AAEON ARES-500AI embedded box PC features 22 TOPS Huawei Atlas 200 AI accelerator module

AAEON ARES-500AI embedded PC Huawei Atlas 200 AI module

ARES-500AI is another embedded box PC from AAEON, but instead of the usual Intel or NVIDIA Jetson accelerators, it integrates a Huawei Atlas 200 AI accelerator module based on the Ascent 310 chip delivering up to 22 TOPS of AI performance and is designed for the Chinese market. The Linux computer supports up to 8GB RAM, SSD and MicroSD storage, and is equipped with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, some USB 3.0 ports, but somehow no video output port. Designed for industrial computer vision applications, the system supports a wide 9V to 36V power input.   ARES-500AI Specifications: AI module –  Huawei Atlas 200 based on Ascend 310 with 22/16/8 TOPS INT8, 11/8/4 TFLOPS FP16 System Memory – 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4X Storage – SSD and microSD card sockets Video decoding H.265 & H.264 up to 16 channels @ 1080p30, up to 2 channels @ 4Kp60 JPEG decoding up to 1080p […]

OpenHarmony development board borrows BBC Micro:bit edge connector

OpenHarmony development board BBC micro bit

HopeRun’s HiHope development board features a HiSilicon Hi3861V100 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller compatible with OpenHarmony OS and looks very much like the BBC Micro:bit educational board notably with its edge connector. The board is also designed for youth education (in China) and comes with similar sensors, but there are some differences such as a 0.96-inch OLED instead of an LED matrix and support for offline voice recognition. There’s no wireless connectivity apart from NFC support. HiHope board specifications: MCU – HiSilicon Hi3861 32-bit microcontroller @ up to 160 MHz with 352 KB SRAM and 288 KB ROM, 2 MB flash memory Display – 0.96-inch OLED display with 128×64 resolution (SSD1306) Connectivity – NFC with R/W mode, card emulation,  and bidirectional mode USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming Sensors – Temperature & humidity sensor, light sensor, microphone, 6-axis motion sensor Expansion – Edge connector with 5x rings (3x […]

Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 OS works on RISC-V hardware

Ubuntu 22.04 Kylin OS RISC-V

China-developed Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 is now supporting RISC-V architecture with an image for HiFive Unmatched mini-ITX motherboard, and work will be done on an unnamed Starfive SBC that should be the VisionFive board with a GPUless JH7100 dual-core RISC-V SoC or an upgraded version with JH7110 SoC featuring an Imagination IMG BXE-4-32 GPU. You may have read recent reports about China asking government entities, including state-owned enterprises (SOE), to replace foreign hardware and software within a two-year period. So that means avoiding systems based on Intel and AMD processors, so working on RISC-V open architecture makes perfect sense, since over time, Chinese manufacturers should be able to make RISC-V SoCs and PCs based on those processors, albeit probably not within the next two years at any significant scale. Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 RISC-V, as well as the newly released Ubuntu Kylin 22.04 x86, can be found on the English download page […]

RM500U-CN Raspberry Pi 5G HAT kit sells for under $200… for the Chinese market

low-cost Raspberry Pi 5G HAT

Waveshare has introduced a new Raspberry Pi 5G HAT kit with a Quectel RM500U-CN 5G module, four antennas, and other accessories that sells for under $200, Raspberry Pi SBC not included. On the face of it, it looks like an incredible deal, considering we’ve previously covered two other 5G development kits for the Raspberry Pi, namely Waveshare SIM8200EA-M2 HAT with a Snapdragon X55 5G modem and Sixfab “Raspberry Pi 5G Development Kit” that sold for about $400 to $600. What’s the trick? It’s designed for the Chinese market. RM500U-CN Raspberry Pi 5G HAT kit content: Waveshare Raspberry Pi M.2 TO 4G/5G HAT Quectel RM500U-CN 5G M.2 module 4x antennas plus SMA protective caps and IPEX adapter cables USB 3.0 male to male cable 1x USB 3.0 adapter and 1x USB 2.0 adapter 40-pin header 5V/3A USB Type-C power adapter Screws pack We can find more details about the RM500U-CN module […]

COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns in Shenzhen and Hong Kong delay some projects

Coronavirus manufacturing china

This may read like January or February 2020 headlines with disruption to shipping and manufacturing in China due to a “new coronavirus”, but it’s happening again, particularly in Hong Kong and Shenzhen where COVID-19 case numbers have jumped and the governments have implemented strict measures to attempt to contain it. Since Shenzhen is a hub of electronics manufacturing and Hong Kong is often the gateway to those goods, we’ve received several reports of disruption and delayed projects. First, from Source Parts saying the Popcorn Computer will be further delayed in parts due to the COVID situation in Shenzhen: …Within a short period of time after cases suddenly began to rise, we noticed that more apartment complexes were undergoing mandatory lockdown. We started to stock up early on essentials including food and water. One day, the two nearby food markets we frequent were fully stocked in the morning and empty in […]

Beelink LZX – A Zhaoxin KX-6640MA based x86 Mini PC you may never see

Beelink LZX

Beyond Intel and AMD, there are other x86 processors in the wild from DM&P and Zhaoxin. We’ve written about the latter in a QNAP NAS earlier this year, but now it turns out there’s also a Zhaxin-based mini PC with Beelink LZX based on a Zhaoxin KX-6640MA quad-core x86 processor that showed up on Shopee Indonesia for 3.86 million Indonesian Rupiahs, or about $270 US. The computer comes with 8GB RAM by default but supports up to 64GB, as well as dual M.2 NVMe and SATA III storage,  two 4Kp60 capable HDMI ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and more. Beelink LZX specifications: SoC – Zhaoxin KX-6640MA quad-core processor @ 2.1 GHz / 2.6 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cache, C-960 Graphics (support 4K HD); TDP: 25W System Memory – 8GB DDR4 RAM upgradeable to 64GB via two SO-DIMM memory slots Storage – 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD, additional M.2 2280 slot for NVMe […]

Arm China appears to be fully independent of Arm

Arm China independent designs

Arm China (安谋科技) has apparently split from Arm Holdings in an interesting saga. Last year we noted Allwinner R329 processor featured Arm China AIPU with 256 MOPS. But this AI accelerator was nowhere to be found on the official Arm website, which seemed odd. But it appears there have been conflicts with and within Arm China for a while. Allen Wu, who was President of ARM Greater China, Member of the Executive Committee between 2014 and 2018, and has been Chairman and CEO, Arm Technology (China) since April 2018, has set up an investment fund called Alphatecture Hong Kong Ltd in 2019 in order invest in Bestechnic, an ARM licensee and developer of audio chips, reaping hundreds of dollars in profit for himself. Arm Technology (China)’s board of directors was not impressed and voted 7 to 1 on June 4, 2020 to dismiss him, but Allen refused to leave since […]

Shipping costs from China are going through the roof

China shipping costs

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had a worldwide chip shortage that increased the price of components, followed by long lead times. My Twitter feed is often filled with complaints of expensive components (e.g. STM32 being 10 times more expensive), and ever-increasing lead times of up to two years. But lockdowns and some governments paying people to stay home have completely messed up the supply chain, and with China having reopened a long time ago, many containers are shipping with products from China, only to return half-empty, or not at all.  This behavior can be seen in the US trade deficit that almost doubled in the last year or so, and freight rates have gone through the roof for a while, but especially in the recent weeks/months.   The chart above shows a container rate of over $10,000 for a 40-foot box from just around $2,000 for years, or […]