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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Circumference Datacentre-in-a-Box Features up to 32 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Managed by a UDOO x86 Ultra Board (Crowdfunding)

We’ve previously seen several clusters made of Raspberry Pi boards with a 16 RPi Zero cluster prototype, or BitScope Blade with 40 Raspberry Pi boards. The latter now even offers solutions for up to 1,000 nodes in a 42U rack. Circumference offers an other option with either 8 or 32 Raspberry Pi 3 (B+) boards managed by UDOO x86 board acting as a dedicated front-end processor (FEP) that’s designed as a “Datacenter-in-a-Box”. Key features and specifications: Compute nodes – 8x or 32x Raspberry Pi 3 B+ boards for a total of 128x 64-bit 1.4 GHz cores max Backplane MCU – Microchip ATmega1280 8-bit AVR microcontroller Serial Comms – FTDI FT4232 quad-USB UART Switched Mode Power Supply Units (SMPSUs): 8x / 32x software controlled (one per compute node) 1x / 4x always-on (microcontroller) HW monitoring: 8x / 32x compute node energy 2x / 8x supply voltage 2x / 8x temperature Remote console – 8x / 32x (1x / 4x UARTs multiplexed …

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AAEON Releases an Intelligent Vending Machine Development Kit based on UP Board

Vending-Machine-Reference-Design

UP board is a low cost development board powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor with 1GB to 4GB RAM, and 16 to 64GB eMMC flash that mostly follows Raspberry Pi 3 form factor. AAEON is now offering an “intelligent vending development kit” featuring UP board together with a vending machine controller (VMC) board, a motor for the machine’s internal mechanisms, a camera, a QR Code device, and all the necessary cables, as well as optional WiFi and Bluetooth modules. Some details about AIOT-MSSP01 Mini SSP Vending control board: “Intel Intelligent Vending Based” Motor Control – 24V or 12V, Supports GPIO, DC, PWM Type, Supports up to 160 DC Motors Support LCD and Keypad Feature I/Os Vending machine specific interfaces / standards 1x MDB (MultiDrop Bus) 1x DEX (Digital EXchange) 1x Protocol A (EXE) 1x 1-WIRE 4-channel ADC x 1 4-channel Relay GPIO for 12V & 5V by switch x 1 2x 16 Bit GPIO 1x 8 Bit …

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Embedded Systems Conference 2018 Schedule – IoT, Security, Artificial Intelligence, and More

The Embedded Systems Conference takes place each year in Boston, US in April or May. This year, the event will occur on April 18-19, and the organizers have published the schedule with 7 tracks: Advanced Technologies, Center Stage (free), Embedded Hardware Design & Verification, Embedded Software Design & Verification, IoT and Connected Devices, Keynotes (free) and Special Event (free). Even if you can’t attend, it’s always useful to have a look at the schedule to learn about potential industry developments. So I’ve made my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions I found relevant to this blog. Wednesday, April 18 8:00 – 10:00 – An Introduction to RTOS by Jean Labrosse (Software Architect, Silicon Labs) This tutorial will help you understand what RTOSs are and how they work so that you can make better use of their features. The class will explain what an RTOS is and why you should use one. We’ll explain what tasks are, why you …

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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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Obniz ESP32 Board is Programmable in JavaScript from the Cloud (Crowdfunding)

ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth boards are now commonly supported by the Arduino IDE, and alternative firmwares are also available to program them using JavaScript (e.g. Espruino), or MicroPython. But if are familiar with JavaScript / Node.js, and don’t want to flash your own firmware, Obniz board could be an option. The board exposes 12 I/Os programmable from the company’s Cloud service, and features a OLED display used to show your program information, or a QR code to easily program the board from your smartphone’s browse once a WiFi connection has been setup. Obniz hardware specifications: Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-ESP32 based on  ESP32 dual core 802.11 b/n/g WiFi + Bluetooth LE WiSoC Display – 128×64 OLED display I/Os 12x I/O pins each configurable as GPIO, ADC, UART, SPI or I2C (no specialized pin, each can handle those functions) Up to 1A drive per I/O to control motors 3.3 or 5V selectable for each I/O Short protection Power Supply – 5V via …

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AWS DeepLens is a $249 Deep Learning Video Camera for Developers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Deeplens, the “world’s first deep learning enabled video camera for developers”. Powered by an Intel Atom X5 processor with 8GB, and featuring a 4MP (1080p) camera, the fully programmable system runs Ubuntu 16.04, and is designed expand deep learning skills of developers, with Amazon providing tutorials, code, and pre-trained models. AWS Deeplens specifications: SoC – Intel Atom X5 Processor with Intel Gen9 HD graphics (106 GFLOPS of compute power) System Memory – 8GB RAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot Camera – 4MP (1080p) camera using MJPEG, H.264 encoding Video Output – micro HDMI port Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, and HDMI audio Connectivity – Dual band WiFi USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports Misc – Power button; camera, WiFi and power status LEDs; reset pinhole Power Supply – TBD Dimensions – 168 x 94 x 47 mm Weight – 296.5 grams The camera can not only do inference, but also train deep …

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Bolt IoT Platform Combines ESP8266, Mobile Apps, Cloud, and Machine Learning (Crowdfunding)

There are plenty of hardware to implemented IoT projects now, but in many cases a full integration to get data from sensors to the cloud requires going though a long list of instructions. Bolt IoT, an Indian and US based startup, has taken up the task to simplify IoT projects with their IoT platform comprised of ESP8266 Bolt WiFi module, a cloud service with machine learning capabilities, and mobile apps for Android and iOS. Bolt IoT module hardware specifications: Wireless Module – A.I Thinker ESP12 module based on ESP8266 WiSoC Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi secured by WPA2 USB – 1x micro USB for power and programming Expansion – 4-pin female header and 7-pin female header with 5 digital I/Os, 1x analog I/O, and UART Misc – Cloud connection LED The hardware is not the most interesting part of Bolt IoT, since it offers similar functionalities as other ESP8266 boards. But what may make the project worthwhile is built-in support …

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