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Posts Tagged ‘intel’

Intel and Micron Promise 1000x Faster Storage with 3D XPoint Memory

July 30th, 2015 1 comment

Non-volatile memory is usually the bottleneck in electronics systems and computers, as it takes much longer to move data from storage than in RAM or cache, so any improvement may yield great benefits, especially when your application requires lots of I/Os. Micron and Intel claim to have developed a new category of memory, and announced 3D XPoint (Read “3D cross-point”) memory as the first break through since the launch of NAND Flash in 1989.

What_is_3D_XPointThere’s great variability between different NAND flash chips, but the companies announced that 3D XPoint is 1,000 times faster and endurant (write cycles) than NAND flash, and 10 times denser than conventional DRAM. The technology would mainly benefit most applications, but especially more demanding ones such as high resolution gaming (4K/8K), real-time pattern recognition, and genomics.

Based on the presentation video below, it even seems 3D XPoint memory can be used to replace RAM and NAND chips by a single chip. 3D Xpoint would still be slightly slower than current DRAM, but latency is comparable, and you would not need to load data from storage to RAM, since 3D Xpoint would be both system and storage memory.

You can also read 3D XPoint presentation to find out a little more.

3D XPoint technology will sample later this year with select customers, and Intel and Micron are currently developing products based on the technology, so I assume we might start to see the first products featuring 3D XPoint memory sometimes in 2016.

Via Forbes

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Categories: Hardware Tags: 3d xpoint, intel, micro

Tronsmart Ara BJ19 is an NUC-like Mini PC Powered by Intel Celeron J1900 Processor

July 15th, 2015 5 comments

Tronsmart has launched several ARM based TV boxes in the last couple of years, but now they’ve now unveiled an Intel based mini PC with Tronsmart Ara BJ19. The barebone PC looks very much like an Intel NUC, and features an Intel Celeron J1900 Bay Trail-D quad core processor.

Tronsmart_BJ19Tronsmart Ara BJ19 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J1900 Quad core processor  @ 2.0 GHz (base) / 2.41 GHz (burst) with Intel HD graphics (10W TDP)
  • System Memory –  DDR3L 1333/1666 MHz SO-DIMM slot
  • Storage – 2.5″ SATA hard drive or SSD
  • Video Output – mini HDMI + mini DisplayPort
  • Audio – mini HDMI, 3.5 mm jack for headphone and MIC-in
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, mPCIe Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 module
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port.
  • Misc – Power button, power LED
  • Power Supply – 19V/2.1A
  • Dimensions –  116.6 x 112 x 5.1 mm
  • Weight – ~360 grams

Tronsmart_BJ19_NUC_DescriptionThe mini PC does not come with memory nor storage, nor an operating system, so you can just install the on you prefer without having to purchase a license for an OS you may never use. It ships with its power adapter, an HDD bracket, and various screws.

Tronsmart Ara BJ19 costs $130 including shipping, which seems to be a decent deal, and it can be purchased from eBay, GeekBuying, or Aliexpress. You’ll also need to buy storage and RAM separately to have a fully working system.

Via AndroidPC.es and Onebir (for the eBay link).

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Intel Introduces Braswell NUCs with Celeron N3050 and Pentium N3700 Processors

May 26th, 2015 11 comments

Intel has already announced several Braswell processors as successors for Bay Trail-M processor with 4 to 6W TDP and 14nm manufacturing process. Two of these, namely Intel Celeron N3050 (dual core) and Pentium 3700 (quad core), have fund their way into the latest Intel NUCs that are currently listed for $140 and $180 in the US with the official release date fixed on June 8.

