BOOM Open Source RISC-V Core Runs on Amazon EC2 F1 Instances

BOOM RISC-V Core Block Diagram

The Berkeley Out-of-Order Machine (BOOM) is an open source RV64G RISC-V core written in the Chisel hardware construction language, and mainly ASIC optimized. However, it is also usable on FPGAs, and developers support the FireSim flow to run BOOM at over 90 MHz on Xilinx Ultrascale+ FPGAs found in Amazon EC2 F1 instances. The BOOM core was created at the University of California, Berkeley in the Berkeley Architecture Research group, in order to create a high performance, synthesizable, and parameterizable core for architecture research. Key features of BOOM core: ISA – RISC-V (RV64G) Synthesizable FPGA support Parameterized Floating Point (IEEE 754-2008) Atomic Memory Op Support Caches & Virtual Memory Boots Linux Privileged Arch v1.11 External Debug BOOM is said to be inspired by the MIPS R10k and the Alpha 21264 out–of–order processors, based on a unified physical register file design (aka as “explicit register renaming”). The source code for the core can be found on Github, and documentation here, which …

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Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Instances Deliver up to 45% Cost Savings over x86 Instances

SmugMug-Costs Savings Arm EC2 Instance

Just a couple of days ago, Amazon introduced EC2 A1 Arm instances based on custom-designed AWS Graviton processors featuring up to 32 Arm Neoverse cores. Commenters started a discussion about price and the real usefulness of Arm cores compared to x86 cores since the latter are likely to be better optimized, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) pricing for EC2 A1 instances did not seem that attractive to some. The question whether it makes sense will obviously depend on the workload, and metrics like performance per dollar, and performance per watt. AWS re:Invent 2018 is taking place now, and we are starting to get some answers with Amazon claiming up to 45% reduction in costs. It sounds good, except there’s not much information about the type of workload here. So it would be good if there was an example of company leveraging this type of savings with their actual products or services. It turns SmugMug photo sharing website has migrated to …

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Amazon Launches 64-bit Arm Server “A1” Instances

Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Servers

Amazon has developed AWS Graviton processors optimized for cloud applications and delivering power, performance, and cost optimizations over their Intel counterpart. The processors feature 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS themselves, and can be found today in Amazon EC2 A1 instances. The screenshot above shows Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6, Ubuntu 18.04 Server, and Ubuntu 16.04 Server machine images having options for either 64-bit x86 or 64-bit Arm servers. Amazon Arm server instance are particularly suitable for applications such as web servers, containerized microservices, caching fleets, distributed data stores, as well as development environments. Amazon further explains: A1 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a combination of dedicated hardware and lightweight hypervisor, which maximizes resource efficiency for customers while still supporting familiar AWS and Amazon EC2 instance capabilities such as EBS, Networking, and AMIs. Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterpise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu and ECS optimized AMIs are available today for …

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Amazon Launches $50 Fire TV Stick 4K Powered by MediaTek MT8695 SoC

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon introduced their latest 4K streaming device with Fire TV (2017) last year. The TV box was based on Amlogic S905Z, supported 4K HDR10, and was launched for $69.99. The company also had a Fire TV stick that’s limited to 1080p, and they’ve now announced an upgrade – Fire TV Stick 4K – that support 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ thanks to MediaTek MT8695 SoC, and sells for just $49.99 – or $10 more than the 1080p model – with  shipping expected to start by the end of the month. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8695 quad core Arm processor @ up to 1.7 GHz with Imagination PowerVR GE8300MP4 GPU supporting OpenGL 3.2 and Vulcan 1.1 System Memory – 1.5 GB DDR4 Storage – 8GB flash, no micro SD card Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0b up to 4K UHD @ 60 Hz with HDCP 2.2, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+ support. Video Codecs 10-bit H.265 …

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Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR Records up to 150 Hours of Video

Amazon has a hardware event yesterday where the company announced new Alexa smart speakers with better audio, Echo Input similar to ChromeCast audio and to be plugged into your own speakers, a new revision of Amazon Echo Show smart display, and some completely new Alexa powered products like Echo Wall Clock, Echo Auto connecting to your smartphone and your car’s speakers, and even an Alexa Microwave selling for $59.99. But I’m going to focus in another of their new product in this post: Amazon Fire TV Recast digital video recorder and media streamer with up to four ATSC tuners. Amazon Fire TV Recast will be available in two configurations: 500GB storage with two tuners, or 1TB storage with four tuners. Specifications: SoC – Unnamed dual core processor System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage 500 GB hard drive storing up to 75 hours of HDTV OR 1TB hard drive storing up to 150 hours of HDTV Connectivity Ethernet – Gigabit Ethernet …

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Rigado Vesta IoT Gateway Runs Linux and Zephyr OS, Supports Bluetooth 5, 802.15.4, WiFi, Ethernet and Cellular Connectivity

I’ve recently read several open source software news related to Rigado IoT gateway, starting with Canonical announcement last month, that the gateway would ship with Ubuntu Core starting in summer 2018, and a few days ago it popped up again during Linaro CEO keynote at Linaro Connect HK 2018, as one of the first commercial devices to run the Zephyr OS, specifically its fully open source Bluetooth stack on a Nordic nRF52 chip. Rigado Vesta IoT gateway is not exactly new, as it was first announced in December 2016. The hardware relies on an NXP i.MX 6UL Cortex A7 processor, up to 256MB RAM, 4GB eMMC flash,  and includes built-in support for dual band WiFi, Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth 5/4.2, 802.15.4 (Thread), Fast Ethernet with PoE, as well as optional support for a cellular LTE Cat 1 modem. Rigado gateway hardware specifications: Processor – NXP i.MX6 UltraLite (G3) Arm Cortex A7 processor @ 528MHz System Memory – 128MB or 256MB DDR3L …

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Gumstix Chatterbox is a Customizable, AVS-Ready Development Platform based on Toradex Colibri i.MX7 SoM

There are several official Amazon Voice Service (AVS) development kits, and we’ve already covered a few of them with the likes of Allwinner 3-Mic Far Field AVS Development Kit or Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit, but you can also design your own board conformant to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service functional design guide. That’s exactly what Gumstix has done with Chatterbox carrier board for Toradex Colibri i.MX7 system-on-module powered by NXP i.MX7 Arm Cortex A7 processor. Designed in Geppeto, the board includes a 2.5-Watt speaker driver, an on-board microphone, and Line IN and headphone jacks, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth and Ethernet for connectivity.   Gumstix Chatterbox specifications: Colibri iMX7 SO-DIMM socket Storage – microSD card slot Audio – On-board microphone; 2.5W speaker driver; Line-in & headphone jacks Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1 LE (TI WiLink8 WL1831) with u.FL antenna connector USB – 1x micro USB port, 1x USB host port Debugging – 1x micro USB …

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Amlogic A113X1 6-Mic Far-Field Devkit is Designed for Amazon Alexa

Allwinner unveiled their SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Development Kit for Amazon AVS last week, but they are now joined by another low cost silicon vendor as Amlogic has just launched their own A113X1 far-field dev kit officially support for Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS). The development kit is powered by Amlogic A113X SoC designed for such applications with “an audio pipeline that supports high fidelity audio with soft DSP algorithms for both frontend and backend processing”.   Amlogic A113X1 far-field devkit specifications: Mainboard SoC – Amlogic A113X quad core Cortex A53 processor System Memory – 512MB DDR3 Storage – 512 MB NAND flash Connectivity – SDIO WiFi/BT (AP6356S) Audio SPDIF_IN jack LINE_IN/LINE_OUT jacks 2x Audio headers (MIC_Connector & SPK_Connector) USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port Expansion – SPI header Misc – 6x ADC Keys, IR_IN/IR_OUT, UART Interface (RS232), LEDs Power Supply – 12V/2A Microphone board 6x digital microphones in a circular array Texas Instruments PCA9557PWR IO expander Speaker board …

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