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Orange Pi Development Boards

Year 2017 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Fun Stats

December 31st, 2017 20 comments

2017 is coming to an end, and as I do every year, I’ll take a look back at the year that was on CNX Software. The pace of development boards launches has not slowed down this year, and we get an even wider range from the low-end with Orange Pi or NanoPi boards, to much more powerful ARM boards, and some new entrants like Libre Computer. The same is true for TV boxes, most of which now support 4K HDR, ranging from ultra cheap models selling for less than $20 to higher end Android TV boxes, while mini PCs were dominated by Intel Apollo Lake models, although some Cherry Trail products were also launched.

Processor-wise, Amlogic launched more Amlogic S905X derivatives with S905W/S905D/S905Z, which are popular in the TV box market. Rockchip’s most interesting processor this year was RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor designed for 4K HDR Android TV boxes, but also popular with single board computers thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 interfaces that provide good I/O performance. Allwinner H2+/H3/H5 were launched last year, but they kept being used in cheap development boards, retro game consoles, etc.. The company also launched A63 SoC for 2K tablets, and H6 for 4K OTT TV boxes, and we can expect the latter not only to be found in TV boxes such as Zidoo H6 Pro, but in more Orange Pi H6 boards, and likely other products in 2018 since beside media capabilities, the processor also supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and PCIe. Intel’s Celeron and Pentium Apollo Lake processors dominated the entry-level Windows mini PCs market this year, and Linux was much better supported than in Bay Trail / Cherry Trail processors, but few manufacturers decided to offer Apollo Lake mini PC pre-installed with Ubuntu or other Linux distributions.

2017 was also an interesting year for the Internet of Things (IoT) with Espressif ESP32 going into full gear, and prices dropping to $5 for maker boards. Other WiFi IoT solutions that looked promising last year such as RTL8710AF, did not really took off in a big way. LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) solutions got even more traction with LoRa dominating, but far from being alone with Sigfox, and the emergence of 3GPP standards like NB-IoT and eMTC.

While I had written articles about 3D printing in the past, it really became a proper category on the blog this year, thanks to Karl’s reviews, and 3D printers provided by GearBest. I’d also like to thank Ian Morrison (Linuxium), TLS, Blu, Nanik who helped with reviews and/or articles this year.

Top 10 Posts Written in 2017

I’ve again compiled a list of the most popular posts of 2017 using the pageviews from Google Analytics, but for a change, I’ll show the results in reverse order:

  1. Google Assistant SDK Turns Your Raspberry Pi 3 into Google Home (May 2017) – Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant went beyond the companies’own products, and Google Assistant SDK release allowed developers to make their own DIY smart speaker based on Raspberry Pi 3 board, or other ARM Linux boards. I could successfully implement my own using an Orange Pi Zero kit.
  2. Mecool BB2 Pro Review – TV Box with DDR4 Memory – Part 2: Android Firmware, Benchmarks, Kodi (January 2017) – Mecool BB2 Pro was one of the first Amlogic S912 octa-core TV boxes with DDR4 memory, but my tests did not show any benefits over DDR3 memory.
  3. Mecool KI PRO Hybrid Android TV Box with Amlogic S905D SoC, DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 Tuners Sells for $80 (May 2017) – For some reasons, post about VideoStrong/Mecool Android set-top boxes are quite popular on CNX Software, and KI PRO was the first model based on Amlogic S905D processor with support for multiple demodulators.
  4. Orange Pi 2G-IoT ARM Linux Development Board with 2G/GSM Support is Up for Sale for $9.90 (March 2017) – “Cellular IoT Linux board for $10? Where’s the buy button?” might have been the first reaction to many people. But when buyers received their board, it was a struggle and may still be, since it was based on a  RDA Micro processor for phones poorly supported in Linux.
  5. Installing Ubuntu 17.04 on CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Apollo Lake Laptop (February 2017) – People want their cheap and usable Ubuntu laptop, and if manufacturers won’t make one for them, they’ll find ways to make their own. Sadly, CHUWI massively changed the hardware, and it’s not such a good solution anymore.
  6. ASUS Tinker Board is a Raspberry Pi 3 Alternative based on Rockchip RK3288 Processor (January 2017) – A large company like ASUS entering the maker board market, and the solution inspired from Raspberry Pi 3, but more much powerful. That got people interested!
  7. Creality CR-10 3D Printer Review – Part 2: Tips & Tricks, Octoprint, and Craftware (May 2017) – It was the year of cheap $100 to $200 3D printer, but CNX Software visitors were more interested in a better model, and Creality CR-10 review was the most popular 3D Printer review/post this year.
  8. Mecool KIII Pro Hybrid STB Review – Part 2: Android Firmware, TV Center, and DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 App (March 2017) – VideoStrong sells some inexpensive Android TV boxes with tuner under their Mecool, and KIII Pro was their first octa-core model with both DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S2 tuners.
  9. ASUS Tinker Board’s Debian & Kodi Linux Images, Schematics and Documentation (January 2017) – ASUS board was somehow started selling before the company intended to, and while firmware & documentation were there, they were hard to find, so people looked for that information, and found it on CNX Software.
  10. MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware & Kodi 17 (March 2017) – Apparently, I’m not the only to consider MINIX NEO U9-H to be one of the best Android TV boxes, as my review of the media hub was the most read post of 2017.

