Linux 4.17 Release – Main Changes, Arm & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux 4.17 last Sunday: So this last week was pretty calm, even if the pattern of most of the stuff coming in on a Friday made it feel less so as the weekend approached. And while I would have liked even less changes, I really didn’t get the feeling that another week would help the release in any way, so here we are, with 4.17 released. No, I didn’t call it 5.0, even though all the git object count numerology was in place for that. It will happen in the not _too_distant future, and I’m told all the release scripts on kernel.org are ready for it, but I didn’t feel there was any real reason for it. I suspect that around 4.20 – which is I run out of fingers and toes to keep track of minor releases, and thus start getting mightily confused – I’ll switch over. That was what happened for 4.0, after all. As […]

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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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Low Cost Renesas Target Boards for RX MCUs are Designed for Home Appliances, Building & Industrial Automation

Renesas Electronics has announced three new Target Boards for the RX65N, RX130 and RX231 32-bit Microcontroller (MCU) groups designed for home appliance, building and industrial automation applications. Each board has minimal features with an on-chip debugger, a mini USB port, the micro-controller, and through-hole pin headers providing access to all MCU signals. This design allows to access all MCU features while keeping the price below $30. Renesas Target Board specifications: MCU Renesas RX65N (R5F565NEDDFP) 32-bit RXv2 MCU @ 120 MHz with 2MB+32KB ROM, 640KB RAM Renesas RX130 (R5F51308ADFP) 32-bit MCU @ 32 MHz with 512KB+8KB ROM, 48 KB RAM Renesas RX231 (R5F52318ADFP) 32-bit RXv2 MCU @ 54 MHz with 512KB+8KB ROM, 64 KB RAM Expansion Unpopulated 12-pin Pmod connector 2x unpopulated 50-pin MCU headers Misc 2-pin Current measurement header Reset and user push buttons Power LED (Green), ACT LED (Green), 2x user LEDs (Green) 2-pin emulator reset header Power Supply 5V via mini USB port 3.3V via external power supply […]

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Linux 4.15 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvald has released Linux 4.15 last Sunday: After a release cycle that was unusual in so many (bad) ways, this last week was really pleasant. Quiet and small, and no last-minute panics, just small fixes for various issues. I never got a feeling that I’d need to extend things by yet another week, and 4.15 looks fine to me. Half the changes in the last week were misc driver stuff (gpu, input, networking) with the other half being a mix of networking, core kernel and arch updates (mainly x86). But all of it is tiny. So at least we had one good week. This obviously was not a pleasant release cycle, with the whole meltdown/spectre thing coming in in the middle of the cycle and not really gelling with our normal release cycle. The extra two weeks were obviously mainly due to that whole timing issue. Also, it is worth pointing out that it’s not like we’re “done” with […]

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Renesas R-Car M3 Starter Kit is Designed for ADAS Applications

Most boards targeting the automotive market are impossible to purchase by individual, so last year I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Renesas R-Car M2 Porter Linux automotive infotainment development board was available for sale on Digikey, and had good documentation on eLinux.org. The company has now introduced another automotive board, namely R-Car V3M starter kit, that’s not designed for infotainment, but instead for ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) or even AD (Automated Driving) applications. Specifically, the board is supposed to “accelerate the development of New Car Assessment program (NCAP), front camera applications, surround view systems, and lidars” leveraging the company’s R-Car V3M image recognition SoC. Renesas R-Car V3M starter kit (V3MSK) specifications: SoC – Renesas R-Car V3M processor with two Cortex A53 64-bit cores @ up to 800 MHz, a dual lockstep Cortex-R7 32-bit core @ up to 800 MHz, IMP-X5-V3M image recognition engine System Memory – 448KB RAM on-chip; 2GB (6.4 GBytes/s) DDR3L-1600, 32-bit wide Storage 64MB bootable HyperFlash […]

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Octo SPI / HyperBus Interface is Designed for High Speed Serial Flash, RAM, and MCP

So far, if you needed high speed storage with low pin count in your MCU based board, you could use QSPI (Quad SPI) NOR flash, but earlier this month I wrote about STM32L4+ MCU family, which added two Octo SPI interfaces. I had never heard about Octo SPI previously. Those two interfaces can be used with single, dual, quad, or octal SPI compatible serial flash or RAM, and  support a frequency of up to 86 MHz for Octal SPI memories in STM32L4+ MCU. STMicro OctoSPI interface also supports Cypress/Spansion Hyperbus mode to connect to HyperFlash or HyperRAM chip, or even HyperFlash + HyperRAM Multi-Chip packages (MCP), and variable or fixed external memory latency as defined by the Hyperbus protocol specification. The latter reveals Hyperbus supports performance up to 400 MB/s (provided the controller support 200 MHz), and relies on either 11 bus signals using 3.0V I/O (Single-ended clock CK), or 12 bus signals using 1.8V I/Os (differential clock CK, CK#). […]

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Compact Renesas RZ/G1C based ARM Linux Single Board Computer Exposes 100 Expansion Pins

iWave Systems has released a new business card sized single board computer (SBC) with iW-RainboW-G23S, which looks somewhat similar to a Raspberry Pi 3 board, but is equipped with Renesas RZ/G1C single or dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor, up to 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and provides plenty of I/Os through 3 headers for a total of 100 pins. Target applications include HMI & access control, industrial control, healthcare devices, point of sale, IoT, home & office automation, and white goods & appliances. iW-RainboW-G23S board specifications: SoC – Renesas RZ/G1C Dual/Solo ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX531 3D GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 (expandable up to 2GB) Storage – 2MB SPI Flash  (expandable), 8GB eMMC Flash (expandable), and micro SD connector Video Output/Input – 1x HDMI output port,  1x CVBS input RCA jack, optional 1x CVBS output RCA jack/header Video – HD encode/decode Connectivity – 100/1000Mbps Ethernet USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro […]

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Renesas RZ/G Linux Platform features CIP Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel

In the consumer space, some devices never get updated, and you can consider yourself lucky if the manufacturer provides updates for several years, often just two as Linux LTS (Long Term Support) kernels had been supported that long so far. Google and the Linux Foundation realized that was not enough, so they recently announced 6-year LTS kernels at Linaro Connect SFO 2017, starting with Linux 4.4 released on January 2016, meaning it will keeping being maintained until January 2022 with security patchsets and bug fixes. But in the industrial/embedded space, they need even longer periods of support due to the longer equipment’s lifespan. I first heard about the Linux Foundation’s  Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project last year, when I covered the schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016. The project aims at providing a super long-term supported (STLS) open source “base layer” for industrial grade software. Several companies are partners of the project including Hitachi, Renesas, Siemens, Toshiba, and […]

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