SBC software news – Armbian 24.5.1, DietPi 9.4, and Otii server for the Raspberry Pi 4/5

Qoitech Otii Raspberry Pi 4

There’s been some notable software news for single board computers (SBCs) in the last few weeks with the release of Armbian 24.5.1 Havier with a focus on stability and UX improvement, the release of DietPi 9.4 lightweight Debian distritions for SBCs, and Otii server, the software for Qoitech Arc power supply, meter, and DAQ, has been finally released for the Raspberry Pi 4/5. Armbian 24.5.1 Havier Armbian announced 24.5.1 Havier on May 25 with bug fixes and improvements as a point release, but also some new boards. Here are some of the highlights. New boards Orange Pi 5 Pro FriendlyElec CM3588 NAS board Radxa ROCK 5 ITX Radxa Zero 3E/3W Avaota A1 SBC SK-AM68 board tqma8mpxl board CSC Hinlink H6xk boards RK3588-based Cool Pi CM5 EVB Improve Khadas support Resolve Rockchip patch maintenance nightmare Add functionality to freeze git resources Improve support for Radxa Rock S 0 and test USB […]

Linux 6.9 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.9 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.9 on LKML: So Thorsten is still reporting a few regression fixes that haven’t made it to me yet, but none of them look big or worrisome enough to delay the release for another week. We’ll have to backport them when they get resolved and hit upstream. So 6.9 is now out, and last week has looked quite stable (and the whole release has felt pretty normal). Below is the shortlog for the last week, with the changes mostly being dominated by some driver updates (gpu and networking being the big ones, but “big” is still pretty small, and there’s various other driver noise in there too). Outside of drivers, it’s some filesystem fixes (bcachefs still stands out, but ksmbd shows up too), some late selftest fixes, and some core networking fixes. And I now have a more powerful arm64 machine […]

LibreELEC 12 released with Kodi 21, 64-bit Arm support for Raspberry Pi 4/5, and platforms

LibreELEC 12 Raspberry Pi 64-bit

As one should have expected after the Kodi 21 “Omega” release last month, the LibreELEC 12 lightweight Linux media center distribution is now out with many devices updated to 64-bit, including the Rasberry Pi 4 and 5 SBCs. LibreELEC 11 was released last year based on Kodi 20 “Nexus” and bringing back support for Amlogic devices. LibreELEC 12 builds on that and benefits from the new features added to Kodi 21 such as FFmpeg 6 and works on Arm platforms based on Allwinner, Amlogic, Broadcom (Raspberry Pi), and Rockchip processors, as well as generic x86 computers. It’s an easy option to create a dedicated HTPC based on a range of hardware with all the features brought by Kodi 21 media center. Since so many platforms are supported there are always some limitations for each and known problems: Raspberry Pi  – 50/60fps H.264 HW decoding may need force_turbo=1 or core_freq_min=500 in […]

Linux 6.8 release – Notable changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.8 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.8 on the Linux kernel mailing list: So it took a bit longer for the commit counts to come down this release than I tend to prefer, but a lot of that seemed to be about various selftest updates (networking in particular) rather than any actual real sign of problems. And the last two weeks have been pretty quiet, so I feel there’s no real reason to delay 6.8. We always have some straggling work, and we’ll end up having some of it pushed to stable rather than hold up the new code. Nothing worrisome enough to keep the regular release schedule from happening. As usual, the shortlog below is just for the last week since rc7, the overall changes in 6.8 are obviously much much bigger. This is not the historically big release that 6.7 was – we seem to […]

Hubitat Elevation Model C-8 Pro Home Automation Hub supports Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Matter devices

Hubitat Elevation Model C-8 Pro gateway

Hubitat has recently launched the Elevation Model C-8 Pro Home Automation hub with a Z-Wave 800 radio, a Zigbee 3.0 radio, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity that upgrade on the earlier C-8 model with more memory (2GB RAM), and a faster 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 processor. I’ve never written about Hubitat Smart Home solutions, but they seem to have an active community of users,  so I’ll check out their latest Elevation Model C-8 Pro gateway and what they have to offer in terms of software and device support. Hubitat Elevation Model C-8 Pro specifications: SoC – Arm Cortex A55 processor @ 2.016 GHz (that could be the Amlogic S905X3 found in the ODROID-C4 SBC) System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – TBD Connectivity Ethernet RJ45 port WiFi Z-Wave 800 radio Zigbee 3.0 radio Matter support 2x external antennas Power Supply – 5V via USB-C port Dimensions – 8.2 x 7.5 x 1.7 […]

Vivante NPU (found in Amlogic A311D) gets its open-source driver upstreamed to Mesa

Vivante NPU open source

The Teflon project is an open-source TensorFlow Lite delegate that currently supports VeriSilicon Vivante NPU and aims to support several other AI accelerators over time. The project has recently been upstreamed to Mesa meaning AI inference with open-source software will work out of the box in supported hardware once Mesa 24.1 is released in May 2024. Teflon relies on the Etnaviv open-source driver better known for working with Vivante GPUs found, for instance, in NXP i.MX processors, but Tomeu Vizoso also worked on implementing Vivante NPU support since May 2022 thanks to a sponsorship from Libre Computer and documented the development progress on this blog. The VeriSilicon Vivante “VIPNano-QI.7120” 5 TOPS NPU is found in the Amlogic A311D processor, and Tomeu tested Teflon with the Etnaviv NPU drive on both the Libre Computer AML-A311D-CC Alta and Khadas VIM3 single board computers with decent performance although still slower than with the […]

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 […]

2023 Year in review – Top 10 posts, statistics, and what to expect in 2024

CNX Software Happy New Year 2024

It’s the last day and last article of the year, so we will look at some highlights of 2023, some traffic statistics on the CNX Software website, and speculate what interesting developments may happen in 2024. Looking back at 2023 The semiconductor shortage that had happened since 2020 started to fade away in early 2023, and supplies for most electronics components and devices seem to be adequate at this time, so that was a bright spot this year, and hopefully, it will stay that way in 2024 despite geopolitical tensions. We did not have any super exciting new Arm application processors from Rockchip, Amlogic, or Allwinner announced this year, although the Amlogic S928X penta-core Cortex-A76/A55 CPU started to show up in some 8K TV boxes. The launch of the Raspberry Pi 5 SBC with a Broadcom BCM2712 quad-core Cortex-A76 processor was probably the main highlight for Arm on this side […]

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