ZimaBoard Intel Apollo Lake SBC and micro server goes for $69.99 and up (Crowdfunding)

We’ve had our fair share of low-cost x86 SBCs in recent years, mostly based on Intel Cherry Trail processor, with the likes of Atomic Pi and Rock Pi X. Ice Whale Technology has come up with its own low-cost Intel single board computer with ZimaBoard “single board server” as it mostly has network storage applications in mind, but with a 4K capable mini DisplayPort connector it could also be used as a standard SBC or mini PC. There are two versions of the board both with Apollo Lake processors: ZimaBoard 216 with a dual-core Celeron N3350 coupled with 2GBRAM and 16GB eMMC flash, and ZimaBoard 832 powered by a quad-core Celeron N3450 with 8GB RAM and 32GB storage. Both ZimaBoard SBC shares most of the same specifications in terms of I/Os: SoC – ZimaBoard 216 – Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor @ 1.1/2.4GHz (Burst freq.) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 650 MHz (Burst freq.); […]

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Emini V6 mini PC integrates a tiny LCD display for CPU usage, temperature…

Emini V6 is a desktop mini PC powered by a 15W Intel Core i5-7200U Kaby Lake processor, that looks like most other comparable computers, except for one detail:  a tiny LCD display is integrated into one side of the case. At first, it seemed non-sensical, especially the photos should a Windows logo on the photos, but it made a little more sense once the company explained it was to display CPU usage, temperature, and other system information. Emini V6 (MR-V6-I5K72D4U-LCD) specifications: SoC – Intel Core i5-7200U dual-core Kaby Lake processor @ 2.5GHz / 3.1GHz with 3MB Cache, Intel HD Graphics 620; TDP: 15W System Memory – 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM slots up to 32GB RAM (dual-channel) Storage – M.2 2242 SSD and 2.5-inch SATA SSD support Video Output 1x HDMI 1.4a up to 4096 x 2304 @ 24Hz 1x mini DisplayPort (mDP) up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60Hz Display – Tiny LCD display (exact specs not provided) Audio Built-in Realtek […]

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ECS LIVA Q1A Arm mini PC runs Linux or Android on Rockchip RK3288 or RK3399 SoC

ECS started the LIVA Q product line of tiny mini PCs in 2017, and so far all were based on low power, affordable Intel processors including last year’s LIVA Q1L/Q1D mini PCs powered by Intel Celeron or Pentium Apollo Lake processors. But at CES 2021, ECS will showcase its first Arm-based LIVA mini PCs with LIVA Q1A and Q1A Plus respectively powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad-core Cortex-A17 SoC and RK3399 hexa-core Cortex-A72/A53 processor running Linux or Android. ECS LIVA Q1A / Q1A Plus specifications: SoC LIVA Q1A – Rockchip RK3288 quad-core Cortex-A17 processor @ up to 1.6 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU LIVA Q1A Plus – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores. and a Mali-T860MP4 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3-1600 Storage – 32GB (default) or 64GB eMMC flash,  1x MicroSD slot Video and audio output Both models – 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60 with CEC support (Please note RK3288 […]

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Security Tip – How to detect Juice Jacking on Android smartphones

A few years ago I wrote about the danger of “juice jacking” highlighting the security risks posed by USB charging in public places, where a bad actor could attempt to hack your phone or laptop to steal your precious data or install malware/ransomware. In most cases, there are no risks at home, but it’s when you charge your device in a public place notably an airport or train station that you could be at risk of hacking. If you’re using an Android phone, there’s an easy way to detect Juice Jacking, and whether something fishy is going on as shown in the screenshots below. On the left screenshot, I connect my phone to a USB charger, all that changed was the battery icon changed to show it’s charging. But on the right screenshot, I connected my smartphone to my laptop, and since it’s trying to access data, I’m offered three options: transfer photos, transfer files, or charge only. I suppose […]

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Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices,  but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first WiFi IoT RISC-V chips with ESP32-C3 and BL602, Alibaba making […]

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Pumpkin i500 SBC uses MediaTek i500 AIoT SoC for computer vision and AI Edge computing

MediaTek Rich IoT SDK v20.0 was released at the beginning of the year together with the announcement of Pumpkin i500 SBC with very few details except it would be powered by MediaTek i500 octa-core Cortex-A73/A55 processor and designed to support computer vision and AI Edge Computing. Pumpkin i500 hardware evaluation kit was initially scheduled to launch in February 2020, but it took much longer, and Seeed Studio has only just listed the board for $299.00. We also now know the full specifications for Pumpkin i500 SBC: SoC – MediaTek i500 octa-core processor with four Arm Cortex-A73 cores at up to 2.0 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores, an Arm Mali-G72 MP3 GPU, and dual-core Tensilica Vision P6 DSP/AI accelerator @ 525 MHz System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI connector Camera – Up to 25MP via MIPI CSI connector Video Decoding – 1080p60 H.264, H.265 / HEVC, MPEG-1/2/4 decoder, Encoding – 1080p30 H.264 […]

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KT R1 high-performance Amlogic S922X portable gaming console coming soon

Hardkernel recently unveiled plans to launch ODROID-Go Super portable retro-gaming console with a larger 5-inch display at the end of January. The console is still based on the relatively low-end Rockchip RK3326 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor coupled with just 1GB RAM found in ODROID-Go Advance. It does the job for the emulators targetted by the platform, but for a wider range of emulators, a faster processor, and more memory would be nice to have. That’s what the developers of KT R1 portable game console aim to achieve with a much more powerful Amlogic S922X hexa-core Cortex-A73/A55 processor and up to 4GB RAM. KT R1 preliminary specifications: SoC – Amlogic S922X hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, 2x Arm Cortex A53 cores @ 1.9 GHz, Arm Mali-G52MP4 GPU @ 846MHz; 12nm manufacturing process System Memory – 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM Storage – 16 to 128GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Display – 4-inch […]

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Banana Pi BPI-M5 SBC with 4GB RAM, 16GB flash launched for $53

Last September, we wrote Banana Pi team was working on an Amlogic S905X3 SBC called BPI-M5 and very similar to Hardkernel ODROID-C4 board launched in April 2020. At the time, we noted the Banana Pi BPI-M5 did add a 16GB eMMC flash on-board by default, while ODROID-C4 requires booting from a MicroSD card or a separate eMMC flash module. We also pointed out software and community support is usually much better for the ODROID board, and it was brought to our attention that BPI-M5 board uses 5V voltage only via USB-C, while the Hardkernel board support a wider 5.5V to 17V via a power barrel jack, and this could lead to potential power issue for customer connecting drives to USB 3.0 ports. The good news is that you can now buy Banana Pi BPI-M5 SBC on Aliexpress for $53 plus shipping. Banana Pi BPI-M5 specifications haven’t changed, and we can see the board compared to ODROID-C4 and Raspberry Pi 4 […]

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