Posts for: #intel

Simply NUC introduces Zircon: Mini PC with Intel N95 and 2.5 GbE Ethernet

Simply NUC has introduced the Zircon, a new compact desktop computer that is not only one of the company’s cheapest offerings but also a highly configurable option. Priced at $199 and up, the Zircon is equipped with a 15-watt Intel N95 quad-core Alder Lake-N processor, support for up to three 4K displays, and a 2.5 GbE Ethernet port.

The Zircon stands out among other mini PCs with Alder Lake-N chips due to its SO-DIMM slot that supports DDR4-3200 memory. The base model, priced at $199, comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SATA SSD, but both of these can be upgraded. The system can support up to 32GB of RAM and includes an M.2 2280 slot for PCIe Gen 3 NVMe or SATA solid-state drives, as well as a 2.5-inch bay for a hard drive or SSD.

In terms of connectivity, the Zircon features an Intel AC7265 wireless card that supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0. The system has a variety of ports, including 2 HDMI 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 Type-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode, 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 2.5 GbE Ethernet (Intel i225-V), 1 3.5mm headset jack, and 1 microSD card reader.

Overall, the Simply NUC Zircon offers a compelling option for those seeking a mini PC with a QuickSync enabled processor and 2.5 GbE Ethernet interface, making it suitable for applications such as media servers.

Source: Liliputing.

Linux 6.7 Enhances Efficiency with Intel QAT Gen4 Hardware

Phoronix reports that the upcoming Linux 6.7 kernel will introduce a new feature for Intel’s QuickAssist Technology (QAT) device driver. This feature will enable more efficient use of QAT Gen4 hardware, specifically the latest-generation Intel Xeon Scalable “Sapphire Rapids” processors.

The QAT Gen4 devices, which are currently available with select Sapphire Rapids processors, support chained compression “DC” operations. With this feature, a single firmware request can perform both hashing and compressing of data in one step.

The Linux kernel driver for Intel QAT is being extended to support the DC chaining service with the latest QAT accelerators. By allowing the data to be hashed and compressed in a single request, this feature reduces overhead and latency compared to making multiple requests to the QAT hardware.

Intel QAT is a hardware-based technology developed by Intel to accelerate cryptographic and data compression workloads. It offloads and accelerates specific operations, such as encryption, decryption, and compression, from the CPU to dedicated hardware accelerators. This improves performance and efficiency while freeing up CPU resources for other tasks.

Key features and benefits of Intel QAT include cryptographic acceleration, data compression, improved performance, reduced CPU utilization, hardware security, virtualization support, and various form factors such as PCIe cards and integrated solutions.

This new feature in Linux 6.7 will be of interest to those using home servers, as it allows for more efficient use of Intel QAT Gen4 hardware. By offloading cryptographic and compression tasks to dedicated hardware accelerators, home servers can experience significant performance improvements and reduced CPU utilization. This can lead to better handling of transactions and connections, lower power consumption, and improved overall system efficiency.

Source: Phoronix.

Acemagic S1 Mini PC: Intel Processor N95, Dual Ethernet Ports, LCD Status Display

Liliputing reports that the ACEMAGIC S1 mini PC is now available for pre-order. This small desktop computer features an Intel Processor N95 (Alder Lake-N) chip, 16GB of RAM, dual HDMI ports, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. One of the standout features of the ACEMAGIC S1 is the small LCD display on the front of the case, which can be used to display computer status information or function as a digital clock. The computer’s ports include two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two HDMI ports, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm audio (aux) port, and a DC power input. The ACEMAGIC S1 is available for pre-order now, with an expected delivery date of October 1, 2023. The two Gigabit Ethernet ports could make it an interesting option for various server and network use cases.

Source: Liliputing.

Introducing the ZX05: A Compact PC with Intel Alder Lake-N Starting at $150

Liliputing reports on the ZX05 mini PC, a compact computer that measures just 145 x 62 x 20mm (5.7″ x 2.4″ x 0.8″), making it small enough to fit in a pocket. Despite its size, it is a full-fledged computer with a 6-watt Intel Alder Lake-N processor and 12GB of RAM. It is currently available from AliExpress for $150 and up.

The starting price includes a model with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM soldered to the mainboard, but no storage or operating system. However, users can provide their own storage through the computer’s M.2 2280 slot with support for a PCIe NVMe SSD. Alternatively, there are options to purchase models that come with an SSD, with prices ranging from $160 for a 128GB SSD to $200 for a 1TB model. While a spec sheet on the product page suggests that the computer may be available with optional Intel Processor N200, Core i3-N300, or Core i3-N305 Alder Lake-N processors, and up to 16GB of RAM, these configurations are not currently available for purchase.

In terms of ports, all versions of the ZX05 mini PC include 2 x HDMI, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x 3.5mm audio, and 1 x USB Type-C for power input. The system also features an Intel AX201 wireless card with support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, as well as a CR2032 battery for a real-time clock.

This compact computer could be an interesting choice as a server paired with an NVMe SSD, as an x86_64 alternative to the Raspberry Pi for example, albeit without any GPIO and similar features.

Source: Liliputing.

Zotac Unveils Ultra-Thin PCs: ZBOX Edge MI648 and MI668 with Raptor Lake-P Chips

Liliputing reports that Zotac has released two new ultra-thin PCs, the ZBOX Edge MI648 and MI668, both equipped with Raptor Lake-P chips. The ZBOX Edge MI668 is a compact computer measuring 149.5 x 149.5 x 28.5mm and features a 28-watt Intel Core i7-1360P processor with support for up to 64GB of DDR5 memory. The ZBOX Edge MI648, on the other hand, comes with an Intel Core i5-1340P processor and offers similar features.

Both models include two SODIMM slots for DDR5 5200 MHz or 4800 MHz memory and two M.2 slots for storage. The ports available on the PCs include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The computers feature a fan for active cooling, but the chassis has a honeycomb-style vent for heat dissipation, making them “whisper quiet.” The 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports could make it interesting for a variety of networking applications.

Zotac has not yet announced pricing and availability details for both models. For those looking for a silent computer, Zotac has also introduced the ZBOX Edge CI343, a fanless PC with an Intel Processor N100 chip, although it offers lower performance compared to the MI648 and MI668 models.

Source: Liliputing.

Intel Expands Collaboration with Red Hat, Canonical, and SUSE for Optimized Linux Distros

Intel announced at their Innovation 2023 conference that they are collaborating with software vendors such as Red Hat, Canonical, and SUSE to provide Intel-optimized Linux distributions, Phoronix reports. This is part of Intel’s push for “optimized performance” in the Linux world.

The collaboration aims to provide Intel-optimized distributions of enterprise software releases, ensuring optimized performance for the latest Intel architectures. This is an extension of previous collaborations, such as Canonical and Intel’s work on Ubuntu optimized for select Intel CPUs.

In addition to the collaboration on Linux distributions, Intel and Red Hat announced an expanded collaboration with Intel contributing to upstream RHEL through CentOS Stream. Intel will also continue contributing performance optimizations to tools and frameworks in the AI space, such as PyTorch and TensorFlow.

These collaborations are expected to bring new optimizations for performance and power efficiency. Intel’s Clear Linux platform will continue to be maintained with aggressive performance optimizations. The enterprise Linux distributions, such as Red Hat and SUSE, are exploring raising their baseline requirements and implementing optimized libraries based on the CPU in use.

Phoronix promises to report on the results of these collaborations, including benchmarking.

Source: Phoronix.