Linux 5.6 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.6 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: So I’ll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing another -rc. This has a bit more changes than I’d like, but they are mostly from davem’s networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It’s just slightly more than I’d have preferred at this stage – not doesn’t really seem worth delaying a release over. So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets, and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling – mostly bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work). The rest is “misc” – mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes, some vm fixes, etc). The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, […]

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ARM9 in 2020 – Meet Microchip SAM9X60 SoC & Evaluation Kit

In my first job, I wrote code for a MIPS processor for VoIP phones, then I switched to NEC/Renesas MCUs for CD and DVD players, before going back to Linux and my first experience with an Arm processor: Cirrus Logic EP9307 with a single ARM9  (ARM920T) core clocked at 200 MHz. That was in 2005, and according to Wikipedia various ARM9 cores were released between 1998 to 2006, and now such cores are not recommended for new IC designs with most companies now building their chips around Arm Cortex-A/M/R cores. At the end of last year, we wrote about Banana Pi BPI-F2S SBC based on Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with ARM9 and 8051 co-processor. Odd enough but at least the ARM9 core is not the main processor, however, while looking at the upcoming Linux 5.6 Linux kernel log I read an entry about a new SAM9X60 ARM926-based SoC from Microchip. Microchip SAM9X60 ARM9 Processor Quite surprising to have […]

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Linux 4.16 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

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 changelog […]

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Linux 3.19 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 3.19 yesterday: So nothing all that exciting happened, and while I was tempted a couple of times to do an rc8, there really wasn’t any reason for it. Just as an example, Sasha Levin used KASan and found an interesting bug in paravirtualized spinlocks, but realistically it’s been around forever, and it’s not even clear that it can really ever trigger in practice. We’ll get it fixed, and mark it for stable, and tempting as it was, it wasn’t really a reason to delay 3.19. And the actual fixes that went in (see appended shortlog) were all fairly small, with the exception of some medium-sized infiniband changes that were all reverting code that just wasn’t ready. So it’s out there – go and get it. And as a result, the merge window for 3.20 is obviously also now open. Linus Linux 3.18 improved performance of the network stack, received BTRFS and EXT-4 file systems improvements, […]

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Calao Systems Introduces Linux based DIN Rail Home and Building Automation Systems

Calao Systems is an embedded systems company that I came to know thanks to their Snowball development boards based on the now defunct ST Ericsson Nova A9500 processor. The company has now launched new products for building and home automation powered by Atmel AT91SAM9G20 ARM9 processor clocked at 400 MHz housed in a DIN Rail enclosure. Two products are now available HABA-KNX-EXPLORER and HABA-KNX-LITE that share the following specifications: Processor – Atmel ARM926EJ-S @ 400MHz System Memory – 128MB SDRAM Storage – 256MB NAND Flash, 16 Mbit serial flash, 2Kbit EEPROM with MAC address, and Micro SD slot Connectivity Lite – 1x Ethernet 10/100Mbits Explorer – 2x Ethernet 10/100Mbits USB –  2x USB Host FS (12Mbits), 1x USB Device FS (12Mbits) Serial (Explorer only) – 1x RS-232 (isolated), 2x RS-485 (isolated) Automation I/F – 1x KNX/TP1 (isolated) Expansion – 1x RF Expansion Connector Debugging – JTAG and DBGU interfaces Misc – RTC battery backup Power Supply – 9-36V DC Power […]

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Linux 3.16 Released

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.16 over the week-end: So nothing particularly exciting happened this week, and 3.16 is out there. And as usual (previous release being the exception) that means that the merge window for 3.17 is obviously open. And for the third time in a row, the timing sucks for me, as I have travel coming up the second week of the merge window. Many other core developers will be traveling too, since it’s just before the kernel summit in Chicago. So we’ll see how the next merge window goes, but I’m not going to worry about it overmuch. If I end up not having time to do all the merges, I might delay things into the week of the kernel summit, but I’ll hope to get most of the big merging done this upcoming week before any travel takes place, so maybe it won’t come to that. So this is just a heads-up that the […]

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Acme Systems Arietta EDU Open Hardware Baseboard for Arietta G25 SoM (ARM9)

Arietta G25 is a tiny system-on-module (SoM) powered by Atmel SAM9G25 ARM9 processor and running Linux that sold for a discount earlier this year (9.9 Euros) for early backers, and is now available for 20 Euros, and support an optional Wi-Fi module for as low as 7 Euros extra. Acme Systems, the company who made the board, is now considering designing and manufacturing an open source hardware baseboard for the module, and is asking for feedback from the community before going ahead. Currently the idea is to have a baseboard with the following: Arietta G25 SoM connector (Vertical mount) 1x USB Host port I2C Sensors –  Temperature and Humidity sensor,  Light sensor Mosfet output for RGB led strip 2x relay output 1x filtered dry input 2x servo RC motors output Audio interface with embedded microphone and jack for PC speakers using Wolfson WM8731 codec Expansion headers for external modules already available and made by the company: SPI bus for stepper […]

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Linux 3.15 Released

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.15 last Sunday: So I ended up doing an rc8 because I was a bit worried about some last-minute dcache fixes, but it turns out that nobody seemed to even notice those. We did have other issues during the week, though, so it was just as well. The futex fixes and cleanups may stand out, but as usual there’s various other random fixes since rc8 in there too: mainly drivers (drm, networking, sound, usb etc), networking, scheduling and perf tooling. But it’s all been fairly small and quiet, which *may* of course be due to the fact that last week was also the first week of the merge window for 3.16. That might have distracted some developers. I’m not entirely convinced I liked the overlap, but it seemed to work ok, and unless people scream really loudly (“Please don’t _ever_ do that again”) and give good reasons for doing so, I might end up doing that […]

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