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Linux Kernel v3.1 Is Out, Supports OpenRISC, NFC, Wii

10-28-2011
Linux Kernel v3.1 Is Out, Supports OpenRISC, NFC, Wii

Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.1 Monday and the new feature list is long and wide. Linux 3.1 includes a new iSCSI implementation and support for OpenRISC, Near-Field Communication chips, and -- get this -- Wii controllers.

OpenRISC is a project to build a free and open CPU under the GPL license and encompasses the CPU architecture, software development tools, libraries, and so forth. The implementation included in Linux 3.1 is the 32-bit OpenRISC 1000 family (OR1K).

Support for Near-Field Communication

Near field communication (Wiki article) allows for simplified wireless exchange of data between two devices in close proximity to each other, usually by no more than a few centimeters. Co-invented by NXP Semiconductors and Sony in 2002, NFC chips can be found in many smartphones already available in the market and more are planning to add them.

NFC is expected to become a widely used system for making payments by smartphone in the US: shoppers who have their credit card information stored in their NFC smartphones can pay for purchases by waving their smartphones near or tapping them on the reader, rather than bothering with the actual credit card. A smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip could make a credit card payment or serve as keycard or ID card. NFC devices can also read NFC tags on a museum or retail display to get more information or an audio or video presentation. NFC can also be used to share contacts, photos, songs, applications, or videos.

This release adds a NFC subsystem and a new NFC socket family. 

Reference: http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.1
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