Cloud Computing: Linux-driven 96Boards SBC features AI and RISC-V companion chips

Cloud Computing:

Bitmain announced a “Sophon BM1880 EDB” 96Boards CE SBC featuring its unusual Sophon BM1880 AI chip plus dual Cortex-A53 cores that bustle Linux. There’s additionally a RISC-V chip and elective Raspberry Pi and Arduino modules.

Beijing-essentially based Bitmain, which is identified essentially as a number one vendor of bitcoin mining chips and computer programs, additionally has a “Sophon” AI chip industrial constructed round its BM1680 and additional recent BM1682 Tensor Computing Processor (TPU) AI chips. Bitmain recently announced a third-gen BM1880 TPU along with a Sophon BM1880 Edge Construction Board (EDB) 96Boards CE SBC, referred to by because the “Sophon Edge.”

Sophon BM1880 EDB
(click listing to amplify)

The delivery spec, Linux-pushed Sophon BM1880 Edge SBC shall be available on the tip of the month for $129, but that you just would be in a position to perchance perchance perchance reserve an characterize now. The firm additionally announced a BM1880-essentially based USB stick and compute module, among other products (glimpse farther underneath).

Alongside with the Sophon BM1880 Edge announcement, Bitmain joined the steering committee of Linaro’s 96Boards community. The SBC is perchance the latest of Linaro’s fairly loosely defined family of AI-enabled 96Boards products. These encompass boards adore the Sophon BM1880 EDB and HiSilicon Hikey970 that are geared up with neural community acceleration chips, as properly as other boards without such accelerators such because the DragonBoard 920C and Rockchip Rock960, but which is in a location to additionally be ancient for edge AI capabilities.

The Sophon BM1880 EDB is named the first ASIC-essentially based product, even though handiest the BM1880 TPU is an ASIC, no longer the dual 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores that accompany it. The BM1880 TPU and the EDB board are designed for deep studying tactics, adore facial recognition, object detection and recognition, license plate recognition, and voiceprint recognition “in loyal-time on slight devices without wanting an Cyber internet connection,” says Bitmain.

Sophon BM1880


Sophon BM1880 TPU

The BM1880 is available each and every within the dual -A53 version, which permits it to be ancient because the major processor, or as a deep studying co-processor without the -A53 cores. The BM1880 “can additionally receive video streams and movie recordsdata from other hosts after which attain inference and return the outcomes abet to the hosts,” says Bitmain.

The BM1880 TPU offers 1 TOP efficiency on eight-bit integer operations and as a lot as 2 TOPS with Winograd convolution acceleration, claims Bitmain. The firm touts the TPU for its scheduling engine, “which affords extraordinarily excessive bandwidth recordsdata drift effectively to the total tensor processor cores.” The chip integrates 2MB of memory.

The BM1880 TPU is accompanied by deep studying model compilers and an SDK. Deep studying frameworks adore Caffe, ONNX, Pytorch, and Tensorflow “is also without anxiety ported to the BM1880 platform,” says Bitmain. It additionally helps neural community models at the side of CNN, RNN and DNN. The EDB board is purported to give additional increase for ResNet50, Yolo V2, GoogleNet V1, MobileNet v1/v2, SSD300, Alexnet, and VGG16.


Sophon BM1880 EDB

Excluding its processors, the Sophon BM1880 EDB (Sophon Edge) board is a elegant standard 96Boards CE SBC rather then that it’s a headless board without video ports and lacks the comparable outdated 60-pin excessive velocity connector. The 96Boards adore minded forty-pin connector is presumably where you’d add mezzanine boards for the announced Raspberry Pi and Arduino development modules. On the opposite hand, there had been no slight print on the add-ons.

Sophon BM1880 EDB block blueprint
(click listing to amplify)

This the first board we’ve seen with a RISC-V companion processor, which is unexplained rather then to mumble it’s a 750MHz chip. Presumably, that is an MCU-adore RISC-V section for loyal-time processing, perchance designed by Bitmain. That’s a excessive clock price for an MCU, so it’s going to even be yet one more Linux chip as properly as to the dual -A53 block.

