Category: Linaro Connect

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Paul McKenney of IBM talks RCU, Quantum Computing at Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017

Posted by Charbax – October 10, 2017

I previously interviewed Paul McKenney at Linaro Connect 5 years ago in Hong Kong here, since then he has been working with a lot of things at IBM and this is the first time he's back at Linaro Connect since that initial interview. He says there might be 20 Billion Linux machines in the world, most of them running on ARM, all of them have Paul McKenney's Read-Copy Update (RCU) code in them.

Read-copy update (RCU) is a synchronization mechanism that was added to the Linux kernel in October of 2002. RCU achieves scalability improvements by allowing reads to occur concurrently with updates. In contrast with conventional locking primitives that ensure mutual exclusion among concurrent threads regardless of whether they be readers or updaters, or with reader-writer locks that allow concurrent reads but not in the presence of updates, RCU supports concurrency between a single updater and multiple readers. RCU ensures that reads are coherent by maintaining multiple versions of objects and ensuring that they are not freed up until all pre-existing read-side critical sections complete. RCU defines and uses efficient and scalable mechanisms for publishing and reading new versions of an object, and also for deferring the collection of old versions. These mechanisms distribute the work among read and update paths in such a way as to make read paths extremely fast. In some cases (non-preemptable kernels), RCU's read-side primitives have zero overhead.

Open Source Foundries IoT Zephyr, Linux, IoT Gateways, Bluetooth Mesh microPlatforms demo

Posted by Charbax – October 10, 2017

Open Source Foundries is a spin off company off of Linaro, composed of a talented group of engineers to work more directly with companies, OEMs, ODMs, small, medium to large companies to bring new open source products and solutions more rapidly to the market. Leveraging all the work done by Linaro and speeding up the time to market, enable rapid product development, here demonstrating some of the open source IoT solutions provided based on Zephyr on ARM Cortex-M and Linux on ARM Cortex-A using the Linaro Technologies Division (LTD) microPlatforms system.

The lack of a secure IoT solution has the industry scrambling. The Open Source Foundries team believes that a world can exist in which all connected devices can be secured and updated in a timely fashion. In this demonstration shown at the Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017, the team showcases its secure end to end FOTA (firmware over the air) solution implementing the latest in connected technologies.

At Open Source Foundries, software is their passion, hacking hardware is their favorite past time, so they have created the OSLight project to convert off the shelf hardware into secure connected devices. They have inserted a Red Bear NRF52 BLE Nano 2 into these lamps, to allow them to communicate over BLE with various cloud services. In the first demo, they demonstrate creating a secure BLE mesh network with these lamps. They show the ability to securely pass messages through the mesh network to control the state of the LED lamp. The next demo shows a set of 96Boards Nitrogens sending temperature data to the SoftBank IoT Cloud with the ONEM2M protocol using 6lowpan over BLE. The third and final demo introduces a variant of the OSLight project, a fully 3D printed light bulb. Instead of a simple LED array it has a 12 LED WRGB NeoPixel which is powered by line voltage, stepped down to 5VDC.

For microcontrollers, they offer their Zephyr microplatform, an open source software reference based on Zephyr RTOS and MCUboot. This software stack implements secure boot, unified microkernel, and IP (TCP or UDP) using 6lowpan over BLE. At the protocol level they've embraced industry standards such as LWM2M/ONEM2M/HTTPS/MQTT to provide an array of options for their customers, whilst ensuring no vendor lock in. Open Source Foundries subscribers are offered continuous validated software updates throughout the life of their product for a fixed monthly subscription fee.

On the gateway, they offer their Linux microplatform, which is again, an open source reference based on the latest Linux kernel version, and a minimal Yocto based userspace with a container runtime (Docker). By isolated the OS from the containers, each can be updated independently while providing limitless potential for the applications it can run. For updates they again implement standards, and stay vendor neutral to allow their customers to choose the solution that is right for them. Continuous validated updates for the OS and containers are also offered for this platform for a reasonable fixed monthly fee.

Gordon Kruberg, Gumstix CEO, inventor of the HDMI Stick at Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017

Posted by Charbax – October 9, 2017

Gordon Kruberg, President, CEO and Founder of Gumstix Inc. In 2004, they launched the world's first HDMI Stick Computer and they also invented the first SOM running Linux and computers were officially introduced with Gumstix first motherboard alongside the Waysmall computer, about the size of a stick of gum. Apple bought many of these to do their initial testing of iOS on ARM to try to have a smooth UI to work on ARM early. Gumstix now has an online tool called Geppetto that allows users to design their own PCB boards which can be used in combination with boards from TechNexion and Toradex, in 2013 it started a crowd-funding service to allow a group of users that want to get a custom design manufactured to share the costs to start manufacturing any new PCB idea. A new PCB idea can be made through Gumstix Gepetto for a $2000 setup manufacturing fee then payments for each board. They estimate that any project needing to design and manufacture custom PCB boards in quantities lower than 20 thousand pieces, that they are providing the most cost effective and fastest time to market.

