Linux 5.11 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 5.11 just in time for… “Valentine’s Day”: Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out. In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start. But in the meantime – and yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day here in the US – maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels. All right? Because I’m sure your SO will understand. Linus Last time around, Linux 5.10 was an LTS release that added EXT-4 performance enhancements, improved post-Spectre performance, as well as the enablement of BCM2711 (Raspberry Pi 4) display pipeline, among other many changes. Some of the notable changes in Linux 5.11 include: Support for Intel’s software guard extensions (SGX) […]

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Ubuntu Core 20 released for secure Linux IoT devices and embedded systems

Canonical has just released Ubuntu Core 20, a minimal, containerized version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for IoT devices and embedded systems. The company highlights several security improvements and features of the new version of the Linux-based operating system with secure boot, full disk encryption, secure device recovery, and secure containers. Ubuntu Core 20 is said to come with all benefits from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS such as regular, automated updates, the ability to manage custom app stores, and offers a longer 10-year support window. Ubuntu Core is available and certified on popular32-bit and 64-bit x86 and Arm single board computers such as Intel NUC or Raspberry Pi 4. Minimum requirements include a single-core processor @ 500 MHz, 256MB RAM, and 512MB storage. Alternatively, it’s also possible to run it in a virtual machine on your PC. Security is further enhanced with apps running in containers, and since only the necessary software components are installed, it can minimize the attack surface for […]

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FOSDEM 2021 Online February 6-7 – Hardware, Embedded & IoT talks

FOSDEM is an open-source developer event that takes place on the first week-end of February every year in Brussels, Belgium. Every year except this year, as due to COVID-19 restrictions, FOSDEM 2021 will take place online like most events these days. The schedule has been up for some time, and today I’ll look at some of the interesting talks mostly from the Embedded, Mobile and Automotive “virtual devroom” but also other tracks. Saturday, February 6, 2021 13:00 – 14:00 – From Reset Vector to Kernel – Navigating the ARM Matryoshka Long gone are the times of executing the OS in-place from memory-mapped flash upon reset. A modern SoC now comes with complex mask ROM firmware, with driver, filesystem, protocol and crypto support for loading… yet another bootloader. In his talk, Ahmad follows this chain of bootloaders until the kernel is started, stopping along the way for RAM setup, peripherial initialization, runtime services and other interesting sights. Getting acquainted with the […]

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Pipo W12 Arm Windows 10 Laptop finally launched for $422 and up

Pipo showcased a Snadragon 850 powered 2-in-1 laptop in fall 2019, and said it expected it to sell for around $400. But it appears it took quite longer than expected to launch the Arm Windows 10 laptop, and only now can we see PiPo W12 laptop sold on Aliexpress for around $422 and up plus shipping. The 2-in-1 laptop comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, 4GB or 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, as well as WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and 4G LTE connectivity. Pipo W12 specifications have changed a little bit since the first announcement, notably the display resolution, and we’ve got a few more details: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 octa-core Kryo 385 Arm cores clocked @ up to 2.96 GHz with Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem, Hexagon 685 DSP System Memory – 4GB or 8GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 256GB flash storage, MicroSD card slot Display – 12.3″ IPS display with 2888×1920 resolution, 10-point touch Audio – 3.5mm audio […]

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Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices,  but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first WiFi IoT RISC-V chips with ESP32-C3 and BL602, Alibaba making […]

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Linux 5.10 LTS release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.10: Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too. There’s a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn’t get fixed, but nothing makes me go “we need another week”. Things look fairly normal. It’s mostly drivers – as it should be – with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.. The shortlog is appended, and scanning it gives a good idea of what kind of things are there. Nothing that looks scary: most of the patches are very small, and the biggest one is fixing pin mapping definitions for a pincontrol driver. This also obviously means that the merge window for 5.11 will start tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests pending – you guys know who you […]

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Mesa 20.3 released with Raspberry Pi 4 V3DV driver, Panfrost Bifrost support

We’ve previously reported that the Vulkan 1.0 conformant V3DV driver for Raspberry Pi 4 and other Broadcom BCM2711 based platforms was part of Mesa 20.3 open-source graphics framework. But at the time, it was still under development. The good news is that Mesa 20.3 has now been released, and there’s much more than Raspberry Pi 4 support, as Collabora informed us the release also included Arm Mali Bifrost GPU support via the open-source Panfrost driver. The latter was made possible thanks to the work by Alyssa Rosenzweig and Boris Brezillon, with Alyssa going into details in a recent blog post on Collabora. More work is still needed with better performance and OpenGL 3.1 being the focus in the months ahead. But there were also many other changes in Mesa 20.3 as reported by Phoronix: OpenGL 4.6 and Vulkan 1.2 APIs support Initial support for Intel Gen12 Alder Lake graphics and AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and VanGogh graphics Lavapipe Vulkan CPU-based implementation […]

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DevTerm with ClockworkPi v3.14: a modular, portable computer

After the launch of ClockworkPi GameShell in Q4 2018, now ClockworkPi has come with yet another exciting product. DevTerm is a portable computer that comes with a 6.8-inch IPS screen, a keyboard with 67 keys, and a battery module, all connected to ClockworkPi v3.14 carrier board and a choice of core modules. It will also come with an optional built-in thermal printer. ClockworkPi v3.14 Mainboard and the Core boards The mainboard ClockworkPi v3.14 uses a compact design and comes with a reduced size of 95x77mm. With a modular design, it gives you a choice of “core board” modules for various applications. Moreover, ClockworkPi v3.14 is now compatible with the Raspberry Pi CM3 series, which means that your work on the Raspberry Pi can be “teleported” to a portable terminal without hassle. It has integrated 5GHz WIFI (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0 which makes it suitable for wireless communication applications as well. A high-gain antenna (HGA) increases the signal strength and provides […]

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