Intel Gemini Lake Block Diagram and Yet More Info

August 14th, 2017 5 comments

So yesterday, I wrote about some of the new features of Intel Gemini Lake processors like native HDMI 2.0, 4-wide pipeline, 10-bit VP9, and possible built-in 802.11ac wireless controller. I went to bed, and somehow this morning I woke up with something that looks like Gemini Lake (GLK) block diagram, and a few more details. So we indeed have HDMI 2.0 output, as well as DP 1.2a and eDP 1.4, and an embedded wireless controller via the CNVi (Connectivity Integration Architecture) block for WiFi’s MAC and Bluetooth’s MAC + Baseband modem. We’ll have plenty of USB 3.0 host interfaces, and the usual PCIe and SATA 3 interfaces. Still no UFS support, but eMMC 5.1 is supported, as well as x128 DDR4, LPDDR3 and LPDDR4 memory up to 2400 MHz (No ECC support). Cache size is confirmed to be 4MB for up to four GoldMont Plus (GLM+) cores, which combined with the wider pipeline (4 vs 3) will contribute to 10%…

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Sony Spritzer is an Arduino Compatible Board with Built-in GPS, Audio Codec

August 14th, 2017 9 comments

Look who is joining the maker community! Sony has showcased their Arduino compatible Spritzer board during the Maker Faire Tokyo on August 5-6. Despite lacking on-board network connectivity, the board is said to have been designed for IoT applications with features such as an integrated GPS and an advanced digital audio codec and amplifier. Sony Spritzer specifications: MCU – Sony CDX5602 ARM Cortex-M4F ×6 micro-controller clocked at up to 156 MHz with 1.5MB SRAM Storage – 8MB Flash Memory, micro SD card GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, supported Audio – 3.5mm audio jack Expansion I/Os Digital I/O Pins – SPI, I2C, UART, PWM ×4 (3.3V) Analog Pins – 6ch (3.3V range) Audio I/O – 8ch Digital MICs or 4ch Analog MICs, Stereo Speaker, I2S, CXD5247 audio codec with 192 kHz/24bit High-Resolution audio 2x camera interfaces USB – 1x micro USB port for programming Power Supply – Via Power barrel and Vin pin? Dimensions – Arduino UNO form factor? In case you…

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New Features of Intel Gemini Lake Processors – HDMI 2.0, 10-bit VP9 Codec, 4-Wide Pipeline, and More

August 13th, 2017 3 comments

Most recent low power Intel mini PCs are now based on Apollo Lake family with SoC such as Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200, but we’ve known for a while that Gemini Lake processors will succeed those starting in Q4 2017, and we can expect some Celeron/Pentium SKUs like Intel Pentium J5005 or Intel Celeron N4000, but so far I had not seen that many details. However, an anonymous tip pointed me to some interesting publicly available information. First, a kernel patch reveals a little about the CPU pipeline: Add perf core PMU support for Intel Goldmont Plus CPU cores: – The init code is based on Goldmont. – There is a new cache event list, based on the Goldmont cache event list. – All four general-purpose performance counters support PEBS. – The first general-purpose performance counter is for reduced skid PEBS mechanism. Using :ppp to indicate the event which want to do reduced skid PEBS. – Goldmont Plus has 4-wide…

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$15 Orange Pi Zero Plus Board Released with Allwinner H5 SoC, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, and SPI flash

August 12th, 2017 32 comments

We had Orange Pi Zero, followed by Orange Pi Zero Plus 2, then Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5, but now there’s another “Zero” model that’s called Orange Pi Zero Plus, which like Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 board is based on Allwinner H5 processor, but adds a faster Gigabit Ethernet port, and offers a fairly different features set compared to the first Orange Pi H5 board, albeit in the same form factor. Orange Pi Zero Plus specifications with highlights in bold and stricken-through showing difference with Orange Pi Plus 2 H5 model: SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with hexa core Mali-450MP4 GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot + 2MB SPI flash Video Output – HDMI ; AV port via 13-pin header Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Realtek RTL8189FTV) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna. No Bluetooth USB – 1x micro USB…

