Pine64 mailbag – PinePhone postmarketOS Edition, PineCone BL602 board, and Pinecil soldering iron

Pine64 community was pretty busy last year with the launch of several products. Recently I’ve received a couple of packages with some of those products, namely PinePhone Community Edition: PostmarketOS, PineCone WiFi & BLE IoT board based on BL602 RISC-V SoC, and Pinecil soldering iron also based on a RISC-V chip for control, but this time GD32V generic-purpose MCU. I’ll most show what I have received without going into too many details, except for PinePhone which I have already set up and used for one hour or so. PineCone BL602 board I received PineCone at the end of last year in a separate envelope with the board only. There’s not much to it with the BL602 processor offering WiFI and Bluetooth, a USB-C port for programming and power, and a few I/Os. The board is interesting as it is the first RISC-V IoT board with wireless connectivity built into the chip. There’s an SDK, but it’s not yet an easy-to-use […]

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$119+ BeagleV powerful, open-hardware RISC-V Linux SBC targets AI applications

Running Linux on RISC-V hardware is already possible, but you’d have a choice of low-end platforms like Kendryte K210 that’s not really practical for anything, or higher-end board like SiFive HiFive Unmatched or PolarBerry for which you’d have to spend several hundred dollars, or even over one thousand dollars to have a complete system. So an affordable, usable RISC-V Linux SBC is clearly needed. We previously wrote about an upcoming Allwinner RISC-V Linux SBC that will be mostly useful for camera applications without 3D GPU, and a maximum of 256MB RAM. But today, we have excellent news, as the BeagleBoard.org foundation, Seeed Studio, and Chinese fabless silicon vendor Starfive partnered to design and launch the BeagleV SBC (pronounced Beagle Five) powered by StarFive JH7100 dual-core SiFive U74 RISC-V processor with Vision DSP, NVDLA engine, and neural network engine for AI acceleration. BeagleV specifications: SoC – StarFive JH7100 Vision SoC with: RISC-V U74 dual-core with 2MB L2 cache @ 1.5 GHz […]

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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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2.5-inch “Industrial Pi” Pico-ITX SBC offers PoE , mini DP++ port

Taiwan based DFI has launched the AL05P “Industrial Pi + PoE” 2.5-inch Pico-ITX SBC powered by an Apollo Lake processor that reminds me of last year’s DFI GHF51 SBC based on AMD Ryzen Embedded R1606G processor but with a larger, and more standard form factor that’s also part of the “Industrial Pi” family. The board also comes with 4GB RAM, up to 64GB eMMC, a mini DisplayPort video output, two USB 3.1 ports, Gigabit Ethernet with isolated PoE, a mini-PCIe, and more. DFI AL05P SBC specifications: SoC (one or the other) Intel Atom x5-E3940 quad-core processor @ 1.6/1.8 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics; 9.5W TDP Intel Atom x5-E3930 dual-core processor @ 1.3/1.8 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics; 6.5W TDP Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core processor @ 1.1/2.5 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics; 6W TDP Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor @ 1.1/2.4 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics6W TDP System Memory – Up to 4GB […]

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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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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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OAS software now supports Raspberry Pi 4 for Industry 4.0 solutions

A week before the announcement that Raspberry Pi supported industrial customers through several new services, including a dedicated website for the industry and the Raspberry Pi Approved Design Partners program, OAS announced support for deploying the Open Automation Software Platform on Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB or 8GB of memory. The solution enables the low-cost scaling of operations and “reliable on-site data logging in remote locations with limited power and connectivity”. As you may know… or not, OAS has provided IIoT solutions for the last 20 years and is widely used since the company offers secure moving of data from one location to another. Network Configuration Possibilities The platform offers support for Windows PC/Server, Windows Embedded, Windows IoT, Linux Server, Virtual Machines (Win/Linux), Raspberry Pi 4, and Docker Containers (Win/Linux). “These systems can be networked together and share data creating endless network configuration possibilities”. The OAS platform running on the Raspberry Pi 4 has opened various new possibilities, one of […]

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