SolidRun ClearFog: A 16-Core ARM ITX Workstation Board Aiming For $500~750 USD

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 1 April 2019 at 07:37 AM EDT. 70 Comments
Edge computing solutions vendor SolidRun is working on "ClearFog" as an ITX-based ARM64 workstation platform. They hope for an early bird launch price later this year of around $500~500 USD for this board that has 16 ARMv8 cores, multiple 10 GbE SFP+ connections, Gigabit Ethernet, multiple USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 2 x mPCIe, four SATA ports, and can handle up to 64GB of laptop DDR4 memory.

SolidRun is designing for this mini-ITX carrier platform to be versatile from a high-performance 64-bit ARM workstation to being suitable as just a development board and various other edge computing applications.

ClearFog is built around a CEx7 LX2160A 16-core Arm Cortex A72, supports two M.2 slots, microSD / eMMC / SATA 3.0 storage, compatibility with the Linux 4.14 LTS kernel and newer, complies with the ITX form factor, and will offer a PCIe x4 slot. That's my main critique at this point is the board not accommodating a PCIe x16 slot should you want to have a capable graphics card in there to make a useful 64-bit Arm development workstation.

I'm told by the company that when ClearFog begins shipping later this year they will be aiming for a $500~550 USD introductory price though later on their retail price will likely be around $750. Their initial version of this board will have the 16 cores at 1.9GHz and support PCIe Gen3 and 25 GbE but later on the second version should be running the Cortex-A72 cores at 2.2GHz and support 100GbE and PCIe Gen4. The price and specs would put it out ahead of the likes of the Socionext Developer Box.

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