An Attempt to Benchmark Entry-level x86 Boards against RK3399 & Exynos Arm Boards

Arm vs Intel C-Ray

Some Arm boards have become quite powerful, while hardware based on low power Intel processor has generally become cheaper with both architectures somewhat converging in terms of performance and price. Piotr Maliński got interested and purchased some low cost (<$150) Intel hardware to compare to mid-range Arm boards, throwing a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ into the mix as well for comparison. Those are the Intel test boards / computers: Qotom motherboard with Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB flash – $74 + shipping on Aliexpress Piesia nano ITX board with Intel Celeron N2806 Bay Trail processor, DDR3 SO-DIMM socket, SATA / mSATA interfaces – Piotr found it for around $85 on Aliexpress, but the price now jumped to over $150 plus shipping, which does not make it very attractive Generic thin mini ITX motherboard based on Celeron N3160 “Braswell” processor, DDR3 SO-DIMM socket, SATA / mSATA interfaces. $62.68 shipped on Aliexpress. MSI E350DM-E33 motherboard with “old” AMD E-350 …

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ODROID-H2 Intel Celeron J4105 Single Board Computer to Launch in November

ODROID-H2

There were talks about Hardkernel working on an ODROID x86 board since last year, as the CEO expected to launch such board later in 2017 in an interview published in ODROID magazine. Finally, it took them several iterations and processors considerations before being ready for launch, and ODROID-H2 should become available next month as the first ODROID x86 board. ODROID-H2 will feature an Intel Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake processor, two SO-DIMM slots for memory, two SATA ports and M.2 NVMe slot for storage, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a mix of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and more. ODROID-H2 board specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J4105 quad core processor @ up to 2.3 GHz (real frequency) with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600 System Memory – Dual-channel Memory DDR4-PC19200 (2400MT/s) supporting up to 32GiB RAM in total Storage – M.2 PCIe 2.0 x4 slot for one NVMe storage, 2x SATA 3.0 ports, eMMC flash support Video Output HDMI 2.0 up to 4K …

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Snapdragon 835 based Always-Connected PC Benchmarks Show Performance Similar to Intel Apollo Lake Laptop (in Most Cases)

The first Windows 10 Arm Mobile PCs were announced a few months ago, all based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with products such as HP Envy x2 (2017) and ASUS NovaGo TP370. The new products promised LTE connectivity, very long battery price, a user experience similar to the one on Intel/AMD based laptops, and at price points ($600 and up) that should command good performance. But TechSpot ran some benchmarks on HP Envy x2 (a $1,000 device), and in most cases, the new always-connected PCs come with performance similar or even lower than a Chuwi laptop based on an Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake processor that sells for a little over $400. That appears to be valid for both  x86 emulation and native apps. In some case, the Snapdragon laptop does pretty well with performance close to Core m3 / Core i5-5200U processors such as in the Microsoft Excel workload below. However, you may not want to use Photoshop on …

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Open Source Software Releases – VLC 3.0 and Android-x86 7.1-r1

Two completely unrelated open source projects have released a stable version of their software this week, but instead of writing a post for each I’ll write about them in a single post. VLC 3.0 Vetinari VLC developers have just released version 3.0 – codenamed Vetinari – of the popular media player with new features such as ChromeCast support, and 8K video playback. Other highlights from the release include: Hardware decoding enabled by default to get 4K and 8K playback 10-bit and HDR support (only on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for now) 360 video and 3D audio, up to Ambisoncics 3rd order Allows audio passthrough for HD audio codecs Can play Blu-Ray Java menus: BD-J Browsing of local network drives and NAS VLC 3.0 is also the first major version to be released for all platforms at the same time, and you can download VLC 3.0 for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone / RT, and …

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Year 2017 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Fun Stats

2017 is coming to an end, and as I do every year, I’ll take a look back at the year that was on CNX Software. The pace of development boards launches has not slowed down this year, and we get an even wider range from the low-end with Orange Pi or NanoPi boards, to much more powerful ARM boards, and some new entrants like Libre Computer. The same is true for TV boxes, most of which now support 4K HDR, ranging from ultra cheap models selling for less than $20 to higher end Android TV boxes, while mini PCs were dominated by Intel Apollo Lake models, although some Cherry Trail products were also launched. Processor-wise, Amlogic launched more Amlogic S905X derivatives with S905W/S905D/S905Z, which are popular in the TV box market. Rockchip’s most interesting processor this year was RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor designed for 4K HDR Android TV boxes, but also popular with single board computers thanks to …

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AMBE+2 Vocoder Promises High Voice Quality at Low (2.0 to 9.6 Kbps) Data Rates

Opus 1.2 open source audio codec was release a few months ago with the ability to deliver low power low high-quality audio bitrate for speech with bitrates as low as  12 Kbps. Digital Voice Systems (DVSI) claims to have gone even lower thanks to their AMBE+2 vocoder (Advanced MultiBand Excitation) providing high-quality speech at data rates from 2.0 to 9.6 kilobytes per second. AMBE+2 vocoder is said to outperform the company’s previous generation AMBE+ Vocoder as well as the G.729 and G.726 vocoders, while operating at only 4.0 Kbps. The vocoder is suitable for mobile radio, secure voice, satellite communication, computer telephony, digital voice and storage applications The solution can be integrated into product either using software licensing, or through Vocoder chips, and the company lists the following key benefits: Maintains speech intelligibility and speaker recognition at rates as low as 2.0 kbps Resistant to background noise and channel bit errors Customizable data from 2.0 to 9.6 kbps Uses fewer computations …

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The Stress Terminal UI (s-tui) is a Pretty CPU and Temperature Monitoring Terminal App

While it’s possible to do monitoring with tools like RPI-Monitor on headless or remote systems, top and htop are likely the commonly used tools to monitor CPU and process usage in the terminal. There’s now a new and different option with the Stress Terminal UI that display pretty charts for frequency, CPU usage, and temperature in the terminal, and as its name implies it can also stress the system. I’ve first installed it in my main computer running Ubuntu 16.04.2 as follows: and then just started it It took the screenshot above after enabling stress operation for a few seconds, and while frequency and CPU utilization in percent are updated properly, temperature is not, at least on my system. I had to enable “Smooth Graph” option to see any changes in the first two charts. I tried to run the app again with sudo, but still no temperature update, and that’s because the program is confused since I have two …

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Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit Europe 2017 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference & IoT summit 2017 took place in the US earlier this year in February, but there will soon be a similar event with the Embedded Linux Conference *& Open Source Summit Europe 2017 to take up in Europe on October 23 – 25 in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Linux Foundation has just published the schedule. It’s always useful to find out what is being discussed during such events, even if you are not going to attend, so I went through the different sessions, and compose my own virtual schedule with some of the ones I find the most interesting. Monday, October 23 11:15 – 11:55 – An Introduction to SPI-NOR Subsystem – Vignesh Raghavendra, Texas Instruments India Modern day embedded systems have dedicated SPI controllers to support NOR flashes. They have many hardware level features to increase the ease and efficiency of accessing SPI NOR flashes and also support different SPI bus widths and speeds. …

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