Posts for: #hardware

Sipeed Lichee Cluster 4A: Unleash the Power of 7 RISC-V Compute Modules

Liliputing is reporting that Sipeed is now taking orders for its Lichee Cluster 4A board, which allows users to combine up to 7 Lichee 4A modules for cluster builds and parallel processing tasks.

The cluster board is not being sold as a standalone product at the moment, and is priced starting at $929 for a cluster board paired with 7 Lichee Module 4A boards with 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage each. The board supports up to 112GB of memory and up to 896GB of eMMC storage. It features 7 USB 3.0 ports, 7 microSD ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI port, 3 Ethernet ports, and 1 10/100GB Ethernet port. The system supports Debian Linux.

Source: Liliputing.

Thunderbolt 5 to Offer 120 Gbps Bandwidth, Ideal for High-Speed Storage

Intel has recently announced Thunderbolt 5, the latest iteration of their high-speed connectivity technology. With up to 120 Gbps bandwidth when using “Bandwidth Boost,” Thunderbolt 5 offers significant improvements over its predecessor.

The key features of Thunderbolt 5 include:

  • 80 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth, with the option to boost it to 120 Gbps for video-intensive usage.
  • Double the PCI Express data throughput, resulting in faster storage and external graphics performance.
  • Compatibility with USB4 V2, DisplayPort 2.1, and PCI Express Gen 4.
  • Double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections.
  • PAM-3 signaling technology that enhances performance with existing circuit boards, connectors, and passive cables up to 1 meter.

Thunderbolt 5 is aimed at meeting the needs of content creators, gamers, and professionals who require high-speed connectivity. While it may take some time for Thunderbolt 5 to become prevalent in mini PCs, its adoption is expected to increase as the demand for faster storage and high-performance eGPU grows.

Premium PCs and laptops are likely to integrate Thunderbolt 5 soon, as Intel’s controller, codenamed Barlow Ridge, is set to be available in 2024.

For storage enthusiasts and those building home servers, Thunderbolt 5 offers an exciting prospect. Its increased bandwidth and compatibility with USB4 V2 make it a suitable choice for high-speed data transfer and storage solutions. Additionally, Thunderbolt 5’s ability to support multiple 8K monitors opens up possibilities for multi-display setups in server or network environments.

It’s worth noting that Thunderbolt 5’s potential for storage extends beyond traditional setups. For instance, AWS has adopted Thunderbolt for their Apple Silicon Mac mini datacenter offering, utilizing its capabilities for high-speed storage.

For more detailed information on Thunderbolt 5, refer to Intel’s press release and the product page.

Source: CNX Software – Embedded Systems News.


Until now, the content on this site has mostly been related to software, but in the coming weeks, hardware content will also be produced and added. The hardware content will discuss deciding what hardware you need and how to source the components needed. The content will also deal with customizing servers and may include some 3D printing-related posts. 😊

The software articles on the site will also be updated over the coming months, with posts being revised for newer software versions and similar.

Feels good to be back!

Four Useful Single-Board Computers for Homelabs

I’ve assembled a list of useful single-board computers (SBCs) for use in home labs. They are essentially low-power computers useful for lightweight tasks and experimentation. I’ve used them (and still do) for certain tasks, especially when I’ve wanted to experiment with various things on the ARM64 platform. FriendlyARM Nano-Pi M4 (6 ARM64 cores, 2/4GB LPDDR3/LPDDR4 RAM) – a handy board for storage applications. It features a PCI Express interface, allowing for multiple SATA ports using the SATA hat or an NVMe drive using the NVMe hat.
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Make NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit Headless

This tutorial will show you how to easily remove the desktop interface from your NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit to run it in headless mode. This can be useful for using the NVIDIA Jetson Nano as a small, low-power server with machine-learning capabilities. The NVIDIA Jetson Nano is a mighty little single-board computer with a Quad Core ARM64 CPU, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, and a 128-core NVIDIA Tegra (Maxwell-based) GPU, all while using as little as 5 watts.
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MikroTik Recommendations: Affordable Enterprise Networking

Speaking of MikroTik, MikroTik makes great enterprise network equipment, including access points, routers, and switches. Their unmatched affordability makes them an excellent choice for home labs. These are four products that I think stand out in their respective category: MikroTik RB4011iGS+5HacQ2HnD-IN Router with 10x 1GBe Ports, 1x 10GBe SFP+ Port, Quad Core ARM CPU, 1GB RAM, RouterOS, PoE output, WiFi 4 / 5 (also available without WiFi) and Support for Rack Mounting MikroTik CSS326-24G-2S+RM Switch with 24x 1GBe Ports, 2x 10GBe SFP+ Ports, SwOS and Support for Rack Mounting MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+IN Switch with 4x 10GBe SFP+ Ports, 1x GBe Port for Management Access, Dual DC Jacks for Power Redundancy in a Compact Metal Case MikroTik cAP ac Access Point with Support for WiFi 4 / 5 with a Minimalist Design These products have served me very well and allow for advanced networking at a low cost.
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