An Intel Atom CPU In The Raspi Form Factor

For years now, people have been trying to stuff an Intel processor on a credit card sized board. An x86 board that can fit in your pocket is an intriguing device – after all, that’s what Gumstix, the forerunner of the Raspberry Pi, were. Efforts to put x86 on a dev board have included the Minnowboard, the Intel Galileo and Edison, and even the Intel Compute Stick. These have not seen the uptake you would expect from a small x86-powered board, but that tide may soon turn. The UP board is exactly what you would expect from a Raspberry Pi-inspired board with a real Intel processor.

The feature set for the UP board is impressive for a credit card sized board; it’s powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8300 CPU running at 1.84 GHz. The board comes equipped with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC Flash, Gigabit Ethernet, five USB 2.0 ports (one on a pin header) and one USB 3.0 port. Up also includes a real-time clock, HDMI, the same 40-pin GPIO pin connector found in the Raspberry Pi Model B Plus, and DSI and CSI connectors for the Raspberry Pi camera and touch screen.

To be fair to all the previous attempts at making a board built around an x86 chip that borrows heavily from the Raspberry Pi, there haven’t been many chips out there that have been suitable for credit card-sized applications. Only in the last year or so has Intel released chips suitable for an x86 single board computer, and the growing market of Windows 10 tablets bears this out. While it remains to be seen if the UP board will be a success, more than a few people will pick one of these up for a miniature Skype box.

Resurrecting a Mac LC for server duties

It might just be a case mod, but we love [Eduard]’s take on a modern Macintosh LC (translation). The donor motherboard came from a disused home server, and the LC came from [Eduard]’s childhood memories of playing Glider and The Incredible Machine.

The case was donated from a venerable Macintosh LC, manufactured circa 1990. The original LC had a Motorola 68020 CPU, which [Eduard] upgraded to an Intel Atom board. It was a somewhat tricky build – he adapted a 90 Watt power supply from a piece of old office equipment to power the new Intel board. With a great deal of very careful Dremel work, the old-school Apple logo was modified into a power button for the new computer.

For frequent readers of Hack a Day, it’s no surprise that we’ll grab up any old Apple or Mac build. [Kevin] built a weather station and analog joypad for his Apple IIc, We’ve seen custom Mac ROM SIMMS, and of course [Sprite_tm]’s amazing SE/30 emulation. If you’ve got something that will send our 68k senses tingling, send it on into the tip line.

SGI 10,000 core concept


In a bold move, Silicon Graphics has decided to see how much crap many cores they can shove in one box. The Molecule is 10,000 core rackmount machine designed to leverage low cost consumer CPUs like the Intel Atom. It emphasizes high memory bandwidth and throughput between CPUs. While this sort of space efficiency is interesting it’s certainly going to take some serious cooling to get designs like this off the ground.

[via Hacked Gadgets]