Stats

981 posts were published in 2017. Let’s go straight to users’ country and city location data.

The top five countries have not changes, but this year Germany overtook the United Kingdom in second position. Traffic from India increased on a relative basis, and Australia made it to the top ten at the cost of Russia. London and Paris kept the two top steps, but Bangkok rose to third position, while last year third, Tel aviv-Yafo went away completely from the list. New York is gone being replaced by Warsaw in 8th position.

The list of the most used operating systems, and browsers is fairly stable, but the trends noticed in past years continues, with Windows share of traffic going down, Android going up, and Linux stable, while Chrome dominated even more, with most other browsers going down in percentage basis, except Edge that is very slowly replacing Internet Explorer, and Samsung Internet that replaced Opera mini in the list.

Desktop traffic still rules, but mobile + tablet traffic now accounts for around a third of the traffic.

Finally, I went to dig into pagespeed data with pages loading in 15.58 seconds on average. I then filtered the countries with more than 5,000 pageviews, and CNX Software pages and posts loaded fastest in Portugal, Denmark, and Macedonia. However, people in Venezuela need to wait close to 2 minutes for a page to load on average, and in China and Iran around one minute.

Next year looks promising, and I expect to test Gemini Lake mini PC, and maybe some ARM based mini PCs or laptops, but I’ll review less TV boxes as due to some new regulations I can’t easily import them. The regulatory framework is now in place for LPWAN standards, and I should be able to start playing with LoRa and NB-IoT in 2018, using local services, or my own gateway(s). I’ll keep playing with development boards, as I’m expecting interesting Allwinner H6, Realtek RTD129x, Hilsicon, and other platforms in the year ahead, as well as various IoT products.

I’d like to come together with some of the devices and boards reviewed in 2017 (and a Linux tux) to wish you all a prosperous, healthy, and happy new year 2018!

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Marvell 802.11ax WiFi Chips are Designed for Enterprise Gateways, Mainstream Routers, and Set-Top Boxes

December 12th, 2017 No comments

High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW), better known as 802.11ax, is a new WiFi standard that is supposed to deliver up to 10 Gbps bandwidth over 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies, and improve the average throughput per user by a factor of at least 4 times in dense environments. Several draft of the specifications have been voted on, but the latest 802.11ax timeline seems to indicate the final 802.11ax specifications will only be approved sometimes in 2019.

This has not prevented companies to announce or unveil 802.11ax SoC or solutions based on the draft specifications, as we’ve seen in the past with NXP Layerscape LA1575 programmable WiSoC, Qualcomm gateway reference design, and Broadcom Max WiFi chips. Marvell has now joined the fray with their 802.11ax wireless portfolio.

All Marvell 802.1ax WiSoCs support all using uplink & download OFDMA / MU-MIMO, 1024 QAM, off-channel spectrum scanning, dedicated in-service monitoring, and precision location. Three SKUs have been launched for different markets / products

  • Marvell 88W9068 8×8, 8-spatial stream device with 5-GHz support (up to 4.8 Gbps) for premium enterprise and retail access points, carrier gateways and fixed wireless services.
  • Marvell 88W9064 4×4, 4-spatial stream device with 5/2.4-GHz support (up to 2.4 Gbps) and integrated Bluetooth 5 for mainstream enterprise and retail access points, carrier gateways and fixed wireless services.
  • Marvell 88W9064S 2×4, 2-spatial stream device with 5/2.4-GHz support and integrated Bluetooth 5 for the service provider and OTT set-top box markets.

Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The chips also have PCIe 3.0 interfaces and Marvell MoChi Interconnect, beside lower speed interfaces like 2-wire setial, SPI, GPIO, and UART. 88W9068 block diagram is similar minus the Bluetooth parts, and support for 8×8 5.0 GHz only WiFi.

Marvell 802.11ax solutions will be demonstrated at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, US next year. More details can be found on Marvell’s 802.11ax WiFi solutions page. The company also uploaded the video below explaining the advantage of 802.11ax for multi-user access.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a “Smartphone” or Cellular IoT Gateway with PiTalk 3G HAT (Crowdfunding)

December 11th, 2017 9 comments

The Raspberry Pi boards are used in a countless number of projects, and some of those turn one of Raspberry Pi boards into a (thick) smartphone powered by Linux. The first one was probably PiPhone based on Raspberry Pi 1 Model B, and other followed suit such as TyTelli based on Raspberry Pi Model A+, and more recently ZeroPhone powered, as its name implies, by Raspberry Pi Zero board.

UK based SB Components Ltd is offering another option with their PiTalk HAT based on a Quectel 3G UMTS module, and kits adding a 3.2″ to 5″ display, an optional camera, and/or Raspberry Pi 3 board.

PiTalk Camera Kit

PiTalk board specifications:

  • Cellular Connectivity
    • Quectel UC15 3G/2G UMTS/HSDPA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE module with up to 3.6 Mbps download, 384 Kbps upload
    • SMA antenna connector
    • Push push SIM card holder
    • Voice, SMS and data support
  • Audio – 3.5 mm audio jack, speaker and mic support via unpopulated headers
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for comm., 1x micro USB port for power only
  • 40-pin Raspberry Pi A+, 2/3, Zero/Zero W compatible header
  • Expansion – 2-pin ADC header
  • Misc – On/off switch; Status & “Netlight” indicators
  • Power Supply – 5V via header or micro USB port

Pi Talk HAT

The board can be controlled with Python code, but the company did not provide any details at this stage. A PiTalk GUI interface to control the board will also be offered, and the Open Hardware and Open Software logo are shown on the Kickstarter page, but again no detailed information about that part.

PiTalk Software

Somehow PiTalk “smartphone” is supposed to be powered via the RPi’s micro USB port, as there’s no battery provided, but you could always use a power bank, which will make it even bulkier, but should do the trick if you need some portability. Quectel UC15 module comes in three variants: UC15-E for EMEA/APAC, UC15-A for America, and UC15-T for Thailand, but it’s unclear whether SB Components will offer PiTalk with any of the three versions.

PiTalk has launched on Kickstarter with a 10,000 GBP funding target.  Rewards start at 47 GBP ($63) for PiTalk boad and an antenna, but if you need a kit, you’ll need to pledge 65 GBP ($87) and up starting with the 3.2″ LCD kit. Shipping adds 3 GBP to the UK, and 10 GBP to the rest of the world, and you can expect the rewards to ship in March 2018 if the project can be completed on time.

Via MickMake

MatchBox LoRaWan Gateway Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

November 30th, 2017 14 comments

Last spring, I wrote about MatchX.io MatchBox LoRaWAN gateway with GPS, WiFi, and Ethernet connectivity. The gateway is equipped based on a Mediatek WiFi module running Linux (OpenWrt/LEDE), Semtech chips for the LoRa part, and support up to 65,535 nodes, such as the as well as MatchStick, MatchModule, and MatchCore sensors provided by the company.

I’ve just received MatchBox gateway for review, but I’m still waiting for 920-925MHz LoRa nodes as they are going through the FCC certification process, and I also have to wait for clarifications regarding local regulations. So in the meantime, I’ll check out the gateway hardware.

MatchBox LoRaWAN Gateway Unboxing

The gateway is shipped with a power supply, power cord, two antennas, an installation guide,…

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as well as three screws and pegs to wall mount the gateway and power supply, and in case you want to install the gateway on a pole, as shown below, for greater range (up to 20km LOS), a clamping collar is also provided.

