Raspberry Pi Releases BCM2835 Datasheet for ARM Peripherals

If you have been following Raspberry Pi project, you may have noticed the dearth of documentation related to Broadcom processors. For BCM2835 (The processor used in Raspberry Pi board), Broadcom only has one laconic webpage. But the Raspberry Pi’s “super-team” has managed to get a (partial) datasheet for the SoC showing the details of BCM2835 ARM peripherals which is all that we may need. This would only be useful for people playing around with the Linux (and u-boot) drivers. The document includes details about the processor’s memory map as shown below. It also contains details (registers, implementation details, etc..) about the following ARM peripherals: Timers Interrupt controller GPIO USB PCM / I2S DMA controller I2C master I2C / SPI slave SPI0, SPI1, SPI2 PWM UART0, UART1 You can download BCM2835 datasheet to get the complete documentation. The Raspberry Pi foundation also announced that the boards will be ready on February 20. After that, the boards will have to be airfreight …

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Raspberry Pi Codecs and Graphics/Video APIs

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced which codecs and API would be supported in the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi board will support the following Graphics and Video API via a set of closed source libraries that give access to the GPU acceleration features: OpenGL ES 2.0 –  OpenGL is a 3D Graphics API defined by the Khronos Group. OpenVG – OpenVG is a 2D vector drawing API also defined by the Khronos Group. EGL – EGL is the interface between Khronos rendering APIs such as OpenGL ES or OpenVG and the underlying native platform window system. OpenMAX IL – OpenMAX supplies a set of API’s that provides abstractions for routines used during audio, video, and still images processing. OpenMAX defines 3 layers, Raspberry Pi library will provide an interface to the IL layer, which provides an interface between media framework such as Gstreamer and a set of multimedia components. The first three libraries are standard in Linux, so porting …

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Cross-compiling Berkelium for ARMv6 with Emdebian Toolchain

Berkelium is a BSD licensed library that provides off-screen browser rendering via Google’s open source Chromium web browser. This library is used by Xibo Digital Signage Player python client and I already cross-compiled it using Ubuntu/Linaro  toolchain. Since I need it to run on ARMv6 for the Raspberry Pi, I have cross-compiled it again in Debian with Emdebian ARM cross-compiler. Here are the instructions I followed to build Berkelium and Chromium for ARMv6 in Debian. First, you’ll need to install some development libraries for ARM: sudo /usr/share/pdebuild-cross/xapt -a armel libnss3-dev libgconf2-dev libgnome-keyring-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgnome-keyring-dev libgtk2.0-dev libxtst-dev libpam-dev libxss-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libnss3-dev libgconf2-dev libgnome-keyring-dev libxss-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libnspr4-dev libglib2.0-dev libjpeg-dev libasound2-dev libbz2-dev libgcrypt-dev libspeex-dev libcups2-dev and some tools on the build machine: sudo apt-get install git-core subversion cmake doxygen gyp gperf flex bison On 64-bit build machines (required for debug build) also install g++-multi and possibly some 32-bit libraries with xapt: If you don’t, you’ll get the following error: LINK(host) out/Release/mksnapshot /usr/bin/ld: warning: …

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Linux Kernel 3.1.9 for Raspberry Pi Released & Build Instructions

Raspberry Pi has just announced the release of a fork a linux kernel 3.1.9. The source code with patches is available at https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux. If you just want to download the patch, I’ve created one: r-pi_linux_3.1.9.patch.gz The code related to Broadcom BCM2835 processor is referred as bcm2708 in the kernel and I can see committed related to the watchdog timer, the framebuffer,  the VCHIQ driver (the driver sending messages to the GPU) and general commits for bcm2708. For those interested in the messages used to communicate between userspace and the GPU, the VCHIQ driver code is located at drivers/misc/vc04_services in the tree. I haven’t studied it yet, but as the platform should support graphics standards such as OpenGL and OpenMAX IL, most people should not really care about this interface as I suppose the OpenGL library (Mesa?) uses this driver. Here are the build instructions for Raspberry Pi kernel. I cross-compiled it in Debian Squeeze with the Emdebian armel toolchain. In …

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Xibo Digital Signage in Raspberry Pi Emulator (Step 1)

Xibo (pronounced eX-E-bO) is an open source, multi-display, multi-zone, fully scheduled digital signage client/server solution written in Python and dotNET. If you are not familiar with Xibo you can visit http://xibo.org.uk/ or/and read my introduction XIBO: An Open Source Digital Signage Server/Client. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost board based on Broadcom BCM2835 (ARM1176 Core) that should be available for sale at the end of January / beginning of February at http://www.raspberrypi.com. There are two versions of the board: Model A: 128 MB RAM and no Ethernet Model B: 256 MB RAM with 10/100 Mbit Ethernet BCM 2835 also features a Videocore GPU supporting OpenGL and 1080p30 video decoding that makes it ideal for multimedia applications such as digital signage players. The board support both HDMI and composite video output. You should also be able to connect a LCD via the DSI interface. If we can make Xibo run on Raspberry Pi, we would have a low cost digital …

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Video Demo of XMBC on Raspberry Pi

XMBC is a free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. Some people are currently working on porting it to the Raspberry Pi board. They posted a video demo on their forum and I uploaded the video to YouTube for those interested in seeing the progress. The video just shows XMBC booting, then accessing the menu and showing the Videocore GPU is detected. This is still work in progress, but it looks promising. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

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Raspberry Pi Beta Boards Are Being Auctioned

The Raspberry Pi foundation has setup an Ebay account and made some of the Raspberry Pi Beta Board Model B (Ethernet + 256 MB RAM) available on Ebay. This is for charity so you won’t be able to get them for 35 USD… The current bid is 1,320.00 GBP (2050 USD). They’ll add 2 boards on Ebay each day. The goal of this auction is to gather funds in order to hire a full-time staff and give as many Raspberry Pi away to kids as possible. If you win the bid, you’ll get one of the 10 boards for sale, a USB power, an SD card with Debian, and some kind of certificate showing you were one of the first to get a board. If you are interested, you can bid at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-Pi-Model-B-beta-board-10-limited-series-10-/180786734741?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a17baa695 Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, …

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15 USD ARM Cortex A8 Linux Computer by Rhombus Tech

Many of you already probably know the Raspberry Pi Foundation 25 USD ARM Linux Computer. Rhombus Tech, another non-profit organization, is planning to design a 15 USD ARM Linux computer (excluding casing, power supply, shipping, VAT and custom duties) that the company claims would be at least 3 times faster that the Raspberry Pi. This computer would be an EOMA-PCMCIA CPU card powered by an Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex A8 CPU clocked at 1.5ghz. Here are the (expected) specifications of this board: Approximately Credit-card size format (56mm x 90mm) An Allwinner A10, 1.5ghz ARM Cortex A8 1GB of RAM At least 1gb of NAND Flash (possibly up to 16gb) Operation as a stand-alone computer (USB-OTG powered) 2160p (double 1080p) Video playback MALI 400MP 3D Graphics, OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant. HDMI, Micro-SD, Headphones Socket, EOMA-PCMCIA-compliant interfaces (RGB/TTL, I2C, USB2, SATA-II, 10/100 Eth) Expansion Header (similar to Beagleboard, IMX53QSB, Origen etc.) With this kind of specifications, it’s hard to believe they’ll achieve their …

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