Weekly Roundup #48 – New Maker Products // News


Jetson TX1 Developer Kit SE

WR-NMP48p19Nvidia are offering the Jetson TX1 at a discounted price for developers for US$199. All you have to do is sign up and provide a blood sample to get access to the limited, “one unit only per person” price. OK, maybe not blood sample, but close enough.

Coin cell competition

WR-NMP48p20Over at HackADay, they are running a Coin cell competition, with three categories.

The Lifetime Award for the longest running project.

The Supernova Award for the most interesting project.

and the Heavy Lifting Award for anyone who can lift a piano with a coin cell. Lifting a piano?

VAMRS Sapphire SBC

WR-NMP48p21This next one I picked up from LinuxGizmos. It’s a board made by a company called VAMRS. VAMRS? I think you pronounce it like farmers, but with a V. It’s an RK3399 based SBC with 4G DDR3 RAM, 8G eMMC, SD slot, GbE, USB3.0 ports, 40 pin Pi GPIO header and a 314 pin MXM connector pushing out a whole lot more.

VAMRS Sapphire Excavator

WR-NMP48p22It’s designed to slot into the fantastically named Excavator, which has has two HDMI ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, GbE, and PCIe interfaces.

NanoPC-T3 Plus

WR-NMP48p23The Friendly guys have released another SBC called the NanoPC-T3 Plus. Like the previous version it runs the same Samsung SoC, but now has 2G DDR3 RAM and 16G eMMC and gains an extra USB port. Apart from that, everything else appears the same.

iWave Systems Renesas SBC

WR-NMP48p24This next one I picked up from CNXsoftware, which is a new SBC from iWave Systems. Based on the almost Pi form factor, it runs the dual or single core Cortex-A7 Renesas RZ/G1C and has 512MB DDR3 RAM expandable to 2G, 8G eMMC and all the usual I/O stuff, except it has an additional 40 pin and 20 pin header on top of the standard Pi GPIO header. All powered off a 5v, 2A supply from one of those micro USB connectors.


WR-NMP48p25bOver at MyIR, they have released an US$18 module based on the i.MX6 UL. Breaking out on the 1mm pitch castellated edge connectors are 140 pins of GPIO goodness, but this new module gives you WiFi capabilities. Nice option if you want to be able to run a WiFi enabled Linux in a tiny package, but I’ve heard that MyIR documentation isn’t that good. So Caveat Emptor.

Google Tensorflow Kit

WR-NMP48p26Google released the Tensorflow earlier in the year, which brings vision machine intelligence to the Maker. Well now, for only US$45 you can pre-order a kit from [EDIT: AdaFruit, DiGiKey and] Micro-center containing a Pi bonnet running the Movidius MA2450 processor, camera, lens, piezo, buttons and bits of cardboard to make your own standalone box. All you need is a Pi Zero W and you can build your robot army in no time.

Amazon DeepLens

WR-NMP48p27And not to be out-gunned, Amazon have just released the AWS DeepLens, which is another machine learning device with a 4MP camera and an Apollo Lake series Intel SoC. So pretty grunty. It provides a fairly similar lineup to Google’s Tensorflow, but runs Amazon’s version of FreeRTOS.

Amazon FreeRTOS

WR-NMP48p28Amazon has a version of FreeRTOS? Yup, they certainly do. They’ve gone and taken FreeRTOS and added in enhancements such as AWS Cloud or Greengrass connectivity, security and OTA programming. FreeRTOS runs on pretty much all MCUs these days and good to see these sorts of enhancements being made available.

RK3288 demise

WR-NMP48p29Over at Reddit there’s a post about the demise of the RK3288. This is pretty interesting as the RK3288 has been around for only 4 years, has started to run on boards such as the TinkerBoard and RICO-3288 and only just started to gain some decent support for it. Is this true? Who knows? So far the only pointer is this Reddit post and nothing else.

Armbian 5.35

WR-NMP48p30The Armbian guys are busy with releases and there’s now a minor point release of version 5.35, which actually adds in support for a whole lot of SBCs.
Boards such as NanoPi Duo, Orange Pi R1, Pinebook have stable releases, while experimental support has been added for Le Potato, NanoPi NEO 2, Orange Pi Zero Plus and Zero Plus 2. It also runs mainline kernel version 4.13 and an updated Uboot. Nice! So, if you want an image that works on a whole stack of boards go and fetch Armbian.