With all the microcontroller boards coming out these days, it was only a matter of time before an actual chip manufacturer got into the game, too. AMD has teamed up with GizmoSphere to develop a four-square-inch board that delivers all the power of an x86 desktop in a much smaller package.
The x86 board called Gizmo doesn't just look like a miniature Mini-ATX motherboard; it’s actually equipped with a dual-core x86 Brazos CPU running at 1GHz, a Radeon HD 6250 graphics engine, and 1GB of DDR3 RAM soldered to the PCB. Despite diminutive size, AMD claims that the board has enough processing power to deliver 52 gigaFLOPS while drawing fewer than 10 watts of power.
The Gizmo is basically designed to be more powerful than any other microcontroller, effectively making it a real computer-on-a-chip akin to the Raspberry Pi. You can plug the board into your desktop PC using the PCI or PCI-express slots, and it even has a SATA port so you can connect your data drives. And since it's effectively a full-fledged PC, it can run Windows, Linux, and Android.
Of course, all this power comes at cost: The Gizmo's $200 pricetag is fairly high compared to other microcontrollers. But at that price, you get the board along with an explorer kit that's packed with cables, accessories, and an explorer board to help you test out your new mini AMD system.
This story, "The Gizmo board is a tiny AMD-powered x86 microcontroller" was originally published by TechHive.