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Open Hardware GNU/Linux PPC64 Laptop Potential


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Open Hardware GNU/Linux PPC64 Laptop Potential
OpenPOWER Summit NA 15 Sept 2020
Roberto Innocenti, Power Progress Community (not profit association)

Published in: Technology
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Open Hardware GNU/Linux PPC64 Laptop Potential

  1. 1. Open Hardware GNU/LinuxOpen Hardware GNU/Linux PPC64 Laptop PotentialPPC64 Laptop Potential Roberto Innocenti, Power Progress Community - Associate & Academic Member In collaboration with OpenPOWER Academic and Research
  2. 2. Brief history first first published List of hardware requirementsList of hardware requirements Becomes Open Source HardwareBecomes Open Source Hardware Established PowerProgressCommunity associationEstablished PowerProgressCommunity association 20142014 Donation campaign for Electrical SchematicsDonation campaign for Electrical Schematics 20152015 20162016 20172017 2017-20182017-2018 Donation campaign for Printed Circuit Board designDonation campaign for Printed Circuit Board design2019-20202019-2020 Donation campaign for Fast SI bus simulationsDonation campaign for Fast SI bus simulations20202020
  3. 3. Power Progress Community founders and some of the core team members
  4. 4. Power Progress Community founders and the core team
  5. 5. Our goals Design Open Hardware, with prototypes, accessible to the widest range of people. Facilitate the re-use of dismissed or low-cost hardware by means of open source software. Encourage people to use open source software. Help and promote innovation and scientific progress supporting multiplicity and variety in order to avoid - or at least reduce - monopolies.
  6. 6. Who make the Printed Circuit Board design? ● The association counts around 50 volunteers, but only very few are able to review the electronic design. ● Volunteer capable of reviewing the design lacks spare time for this -unpaid- activity. ● We solve the situation by setting up “donation campaigns” that allows us to indirectly hire professional electronic designers: PPC Association > Campaign > ACube Systems > Subcontractors
  7. 7. Everyone can examine, alter, build, distribute or sell anything (either the circuits design and/or hardware based on it). ● Open Source Hardware Certification ● Certification allows for some components non 100% Open Source Hardware as vendors may force NDAs Open Source Hardware is Essential
  8. 8. Our Open Source Hardware Path Goal: Oshwa Certification - Steps ● Support from the NYU Technology Law and Policy Clinic to make the project as Open Hardware as possible. ● Contacts with Chip manufacturers for authorizations to distribute the finalized project as Open Hardware ● Publication of the electrical schematic (Orcad source) with the Open Hardware CERN license v1.2
  9. 9. PPC64 Processor for Laptop or Little Endian? When we searched a PPC 64 bit CPU for a laptop back in 2014, we identified the Freescale T2080 as a good candidate because of its reasonable cost, good performance and low power consumption. With the NXP acquisition of Freescale, the evolution of PowerPC CPUs stopped and ARM become the priority. We are stuck with PowerPC CPUs that properly work in Big Endian mode only, as Altivec does not work in Little Endian mode. At the same time, most Linux distros supporting the Power Architecture became switching from Big Endian to Little Endian, as porting software from x86 is much easier.
  10. 10. It’s born before the Big Endian software or hardware? ● Producing today a consumer motherboard with a Big Endian (BE) CPU is hazardous, as Linux distros with an official support for PPC64 BE are lacking. ● Maintaining PPC64 Big Endian software is time consuming because of two factors: difficult to solve endianess issues while porting and lack of accessible hardware
  11. 11. Laptop specifications CPU: NXP T2080, e6500 64-bit Power Architecture with Altivec technology 4 x e6500 dual-threaded cores, low-latency backside 2MB L2 cache, 16GFLOPS x core RAM: 2 x RAM slots for DDR3L SO-DIMM VIDEO: MXM 3 mobile video card interface AUDIO: cmedia sound chip, audio in and audio out jacks USB: 3.0 and 2.0 ports STORAGE: NVM Express (NVMe), M.2 2280 connector 2 x SATA 1 x SDHC card reader NETWORK: 1 x ethernet RJ-45 connector WiFi connectivity Bluetooth connectivity POWER: on-board battery charger and power-management CHASSIS: Slimbook Eclipse notebook case 15,6”
  12. 12. Manufacturer Authorizations C-Media ● CM8828 HD-Audio controllers and CM9882A codec family ● They sent an evaluation badge to Acube. ● They assure the availability of the chips for the project. NXP ● Have authorized the publication of information in Open Source documents
  13. 13. Other Chip Vendors There are already other Open Hardware mobo that use Marvell chematics For AMD there are no problems to publish schemas and PCB open hardware, considering that we do not have the AMD Radeon chip in our mobo but on a separate MXM card produced by AMD
