Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just try to keep to the normal merge window schedule, even …

Fedora 26 Supports Single “Unified” OS Images for Multiple ARM Platforms

The decision to use device tree in Linux occurred several years ago, after Linus Torvalds complained that Linux on ARM was a mess, with the ultimate goal of providing a unified ARM kernel for all hardware. Most machine specific board files in arch/arm/mach-xxx/ are now gone from the Linux kernel, being replaced by device tree files, and in many case you simply need to replace the DTB (Device Tree Binary) file from an operating system to run on different hardware platforms. However, this is not always that easy as U-boot still often differ between boards / devices, so it’s quite frequent to distribute different firmware / OS images per board. Fedora has taken another approach, as the developers are instead distributing a single Fedora 26 OS ARMv7 image, together with an installation script. Images for 64-bit ARM (Aarch64) are a little different since they are designed for SBSA compliant servers, so a single image will work on any server leveraging UEFI …

Helios4 Personal Cloud DIY NAS Supports 3.5″ Hard Drives, RAID, and More (Crowdfunding)

A few months ago, we covered GnuBee Personal Cloud 1, a NAS that runs on open source software, and that supports up to six 2.5″ SATA drives. The crowdfunding has been successful – after lowering the funding target -, and backers should hopefully get the NAS right after summer. But at the time, some people complained about the  memory capacity (512MB),  the lack of support for 3.5″ drives, and a few other items. A new project called “Helios4 Personal Cloud” addresses many of those concerns. It comes with 1 to 2GB RAM, enclosure supporting four 3.5″ drives, supports RAID, and is powered by Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that has been specifically designed for this type of application. Helios4 NAS specifications: SoC – Marvell ARMADA 388 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.866 GHz with RAID5/6 acceleration engines, security acceleration engines, etc… System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3L Storage – 4x SATA 3.0 ports, 2x HDD power …

SolidRun Introduces Intel Braswell MicroSoMs, and SolidPC Q4 Carrier Board

SolidRun has been making ARM based MicroSoMs –  tiny system-on-module – for a while, and integrated them in many of their boards such as HummindBoard Edge or ClearFog Pro, and now the company has packed Intel Braswell processors into 52.8 x 40mm MicroSoMs that can be plugged into SolidPC Q4 carrier board. Two Braswell MicroSoM module have been designed so far: SoM IB8000 and SoM IB3710, which beside having different SoCs, and memory options share most of the same specifications: SoC SoM IB8000 – Intel Atom x5-E8000 quad core processor @ 1.04 / 2.0 GHz with 12EU Intel HD graphics @ 320/600 MHz (5W TDP) SoM IB3710 – Intel Pentium N3710 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 2.56 GHz with 16EU Intel HD graphics 405 @ 400/700 MHz (6W TDP) System Memory SoM IB8000 – 1GB (single channel), 2GB, 4GB or 8GB (dual channel) SoM IB3710 – Up to 8GB (default size) Storage – 64Mbit SPI flash for BIOS/UEFI externally programmable via …

AndroMeda Box Edge Brillo Starter Board Features Marvell IAP140 Processor, 96Boards Form Factor

Google announced Brillo, a new operating system based on Android and targeting the Internet of things, at the end of October. The company also disclosed that ARM, MIPS and x86 architectures were supported via respectively TechNexion Pico-i.MX6UL system-on-module and PICO-DWARF baseboard, MIPS Creator CI-40 board, and Intel Edison development board. A few days later, Marvell announced Andromeda Box, an IoT platform supporting Brillo and Weave, based on IAP140, a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 application processor for the “Edge” version, and ARMADA 385 dual core Cortex A9 processor for the “Connect” version, but without the full details. AndroidMeda Box Edge is now listed on Solid Run and Arrow websites, where it is sold for $74.99. If the board looks familiar, it’s because it clearly follows 96Boards form factor, but instead of officially being supported by Linaro, it has been designed specifically as a Google’s Brillo development platform with the following specifications: SoC – Marvell IAP140 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ …