Update 2/11/2021 05:18 ET: This article has been updated to include wireless connectivity details that were not present in the press release but have since been added to the product website.
Are you old enough to remember the Rubik's Cube? Well, SolidRun's latest SBC, the Cubox-M, may just remind you of that 1980's sensation. Announced today by SolidRun, (opens in new tab) the Cubox-M is a 2-inch cube SBC with either a dual- or quad-core Arm processor packaged into a compact and rather slick plastic enclosure, so there are no bare boards on display, unlike the Raspberry Pi.
Being just 2 inches cubed does not mean that the Cubox-M lacks power. The onboard NXP i.MX8M Plus Dual- / Quad-core Arm Cortex A53 can run at up to 1.8Ghz and features "an integrated neural processing unit for enhanced AI and machine learning capabilities at the edge" (per SolidRun's press release).
Cubox-M comes with 4GB of LPDDR4-4000 RAM as standard, but this can be configured to up to 8GB of LPDDR4-4000, and given the size of the board, this is not user-configurable.
Boot media and storage are handled via 8GB eMMC flash storage, and a MicroSD slot is around the back. Due to the size of the Cubox-M, there's a limited selection of ports. There are only two USB 3.0 ports and a single full-size HDMI 2.0 port providing up to 1080p at 60Hz. A Gigabit Ethernet port provides wired network connectivity,
and wireless comes in the form of 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.0. Just under the USB 3.0 ports is what looks to be a micro USB port, but we have not found any documentation to indicate this port's purpose. It could be a USB OTG port, or a means to flash a new operating system to the onboard eMMC storage.
What operating systems are supported? Well, at the time of launch, we are told that there is support for Linux Kernel 4.9 and above, so in theory, distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro are compatible – but this remains to be seen. Android 11 is also compatible with Cubox-M.
The front of Cubox-M is relatively sparse, with just a power button on display. Still, there is an indicator LED and an infrared receiver for use with a remote control, which is available separately.
Power is provided via a 12V DC supply. Still, there is an optional Power over Ethernet upgrade, which means that Cubox-M can be embedded into a remote location without the need for a dedicated power supply.
The Cubox-M will retail for $99, and the POE upgrade will be from $120.