ZimaBoard Intel Apollo Lake SBC and micro server goes for $69.99 and up (Crowdfunding)

We’ve had our fair share of low-cost x86 SBCs in recent years, mostly based on Intel Cherry Trail processor, with the likes of Atomic Pi and Rock Pi X. Ice Whale Technology has come up with its own low-cost Intel single board computer with ZimaBoard “single board server” as it mostly has network storage applications in mind, but with a 4K capable mini DisplayPort connector it could also be used as a standard SBC or mini PC.

There are two versions of the board both with Apollo Lake processors: ZimaBoard 216 with a dual-core Celeron N3350 coupled with 2GBRAM and 16GB eMMC flash, and ZimaBoard 832 powered by a quad-core Celeron N3450 with 8GB RAM and 32GB storage.

ZimaboardBoth ZimaBoard SBC shares most of the same specifications in terms of I/Os:

  • SoC –
    • ZimaBoard 216 – Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor @ 1.1/2.4GHz (Burst freq.) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 650 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP
    • ZimaBoard 832 – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Burst frequency) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP
  • System Memory & on-board storage
    • ZimaBoard 216 – 2GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC flash
    • ZimaBoard 832 – 8GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC flash
  • Storage I/F – 2x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports for HDD or SSD
  • Display – 1x Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Video Decoding – 4K H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2, VC-1
  • Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0
  • Expansion – 1x PCle 2.0 4x slot
  • Dimensions (H x W x D) – 120 x 74.5 x 25 mm

ZimaBoard single board server

The board is passively cooled by its enclosure acting as a heatsink, and ships with Linux by default, although we’re not being told which distribution, possibly Ubuntu 20.04. But being an x86 platform, other operating systems are also supported including Windows, OpenWrt, pfSense, Android, and LibreELEC.

Typical use cases include setting up a personal NAS, a VPN gateway, a software router, a 4K media server, or a Smart Home gateway. It could also be used for 4K video streaming. The PCIe slot offers more flexibility than other similar SBCs, but will likely be awkward to use as the card would just hang there outside the case.

ZimaBoard PCIe cards

The Kickstarter campaign is slated to start in a few hours where you’ll be able to pledge $69.90 for ZimaBoard 216 (retail will be $99.99), and $129.99 for ZimaBoard 832 (Retail: $179.99). Eventually, there should also be more information on the official website.

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