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Posts Tagged ‘intel’

Intel Education Content Access Point Is Designed for Schools with Unreliable Internet Connectivity and Power

January 23rd, 2015 5 comments

Intel has introduced a new device that stores, manages, and publishes digital content for schools with low or intermittent connectivity and /or power.  The device stores training materials in its internal storage, comes with a battery, and can be accessed by up to 50 students simultaneously.

Intel_Education_Content_Access_Point

Specifications:

  • SoC –  Intel Atom Bay Trail-I E3815 Processor @ 1.46GHz with Intel HD graphics
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L-1067
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC, Optional 500GB SATA HDD
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wired Gigabit Ethernet, Optional 3G, Optional LTE
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0
  • Misc – System and 3G/LTE LEDs, Factory reset and power buttons
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Battery – Lithium-ion polymer 7.4v, 4050mAh (up to 5 hours of battery life)
  • Dimensions –  190 x 190 x 30mm
  • Weight – 607 grams

Intel_Education_Router_PortsThe system runs Ubuntu 12.04. The optional 500GB hard drive includes 400GB of preloaded content, and educator can use the remaining 100GB to add their own content via the USB 3.0 port.

Price and availability details have not been released by Intel. You may want to check out Intel Education Content Access Point product page for a few more details.

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Antutu Benchmark – Rockchip RK3288 (ARM) vs Intel Atom Z3735F

January 21st, 2015 21 comments

Most ARM mini PCs run Android, while mini PCs based on Intel Atom Z3735F currently all ship with Windows 8.1, so it makes comparison difficult. But since Linuxium posted triple boot instructions (Ubuntu, Android, Windows 10) for MeegoPad T01, he’s also run Antutu 5.6 on the platform, so we’ve got a comparison point. The Android image used in the Intel platform is Android-x86, and may not have been optimized for Bay Trail yet, so even though the comparison may not be perfect, it could still be interesting to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the Intel processor, against one of the fastest ARM processor found in mini PCs: Rockchip RK3288.

Rockchip_RK3288_vs_Intel_Atom_Z3735FI’ll use the Antutu 5.3 score I got with Open Hour Chameleon as a reference point.

Rockchip RK3288 Intel Atom Z3735F Delta
CPU Quad core Cortex A17 @ 2.0 GHz Quad core @ 1.33 GHz (Burst 1.83GHz)
GPU ARM Mali-T764 Intel HD Graphics Gen 7
Antutu 5.x
Overall 36525 29851 -18.27%
Multitask 5906 3947 -33.17%
Runtime 2039 2064 1.23%
RAM Ops 2487 2158 -13.23%
RAM Speed 2985 3281 9.92%
CPU Integer (multi-thread) 2414 3035 25.72%
CPU float-point (multi-thread) 3515 2984 -15.11%
CPU Integer (single thread) 1455 1572 8.04%
CPU float-point (single thread) 1893 1696 -10.41%
2D Graphics (1920×1080) 1447 1346 -6.98%
3D Graphics (1920×1080) 11108 5904 -46.85%

It would have been nice to have data from other benchmarks too, but I could not find results yet. The red results indicate the Intel SoC is slower than the Rockchip one, and the green ones where the Intel SoC outperforms. 3D graphics is where the Intel GPU shows its limitation against the Mali-T764, which according to Antutu is about twice as fast. For some reasons multi-tasking shows a relatively poor result too. Z3735F has significantly better integer performance, but floating point is not as good. But overall performance between the two should not be that noticeable for end users, except possibly for 3D games.

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Intel Curie Board Designed for Wearables is Powered by Quark SE SoC

January 7th, 2015 3 comments

Intel announced the Edison board at CES 2014, a board targetting wearables and IoT applications about the size of an SD card. At CES 2015, the company has gone smaller, by unveiling the button-sized Intel Curie module powered by a new Intel Quark SE SoC with a motion sensor, Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity and battery charging capabilities.

Intel_CurieIntel Curie specifications:

  • Low-power, 32-bit Intel Quark SE SoC
  • 384kB Flash memory, 80kB SRAM
  • Low-power integrated DSP sensor hub with a proprietary pattern matching accelerator
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Battery charging circuitry (PMIC)

The module runs an unnamed open source RTOS, and the company will provide IQ software kits for references applications for wearables, such as counting steps, apps for mobile device, and so on. Intel Curie is  expected to be found in smart products such as rings, bags, bracelets, pendants, fitness trackers and buttons.

There’s basically no other information about Quark SE SoC per se, but Intel said it will ship in the second half of this year in the Intel Curie module. You an check the Fact Sheet for a few more details.

Via Connectedly

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Intel Compute Stick HDMI TV Dongle Runs Windows or Ubuntu for as Low as $89

January 7th, 2015 9 comments

People got really interested in low cost small factor Intel devices at the end of the year, and one of my article about MeegoPad T01, an HDMI TV Stick powered by an Intel Atom Z3735F processor, even made it to the top 10 posts of 2014 on this blog. But instead of simply relying on partners, Intel had decided to enter the fray with Intel Compute Stick that will run Windows or Ubuntu on an Atom Bay Trail processor.

Intel_Compute_StickThere will actually be two versions of the hardware one for Windows 8.1 with Bing with 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage, and one for Linux with 1GB RAM, and 8G Storage. Intel Compute Stick preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed Intel Atom “Bay Trail” processor
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM (Windows) or 1 GB RAM (Linux)
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC (Windows) or 8 GB eMMC (Linux) + micro SD slot up
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port for power
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions and Weight – N/A

The Intel HDMI sticks will start selling in Q1 2015 for $149 for the Windows 8.1 version, and $89 for the Ubuntu version. More details should eventually shown up on Intel Computer Stick product page.

Via Liliputing.

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Linux Benchmarks – Rockchip RK3288 vs Exynos 5422 vs AllWinner A80 vs Intel Atom Z3735F

January 2nd, 2015 14 comments

With all these Intel Atom Z3735F been released right now at a price similar to ARM based mini PCs, many people, including myself, are wondering about the performance of the low cost Intel processor against their ARM competitors. Ian Morrison just published some results from Phoronix Test Suite comparing the performance of  Firefly-RK3288 (Rockchip RK3288), ODROID-XU3 Lite (Samsung Exynos 5422 BIN2), and A80 OptimusBoard (Allwinner A80) in Linux (Ununtu 12.04.5), against the performance of MeegoPad T01 (Intel Atom Z3735F) running Linux from a Live CD on a USB drive.

Intel_Z3735_Benchmark_vs_ARMSome of the benchmarks failed because Phoronix Test Suite got apparently confused with the file systems located on a USB drive, but at least we’ve got a comparison point, and the results are a bit confusing, as they’re no clear winner. In some tests like FFmpeg, the Intel SoC really crushed the ARM competition being at least twice as fast as Exynos 5422, and about four times faster than RK328 and A80, maybe because of x86 multimedia extensions (SSE4), while in the CLOMP (OpenMP) benchmark it’s the slowest processor, even 6 times slower than on Rockchip RK3288. But overall, Intel Atom Z3735F seems to be a very good performer. We’ll also have to see some GPU benchmark (in Android) to compare these two ARM and x86 SoCs.

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Vensmile iPC002 is an Ultra Thin Windows 8.1 mini PC with a 7,000 mAh Battery

December 26th, 2014 30 comments

Several mini PCs and sticks based on Intel Atom Z3735f/g tablet processors have been announced in the last few months, including MeegoPad T01 and MINIX NEO Z64. But iPC002 introduced to me by VISSON, is a little different, as it includes most features of a tablet with a thin form factor, and an internal battery, but the display, and adds full sized USB ports.

iPC002iPC002 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F  “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics Gen 7 (2W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio I/O – micro HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, and built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG 2.0 port
  • Misc – Volume Up/Down Key, Power Key , Home key
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port, 7000 mAh battery good for 3 hours of 1080p video playback.
  • Dimensions – 148 x 79 x 9.2 mm
  • Weight – 210 grams

The system only runs Windows 8.1, and I’ve been told a dual boot Windows/Linux image was in development but has been dropped because “it has many problems, and too slow”, which does not bode well for other dual boot Intel Bay Trail-T systems, or maybe the company did not want to invest resources into Linux development. A mobile app is also being developed which will let consumers use their phone as a wireless mouse, remote, and keyboard, as well as transfer files back and forth between the phone and the computer. A screen mirroring function will allow to see Windows 8.1 from your mobile device, which could make the battery a bit more useful. Intel is apparently actively involved in this project, or so I’m told. When I asked for a product page, I was provided a link to Amazon US for a product called Vensmile iPC002, but not yet for sale.

iPC002 looks exactly the same as Guleek i8 pre-sold on DealExtreme for $104, except it only comes with 16GB eMMC, and the battery has a 3,000 mAh capacity.

A reader on Liliputing suggested you could make a portable system with display by connecting the system to a 16″ USB powered LCD, so for $200 you can get some sort of portable computer with a sizable display.

Via AndroidPC.es, Freire, and Visson.

