Tinker Edge T: ASUS' new Raspberry Pi-alternative focusses on AI development
ASUS introduced the Tinker Edge T in mid-2019, and now it has formally announced its latest SBC. The Edge T expands upon the Tinker Board, which was already a powerful Raspberry Pi competitor.
The company has designed the Tinker Edge T for AI applications, with the SBC having a Google Edge TPU onboard. Google has optimised the Edge TPU for machine learning and should allow the Tinker Edge T to perform up to four tera operations per second (TOPS) at only 0.5 W. The presence of the Edge TPU should make it easy for the SBC to learn and execute algorithms. Hence, the board could be a good candidate for use in automated image recognition projects, for example.
The Tinker T uses an i.MX 8M as its main processor, which is based on four ARM A53 cores. The SBC also has 1 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 8 GB of eMMC flash storage and an SD 3.0 interface. ASUS claims that the latter allows the Tinker Edge T to utilise significantly faster read and write speeds than its peers.
Guru3D notes that most SBCs only offer a 15 W (5 V/3 A) power design, which can cause instabilities when multiple devices are connected to each. To get around this, ASUS has created a custom power design that can deliver up to 45 W in conjunction with a DC head power supply.
The Tinker Edge T also includes a MIPI-DSI interface for connecting displays and touchscreens, two MIPI-CSI interfaces for connecting cameras, along with an obligatory GPIO header.
ASUS is still yet to announce global availability or pricing for the Tinker Edge T, but Japanese retailer Physical Computing offers an insight into pricing. The retailer is currently selling the SBC for 21,600 JPY excluding taxes, which equates to roughly US$200. The Tinker Edge T is in stock on Physical Computing, but we shall keep you updated with any news about global availability and pricing.