SolidRun MicroSoM offers Braswell CPUs on a tiny package

Technology enthusiasts looking to shoehorn computers into unusual places often turn to the Raspberry Pi. The Pi is inexpensive, with prices of $5 for the Pi Zero and around $35 for the more powerful Pi 3. It also consumes little electricity, has its own Linux distribution, and is backed by an active community. Some tasks are simply too much for even the ARMv8 1.2GHz quad-core atop the Pi 3, though. Israeli PC vendor SolidRun thinks it has the solution for that and announced the MicroSoM, a lineup of Intel Braswell-based system-on-a-module boards (SoM) for use in more demanding applications including medical equipment, drones, and industrial and point-of-sale systems.

The SoM includes a choice of Intel Atom x5-8000 or Pentium N3710 CPUs from the 14-nm Braswell family, some memory, and 4GB eMMC storage on a 40mm x 53mm PCB. The basic option includes an Atom CPU and 2GB RAM, while the higher-end model packs a Pentium CPU and 8GB RAM. As optional accessories, SolidRun offers an aluminum enclosure, a CPU heatsink, and a Micro-USB power supply.

The SoM requires additional hardware in order to be used in the same fashion as the Raspberry Pi, as the base module does not include any of the standard ports PC enthusiasts are familiar with. SolidRun's SolidPC Q4 carrier board adds HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, three USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Ethernet ports, and both analog and digital audio outputs. The Q4 carrier board measures 100mm x 80 mm. For comparison's sake, the Raspberry Pi 3 measures 85mm x 56mm.

Alternative x86-based single board computers from vendors including UDOO, MinnowBoard, Up Board, Gizmosphere, and PC Engines (among others) are in varying stages of development and availability. SolidRun expects the MicroSoM to begin shipping in 4-6 weeks, and is asking $117 for the Atom version and $225 for the Pentium model. The Q4 carrier board goes for $40 when purchased with a MicroSoM module. Finally, the optional aluminum enclosure costs $25, while both the CPU heatsink and Micro-USB charger go for $10.

Comments closed
    • guardianl
    • 3 years ago

    I’m really confused by the media coverage of this, there are like a dozen companies shipping cherry trail SoCs on a board, for a lot less money:

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA29G4063448&cm_re=cherry_trail-_-9SIA29G4063448-_-Product[/url<] Cherry Trail SoC 2 GB DDR3 32 GB eMMC and it includes a Windows 10 License! $106 The only thing Measy adds is 50% more price for what is basically a USB hub, and no windows license and 1/8th the eMMC storage...

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Kinda amazing how those pricier models are probably more powerful than anything I’ve had before 2004.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    When I think Middle East, I think oil. Of course they have other stuff going on but oil is the first thing that comes to mind, and computer tech is probably something much further down the list. But Israel, they seem to be the only place there where I hear about people doing microprocessors and things you think would be done in the U. S. or Taiwan. Is this right?

      • meerkt
      • 3 years ago

      Abu Dhabi started investing in high tech a few years ago. I think there’s no actual R&D or manufacturing happening there, just money buying companies elsewhere. They own GlobalFoundries and maybe bits of other companies:
      [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mubadala_Development_Company[/url<] [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates#Diversification[/url<] But other than that, yeah. Israel is pretty heavily into high tech in the last few decades. Lots of R&D going on there, both local companies and branches of international ones: [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_Israel#High_tech_companies[/url<] [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Wadi#Multinational_technology_companies_operating_in_Israel[/url<] Strangely, not a lot of end-user-facing companies. And I wonder what's IBM been doing there since 1949. Supposedly R&D is just since the 70s.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 3 years ago

      I’m often amazed at the way small places can perform per-capita. Especially when the people feel threatened.

    • TheJack
    • 3 years ago

    Motherboard makers are best equipped for making pocket PCs, but they are kind of sleeping, seems.

    • rephlex
    • 3 years ago

    I wish someone would make an AMD version of these x86 Raspberry Pi-like devices.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Well, the cat cores probably would’ve been good for these applications especially at 20nm and below but the cat is dead outside of consoles.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        I’m surprised that AMD wouldn’t bother to make better cats if they are already being paid to get the core running on finer process nodes. But I guess money is that tight.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          I would surmise that nobody has asked for better-performing cat cores, or they would.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    Wake me when it’s [b<]Broadwell[/b<] in an itty-bitty Pi form factor. I'm not greedy - regular Broadwell will suffice, not Broadwell-E.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 3 years ago

    $100+ more for the Pentium, really?

    [quote<]Atom x5- E8000 Recommended Customer Price: $39.00 N3710 Recommended Customer Price: $161.00[/quote<] Oh. Well thanks, Intel. Not like those are two different cores anyway. Solely a clockspeed bump.

      • Waco
      • 3 years ago

      That’s not what’s on their site:

      MicroSoM IB8000 4GB
      $139.00

      MicroSoM IB3710 4GB
      $214.00

      Oh, you’re quoting Intel…

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 3 years ago

        Still, the difference is $100 for a simple clock speed boost.

          • Waco
          • 3 years ago

          Plus a better GPU in the same TDP.

          Not agreeing, but it is a very different bin.

          • jihadjoe
          • 3 years ago

          I don’t think anyone’s buying individual Braswell chips anyway, so those SRPs from Ark don’t really mean anything.

      • smilingcrow
      • 3 years ago

      Only one is Braswell according to Intel so seemingly different cores?

      [url<]http://ark.intel.com/compare/91830,85474[/url<]

        • NeelyCam
        • 3 years ago

        You had the wrong comparison. Try this:

        [url<]http://ark.intel.com/compare/91830,92124[/url<]

    • backwoods357
    • 3 years ago

    Oh wow, I am all over this!

    The Pentium model looks perfect, I just wish it had a better storage option.

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