The power supply has 100-240V 50/60Hz input, and 24V DC / 0.5 output. It includes on two Ethernet ports, the “PoE” port to connect to the gateway, and the LAN port which you can connect to your broadband or 3/4G router.

One hand of the router includes two antenna connects for GPS and LoRa.

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On the picture above above we can see the model (MX1702) has FCC certification, and since the company is based in Berlin (hence the photo with the television tower above), CE certification has also been passed, but another model number (MX1701) is used due to the different frequencies.

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The other end of the gateway has a cover revealing the PoE port, a USB 2.0 port for storage, a USB type C port for debugging, and a Link LED. Installation is easy, as you just to plug a standard Ethernet cable – although a shielded one is recommended – into the PoE ports of the gateway and the power supply.

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Put back the cover to protect the ports of the gateway from elements and insects. You could also use another Ethernet cable to connect the gateway to your router, but using WiFi is also possible.

MatchBox Gateway Teardown

At this stage, I normally open the device to check out the hardware design, but an enclosed letter asked me not to because the enclosure of rated IP65 and ultrasonic welded to it may not be waterproof anymore after I reassemble it.

The letter also explain how to register the gateway with its serial number at https://matchx.io/cloud using the cloud services in Europe,  North America, Oceania, Korea, Japan/SEA (South East Asia), or India, so the service is basically available worldwide, provided your country allows it.

So instead of tearing it down myself, I asked the company to send some high resolution photos of the board.

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A Hi-Link HLK-7688A module is used on the board for WiFi with two u.FL antenna connectors (ANT4 and ANT3), and a PCB antenna. That module should be based on Mediatek MT7688A MIPS processor, but MatchX reports the processor is actually MT7628A. Both SoCs are very similar, but the latter supports 2×2 MIMO.

LoRa functionality is implemented with four Semtech chips:

  • SX1301 Base Band Processor for Data Concentrator for Long Range Communication Network
  • 2x SX1257 RF I/Q Multi-PHY Mode Transceiver 860-1000MHz
  • SX1272 long range, low power RF Transceiver 860-1000MHz with LoRa Technology

LoRa circuitry is then connected to ANT2 u.FL connector.

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On the other side of the board, the most notable part is Ublox MAX-7Q GNSS module supporting GPS/QZSS, GLONASS, and connected to ANT1 antenna connector.

You’ll find more details on Matchx.io website, and on MatchBox User Guide which provide more technical details, and explains how to get started. I’ll try that next time around.

ZeroShell Firewall/Router Linux Distribution Works on x86 Hardware, Raspberry Pi 2/3, & (Some) Orange Pi Boards

November 30th, 2017 12 comments

We’ve just seen pfSense is now available for Arm via firewall appliances such as Netgate SG-3100, but AFAIK there’s no pfSense community Arm firmware images yet. Several Arm SoCs & boards are now supported by FreeBSD, so in theory pfSense could be ported to those, but the page on FreeBSD does not seem to have been updated for a while.

If you want a firewall distributions with an easy-to-user web interface like pfSense, but that also works on cheaper Arm hardware, Linux based ZeroShell distribution could be worth a try, as beside working on Intel & AMD x86 platforms, the developers also provides images for Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 boards, and several Orange Pi boards, namely Orange Pi R1, Orange Pi Zero, Orange Pi PC, and Orange Pi Plus/Plus2. The latter is the only supported Arm board with Gigabit Ethernet.

ZeroShell Web Interface | Net Balancer Section – Click to Enlarge

Some of ZeroShell features include:

  • Load Balancing and Failover of multiple Internet connections.
  • UMTS/HSDPA connections via 3G modems.
  • RADIUS server for providing secure authentication and automatic management of the encryption keys to WiFi networks.
  • QoS (Quality of Service) management and traffic shaping.
  • HTTP Proxy server to block web pages containing virus.
  • Wireless Access Point mode with Multiple SSID and VLAN support.
  • Host-to-LAN VPN with L2TP/IPsec in which L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) authenticated with Kerberos v5.
  • LAN-to-LAN VPN with encapsulation of Ethernet datagrams in SSL/TLS tunnel with support for 802.1Q VLAN.
  • Router with static and dynamic routes (RIPv2 with MD5 or plain text authentication and Split Horizon and Poisoned Reverse algorithms).
  • 802.1d bridge with Spanning Tree protocol to avoid loops even in the presence of redundant paths.
  • 802.1Q Virtual LAN (tagged VLAN).
  • Many more…

Gateway Configuration

You’ll find the complete list of features on the project page. You’ll find live CD images for x86, and micro SD card image for supported Arm boards on the download page, and support is available via the forums. However, I have not been able to find the source code, nor instructions to build from source.

