What is the difference between SMA and RP-SMA?

The terms SMA, RP-SMA and the associated sockets and antennas, which are referred to as male and female, easily cause confusion. So that the screw always fits the nut, we want to take a closer look at the various connection options of Wi-Fi and GPS antennas.

What is SMA?

The abbreviation SMA stands for "SubMiniature Version A" and describes a coaxial  connector for high-frequency applications, which was developed in 1960. Because this connector is screwed, it is mechanically very robust and also provides good electrical shielding.

It is used in microwaves (for connecting high-frequency cables that transmit microwaves), portable radios and cell phone antennas. SMA is used in our Mini-PCs when connecting them to Wi-Fi or GPS antennas. An SMA connector is used in frequency ranges from 1 GHz to 18/26.5 GHz. From 27 GHz upwards, more modern plugs, so-called "super SMA", are used. SSMA (Small SMA) was developed for use in space and can be used up to 40 GHz.

What does an SMA plug look like?

The SMA connector consists of a plug and a socket. The plug is on the SMA antenna and consists of a barrel with inside threads and a metal centre pin as inner conductor. In this case this is the so-called "male" connector. The corresponding "female" SMA socket is located on the housing of the PC. It has a barrel with outside threads and a centre sleeve in the middle, in which the pin of the plug fits.

What is RP-SMA?

RP-SMA stands for "reverse polarity" (sometimes also referred to as reverse SMA or for short "R-SMA"). It is designed to prevent the unauthorized connection of an external antenna to increase the range. In an RP-SMA connector, the gender has been changed. The RP-SMA male is also the connector with inside threads, but it has the metal sleeve as an inner conductor. The RP-SMA female socket has a barrel with external threads and a centre pin.

When they are plugged, the two are indistinguishable and the signal quality is the same. Although an RP-SMA plug fits mechanically into an SMA socket, it does not fit electronically. Such a connection is therefore not functional. If the socket and plug do not match, adapters can easily solve the problem to equip these Mini-PCs with antennas.

More on this topic

26 Sep 2019 Array ( [id] => 457 [title] => What’s new? AMD grows in market share & Ryzen prices drop, publication of USB 4 and Intel’s AI processors [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => In the last months there was no scent of a silly season in the IT field at all. Also September had plenty to offer: The market shares of AMD are growing to a top level, whereas the prices of their AMD Ryzen processors drop. The competitor Intel releases special processors for Artificial Intelligence and furthermore, the USB 4 specification was adopted. [description] =>

USB 4 and the compatibility to Thunderbolt 3

USB 4 was already announced by the USB Promoter Group in March 2019. Well over half a year later, the final specification was released on September 3rd. According to the press release of the USB-IF, the update complements the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 and “delivers the next-generation USB architecture”.

Since USB 4 is based on Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol specification, on one hand the bandwidth is doubled up and 40 Gb/s are possible, and on the other hand multiple data and display protocols can be processed simultaneously. The USB Type C connector, which established as the external display port for host devices, also remains for USB 4.

So far, so good. Now the big disadvantage is: Manufacturers are not obligated to implement the Thunderbolt 3 functionality into their USB 4 specification. That means: USB 4 capable devices are not necessarily compatible with Thunderbolt 3. And since not every USB device can reach the promised 40 Gb/s, USB 4 devices may reduce their speed rate to fit the hardware. USB 4 will be available with 10, 20 and 40 Gb/s – which probably means that small and cheap devices will only be found with the lower rates.

More about the intelligent bandwidth of USB 4 can be found in this article.

The published specifications can already be downloaded on the website of the USB-IF. Until products with USB 4 will be released, it will probably take until the end of 2020.

Nervana NNP-T and NNP-I: Intel’s AI processors

The topic Artificial Intelligence is growing and growing, that’s no secret. To serve the demand for special chips in this sector Intel introduced their Nervana processors at the Hot Chips HC31 conference at the end of August. With these, the concern competes with Google’s Tensor processors, Nvidia’s NVDLA and Amazon’s AWL Inferentia chips.

