Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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Signet High-Capacity Thumbdrive Supports 2FA, Password & Secure Data Storage (Crowdfunding)

Signet HC Crowdfunding Started The latest version of the Signet thumbdrive is the Signet HC. The HC has a number of enhanced features and a lower price point, making it an attractive alternative to other high-security flash drives.  The drive is high capacity storage, with secure storage technology, 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) token and encryption.  It also has a password manager and enhanced database features.  The company has started its crowdfunding campaign and there are several device quantity options and peripherals.  Features of the Signet HC The Nth Dimension has announced the Signet HC recently, bringing to the forefront of its latest device, the all-in-one aspects of the drive’s capabilities. The  Signet HC is certainly positioned to be one of the top featured, encrypted password protected, and 2FA storage devices of its size. The data on the drive is encrypted, and password protected and can be accessed through cross-platform client application available on Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, and Android.  There …

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Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers


[Update August 24, 2019: Added information about expected release date and license] About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s. The new graphical toolkit will be capable of running on devices without operating system. This may be a game changer in the entire MCU world, since Qt for MCUs allows developers to create fluid user interfaces on cost-effective micro controllers. This means we will be able to see smartphone like GUI’s which are running on low-end  MCU’s with limited resources. With reference to their press release, assuring that Qt-GUI will consume less power to save the battery life. Qt for MCUs Software Stack While developing any applications for MCU,  developers still can use their powerful declarative UI language QML and rich set of ready-made Qt Quick controls.  And the C++ APIs, helps the user interface with C++  based back-end. applications are being rendered by Qt’s …

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mDash Cloud platform for IoT Devices Targets ESP8266/ESP32, STM32, and TI CC3220 Wireless MCUs

mDash firmware

Cesanta (a company based in Dublin, Ireland) recently launched mDash – an IoT cloud platform for administration of various IoT modules. This platform supports Espressif’s modules ESP32 & ESP8266, STM32 (L4,M4) and TI CC3220, and offers a bunch of features which are known to be  challenging tasks in the IoT world. This includes OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware updates, remote configuration and administration, alerts and notifications, remote device control and file management. This can be achieved through 3 programming platforms – Arduino IDE, ESP-IDF and through Mongoose OS. For evaluation and testing purpose mDash offers a simulator that run as a docker container. Refer our previous post, to understand how to get started with Cesanta’s Moongoose OS for ESP8266. Basic WorkFlow mDash Library The company offers reference firmware/library for the defined hardware platforms. This been implements by using secure MQTT for communication, re-connection and initial provisioning with mDash cloud. You can find the library for ESP32 & ESP8266 with a few examples …

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RAKWireless Introduces RAK7200 LoRa Tracker | Features & Specifications


RAK7200 is a LoRa Tracker node built around the AcSIP S76G chip. It integrates the ultra-low-power STM32L073 micro-controller, the SX1276 LoRa long range modem, and the CXD5603GF GPS receiver. The RAK7200, being a fully functioning LoRaWAN device, is particularly suited for IoT applications. Such as asset tracking, smart vehicle management, location-based service, etc. According to the device manufacturers, RAKWireless, a leading Chinese IoT solutions company, based in Shenzhen, RAK7200 requires minimal setup. Just pop in the included battery, close the housing and you can start sensing your GPS data over LoRaWAN. Furthermore, there are sensors built-into the board: a 9-axis accelerometer and pressure sensor. The new GPS Tracker node is an upgrade over the company’s earlier offering in the GPS tracker space, the RAK7205. Now, the earlier version, the RAK7205, was mostly aimed at developers, with its larger more robust casing and solar panel. But the RA7200 is more of a ready to use offering. It is more compact and …

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Somu Tiny Open Source FIDO2 Security Key Enables Passwordless Login & Two-factor Authentication (Crowdfunding)

Somu FIDO2 Key

Tomu is a tiny, open source USB connector-sized board powered by a Silicon Labs Happy Gecko Cortex-M0+ MCU that adds two keys to your computer and can work as a Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) token to support two-factor authentication (2FA).  But the board is not secure enough for FIDO2 support, and Tomu’s developer worked on a secure USB key called Solokey, and shrank it to Tomu form factor. Meet Somu open-source and secure key with FIDO2 support for compatibility with your Google, Twitter, and GitHub accounts for two-factor authentication, or your Microsoft account passwordless login. Somu hardware specifications: Secure MCU – STMicro STM32L432KC Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller  with TRNG, security isolation for keys, two levels of locked flash Crypto Algorithms – ECC P256 (as per FIDO2 standard) Supported Protocols – FIDO2, U2F Host Interface – USB type-A port Misc – Two touch buttons ( in FIDO2 firmware the two buttons behave as a single one), RGB LED Dimensions – 13 x …

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STMicro Launches $10 STLINK-V3mini Mini Probe for STM32 MCUs


Last year, we reported STMicroelectronics launched STLink-V3 debugger & programmer for STM8 & STM32 microcontrollers that added I2C, SPI, and CAN interfaces compared the previous STLink-V2 model. It’s not particularly expensive either at $35, but if you ever wanted something more compact and cheaper, the company has now introduced STLink-V3mini debugger going for under $10. STLINK-V3Mini key features and specifications: JTAG / serial wire debugging (SWD) specific features: 3 V to 3.6 V application voltage support and 5 V tolerant inputs JTAG communication support SWD and serial wire viewer (SWV) communication support Virtual COM port (VCP) specific features: 3 V to 3.6 V application voltage support on the UART interface and 5 V tolerant inputs VCP frequency up to 15 MHz USB – Micro USB 2.0 connector for power and connection to host computer Misc – 2x color LEDs: communication, power; STDC14 signals protection Dimensions – 30 x 15 mm PCB The debugger & in-circuit programmer supports drag-and-drop Flash programming, …

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TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers Benchmarked on Linux SBCs

TensorFlow Lite microcontrollers benchmark linux SBC

Dimitris Tassopoulos (Dimtass) decided to learn more about machine learning for embedded systems now that the technology is more mature, and wrote a series of five posts documenting his experience with low-end hardware such as STM32 Bluepill board, Arduino UNO, or ESP8266-12E module starting with simple NN examples, before moving to TensorFlow Lite for microcontrollers. Dimitris recently followed up his latest “stupid project” (that’s the name of his blog, not being demeaning here :)) by running and benchmarking TensorFlow Lite for microcontrollers on various Linux SBC. But why? you might ask. Dimitris tried to build tflite C++ API designed for Linux, but found it was hard to build, and no pre-built binary are available except for x86_64. He had no such issues with tflite-micro API, even though it’s really meant for baremetal MCU platforms. Let’s get straight to the results which also include a Ryzen platform, probably a laptop, for reference: SBC Average for 1000 runs  (ms) Ryzen 2700X (this …

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