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Semtech LoRa SX1272 RF Module Enables Up to 30 KM Wireless Range for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Waspmote, and More

November 20th, 2014 1 comment

Libelium’s Waspmote is a board based on Atmel ATmega1281 MCU that interfaces with over 80 sensors, and various wireless communication modules, and targets professional wireless sensor network applications such as irrigation systems, smart metering, smart cities, smartphone detection, building automation, and so on. They have some professional kits for over 3,000 Euros including training, but a more affordable Starter Kit is also available for 199 Euros on Cooking Hacks. But I’m not going to cover Waspmote in details today. I just mention it because of an article on embedded.com mentioning compatibility with a Libelium / Semtech LoRa SX1272 RF module delivering up to 30km range in ideal conditions (and usually 22+ km range in LOS), and about 2km range in urban settings. I previously featured XBee-PRO 900HP RF Module with a 45km range, so the Semtech module is just another option, and it works not only with Waspmote, but also the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Intel Galileo boards. and possibly as well with boards featuring a Xbee socket. This type of modules are a good alternative to 3G/4G modules, as you don’t need to pay telcos, and these may be one of the only options in remote area without coverage and for high altitude applications.

Liberium SX1272 RF Module

Liberium SX1272 RF Module

Libelium SZ1272 RF module specifications:

  • RF Transceiver – Semtech SX1272 Long Range, Low Power RF Transceiver 860-1000MHz with LoRa.
  • Frequency Band
    • 863-870 MHz (Europe) with 8 channels
    • 902-928 MHz (US) with 13 channels
  • Transmission Power – 25 mW
  • Sensitivity – -134 dBm
  • Range –  LOS: 21km (13.4miles); NLOS: +2km (1.2miles)
  • Data Rate – Programmable bit rate up to 300 kbps

Complete documentation, and results of tests made in Paris and Zaragoza can be found in Waspmote LoRa 868MHz 915MHz SX1272 Networking Guide, and there’s also a tutorial which is especially useful if you want to connect the module to Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or Intel Galileo board.

LoRa_Raspberry_Pi_Arduino_Intel_Galileo

The module can be purchased for 45 Euros with a 4.5 dBi antenna either at 868 MHz or 915 MHz frequency. A shorter 0 dBi antenna is available for “smart parking” applications. But for the Raspberry Pi, you’d better purchase SX1272 LoRa Shield for Raspberry Pi for 85 Euros which includes all hardware needed, and for Arduino (compatible) boards, you’ll need to add the Multiprotocol Radio Shield for 33 Euros to the module. All these are available on Cooking Hacks website. If you want to try Lora with Waspmote instead, the complete kit sells for 147 Euros. It’s important to always use the antenna, or the module could be destroyed due to RF reflections, “said” the networking guide.

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Applied Micro X-Gene (64-bit ARM) vs Intel Xeon (64-bit x86) Performance and Power Usage

October 26th, 2014 5 comments

A group of researcher at CERN have evaluated Applied Micro X-Gene 1 64-bit ARM XC-1 development board against Intel Xeon E5-2650 and Xeon Phi SE10/7120 systems, and one of them, David Abdurachmanov, presented their findings at ACAT’ 14 conference (Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques) by listing some of the issues they had to port their software to 64-bit ARM, and performance efficiency of the three systems for data processing of High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments like those at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where performance-per-watt is important, as computing systems may scale to several hundred thousands cores.

HEP_Test_Systems_X-Gene_Intel_Xeon
Intel Xeon Phi platform based on Many Integrated Cores (MIC) computer architecture was launched the HPC market, and contrary to the table above features 61 physical cores. Applied X-Gene 1 (40nm process) was used instead of X-Gene 2 built on 28-nm process which was not available at the time. The ARM platform ran Fedora 19, whereas the Intel processor used Scientific Linux CERN 6.5.

The researchers run the CERN’s CMSSW applications for testing. Let’s jump to the results.

AOM_X-Gene_1_vs_Intel_XeonAs expected Intel Xeon processor and Phi coprocessor both have more performance than X-Gene 1 ARM SoC.

X-Gene_Intel_Xeon_Phi_Performance_Per_WattHowever, when it comes to performance-per-watt, APM X-Gene 1 is clearly ahead of Intel Xeon E5-2650 and there’s no comparison against Xeon Phi systems.

The conclusion of the report reads as follows:

We have built the software used by the CMS experiment at CERN, as well as portions of the OSG software stack, for ARMv8 64-bit. It has been made available in the official CMS software package repository and via the CVMFS distributed file system used by Grid sites.

Our initial validation has demonstrated that APM X-Gene 1 Server-on-Chip ARMv8 64-bit solution is a relevant and potentially interesting platform for heterogeneous high-density computing. In the absence of platform specific optimizations in the ARMv8 64-bit GCC compiler used, APM X-Gene 1 shows excellent promise that the APM X-Gene hardware will be a valid competitor to Intel Xeon in term of power efficiency as the software evolves. However, Intel Xeon Phi is a completely different category of product. As APM X-Gene 2 is being sampled right now, built on the TMSC 28nm process, we look forward to extending our work to include it into our comparison.

You can read the full report “Heterogeneous High Throughput Scientific Computing with APM X-Gene and Intel Xeon Phi” for details.

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