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ADL Embedded Solutions ADLEPC-1520 Atom based Industrial Mini PC Supports Stackable I/O Expansion

February 20th, 2018 No comments

ADL Embedded Solutions has recently announced ADLEPC-1520 embedded mini PC powered by a dual or quad core Intel Atom Bay Trail-I processor, supporting wide temperature range, and long term 15 years availability for industrial applications and environments.

The computer also includes an expansion header with PCIe, SATA, USB, SM-Bus and DisplayPort interfaces, that allows for standard or custom expansion board stackable on top of the main board.

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ADLEPC-1520 specifications for the main board (ADLE3800SEC):

  • SoC (one or the other)
    • Intel Atom E3845 quad core Bay Trail-I processor @ up to 1.91GHz, with 2MB cache, 10W TDP
    • Intel Atom E3827 dual core Bay Trail-I processor @ up to 1.75 GHz, with 1MB cache, 8W TDP
  • System Memory – Up to 4GB soldered down
  • Storage – 2x M.2 Key B 2242 SATA II SSD slots
  • Video Output – 1x DisplayPort
  • Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
  • Security – TPM 2.0 via Intel Chipset PTT and BIOS
  • BAseCon140 Expansion Connector – 1x DisplayPort/HDMI, 1x SATA, 2x USB 2.0, 2x PCIe
  • Power Supply – 20 to 30 VDC input; Options for 12 to 24VDC and 24 to 36 VDC; other options via expansion board
  • Operating Temperature – Standard – 0°C – 70°C; optional -40°C to 85°C screening (requires cooling plate)
  • Dimensions – 9.4 x 8.65 x 5.85 cm (with case and expansion board)
  • Weight – 680 grams

The company offers support for Windows and Linux including Ubuntu 16.04 and RHEL (Redhat Embedded Linux).

ADLE3800SEC Board Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

As for expansion boards for top half of the mini PC, there are currently three choices:

  • ADLEPC-1520-A039 –  Adds 2x LAN, 2x USB 2.0, 1x M.2 SATA SSD w/ Front Panel
  • ADLEPC-1520-A039U – Adds 2x LAN, 2x USB 2.0, 1x UPS Module w/ Front Panel
  • ADLEPC-1520-CUSTOM – Customer-Specific I/O and Power Board Development Services.

ADL Embedded expects their fanless embedded PC to be used for Industrial IoT (IIoT) Network, cloud computing, unmanned or autonomous vehicle mission/payload
computing, cyber security edge devices for ICS and SCADA threat security, traffic engineering, oil and gas IPC and more.

ADLEPC-1520 mini PC, expansion boards and other optional accessories all appear to be available now at an undisclosed price. Visit the product page for a few more details and/or request a quote.

Via LinuxGizmos

Intel June Canyon (Gemini Lake) NUCs Now Up for Pre-order for $130 and Up

February 13th, 2018 5 comments

This morning, I was informed that Intel had now published product pages for June Canyon NUC kits, mini PC, and board powered by the company’s latest Gemini Lake processors with four models:

  • Intel NUC 7 Essential NUC7CJYSAL – Mini PC with Windows 10 based on Intel Celeron J4005 dual core processor (4M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz) with 32GB flash, 4GB RAM
  • Intel NUC Kit NUC7PJYH – Barebone mini PC with  Intel Pentium Silver J5005 quad core processor (4M Cache, up to 2.80 GHz)
  • Intel NUC Kit NUC7CJYH – Barebone mini PC with Intel Celeron J4005 dual core processor (4M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)
  • Intel NUC Board NUC7PJYB – Board based on Intel Pentium Silver J5005 quad core processor (4M Cache, up to 2.80 GHz)

We’ve already published Intel June Canyon NUCs’ specifications, so I won’t go through it again in this post, and instead I looked for places where the devices may be for sale. While I could not find them on larger websites such as Amazon, some smaller distributors are already taking pre-order so we can have a good idea about the price:

  • Intel NUC 7 Essential NUC7CJYSAL – $236.52
  • Intel NUC Kit NUC7PJYH – $189.79
  • Intel NUC Kit NUC7CJYH – $131.36
  • Intel NUC Board NUC7PJYB – N/A

The prices above are from Bottom Line Communication. Ground shipping is free to most of the US for orders over $1,000, and they also ship worldwide. I could also find some other shops such as TigerDirect selling NUC7PJYH for $187.99 + $6.99 shipping (to the US), but the board only does not appear to be up for sale/pre-order anywhere yet. More shops should list the devices in the next few days, but it’s good to know price will be similar to the one of Apollo Lake models, as for example, I can see the Barebone Celeron Apollo Lake NUC selling for about $130 on Amazon US.

Shuttle DL10J Fanless Gemini Lake Mini PC Features Intel Celeron J4005 Dual Core Processor, 3 Video Outputs

February 7th, 2018 3 comments

Several mini PCs based on Intel Gemini Lake processors were unveiled at CES 2018, including Zotac PICO PI226, MeLE PCG63-APL4, and ECS LIVA Gemini Lake models all of which slated to launch in Q2 2018. ASRock and GIGABYTE also announced Gemini Lake motherboards a few weeks later.

