without the need or the ability to connect to the Internet/Cloud. So Audeme has designed an Allwinner A13 based Arduino shield named MOVI (My Own Voice Interface), and that can recognize and/or synthesize up to 150 full sentences of your choice in English, Spanish or German. The shield has been around since 2015, but the company …

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