FOSDEM 2016 Schedule – Open Source Hardware and Software Event in Europe

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day event that usually takes place on the first week-end of February in Brussels, but this year it will be on January 30-31. The event brings thousands of developers, hackers, and other person interested in open source technology who present their projects and share ideas. FOSDEM 2016 schedule is now available, and There will be 557 speakers, 612 events, and 50 tracks this year including 7 main tracks: Distros, Enterprise, Hardware, Communications, Miscellaneous, Office, Systems Administration, and Virtualization. So I’ve had a look at some of the talks, especially out of  “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “IoT” devrooms, and prepared my own virtual schedule although I won’t be able to attend. Saturday 10:30 – 10:55 – MIPS, the other side of the embedded by Alexjan Carraturo For many years MIPS processors have been involved in the embedded market, particularly […]

How to Unbrick MeegoPad T01 (Intel Atom Z3735F) HDMI TV Stick

When you use one of the Intel Atom Z3735F mini PCs, there’s very little chance to brick it as long as you use the pre-installed operating systems. But if you play around with the BIOS, or use one of the recent dual boot firmware that re-flash the BIOS when you switch OS, there’s a real possibility to completely brick your device. Ian Morrison (Linuxium) and Deadhp1 posted separate instructions to flash the BIOS and recover their devices. Both bricked MeegoPad T01, and deadhp1 used CH341a USB programmer which only supports 3.3V/5V, while the SPI flash on T01 only support 1.8V. It worked for him, but it could potentially fry the flash. So it’s probably better to with Ian’s solution involving EZP_XPro USB Programmer and some SOIC8 Test Clips. Once you get the hardware, you’ll need to download on install EZP XPro Flash 1.4 on a Windows PC. Now follow the […]

How to Install 64-bit BIOS on Sunchip CX-W8


Sunchip CX-W8 is an Intel Atom Z3735F TV box running Windows, but I’ve been informed that originally Sunchip designed it for WeTek in order to manufacture a Linux based mini PC. Unfortunately, they finally gave up once they discovered Intel had no intention to work on HDMI audio support in Linux for their Atom Z3700 series processor despite it working on Android… Intel Compute Stick will apparently use a separate DSP to handle that part (TBC). Nevertheless, when WeTek saw I had Wintel W8, they decided to share the 64-bit “BIOS” they had worked on for the Linux port. By the way, Wintel W8 and Sunchip CX-W8 allegedly come from two different factories / design houses, so although they look alike, the hardware might be different, and the UEFI firmware / BIOS, I’m about to share may or may not be compatible with Wintel W8, so you may brick it […]

Linaro 15.03 Release with Linux 4.0 and Android 5.1

Linaro has just announced their 15.03 release with Linux 4.0-rc4 (baseline), Linux 3.10.72 and 3.14.36 (LSK), and Android 5.1. The organization has worked on hardware platforms from members namely Qualcomm, ARM, HiSilicon, Samsung, and STMicro, including the recently announced 96Boards boards, and other ARMv8 platforms. Highlights of the release: Linux Linaro 4.0-rc4-2015.03 updated linaro-android topic added a few build/boot fixes for Arndale (llct-misc-fixes topic) GATOR topic: version 5.20.1 updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT (FVP Base and Foundation models, and Juno support) updated topic from Qualcomm LT (ifc6410 board support) simple EEPROM framework (via Qualcomm LT’s topic) updated topic from HiSilicon LT (Hi36xx, HiP04, and X5HD2 families support) rebased “ILP32 patch set v3” onto 4.0-rc2 Linaro builds of AOSP 15.03 updated all the baselines to AOSP 5.1 added commit based trigger feature to CI builds Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.03 integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2015.03 dismantled meta-aarch64 layer created meta-ilp32 layer cleaned out […]

Acer Shamelessly Sells Aspire E5 Laptops with a Crippled UEFI Setup Utility

Yesterday, I bought an Acer Aspire E5-421G-45L0 laptop powered by AMD A4-6210 “Beema” processor and after some effort I managed to install Ubuntu 14.04 and make it mostly work, but more on that later. I also planned to copy a 64-bit OS VirtualBox virtual machine from another PC to this PC, but I quickly realized I could only select 32-bit operating systems, so my 64-bit image could not boot. Virtualization extension are required for 64-bit support in VirtualBox, and I had not checked whether AMD A4-6210 supported these before purchase. Amazingly, I could not find that information on AMD’s very own website, but CPU Boss reports A4-6210 does indeed support AMD-V virtualization. All good, so I must be just a question of enabling it in the “BIOS”. So I rebooted the laptop, and pressed F2 to enter InsydeH20 Setup Utility. There are few options with only  Information, Main, Security, Boot, […]

HiSilicon D02 Server Board Supports up to 64 ARM Cortex A57 Cores

HiSilicon has showcased their latest server SoC and board at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015, with up to two processors with 32 Cortex A57 cores @ 2.1GHz, 8 DIMM DDR3 slots (up to 128 GB RAM), 12 SATA ports, 4 PCIe slots, 10GbE / GbE ports. D02 board specifications: SoC – Hisilicon PhosphorV660 Hip05 with 16 to 32 ARM Cortex-A57 cores @ up to 2.1GHz and 1MB L2 cache/cluster, 32MB L3 cache System Memory – 2x Memory channel 4x DDR3 DIMM(4x DIMM per processor) Storage 12x SAS 3.0 ports @ 12 Gbps (8 for the first processor, 4 for the second).  SAS port are compatible with SATA drives. You may want to read SAS vs SATA post for more details about SAS. 2x SPI Flash 158Mb BIOS/UEFI 1Gb NorFlash Connectivity – 2×10/100/1000Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x xGE SFP+ ports (10Gb/s) Expansion – 2x 8x PCI express interfaces per processor (4 […]

MeLE PCG03 mini PC Review and Benchmarks with Windows 8.1 with Bing

MeLE PCG03 is an Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC with 2GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC. I’ve already posted some pictures of the device and board, and since Windows 8.1 with Bing NTE (with proper license) is installed, I’ll first test the device with Microsoft OS as a reference, before trying Ubuntu or/and Android. MeLE PCG03 Setup The computer comes only with a power adapter, so you’ll need to find an HDMI or/and VGA cable for your display(s), and a USB keyboard and mouse to get started. Optionally, you’ll also want an Ethernet cable, and since storage is limited an extra storage device be it a USB hard drive, flash drive, or SD card. Once all is connected you can press the power button on the left side to boot the device. The boot normally takes about 20 seconds, but the first time, you’ll go through the usual Windows 8.1 setup […]

Linaro 14.12 Release with Linux 3.18 and Android 5.0

Linaro usually releases images and source code on the last Thursday of the month, but since most people will have long holidays for Chritsmas and New Year, the last working Thrusday of this month was yesterday (18th). Linaro 14.12 release includes Linux kernel 3.18 (baseline), Linux 3.10.62 & 3.14.26 (LSK, same versions as last month), and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Here are the highlights of this release: Linux Linaro 3.18-2014.12 Based on v3.18 release GATOR topic: version 5.20 updated topic from Qualcomm LT (includes IFC6410 board support) updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT (FVP Base and Foundation models, and Juno support) updated LLVM topic (uses the community llvmlinux-latest branch) included ILP32 patch set v3  rebased on 3.18. Boot tested with aarch64 userland. Work is in progress to test with aarch64-ilp32 userland. config fragments updated – SELinux related config options enabled in linaro-base.conf, device tree runtime self tests enabled in distribution.conf Linaro […]

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