Linux 5.4 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.4 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.4: Not a lot happened this last week, which is just how I like it. And as expected, most of the pull requests I got were for the 5.5 merge window, which I’ll obviously start working through tomorrow. What little there is here is mostly some networking updates (mix of network drivers and core networking), and some minor GPU driver updates. Other than that it’s a small collection of random other things all over. The appended shortlog is small enough that you might as well just scroll through it. Anyway, this obviously opens the merge window for 5.5. It’s not ideal timing with Thanksgiving week coming up, but it hopefully shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If I fall behind (not because I’m all that big of a fan of the indiscriminate and relentless turkey-killing holiday) it’s because we’ve got all three kids back for the holiday, and I might …

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TechNexion XORE is a tiny NXP i.MX 8M Mini LGA System-on-Module

TechNexion XORE LGA System-on-Module

There are several ways to design a system-on-module to carrier board interface, and the most common solutions are edge connectors (e.g. SO-DIMM), board-to-board connectors (placed under the module), and castellated holes where the board is soldered directly to the baseboard. Another less common method is to design an LGA (Land Grid Array) module, which also have to be soldered straight unto the carrier board, but enables much more compact system-on-modules, and that’s exacty what TechNexion has done with their XORE family of LGA system-on-module currently powered by the 14-nm NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor. XORE-IMX8M-Mini Module TechNexion XORE module specifications: SoC (one of the other) NXP i.MX8M Mini Solo single Arm Cortex-A53  @ 1.8 GHz + M4 processor, Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU NXP i.MX8M Mini Dual 2x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz + M4 processor, Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad 4x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz + M4 processor, Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU System Memory + storage – …

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TechNexion AXON and FLEX SoM Families Feature i.MX 8M Mini SoC, FPGA Fabric

AXON-IMX8M-MINI

Taiwan based Technexion has introduced several new products at Embedded World 2019 including two new SoM families: AXON and FLEX. AXON is a product family of small form factor (58 x 37 mm) modules designed for specialized embedded applications requiring extra I/O flexibility, while FLEX series is a low-cost family making use of the standard LPDDR4 SO-DIMM connector. Specifically, the company launched new AXON and FLEX modules powered by NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor with AXON-IMX8M-MINI featuring AXON Fabric programmable logic, a specialized IC that provides additional functions including nearly infinite pinmuxing, and FLEX-IMX8M-MINI that offers HD multimedia streaming and integrated 3D graphics for cost sensitive applications. AXON-IMX8M-MINI SoM AXON-IMX8M-MINI SoM specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini Solo, Dual or Quad Arm Cortex-A53+M4 processor FPGA – “Axon Fabric” making use of a Lattice MachXO3LF FPGA with 2100 LUTs (LookUp Tables) System Memory – Up to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM Storage – Up to 64GB eMMC flash Networking – Gigabit Ethernet …

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Gumstix AutoBSP Automatically Generates Device Tree Files for Hardware Designed with Geppetto

Gumstix launched Geppetto Design-To-Order (D2O) system back in 2013, and at the time you could design complete baseboard for their Overo CoMs right in your Chrome or Firefox web browser, and once complete, order the board from the website. The system is meant to save you time, and “design” here does not mean drawing schematics, and laying out PCBs, but instead selecting board size, and adding ports as needed. Since then, the company has added support for more modules, and you can now easily build you own baseboard for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, Technexion PICO-IMX6 module, Toradex Colibri SoM, 96Boards Mezzanine, and they even have Beaglebone Black and 96Board CE or IoT connectors, among others. Support for Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, Atmel (Arduino) , and STMicro platforms is also being worked on. Their latest feature – AutoBSP – automatically generates device tree files for your custom boards, so you can simply copy it to your favorite image and get started as …

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Wandboard QuadPLUS Development Board Gets i.MX 6QuadPlus Processor, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1

The first Wandboard development boards launched in 2012 nearly 5 years ago based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo and Dual processor, with Wandboard Quad launched a few months later. The boards were fairly popular at the time due to their better specifications, and especially Freescale’s much better documentation and software compared to the competition such as Broadcom (Raspberry Pi) and Allwinner (Cubieboard). Since the boards are based on TechNexion EDM system-on-modules they could also be used by companies working on their own products based on the system-on-module. It’s also a good platform if you want to test various version of Android, because the company released Jelly Bean, Kitkat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow images for the boards, and I’m expecting a Lollipop version soon. However, albeit the company worked on other NXP boards such as PICO-IM6UL Android Things, there had not been any hardware upgrade for Wandboard for nearly 4 years, but last month Wandboard QuadPLUS was released with NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus processor …

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Android Things OS for the Internet of Things Supports Raspberry Pi 3, Intel Edison, and NXP Pico Boards

Google introduced Project Brillo a little over a year ago, an operating system based on Android, but with a smaller footprint optimized for Internet of Things applications. Brillo has now just become Android Things OS, with Google releasing a developer preview of Android Things working on Raspberry Pi 3, Intel Edison, and NXP Pico boards. The company has also updated the Weave platform to simplify connection of all types of devices to the cloud, and interaction with services like the Google Assistant. The Weave Device SDK currently supports schemas for light bulbs, smart plugs, switches, and thermostats, with more type of device supported in the future, as well as a mobile app API for both Android and iOS. Using an Android based OS instead of a pure Linux OS should make it easier for Android app developers to create smart devices thanks to the use of familiar Android APIs and Google Services. The workflow is pretty similar to creating mobile …

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Wandboard Introduces $69 Hobbitboard Made for Brillo Powered by NXP i.MX6 UltraLite Processor

Wandboard was one of the first to launch boards based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo, Dual and Quad in early 2013. The boards are comprise of an EDM system-on-module and a carrierboard, that makes it not only suitable as a single board computer, but you could also use the boards to start developing software, while making your own carrierboard to match your application. Wandboard.org community sent me an email last night to let me know about their latest board called Hobbitboard, or in full “Hobbitboard Made for Brillo”, powered by NXP i.MX6 UltraLite Cortex A7 processor, which follows the same principle, and includes Hobbit Compute Module and Hobbit I/O Carrierboard. Hobbit Compute Module specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX6 UltraLite Cortex A7 processor @ 528 MHz System Memory – 256MB DDR3 Storage – 4GB eMMC flash Connectivity – 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Ampak AP6335) Board Connectors – Two Pico Expansion header and one Intel Editon compatible headers Power Management – NXP …

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Brillo Android based OS for IoT Projects Supports ARM, Intel and MIPS Platforms

You’d think there are already enough lightweight operating systems that could provide a good enough platform for IoT and embedded projects, but Google decided to make their own Brillo operating system for IoT, based on Android, most probably to leverage the existing Android tools, and make it easier for app developers to move to the Internet of Things space. Brillo ‘s hardware requirements are pretty low as the operating system can run on devices with  32MB of RAM, and 128MB of storage. Google will provide a complete ecosystem with an embedded OS, core services, and a developer kit with tools to build, test, and debug. Just like in Android, three architectures will be be officially supports, starting with the following hardware platforms: ARM – TechNexion Pico-i.MX6UL system-on-module based on Freescale i.MX6 UltraLite and Broadcom BCM4339 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 wireless module, combined with PICO-DWARF baseboard. MIPS – Upcoming MIPS Creator CI-40 development board with Ensigma C4500 RPU with 802.11ac 2×2 …

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