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

Ubuntu Core 20 secure Linux IoT

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 […]

ZimaBoard Intel Apollo Lake SBC and micro server goes for $69.99 and up (Crowdfunding)


We’ve had our fair share of low-cost x86 SBCs in recent years, mostly based on Intel Cherry Trail processor, with the likes of Atomic Pi and Rock Pi X. Ice Whale Technology has come up with its own low-cost Intel single board computer with ZimaBoard “single board server” as it mostly has network storage applications in mind, but with a 4K capable mini DisplayPort connector it could also be used as a standard SBC or mini PC. There are two versions of the board both with Apollo Lake processors: ZimaBoard 216 with a dual-core Celeron N3350 coupled with 2GBRAM and 16GB eMMC flash, and ZimaBoard 832 powered by a quad-core Celeron N3450 with 8GB RAM and 32GB storage. Both ZimaBoard SBC shares most of the same specifications in terms of I/Os: SoC – ZimaBoard 216 – Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor @ 1.1/2.4GHz (Burst freq.) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 650 MHz (Burst freq.); […]

Hackboard 2 Intel Celeron N4020 SBC comes with optional 4G/5G cellular modem (crowdfunding)

Hackboard 2

We’ve seen several x86 SBCs made for the makers’ community including AAEON Up Board family, AMD powered UDOO BOLT boards, and Seeed Studio Odyssey-X864105 SBC and mini PC. Hackboard 2 is another one of those single board computers. Powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron N4020 Gemini Lake Refresh processor coupled with 4GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC flash, the board offers the usual HDMI, Ethernet, USB ports, plus a 40-pin Raspberry Pi header, and an optional 4G or 5G modem. Hackboard 2 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core Gemini Lake Refresh processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.8 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cache, Intel UHD graphics 600; 6W TDP System Memory – 4GB DDR4 RAM Storage –  64 GB onboard eMMC flash, 2x NVMe M.2 slots for up to 4 TB additional storage Video output HDMI 2.0a output up to 4K 30-pin eDP connector for 11.6″ to 15.6″ displays 6-pin touchscreen interface Audio – 3.5 mm CTIA audio jack (stereo […]

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

DevTerm 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 […]

Box86 is an x86 Emulator for Raspberry Pi and other 32-bit Arm platforms

Box86 x86 emulation Raspberry Pi

Last week, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan project status and future plans, and one person commented they are currently trying to get dxvk to work Box86, and that CNX Software should write about the latter. Cool, but what does that mean? dxvk is an open-source Vulkan-based implementation of D3D9, D3D10, and D3D11 for Linux,  and Box86 is a Linux userspace x86 emulator that works on 32-bit Arm targets like the Raspberry Pi SBC. Nice, and I remember I ran x86 Linux and Windows on Raspberry Pi a few years ago using a closed-source commercial program called Exagear, but having an open-source solution is even better. That means 64-bit Arm is not supported at all, and Box86 can not even be built for Aarch64 targets. Since many x86 games require OpenGL, as opposed to OpenGL ES, Box86 works best in conjunction with gl4es. By installing Box86 on Raspberry Pi 4, or other Arm boards like many of the Rockchip […]

Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and […]

Centaur Unveils an x86 SoC with Integrated AI Coprocessor

Centaur x86 AI NCORE

Artificial intelligence is handled at different levels in the ecosystem with ultra-powerful systems in the cloud equipped with dedicated hardware such as FPGA or GPU cards, while on the other side of the spectrum we have Arm or RISC-V based processor with AI accelerator for low power systems like smartphones or battery-powered smart cameras. Centaur Technology aims to provide a solution catering to the middle segment of devices that don’t need ultra-low power consumption, nor the highest possible peak performance, but still require a relatively compact form factor and low costs. Their solution is a still-unnamed octa-core x86 processor featuring Centaur NCORE AI coprocessor. SoC with built-in NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) is pretty common in the Arm and RISC-V world, but it’s apparently a world’s first in the x86 space since existing solutions are all based on external accelerators. Key features of the Centaur x86 AI processor: x86 microprocessor with high instructions/clock (IPC) Microarchitecture designed for server-class applications with extensions […]

Changing Ubuntu Apt Mirror from the Command Line, and the Lack of Arm64 Mirrors

apt mirror updater

When you install Ubuntu on a computer, you’d normally go through the installation ISO which guides you through a wizard where you select your location among other things, and that means you get connected to the mirror closest to your location allowing timely updates. But for those of us who flash Ubuntu images on Arm SBC’s, the mirror is normally fixed to the one set by the developer be it in China or Slovakia, or defaults to the US mirror. It still works, but it can be slower than necessary. In a computer, an easy way to change that from Ubuntu desktop to launch Software & Update program and change the download from field to a mirror in your country or neighboring country as shown below. But I’ve found myself mostly connecting to boards over SSH since it’s easier that way for reviews. One way to change the mirror would be to edit /etc/apt/sources.list manually, or just not bother, but […]