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Compact edge AI box runs Ubuntu Server on 24-core Arm SoC with choice of NPUs

Jun 2, 2021 — by Eric Brown 7,515 views

Vecow’s compact “VAC-1000” runs Ubuntu Server on a Foxconn FXN3102 with 24 Cortex-A53 cores and a choice of Lightspeeur 2801S and Hailo-8 NPUs. Features include 16GB DDR4, 64GB eMMC, 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, SATA, and M.2 expansion.

Like most embedded system manufacturers, Vecow focuses on Intel-based products. Yet earlier this year the Taiwan-based company released an i.MX6 UL powered VIG-120 IoT gateway for electric vehicles and it has now unveiled a similarly compact and Arm/Linux-driven VAC-1000 series. The rugged, 170 x 118 x 40mm system features a Foxconn FXN3102 SoC with 24 up to 1GHz Cortex-A53 cores and offers a choice of GTI Lightspeeur 2801S (VAC-1000) and Hailo-8 (VAC-1100) NPUs.

(click image to enlarge)

The Foxconn FXN3102 is a rebrand of Socionext’s SynQuacer SC2A11, which is used on Foxconn’s BOXiedge edge AI server. A Foxconn PR from 2019 (translated) refers to the SynQuacer SC2A11 as the Foxconn FXN3102.


Although Vecow lists no additional FXN3102 features, the headless SynQuacer SC2A11 features a 4MB L3 equipped cache coherent interconnect. Up to 64 SC2A11 chips cab be combined for a server with 1,536 cores running in parallel.


The GTI and Hailo neural processors that work with the Foxconn FXN3102 support deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow, ONNX, Caffe, and PyTorch, says Vecow. The up to 5.6 TOPS (or 2.8 TOPS at 0.3 Watts) Lightspeeur 2801S (SPR2801S) from Gyrfalcon Technology, Inc. is a bit more established in the market, having appeared on products such as the Orange Pi 4B. The up to 26 TOPS (3 TOPS per Watt) Hailo-8 is available on the Hailo-8 M.2 AI Acceleration Module, which has appeared on Leopard Imaging’s EdgeTuring camera system and as of yesterday, several Intel-powered Lanner edge PCs. Hailo-8 is also deployed on the BOXiedge.

Vecow posted a product page only for the VAC-1000 with Lightspeeur 2801S. However, the announcement suggests that the Hailo-8-equipped VAC-1100 is the same aside from the NPU.

The VAC-1000 runs Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS with Linux kernel 4.14.0, toolchain, EXT4 filesystem, and Python support. The system is designed for public surveillance, traffic vision, smart retail, factory automation, and other AIoT/Industry 4.0 applications.

The headless VAC-1000 ships with 8GB or 16GB DDR4-2133 with ECC plus 512MB SPI flash and 64GB of bootable eMMC with backup support. More storage is available from the SATA III bay and M.2 M-key 2280 socket, which supports NVMe. Major ports include 2x GbE (1x with IPMI) plus 2x USB 3.0, external micro-USB console debug, and internal micro-USB console for firmware updates.

The 0.9 kg VAC-1000 has a 9-55VDC terminal block, 2x LEDs, and standard wall-mounting and optional DIN-rail kits. The system provides a 0 to 55°C temperature range with 5% to 95% non-condensing humidity and 95% @55°C relative humidity tolerance. There is 50G shock resistance per IEC 60068-2-27 and 5Grms vibration resistance per IEC 60068-2-64. EMC compliances include CE, FCC, EN50155, and EN50121-3-2.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the VAC-1000 or VAC-1100. More information may be found in Vecow’s announcement and product page.

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