Bulgarian open hardware specialist Olimex has unveiled the first prototypes of the Tukhla single-board computer, designed for those who value both openness and performance — and first detailed nearly three years ago.
The Tukhla project — named for the Bulgarian word for brick — was unveiled back in June 2020, nearly three years ago, as an open-hardware single-board computer for those who need more power than is usually available from such a device — using an NXP i.MX8 Quad Max system-on-chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and an HDMI input as well as an output.
“The Tukhla project was completed in April 2021,” Olimex founder Tsvetan Usunov explains of the long delay since the board’s design was first teased. “However, due to the COVID-19 semiconductor madness, we were unable to assemble prototypes because of the lack of semiconductors. Finally we got enough chips to complete the first three prototypes and we assembled them last week before the May holidays.”
Olimex’ long-awaited high-performance Tukhla boards, delayed by semiconductor shortages, are undergoing final tests before production. (📷: Olimex)
The Tukhla prototypes are all based on the NXP MIMX8QM5AVUFFAB system-on-chip, an eight-core heterogeneous design which includes two high-performance Arm Cortex-A72 cores running at up to 1.6GHz, four low-power Cortex-A53 cores running at up to 1.2GHz, and two Cortex-M4F microcontroller cores running at 264Mhz for real-time workloads. While the maximum supported memory goes up to 16GB, meanwhile, the prototypes have been fitted with 8GB of LPDDR4 running at 1,600MHz.
The system-on-chip driving the Tukhla also includes two Vivanti GC7000 XSVX graphics processing cores supporting OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL, OpenVG, and Vulkan, and a vision processing unit with hardware decide for a range of codecs including H.265 and H.265 at 4k60 resolution. There’s an HDMI output supporting up to 4k60 displays, with two four-lane MIPI DSI connectors and two LVDS connectors supporting up to four independent Full HD displays. There’s a pair of four-lane CSI connectors for cameras, too, and two-lane PCI Express, USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, dual gigabit Ethernet, CAN/CAN-FD, and the promised HDMI input connectors on the board too.
The original design was unveiled three years ago, as a performance-focused open-hardware single-board computer. (📷: Olimex)
“We [will] now experiment with NXP Yocto [Linux] build images to verify everything is working correctly,” Usunov says, “before we run production.” Pricing, however, has not been provided — though Usunov was projecting a bull of materials “over €200 [around $220]” three years ago, before component shortages sent prices skyrocketing.
More information is available in Usunov’s blog post.