Windows 8 comes to open-source PCs with GizmoSphere board

The new entry in the market will compete with the MinnowBoard

Open-source Gizmo Board with AMD's x86 processor

Open-source Gizmo Board with AMD's x86 processor

The market for x86 open-source PCs is now a two-horse race, with GizmoSphere releasing schematics and design documents for hobbyists to build from scratch a Windows 8 computer based on open design.

The barebones PC runs on an Advanced Micro Devices G-series embedded processor, and the design documents were made available just a few weeks after the release of MinnowBoard, the first open-source PC based on an Intel x86 processor. Intel and AMD have been PC adversaries, and that now moves to the open-source hardware space.

The Gizmo board originally started shipping in January, but the design was partly closed. The board has been available as part of the US$199 Gizmo Explorer Kit sold through online retailer Semiconductor Store. Schematics, designs and other information about the board are available on GizmoSphere's website.

GizmoSphere's design documents go into detail about the components, manufacturing information and where parts were bought. Using the information, hardware makers and developers can replicate the board from scratch.

The Gizmo is compatible with Windows 8 and older versions of the OS, including Windows 7 and XP, making it a possible PC replacement. It could also be useful for developers who write applications for Windows operating systems. However, a Windows OS license would need to bought separately.

Most open-source boards, including the MinnowBoard, run Linux, which will also run on Gizmo. The Gizmo board supports Ubuntu Linux and the Android 4.1 OS code-named Jelly Bean.

The Gizmo has an AMD 64-bit G-series G-T40E dual-core CPU running at 1GHz, 1GB of DDR3 memory and 1MB of cache. Gizmo claims its board provides 52.8 gigaflops of performance. By comparison, the MinnowBoard has a single-core 32-bit Atom E640 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 512KB of cache. The Gizmo's integrated Radeon HD6250 graphics supports DirectX 11. It also has a DisplayPort outlet and does not support HDMI, which is a feature on MinnowBoard.

Other Gizmo features include a VGA, USB and Ethernet ports. The board does not enable UEFI boot firmware, which is one of the key features on MinnowBoard.

Raspberry Pi is the most popular, and perhaps well-known, open-source PC and finds use as a media player and in a wide range of products, including jukeboxes and aquatic vehicles. Besides hacking, open-source PCs are used to develop and test applications for mobile devices, electronics, embedded products and PCs.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags inteloperating systemssoftwareWindowshardware systemsWindows 8ComponentsAdvanced Micro DevicesMotherboards

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?