One thing technology has taught us in the last few years, is the so-called powerful devices of yesterday, will not match the devices of today or tomorrow and this is something that is transcending in the hardware industry. Maker’s board have seen a drastic improvement ever since the first Arduino and the Rasberry Pi Single Board Computer were launched. Startups, makers, engineers and even the big corporations like Intel and Nvidia have all joined in improving the maker’s ecosystem with the launch of their own boards.
Improvements will always keep coming and one board that is going to redefine the maker’s ecosystem is the newly crowdfunded UDOO Bolt. We have seen boards like the Pi 3, Asus TinkerBoard, Nvidia Jetson and other high-performance boards, but the UDOO Bolt brings a new authority to this space. A maker board that carries an exceptional punch – A supercomputer in a maker footprint.
UDOO, an Indie developer company has released a new maker board after the UDOO x86 Ultra, and the new board reached its funding target on Kickstarter within fours hours after launch. This does not come as a shock considering the specifications of the board. The 12cm by the 12cm board which is called UDDO BOLT is almost twice as powerful as the board used on a MacBook 13 pro. The UDOO BOLT is a quantum leap compared to current maker boards: a portable, breakthrough supercomputer that goes up to 3.6 GHz thanks to the brand-new AMD Ryzen™ Embedded V1000 SoC, a top-notch, multicore CPU with a mobile GPU on par with GTX 950M and an integrated Arduino™-compatible platform, all wrapped into one.
The first and most amazing feature considering the size of the board is the type of SoC (System on Chip) that comes with the board. The tiny maker PC comes with an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000B SoC which has an integrated ‘Radeon Vega’ graphics processing unit on the chip. The GPU is super impressive for it supports triple A (AAA) video game experience, High dynamic range (HDR) that helps the camera to capture greater detail from both bright and dark areas of a photo, Radeon FreeSync 2 and you can stream videos at 4K resolution with a running rate at 60 frames per seconds (fps) on four screens simultaneously.
This brings us to the next feature; one can view videos on four screens due to the presence of two HDMI 2.0 ports and two USB C ports. Other ports include two USB 3.1 Type-A, a single audio jack, a Gigabyte Ethernet Jack, a 19V DC power input and the Arduino compatible pinout.
You must be wondering why there is an Arduino port, this is only because the board has the same pin functionality of Arduino Uno and is even better since it has up to 12 analog inputs instead of 6, 7 PWM pins and the internal USB connection can implement other functions than serial UART like MIDI or Keyboard. Building IOT tools just got easier for all robotic engineers with its Arduino-compatible platform, which has a complete IOs for the CPU and Arduino onboard. The best part is that one can work with sensors using the Arduino platform without soldering because the board comes with grove connectors.
The UDOO BOLT supports two different types of operating systems; it supports Linux and Windows which means a person can run any application or software using the board. Also, the board can be classified into two different types based on the GPU, one comes with an AMD Radeon Vega 3, and the other has AMD Radeon Vega 8. The starting price is $229, and shipping begins in December.
The UDOO Bolt should comfortably outswing the likes of the Nvidia Jetson TX2 in areas of computer vision and deep learning and the fact it supports Windows will also give it more leverage but this won’t be an easy fight though. A worthy comparison will be between the UDOO Bolt and the new NVIDIA Jetson Xavier.
If there is any board you want to buy now, then the UDOO bolt is a board you should go for.