While waiting for my Mark 2 kit, I have been wondering about its potential, and I have checked the specs for the listed MPSoC SOC that has been selected.
From the specsheet, it looks to be in the same performance ballpark of the Raspberry PI SOC.
So what are the features for which it has been selected?
For the developer/tinkerer, the Raspberry PI has the advantage of being a known quantity, and I suppose also that having to build your own distro instead of relying on the Rapbian base has its cost, and considering that Raspberry Pi 3+ support is on the roadmap as well, will this not spread resources too thin?
Cost and capability. Raspberry Pi’s are $35 in single unit quantities and $34 in bulk. They’re form factor is also a limitation.
The Mark II is being designed from the ground up as a smart speaker and - in bulk - the overall board is less expensive than a Pi with a hat. It also fits in our form factor and is well suited to being included in other products ( automobiles for example ).
Finally, it is a lot more capable. It has a FPGA on it that allows us to accelerate noise cancellation and run Tensor Flow directly on the silicon. This allows us to deploy machine learning models on the device to do stuff like wake word processing and speech synthesis locally.
So far resources haven’t been a huge problem - we’ve been well funded and have moved the ball forward on a number of fronts. ( Shameless plug ) - you can help keep it this way by becoming an investor at https://startengine.com/mycroft-ai
Have you guys done a performance comparison between the Mark I and the Mark II? I’d be curious how much of an improvement there is between the two models.
@J_Montgomery_Mycroft, thank you for the detailed answer, that’s what I was hoping to hear…
So the new board will be able to run Mimic2 locally, correct? That is good to know, it was not clear to me this would be the case.
As for investing - I have visited the site and I am tempted, but I have never bought stock, and I am a bit nervous about all the procedure. I am not excluding I will, but I have to go through the documentation to understand how that all works!