Via Time4EE

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi Industrial IoT Computer is Powered by Raspberry Pi CM3 Module

November 28th, 2017 5 comments

We’ve seen several industrial products powered by Raspberry Pi 3 board or CM3 module recently, with the likes of Industrial Shields Panel PC, TECHBASE ModBerry, or Pi/104 PC/104 compliant carrier board among others.

We can now add another industrial computer based on Raspberry Pi CM3 module with Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi IoT gateway, with dual Ethernet port, support for 3G/LTE modems, a rugged case, and working in a wide temperature range of -40°C to 80°C.

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Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi specifications:

  • SoC –  Broadcom BCM2837 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4 to 64GB of soldered eMMC flash,  micro SD socket
  • Connectivity
    • 2x 100Mbps Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
    • 3G / LTE cellular modem via mini-PCie module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3, up to 1920×1080
  • Audio – 3.5mm stereo line out jack, HDMI audio
  • USB – 4x USB2.0 host port
  • Serial
    • 1x RS232 port, ultra-mini serial connector
    • 1x RS485, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • CAN – 1x CAN bus, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Expansion
    • RPI HAT expansion interface
    • 6x DIO, 5V tolerant, 100-mil header implemented with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Misc – RTC Real time clock with back-up battery
  • Input voltage Unregulated 10V to 36V DC input
  • Dimensions – 112 x 84 x 25 mm (Aluminum housing)
  • Weight – 450 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 60° C; extended: -20° to 60° C; industrial: -40° to 80° C
  • Shock, vibration, dust and humidity resistance

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The gateway uses passive cooling, so no fan is needed, it supports both VESA and DIN rail mounts, and hardware protection against unintentional DC plug pull out and unauthorized boot from external storage.

The gateway runs Raspberry Pi 3 OS images such as Debian Linux (Raspbian), Ubuntu Core and Windows 10 IoT Core, and is compatible with IoT frameworks like Microsoft Azure IoT or AWS Greengrass.

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Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi will start selling next month with price starting at $110 for volume orders. Visit the product page for further information.

TECHBASE ModBerry​ M300 Linux IoT Gateway ​is Powered by NanoPi NEO Board

November 15th, 2017 2 comments

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE Modberry industrial automation gateways based on popular development boards such as Raspberry Pi 3, NanoPi M1 Plus, and Intel Cherry Trail’s UP board, and designed for applications such as PLC controllers or MODBUS gateway / router.

The company has now launched a new version with Modberry M300 powered NanoPi NEO Allwinner H3 board.

ModBerry​ M300 gateway specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – micro SDHC card slot
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet port
    • Optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, speed up to 150 Mbps, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2), LTE/3G modem, GPS module, ZigBee, Bluetooth, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, Nb-IoT
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host header
  • Expansion I/Os
    • 2x DIO ports
    • 1x RS-232, 1x RS-485
    • 1x 2-pin mBus master for up to 10 slave devices
    • Optional up to 3 ExCard I/O modules for more RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, etc…
  • Misc – RTC with battery, watchdog timer
  • Power Supply – 9~30V DC up to 20Watts without modem; 40W with modems
  • Dimensions – 91 x 71 x 61 mm (ABS case with DIN rail mount)
  • Weight – 100 grams
  • Operating Conditions
    • Temperature –  Standard : 0 ~ 60°C; extended range: -40 ~ 70°C
    • Humidity – 5 ~ 95% RH (non-condensing)

Modberry M300 Features and Options – Click to Enlarge

The gateway can run Debian, or Ubuntu Core based on Linux 4.11.2+ and u-boot, as well as the company’s iMod software to handle various industrial or other protocols such as M-Bus, Modbus, SNMP, MQTT, etc…

Pricing is not available just like with other Modberry gateways, and you’ll find more details on the products page. Not directly related, but found in the same TECHBASE’s November 2017 newsletter, the company also mentions M-Bus/WM-Bus support for their Moduino ESP32 gateways.

