Intel has made great progress in the low cost low power computer space thanks to Bay Trail based mini-ITX motherboards such as MSI J1800i and BIOSTAR J1800NH both with an Intel Celeron J1800 processor (10 W TDP) and selling for around $60, or the latest Intel NUC mini PC selling for $140 with a 7.5W TDP Celeron N2820. One of the requirements of mini-ITX specifications suggest boards to feature 20- or 24-pin “original ATX” power connectors, which requires a an ATX PSU, and adds to costs. One reader pointed out that another type of mini ITX boards dubbed “thin mini-ITX” do not require an ATX power supply, and could be powered by a standard 12V power supply just like Intel NUC.
Thin mini-ITX Standard
Thin mini-ITX has been defined by Intel a couple of years ago, and target the DIY market for All-in-One PC where you can buy an AIO chassis including screen, possibly touchscreen, and mounting accessories, and a thin mini-ITX board to build or upgrade your own AIO computer. It has the same size as mini-ITX (17x17cm), but the board height is limited to 2.5 cm against 4.4 cm for mini-ITX. Thin mini-ITX motherboard can also be used in low profile computer chassis. You can visit Intel thin mini-ITX page for details. You can also visit Gigabyte thin mini-ITX microsite for a short overview, and see show how a complete AIO PC is assembled.
Wibtek TJ1800G-SA/SM and TJ1900G-SA/SM thin Mini-ITX Motherboards
You’ll find several thin mini-ITX boards and chassis in Intel thin mini-ITX catalog, and AIO chassis compatibility document, but Bay Trail processors are pretty new, and they just mention Wibtek and ECS will provide solutions based on the latest low power Intel processors. After some research, I’ve found a very interesting forum post with a list of Bay Trail-D (Desktop) motherboards including some “thin ITX” boards.
There are indeed four thin mini-ITX motherboard by Wibtek: TJ1800G-SA & TJ1800G-SM, as well as TJ1900G-SA & TJ1900-SM, powered respectively by Intel Celeron J1800 dual core processor, and Celeron J1900 quad core processor both with 10W TDP.
Let’s have a look at the specs:
- SoC – Intel Celeron Processor J1800 (Dual-Core) or J1900 (Qaud core) with integrated HD graphics
- System Memory – 2x SO-DIMM Slots for DDR3&DDR3L 1333MHz up to 16 GB
- Storage – 2 x SATA 3Gb/s (SATAII) Ports
- Rear Panel I/O port
- 1x 12V/19V Power Port
- 1x HDMI. SM bersions only: 1 x D-Sub (VGA)
- 1x Gigabit LAN
- 1x Microphone, 1x Headphone/Speaker. SM versions only: 1x Optical S/PDIF-out
- 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
- Internal I/O ports
- 1x Intel Front Panel Connector (Reset, HD LED, Power LED, Power On/Off) (2 x 5 pin)
- 2x USB 2.0 Connector Supports 4 x USB 2.0 Ports (2 x 5 pin)
- 2x SATA 3Gb/s (SATAII) Ports, 1x 3-pin SATA Power_ODD Connector, 1x 4-pin SATA Power_HDD Connector
- 1x 3-pin CPU Fan Connector
- 1x 3-pin Clear CMOS Header and Jumper
- SA (All-in-One) versions add:
- 1x 4-pin Chassis Speaker Connector
- 1x Front Panel Audio Connector (2 x 5 pin)
- 1x USB 3.0 Connector Supports 1 x USB 3.0 Port (2 x 10 pin)
- 1x 5-pin DMIC, 1 x 3-pin Monitor Switch Connector
- 1x 40-pin LVDS Connector, 1x 8-pin Display Brightness Connector, 1x 3-pin Backlight Inverter Voltage Selection Header and Jumper
- 1x 4-pin System Fan Connector
- 1x 3-pin Panel Voltage Selection Header and Jumper
- Mini PCI Express – 1x Half Mini PCI Express slot supports PCIe signal, 1x Full Mini PCI Express slot supports PCIe signal (Default)
- Form factor – Thin mini-ITX
The motherboards integrate AMI EFI BIOS, and come with one optional 2-in-1 SATA power inverter cable, two SATA signal cables, one half-height I/O shield, and for the boxed versions a user’s manual and support DVD. The company only mentions support for Windows 8.0/8.1 (32- and 64-bit), but I don’t see why Linux distributions could not run on the board, at least on mini PCs.
The SM versions are for mini desktop computers, and SA versions with the additions of LVDS, backlight, speakers.. connectors are for All-in-One PC chassis, and the company also provides complete systems either AIO PCs (e.g. AMV23-TJ1900) and mini PCs (e.g. Q5-TJ1900) fitted with one of these motherboards. The mini-PC are just 27 to 30 mm high, and come with a 40W power adapter, whereas the All-in-One PCs are sold with a 65W power adapter.
I could not find price nor availability information at this time, but you can find more details on Wibtek’s thin mini-ITX motherboards, and products pages for AIO AMV computers and Q3 & Q5 mini PCs.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.