A power-sipping Raspberry Pi alternative? New board squeezes extra efficiency out of modern tech

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Low cost single-board computer systems are releasing thick and quick in 2019, however one new board is utilizing recent tech to face out from the gang.

Whereas many notable Raspberry Pi challengers are based mostly on both the Allwinner H6 or Rockchip RK3399 system-on-a-chips, the newly introduced Nitrogen8M_Mini makes use of a extra fashionable platform.

The brand new board relies across the i.MX 8M Mini platform, which is designed to be energy environment friendly by scaling its clock velocity to match demand, by swapping duties between low and high-powered processors, and due to being manufactured utilizing 14nm FinFet expertise.

The system-on-a-chip pairs 4 Arm Cortex A53-based processor cores working at as much as 2GHz with a 400MHz Arm Cortex M4-based processor, which is used for real-time sign processing.

Regardless of its low-power credentials, the board’s makers place it as a pc that may deal with 1080p video playback, is able to driving 2D and 3D graphics, of processing superior audio, and likewise of gathering and getting ready information for a machine-learning mannequin on a cloud platform, each for coaching and inference.

SEE: Raspberry Pi: The within story of the $35 laptop

The board is designed for these growing residence or industrial home equipment, and will also be constructed into mass-produced ultimate merchandise, with a assured 10-year lifespan.

With regards to base specs the Nitrogen8M_Mini has a number of benefits over the flagship $35 Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+. The Pi is manufactured utilizing a 40nm course of expertise, an older strategy that ends in boards much less energy environment friendly than these made utilizing the 14nm FinFet course of expertise, such because the Nitrogen8M_Mini. The Nitrogen8M_Mini additionally presents twice the reminiscence of the Pi three B+, of the quicker LPDDR4 selection, and has a PCIe slot for enlargement.

In the meantime the Nitrogen8M_Mini presents half the variety of USB ports because the Pi three B+.

The Android, Yocto, Ubuntu, and Debian working techniques can be found for the brand new board and may get pleasure from long-term help from maker Boundary Gadgets.

The draw back is the Nitrogen8M_Mini will nearly definitely price greater than the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+. The Nitrogen8M_Mini’s larger brother, the Nitrogen8M, prices round $170, though it presents greater specs and is bigger than the Nitrogen8M_Mini, so this new board ought to be cheaper.

Extra details about the Nitrogen8M_Mini’s pricing and availability might be seen right here.

Nitrogen8M_Mini Specs

CPU
CPU Identify i.MX 8M Mini
CPU Cores Four (Quad-Core)
CPU Sort ARM Cortex-A53 + Cortex-M4F
Reminiscence
RAM 2GB LPDDR4
eMMC 8GB eMMC (expandable to 128)
Multimedia
2D/3D Graphics Acceleration GCNanoUltra for 3D, GC320 for 2D
Video Encode / Decode 1080p60 H.264, VP8/1080p60 H.265, H.264, VP8, VP9
Digicam Interfaces x1 Four-Lane MIPI-CSI
Show
MIPI-DSI Sure
Networking
Ethernet 10/100/1GB
WiFi Non-compulsory QCA9377 BD-SDMAC 802.11 AC model
Bluetooth (included with WiFi Module) BT Four.1 (BD-SDMAC))
Audio
Headphone Sure
Microphone Analog MIC
Amplifier
Connectivity
I2C
SPI
USB USB 2.zero: 1x Host, 1x OTG
RTC Sure
PCIe
PoE Non-compulsory (by way of daughter board)
SD / MMC UHS SD Card Assist
Environmental Specs
Industrial Temp (zero to 70C) Sure
Industrial Temp (-40C to +85C) Contact Us
OS Assist
Android Sure
Linux Yocto, Ubuntu, Buildroot, Debian
FreeRTOS Sure (M4 core)
Mechanical Specs
Dimensions (L x W) 114.3mm x 88.9mm
ixboard.jpg

Picture: Boundary Gadgets

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