  14. 14. ● Creating a brand new notebook chassis from scratch in small numbers was not financially feasible. ● Find a supplier that provide us few hundreds of notebook body without the motherboard was very difficult. ● After a couple of years (!) we finally found a viable solution thanks to the Slimbook support. ● We are now designing a PowerPC motherboard targeting the Slimbook “Eclipse” chassis. It’s born before the Laptop Chassis or the motherboard? PowerPC
  15. 15. Collaboration PPC ↔ Slimbook ↔ ACube Slimbook has sent information about parts of the laptop  The schematics have been adapted for this chassis  The PCB is designed to fit in the Slimbook Body
  16. 16. Slimbook Eclipse body Gaming Oriented Allows us to use MXM graphics The body of the laptop is actually the entire case, the cooling system, the screen, the keyboard, the backlight, the webcam, the speakers and the battery.
  17. 17. PowerPC Open Hardware PCB Design Mother board production ACube Systems Slimbook Eclipse body from PCB Design to Laptop production
  18. 18. 1 Electrical schematics € 12.600 2 PCB Printed Circuit Board 12 October 2019 - 8 September 2020 € 19.000 3 Fast SI bus simulations 9 September 2020 € 5.000 3 5 prototypes € 10.500 4 Hardware Tests € 14.000 5 CE Certification € 12.500 2 July 2017 - 7 June 2018 Donation campaigns plan
  19. 19. Why donation campaigns ? ● We could not make use of commercial crowdfunding platforms: - they support the production of a product - they require a working prototype at the end ● We are not making or selling any physical product. ● We are doing and supporting research and development. ● To achieve this, we must fund the engineering design process.
  20. 20. Our DNA ● The association is run by hobbyists that work for fun on the project on their spare time, no one is getting paid, only the funded electronic engineers ● We have a very flexible business plan, no tight time-to-market strategy ● We can afford to run a donations campaign for an unlimited amount of time, and that is not allowed by any crowdfunding platform.
  21. 21. What if a phase fails?  Donors will decide on which other project of the association divert the collected funds.  Donations are free and non refundable (Italian law)  Other projects of the associations are:  Debian ppc64 packages patches and fixes  Open Source Laptop Chassis Design  “Revivo with Scratch”, re-use of dismissed computers for schools  As the activities of the association is decided by its members, a potential donor might want to join Power Progress Community by paying the yearly membership fee (30€).
  22. 22. Open Source code should be truly CPU agnostic We commonly encounter open source software tight to Little Endian CPUs nd that cannot be compiled on Big Endian CPUs. When a library or a framework cannot be compiled, it causes troubles to all software depending on it, and that compromise the usability of the entire system. Our volunteers works to fix endianess issues to source codes, but it’s a huge task for a very few people: we need help! We are trying to concentrate on those packages and libraries that solve the dependencies to a multitude of others packages.
  23. 23. Support to Debian PPC64 Debian Repository is available Goal: porting software to PPC64 Big Endian with Altivec/VMX The list contains key software: ● Firefox, mplayer, Linux Kernel, table... ● 11 groups, 546 packages, total repository size 1943.37MB (1.9GB) ● Built using two Power8/9 instancies in OpenStack hosted thanks to the Oregon State University Open Source Lab and the OpenPower Foundation
  24. 24.  Optimize graphic cards detection  Patch sources/package for Big Endian compatibility ● Freedesktop-sdk, flatpack, Mesa ● Docker , etc...  Compile, configure and test the latest Linux Kernels  Organize and publish our patches  Let’s collaborate with Debian PPC64 Big Endian  Let’s collaborate with MintPPC 64  Let’s collaborate with VoidLinux PPC64 Improve GNU/Linux PPC64 applications
  25. 25. Future Plans ● Reach the goals of the Donation Campaigns phases ● Involve additional volunteers, especially hardware expert and anyone able to fix endianess issues ● Support forks of our design to the newer Power Architecture processors based on the OpenPower Open ISA - Libre-SOC cpu/gpu - A2I POWER Processor Core ● In-source new Hardware designs with Open Hardware engineers ● Seminars in Tech High Schools and Universities to encourage study and improvement on our Open Hardware designs and Power Open ISA CPU/GPU
  26. 26. Join Open our Hardware team Open Source Laptop Chassis Designs FreeCad/Blender 3D chassis design Open Hardware Designs PCB review, PCB/Schematic forks
  27. 27. Join us with Your Creativity on  Creation of multimedia design to advertise (video, animations, images, articles, etc…).  Translations of the websites, social networks and software  Spreading the project on blogs, forums, socials  Law Assistance to support the Open Source Hardware License  Maintain, update, manage our software tools and services  Outreach, seminars in High Schools and Universities
  28. 28. Thank you! and now QA In collaboration with OpenPOWER Academic and Research