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 […]

Orange Pi 5 Pro – A low-cost Rockchip RK3588S SBC with up to 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, dual HDMI video output

Orange Pi 5 Pro

As mentioned in the Orange Pi Developer Conference 2024 article, the Orange Pi 5 Pro launch was just around the corner, and the latest Rockchip RK3588S SBC is now available on Amazon or Aliexpressfor $109 and up with 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, but cheaper 4GB ($60) and 8GB ($80) variants are coming soon. One would think the Orange Pi 5 Pro would be an evolution of the Orange Pi 5 SBC with LPDDR4 memory, and in some ways it is, but there are enough changes to display ports, storage, wireless, GPIO header, and even the form factor that make a direct comparison challenging. Orange Pi 5 Pro specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3588S CPU – Octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A76 cores @ up to 2.4 GHz, 4x Cortex-A55 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz GPU – Arm Mali-G610 MP4 GPU with OpenGL ES 3.2,  OpenCL 2.2, and Vulkan 1.2 support VPU – […]

Orange Pi Developer Conference 2024, upcoming Orange Pi SBCs and products

Orange Pi Developer Conference 2024

Orange Pi held a Developer Conference on March 24, 2024, in Shenzhen, China, and while I could not make it, the company provided photos of the event where people discussed upcoming boards and products, as well as software support for the Orange Pi SBCs. So I’ll go through some of the photos to check out what was discussed and what’s coming. While Orange Pi is mostly known for its development boards the company has also been working on consumer products including the Orange Health Watch D Pro and the OrangePi Neo handheld console. The Orange Pi Watch D Pro is said to implement non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, blood pressure monitoring, one-click “micro-physical examination” and other functions to to help users monitor their health monitoring. The Watch D Pro uses a technique that emits a green light to measure glucose levels in the blood, and we’re told it’s accurate enough to […]

Linux 6.8 release – Notable changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.8 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.8 on the Linux kernel mailing list: So it took a bit longer for the commit counts to come down this release than I tend to prefer, but a lot of that seemed to be about various selftest updates (networking in particular) rather than any actual real sign of problems. And the last two weeks have been pretty quiet, so I feel there’s no real reason to delay 6.8. We always have some straggling work, and we’ll end up having some of it pushed to stable rather than hold up the new code. Nothing worrisome enough to keep the regular release schedule from happening. As usual, the shortlog below is just for the last week since rc7, the overall changes in 6.8 are obviously much much bigger. This is not the historically big release that 6.7 was – we seem to […]

Add WiFi connectivity to older USB printers with Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A and UoWPrint print server

Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A printer server

I previously used an inexpensive CHIP board as a Linux printer and scanner server for the Canon MP250 USB multi-function printer. It took a while to make it work with a long list of instructions and even then the scanner function was not working very reliably. ValdikSS’s UoWPrint driverless printing and scanning server aims to simplify the process for older USB printers and also supports AirPrint and Mopria standards over WiFi. The older Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A board was the hardware of choice for this project due to its ultra-low price. The resulting product enables users to convert their old USB printer (or MFP) into a WiFi printer/MFP and print and scan without drivers from Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as mobile operating systems such as iOS/Android. ValdikSS told CNX Software he spent a considerable amount of time backporting patches required to run modern Debian 12 to the kernel 3.2.67 […]

Orange Pi AIPro SBC features a 20 TOPS Huawei Ascend AI SoC

Orange Pi Huawei Ascent SBC

Orange Pi AIPro is a new single board computer for AI applications that features a new (and unnamed) Huawei Ascend AI quad-core 64-bit processor delivering up to 20 TOPS (INT8) or 8 TOPS (FP16) of AI inference performance. The SBC comes with up to 16GB LPDDR4X and a 512Mbit SPI flash but also supports other storage options such as a microSD card, an eMMC flash module, and/or an M.2 NVMe or SATA SSD. The board also features two HDMI 2.0 ports, one MIPI DSI connector, and an AV port for video output, two MIPI CSI camera interfaces, Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi 5 connectivity, a few USB ports, and a 40-pin GPIO header for expansion. Orange Pi AIPro specifications: SoC – Huawei Ascend quad-core 64-bit (I’d assume RISC-V) processor delivering up to 20 TOPS (INT8) or 8TOPS (FP16) AI performance and equipped with an unnamed 3D GPU System Memory – 8GB […]

Linux 6.6 LTS release – Highlights, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.6 release

The Linux 6.6 release has just been announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML): So this last week has been pretty calm, and I have absolutely no excuses to delay the v6.6 release any more, so here it is. There’s a random smattering of fixes all over, and apart from some bigger fixes to the r8152 driver, it’s all fairly small. Below is the shortlog for last week for anybody who really wants to get a flavor of the details. It’s short enough to scroll through. This obviously means that the merge window for 6.7 opens tomorrow, and I appreciate how many early pull requests I have lined up, with 40+ ready to go. That will make it a bit easier for me to deal with it, since I’ll be on the road for the first week of the merge window. Linus About two months ago, […]

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