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AMD Ryzen + Arduino: This motherboard has an exceptional feature found nowhere else

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UDOO Bolt V8 motherboard - $418.00 (roughly £330/AU$600)
This one-of-a-kind motherboard from little-known startup UDOO combines an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B with an Arduino controller. The product of a 2018 Kickstarter campaign, this unique piece of kit also features 32GB eMMC 5.0, Vega 8 graphics and can drive up to four 4K monitors.

A tiny company has combined an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B with a Microchip ATmega32U4 MCU for real-time I/Os and Arduino compatibility.

The UDOO Bolt V8 costs $418 (roughly £330/AU$600) before tax/shipping and VAT and was one of the hardware success stories of 2018 for crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, despite shipping much later than expected.

It's essentially a motherboard with a quad-core Ryzen CPU with 32GB eMMC 5.0 storage, Vega 8 graphics and two DDR4 SODIMM sockets, plus a stylish brushed metal case and a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth M2 card.

You can drive up to four 4K displays via HDMI and DP alternate mode on USB Type-C. In addition, there are two M2 slots and one SATA, with a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, audio connectors and a 65W power supply unit.

The ATmega32U4 comes with its own set of digital I/O pins, which sets it apart from the competition, especially as the board is surprisingly small (120 x 120mm) -  although still bigger than the Raspberry Pi (85 x 56mm).

The Bolt V8's unique selling point is the fact the Arduino controller can act as a virtual valet to the Ryzen chip, waking it up when necessary (e.g. to perform a resource-hungry task such as mining or encryption).

Who is this board aimed at? Makers, developers but also anyone interested in a powerful computer in a small form factor with plenty of connectivity options. Yes, it is expensive, but then it is also one-of-a-kind.

Bear in mind

  • If the UDOO Bolt V8 does not ship to your region, you may have to use a specialist parcel forwarding service if you want to take advantage of the deal.
  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know any we'll tip our hat to you.
Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.