Compulab Fitlet2 Fanless Apollo Lake Mini PC is Designed for Industrial IoT Gateways

November 6th, 2017 4 comments

Compulab Fitlet mini PCs were introduced in January 2015 with AMD Mullins processors, namely AMD A4 Micro-6400T or E1 Micro-6200T both of which including Radeon graphics, and supporting up to 8GB RAM, mSATA, up to two HDMI port, up to four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The company has now launched Fitlet2 mini PCs, replacing AMD processors by Intel Apollo Lake SoCs, supporting up to 16 GB RAM, and designed for “demanding IoT applications” with support for wide temperature range, and long term support and warranty.

Fitlet2 specifications:

  • SoC (from a choice among three)
    • Intel Atom x7-E3950 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 2.0 GHz with 18 EU HD graphics; 12W TDP
    • Intel Atom x5-E3930 dual core processor @ 1.3 / 1.8 GHz with 12 EU HD graphics; 6.5W TDP
    • Intel Celeron J3455 quad core processor @ 1.5 / 2.2 GHz with 12 EU HD graphics; 10W TDP
  • System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM 204-pin DDR3L Non-ECC DDR3L-1866 (1.35V) up to 16GB
  • Storage – M.2 M-key 2260 | 2242 (SATA 3 6 Gbps) or  eMMC (on a module) or 2.5” HDD | SSD; micro SD slot
  • Display – mini DP 1.2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz; HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz
  • Audio – Stereo line-out | Stereo line-in / mic | 7.1 S/PDIF out | HDMI & DP audio
  • Network Connectivity
    • Up to 4x Gbit Ethernet (Intel I211) – two on-board and additional two through FACET card
    • Optional wireless LAN 802.11ac dual antenna + BT 4.2
    • Optional 4G cellular modem
  • USB – Up to 8x ports: 2x USB 3.0 and up to 6x USB 2.0 – 4 USB ports through FACET card
  • Serial – RS232 port (via micro USB port)
  • Extensions –  Function and Connectivity Extension T-Card (FACET Card) or M.2 E-key
  • Power Supply – DC 9V – 36V input; 5W to 15W consumption
  • Dimensions for 3 different all metal housings
    • Low power housing – 112 mm x 84 mm x 25 mm
    • Performance housing – 112 mm x 84 mm x 34 mm
    • Industrial housing – 112 mm x 112 mm x 25 mm
  • Weight – 350 grams
  • Temperature Range – Up to -40°C to 85°C
  • Relative humidity – 5% – 95% non-condensing
  • Shock, vibration, and dust resistance

The mini PC supports Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB and Linux Mint, and is compatible with other operating systems. Mounting options include and VESA and DIN rail mounts. The BIOS supports automatic boot on power resume, and settings can be saved to flash memory, so Fitlet2 mini PCs can work without RTC. It’s also possible to disable the power button, a remote power-button connector is present, and an optional TPM module can be added for hardware security.

Beside the switch from AMD to Intel, a new feature of Fitlet2 is support for what Compulab calls FACET cards (Function And Connectivity Extension T-Card), basically mPCIe expansion modules, 4 of which are currently available:

  • FC-LAN with two additional Gigabit Ethernet cards (for a total of four).
  • FC-PCIe and FC-CEM with support for both 4G cellular modem and WiFi
  • FC-USB adds 4 USB ports for a total of 8.

FC-LAN FACET card (Left) connected to Fitlet2 (Right)

Other FACET cards are being working on for PoE, 2.5″ HDD/SSD, and optical LAN. Specifications and design guides for FACET cards for be found in the Wiki, so you could potentially design your own.

The company has also run GeekBench 3 on Fitlet2 computers, and compared to the previous generation Fitlet PCs, they offer both cheaper price, and better (CPU) performance.

Fitlet2 mini PC will be available from Compulab with 5 year warranty and 15 years availability. Pricing starts at $153, but there’s no buy link on their product page, and Fitlet2 is not listed on their Amazon Store yet.