ASUS and Google have partnered on a mini PC project. The two companies are collaborating on Tinker Board single board computers (SBCs), which like the Raspberry Pi are credit card sized systems that can be used for a variety of projects. What makes this partnership somewhat unique, however, is the focus on edge AI computing.
There are two “Tinker Edge” models—Tinker Edge T and Tinker Edge R. The Tinker Edge T (shown above) pairs an NXP i.MX8M ARM processor with an Edge TPU to accelerate local inference workloads using TensorFlow Lite. It also features a USB Type-C port, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a GbE LAN port, and an HDMI port.
The Tinker Board R, meanwhile, is powered by a Rockchip RK3399 Pro ARM system-on-chip (SoC) with an NPU for AI processing. ASUS says this one is suitable for 4K machine learning chores. Connectivity options include a pair of USB Type-C ports, three USB 3.0 ports, GbE LAN, onboard Wi-Fi, and HDMI.
Both Tinker Board models sport an active cooling solution, albeit the one on the Tinker Board T looks a bit beefier. Each one also offers official support for Debian and Android, though if someone really wanted to, we see no reason why other OSes could not be used.
There is no mention of pricing yet—that and other details will be revealed during the IoT Technology 2019 event next week, in Japan. In lieu of specific pricing, ASUS says the advantage with these is they are suitable for “long-term supply and mass production support” (translated text), unlike traditional SBCs.