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World's Smallest Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Module? 42

Posted by timothy
from the stick-it-in-your-ear dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Variscite has unveiled what it claims is the world's tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module, measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 board is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on just 44mA. The module provides interfaces for display (HDMI, RGB, DSI), wireless (Bluetooth, WiFi), audio, camera, USB, and more, and it consumes as little as 5mA in suspend and 44mA while running from a 3.7V battery at 400 MHz, according to Variscite. And in case you were wondering, the iconic Gumstix form-factor is 12 percent larger, at 58 x 17mm."
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World's Smallest Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Module?

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  • What I was wondering is whether this URL was supposed to be slashdotted at zero comments. Oh wait, a minute later, and enough of the page has loaded for me to get a title. It's not quite slashdotted yet.

    Obligatory "are they running the website on the world's slowest dual-core arm webserver" comment here

  • Site is down before first comment. Running on a DART-4460 maybe?

  • by BobboBrown (541913) * on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:26PM (#44002201) Homepage

    Boards in that sort of arrangement are common as muck and have been for a long time. Then when you want to use it, first you need a baseboard which is beyond the construction capabilities of most hackers (Variscite don't show you the back of the board which will have several specialised, very fine-pitch header connectors) and once you break out the "real-world" connectors, you've got a much larger beast.
    If you want something to hack around with, go for a SOM like an RPi, or a Wandboard, or an ODroid, or a BeagleBone, or a Cubieboard, or an OLinuXino, or any of a huge number of other products.

  • Honey, have you seen the server room? I can't remember where I left it. I hope rover hasn’t eaten it again.

  • by bobjr94 (1120555) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:57PM (#44002407) Homepage
    Not to much longer these types if systems will sell for $20, then $10 until they are no longer seen as computers and just in everything. Special box of Captn' Crunch that include include cartoons or a movie on a little system like this, your kids watch them while eating breakfast, once it goes dead you throw the box away like anything else.
  • I'm surprised no one is making an arm cluster solution based on cheap $30 modules. The modules only need a single fast IO interface that can fit into a backpane. This would allow computer hobbyists to build a cluster over time, they can start with a few modules and work their way up as they get more money.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm surprised no one is making an arm cluster solution based on cheap $30 modules.

      No one is doing it because for a mere $300 or so you can build a multicore amd64 cluster node that will probably do more than ten $30 arm cluster nodes.

      This would allow computer hobbyists to build a cluster over time, they can start with a few modules and work their way up as they get more money.

      For what purpose?

    • There have been small Raspberry Pi and even AppleTV clusters made. However, these types of small-as-possible modules aren't suited very well to hobbyist clusters:

      1) These systems don't have fast interconnects. Networking is either wireless, which doesn't scale well; or through USB->Ethernet interfaces, which are slow.

      2) This isn't a cheap $30 module. Gumstix are still in the $170-200 range. I'm not seeing any prices here for this one, but it's in the same hardware style.

      3) You need a lot of custom ha

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:04AM (#44004561) Homepage

    World's Smallest Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Module?

    Variscite has unveiled what it claims is the world's tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module

    Is there any particular reason we shouldn't believe them?

  • by knarf (34928) on Friday June 14, 2013 @06:25AM (#44005375) Homepage

    With all these small, smaller and smaller yet again modules popping up left and right for often lower and lower prices - or at least higher performance/price ratios - it gets more and more interesting to decide upon a standard small-size docking connector. This connector should offer access to a display interface, fast external storage, USB, power, etc. Everythin needed to interface it to a 'slab' containing a screen, UI actuators, camera(s), sensors, a power supply and the like.

    Using these two components you can 'build' or 'upgrade' those mobile internet devices which currently get left on the shelves because their processing capacity is deemed to anaemic by modern standards. Done right it would not add much to the total price of the device but it would expand the capabilities markedly.

    Something like this would not be launched by any big brand as they like the buy-use-retire cycle as it is more profitable - for them. If the standard existed and their was demand in the market that demand *would* be fulfilled from suppliers in China - just look at the amount of Arduino-compatible hardware which is produced there. Since nearly all hardware is produced in China anyway the existence of such a standard would only make it easier for the designers of those low-price mobile internet devices which are currently on offer. It would make those devices more interesting as well. Since there is as good as no brand loyalty to these suppliers they will not care about any reduced profits stemming from the replacement of buy-use-retire by buy-use-upgrade-use-retire - they'd just supply materials for the upgrade cycle.

    Time for YetAnotherKickStarterProject...?

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