Back in March, I was tipped about AAEON’s upcoming UP Xtreme Whiskey Lake board equipped with Intel’s latest 15W processors, and providing a boost in performance compared to their previous UP boards, including UP Squared board introduced in 2016 with a choice of Apollo Lake processors.
The company has now finally launched a Kickstarter campaign to let the public pledge for UP Xtreme SBC for €249 and up.
UP Xtreme Whiskey Lake-U SBC specifications:
- SoC (one or the other)
- Intel Celeron 4305UE dual-core processor @ up to 2.2 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel UHD 610 graphics
- Intel Core i3-8145UE dual-core 4-thread processor @ up to 2.1 GHz / 3.9 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cache, Intel UHD 620 graphics
- Intel Core i5-8365UE quad-core 8-thread processor @ up to 1.6 GHz / 4.1 GHz (Turbo) with 6MB cache, Intel UHD 620 graphics
- Intel Core i7-8665UE quad-core 8-thread processor @ up to 1.9 GHz / 4.8 GHz (Turbo) with 8MB cache, Intel UHD 620 graphics
- System Memory – 4GB, 8GB or 16GB dual-channel DDR4 memory (soldered on-board)
- Storage – 1x SATA connector with power connector, 1x mSATA socket, 1x M.2 socket (See expansion section below for details)
- Video Output
- 1x eDP with backlight control header up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz (Note: While using a multi-display configuration, the max resolution of eDP depends on DDR speed).
- 1x HDMI/DisplayPort Stack connector up to 4096 x 2160 @ 30 Hz and 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz respectively
- Decode – 4K 10-bit HEVC, 4K 10-bit VP9, 4K H.264/AVC, VP8, MPEG-2, MJPEG, VC-1
- Encode – 4K 10-bit HEVC, 4K VP9, 4K H.264/AVC, VP8, MPEG-2, MJPEG
- Audio – ALC887 audio codec; 3.5mm audio out/mic in jack, I2S header
- Network Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet via Intel i210 (TSN), and i219LM transceivers
- USB – 4x USB3.1 ports, 1x USB2.0 on-pin header
- Serial Ports – 2x 10-pin RS232/422/485 headers via Fintech F81801, 1x RS232 (TTL)
- Expansion Slot
- 1x M.2 2230 E Key socket (1x PCIe x1, 1x USB2.0) for wireless cards
- 1x M.2 2242/2280 B/M Key socket (2 x PCIe / 2xSATA) for high-speed SSD or deep learning accelerators (e.g. UP AI Core X)
- 1x mini PCIe with 1x PCIe x1 (option mSATA), 1x USB2.0, and SIM card slot for 3G/4G cellular cards, deep-learning accelerators, or other mPCIe cards
- 40-pin I/O expansion header with 28x GPIO, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 1x ADC, 1x I2S, 2x PWM, 1x UART, 3V3, 5V, GND via Intel MAX V CPLD
- 100-pin high-speed bus with 12V, GND, 3x PCIe x1, 2x PCIe x1 or USB 3.0, and 2x USB2.0 for NET Plus Expansion (3x Gigabit) or UP AI Vision Plus X (3x Myriad X VPU)
- STM32 I/O header for real-time operations such as motor control
- Misc – Power Button / LED, RTC battery
- Power Supply – 12~60V DC-IN via lockable connector
- Dimensions – 122 x 120mm
- Temperature Range – 0°C – 50°C or -20°C – +60°C with optional UP Extreme fanless chassis
The board has a fair amount of expansion include the 100-pin high-speed bus that was used to add networking, AI accelerators, and FPGA expansion cards to UP Core Plus board. Sadly, the high-speed bus on UP Xtreme SBC has a slightly different pinout, so some expansion cards will be incompatible. AAEON provided a compatibility matrix.
You’ll eventually find documentation in the Wiki, and get support in the forums. The board being a 64-bit x86 platform you can pretty much run any operating system you want including Windows 10, Linux distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. You may however have to select a specifically supported OS for some specific features like STM32 MCU real-time control or Myriad X deep-learning accelerators.
AAEON also shared a few benchmarks to compare the performance of UP Xtreme Core-i7 model against UP Squared boards and the original UP Board. The Whiskey Lake-U SBC is over twice as fast as the Pentium N4200 Apollo Lake board, and close to 7 times faster than the company’s first board. Please do not compare the results again Arm boards such as Raspberry Pi 3 in this comparison chart because Phoronix OpenSSL benchmark does not set the compilation flags to enable hardware crypto on Armv8.
AAEON went with a 10,000 Euros funding target in this crowdfunding campaign which should be easy to match. Rewards start at €249 for the Celeron board with 4GB memory, and a 19V power supply, and up to €949 for the AI Pro Kit UP Extreme 2 featuring the Core-i7 board with 16GB RAM, a 19 V power supply, a 128GB SSD, a wireless module with WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2, the fanless chassis, and one UP AI Core deep-learning accelerator with heatsink. Shipping adds €29 to €59 depending on the selected perk, and backers should expect their rewards in September or October 2019.