Linux 6.7 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.7 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.7, following Linux 6.6 LTS a little over two months ago: So we had a little bit more going on last week compared to the holiday week before that, but certainly not enough to make me think we’d want to delay this any further. End result: 6.7 is (in number of commits: over 17k non-merge commits, with 1k+ merges) one of the largest kernel releases we’ve ever had, but the extra rc8 week was purely due to timing with the holidays, not about any difficulties with the larger release. The main changes this last week were a few DRM updates (mainly fixes for new hw enablement in this version – both amd and nouveau), some more bcachefs fixes (and bcachefs is obviously new to 6.7 and one of the reasons for the large number of commits), and then a few random […]

Allwinner VPU gets open-source Linux driver for its H.264 hardware video encoder

Allwinner V3s open source Linux video encoding driver

Long-time readers of CNX Software may remember Bootlin’s crowdfunding campaign launched in 2018 to bring open-source Allwinner VPU drivers to take care of hardware video encoding and decoding in mainline Linux. They managed to raise enough funds (over 30,000 Euros) from small donors and several companies (Olimex, Pine64, Libre Computer, FriendlyELEC, and Orange Pi) to work on open-source VPU drivers for mainline Linux, but only for MPEG2, H264, and H265 decoding for in a range of Allwinner SoCs such as the A20 and H5, but not quite enough to cover the cost of H264 video encoding. Five years later, Bootlin took it upon themselves to complete the work without backing or support from Allwinner and have now released an open-source Linux-kernel based V4L2 driver to support the H.264 video encoder found in Allwinner V3, V3s, and S3 camera SoCs. The new driver builds upon earlier work by the company to […]

Snagboot is an open-source cross-vendor recovery tool for embedded targets

snagboot

Bootlin has just released the Snagboot open-source recovery tool for embedded platforms designed to work with multiple vendors, and currently STMicro STM32MP1, Microchip SAMA5, NXP i.MX6/7/8, Texas Instruments AM335x and AM62x, and Allwinner “sunxi” processors are supported. Silicon vendors usually provide firmware flashing tools, some closed-source binaries, that only work with their hardware. So if you work on STM32MP1 you’d use STM32CubeProgrammer, while SAM-BA is the tool for Microchip processors, NXP i.MX SoC relies on UUU, and if you’ve ever worked on Allwinner processors you’re probably family with sunxi-fel. Bootlin aims to replace all those with the Snagboot recovery tool. The Python tool is comprised of two parts: snagrecover using vendor-specific ROM code mechanisms to initialize external RAM and run the bootloader (typically U-Boot) without modifying any non-volatile memories. snagflash communicates with the bootloader over USB to flash system images to non-volatile memories, using either DFU, USB Mass Storage, or […]

100ASK-V853-Pro – A feature-rich Allwinner V853 board designed for AI vision applications

100ASK V853 Pro

The 100ASK-V853-Pro board is a development kit consisting of an Allwinner V853 system-on-module board (SoM) and a feature-rich carrier board with a large number of interfaces. Allwinner V853 supports up to 1TOPS of NPU computing power and is mainly for AI vision application development. The core board contains a DDR and eMMC as well as a PMU chip (AXP2101) and is connected to the carrier board through a board-to-board connector. All the functional resources of the V853 are drawn out through the carrier board. The carrier board comes with 2-channels CSI camera interfaces as well as RGB and MIPI DSI display interfaces. Although 1 TOPS of AI computing power is not outstanding, the NPU can still be used to accelerate AI vision applications at the edge. The board also comes with four USB 2.0 ports (two Type-A, two Type-C), an 100Mbps Ethernet port, a 22-pin header for expansion, and five […]

Allwinner V3LP gets low voltage RAM, should replace Allwinner V3S dual camera SoC

