Pantahub Enables Seamless, Remote Linux Firmware Updates Over-the-Air

Pantahub

Let’s say you’re running Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi 4 board, but would like to check out the latest Ubuntu 19.10 for the board. What would you normally have to do? After downloading the firmware and turning off your Raspberry Pi 4, you’d normally need physical access to your Raspberry Pi 4 to remove the MicroSD card, insert it into your computer and start balenaEtcher or other utility to flash the image. Once it’s done remove the MicroSD card from your PC and insert it back into the Raspberry Pi SBC, before booting it up. That’s fine for experimentation, but time-consuming if you had to do this for multiple boards that may be placed in various locations. That’s where Pantacor’s PantaHub, PantaVisor, and PVR utility come in. Pantahub is a web dashboard used for registration, to monitor your devices, and documentation, Pantavisor is an Alpine Linux based  device init system that turns all the runtime into a set of container …

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[email protected] 15 Touch is a 15″ 2-in-1 Laptop Dock for Samsung DeX Devices and Smartphones with a USB-C Port

Sm@rtDock 15 Touch

We’ve already covered several laptop docks for smartphones such as  NexDock 2. AFAICR, all those modes would come with a full laptop body with non-touch display and keyboard. “Losing the wires” company offers something slightly different with their [email protected] 15 Touch as it aims to convert Samsung DeX smartphones into 2-in-1 hybrid laptops. That means the 15″ display comes with a touchscreen, and the keyboard is separate. [email protected] 15 Touch kit includes the following items and features: 15.6″ LCD display Full HD/1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) with 10 point capacitive touch USB – 1x USB-C port to smartphone, 1 x micro-USB port for peripherals, 1x USB- C charge port Video Output – Mini-HDMI in for use as a secondary display for another device Battery – Up to 4 or up to 7 hours life (model specific) Dimensions – 356 x 224 x 9mm Weight – 900g (without case) UK Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad UK charger, USB-C smartphone cable and …

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DM&P Vortex86EX2 Dual Core Processor Targets Dual OS Systems, Support ISA & PCI Interfaces

Vortex86EX2 Block Diagram

Most people will probably think about Intel and AMD when asked about x86 processors, at least those who understand the question… But there are also other companies such as Zhaoxin (based on VIA Technologies designs) and DM&P. Last time I wrote about the latter was in 2015 with the introduction of DM&P Vortex86DX3 dual-core x86 SoC for embedded systems and the corresponding evaluation board. The company is still making new x86 processors, and I’ve just been information the company unveiled  Vortex86EX2 dual-core processor last year with master and slave cores suitable for running two operating systems at the same time without the need for virtualization, nor hypervisor. The new processor still supports ISA & PCI interfaces for legacy expansion cards and targets real-time industrial or automation applications. DM&P Vortex86EX2 specifications: Processor Cores Master @ 600MHz max with Build-in FPU L1/L2 Cache for user interface Slave @ 400MHz max with Build-in FPU, L1 Cache for real-time control GPU – N/A, external …

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VMWare Showcases ESXi Bare Metal Hypervisor Support for ARM64 Edge Servers

ESXi ARM64

As I checked my Twitter timeline in Thunderbird this morning, I started to see a lot of tweets about #VMworld2018 and “ESXi on 64-bit Arm”. What is that? VMWare has just announced and showcased several technology innovations at VMworld 2018, including Virtualization on 64-bit ARM for Edge, and the company demonstrated ESXi on 64-bit ARM running on a windmill farm at the Edge. It may be useful to readers (and this writer) to look up what ESXi is and does exactly. As explained on VMWare website: VMware ESXi is a purpose-built bare-metal hypervisor that installs directly onto a physical server. With direct access to and control of underlying resources, ESXi is more efficient than hosted architectures and can effectively partition hardware to increase consolidation ratios and cut costs for our customers. So basically it’s an hypervisor that stays a close as possible to the hardware to keep performance optimal, and the ARM64 implementation also avoids dynamic recompilation such as  Transitive/OS …

