SPECTRE and MELTDOWN attacks and OLinuXino and SOMs

meltdown-and-spectre-vulnerability

The #spectre and #meltdown attacks were subject to great concerns in the last weeks.

Eben Upton made brilliant explanation of how and why they work in his blog post.

There is already project on Github which can be used to test if your ARM AArch64 processor is vulnerable to such attacks.

As Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A53 are not affected of these attacks this means all our boards with A20, A33, A64 processors are immune.

For A10, A13, AM335X (Cortex-A8), RK3188 (Cortex-A9) we need to do some further investigation.

A13-SOM-512 Android image for 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen released

A13-4.3-android

We got request from customer for Android image which supports 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen. He did his development with Beagle Bone, but wanted to optimize the cost for production so A13-SOM512 price was very attractive, but default Allwinner Android image although allow you to define smaller LCD resolutions has no working touchscreen calibration for small LCDs, also default Android screen was not set well and status bar was taking big portion of the screen.

Here is the newly released SD-card image for A13-SOM512 Android with 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen display.

A13-som-android

Now you can develop your embedded Andoid application on low cost board with small LCD.

TERES I assembly workshop this Saturday!

workshop

This Saturday 21st of October we will have TERES I assembly workshop!

Customers from Bulgaria who placed orders for TERES I DIY Open Source laptop will have their laptop kits ready and are invited to come and we assembly them together!

The assembly workshop will be in OLIMEX Training Building and will start at 14.00 o’clock.

No need to have Laptop kit to participate, everyone is welcome to join us.

A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 now with PCB revision G

a20-olinuxino-lime2

A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 now is assembling on same PCB Revision G as A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-eMMC.

What are the improvement:

  • Ethernet PHY is changed to RTL8211E replacing the obsolete RTL8211CL no need for kernel patches;
  • we drop the odd shape which was necessary to fit LIME2 in the plastic box as we now have range of metal boxes;
  • the four mount holes now have grounding for better contact with chassis;

Meantime we silently work on further improvement for next revision (to be released March 2017):

  • adding SPI boot Flash;
  • replacing RTL8211E to industrial grade PHY, so the board can be produced completely in -40+85C operating temperature;

 

A64-OLinuXino-eMMC rev.B OSHW 64 bit ARM development board prototypes are testing

A64-OLinuXino-1

A64-OLinuXino-2

What you see is our improved REV.B of A64-OLinuXino. What’s new:

  • Gigabit PHY is now KSZ9031 from MICROCHIP/MICREL which allow board to be produced in both commercial and industrial grade!
  • DDR3 is now DDR3L for lower power
  • we add SPI flash footprint U12
  • Audio input now is jumper selectable between LINE-IN and MIC-IN
  • eMMC now can work on software selectable voltage 3.3V or 1.8V which would allow faster speeds
  • status LED is attached to port PE17
  • size 90×60 mm

Now we do final software tests and if everything is OK we will run production.

 

Free Electrons add mainline Linux kernel support for the A13 Allwinner VPU

video

Posted today on Free Electrons blog.

19 years old intern in Free Electrons took the Cedrus reverse engineering of Allwinners proprietary CedarX video driver who is around since mid 2014 and made patches for mainline Linux kernel.

I’m sure we use these since they were made first available and they are build in our images, so I’m really puzzled why they have made their way to mainline just now and not earlier?

Isn’t it time Linux-Sunxi community to stop working on kernel fork and start to send all development and patches upstream like Rockchip developers do already for 2 years?

Looking at mainline kernel Rockchip has way better support now than Allwinner although Linux-Sunxi community to seem many times bigger than Rockchip community.

Rockchip devices are in many Chromebooks and Google push them to send all their work upstream to latest kernels.

None of newer Allwinner chips found it’s place in Chromebooks and this is the problem, for Android kernel 3.10 is enough and they will not move from it, neither they learn (or are capable to generate quality code) to upstream all work they do.

This is pitty as since A10/A20 we can’t see anything which to beat Rockchip as productivity.

RK3288 is mainline and although Cortex-A17 still faster than any chip Allwinner have.

Now Rockchip work to release their new super duper RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 and 4x Cortex-A53) and again they upstream code before even selling the chip.

With two USB3 hosts this chip is good candidate for next OLinuXino 🙂

 

EDIT1: after the posting there were interesting comments from  Chen-Yu Tsai (a.k.a. wens213) who point me that what Free Electrons did is not simple commit to already existing project but did from scratch v4l2 mem-2-mem codec driver! So I appologise for the underestimated efforts!

EDIT2: I admit that what I wrote about Linux-Sunxi repository was about Kernel 3.4 which I was using two years ago and which was developed “wild west” style. I was assuming as the repositories are still there this continues, but I was wrong!

Our boards are with A10/A13/A20 and have mainline support, so I didn’t followed closely what happens with Linux-Sunxi lately.

Chen-Yu and Siarhei explained that this repo is kept there for historical reasons and now all development is focused to upstream too! Good to know 🙂

At Linux-Sunxi there is very clear table about what is done ( light green) and on what is working (ornge)

maniline

 

 

A20-CAN – new OSHW board designed with KiCAD adds CAN networking to A20-OLinuXino and A20-SOM

A20-CAN

Want to sniff your car’s CAN bus or to drive Industrial machines with CAN networking bus?

Allwinner A20 SOCs have CAN but almost no one use it. If I remember correctly it was not even included in the Allwinner documentation just two pins had CAN on their names, so many people doubt if there is or not CAN.

Fortunately some people investigated further and add proper CAN support for A20 Linux, so we decided to make small driver board which to allow A20-OLinuXino and A20-SOM to have CAN. What does this means? Now you can use A20-OLinuXino to talk to other devices with CAN like industrial equipment, automotive CAN bus etc etc.

Current Linux image we have is without CAN support, but we put instructions on our WiKi how to build one with Linux-Sunxi 3.4 Kernel and with Mainline kernel: https://www.olimex.com/wiki/A20-CAN

What you see above on the picture is our first prototype of A20-CAN it works well although we use 5V CAN driver and A20 is 3.3V device. We successfully connected AM3352-SOM-EVB to A20-OLinuXino-LIME with A20-CAN driver and exchanged some messages at the highest speed 1Mbit and it works fine.

All CAD files, Gerbers, BOM are in this Github account: https://github.com/OLIMEX/A20-CAN . The board is done with KiCAD.

The PCBs are now in production and in 2 weeks A20-CAN will be orderable on our web page . While the PCBs are made we will work to add the CAN in our official images, so you do not have to bother with Kernels configurations and re-compiling.

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