Allwinner V3LP

Allwinner V3LP is a single-core Cortex-A7 processor for dual-camera systems with the exact same specifications as the Allwinner V3S processor introduced in 2016, except it should be more power efficient with a lower DDR operating voltage of 1.5V instead of 1.8V. Sochip explains that procuring the integrated DDR2 in the Allwinner V3s design is challenging, so Allwinner has replaced the memory in the pin-to-pin compatible Allwinner V3LP with more broadly available and lower power RAM. Allwinner V3LP specifications: CPU – ARM Cortex-A7 @ up to 1.2 GHz Memory – Integrated 64MB DDR2 DRAM @ 1.5 V Storage I/F – SD 2.0, eMMC 4.41, SPI NAND flash, SPI NOR flash Audio Codec – 92dB audio codec supporting 2x ADC channels and 2x DAC channels, 1x low-noise analog microphone bias output, 1x microphone input and 1x stereo microphone output Video Processing Unit Encoding – 1080p@40fps or 1080p@30fps + VGA@30fps H.264 Decoding – […]

Allwinner V851S/V851SE low-cost camera SoC embeds 64MB DDR2, a 0.5 TOPS NPU

Allwinner V851S camera board

Allwinner V851S/V851SE is a single-core Arm Cortex-A7 SoC with a RISC-V core, an H.265/H.264 video encoder, and a 0.5 TOPS NPU designed for Smart IP cameras with support for features such as human detection and crossing alarms. Both processors ship with 64MB DDR2 memory, and feature USB, Ethernet, and SDIO interfaces, but the V851S is designed for systems with a display, while the V851SE targets traditional headless IP cameras. Both processors are pretty similar, but here are the key differences between Allwinner V851S: Networking – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port with RMII interface GPIO – 6x ports (PA, PC, PD, PE, PF, PH) Display LCD Parallel RGB, Serial RGB, i8080, BT656 2-lane MIPI DSI SPI – 4x SPI and Allwinner V851SE: Networking – SIP 100 Mbps EPHY GPIO – 5x ports (PA, PC, PE, PF, PH) Display – Not supported SPI – 3x SPI That means the Allwinner V851S requires an […]

Allwinner V853 Arm Cortex-A7 + RISC-V SoC comes with 1 TOPS NPU for AI Vision applications

Allwinner V853

Allwinner V853 SoC combines an Arm Cortex-A7 core with a Xuantie E907 RISC-V core, and a 1 TOPS NPU for cost-sensitive AI Vision applications such as smart door locks, smart access control, AI webcams, tachographs, and smart desk lamps. Manufactured with a 22nm process, the SoC comes with an ISP image processor and Allwinner Smart video engine capable of up to 5M @ 30fps H.265/H.264 encoding and 5M @ 25fps H.264 decoding, offers parallel CSI and MIPI CSI camera interfaces, and well as MIPI DSI and RGB display interfaces. Allwinner V853 specifications: CPU Arm Cortex-A7 CPU core @ 1 GHz with 32 KB I-cache, 32 KB D-cache, and 128 KB L2 cache Alibaba Xuantie E907 RISC-V core with 16 KB I-cache and 16 KB D-cache NPU (Neural network Processing Unit) – Up to 1 TOPS for V853 and 0.8 TOPS for V853S,  embedded 128KB internal buffer, support for TensorFlow, Caffe, […]

Open-source Allwinner V3 ISP driver to enable blob-free camera support in mainline Linux

Allwinner V3 ISP Linux driver

Bootlin has just submitted the first patchset for the Allwinner V3 image signal processor (ISP) driver in mainline Linux which should pave the way for a completely open-source, blob-free camera support in Linux using V4L2. There are several blocks in an SoC for camera support including a camera input interface such as MIPI CSI 2 and an ISP to process the raw data into a usable image. Add to this the need to implement the code for sensors, and there’s quite a lot of work to get it all working. Allwinner SDK comes with several binary blobs, aka closed-source binary, but Bootlin is working on making those obsolete, having first worked on Allwinner A31, V3s/V3/S3, and A83T MIPI CSI-2 support for the camera interface driver in the V4L2 framework (and Rockchip PX30, RK1808, RK3128 and RK3288 processors), as well as implemented support for Omnivision OV8865 and OV5648 image sensors earlier […]

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