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QEMU 2.12 Released with Raspberry Pi 3, RISC-V Support

QEMU is open source machine emulator and virtualizer, which I used in the past at a time when Arm boards were more expensive or hard to get than today, and more recently I tested RISC-V Linux using QEMU (fork). QEMU 2.12 has now been released with some interesting new features including RISC-V support, and initial support for Raspberry Pi 3 machine model. The Changelog is rather long, but some other notable changes include: Cortex-M33 Armv8-M emulation, used by the new mps2-an505 board. Support for various AArch64 v8.1/v8.2/v8.3 extensions. Initial support for Raspberry Pi 3 machine model i.MX7 SoC and i.MX7 Sabre board emulation. Spectre/Meltdown mitigation support for x86/pseries/s390 guest Intel IOMMU support for 48-bit addresses Many SD card emulation cleanups and bugfixes. Etc.. You can get the source code and build instructions in the download page. If you are interested in running Debian on RPI 3 model, or/and want to find out more about RISC-V support, you may want to …

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Run Linux Apps in (PixelBook) Chromebook with Crostini VM

Ever since the first Chromebooks were released, it has been possible to run Ubuntu or other Linux distributions using Crouton (Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment) on Chrome OS devices, but that requires to enable developer mode, which disables some of security features that come with Chrome OS. Google has now make it easier and safer with Crostini VM that does not require developer mode. The only downsides for now are that it only works on Google Pixelbook, and you need to install/run Chrome OS v67 dev channel with the #enable-cros-container flag enabled. Using Crostini is fairly straightforward. First start crosh terminal with Ctrl++Atl+t, and running the following command to create a VM, and launch a container: This will start a Debian Stretch environment with networking and GUI support, so you can install & run programs like you would in Debian (e.g. apt install htop).  Kevin Tofel at AboutChromebooks managed to install the Eclipse IDE (See screenshot above) and Sublime Text …

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ACRN is an Open Source Hypervisor Built for IoT Device Development

ACRN – pronounced “acorn” – is an open source reference hypervisor with a small footprint, real-time capabilities, adaptability with support for Linux, Android, and RTOS guest operating systems, built for safety critical code in mind, and specifically designed for IoT and embedded devices. The project is managed / supported by the Linux Foundation. A few more details about some of the key features of the solution: Two main components: the hypervisor itself, and its device model complete with rich I/O mediators managed by Linux-based Service OS (SOS). Small footprint – Approx. 25K lines of code (LOC) for ACRN hypervisor against 156K LOC for datacenter-centric hypervisors. Real Time – Low latency, enables faster boot time, improves overall responsiveness with hardware communication Adaptability – Multi-OS support for guest operating systems like Linux, Android, RTOSes… Safety Criticality – Safety critical workloads have priority, isolation of safety critical workloads Built for Embedded IoT – Virtualization beyond CPU, I/O, Networking, etc with support for Graphics, Imaging, …

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Imagination PowerVR Series8XT GT8540 GPU Can Drive up to Six 4K Screens, Supports Hardware Virtualization

Imagination Technologies introduces PowerVR Furian architecture last year with improved performance, power and density, as well as dual cluster PowerVR Series8XT GT8525 GPU based on the new architecture, and targeting high-end smartphones, virtual reality and automotive products. The company has now introduced a quad cluster Furian GPU called PowerVR Series8XT GT8540 that can simultaneously drive up to six 4K screens at 60fps thanks to an 80% fillrate density improvement, and supports virtualization providing separation of services and applications. The new GPU mostly targets the automotive market with some new cars now requiring multiple screen support with high resolution displays for cluster, Head-Up Display (HUD) and infotainment. Hardware virtualization is equally important for automotive application, as you’ll want to separate safety-critical code, from infotainment applications for example, so if the latter crashes, the safety-critical code can still run unhindered. Each would run on separate shaders processing unit, with up to 8 different  operating systems running in their own protected space: The …

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