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Sage launches AMD APU-based Gizmo microcomputer

Sage launches AMD APU-based Gizmo microcomputer

The Sage Gizmo offers full x86 compatibility and an OpenCL-addressable GPU in a teeny-tiny 103.2cm² package.

The single-board computer (SBC) market, popularised by the sub-£30 Raspberry Pi, has become a little bigger this week with the news that the Gizmo, a compact development board powered by an AMD G-Series accelerated processing unit (APU) is available to order.

The Gizmo, brainchild of development specialist Sage, is a remarkably compact device measuring just 10.16cm on a side for an overall area of 103.2cm². While that's significantly larger than the 47.9cm² of the Raspberry Pi, the Gizmo offers something a little more powerful: a dual-core AMD G-T40E accelerated processing unit running at 1GHz with integrated Radeon 6250-class graphics running at 280MHz. Coupled with 1GB of DDR3 memory, the device is claimed to offer an impressive 52.8 gigaflops of compute performance in a 6.4W thermal design profile (TDP) - and using the immediately familiar x86 instruction set architecture.

The board is also feature-rich as well as powerful: as standard, it includes two USB ports, a single SATA port, line-in, line-out and microphone audio ports, 10/100 Ethernet port, and a VGA output supporting displays up to 1,920x1,080. Two expansion connectors are also provided: a high-speed 64-bit connector offering two PCI Express links, Low-Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS) display output, an additional SATA port and another USB 2.0 port; a low-speed 36-pin connector offers access to general-purpose input-output (GPIO) capabilities, a fourth USB 2.0 signal, Serial Peripheral Interconnect (SPI), Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM,) analogue-to-digital (AD) and digital-to-analogue (DA) conversion and other features of interest to hardware developers.

In short, the Gizmo is a beast of a compact computer - and the presence of a Radeon-class graphics processor, addressible through the open-source OpenCL application programming interface (API) for GPGPU processing offers significant potential in a tiny package. For those who require yet more power, the board also supports the 1.8GHz T56N - although GizmoSphere has yet to launch a version with this APU in place.

Sadly, all this power comes at a significant cost: where the cut-price Raspberry Pi has its retail price set at a pocket-friendly $35, the Gizmo board is only available as part of the 'Gizmo Explorer Kit' at a price of $199. For that, however, buyers receive not just the board but a JTAG development tool with a 20-hour trial licence for its software, a customised version of the open-source coreboot BIOS dubbed SageBIOS, an installation DVD with a 30-day trial of the Sage EDK integrated development environment (IDE,) a power supply and both Ethernet and USB cables along with the Explorer Board, a break-out board that provides access to GPIO and processor IO while also providing an LCD micro-display, a motor controller and a prototyping area.

Full details of the device and its capabilities are available on the GizmoSphere website.

31 Comments

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coolius 25th January 2013, 12:11 Quote
What no HDMI?
mrbungle 25th January 2013, 12:16 Quote
That was cool till I read the price of it..
Mankz 25th January 2013, 12:28 Quote
If they halved the priced and slapped on HDMI I'd have been tempted..

Could have made a nice little streaming system with it.
[USRF]Obiwan 25th January 2013, 12:42 Quote
Put inside mame cabinet...
blacko 25th January 2013, 13:51 Quote
for a second i thought this article was on about the Sage Group (www.sage.co.uk).
////\oo/\\\\ 25th January 2013, 13:55 Quote
This has HTPC written all over it, but then no HDMI???
Gareth Halfacree 25th January 2013, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
for a second i thought this article was on about the Sage Group (www.sage.co.uk).
That confused me when I first found it, too! You'd have thought there were plenty of other herbs to choose for a company name...
Krikkit 25th January 2013, 15:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
for a second i thought this article was on about the Sage Group (www.sage.co.uk).

Me too! I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole if it was.
blacko 25th January 2013, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
for a second i thought this article was on about the Sage Group (www.sage.co.uk).

Me too! I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole if it was.

Can i ask why?

this better not be geordieism....
Sheiken 25th January 2013, 19:00 Quote
199usd for a bundle that expansive. How can you consider that to be steep?
Tyinsar 25th January 2013, 21:33 Quote
:?
Needs: HDMI / Display Port + GB Ethernet then I would consider it (even at that price).



But I'm also still waiting for availability of FM2 ITX motherboards. :(
Bazz 26th January 2013, 00:06 Quote
Nice price

/walks away!
leexgx 26th January 2013, 02:56 Quote
i agree needs GB Ethernet, HDMI or DP (as it can be converted to HDMI any way)

with VGA and 100mb network seems silly limited due to that (ok i can let the 100mb network go as its not needed as long as stuff was encoded right, but VGA only no @ most likely £200 due to the way UK works with converting $ into £ but not included conversion)
fluxtatic 26th January 2013, 08:44 Quote
Damn...for a lower price, I'd ditch my original design for my car PC and go back to what I first wanted - for the box itself to live in the dash in place of the deck that's there now. With the right size LCD screen, it could be like that Android head unit that came out a while ago, only, you know, not Android - with a decently-sized SSD, this could be a kick-ass deck.

Even at that, though, I'm kind of tempted by this anyway. I wouldn't mind picking up an RPi or two at some point, but I'd prefer something running on x86.
Blackshark 26th January 2013, 12:18 Quote
Yeah, it if had gigabit ethernet and I could find a way to add Sata port or 3, then it would have the power to provide a 100MB / s NAS box. But I dont see an easy way to add both these features.
Zinfandel 26th January 2013, 14:40 Quote
Is this paid for? Reads a bit like an advert. But yeah. No HDMI wah?
Gareth Halfacree 26th January 2013, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel
Is this paid for? Reads a bit like an advert.
No, it bloody well isn't paid for. The only people who pay for my words are the clients for which I write.

Accusations of impropriety aside, I'd be interested to hear why it reads more like an advert than any other "Company_X has launched New_Product_Y" article I've written in the last decade or so...
Jasio 26th January 2013, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
:?
But I'm also still waiting for availability of FM2 ITX motherboards. :(

ZOTAC A75 WiFi [A75ITX-A-E] - $109
http://www.zotacusa.com/zotac-a75-wifi-a75itx-a-e.html

ASRock FM2A75M-ITX FM2 AMD A75 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157340

These have been around for a bit.

Not sure why it says FM1 on the ZOTAC as it is the same chipset + FM2 as the ASRock.

Edit: MSI A85IA-E53 should be popping up soon, that's an A85 based ITX.
AmEv 26th January 2013, 18:56 Quote
Hmm....

It has LVDS. So, direct connection to a monitor?


But that price tag.... Nope.
Blackshark 27th January 2013, 08:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel
Is this paid for? Reads a bit like an advert.
No, it bloody well isn't paid for. The only people who pay for my words are the clients for which I write.

Accusations of impropriety aside, I'd be interested to hear why it reads more like an advert than any other "Company_X has launched New_Product_Y" article I've written in the last decade or so...

Hear hear Gareth. Didn't read like that at all and it is appropriate. If Zin wants to go somewhere to read that type of thing and moan about it, pop off to TomsHardware for a bit. You wont make any difference, they are too well entrenched in making money, good tech writing disappeared there years ago. Thankfully it has only got better and better here.
yogev_ezra 27th January 2013, 11:35 Quote
Self-advertisement :D
If you want to get a chance for something cheaper AND better, please visit this thread and submit your vote: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=255178
You have time till this Friday, February 1st 24:00GMT to cast your vote, and each person who votes even gets a chance to win some small prize.
jrs77 27th January 2013, 15:01 Quote
Intel® Desktop Board D33217GKE is available for €250. As a kit - intel DC3217BY - complete with an enclosure it's available for €275 allready.

Just sayin...
Elledan 27th January 2013, 15:16 Quote
I'd honestly be more interested in a mini-ITX or smaller ITX board. More features for about the same price...
jrs77 27th January 2013, 22:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elledan
I'd honestly be more interested in a mini-ITX or smaller ITX board. More features for about the same price...

There's alot of miniITX-boards allready. Take your pick.
Combatus 28th January 2013, 09:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
:?
But I'm also still waiting for availability of FM2 ITX motherboards. :(

ZOTAC A75 WiFi [A75ITX-A-E] - $109
http://www.zotacusa.com/zotac-a75-wifi-a75itx-a-e.html

ASRock FM2A75M-ITX FM2 AMD A75 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157340

These have been around for a bit.

Not sure why it says FM1 on the ZOTAC as it is the same chipset + FM2 as the ASRock.

Edit: MSI A85IA-E53 should be popping up soon, that's an A85 based ITX.

That Zotac board probably is FM1 - both FM1 and FM2 use the A75 chipset.

