Centaur Unveils an x86 SoC with Integrated AI Coprocessor

Centaur x86 AI NCORE

Artificial intelligence is handled at different levels in the ecosystem with ultra-powerful systems in the cloud equipped with dedicated hardware such as FPGA or GPU cards, while on the other side of the spectrum we have Arm or RISC-V based processor with AI accelerator for low power systems like smartphones or battery-powered smart cameras. Centaur Technology aims to provide a solution catering to the middle segment of devices that don’t need ultra-low power consumption, nor the highest possible peak performance, but still require a relatively compact form factor and low costs. Their solution is a still-unnamed octa-core x86 processor featuring Centaur NCORE AI coprocessor. SoC with built-in NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) is pretty common in the Arm and RISC-V world, but it’s apparently a world’s first in the x86 space since existing solutions are all based on external accelerators. Key features of the Centaur x86 AI processor: x86 microprocessor with high instructions/clock (IPC) Microarchitecture designed for server-class applications with extensions …

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Bangle.js is an Hackable, Open Source JavaScript and TensorFlow-driven Smartwatch (Crowdfunding)

Espruino brought JavasScript to the Microcontroller, now Bangle.js is bringing Javascript plus TensorFlow Lite to your smartwatch. There has been some movement by some developers that says that JavaScript should be used for everything, even though I find that idea ridiculous, I still find JavaScript a fascinating language. The NeaForm Research team and Gordon Williams (the brain behind Espruino) have all teamed up in launching Bangle.js Smartwatch. Bangle.js isn’t your ordinary smartwatch, at the heart of it is the open-source ecosystem. JavaScript plus TensorFlow Lite and of course, a cool looking Smartwatch is what Bangle.js is offering. Bangle.js was launched at the recently concluded NodeConf EU conference, and the goal is to bootstrap an Open Health Platform hopefully. NodeWatch is the specific implementation of Bangle.js for NodeConf EU 2019, co-developed by Espruino and NearForm Research. This project has the potential to bootstrap a community-driven open health platform where anyone can build or use any compatible device and everyone owns their …

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Orange Pi 4/4B SBC Comes with Rockchip RK3399 SoC, Gyrfalcon 2801S NPU

Shenzhen Xunlong Software’s Orange Pi RK3399 single board computer launched in early 2018 with 2GB RAM for $109, and earlier this year, the company launched an updated version with 4GB RAM and a lower $99.96 price tag. But there are plenty Rockchip RK3399 SBC’s on the market, including FrienglyELEC NanoPi M4 going for $50 and up ($75 with 4GB RAM), and Pine64 RockPro64 board starting at $59.99 with 2GB RAM, and $79.99 with 4GB. So unless you need the extra features (HDMI Input, SATA port, mPCIe socket…) offered by Orange Pi RK3399, other boards may be more competitive. So the company has been working on lowering the cost with a smaller board. Meet Orange Pi 4. They’ve also provided some extra features with a variant of the board called Orange Pi 4B that adds a Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2801S AI accelerator chip/NPU. That says a lot that neither Rockchip RK3399Pro SoC nor Rockchip RK1808 NPU were used in Orange Pi 4B …

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Some FUJITSU FUTRO Thin Clients are Powered by Intel Gemini Lake Refresh SoC’s

Fujitsu FUTRO-Gemini Lake Refresh Thin -Client

Six new Intel Gemini Lake Refresh processors were just announced a couple of weeks ago, and some of the first systems to feature the processor are part of FUJTISU Thin Client FUTRO family. Three models based on the new processors have been introduced with namely FUTRO S9010, S7010, and S5010 thin clients, all passively-cooled, running either eLux RP or Windows 10 IoT Entreprise, and equipped with SO-DIMM slots, M.2 SSD storage, six USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and two DisplayPort outputs. Beside the processor, the three thin clients share mostly share the same specifications, especially S5010 and S7010, and S9010 does add a few features: SoC FUTRO S9010 – Intel Pentium Silver J5040 quad-core GLK Refresh processor @ 2.0 GHz (up to 3.2 GHz) with Intel UHD Graphics 605; 10W TDP FUTRO S7010 – Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core GLK Refresh processor @  2.0 GHz (up to 2.7 GHz) with Intel UHD Graphics 600 ; 10W TDP FUTRO S5010 – Intel Celeron …

