$150 Axelera M.2 AI accelerator module claims to deliver up to 214 TOPS

Axelera M.2 AI accelerator

Axelera M.2 AI accelerator module is said to deliver up to 214 TOPS of AI inference and up to 3200 FPS with ResNet -50 in a compact M.2 2280 form factor. Few details are available at this time, but the module is based on the company’s Metis AIPU (AI Processing Unit) using in-memory computing based on arrays of SRAM memory devices used to “store a matrix and perform matrix-vector multiplications “in-place” without intermediate movement of data”. This technology is said to “radically” increase the number of operations per computer cycle with without suffering from issues such as noise or lower accuracy. The Metis AI platform delivers 50+ TOPS per core (RISC-V-controlled dataflow engine), offers FP32 equivalent accuracy, and has a 15 TOPS/W energy efficiency. The last point is impressive, but that means 214 TOPS won’t be reachable with the module shown above, since the M.2 form factor is designed to […]

Credit card-sized COM-HPC Mini modules to support PCIe Gen4 and Gen5 interfaces


PICMG has announced that the COM-HPC Mini form factor’s pinout and dimensions definitions were finalized, with the tiny credit card-sized modules able to handle PCIe Gen4 and Gen5 interfaces, of course, depending on whether the selected CPU supports those. The COM-HPC “High-Performance Computing” form factor was created a few years ago due to the lack of interfaces on the COM Express form factor with “only” 440-pins and potential issues to handle PCIe Gen 4 clock speeds and throughputs. So far, we had COM-HPC Client Type modules from 95 x 120mm (Size A) to 160 x 120mm (Size C) and Server Type modules with either 160 x 160mm (Size D) or 200 x 160mm (Size E) dimensions. The COM-HPC Mini brings a smaller (95 x 60 mm) credit card-sized form factor to the COM-HPC standard. The way they cut the size of the COM-HPC Size A form factor by half was […]

Intel Horse Creek platform showcased with SiFive P550 RISC-V CPU, 8GB DDR5, PCIe Gen5

Horse Creek Features

When SiFive introduced its Performance P550 64-bit RISC-V processor in 2021, we were told that Intel would use it in the Horse Creek platform with “leading-edge interface IP such as DDR and PCIe” and manufactured with Intel’s 7nm process. We now have more details about the Horse Creek platform, as a development board was showcased for the first time in public at the Intel Innovation 2022 Developer Conference, and according to a report by Wikichip, the Cortex-A75 class quad-core RISC-V processor runs at up to 2.2 GHz, supports DDR5-5600 memory and eight PCIe 5.0 lanes, and was taped out with Intel 4 process. Horse Creek platform specifications: CPU – SiFive P500 quad-core RISC-V processor @ up to 2.2 GHz with a 13-stage, 3-issue, out-of-order (OoO) pipeline, private L2 cache, and common L3 cache Memory – DDR5-5600 interface PCIe – PCIe Gen5 through Intel’s PCIe PHY with 8 lanes, Synopsys PCIe […]

Radxa CM5 – A Rockchip RK3588S module (somewhat) compatible with Raspberry Pi CM4

Radxa CM5

Radxa has been working on the ROCK 5 Compute Module (aka Radxa CM5) system-on-module compatible with Raspberry Pi CM4, but based on the more powerful Rockchip RK3588S octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 SoC. Just like the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, it comes in a 55 x 40mm form factor, but instead of just two high-density 100-pin board-to-board connectors, the module includes three to cater for the additional I/Os from the Rockchip processor, just like they did for the Radxa CM3 equipped with a Rockchip RK3566 processor. Radxa CM5 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3588S octa-core processor with 4x Cortex‑A76  cores @ up to 2.4GHz, 4x Cortex‑A55 core @ 1.8GHz Arm Mali-G610 MP4 “Odin” GPU Video decoder – 8Kp60 H.265, VP9, AVS2, 8Kp30 H.264 AVC/MVC, 4Kp60 AV1, 1080p60 MPEG-2/-1, VC-1, VP8 Video encoder – 8Kp30 H.265/H.264 video encoder 6 TOPS NPU System Memory – 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB LPDDR4x‑4224 SDRAM Storage – Optional 8GB, […]

USB4 Version 2.0 to enable speeds of up to 80 Gbps, introduce “active” USB cables

USB4 Version 2 80Gbps

The USB Promoter Group has just pushed a press release about the “pending release” of the USB4 Version 2.0 specification that promises up to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. The group also explains both the USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated, and everything will be published right before the USB DevDays developer events planned for November 2022 in the US and South Korea. So that’s basically an announcement about a future announcement, but we were still provided with some highlights of the upcoming USB4 v2 specification: Up to 80 Gbps operation based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly-defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables. Updates to data and display protocols to better use the increase in available bandwidth. USB data architecture updates now enable USB 3.2 […]

StarFive JH7110 RISC-V processor specifications released

StarFive JH7110 block diagram

With the Star64 and VisionFive 2 single board computers, we’ve already got two hardware platforms based on the StarFive JH7110 quad-core RISC-V processor, but somehow we did not get the detailed specifications of the new processor, and some details such as the presence of AI accelerators or exact PCIe specifications were lacking. Some documentation for the StarFive JH7110 processor has been released and answers some of those questions. It’s actually an SoC with six RISC-V cores, of which four 64-bit RISC-V cores run the main OS, plus a 64-bit RISC-V monitoring core, and a 32-bit RISC-V real-time core. The AI accelerators found in the JH7100 (Neural Network Engine and NVDLA) appear to be gone for good, and there are two 1-lane PCIe 2.0 interfaces up to 5 Gbps each. StarFive JH7110 specifications: CPU sub-system Quad-core 64-bit RISC-V SiFive U74 (RV64GC) processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with 32KB D-Cache, 32KB […]

Firefly ITX-3568JQ – A Mini-ITX motherboard with Rockchip RK3568 CPU

Rockchip RK3568 mini-ITX motherboard

Firefly ITX3588J mini-ITX motherboard with Rockchip RK3588 SoC now has a little sister/brother based on Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor called ITX-3568JQ, and designed to power Arm PCs, cloud terminals, industrial controllers, edge computers, advanced NVR, NAS devices, and more. The motherboard supports up to 8GB RAM, 128GB eMMC flash, offers SATA storage, dual Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 6, optional 4G or 5G cellular connectivity, can handle up to three independent displays, and offers plenty of I/O options including an RS232/RS485 DB9 connector and a PCIe slot. Firefly ITX-3568JQ specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3568J quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G52-2EE GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1, 1.0 TOPS NPU, 8MP ISP, 4Kp60 video decoding, 1080p60 H.265/H.264 video encoding System Memory – 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4 Storage 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB eMMC flash 16MB SPI flash 1x […]

Mini review of ORICO “USB 4.0” M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure

Orico USB 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure review

ORICO has sent me a sample of a USB 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure for review, which was timely as I did not have a fast USB storage option for testing. In this post, I’ll check out the hardware, show how to install an NVMe SSD, and test performance in UP Xtreme i11 mini PC since it happens to come with a USB4 port. ORICO USB 4.0 M.2 SSD enclosure specs and unboxing The exact model I received is the ORICO M234C3-U4 with a Rose Gold aluminum enclosure (107x50x17mm), supporting M.2 M-Key and B+M Key 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 SSDs (more on that later), and offering up to 40 Gbps through its USB 4.0 port. The device ships with a USB Type-C to USB Type-C/Type-A cable, a thermal pad, a heatsink, two screws, and a multilingual user manual. There’s only one USB Type-C port one the device. M.2 NVMe SSD […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative