NetBSD ARM64 Images Now Available with SMP for Raspberry Pi 3, Some NanoPi Boards, and Pine64 Boards

ROCK64 NetBSD ARM64

NetBSD on Arm started in 2014 with the release of version 7.0, and last year device tree support was implemented and tested on some Allwinner H3 boards. But apparently, so far NetBSD only supported 32-bit Arm, with initial support for 64-bit Arm (ARM64) committed last April, but good progress has been made, and NetBSD ARM64 bootable firmware images are now available with SMP (multi-core) support. Eight different NetBSD ARM64 images can be downloaded: Generic NetBSD 64-bit image for Raspberry Pi 3 and NVIDIA Tegra X1 Two images for FriendlyELEC boards namely NanoPi NEO2 and NEO Plus2 boards Five images for the following Pine64 boards and hardware platforms Pine A64/A64+ Pine A64-LTS / Sopine with baseboard Pine H64 Pinebook laptop ROCK64 (ROCK64Pro not yet supported) The supported hardware matrix shows most features are supported, but there are still a few things missing such as GPU, crypto and MIPI CSI on all platforms, USB OTG is still experimental, and PCIe support is …

96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Boards Cluster is a DIY Portable Solution to Teach or Develop Distributed Software

96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Cluster

Nick Smith has been messing around with clusters made of Arm boards for several years starting with Raspberry Pi boards, including a 5-node RPI 3 cluster, before moving to other boards like Orange Pi 2E, Pine A64+, or NanoPC-T3. His latest design is based on twelve NanoPi Fire3 boards with 8 cores each, bringing the total number of cores to 96.  The platform may not be really useful for actual HPC applications due to limited power and memory, but can still be relied upon for education and development, especially it’s easily portable. Nick also made some interesting points and discoveries. It’s pretty with shiny blinking LEDs, and what looks like proper cooling, and the cluster can deliver 60,000 MFLOPS with Linpack which places it in the top 250 faster computers in the world! That’s provided we travel back in time to year 2000 through 🙂 By today’s standard, it would be rather slow, but that’s an interesting historical fact. Nick …

Arm Compares Arm & RISC-V Benefits in RISCV Basics Website

Arm vs RISC-V Infographics

Arm is a dominant force in mobile and embedded processors, but recently we’ve heard more and more about RISC-V open source and royalty-free alternatives, and for example SiFive has launched both application processors / IP with solutions like Linux capable Freedom U540 SoC found in HiFive Unleashed board, as well as RISC-V MCU Cores competing with Arm Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M0+ cores. There’s certainly a lot of activity around RISC-V, but I have not seen many commercial solutions yet, and the platform needs to mature. However, Arm apparently takes the competition seriously with the company setting up a website – riscv-basics.com – comparing Arm and RISC-V, notably through the infographics below. Arm recognizes RISC-V has no recurring license fees, but claims those fees are only a small fraction of the total investment required for a commercial processor. The company also questions RISC-V maturity, and at this stage is may be true, but it will eventually improve. The next argument is the …

Makerdiary nRF52840 Micro Development Kit Works with OpenThread, Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr OS, Mynewt, etc…

nRF52840 Micro Development Kit

If you want to play around with Bluetooth 5, Nordic nRF52840 is probably one of the best option, and among the development board, $9/$12 Particle Xenon is hard to beat when it comes to value. But if you need a bit more storage, I/Os and features, Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit looks like a good candidate to evaluate, especially it supports plenty of frameworks / operating systems such as Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr Project, OpenThread, Mynewt, and others. It’s also the first MCU class board I’ve seen with a USB type C port, although I’m not sure it brings any benefits to this type of hardware. Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit (nRF52840-MDK) hardware specifications: SoC – Nordic nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F WiSoC with 1 MB FLASH and 256 kB RAM, Arm TrustZone Cryptocell 310 security subsystem External Storage – 64-Mbit QSPI flash Wireless Connectivity (on-chip) Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh Thread, IEEE 802.15.4 ANT, 2.4GHz proprietary On-chip NFC-A tag On-board 2.4G chip …

