x86 system-on-module features 1GHz DM&P Vortex86DX3 processor

Vortex86DX3 x86 system-on-module

DM&P Vortex86DX3 is an x86 embedded processor launched in 2015 that we’ve previously found in single board computers and mini PCs, but I’ve just noticed ICOP was offering the SOM304D3 system-on-module based on the single and dual-core versions of the Vortex86DX3 SoC. The SOM304D3 is available with 1 or 2GB DDR3 RAM, works in a wide temperature range (up to -40°C to +85°C), and is designed for space-constrained industrial applications, especially those requiring legacy interfaces like ISA, IDE, and/or a parallel port (aka printer port). SOM304D3 specifications: SoC – DM&P Vortex86DX3 single or dual-core x86 processor @ 1 GHz, 2D GPU System Memory – 1GB or 2GB DDR3 Storage – Optional 4GB eMMC flash; SPI flash for AMI BIOS 4x 76-pin board-to-board connectors: Storage – SATA 1.0, IDE, SD Display VGA up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz TFT LCD up to 1024 x 768 @ 60Hz Audio – 1x […]

QEMU 7.0 released with support for RISC-V KVM, Intel AMX, and more

QEMU 7.0

QEMU (Quick EMUlator) is an open-source emulator used to run OS or programs on various architectures such as Arm, RISC-V, and many others when you don’t own specific hardware, or for quick testing. The developers have released QEMU 7.0 a few days ago with over 2500 commits from 225 developers. New features include support for RISC-V KVM and vector extensions, Intel AMX (Advanced Matrix Extension), improved flexibility for fleecing backups, various new features for Arm, and many more. QEMU 7.0 highlights listed by the developers: ACPI: support for logging guest events via ACPI ERST interface virtiofs: improved security label support block: improved flexibility for fleecing backups, including support for non-qcow2 images ARM: ‘virt’ board support for virtio-mem-pci, specifying guest CPU topology, and enabling PAuth when using KVM/hvf ARM: ‘xlnx-versal-virt’ board support for PMC SLCR and emulating the OSPI flash memory controller ARM: ‘xlnx-zynqmp’ now models the CRF and APU control […]

7-inch tablet with Intel Atom Z3735G processor sells for $55

cheap Atom Z3735F tablet

Hardware platforms based on Atom Z3735G or Z3735F Bay Trail processors were all the rage in 2014-2016, as the processors were found in tablets, mini PCs, and single board computers sold at price points that provided alternatives to Arm platforms that may not be as well supported. But time has passed and those processors are really slow by today’s standard, so I was surprised to find out some companies were still selling products based on Bay Trail processors with the “MOMO7W” 7-inch tablet powered by an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB RAM and 16GB flash. MOMO7W tablet specifications: SoC – Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core Bay Trail processor @ up to 1.33 GHz / 1.83 GHz (Turbo) with Intel HD graphics; 2.2W SDP. Note: it’s indeed discontinued. Storage – 1GB SDRAM Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot up to 32GB Display – 7-inch capacitive touch […]

Picovoice on-device speech-to-text engines slash the requirements and cost of transcription

Speech-to-text benchmarks accuracy

Picovoice Leopard and Cheetah offline, on-device speech-to-text engines are said to achieve cloud-level accuracy, rely on tiny Speech-to-Text models, and slash the cost of automatic transcription by up to 10 times. Leopard is an on-device speech-to-text engine, while Cheetah is an on-device streaming speech-to-text engine, and both are cross-platform with support for Linux x86_64, macOS (x86_64, arm64), Windows x86_64, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi 3/4, and NVIDIA Jetson Nano. Looking at the cost is always tricky since companies have different pricing structures, and the table above basically shows the best scenario, where Picovoice is 6 to 20 times more cost-effective than solutions from Microsoft Azure or Google STT. Picovoice Leopard/Cheetah is free for the first 100 hours, and customers can pay a monthly $999 fee for up to 10,000 hours hence the $0.1 per hour cost with PicoVoice. If you were to use only 1000 hours out of your plan that […]

Intel to invest $1 billion in foundry innovation, becomes RISC-V International member

Intel RISC-V

Intel has just announced a $1 billion fund to support companies bringing innovations and new technologies to the foundry ecosystem. The company says the fund will prioritize investments in “capabilities that accelerate foundry customers’ time to market – spanning intellectual property (IP), software tools, innovative chip architectures, and advanced packaging technologies.” What’s interesting is that it does not only cover x86 architecture but also Arm and RISC-V, with a focus on the latter, as Intel has just become a Premier member of RISC-V International, and partnered with several companies offering RISC-V solutions including Andes Technology, Esperanto Technologies, SiFive, and Ventana Micro Systems. Intel’s Open Chiplet Platform Part of the investment will go to the Open Chiplet Platform offering a modular approach to chip design through chiplets with each block/chiplet customized for a particular function. This will allow designers to select the best IP and process technologies for a particular SoC. […]

Tiny Core Linux 13.0 released for older or lower-end x86 hardware

Tiny Core Linux 13

Tiny Core Linux 13.0 has just been released for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 systems with a recent Linux 5.15.10 kernel, and various upgrades to the packages. Tiny Core Linux is a lightweight (~22MB ISO) Linux distribution with an FLTK (Fast Light Toolkit)/FLWM (Fast Light Windows Manager) desktop and based on the Core Project that integrates a recent Linux kernel, vmlinuz, and a root filesystem with low footprint libraries such as busybox. It’s mostly interesting for older or low-end hardware that may be slow and/or unusable with more common Linux distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. Tiny Core Linux 13.0 main changes: kernel updated to 5.15.10 glibc updated to 2.34 gcc updated to 11.2.0 binutils updated to 2.37 e2fsprogs base libs/apps updated to 1.46.4 util-linux base libs/apps updated to 2.37.2 busybox updated to 1.34.1 50-udev-default.rules: add media permissions select: require that “break” used in awk scripts filetool.sh: prevent gratuitous change to .filetool.lst’s […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

BrainChip AKD1000 SNN AI SoC gets Raspberry Pi and x86 development kits

Brainchip Akida Raspberry Pi & Mini PC devkits

BrainChip has introduced two development kits for its Akida AKD1000 neuromorphic processor based on Raspberry Pi and an Intel (x86) mini PC in order to enable partners, large enterprises, and OEMs to begin testing and validation of the Akida chip. BrainChip Akida neural relies on spiking neural networks (SNN) which enable high-performance, real-time inference at ultra-low power, notably much lower power than traditional AI chips relying on CNN (convolutional neural network) technology. Akida Development Kit based on Raspberry Pi CM4 Specifications: SoM – Raspberry Pi CM4 or CM4 Lite with SoC: Broadcom BCM2711C0 quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 (ARMv8-A) 64-bit @ 1.5GHz plus Broadcom VideoCore VI GPU RAM – 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4 SDRAM Storage – MicroSD card for CM4 Lite, or 2GB to 32GB eMMC for CM4 Networking – Optional 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Gigabit Ethernet PHY Carrier board –  Official Raspberry Pi […]