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

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 19V/3A power supply, HDD brackets with screws, as well as …

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SD 8.0 Specification Promises Dual-lane PCIe 4.0 SD Express Cards with up to 4GB/s Transfer Rate

The SD Association seems to be releasing new specifications faster than the industry and consumers can pick up. In June 2018, the SD 7.0 specification added SD Express cards with PCIe and NVMe interfaces for theoretical transfer rates up to 985 MB/s, followed by SD 7.1 specification in February 2019 adding SD Express to MicroSD card as well. The just-published SD 8.0 specification ups the ante further with SD Express now supporting dual-lane PCIe 4.0 with transfer rates up to 4GB/s. SD 8.0 is for full-sized SD Express cards that use the same NVMe upper-layer protocol, and remain backward compatible with earlier SD standards including UHS-III. The new higher bitrates will be used for data-intense wireless or wired communication, super-slow motion video, RAW continuous burst mode and 8K video capture and playback, 360-degree cameras/videos, gaming systems, multi-channel IoT devices, automotive devices etc…  SD Express will be offered on SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC memory cards. SD 8.0 specification provides two transfer …

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Marvell OCTEON TX2 CN9130, CN9131 and CN9132 SoCs Target 5G Base Stations, Edge Networking, Storage Applications

A while ago, I was informed three new Marvell processors had made it to mainline Linux, namely CN9130, CN9131, and CN9132, but at the time, the description was a bit cryptic: The CN9130 is made of one AP807 and one internal CP115. There are three development boards that are made of this SoC: * CN9130-DB * CN9131-DB (with one additional modular CP115 compared to CN9130-DB) * CN9132-DB (with two additional modular CP115 compared to CN9130-DB) No other public information was available either, but Marvell has now published more details and those are OCTEON TX2 Infrastructure processors with four Cortex-A72 cores @ 2.2 GHz, up to 18x SERDES IO, and 10GbE. Octeon TX2 CN9130 key features and specifications: CPU – Quad-core Armv8 Cortex-A72 @ up to 2200 MHz with 48 KB I-cache, 32 KB D-cache, 1 MB total L2 cache divided into two clusters of 512 KB ECC shared cache, 1MB L3 Cache with ECC Memory I/F – 64-bits DDR4 + …

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20TB HAMR Hard Drives Coming in 2020, up to 80TB Drives Expected in a Few Years

We first wrote about HAMR technology in 2017. HAMR stands for “Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording” and aims at increasing data density in order for manufacturers to cram even more bytes into 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives. You can learn more about HARM technology in your previous article. At the time, Seagate had built over 40,000 HAMR drives for internal testing, and expected volume shipments of 20TB+ drives in 2019. There have been some delays, but Seagate recently announced their first formatted and fully functioning 3.5″ 16TB enterprise hard drive platform based on the technology. Bear in mind that those are only internal test units, and will not be brought to market in this configuration. Instead, the company plans to start selling its first HAMR drives with at least 20TB storage capacity later this year. The new drives behave just like existing PMR drives and are just plug-and-play in existing systems with SATA interfaces. Seagate further explains the new drives meet expectations in …

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UFS 3.1 Storage Devices to Deliver Better Performance, Lower Power Consumption

JEDEC first introduced UFS 3.0 embedded flash in September 2017 with promises of 2.4GB/s transfer rates, and somehow this was bumped to 2.9GB/s (23.2 Gbps) when UFS 3.0 specification was published in January 2018. JEDEC has now published UFS 3.1 specification with the same theoretical performance, but some new features that should improve write performance, random read performance, as well as lower power consumption and costs. Precisely two documents are now available for purchase, unless you work for a JEDEC member, in which case those are free downloads: The Universal Flash Storage (UFS) version 3.1, JESD220E. An optional new companion standard, JESD220-3: UFS Host Performance Booster (HPB) Extension. The first defines three main improvements as part of UFS 3.1: Write Booster – an SLC non-volatile cache that amplifies write speed DeepSleep – a new UFS device low power state targeting lower-cost systems that share UFS voltage regulators with other functions Performance Throttling Notification – allows the UFS device to notify …

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ROCK Pi SATA HAT Targets ROCK Pi 4 & Raspberry Pi 4 NAS

Radxa ROCK Pi 4 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. The company has now designed ROCK Pi SATA HAT expansion board to design 4-bay NAS based on Raspberry Pi 4 and ROCK Pi 4. There are 3 models with support for 2, 4 or 5 drives: Dual/Quad SATA HAT connected over two USB 3.0 ports and working with both boards Penta SATA HAT connected over PCIe and compatible with ROCK Pi 4 only ROCK Pi Dual/Quad SATA HAT Specifications: 2x or 4x SATA connectors supporting 2.5″ or/and 3.5″ HDD/SSD 2x USB 3.0 port to connect to RPi 4 via one or two JMS561  USB to SATA controllers Storage Features – HDD suspend mode, UASP, software RAID 0/1/5 Misc Fan and heatsink header for Raspberry Pi 4 CPU cooling Optional PWM control fan for HDD heat dispatching Optional OLED display for IP Address/Storage info Power Supply 1x …

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STMicro Introduces the World’s First 4Mbit SPI EEPROM

EEPROM chips are often used to store configuration information and connected over I2C. But there are also SPI EEPROM, and STMicro has just announced one of the largest ones with M95M04-DR 4-Mbit serial SPI EEPROM. M95M04-DR key features: Capacity – 4 Mbit (512 Kbytes) of EEPROM with 512 bytes page size and  additional write lockable page (Identification page) Host Interface – Serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus Write time – Byte Write within 5 ms, Page Write within 5 ms Write protect – Quarter array, half array, and whole memory array More than 4 million Write cycles More than 40-year data retention Max clock frequency – 10 MHz Single supply voltage: 1.8 V to 5.5 V Temperature range – -40°C  to +85°C Enhanced ESD protection (up to 4 kV in human body model) Packages – SO8N, TSSOP8, and WLCSP The company explains their latest high-capacity EEPROM enables equipment such as smart meters to intensify data logging for managing grids more effectively …

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Fujifilm LTO Ultrium8 Magnetic Tape Can Store up to 30TB of Compressed Data

Fujifilm magnetic tape

What year is this? 2019. So I was a little surprised when I saw the news about Fujifilm recently releasing a 12TB magnetic tape, as I truly thought those were relics of the past. But apparently, magnetic tapes are still a thing in some countries such as the United States in applications where a large amount of data needs to be stored over an extended period of time. Fujifilm LTO-8 (Linear Tape-Open Ultrium8) data cartridge was unveiled last month with 12TB native capacity, up to 30TB compressed capacity, and data rates of 360 MB/s. Fujifilm is said to be the world’s largest manufacturer of magnetic tapes, and since there’s virtually no demand in Japan, most of the tapes are exported. Nikkei Xtech reports the maximum capacity of the new magnetic tape is double the one of Fujifilm’s LTO-7 previous generation magnetic tape. The LTO-8 cartridge includes a 960m-long, 1.265cm-wide magnetic tape with  6,656 tracks for data and the magnetic head …

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