Visual Studio 2017 with an Embedded Linux Arm Device

This is a non-sponsored guest post written by Marc Goodner: Principal Program Manager, Microsoft, and Jeremias Cordoba: Innovation Engineer, Toradex. Today many embedded devices run some flavor of Linux as their primary operating system. This poses a challenge to developers who run Windows on their development machine. This article explains a new way to use the latest Visual Studio for C++ development on an embedded Arm Devices from a Windows Host PC using containers for the build environment. The device we are deploying to is from the Toradex Colibri Family of System on Modules using the NXP i.MX 6ULL SoC, which features an Arm Cortex A-7. As a demo project we will connect a Bluetooth Sensor with the Toradex Colibri Module. Please note that Visual Studio support for this case is in an early state, you will see improvements from Microsoft and Toradex in the coming months. Prerequisites Colibri i.MX 6ULL with Wi-Fi/BT and an Aster Carrier Board TI SensorTag (Bluetooth low energy) …

Linux 4.17 Release – Main Changes, Arm & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux 4.17 last Sunday: So this last week was pretty calm, even if the pattern of most of the stuff coming in on a Friday made it feel less so as the weekend approached. And while I would have liked even less changes, I really didn’t get the feeling that another week would help the release in any way, so here we are, with 4.17 released. No, I didn’t call it 5.0, even though all the git object count numerology was in place for that. It will happen in the not _too_distant future, and I’m told all the release scripts on kernel.org are ready for it, but I didn’t feel there was any real reason for it. I suspect that around 4.20 – which is I run out of fingers and toes to keep track of minor releases, and thus start getting mightily confused – I’ll switch over. That was what happened for 4.0, after all. As …

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 is Designed for Windows 10 Mobile PCs

Snapdragon 850

As you all probably know, Qualcomm and Microsoft worked together and  launched always-on, always-connected Windows 10 mobile PCs powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Arm processor earlier this year. Battery life is spectacular, but considering the fairly high price of such devices, many were disappointed by performance which in many cases is not much better than much cheaper Intel Apollo Lake laptops. But performance of future Qualcomm based Arm laptops will improve significantly thanks to Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform featuring eight Kryo 385 cores clocked to close to 3 GHz, and other enhancements. Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 “Mobile Compute Platform” specifications: CPU – 8x Kryo 385 Arm cores clocked @ up to 2.96 GHz GPU – Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem with Open GL ES 3.2, Open CL 2.0, Vulkan, DirectX 12 Ultra HD Premium video playback and encoding @ 4K (3840×2160) 30fps, Slow motion HEVC video encoding of FHD (1080p) up to 120fps H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP9 DisplayPort over …

Arm Announces Cortex-A76 CPU with Laptop-class Performance, Mali-G76 GPU, Mali-V76 8K VPU

Arm Cortex A75 based processors are only found in a few SoCs and devices, but Arm keeps on innovating, and they’ve now announced a new suite of of IP with Cortex-A76 CPU enabling 35 percent more performance, and Mali-G76 GPU with ML support and 30 percent higher efficiency and performance. SoC based on those new CPU and GPU IP will provide “laptop-class” performance, and the company also announced Arm Mali-V76 VPU with support for 8K video decoding and encoding. Arm Cortex A76 After Cortex A75, the Arm Cortex-A76 CPU is the second high performance processor core based on DynamIQ technology, and beside the 35 percent  performance gain mentioned in the introduction, it also offers 40 percent improved efficiency, as well as delivers 4x compute performance improvements for AI/ML at the edge. Highlights of Cortex A76: Architecture – Armv8-A (Harvard) with  Armv8.1, Armv8.2, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only),  cryptography and RAS extensions ISA support – A64; A32 and T32 (at the EL0 …