Sahaj Sarup of Geek Till It Hertz, Manivannan Sadhasivam and Michael Welling at Linaro Connect 2017

Posted by Charbax – October 9, 2017

Sahaj Sarup of the Geek Till It Hertz youtube channel, which he created 4 years ago with a goal to share his Raspberry Pi projects and experiments with the world. Soon it grew and he started featuring other development boards and technologies. His goal is to share projects that he does or the projects that gets him excited. Recently he has also featured a few unique operating systems such as Google's Fuchsia OS and Redox OS (written entirely in rust language). He's also maintaining a blog at This video also features 96Boards Application Engineer Manivannan Sadhasivam who I also filmed featuring some of his projects at here and PCB designer Michael Welling who I interviewed here.

Kurt Keville of The MIT Supply Response Supercomputing Lab at Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017

Posted by Charbax – October 9, 2017

The MIT Supply Response Supercomputing Lab has been investigating opportunities to get cycles when they are cheapest, either through an innovative sensor system that utilizes a hyperlocal weather monitoring application that watches clouds, or a clever scraping of PUC utility websites to ramp compute resources up when electricity is inexpensive. They are currently testing a number of projects that are based around ARM and utilizes every bit of the energy-aware programmability of big.LITTLE and Slurm Workload Manager.

#DIV/0! Is their Solar-Powered Supercomputing cluster. It is named for the error they got in Excel when they tried to calculate their performance per dollar.

They maintain the Debian ports of every HPC code they can get their hands on (please send some along if you have additions).

IoTNet is the network in Boston and Cambridge which only handles IoT comms. It is low bandwidth, high latency and lossy which they are hoping will keep humans, with their real-time protocols, off. Machines and CPS like it because it is asynchronous, asymmetric and low power. If you have a key dongle for your car you are probably already using the TTN in your city.

Interested parties can contact them at

Micro-Datacenter Design Challenge (past)

Bero shows his ARM Desktop and ARM Laptop

Posted by Charbax – October 3, 2017

Bero (Bernhard Rosenkränzer) from the Linaro Mobile Group set out this week as you can see in my previous video to build and bring up his ARM Desktop based on the Quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 Marvell MACCHIATObin development board with a Radeon or Nvidia GPU. Bero also built his own ARM Laptop based on the Dragonboard 820 running Open Mandriva Linux.

Latest from the Linaro Digital Home Group at Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017

Posted by Charbax – October 3, 2017

Mark Gregotski, DIrector of the Linaro Digital Home Group, provides an update on the latest work in open source for the Digital Home Group that LHG is working on including the adoption of OP-TEE (Open Portable Trusted Execution Environment) with DRM integrations including PlayReady DRM PK v3.3 on AOSP 8.0 on the HiKey960 development board and Widevine for Linux and for Android AOSP. NXP demonstrates some of their work, NXP has recently joined the Linaro Digital Home Group. The LHG group has worked to integrate V4L2 with gstreamer and ffmpeg to improve media playback on ARM offloading all the computation onto the video codec hardware of the SoC.

Self Balancing Bot and Home Surveillance Kit by Manivannan Sadhasivam, Applications Engineer, Linaro

Posted by Charbax – October 3, 2017

Manivannan Sadhasivam is an Applications Engineer at Linaro on the 96Boards team here Demonstrating some of his latest projects created out of 96Boards Consumer Edition such as the Self Balancing Bot capable of balancing itself using the MPU6050 IMU controlled by Dragonboard 410c. You can find that project at github and a Home Surveillance Kit powered by Dragonboard 410c. OpenCV is used to identify the faces, combined with AWS and servo control to create a home surveillance solution. You can find that project at github

$25 Hoperun Uranus 96Boards IoT board with TI CC3220 ARM Cortex-M4

Posted by Charbax – October 3, 2017

This development board runs the TI CC3220 is for IoT applications featuring an ARM Cortex-M4 with an associated network processor that runs the whole Wi-Fi, TCP/IP and TLS stack so the main chipset doesn't have to do any of the networking or security freeing up the whole ARM Cortex-M4 for the IoT application use. At Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017 they are showing it running TI RTOS and Zephyr. This board also features the LiPo battery connector. Adding also IPv6 support and TLS suite, an ARM Cortex-M4 with 1MB Flash, 256KB RAM running at 80Mhz. It's very low power it can run for years off 2 AAA battery cells with the right duty cycle.

v4l2 in ffmpeg for Kodi with Mesa freedreno GPU hardware acceleration on Dragonboard 410c

Posted by Charbax – October 2, 2017

Open Source video decoding with V4L2 (Video4Linux2) hardware accelerated video playback in ffmpeg with latest Kodi 18 from master branch. Video4Linux2 support for FFMPEG means fully open source video acceleration can be available for open source distributions on ARM, here shown off decoding video with v4l2m2m (Video4Linux 2 with Memory to Memory) on the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, for H264 decode. Other boards with other chipsets that have video decode engines that can support other codecs such as H265, VP9 etc at 4K and etc will then also be able to support that. It means you can upgrade the kernel when you want to what you want, giving you more freedom being less locked to vendor support and if you find a bug you can actually fix it. Filmed at Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017.