AMD Ryzen + Arduino: This motherboard has an exceptional feature found nowhere else

A tiny company has combined an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B with a Microchip ATmega32U4 MCU for real-time I/Os and Arduino compatibility.

The UDOO Bolt V8 costs $418 (roughly £330/AU$600) before tax/shipping and VAT and was one of the hardware success stories of 2018 for crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, despite shipping much later than expected.

It's essentially a motherboard with a quad-core Ryzen CPU with 32GB eMMC 5.0 storage, Vega 8 graphics and two DDR4 SODIMM sockets, plus a stylish brushed metal case and a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth M2 card.

You can drive up to four 4K displays via HDMI and DP alternate mode on USB Type-C. In addition, there are two M2 slots and one SATA, with a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, audio connectors and a 65W power supply unit.

The ATmega32U4 comes with its own set of digital I/O pins, which sets it apart from the competition, especially as the board is surprisingly small (120 x 120mm) –  although still bigger than the Raspberry Pi (85 x 56mm).

The Bolt V8's unique selling point is the fact the Arduino controller can act as a virtual valet to the Ryzen chip, waking it up when necessary (e.g. to perform a resource-hungry task such as mining or encryption).

Who is this board aimed at? Makers, developers but also anyone interested in a powerful computer in a small form factor with plenty of connectivity options. Yes, it is expensive, but then it is also one-of-a-kind.

Bear in mind

  • If the UDOO Bolt V8 does not ship to your region, you may have to use a specialist parcel forwarding service if you want to take advantage of the deal.
  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know any we'll tip our hat to you.

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