Niall’s virtual diary archives – Friday 18th July 2014

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Friday 18th July 2014: 9.43am. Location: Dromahane.

I haven't written anything yet about my new ARM dev board which is a NVidia Jetson TK1 featuring the quad Cortex A15 Tegra K1 chip. These very affordable boards have goodies such as a SATA controller to which you can attach a SSD, fast Ethernet and onboard eMMC storage which by the time you've added those to a raspberry pi, odroid or cheap android TV stick make them similarly priced - except this fellow is amongst the fastest ARM chips in existence and comes with fully functioning and supported drivers on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. In short, it's a steal.

One of the unhelpful parts of this board is it's noisy fan which is in fact a recycled motherboard south bridge unit from back when NVidia did motherboards. As this board will be running 24/7 as a CI test slave, I need it to be silent and I came up with the solution below which is an enormous copper heatsink which fits beautifully and cost me £10 from amazon. It was a gamble it would fit actually, there is very little experience on the internet with these boards, and the product description was useless, but in fact it uses a very clever tongue and groove solution which should fit almost anything.

Here's the link:

The brass standoffs in the corners are the beginning of a case for the board - I have some acrylic and polycarbonate sheet here which will form a top and bottom to protect the electronics.

And I'll see if I can get some benchmarks for this board on here soon. It should be as fast as a low end Haswell, yes ARM chips really are becoming desktop class!
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