Smart Power 3 – A $45 smart power analysis tool for embedded systems developers

Smart Power 3

Hardkernel has launched a number of popular Arm SBC’s with the ODROID family over the years, but the Smart Power 3 is a different type of product, as the ESP32-based smart power meter can help embedded systems engineers optimize their hardware and software power consumption and/or check for spurious power peaks during boot up or shutdowns. In the past, we’ve reviewed relatively expansive tools like Qoitech Otii Arc or gone the DIY route,  but at $45, Hardkernel offers a power monitoring solution that’s both inexpensive and easy to use, albeit with fewer features than Qoitech’s device. Smart Power 3 specifications: MCU – ESP32 dual-core microcontroller via ESP32-WROOM-32E module Output Channels – 2x output channels (Max 50W + 50W) via 2x 4mm banana jacks each Output Voltage – 3V DC to input voltage – 1V Output Current – 3A max per channel Measurement Voltage, Current, Power Maximum sampling rate: 200Hz (5msec […]

ODROID-H2+ SBC discontinued due to supply shortage

ODROID-H2+ discontinued

Hardkernel has just discontinued ODROID-H2+ single board computer based on the Intel Celeron J4115 Gemini Lake Refresh processor, which followed ODROID-H2 SBC itself being discontinued shortly after Intel decided to phase out Intel J4105 and other Gemini Lake processors. The reason given is the “uncertain situation of main component supply”, which could mean Celeron J4115 processor is hard to get (or expensive), or the Realtek RTL8125B chipset provides 2.5GbE networking. That means Hardkernel does not offer any x86 SBC at this time. That’s a shame before ODROID-H2+ was a well-supported SBC running Linux or Windows, and great value for money at $119, especially for people interested in the two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports found on the board (and upgradeable to six), not to mention support for SO-DIMM memory and M.2 NVMe SSD. Update: There were multiple components with very long lead times that must have contributed to the situation as […]

ODROID-N2+ SBC gets Ubuntu 21.10, Chromium OS with Panfrost open-source GPU driver

ODROID-N2+ running Ubuntu 21.10 with Panfrost

Panfrost open-source driver for Arm Mali Bifrost and Midgard GPUs has come a long way, and Hardkernel’s ODROID-N2+ board now supports Ubuntu 21.10 and Chromium OS with 3D graphics acceleration through the Panfrost driver. As a reminder, ODROID-N2+ is a single board computer powered by an Amlogic S922X Rev.C processor clocked at 2.4GHz with an Arm Mali-G52 GPU, with up to 4GB RAM, and which comes with HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, plus a GPIO header. ODROID-N2+ with Ubuntu 21.10 + Panfrost Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indiri is supposed to be released on October 14, 2021 together with Gnome 40, but Hardkernel released a development version as early as August, with Linux 5.14 and Panfrost GPU acceleration as you can see from the screenshot above. The Ubuntu 21.10 image for ODROID-N2+ and the earlier ODROID-N2 SBC cannot be found in the Wiki just yet, but should be there […]

The 5 best Intel & AMD single board computers for makers

Best Intel AMD single board computers for makers

A few weeks ago, we wrote a list of what we consider to be the top 5 most powerful Arm SBC’s and development kits, and this time around we’ll cover x86 SBC’s powered by Intel or AMD processors. But this time around, instead of focusing on the most powerful x86 single board computers which would lead to unaffordable, industrial Xeon SBC’s, we’ll be looking into the 5 best boards designed for makers. That means affordable pricing, I/O headers, and community support. The list is in no particular order. Rock Pi X – x86 on the cheap If you ever wanted the cheapest possible x86 board, Atomic Pi SBC $35 price tag was hard to beat, but it was only cheap because it was sourced from a failed robotics project, and not very convenient to use. But now in 2021, the cheapest x86 SBC that can run Windows is clearly Rock […]

Chip shortage and high prices threaten supplies of SBCs and other electronics products

chips shortage

A few weeks ago, we started to hear news about a chip shortage for the automotive industry, but the shortage appears to be affecting all sectors now apparently due to a drought in Taiwan where a reservoir could be a risk of being depleted, and TSMC has been asked to reduce its water usage by 7 percent. I’ve also started to see several companies in the maker market warn about shortages and price increases. Pine64 announced it would only open pre-order for PinePhone, PinebookPro, PineTab, and other products once they could secure stocks of components, and while they hope to be able to do so within this month, there’s no guarantee. (1/2) [PSA] Re. availability of #PinePhone, #PinebookPro, #PineTab, etc., Due to component shortages, component price-increases & related issues, we will only open orders/pre-orders when production is securely underway. We are more cautious than usual, also for your sake (…) […]

H2 Net Card adds four 2.5 GbE ports to ODROID-H2/H2+ SBC

H2 Net Card

ODROID-H2+ is already a cool single board computer with an Intel Gemini Lake Refresh processor, up to 32GB RAM, dual 2.5GbE networking, support for SATA and NVMe storage, dual 4K video output, and more. But in recent days, I’ve read people complaining recently announced WiFI 6 or WiFi 6E routers only had one 2.5 Gbps or 5 Gbps Ethernet jack and wanted all/more RJ45 connectors to be 2.5 GbE ports or greater. But if even the two 2.5GbE ports on ODROID-H2+ are not quite enough for your needs, Hardkernel H2 Net Card triples that amount by adding four extra 2.5 GbE to the x86 SBC. It also works on ODROID-H2, meaning you’d get the existing dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, plus the four 2.5GbE ports from the M.2 card. There’s no much in the way of specifications for H2 Net Card: 4x Ethernet ports up to 2.5 GbE via RTL8125 controller. […]

Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

CNX Software Year 2021

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 […]

ODROID-Go Super Ubuntu portable gaming console gets a larger 5-inch display

ODROID-Go Super

Hardkernel introduced ODROID-Go ESP32-based portable gaming console in 2018. The following year, the Korean company went up the scale with  ODROID-Go Advance (aka OGA) running Linux on Rockchip RK3326 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor. We’ve now got a new 2020 announcement with ODROID-Go Super (OGS) with most of the same specifications as OGA, but a larger 5-inch 854×480 display replacing the 3.5-inch 480×320 display, a higher capacity battery, and the addition of a second analog joystick and dedicated volume buttons. ODROID-Go Super (preliminary) specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3326 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ 1.3GHz with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3L @ 786Mhz, 32 Bits bus width Storage – 16MB SPI Flash for bootloader, push-push Micro SD Card slot (UHS-1 Capable interface) Display – 5-inch 854×480 TFT LCD (MIPI-DSI interface) Audio – 3.5mm earphone stereo jack, 0.5Watt 8Ω Mono speaker USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port Buttons – F1, […]