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VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 is Another Development Board Based on Rockchip RK3399 Processor

August 11th, 2017 9 comments

VideoStrong is better known for their Android set-top boxes with digital TV tuners, but they are making other hardware too, and their latest design is a Rockchip RK3399 development board named VS-RD-RK3399. VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 board specifications: SoC – Rochchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with two ARM Cortex A72 cores up to 2.0 GHz and four core Cortex A53 cores,  ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with OpenGL 1.1 to 3.1 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and DX 11 support System Memory – Dual channel 2GB or 4GB DDR3 Storage – 16/32 GB eMMC 5.1 flash, micro SD card Video Output & Display Interfaces 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz 1x DisplayPort up to 4K @ 60 Hz 1x MIPI DSI dual channel interface up to 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz 1x eDP (embedded DisplayPort) 1.3 with 4-lanes @ 10.8 Gbps 1x I2C interface for touch panel Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps Audio…

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A Look at Some USB 3.0 WiFi 802.11ac Adapters with Multiple High Gain Antennas

August 11th, 2017 8 comments

When last week I reviewed Rock64 board I noticed they sold a “USB 3.0 Dual Band 1200Mbps WIFI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (RTL8812AU) adapter” for $19.99. So far I had only seen USB dongles with internal antennas or a single external antenna, but in the case of development boards, which may be used as routers or gateways, it makes perfect sense to get such adapter for higher performance and longer range. The only problem is that it “ships together with ROCK64 fulfillment”, meaning you can’t purchase it separately if you already have some other board to use, so I went to look for alternatives. One of the first I’ve come across was COMFAST CF-926AC with the following specifications: Chipset – Mediatek MT7612U Interface –  USB 3.0 rotatable port WiFi – Dual band 2T2R WiFi 802.11ac, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n up to “1200” Mbps (867 Mbps @ 5.8 GHz + 300 Mbps @ 2.4 GHz) Antenna – 2x external high gain (3dBi) antennas (270°…

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MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro Windows 10 Pro mini PC Review – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing & Teardown

August 11th, 2017 6 comments

While I reviewed MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC last year, I found out the fanless mini PC based on Intel Atom X5-Z8300 processor performed well, even matching some Atom X7-Z8700 and Braswell systems in some cases, and offered some BIOS features not always found in competitor models, with the only real downside being the 32GB eMMC flash with average performance. Since then, it’s become quite popular becoming the best seller on Amazon US in the mini PC category, outselling devices like ASUS Chromebox and Apple Mac Mini, and the company has now launched a new variant called MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro with Windows 10 Pro, an upgraded Intel Atom X5-Z8350 processor, and an included VESA mount making it more suitable for enterprise applications such as digital signage, point-of-sales, and thin client. MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro Specifications Highlights show differences against Z83-4 model: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.92 GHz (Turbo) with…

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CrazyPi Board Runs Ubuntu and ROS on Rockchip RK3128 SoC for Robotics & IoT Projects (Crowdfunding)

August 10th, 2017 4 comments

CrazyPi is a maker board powered by Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor that can take various magnetically connected modules such as LIDAR, gimbal, 4G LTE, etc.., and runs both Ubuntu and ROS (Robot Operating System) for DIY robotics & IoT projects. CrazyPi main board specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with ARM Mali GPU MCU – ARM Cortex-M3 @ 72 MHz System Memory – 1GB DDR3L @ 1066 MHz Storage – 16GB eMMC flash pre-loaded with Ubuntu and ROS Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi @ 150 Mbps, Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port Expansion Headers – Two headers with a total of 36-pin exposing 1x HDMI, 1x speaker, 1x microphone, 3x PWM, 1x I2C, 1x UART, 1x SPDIF, 1x SPI, 1x USB Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port ? Dimensions – Smaller than credit card The full details are not available yet, but the company claims…

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