LibreELEC 12 released with Kodi 21, 64-bit Arm support for Raspberry Pi 4/5, and platforms

LibreELEC 12 Raspberry Pi 64-bit

As one should have expected after the Kodi 21 “Omega” release last month, the LibreELEC 12 lightweight Linux media center distribution is now out with many devices updated to 64-bit, including the Rasberry Pi 4 and 5 SBCs. LibreELEC 11 was released last year based on Kodi 20 “Nexus” and bringing back support for Amlogic devices. LibreELEC 12 builds on that and benefits from the new features added to Kodi 21 such as FFmpeg 6 and works on Arm platforms based on Allwinner, Amlogic, Broadcom (Raspberry Pi), and Rockchip processors, as well as generic x86 computers. It’s an easy option to create a dedicated HTPC based on a range of hardware with all the features brought by Kodi 21 media center. Since so many platforms are supported there are always some limitations for each and known problems: Raspberry Pi  – 50/60fps H.264 HW decoding may need force_turbo=1 or core_freq_min=500 in […]

SBC Case Builder v3.0 can create thousands of cases for popular SBCs and standard motherboards (mini-ITX, Pico-ITX, NUC…)

SBC Case Builder V3.0

SBC Case Builder V3.0 case design utility has just been released with the ability to create over 1,000 standard cases – not including customization – for popular SBCs from Raspberry Pi, Hardkernel, Orange Pi, Radxa, and others, as well as standard motherboards following Mini-ITX, Pico-ITX, NUC, Nano-ITX, etc.., and SBC adapters following these standards, meaning you could install a Raspberry Pi 5 into a mini-ITX case if needed. SBC Case Builder started as a command line utility for designing DIY case for SBCs relying on OpenSDAD in April 2022, but Edward Kisiel (hominoids) quickly released version 2 with a GUI in October or the same, and has now further improved the utility with the release of SBC Case Builder v3.0. Version 3.0 comes with many improvements but the main focus was to reuse existing and new PC standard form factor cases by creating SBC adapters and custom I/O Shields since […]

Vivante NPU (found in Amlogic A311D) gets its open-source driver upstreamed to Mesa

Vivante NPU open source

The Teflon project is an open-source TensorFlow Lite delegate that currently supports VeriSilicon Vivante NPU and aims to support several other AI accelerators over time. The project has recently been upstreamed to Mesa meaning AI inference with open-source software will work out of the box in supported hardware once Mesa 24.1 is released in May 2024. Teflon relies on the Etnaviv open-source driver better known for working with Vivante GPUs found, for instance, in NXP i.MX processors, but Tomeu Vizoso also worked on implementing Vivante NPU support since May 2022 thanks to a sponsorship from Libre Computer and documented the development progress on this blog. The VeriSilicon Vivante “VIPNano-QI.7120” 5 TOPS NPU is found in the Amlogic A311D processor, and Tomeu tested Teflon with the Etnaviv NPU drive on both the Libre Computer AML-A311D-CC Alta and Khadas VIM3 single board computers with decent performance although still slower than with the […]

Linux 6.7 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.7 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.7, following Linux 6.6 LTS a little over two months ago: So we had a little bit more going on last week compared to the holiday week before that, but certainly not enough to make me think we’d want to delay this any further. End result: 6.7 is (in number of commits: over 17k non-merge commits, with 1k+ merges) one of the largest kernel releases we’ve ever had, but the extra rc8 week was purely due to timing with the holidays, not about any difficulties with the larger release. The main changes this last week were a few DRM updates (mainly fixes for new hw enablement in this version – both amd and nouveau), some more bcachefs fixes (and bcachefs is obviously new to 6.7 and one of the reasons for the large number of commits), and then a few random […]

2023 Year in review – Top 10 posts, statistics, and what to expect in 2024

CNX Software Happy New Year 2024

It’s the last day and last article of the year, so we will look at some highlights of 2023, some traffic statistics on the CNX Software website, and speculate what interesting developments may happen in 2024. Looking back at 2023 The semiconductor shortage that had happened since 2020 started to fade away in early 2023, and supplies for most electronics components and devices seem to be adequate at this time, so that was a bright spot this year, and hopefully, it will stay that way in 2024 despite geopolitical tensions. We did not have any super exciting new Arm application processors from Rockchip, Amlogic, or Allwinner announced this year, although the Amlogic S928X penta-core Cortex-A76/A55 CPU started to show up in some 8K TV boxes. The launch of the Raspberry Pi 5 SBC with a Broadcom BCM2712 quad-core Cortex-A76 processor was probably the main highlight for Arm on this side […]

Libre Computer AML-A311D-CC “Alta” SBC features Amlogic A311D AI processor

Libre Computer AML-A311D-CC Alta SBC

Libre Computer has launched the credit card-sized “Alta” SBC, also known as AML-A311D-CC, designed for AI applications with the Amlogic A311D hexa-core Arm Cortex-A73/A53 processor equipped with a 5 TOPS AI accelerator. The board comes with 4GB LPDDR4, a 16MB SPI flash for the bootloader as well as a microSD card slot and eMMC flash module connector for storage, and offers many of the same ports as found on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, an AV jack, MIPI CSI and DSI connector, and a 40-pin GPIO header that should work with most Raspberry Pi HATs. AML-A311D-CC “Alta” specifications: SoC – Amlogic A311D CPU Hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex-A73 cores @ up to 2.2 GHz and 2x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz Built-in Cortex-M4 core for “always-on” processing GPU – Arm Mali-G52 MP4 GPU VPU 4K UHD […]

Libre Computer AML-S905X-CC-V2 SBC directly installs Linux images from the Internet

Libre Computer AML- S905X-CC-V2 SBC

Libre Computer AML-S905X-CC-V2 “Sweet Potato” is a “new” Amlogic S905X SBC following the Raspberry Pi 3B form factor and that will eventually directly boot Linux images downloaded from the Internet using the Libre Computer OS Tool (LOST). I wrote “new” in quotes because the single board computer is an update to the Potato board (AML-S905X-CC) introduced in 2017 with just a few hardware changes. But that’s because Libre Computer focuses on the software side and all/most of their boards can now run mainline Linux and have support for features such as LOST whose support is set to be implemented by November. Libre Computer AML-S905X-CC-V2 SBC specifications with changes in bold or strikethrough: SoC – Amlogic S905X quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with penta-core Arm Mali-450MP GPU, and Amlogic Video Engine 10 VPU System Memory – 2GB DDR4 (OEM can request 1GB) Storage 1x microSD card slot with UHS […]

DIY SBC cases and SBC Case Builder tool based on OpenSCAD


Since you can’t always rely on single board computer (SBC) vendors to provide a case to match your needs, some went the DIY route. Willy Tarreau designed some laser-cut enclosures with Inkscape for various SBCs, while hominoids went a step further by developing the “SBC Case Builder” tool to automatically generate various types of 3D printable enclosures using OpenSCAD. Willy designed five similar enclosures for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L, FriendlyELEC NanoPi Fire3, SolidRun Clearfog Base networking SBC, Libre Computer AML-S805X-AC (aka “La Frite”), and AAEON UP Board. All cases are available in Inkscape SVG format, and Willy accepts contributions for other boards. You’ll need a laser engraver or CNC router to cut out those enclosures. Hominoids’ SBC Case Builder project attempt to automatize enclosure generation for SBCs using SBC Model Framework written in OpenSCAD. Work has focused on ODROID boards so far, but it should work for other vendors too. The parameters […]

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