Build a Raspberry Pi CM4 4-Bay NAS with Wiretrustee Carrier board

Wiretrustee SATA board Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

Broadcom BCM2711 processor comes with a PCIe interface that is used for the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, but that is exposed through the board-to-board connectors of Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, aka Raspberry Pi CM4, and allows all sort of designs. So far we’ve mostly seen this PCIe interface used for M.2 expansion slots on devices ranging from industrial computers to carrier board such as Piunora or Gumstix Raspberry Pi CM4 development board. But Wiretrustee had a different idea and designed carrier board with Marvell 88SE9215 PCIe to SATA controller and offering four SATA connectors to build a 4-bay NAS with Raspberry Pi CM4 module. Wiretrustee carrier board specifications: Supported SoM – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and 4 Lite Storage 4x SATA 2.0 via Marvell 88SE9215 (PCIe 2.0 x1 to 4 6Gb/s SATA ports, no HW RAID) chip tested at a write speed of ~220MB/s […]

Maypole MicroSD card reader comes with ESP32 for WiFi, smart storage (Crowdfunding)

Maypole ESP32 WiFi MicroSD Card Reader

Several years ago, we covered Zsun WiFi card reader a tiny USB card reader with WiFi and a battery that allowed users to access files via USB or WiFi from any device. People managed to hack the device and run OpenWrt on the little MicroSD card reader, but this required either to open the hardware and do some soldering, or use another method that could potentially brick the hardware, so not an ideal solution. But now Akshar Vastarpara has come with a similar device. Maypole is an open-source hardware MicroSD card reader powered by Espressif ESP32 processor providing both WiFi and the resources for smarter storage. It comes with an optional battery too to access files even without having to connect it to a USB port. Maypole hardware specifications: Storage – Swappable MicroSD cards up to 32GB Wireless Connectivity WiFi 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 via ESP32 WiSoC, Up to 4 […]

Arm Cortex-R82 is a Linux Capable, 64-bit Real-time Processor for Computational Storage Applications

Arm Cortex R82

Arm hast just unveiled Cortex-R82 64-bit real-time processor that is Linux-capable and designed for “next-generation enterprise and computational storage solutions”. What’s computation storage? To clearly understand what we’re dealing, let’s first find out what computational storage is via SNIA website: Computational Storage is defined as architectures that provide Computational Storage Services coupled to storage, offloading host processing, or reducing data movement. A Computational Storage Service (CSS) is a data service or information service that performs computation on data where the service and data are associated with a storage device. So If I understand correctly, so far all we asked from SSD’s, hard drives, and other storage, was to move and store data as fast as possible to a host device capable any analyzing the data. But computational storage brings this to the storage device itself, so we may soon have Smart Hard Drives that run Linux and do some of […]

Which Are the Most Reliable Hard Drives?

most reliable hard drives chart

All mechanical hard drives fail after a while. For consumers, it may not be that big of an issue as long as data is properly backed up, but for businesses, a higher failure rate may lead to extra maintenance costs and downtime. As a cloud storage company, Backblaze has lots of drive, and by a lot, we mean over 140,000 hard drives from different vendors, and they happen to provide quarterly and yearly updates to the failure rates of different drives. The latest one is for Q2 2020. Drive days represent the number of days, hard drives were operational during the period, basically drive count x (365/4) – maintenance/replacement days. AFR stands for “Annualized Failure Rate”. HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) was a manufacturer of hard drive acquired by Western Digital in 2012, but the company still sells HGST parts… More on that later. There were three drive models without […]

How to Fix Unreliable USB Hard Drives, Stalled Transfers in Linux

Fix USB Hard Drive Stalled Linux

Last June, I reviewed a Ryzen Embedded SBC with Windows 10, and the USB hard drive I normally use for review had all sorts of problems including very slow speeds and/or stalled transfers but no error messages. Last week, I tried again by installing Ubuntu 20.04 on the same Ryzen Embedded SBC, and the USB hard drive had troubles again, so just assume there were some hardware incompatibility issues between the SBC and the drive, and there may not be a fix or workaround. Sometimes, it’s indeed a hardware issue with the drive getting too many bad blocks, and if that’s the case, and the drive is still under warranty you can return it and get a fresh new (or refurbished) drive for free. But that drive was still working with my laptop getting around 100MB/s. So I ran out of ideas until numero53 commented he had similar problems with […]

MINIX Unveils USB-C Hub with 960GB SSD, 100W USB Charger

MINIX USB-C Hub with 480GB SSD, 100W USB Charger

MINIX, the Hong Kong company, is well-known for its Android media hubs and Windows 10 mini PC‘s but in recent years they’ve started designing accessories for Windows & Mac computers and laptops. In the past, we’ve checked out MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter, an M.2 SSD card pre-loaded Windows 10 Pro for N42C-4 Mini PC, and another USB-C hub with integrated 120 or 240GB SSD. The company has now unveiled four new accessories with three USB-C hubs, including one with a 480GB or 960GB SSD, and one compact 100W USB charger using the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology. This morning, I received two pairs of USB-C hubs with different colors and two 100W USB chargers. The model I did not get – MINIX NEO Storage Pro – is specifically made for Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with built-in SSD storage, HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, […]

WCH CH569 RISC-V SoC Offers USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, High-Speed SERDES & HSPI Interfaces


RISC-V open architecture has made its way into low-cost low power general purpose MCUs such as Gigadevices GD32V or WCH CH32V103, Western Digital hard drives, some AI processors notably Kendryte K210, and even Linux capable boards including Microsemi’s PolarFire SoC Icicle kit. But more applications featuring RISC-V architecture are coming with, for instance, WCH CH569 RISC-V processor featuring USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, DVP camera, and 1.25 SERDES block all managed by a RISC-V core clocked at 120 MHz. CH569 (and CH565) processor key features and specifications: CPU – RISC-V (RISC-V3A) core @ 120MHz with hardware multiplication and division, programmable interrupt controller, low-power two-stage pipeline Memory – 16KB 32-bit SRAM, 32/64/96KB configurable 128-bit SRAM Storage Internal – 448KB code flash, 32KB data flash External – SD/eMMC controller with single-wire, 4-wire, 8-wire data communication mode. Complies with eMMC card 4.4 and 4.5.1 specifications, and compatible with 5.0 specifications Networking – Gigabit Ethernet […]

Beelink GS-King X Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

Beelink GS-King X Review

Beelink GS-King X is a 3-in-1 media center that works as an Android 9.0 TV box, a NAS with support for two 3.5″ hard drives, and a HiFi audio system with two ESS9018 audio DACs powering RCA and balanced audio outputs. The company sent a review sample, and I’ll start by checking out the hardware and accessories, show how to install the hard drive(s), and attempt to tear down the device to check what it’s really made of. Beelink GS-King X Unboxing There’s no mention of TV box nor Android on the package, just “STORAGE” and DTS plus Dolby Audio… The bottom of the package lists the Beelink GS-King X specifications which we already discussed in our previous articles. There’s a red ribbon that helps to take the device out of its package. I wish more companies would do this. Accessories include the voice remote control, an HDMI cable, a […]

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