Intel_NUC_Braswell

The dual core version is called NUC5CPYH, while the quad core is NUC5PPYH. Both share the following specs:

  • Processor
    • Intel Celeron N3050 dual core processor @ up to 2.16 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics @ 600 MHz max, 6W TDP
    • Intel Pentium N3700 quad core processor @ up to 2.4 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics @ 700 MHZ max, 6W TDP
  • Memory – 1x DDR3L SODIMM 1.35V, 1333/1600 MHz up to 8GB maximum
  • Storage – 1x SATA @ 6.0 Gbps for 2.5¨ HDD or SSD up to 9.5mm thick, 1x SDXC slot
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 1.4b, 1x optional VGA port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI audio, 3.5mm jack for microphone/headphone, and mini optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet port (Realtel 8111HN), Dual band Wireless-AC 3165 module installed in M.2 slot supporting 802.11ac up to 433Mbps, 1×1 WiFi, and dual mode Bluetooth 4.0.
  • USB – 2 x USB 3.0 port on the front panel (including an Orange one that is charging capable), 2 x USB 3.0 ports on the back panel, 2x USB 2.0 internal ports with one reserved for M.2 module.
  • Misc – Front panel consumer IR sensor, Kensington lock support, power button, LEDs, RTC + battery
  • Power Supply – 19V
  • Dimensions – 101.6mm x 101.6mm

Intel_NUC_Celeron_N3050The mini PC comes with a fan, so if you are looking for a fanless system, you’ll need to find something else. Intel NUC do not come with memory and storage, so you’d probably need to add around $100 to the prices listed above to get a fully working system. Benchmark results don’t seem to be available for these recent Braswell processors.

Via Liliputing and FanlessTech

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Teclast X70 Might be the First Low Cost 3G Tablet with an Intel Atom x3 Processor

May 15th, 2015 8 comments

Intel announced three Atom x3 processors combining x86 cores with ARM Mali GPU a couple of months ago, and Intel Atom x3-C3130, the lower end processor with two x86 cores up to 1.0 GHz, an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU and a 2G/3G modem, can already be found in Teclast X70 7″ Android tablet selling for just $70 on Tinydeals, Tinydeal, and probably others Chinese online retailers.

Teclast_X70Teclast X70 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x3-C3130 dual x86 core processor @ up to 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 533 MHz
  • System Memory – 512MB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Display – 7″ touchscreen (5-point) with 1024×600 resolution
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Cellular Connectivity – Built-in 3G modem (WCDMA 2100MHz l 2G: 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz); two standard SIM slots
  • Camera – 2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – Stereo speakers, built-in microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Sensors – Gravity sensor
  • Misc- Volume and power buttons, vibrating motor
  • Battery – 3,000 mAh Li-Ion
  • Dimensions – 187 x 113 x 9 mm
  • Weight – 266 grams

The tablet runs Android 4.4, and should come with a micro USB cable, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a user’s manual. Companies also promote it as a phablet, as the 2G/3G modem is not only for data, and you can make phone calls. Memory is tight, and screen resolution very low, but at least it’s very cheap.

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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Seeed Studio Introduces Automation and Wearable Kits for Intel Edison

May 7th, 2015 No comments

Intel Edison is a $50 module with a dual core Atom processor @ 500Mhz and a single core Quark MCU @ 100 Mhz, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, as well as headers for I/Os that’s destined to be used in wearables and IoT applications. Seeed Studio has now launched two kits for the Intel module for home automation and wearables.

Grove Indoor Environment Kit for Intel Edison

Indoor_Environment_Kit_Intel_EdisonThe automation kit comes in a small blue box with the following parts (Intel Edison and baseboard not included):

  • 1x base shield v2 that plugs into Edison baseboard and allows Grove modules connections
  • 11 grove modules –  temperature & humidity, LCD RGB backlight, relay, moisture sensor, servo, light sensor, buzzer, UV sensor, PIR motion sensor, encoder and button.
  • 2x 26 AWG Grove Cables
  • 9V to barrel jack adapter
  • 1x USB cables
  • 1x User guide

Edison_Light_SwitchProgramming is done with Edison Arduino IDE as explained in the Wiki, and some sample projects include a light control switch, an infrared lamp, and a UV alarm.

The Indoor environment kit can be pre-ordered for $79, but remember you also need to spend about $150 to get Edison module and its baseboard, if you don’t have one already.

Xadow Wearable Kit For Intel Edison

Intel_Edison_Wearables_KitThe wearables kit requires an Intel Edison module, but not the baseboard, and features the following items:

  • 1x Xadow expansion board
  • 1x Xadow programmer
  • Xadow modules – 3-axis accelerometer, barometer (BP 180), micro SD card slot, Q-touch sensor. NFC, buzzer, breakout, vibration sensor, and OLED display
  • Battery
  • 5x digital RGB LED flexi-strips
  • 5x white power cables, 5x red power cables, 5x yellow power cables
  • 1x FFC (Flexible flat cable) package
  • 1x color printed tutorial

Intel_Edison_PedometerAgain, Edison Arduino IDE can be used for programming, and more information showing how to use each module can be found on the kit’s wiki. Sample projects include a simple pedometer with the OLED display and the 3-axis accelerometer module, as well as a bit more complex projects such as a glowing thermometer, or an NFC controlled light.

Xadow wearable kit is available now for $129, and you’ll also need the $50 Edison board, but not the more expensive baseboard.

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How to Install 64-bit BIOS on Sunchip CX-W8

April 29th, 2015 21 comments

Sunchip CX-W8 is an Intel Atom Z3735F TV box running Windows, but I’ve been informed that originally Sunchip designed it for WeTek in order to manufacture a Linux based mini PC. Unfortunately, they finally gave up once they discovered Intel had no intention to work on HDMI audio support in Linux for their Atom Z3700 series processor despite it working on Android… Intel Compute Stick will apparently use a separate DSP to handle that part (TBC).

Nevertheless, when WeTek saw I had Wintel W8, they decided to share the 64-bit “BIOS” they had worked on for the Linux port. By the way, Wintel W8 and Sunchip CX-W8 allegedly come from two different factories / design houses, so although they look alike, the hardware might be different, and the UEFI firmware / BIOS, I’m about to share may or may not be compatible with Wintel W8, so you may brick it if it is not already bricked…

If you want to install a new version of the BIOS, or possibly unbrick your device (TBC), you can download and extract CX-W8_64-bit_UEFI.tar.7z. You should get three files:

  • H2OFFT-S.efi – H2O UEFI Flash Firmware Tool
  • M64.W8ANNA01.ROM – 64-bit BIOS
  • STARTUP.nsh – startup script

Copy these three files to the root directory of a USB flash drive formatted with FAT32, and insert the drive into one of the USB ports of CX-W8 mini PC. Power on the device, and press the “Esc” key on the keyboard repeatedly (not press and hold) until you see the menu below.Sunchip-CX_W8_BIOS_InstallationNow select Boot Manager with the keyboard’s arrow keys and Enter, and select Internal EFI shell.

CX-W8_UEFI_FirmwareAs you press Enter,  the BIOS installation should start.

CX-W8_BIOS_InstallationOne installation is completed, the PC will reboot, and you can install the 64-bit operating system of your choice. I’m also trying to get the 32-bit BIOS for people who want to unbrick their device to re-install Windows.

I have not tried these instructions myself, but I know at least two persons who bricked their CX-W8 or W8 mini PC, so hopefully we’ll get some feedback soon.

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Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC Power Consumption in Android

April 28th, 2015 6 comments

I’ve already measured power consumption running Antutu and playing a 4K video on Rockchip RK3288 and Amlogic S812 platform, as described in “Power Consumption of Amlogic S812 and Rockchip RK3288 TV Boxes“, and now that I have an Intel Bay Trail-T mini PC running Android 4.4 with Wintel W8, I was interested in comparing its power consumption to the ARM platform.

[Update: I forgot to mention measurements have all been done @ ~5V.]

Wintel W8 Power Consumption Profile (Click to Enlarge) Vertical Axis: Amps; Horizontal Axis: Sample number (every 0.5 second)

Wintel W8 Power Consumption Profile (Click to Enlarge)
Vertical Axis: Amperes; Horizontal Axis: Sample number (every 0.5 second)

The test normally consists in several steps:

  1. Boot the device
  2. Run the latest Antutu benchmark
  3. Connect a USB hard drive
  4. Play a 4K video in Kodi from the hard drive
  5. Diconnect the hard drive
  6. Power off the device

But since the current draw was a little to high at times, I got a few issues with my setup. First, I had to boot twice hence the “Power On 1″ and “Power On 2″ strings on the chart, then Antutu 3D graphics benchmark did not fully complete, but we still got enough data to evaluate power consumption, and for some reasons the video would not play from the USB hard drive, so I played the video from SAMBA instead. We can see that the peak amperage is about 2A (~10 Watts), and power off current is less than 0.1A. But let’s include the chart for the ARM platform for comparison sake.

