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$199 GIZMO EXPLORER KIT – Embedded Development Kit Based on AMD G-Series G-T40E APU

November 16th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve just stumbled upon a low cost and open source embedded development kit featuring AMD G-Series G-T40E dual core APU that comes with the following:

  • The Gizmo Board – A compact (10×10 cm) development board for powered by an AMD G-Series APU.
  • The Explorer Board – An expansion I/O board providing an alpha-numeric keypad, a micro-display, and a breadboard area for prototyping and customization.
  • Sage SmartProbe JTAG Development Tool - The kit includes the SmartProbe hardware and 20 hours of trial time use.
  • Ethernet & USB Cables - The USB cable lets you connect the SmartProbe to your PC. The Ethernet cable is for networking connectivity, which can be used to access the SmartProbe as well.
  • USB wall charger
  • Power Supplyand Cable – A universal power supply for the Gizmo board, with a U.S.-standard cord.
  • 6x standoffs with nuts
  • Alpha-numeric keypad - To connect to the explorer board
  • Installation DVD – Includes a trial version of the Sage EDK, a graphical interface for development and debugging, and the Gizmo Explorer Kit user guide.
AMG G-Series Low Cost Development Platform

Gizmo Explorer Kit: Gizmo Board, Explorer Board, Smartprobe and Other Accessories

Let’s have a closer look at the Gizmo board specifications:

  • AMD G-Series APU: G-T40E Dual Core @ 1.0 GHz with Radeon HD6250 GPU. Up to 52.8 GFLOP capacity, 6.4W TDP.
  • A55E Controller Hub
  • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • JTAG header for SmartProbe development & debug
  • Low and High Speed card edge connectors for expansion:
    • High Speed Connector – Standard PCIe 64-pin card edge gold fingers, 2x PCIe links, LVDS, 1x SATA and 1x USB 2.0
    • Low Speed Connector – Standard PCIe 36-pin card edge gold fingers, GPIOs, 1x USB 2.0 signal, SPI, PWM, A/D, D/A and C/T
  • Video Output – VGA display connector
  • Ethernet – RJ-45 port connector
  • USB – 2 standard type A USB connectors, pin header w/ 2 USB connectors
  • SATA – one connector
  • Audio – Line-in, Line-out and MIC signals
  • Power – 12VDC power supply with cables
  • Size – 4” x 4” (10 x 10 cm)

Gizmo Board

The low speed connector is used to connect the Explorer board which adds support for keypad, an LCD display, a prototyping area and more:

Explorer Board

  • 2-layer board
  • 36-pin low-speed card edge connector
  • LCD micro-display
  • DC motor and stepper motor capabilities
  • GPIO header acts as connector for alpha-numeric keypad
  • Sea of holes prototyping area
  • SPI port
  • Analog I/O
  • PWM
  • USB port

The Gizmo Board comes pre-loaded with SageBIoS, a distribution of open-source Coreboot project. The source and build files for SageBIoS are included with the DVD, and can be accessed and modified using Sage EDK.  The board supports multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux and some RTOS.

The project is apparently still under development (pre-release phase) and documentation is limited. But the Gizmo Explorer Kit being an open source hardware, the people behind the project will eventually release the schematics, provide downloads (source and binaries) and proper documentation.

If you want to ask questions or follow the progress of this project, the best is probably to join their Google Group, Forums or IRC channel #gizmosphere & #gizmo on Freenode.

The Gizmo Explorer Kit is currently available for pre-order for $199, and will be available in 2013. You can find further information on Gizmosphere.org.

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  1. November 17th, 2012 at 10:49 | #1

    Thanks for sharing this information! I just wanted to point out that the website for GizmoSphere is http://www.gizmosphere.org (not .com as you have in your post).

  2. November 17th, 2012 at 11:00 | #2

    @Kevin Sholander
    Corrected. Is it safe to assume Sage Electronics Engineering is the company behind the project, or is it an independent project?

  3. November 17th, 2012 at 11:22 | #3

    Hi — GizmoSphere is an independent project. Both Sage Electronic Engineering and AMD are partners working on the development of GizmoSphere.

    GizmoSphere Partners supply the time, talent, resources and funding needed to make the portal happen. Partners contribute to embedded solutions and believe in the open source approach.

    Additional partners will be coming on board in the near future. Anybody interested in partnering can visit http://www.gizmosphere.org/partners/

    Thank you for writing about the Gizmo Explorer Kit on your blog — much appreciated.

  4. nick
    November 18th, 2012 at 06:37 | #4

    @Graciela Sholander
    It seems like a wonderful device but one thing thats missing that would make it a perfect product is the lack an HDMI port as using this as a Windows7 machine or ubuntu or something else would make it a ultracheap computer!

  5. November 18th, 2012 at 10:05 | #5

    @nick
    @Graciela Sholander
    It’s cheap (considering the expansion board and JTAG probe), but if there are now many x86 board in this price range (even lower).
    I wish there would be a cheaper version without the JTAG probe, but since Sage is a partner, it might not be commercially feasible…

  6. December 1st, 2012 at 18:43 | #6

    Gizmosphere has started a contest where the winner gets the Explorer Kit. You have to explain in about 500 words what you would do with their kit. For details see http://www.gizmosphere.org/contest-rules/

  1. January 24th, 2013 at 17:50 | #1
  2. March 10th, 2014 at 15:30 | #2