Year 2022 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

CNX Software Happy New Year 2023

It’s the last day of the year and the time to look at some of the highlights of 2022, some traffic statistics from CNX Software website, and speculate on what 2023 may bring us. The semiconductors shortage continued in 2022, but things are looking brighter in 2023 with the full reopening of the world mixed with forecasts of difficult economic times that should keep the demand/supply equation in check. On the Arm processor front the biggest news of the year, at least in this corner of the Internet, was the launch of the Rockchip RK3588 octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor together with interesting single board computers that we’ll discuss below. Announced last year, the Amlogic A311D2 octa-core Cortex-A73/A53 was finally made available in a few SBC’s, and we finally got some news about the Amlogic S928X Cortex-A76/A55 SoC showcased in 8K TV boxes, but we have yet to see it in action. […]

Linux 6.1 LTS release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.1 LTS

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 6.1, likely to be an LTS kernel, last Sunday: So here we are, a week late, but last week was nice and slow, and I’m much happier about the state of 6.1 than I was a couple of weeks ago when things didn’t seem to be slowing down. Of course, that means that now we have the merge window from hell, just before the holidays, with me having some pre-holiday travel coming up too. So while delaying things for a week was the right thing to do, it does make the timing for the 6.2 merge window awkward. That said, I’m happy to report that people seem to have taken that to heart, and I already have two dozen pull requests pending for tomorrow in my inbox. And hopefully I’ll get another batch overnight, so that I can try to really get as […]

8K TV box powered by Amlogic S928X Cortex-A76/A55 processor showcased at IBC 2022

Amlogic S928X 8K TV Box

Amlogic S928X multi-core Cortex-A76/A55 8K media processor, which may have been initially known as S908X, is being showcased at ICB2022 in Amsterdam in the “SEI 8K Box” developed by SEI Robotics. Amlogic S908X/S928X was first discovered in a roadmap in 2019 and was expected to launch by the end of 2020 at the time. But after a long wait of nearly three years, the Amlogic S928X processor is finally showing in SEI 8K box with an HDMI 2.1a 8K video interface, supports for HDR and advanced audio codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS, and support for Smart Home functions through an IoT module with WiFi 6E, Zigbee and more. SEI 8K box preliminary specifications: SoC – Amlogic S928X multi-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor, next-gen GPU (likely Mali-G610?); 12nm process System Memory – 64-bit DDR Storage – eMMC flash Video Output HDMI 2.1a up to 8Kp60 (7680 x 4320 resolution) with HDR10+/HLS, Dolby […]

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 […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative