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  SolidRun's New CuBox 2"x2"x2" Computer 
 
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john albrich Mar 14, 2014, 01:33am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 16, 2014, 01:45pm EDT

Replies: 1 - Views: 2130
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For those of us who like to experiment, prototype, and so on...

I just thought this has fascinating potential for household, automotive/marine, and experimenting. Although I usually like even lower-level hardware to "play" with, this just seems so intriguing.

This virtually full-feature computer is 2"x2"x2" cube, low power, with amazing number of I/O jacks...virtually equivalent to a typical ATX motherboard I/O panel (without PCI cards). Image of I/O (excluding the side that has the optical SPDIF jack) is at:
http://images10.newegg.com/productimage/15-580-003-06.jpg

When pre-order at this time, it comes with Android 4.3 (different source says 4.2.2) on an SD card. But device can also run Linux.
Has more full features than the typical 'Raspberry Pi" units, though NOT as easily configured if your goal is to use external sensor-based I/O and device actuators/servos/etc
For comparison purposes:
$39 Raspberry Info http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4641E09141)
Note: to get an SD card pre-loaded with Linux for the Raspberry Pi looks like it's currently about $30. Of course, you can use your own and use free resources via raspberrypi.org


SolidRun Video Device CuBox-i2Ultra Development Platform

An overview of the features of the 3 models available, although I don't know how long this link will be active (link as of 20140313):
http://promotions.newegg.com/vga/14-0432/index.html
Note the limited I/O of the $79 "Red" version.

$110 version (pre-order price) SolidRun Video Device CuBox-i2Ultra Development Platform
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681558000...15-580-003
SolidRun Video Device CuBox-i2Ultra Development Platform
Power supply and android OS Included
Preorder Only: Power Supply + SD w/ Android OS included

Brand SolidRun
Model CuBox-i2Ultra
Features
Android Box
-Combine the slick design and feature-rich specs of the CuBox-i with the huge variety of available
Android applications - including media, browsing, e-mail and gaming - and you get the best
big-screen Android experience. Use it at home, in the office or virtually anywhere.
Thin Client
-Lower your IT costs with the ultimate thin-client mini computer. SolidRun high performance,
low cost, mini computer runs on extremely low power and allows fast connection with server.
Digital Signage
-The CuBox-i enables you to deliver your marketing message clearly at a minimum cost.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
-High performance, fast networking and advanced local storage technology make the CuBox-i an
excellent choice for NAS server solutions.
MPD JukeBox
-Stream your music instead of playing CDs and store all your tracks in one central place.
Learn How Computers Work
-The CuBox-i is an excellent device for learning new computer skills.
Specifications
Chipset: i.MX6 Dual
Core Count: 2 @ 1 GHz
Memory Size: 1GByte DDR3
Memory Config: 64 bit @ 1066Mbps
3D GPU: GC2000
3D GPU Type: OpenGL|ES 1.1/2.0,OpenCL 1.1E
HW Video Dec/Enc: Multi Format
HDMI 1080p: 1.4, 3D support
Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mbps
USB 2.0 Host: 2 x Hosts
WiFi 11n/BlueTooth: Yes
Micro SD Interface: Yes
eSata II 3Gbps: Yes
RTC With Backup Battery: Yes
Optical S/PDIF Audio Out: Yes
Micro USB to RS-232: Yes
InfraRed for Remote Control: Receiver & Transmitter

Note: the "low power" source must provide (per webpage http://cubox-i.com/faq/):
"Outputs 5V and is able to source 2A (3A for CuBox-i4pro models). - Jack has a 2.1mm internal diameter and 5.5mm external diameter. Preferably has more than 10.5mm in length" They recommend current limited output as well.


I have no financial or personal interest in SolidRun, newegg, Raspberrypi.org or its manufacturers, etc


Edit 201403140600uct
Important Note
It's possible that to "unlock" the specified HARDWARE decode/encode capability ("HW Video Dec/Enc: Multi Format") of this computer will require paying a separate license fee. Other cards (like the RaspberryPi) DO require paying extra for a license. However, as far as I know using software decoding via OS doesn't require a separate license. It will of course be slower than if hardware encode/decode is used. I don't know if any version supports HDCP.

Also added detailed info on "low power" requirement

Edit 201403161740uct
I have to wonder about how it handles heat build-up. Dissipating 10 to 15 Watts (depending on version) in what appears to be an unvented 2x2x2 cube seems like it would be very problematical. There is no reference in the specs to temperature monitoring or to over-temperature CPU/GPU/RAM throttling.


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john albrich Mar 14, 2014, 07:12am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SolidRun's New CuBox Platform
.
Something like this is attractive as the low-power core of a dedicated home control/automation system like smarthome.com and similar (about 10Watts for CuBox v. maybe 30W for a laptop or over 150W for a minimally configured PC...not counting display power consumption)

For example, I have a dedicated laptop that controls a number of X10-based modules of various types via a USB-connected wireless transmitter/receiver. Among other things, these make my home look lived-in when I'm gone, control climate, handle security, cameras, etc. Can also be controlled by phone. Just controlling a couple of X10 power modules on A/C and water heater lowered my electric bill by about 30% year-round. My ISP charges big bucks monthly for a setup that provides way less functionality.

I think X10 has gone bankrupt, but other companies provide similar devices. I haven't yet tried any of the hardware/software from any other "smart house" type companies.


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