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A new alternative for the Raspberry Pi was presented. The Raspberry Pi Zero Micro SBC called Kimχ Micro has a quad-core processor and an mPCIe slot for adding PCIe cards.

Kimχ Micro includes the NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor with up to 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores. These cores can be clocked up to 1.8 GHz and are complemented by the ARM Cortex-M4F real-time core and the Vivante GC NanoUltra 3D graphics processor. The latter allows Kimχ Micro to encode and decode 1080p content at 60 FPS.

In addition, Kimχ Micro SBC contains 1 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 8 GB of eMMC flash memory and a Micro SD card reader. There is also a serial EEPROM. Kimχ Micro also has a built-in mPCIe connection for adding PCIe cards, such as Wi-Fi cards. By the way, the board must support LTE or LoRA cards.

Kimχ Micro (preliminary) specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini single to quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.8 GHz, Cortex-M4F real-time core @ up to 400 MHz, Vivante GC NanoUltra 3D GPU + GC320 2D GPU, VPU for 1080p60 video decoding and encoding; (Single and dual-core version of NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor are also compatible)
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card socket, serial EEPROM
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type-C port for power and data
  • ExpansionmPCIe socket for wireless cards (e.g. WIFi, 4G LTE, or LoRa).
  • Sparkfun Qwiic header
  • 2x 60-pin high-density I/O headers with Ethernet, USB, camera, display, SAI audio, I2C, SPI, GPIO, PCIe, etc…
  • Debugging – 10-pin JTAG header footprint, Cortex-M4 UART “M4” header, Cortex-A53 “Console” header
  • Misc – Power button, button 1 (boot selection) and button 2 (user button), R, G, and B LEDs
  • Power SupplyUSB PD via USB-C port, NX20P3483UKUSB PD and Type-C high-voltage sink/source combo switch and PTN5110NHQZ TCPC compliant USB Power Delivery (PD) PHY IC
  • 5V unpopulated header
  • 2-pin header for 1S LiPo Battery; on-board PMIC, charging, fuel gauge, and battery protection ICs
  • Dimensions – 65 x 32 mm (FYR – Raspberry Pi Zero: 65 x 30 mm)

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/06/08/raspberry-pi-zero-sized-kim%cf%87-micro-sbc-quad-core-processor-mpcie-slot/

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi-like boards

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.

Coral Dev Board - a new Raspberry Pi-like platform from Google

The Coral platform launched by Google is expected to contribute to the easier creation of systems in the field of the Internet of Things. During CES 2020, the manufacturer will devote a lot of attention to her.

Google presented a new, miniature accelerator module for the Coral platform. The sensor has dimensions of only 10×15 mm, so it is smaller than the American one-cent coin. Coral is a Google platform created to facilitate the construction of equipment compatible with the Internet of Things technology, equipped with artificial intelligence.

Components produced by Google have already been used to create many intelligent systems used, for example, in healthcare, agriculture or technologies supporting the functioning of cities. Coral works well also in offline mode and with limited connectivity. The new module is expected to increase its functionality.

The Coral Dev Board together with the USB and PCIe accelerator went on sale in 2019, and is now being sold in 36 countries. We can expect many innovations related to this technology during CES 2020. Google announces that it has prepared various demonstrations of the new module capabilities for this meeting.

Google’s Coral Dev Board

Coral Dev Board

Unlike popular single board, Raspberry Pi or Raspberry’s Chinese competitors, according to Google, Coral Dev Board is to be a specialized computer – it is primarily targeted at developers who want to have a device on which algorithm learning is possible. The computer is running Mendel Linux built on Debian, we will also find Tensor Flow Lite libraries with ready-to-compile models. No internet connection is required in the learning process – the entire process is done locally.

From the hardware side, the most important here is the Edge TPU coprocessor – a Google tensor system designed to be used together with the Tensor Flow library used in machine learning. In addition, the board got the ARM 4-core NXP i.MX 8M processor, GC7000 Lite Graphics, as much as 1 GB of RAM (LDPRR4) and 8 GB of eMMC memory. Coral connects to other devices via Wi-Fi oral USB Accelerator and Bluetooth 4.1.

Therefore, it cannot be said that, compared to other SBC Coral, it is hardware limited. What’s more, it has a microSD card slot, two USB type C sockets (one for power supply, the other for data transfer), minijack output, HMDI output, GPIO pins. The device can also be connected to the Internet via a cable with an RJ-45 plug. It is also possible to buy a camera useful in machine learning image processing algorithms.

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi-like development boards

Introduced in November 2017, the ModBerry M300 series, based on NanoPi NEO revolutionised the economic segment of Industrial IoT devices and proved, that automation and monitoring can be done effectively with low expenditure on industrial installations.

ModBerry M300 O1 based on OrangePi Zero Plus features Allwinner H5 (Quad-core Cortex-A53) SoC, moderate 512MB RAM, storage memory option with microSD slot, USB and Gigabit Ethernet port. The wireless communication is supported with onboard Wi-Fi module.

Offering much higher performance and wider feature range, the ModBerry M300 O2 features same SoC as M300 series, but thanks to OrangePi Zero Plus2 means, the device is equipped with onboard 8GB eMMC, extra microSD expansion slot as alternative and wired/wireless interfaces, e.g. HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0.