Eny M8S Power Consumption Chart (Click to Enlarge)

Eny M8S (Amlogic S802) Power Consumption Chart (Click to Enlarge)
Vertical Axis: Amperes; Horizontal Axis: Sample number (every 0.5 second)

Open Hour Chameleon Power Consumption Chart (Click to Enlarge)

Open Hour Chameleon (RK3288) Power Consumption Chart (Click to Enlarge)
Vertical Axis: Amperes; Horizontal Axis: Sample number (every 0.5 second)

While Amlogic S812 averages around 800 mA, and Rockchip RK3288 is closer to 900 mA on aggregate, the Intel platform draws a bit more current at 1.05A on average. It’s only during 3D graphics tests than ARM and Intel platform are evenly matched. Idle power is also better for ARM Amlogic S812 idling at 400 mA, RK3288 at 500 mA, and Atom Z3735F at 600 mA. However, Wintel W8 design appears to be better than Open Hour Chameleon and Eny M8S when it comes to standby / power off power consumption, and for some reasons RK3288 consumes a lot of power during multi-threaded floating-point operations.

Intel Atom Z3735F vs Amlogic S812 vs Rockchip RK3288 (clikc to Enlarge)

Intel Atom Z3735F vs Amlogic S812 vs Rockchip RK3288 (Click to Enlarge)

The tests for the three platform have not completed in the same amount of time, but I’ve still superposed all three charts into one, and we can clearly see the multi-core floating-point anomaly for RK3288, and that the Intel platform appears to consume more power than others once the hard drive is connected.

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HPC Performance & Power Usage Comparison – Intel Xeon E3 vs Intel Atom C2720 vs Applied Micro X-Gene 1 vs IBM Power 8

April 14th, 2015 6 comments

Last year, the CERN published a paper comparing Applied Micro X-Gene (64-bit ARM) vs Intel Xeon (64-bit x86) Performance and Power Usage, and they’ve now added IBM Power 8 and Intel Atom Avoton C2750 processor to the mix in a new presentation entitled “A look beyond x86: OpenPOWER & AArch64“.
ARM_x86_Power_8_Test_Systems
So four systems based on Intel Xeon E3-1285L, Intel Atom C2750, Applied Micro X-Gene 1, and IBM Power 8 were compared, all running Fedora 21, except the HP Moonshot 1500 ARM plarform running Ubuntu 14.04 and an older kernel. All four systems use gcc 4.9.2, and Racktivity intelligent PDUs were used for power measurement.

I’ll just share some of their results, you can read the presentation, or go through the benchmark results to find out more.

HEP-SPEC06_Results

HEP-SPEC06 Benchmark (Click to Enlarge)

HEP-SPEC06 is a new High Energy Physics (HEP) benchmark for measuring CPU performance developed by the HEPiX Benchmarking Working Group, and here it’s not surprising to see the low power solutions under-perform the more powerful Intel Xeon and Power 8 processors, with the latter taking the crown.

Geant_4_ParFullCMS

Geant 4 ParFullCMS (Click to Enlarge)

Geant 4 simulates the passage of particles through matter, something that you would expect the CERN to do regularly. Intel Xeon E3 outperforms  IBM Power8 processor here.

But let’s move on to power consumption, and performance per watt.

Idle Power Consumption (Click to Enlarge)

Idle Power Consumption (Click to Enlarge)

IBM OpenPower 8 has a much higher power consumption than other systems, and HP Moonshot ARM 64-bit X-Gene 1 consumes more than both Intel servers. The chart under full load (not shown here) also shows a similar pattern.

HEP_SPEC06_Per_Watt

HEP-SPEC06 per Watt (Click to Enlarge)

When it comes to performance per watt however, both HP Moonshot ARM and Power 8 systems are the least efficient here, and Intel systems provide the best ratio. Bear in mind that X-Gene 1 is manufactured with a 40nm process, while Applied Micro X-Gene 2  and 3 will be manufactured using 28nm and 16 nm FinFET processes, so some large efficiency gains could be expected here.

We may find out soon, as the CERN expects to add these two new processors, as well a Cavium ThunderX to their benchmarks in the future.

Thanks to David for the tip.

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