The UDOO Bolt - revolutionary single-board-computer w/ advanced AMD Ryzen CPU and GPU

; Date: February 12, 2019

Tags: UDOO »»»» Linux Single Board Computers

UDOO single board computers are based on x86 CPU's, rather than the typical ARM CPU's used by other SBC's. Therefore UDOO boards have a significant performance advantage, at a cost. With the UDOO Bolt, they've outdone themselves thanks to the capabilities of the Ryzen V1000 family. The UDOO Bolt is the first Single Board Computer using an AMD processor, and the V1000 family gives it phenomenal performance thanks to a 4 core CPU design coupled with a high end GPU and direct support for ethernet, 2x SATA ports, eMMC and more.

Despite the ultra small form factor of the UDOO Bolt, there is a LOT to digest and understand. Let's start with the specs:

  • CPU Either the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1202B, or AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B
    • V1202B: Quad Core, Quad Thread, 2.3 GHz, 3.2 GHz boost
    • V1605B: Quad Core, Eight Thread, 2.0 GHz, 3.6 GHz boost
  • GPU Embedded GPU
    • V1202B: AMD Radeon Vega 3 (3 GPU CU)
    • V1605B: AMD Radeon Vega 8 (8 GPU CU)
  • Memory two slots supporting DDR4 supporting up to 32GB
  • Mass Storage
    • 32GB eMMC
    • M.2 socket for SATA SSD, including NVMe support
    • SATA3 port for regular hard drives
  • Network Gigabit ethernet
  • USB 2x USB3 type A, 2x USB-C
  • Video 2x HDMI, 2x Display Port
  • Audio TRRS supporting both input and output
  • I/O
    • Arduino Leonardo compatible: 12x analog inputs, 23x digital input/output, etc
    • 2x UART, 2x I2C, keyboard, fan, 10x GPIO

Most of these capabilities are supplied by the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 family of CPU's. An unstated story here is that this particular AMD Ryzen CPU is absolutely phenomenal, offering a big long laundry list of capabilities in one CPU package. According to AMD, it offers over 3 TFLOPS of compute capacity with as little as 54 Watts energy consumption. And, the Ryzen V1000 series offers the advantage of tightly integration between a potent CPU and a high-end GPU.

Here's a block diagram:

Block diagram of the AMD Ryzen V1000 CPU family - Source: AMD

What UDOO did was to bring out the internal capabilities of the Ryzen V1000 to connectors, and to do so in the smallest possible form-factor.

UDOO is positioning the Bolt for Makers -- those building devices with embedded computers. The pitch is that this board brings Maker projects to the next level. With its intense CPU and GPU capabilities, the Bolt can enable all kinds of high end virtual reality or computer vision or on-site AI processing, at low power, in a small form-factor.

The board is also suitable as a desktop computer, or as a home theater PC. Able to directly drive four displays, this board could be used in a video wall system.

I am imagining the Ryzen V1000 could form the core of a compact desktop computer made by any manufacturer.

UDOO notes that AI software is a natural fit for this board. Most AI software requires high computation capability, and can be offloaded to GPU's for a performance boost. UDOO specifically names Tensorflow (Deep Learning) and OpenCV (Computer Vision) as two libraries that will run extremely well on this board.

Top view of UDOO Bolt -- Source: UDOO
Bottom view of UDOO Bolt -- Source: UDOO
Case for the UDOO Bolt
UDOO Bolt CPU benchmarks
UDOO Bolt GPU benchmarks

The UDOO Bolt is currently on Kickstarter, and has garnered over $600,000 in backing on a $100,000 request. See: (www.kickstarter.com) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/udoo/udoo-bolt-raising-the-maker-world-to-the-next-leve

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.