Can't believe this doesn't have hdmi. I think the Intel NUC is currently the best option for an HTPC. Is pricey but half the size of a mini-ITX board plus you have hdmi and the possibility of adding USB 3 too.
law99 28th January 2013, 10:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshark
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel
Is this paid for? Reads a bit like an advert.
No, it bloody well isn't paid for. The only people who pay for my words are the clients for which I write.

Accusations of impropriety aside, I'd be interested to hear why it reads more like an advert than any other "Company_X has launched New_Product_Y" article I've written in the last decade or so...

Hear hear Gareth. Didn't read like that at all and it is appropriate. If Zin wants to go somewhere to read that type of thing and moan about it, pop off to TomsHardware for a bit. You wont make any difference, they are too well entrenched in making money, good tech writing disappeared there years ago. Thankfully it has only got better and better here.

Except for often Toms do stuff more in depth than here... anything from gfx performance benchmarking for new games, browser reviews, investigations into things like microstutter and jitter with multi-gpu setups, investigations into where bottlenecks are, multicore scaling performance also in games and they generally just get more stuck into it than here. Although Anandtech and fast becoming TechReport are my favourites. I hate Bit-tech's cpu benchmark also.

This place is good for blogs, gaming reviews and the forum... and to have dedicated English perspective. For everything else there is mastercard or something... ;)
jrs77 28th January 2013, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
That Zotac board probably is FM1 - both FM1 and FM2 use the A75 chipset.

Can't believe this doesn't have hdmi. I think the Intel NUC is currently the best option for an HTPC. Is pricey but half the size of a mini-ITX board plus you have hdmi and the possibility of adding USB 3 too.

The intel NUC has no option for a DVB-T/S dualtuner tho and that's where mini ITX and the intel DQ77KB comes into play :)
Combatus 29th January 2013, 00:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
That Zotac board probably is FM1 - both FM1 and FM2 use the A75 chipset.

Can't believe this doesn't have hdmi. I think the Intel NUC is currently the best option for an HTPC. Is pricey but half the size of a mini-ITX board plus you have hdmi and the possibility of adding USB 3 too.

The intel NUC has no option for a DVB-T/S dualtuner tho and that's where mini ITX and the intel DQ77KB comes into play :)

True! My HTPC doesn't stretch to TV other than streaming unfortunately (the Mrs isn't very tech minded!) so for me it would be perfect. That Intel DQ77KB looks tasty too.
ashchap 29th January 2013, 14:15 Quote
If you're interested in a small x86 PC, have you seen the Fit-PC? they make number of models from a tiny (10x11x3cm) atom PC to a 19cm x 16cm x 4cm i7 model (all passively cooled). I've used them for work and found them incredibly useful.

www.fit-pc.com
Tyinsar 29th January 2013, 16:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasio
...
The Asrock one has been around for a bit. Newegg has discontinued it in Canada. NCIX still carries it but.. it's gotten too many bad user reviews (mostly BIOS issues).

As Combatus noted the Zotac board is FM1. Zotac announced the A75-ITX Wifi B-series but I can't find that anywhere either. (other than that archived announcement it's even gone from Zotac's site.)

Newegg also had an MSI A75 FM2 ITX board but that too is discontinued (and wasn't what I was looking for anyway - I really want dual link DVI or Display port.)

I believe that a lack of good FM2 ITX boards have really hurt AMD's APU sales.
yogev_ezra 29th January 2013, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashchap
If you're interested in a small x86 PC, have you seen the Fit-PC? they make number of models from a tiny (10x11x3cm) atom PC to a 19cm x 16cm x 4cm i7 model (all passively cooled). I've used them for work and found them incredibly useful.

www.fit-pc.com
I've sold those computers for 3 years in Israel. Actually I started my company specially to sell them. The product is great but the design is proprietary (i.e., their own form-factor and their own connectors, so very hard to extend/modify it), and even just opening the case voids your warranty. In addition, their customer service is awful: as a reseller I got more than 10% faulty units from them (I am talking about 10% reseller margin so those faulty units basically ate up all your margin), which I shipped to them for warranty repair, which sometimes can take a month, and a lot of the units were shipped back to me as is with statement "cannot reproduce the problem". So I thought maybe the units are actually good and it's just a problematic customer, but selling the same "good" unit to a second customer reveals the same problems reported.

I am not saying that other vendors have rock-solid quality and 0 failures, but with all Taiwanese companies I dealt with, their customer service was excellent and their replace/repair speed is literally days (and they really replaced/repaired rather than saying "cannot reproduce").
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