Linux 5.18 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.18 release arm risc-v mips

Linux 5.18 is out! Linus Torvalds has just announced the release on lkml: No unexpected nasty surprises this last week, so here we go with the 5.18 release right on schedule. That obviously means that the merge window for 5.19 will open tomorrow, and I already have a few pull requests pending. Thank you everybody. I’d still like people to run boring old plain 5.18 just to check, before we start with the excitement of all the new features for the merge window. The full shortlog for the last week is below, and nothing really odd stands out. The diffstat looks a bit funny – unusually we have parsic architecture patches being a big part of it due to some last-minute cache flushing fixes, but that is probably more indicative of everything else being pretty small. So outside of the parisc fixes, there’s random driver updates (mellanox mlx5 stands out, […]

Linux hardware video encoding on Amlogic A311D2 processor

amlogic a311d2 h265 hardware video encoding sample

I’ve spent a bit more time with Ubuntu 22.04 on Khadas VIM4 Amogic A311D2 SBC, and while the performance is generally good features like 3D graphics acceleration and hardware video decoding are missing. But I was pleased to see a Linux hardware video encoding section in the Wiki, as it’s not something we often see supported early on. So I’ve given it a try… First, we need to make a video in NV12 pixel format that’s commonly outputted from cameras. I downloaded a 45-second 1080p H.264 sample video from Linaro, and converted it with ffmpeg:

I did this on my laptop. As a raw video, it’s pretty big with 3.3GB of storage used for a 45-second video:

Now let’s try to encode the video to H.264 on Khadas VIM4 board using aml_enc_test hardware video encoding sample:

The output explains the parameters used. There are some error messages, […]

Linux 5.17 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.17 changelog

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.17: So we had an extra week of at the end of this release cycle, and I’m happy to report that it was very calm indeed. We could probably have skipped it with not a lot of downside, but we did get a few last-minute reverts and fixes in and avoid some brown-paper bugs that would otherwise have been stable fodder, so it’s all good. And that calm last week can very much be seen from the appended shortlog – there really aren’t a lot of commits in here, and it’s all pretty small. Most of it is in drivers (net, usb, drm), with some core networking, and some tooling updates too. It really is small enough that you can just scroll through the details below, and the one-liner summaries will give a good flavor of what happened last week. Of course, this means […]

Amlogic S905C2 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor supports digital TV tuners, CAS

Amlogic S905C2

Amlogic S905C2 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor has been showing up in some Android 11 set-top boxes (with tuner), and a development kit, but with limited public information. The specifications appear to be similar to the ones for Amlogic S905X4 processor plus additional support for DVB tuners and conditional access (CAS) with the latter confirmed by an independent source saying the Amlogic S905C2 processor is part of the Android 11 SDK with a reference board named “ohmcas”. Amlogic S905C2 preliminary specifications: CPU – Quad-core Cortex-A55 up to 2.0 GHz GPU – Arm Mali-G31MP2 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0/1.1, and OpenCL 2.0 Memory I/F – Up to 4GB DDR3-2133, DDR3L-2133, DDR4-3200, LPDDR3-2133, LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM Storage I/F – eMMC 5.0, NAND Flash, SPI NOR/NAND, SD Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60, HDCP2.3, CVBS Video Decoding – AV1 up to 4Kp120, 10-bit H.265, VP9, AVS2 up to 4Kp75, H.264 4Kp30 […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Amlogic V901D – A quad-core Cortex-A55 processor for in-vehicle infotainment

Amlogic V901D

Amlogic has decided to enter the automotive market with the Amlogic V901D quad-core Cortex-A55 processor designed for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) applications such as car dashboards, multi-camera dashcam systems, automotive multimedia players, and so on. Also equipped with an Arm Mali-G31 MP2, a 1 TOPS NPU, support for 4K AV1 video decoding, and a 12nm manufacturing processor, Amlogic V901D may look like a rebranded Amlogic S905X4 at first glance, but as we’ll see below, it includes some features specific to the automotive infotainment market. Amlogic V901D specifications: CPU – Quad-Core Cortex-A55 GPU – ARM Mali-G31 MP2 AI accelerator – 1 TOPS NPU Memory I/F – 32-bit DDR3/4, LPDDR3/4 Storage I/F – eMMC 5.0, SLC NAND Video I/F Output – V-by-one, LVDS, CVBS, 4K TCON Input – 3x HDMI 2.1 w/ EMP (Extended Metadata Packet), ALLM, 2x CVBS Video Decoding – 4Kp60 10-bit AV1/H.265/VP9 P-2/AVS2, 4Kp30 H.264 Encoding – 1080p30 H.264 HDR […]

Amlogic A311D2 octa-core Arm processor supports up to 16GB RAM

Amlogic A311D2 Block Diagram

Amlogic A311D2 octa-core processor is the successor to Amlogic A311D hexa-core SoC with four Cortex-A73 cores, four Cortex-A53 cores, a more powerful Mali-G52 MP8 (8EE) GPU, support for eDP and LVDS video interface, 8Kp24 AV1 video decoding, and support for a whopping 16GB LPDDR4/X memory. But it’s not all! The chip also includes supports for three HDMI 2.1 inputs up to 4Kp60, a 16MP ISP, 4K video encoding, and the more powerful GPU and higher memory bandwidth enable 4K user interfaces which were not feasible on most other Arm hardware barring the NVIDIA Shield. Comparison of Amlogic A311D2 and A311D specifications. * Amlogic A311D multiplexed PCIe and USB 3.0  interfaces means two configurations are possible: 1x USB 2.0 Host + 1 PCIe, OR 1x USB3.0 (No PCIe), but Amlogic A311D2 PCIe and USB 3.0 interfaces are independent, so we are not losing USB 3.0 when using PCIe (5 Gbps). The […]

Amlogic S905W4 TV Box ships with Amlogic W1 WiFi 5 module

Amlogic S905W4 TV Box with Amlogic W1 WiFi 5

As I just posted about MediaTek Filogic 830/630 WiFi 6/6E chip, I was informed that Amlogic may have its own WiFi chip as “W1” module showed up in the SDK’s source code. It turns out there’s at least one TV box with Amlogic W1 802.11b/g/n/ac module/chip?, namely X96 Mini+, that also happens to come with an Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor we’ve never covered on CNX Software. Apart from the new processor and WiFI module, X96 Mini Plus is your typical entry-level 4K TV box with up to 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, HDMI 2.0 video output, composite video output, Ethernet, and a couple of USB ports. X96 Mini Plus specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750MHz System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB or 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to […]