The processor combination of the chips NNP-T and NNP-I is mostly made for Machine Learning. NNP stands for Nervana Neural Processor, but the chips are also known under their codenames “Spring Crest” and “Spring Hill”. In the use case they are coming into action complementarily: The NNP-T chip is used to train the AI model with Big Data, the NNP-I chip is responsible for the Inferencing, therefore to implement the training results into the AI workflow. The SoC are produced in Intel’s own 10-nm technique, NNP-T in the 16-nm technique.

With the introduction of Nervana, the Xeon CPUs which were responsible for AI tasks until now, are replaced. Although they still provide enough performance, they are less effective and efficient than Nervana.

Source: extremetech

AMD market share grows, Ryzen prices fall

Already in our last news we reported about the latest business numbers of AMD. In the second quarter of 2019, AMD as well as Nvidia noticed a lower turnover of graphics cards in desktop PCs, workstations and servers – Nvidia much more than AMD. That’s why AMD successfully increased their market share from 22.7 to 32.1 percent.

Looking at the whole GPU market, that includes integrated graphics cards, Intel still has the pole position with 66.9 percent market share. But AMD also scores here: In contrast to Intel and Nvidia, only AMD was able to increase the deliveries and thus, raise their market share to 17.2 percent.

Source: extremetech

One of the main reasons for AMD’s success are the thriving Ryzen APUs. The processors of the Ryzen 3000 series note drastic price cuts by now, only two months after sales launch. The models Ryzen 7 3800X and Ryzen 5 3600X, whose value-for-money ratio was rated as bad until now, have made the biggest price cuts. The price development of the Ryzen 7 3800X can be found here.

Source: en24.news

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What’s new? AMD grows in market share & Ryzen prices drop, publication of USB 4 and Intel’s AI processors

In the last months there was no scent of a silly season in the IT field at all. Also September had plenty to offer: The market shares of AMD are growing to a top level, whereas the prices of their AMD Ryzen processors drop. The competitor Intel releases special processors for Artificial Intelligence and furthermore, the USB 4 specification was adopted.
24 Sep 2019 Array ( [id] => 455 [title] => Which interfaces can we find on a Mini-PC? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => The Mini-PCs from spo-comm all have the most different interfaces. Whether it is to connect TVs, printers, USB sticks or headphones: Everyone gets one’s money’s worth. But which interfaces are there in general? [description] =>

Multimedia interfaces

There are several ways to transfer graphical content from a Mini-PC to a display. Our systems are equipped with these:

So far, so good. But how do these multimedia interfaces differ each other? We have summarized the answer in a separate blog article:

VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI or DVI?

Audio connectors

Some of the multimedia interfaces mentioned above also transfer audio next to video signals. To transmit audio otherwise, our Mini-PCs are equipped with different audio inputs and outputs:

Connectors for external peripherie

To connect external peripheral devices, this includes printers, keyboards and also USB sticks, there are serial ports…

… and alsothe probably best known interface:

Additional storage space

In addition to the internal storage of a Mini-PC (HDD or SSD), some of our systems can also be stocked up with SD cards. On one side, they have a low power consumption, and on the other side, they have a high amount of storage space to safe the data externally.

  • SD card slot

Internet and network

Those who want to connect their Mini-PC to the Internet or an (internal) network, have different options.

Power supply

No mon’, sorry no power, no fun. That’s why there are:

Security features

Some of our Mini-PCs have also the possibility to protect them from theft.

 

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Which interfaces can we find on a Mini-PC?

The Mini-PCs from spo-comm all have the most different interfaces. Whether it is to connect TVs, printers, USB sticks or headphones: Everyone gets one’s money’s worth. But which interfaces are there in general?
15 Oct 2019 Array ( [id] => 463 [title] => What is the difference between mobile and desktop CPUs? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => CPUs are not always the same. Depending on the device in which a processor is installed, different characteristics with regard to performance, power consumption or waste heat are important. Which types there are and what distinguishes them, will be clarified in this article. [description] =>

What is a desktop CPU?

A desktop CPU is, as the name suggests, usually built into a desktop PC. Therefore, heat development and power consumption play a minor role. On the one hand, there is enough room for fans and a cooling airflow, and on the other hand, there is no battery runtime that has to be taken into account, as desktop PCs are permanently connected to a power supply. In return, desktop processors offer good performance, a bigger cache and more turbo.

