This week’s Weekly Roundup has a bunch of new SBCs, which is good, but not much else.
No idea what happened to Kickstarter this week. There’s only a couple of interesting campaigns.
This campaign is another UPS style board for a Raspberry Pi which includes a PIC chip and LiPo battery management allowing you to gracefully shutdown your Pi when the power is interrupted. It’s not designed for hours of uptime, but rather 20 minutes max.
I thought the Qmod interesting. It’s another STEM education kit that teaches kids about how electricity can be obtained from a variety of sources such as solar panels, soil and dynamos. Looks like a good kit for classrooms.
On CrowdSupply there’s the Husarion Core2, which is a board aimed at robotics. It has an STM32F4 MCU, 4 DC motor drivers with quad encoder inputs, 6 servo ports, CAN transceiver, SD slot and 16 GPIOs all running off a 6 to 16 volt supply. It also has an expansion header allowing you to connect to a Pi or an ESP32.
Linaro recently announced an upgrade on their previous HiKey SBC. The HiKey 960, coming in at $239 US dollars does actually have specs that match that price tag. It contains the Kirin 960 CPU, which is an octa-core big.LITTLE cluster arrangement with 4 Cortex-A73s and four Cortex-A53s and also has the Mali-G71 MP8 GPU. It also has 3G DDR4 RAM, 32G UFS flash, nice, PCIe M.2 slot, even better, SD slot, USB3.0, MIPI CSI and DSI all powered from 8 to 17 volts.
This board is an absolute screamer. You can pick this up from Seeed Studio or Amazon.
Well the PIne64 guys have come out with a Pine64 based laptop for less than $100 US. This is a pretty bold move and will be interesting to see if they have the same supply demand and production issues as they had with the original Pine64. I’d also be interested to see if they’ve fixed a lot of their software issues.
Seems everyone is joining the SBC wars now. Poslab, who is better known for Point-Of-Sale terminals have two board on the market. The SavageBoard runs the Freescale MX6 in either dual or quad core configurations with 1G DDR3 RAM, 8G eMMC, dual channel LVDS, HDMI, GbE, Wolfsen audio codec, SD, MIPI CSI & DSI and an unusual but expected DB9 RS232 port. It runs off a 12v DC supply.
As promised, Google has released their Google Assistant SDK for the Raspberry Pi. If you want to muck around with voice services similar to Siri, Alexa, and Cortana then this is a pretty good alternative.
Intrinsic have released a very small System on Module called the OpenQ 2100. Contained in a tiny 15mm by 31mm package is the quad-core Cortex A7 Snapdragon Wear 2100 running at 1.2GHz, 512M RAM, 4G flash, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD slot and bunch of GPIO extras. Even better you get all that for only $75 US. The only catch is that to get access to all the GPIOs you have to deal with those fabulous dual inline connectors. Or you could buy the development kit, which is out of reach of most Makers coming in at $600 US.
This next one looks interesting, but only from the hacking potential. For $24 US you get an Allwinner H2 based board with 1G DDR3 RAM, 8G flash, WiFi all in a nice case. I wouldn’t mind ordering one of these and see how it stacks up against one of the other Allwinner H2 based SBCs.
Similar to the previous one, the Shuttle XPC Nano is a TV box, but this one runs the RockChip RK3368 with 2G DDR3 RAM, 16G eMMC in a nice box all for $140 US. Would be nice to see inside these boxes to see if I could get access to some of the GPIOs.
One of the complaints with the ODROID-XU4 is the noisy fan on the heatsink. Now HardKernel have come out with the XU4Q. The fan has been removed and replaced with just a bigger heatsink. Early benchmarking confirms that the quiet model takes 16% longer to complete a sysbench benchmark.
I’ve ordered one of these, so I’ll run a comparison video against both heatsinks soon.
Over at Tindie, there are …
… these interesting boards, which provide simple logic gates on small breakouts. This is actually quite good idea.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey
It’s a little quiet on the major shopfronts.
The Cheap Side
Not much is happening in China either, so …
If you’re in to a bit of telegraph hacking, BangGood has this cool little shortwave transceiver kit looks pretty good. It’ll run off a 9V battery.
Bits and pieces
A few bits and pieces that I didn’t include in my video.
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