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Nordic Semi nRF5340 Dual Arm Cortex-M33 SoC Supports Bluetooth 5.1/Mesh, NFC, Thread & Zigbee

After introducing nRF52833 WiSoC with Bluetooth 5.1 direction-finding support last month, Nordic Semiconductors has now launched another multi-protocol wireless SoC with nRF5340 featuring two Arm Cortex-M33 cores and supporting Bluetooth 5.1, Bluetooth Mesh, NFC, Thread & Zigbee. One of the Cortex-M33 is an application core incorporating  1 MB Flash and 512 KB RAM, as well as Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone technology, and Secure Key Storage for the highest level of security, and the other Cortex-M33 core is used for networking functions.  The company also announced nRF5340 PDK to get started with the new WiSoC. nRF5340 Dual-Core Multiprotocol SoC Key features and specifications: CPU Application core  – Arm Cortex-M33 @ 128/64 MHz with 1 MB Flash + 512 KB RAM, 8 KB 2-way set associative cache; CoreMark: 510/255; CoreMark/mA: 65/76 Network core –  Arm Cortex-M33 @ 64 MHz with 256 KB Flash + 64 KB RAM, 2 KB instruction cache; CoreMark: 238; CoreMark/mA: 101 Wireless Protocol support – Bluetooth 5.1 LE …

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PinePhone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition Linux Smartphone is Now Available for $150

Pinephone

Pinephone is a Linux smartphone powered by an Allwinner A64 processor, and running one of the various Linux mobile distributions such as PostmarketOS or Ubuntu Touch among others. Last time we wrote about Pinephone mass-production schedule, the phone was expected to start shipping in October, and there has been a slight delay, but the good news is that Pinephone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition is now up for sale for $149.99. Note this batch is for enthusiasts as the phone may have some defects, and comes without operating system with the users having to flash it themselves. Pinephone specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash,  MicroSD Card (SDHC/SDXC) up to 2TB Display – 5.95″ IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1440×720 resolution Audio – Mono loudspeaker, 3.5mm stereo audio jack with mic support Cameras 5MP rear camera with 1/4″ sensor, LED Flash 2MP …

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Mudi is a Tor & VPN Enabled Portable 4G LTE WiFi Router (Crowdfunding)

Mudi VPN Portable 4G Router

GL.inet has made routers for a long time, and its latest product is called Mudi which they promote as a “4G LTE Privacy Router for Road Warriors”. Mudi is battery-powered, and designed to improve security and privacy compared to using only public WiFi access points, and comes with Tor and VPN support – the latter turned on/off with a physical switch – out of the box. Mudi (GL-E750) hardware specifications: SoC – Qualcomm QCA9530 MIPS24Kc processor @ 650 MHz System Memory – 128MB DDR2 Storage – 16MB + 128MB flash + MicroSD card slot up to 128GB Connectivity WiFi 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4 up to 300 Mbps 5 GHz 802.11n/ac WiFi 5 up to 433 Mbps Cellular – 4G LTE Cat.6 or Cat.4 module + NanoSIM card slot USB – USB type-C port Display – OLED display Misc – Power button, VPN switch button Power Input – 5V/2A Power Consumption – > 6 Watts Battery – 7,000 mAh LiPo …

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X96 Link 2-in-1 Android TV Box & Router Combines Arm and MIPS Processors

X96 Link TV Box Router

Most TV boxes come with WiFi and/or Ethernet to access the Internet or local network in order to stream videos, but there are a few rare exceptions with TV boxes also acting as router such as Zome ZMT-330A we covered way back in 2014 with two Ethernet ports. Shenzhen Tomato informed me about another TV box router product dubbed Nut Link powered by Amlogic S905W processor and equipped with not two but three Ethernet ports. A quick web search reveals the device is better known as X96 Link and sells for as low as $39 shipped on sites like GearBest or Aliexpress. X96 Link specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905W quad-core Arm Cortex-A53  processor with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a port up to 4K @ 60 Hzm AV port for composite video and stereo audio Video Decoding – 4K H.265 up to 60 …

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