Right before Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017, GIGABYTE, Socionext and Linaro unveiled a development platform / PC based on Socionext SC2A11 24-core Arm Cortex A53 processor, and whose motherboard complies with 96Boards Enterprise Edition (EE) specifications.
George Grey, Linaro CEO, talked about Synquacer against during Linaro Connect HK 2018 opening keynote, notably to demo the platform combined with Gyrfalcon Light-speeur PCIe card delivering 93TOPS at relatively low power for artificial intelligence applications.
I wanted to find out if there were now updates with regards to software support, availability, and pricing. While searching for the product page, I found out it was now called “Edge Server SynQuacer E-Series“, and while GIGABYTE designed the board, they will probably not use their brand for this Arm PC, since it’s mostly a development platform, and not quite suited for end users.
“SC0FQAA-B” Synquacer E-Series kit (tentative) specifications:
- SoC – Socionext SynQuacer SC2A11 24x ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore cores @ up to 1GHz, with 32KB/32KB I/D L1 cache, 256 KB L2 cache, and 4MB L3 cache (5W TDP)
- System Memory
- 1x 4GB DDR4-2133 UDIMM without ECC
- Total of 4x DIMM slots for 64-bit DDR4-2133Mbps with ECC up to 64GB
- Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.1 flash + 2x SATA interfaces ( 1TB HDD provided in kit)
- Graphics – ASUS Geforce GT 710 graphics card (to be inserted in PCIE x16 slot) with VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI video output
- Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
- USB – 4x USB 3.0 ports (but photo above shows 6x USB ports…)
- 1x PCIe x16 slot (limited to 4-lanes) for graphics card
- 2x PCIe x1 slots
- 40-pin 96Boards Low Speed expansion connector
- Debugging – 1x micro USB port for serial console
- Misc – Power button, power and activity LEDs, reset and power switches, configuration switches, RTC + battery
- Power Supply – 100V to 240V DC input up to 300 Watts max
- MicroATX board (96Board Enterprise compliant)
- Case: 323 x 322 x 140 mm
If you wonder about power consumption, while the chip is rated at 5V, the whole system consumes around 30 Watts at idle, and during the person detection demo at Linaro Connect with Gyrfalcon mPCIe it went up to 40 Watts.
Linaro/96Boards guys actually appear to refer to the thing as Developerbox as that’s what it is called in the Github Wiki, where you’ll find documentation to get started with the platform. An assembly guide is also provided, as you’ll have noticed from the specifications, the kit is not just comprised of the motherboard and chassis, but also ships with a 4GB DDR4 U-DIMM module, a 1TB WD hard drive, an ASUS GeForce graphics card, as well as necessary cables (SATA, 3x power), an I/O shield, and some manuals.
So where can you buy the kit, and for how much? Socionext Developer Kit is sold on Chip1Stop website for $1,250 and ships from Japan. Stock appears to be limited to 10 pieces, but at that price, only people who really need it will likely purchase the kit.
[Update: 96Boards Developerbox presentation / demo at Linaro Connect HK 2018