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MinnowBoard Turbot SBC Gets a Quad Core Atom E3845 Processor, Better Ethernet, and a Fansink

September 6th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

MinnowBoard Turbot open source hardware SBC was released in 2015 with an Intel Atom E3826 dual core Bay Trail-I processor, 2GB RAM, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet support, and a new version – MinnowBoard Turbot Quad – with a more powerful quad core processor, an heatsink and fan, and better Ethernet connectivity will be launched in December.

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MinnowBoard Turbot Quad “MBT-4210” board specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom E3845 quad core Bay Trail-I processor @ 1.92 GHz with Intel HD graphics @ 542 / 792 MHz (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L 1067 MT/s (Soldered)
  • Storage – 1x SATA2 3Gbs, 1x micro SD card slot, , 8 MB SPI Flash for firmware (Tianocore UEFI, Coreboot, SeaBIOS)
  • Video & Audio Output – 1x micro HDMI connector
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet RJ-45 connector (Intel i211 instead of Realtek NIC on first board)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host, 1x USB 2.0 host
  • Debugging – Serial debug via FTDI cable, firmware flash port header
  • Expansion headers
    • Low-speed expansion (LSE) port – 2×13 (26-pin) male 0.1″ pin header with access to SPI, I2C, I2S Audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (including 2x supporting PWM), +5V, and GND
    • High-speed expansion (HSE) port –  60-pin high-density connector with access to 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 Lane, 1x SATA2, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, and GND
    • 8x buffered GPIO
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A DC input via 2.5mm center pin positive power jack; 5V DC output via  2-pin header
  • Dimensions – 99 x 74mm
  • Temperature Range –  Operating: TBD; Storage: -20 to +85 deg C
  • Certifications – FCC Class B, CE, IEC-60950, RoHS/WEEE

The company claims the new processor is 2.5 times faster than the dual core processor used in the first board, likely referring to multi-core performance at a higher clock speed, and the fansink should make it more suitable for higher temperature applications. Gigabit Ethernet is also supposed to benefit from replacing a Realtek GbE controller by Intel i211.

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MinnowBoard Case – Click to Enlarge

The board leverages MinnowBoard MAX ecosystem, with support for many different operating systems including Debian GNU/Linux, Brillo, Windows 8.1 / 10, Android 4.4, and Ubuntu. MinnowBoard Turbot (Quad) is also compatible with the Yocto Project, 64-bit Intel firmware, Coreboot and U-boot, and more with details available on Minnowboard Wiki. The board will be open source hardware with the files released under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license. The hardware should not be that different from MinnowBoard Turbot (dual core) whose schematics, PCB layout, gerber files, and BoM can be found on MinnowBoard Turbot Wiki.

The board can be pre-ordered for $189.95 on Netgate, but you may consider adding accessories like a metal case (+$19), 5V/2A or 4A power supply ($10.95/$12.95), and/or a HDMI cable ($9.995). Bear in mind that shipping is only scheduled for December 2016.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

  1. RK
    September 6th, 2016 at 18:50 | #1

    1. Overpowered.
    2. Overheating.
    3. Overpriced.
    4. Outdated.

    It’s Intel’s poster-child.

  2. GanjaBear
    September 6th, 2016 at 21:13 | #2

    Funny!

  3. CampGareth
    September 7th, 2016 at 00:32 | #3

    That’s way too expensive for a bay trail processor.

    On the other hand what’s the best cheap x86 board these days with USB 3, GigE and some on board storage (say 16GB)? An UP Board’s about $100 but uses a weird microUSB connector for its USB3 port. Lattepanda only does 100mbit ethernet.

    I’ve been attempting to use ceph on some $35 ARM boards with 2GB RAM, GigE, 16GB eMMC and no USB 3 but I’ll give that up for the price. Unfortunately they’re H3 based so mainline support for them isn’t quite there. Ceph needs mainline kernels.

  4. peter
    September 7th, 2016 at 00:34 | #4

    @RK

    And it is actually no open source hardware.

  5. TLS
    September 7th, 2016 at 01:30 | #5
  6. Greg Dalton
    September 7th, 2016 at 02:42 | #6

    Looked interesting…until I read the price at the end…

  7. Sander
    September 7th, 2016 at 04:02 | #7

    $189.95 ?! LOL! Way too expensive.

  8. Karl Johnson
    September 7th, 2016 at 05:16 | #8

    What is an SBC. I work in telecom and we have that as well. Session border controller.

  9. RK
    September 7th, 2016 at 06:33 | #9

    @Karl SBC is a single-board computer.

    @peter Well, to be fair the board fits the definition (http://www.oshwa.org/definition/) by providing the CAD schematics to the board.

    Unfortunately, when every soldered logic component is a black box, an open source board is as useful as tits on a bull :/

  10. September 8th, 2016 at 20:48 | #10

    CPU outdated – yes –
    Price expensive – yes –
    but no other board can show currently this features: 1GB Ethernet / SATA / USB 3.0.

    I like my MinnowBoard Turbot Dual 🙂

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