Intel desktop CPUs

The Intel Core i processors (e.g. i3/i5) comprise both mobile and desktop CPUs. These can be recognized by the one or two letters at the end of the product name. These include, for example:

  • K = can be overclocked (open at top)
  • S = energy savings through reduced performance (performance-optimized lifestyle), turbo mode is used less
  • T = power optimized lifestyle due to reduced equipment, often with fewer cores than the regular model
  • No letter = unspecified desktop CPU

An explanation of the structure of the processor names can be found at Intel.

AMD desktop CPUs

AMD uses entirely different names for its CPUs or APUs ("Accelerated Processing Unit" refers to a main processor with an integrated coprocessor – usually the GPU – which supports the main processor and can also be superior to him). The series carry certain names. Most of the desktop processor series also have a mobile variant, which then has the corresponding name. Among the current AMD desktop CPUs are:

  • AMD Ryzen = powerful processors of the so-called "zen architecture" for gaming and high end graphics, comparable to Intel Core i processors
  • AMD Athlon = multi-core processors with Radeon Vega graphics unit for the desktop as well as the mobile segment
  • AMD A series = entry-level processors with Radeon graphics unit
  • AMD FX series = multi-core processors designed for high-end applications, high overclocking is possible

What is a mobile CPU?

For mobile processors efficiency is more important than performance. The standing out feature is a low power consumption, since, for example, notebooks are not permanently connected to the power outlet and must therefore be able to run only with battery. In addition, they have less performance than desktop CPUs, because a lot of performance also means a lot of heat, and mobile devices offer little space for fans and heat loss. Nonetheless, thanks to modern technology, there are also mobile processors that are suitable for 4K gaming and other high-performance applications.

Intel Mobile CPUs

The Intel Mobile processors include the following series:

  • Intel Atom = range of microprocessors and system-on-chips (SoC) for low-cost and energy-efficient systems (also used in tablets, smartphones and infotainment systems in cars)
  • Intel Pentium = series of microprocessors and single-chip systems, more powerful than Atom

But even among the Celeron and Core-i CPUs there are mobile processors that are identified by the following letters, among others:

  • U = "ultra-low power", referred to CPUs with lowered voltage and TDP of about 15 W. They are mainly used in ultrabooks, where the power consumption plays a major role
  • Y = extremely low power, similar to U series, but TDP less than 13 W
  • M = mobile Dual-Core
  • QM = mobile Quad-Core
  • HQ = high performance graphics, quad core, especially for gaming laptops because of good performance, TDP around 45 W
  • HK = high performance graphics, unlocked similar to HQ, can be overclocked

AMD mobile CPUs

As mentioned earlier, most AMD product lines also have mobile variants:

  • AMD Ryzen Mobile = powerful APUs with Radeon Vega graphics unit
  • AMD Athlon = multi-core processors with Radeon graphics unit
  • AMD A-Series = for notebooks, suitable for gaming

Which CPU is suitable for what?

Typically, desktop CPUs are installed in desktop PCs, while mobile processors are used for notebooks, ultrabooks and Mini-PCs. However, as desktop CPUs are getting more and more power efficient, they are more and more being installed in laptops. In addition, the manufacturers also offer server and embedded CPUs. While the former are similar to the desktop CPUs, but offer even more power, the latter are characterized by their long-term availability.

Mini-PCs with desktop CPU

Due to their characteristics, Mini-PCs often incorporate mobile CPUs that consume much less power and generate less heat. However, many applications require good performance, so many spo-comm Mini-PCs are also equipped with desktop CPUs. These include the KUMO V and KUMO Ryzen models for high-end graphics applications, the rugged outdoor and vehicle PCs RUGGED GTX1050 Ti and RUGGED Ryzen, as well as a few models where the CPU is even freely selectable: CORE 2, NANO H310 and NOVA CUBE Q87.

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What is the difference between mobile and desktop CPUs?

CPUs are not always the same. Depending on the device in which a processor is installed, different characteristics with regard to performance, power consumption or waste heat are important. Which types there are and what distinguishes them, will be clarified in this article.