SolidRun takes on Google's Raspberry Pi-like computer

SolidRun's new board aims to bring machine learning to devices in the field.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Israeli edge-computing outfit SolidRun has launched a new lineup of Raspberry Pi-like computers based on NXP's new i.MX 8M Plus application processor. 

SolidRun makes edge computing kit containing Arm-based and Intel chips. Earlier this year, it teamed up with application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip manufacturer Gyrfalcon Technology to build the Arm-based, Linux Janux GS31 AI inference server.

Now the company has launched three new single-board computers powered by NXP's i.MX 8M Plus application processors. 

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They're aimed at the same industrial market Raspberry Pi is targeting beyond its traditional education purposes – and which Google is also targeting with its line of Coral-branded single-board computers. 

SolidRun promises an edge-computing system that allows developers to run machine-learning applications in the field, far away from data centers, much like Google's AI-focused Coral computers

The new iMX8M Plus CoM boards, which run Linux and Android, are available with four-core and two-core processors in a 47mm by 30mm unit (1.8 inches by 1.2 inches) with a common GPIO pin layout to support scalability.

The chip is designed with NXP's vision processing in mind. SolidRun has worked on bringing that capability to its single-board computer with an Arm Cortex A53 processor at 1.8GHz and up to 8GB of RAM. The devices supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 

The new NXP i.MX 8M boards aren't cheap and start at $75 as a promotional price. However, that is cheaper than Google's Coral dev board, which now costs $129, down from $149 when it was released. 

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Google's board has an NXP i.MX 8M system on chip but it was launched in late 2019 – before NXP launched its i.MX 8M Plus processor this January with a dedicated neural-processing unit integrated into the chip.   

SolidRun is aiming for developers interested in machine-learning inference on edge devices for things like face and emotion detection, object detection and surveillance. 


The new SolidRun boards are available with four-core and two-core processors in a 47mm by 30mm unit (1.8 inches by 1.2 inches). 

Image: SolidRun

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