A 750MHz clock price is simply too low for any of SiFive’s Linux-ready RISC-V chips adore the Freedom U540 and upcoming, 2nd-gen U74 and U74-MC. Since Bitmain is a Chinese firm, on the opposite hand, it’s going to even be among the unusual, Linux-ready RISC-V derived C-SKY chips from Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems.

The Sophon BM1880 EDB is supplied with 1GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. The board offers GbE, WiFi, and Bluetooth for networking, as properly as 3x USB three.Zero host ports and micro-USB and JTAG debug interfaces. Explicit Linux pictures are stated to be coming quickly.

Specs listed for the Sophon BM1880 EDB (Sophon Edge) encompass:

  • Processor — Bitmain BM1880 TPU mixed with 2x -Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5GHz and 750MHz RISC-V chip
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB LPDDR4 (3200MHz)
    • 8GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wi-fi — USB-essentially based WiFi and Bluetooth with antenna
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB three.Zero host/OTG ports (no longer counting 1x reserved for wi-fi module)
    • Micro-USB UART debug port
    • JTAG for CPU; elective JTAG for RISC-V
  • Enlargement:
    • forty-pin 96Boards low-velocity growth connector
    • No longer mandatory Raspberry Pi and Arduino add-on modules
  • Other points — boot switch; LEDs
  • Vitality — 4-16V ([email protected] or [email protected]) DC jack
  • Operating temperature — Zero to forty℃
  • Weight — 36 g
  • Dimensions — Eighty five x 54mm (96Boards CE)
  • Operating system — Linux


Bitmain’s BM1880 essentially based USB stick and module

Bitmain additionally announced a USB-linked Neural Community Stick (NNS) implementation of the BM1880, grand adore Intel’s Neural Compute Stick and Google’s Edge TPU Accelerator. There’s additionally a 38 x 38mm Neural Community Module (NNM) in step with the BM1880. Neither appear to give the dual -A53 cores for self sustaining Linux operation. Each and every require linked X86_64 computer programs working Ubuntu (NNS) or Ubuntu or Windows (NNM).

Bitmain Neural Community Stick (left) and Neural Community Module
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Bitmain additionally announced a 19-traipse 2U

Sophon AI Server SA3

rackmount computer that contains three processing devices, every with 6x of the earlier BM1682 processors, for 18 processors total. The system entails an unnamed quad-core processor (doubtless an Intel Core) that helps Purple Hat, CentOS, or Ubuntu distributions.

Bitmain Sophon AI Server SA3 (left)and Embedded Mini AI Machine SE3
(click pictures to amplify)

A separate Embedded Mini AI Machine SE3 system geared up with the BM1682 targets the trim park market. The 210 x a hundred and fifteen x 45mm instrument helps 4x dynamic or 10x static facial recognition streams and offers single-precision height efficiency of three TFLOPS with 60W consumption. Bitmain beforehand ancient the BM1682 for an SC3 deep studying accelerator card. No OS or extra processor used to be listed.

In a roundabout device, Bitmain stated it would originate a subsequent-technology Cloud chip BM1684 TPU chip by the tip of the year, featuring “tremendously elevated efficiency.” The chip will pressure a brand unusual SA5 server.


Extra recordsdata

The Sophon BM1880 Edge Construction Board (EDB) (Sophon Edge) is no longer yet available, but that you just would be in a position to perchance perchance perchance reserve a pre-characterize for $129 here for shipment due Nov. 30.

Extra recordsdata is also stumbled on on the 96Boards Sophon Edge page and Bitmain’s Sophon BM1880 EDB product page. The announcement of the Sophon BM1880 EDB, NNS stick, NNM module, and Bitmain’s other unusual products is also stumbled on here.


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