Most of the products above are for the consumer market, but if you’re after a Gemini Lake mini PC more geared towards business use cases like digital signage and multi-display solutions, Shuttle is now showcasing their DL10J mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron J4055 Gemini Lake dual core processor, and offering 3 video output ports at Integrated Systems Europe 2018 (ISE 2018).

Shuttle DL10J mini PC specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J4005 dual core GLK processor @ 2.00/2.70 GHz with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600; 10W TDP
  • System Memory – 2x DDR4 slots @ 2133 MHz up to 8GB
  • Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA III bay, 1x M.2 2280 M Key slot, SD card reader
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K60, DisplayPort up to 4K60, VGA
  • Audio – Line out & Mic input audio jacks
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi (via M.2 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0
  • Serial – 1x RS232 port, 1x RS232/422/485 port supporting 5V/12V
  • Expansion – 1x M.2 2230 A/E key slot, Kensington lock hole
  • Misc – Power button, power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 40W
  • Dimensions  – 190 x 165 x 43 mm (metal case)
  • Weight – 1.5 kg
  • Certifications – CB,CE,BSMI,ETL,FCC,RCM,RoHS,VCCI

The fanless mini PC will support Windows 10 64-bit or Linux, and ship with a VESA mount. Optional accessories will include a stand for vertical operation, and a 19″ 2U rack mount front plate. Shuttle has not setup a product page yet, but some information could be derived from the product guide (in Russian).

Via Liliputing and FanlessTech

Vorke V1 Plus Celeron J3455 Mini PC Review with Windows and Ubuntu

Most Intel based mini PCs use processors classified as ‘Mobile’ as these have lower thermal design power (TDP) ratings which is the maximum amount of heat generated by the processor:

However, the new Vorke V1 Plus has incorporated a ‘Desktop’ processor namely the Intel Celeron J3455. On paper this processor looks like it should perform similar to the Intel Pentium N4200 processor but with a tradeoff between being a cheaper processor to purchase but more expensive to run due to the increased power requirements.

Geekbuying provided a Vorke V1 Plus for review so let’s start by taking a look at the physical characteristics.

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The device comes in a plain box and was supplied with the ‘right AC Adapter’ for my country.

The first observation is that it is quite a large device. At just over 6” square (153mm) and nearly 1.5” tall (38mm) it is the biggest mini PC I’ve seen with an Apollo Lake processor.

It has a large (white) power button on top which is very ‘soft touch’ making it easy to accidentally switch off the device simply by a glancing contact for example when picking up or moving the device.

There are four USB ports with the front ones being 2.0 and back ones 3.0. Design-wise mixing these to include one of each front and back might have been better as connecting a wired keyboard either means using a ‘valuable’ rear 3.0 port or having untidy cabling from the front 2.0 port.

The front also has an IR receiver and the IR Remote Control is an optional extra.

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Otherwise the specification is interesting for not having an eMMC card but a replaceable mSATA SSD of 64 GB together with the ability to add a full sized 2.5” SSD as well. The HDMI is 2.0a and so it supports [email protected]

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Booting the device and Windows asks the familiar basic set-up questions before displaying the desktop. A quick look at the hardware information shows it is aligned to the specification.

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Unfortunately the installed version of Windows is old (version 1703) and is missing the ‘Fall Creators Update’.

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Whilst it is ‘activated’ it also includes some setting changes (e.g. the computer name) and additional icons are present on the desktop.

There is also a device without a driver showing up in the ‘Device Manager’. As a result I decided to install the latest Windows ISO (version 1709) from Microsoft making sure it was fully updated with the latest patches:

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And whilst the resultant Windows was still correctly activated:

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several devices were missing drivers. Fortunately, a full set of drivers is available from the Vorke support page, and it is simply a case of downloading and unzipping the file and updating each of those devices:

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which results in one device still missing a driver similar to how to mini PC first came:

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Interestingly the missing drivers relate to the ‘Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework’ including the ‘Fan Participant’ driver and this may explain an issue with Ubuntu covered later below.

Once everything was updated a healthy amount of disk space remains available:

As usual I ran my standard set of benchmarking tools to look at performance under Windows:

which confirms the performance to be similar or better than the N4200 SoC although this in part may be attributable to the improved disk performance because of using an mSATA SSD:

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Next I shrunk the Windows partition and created new a 10 GB partition so I could install and dual boot Ubuntu. I used a standard Ubuntu desktop ISO however I needed to change the OS ‘selection’ in the BIOS:

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I first ran some basic commands to look at the hardware in more detail:

which shows the memory as dual-channel.

Running my usual suite of Phoronix tests generated mixed performance results compared with N4200 devices again likely being affected by the faster mSATA disk:

Ubuntu’s Octane result was slightly better than in Windows:

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Looking at the device’s performance against other Intel Apollo Lake devices:

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shows that overall the device performs well.

Playing videos under Windows using a browser (either Edge or Chrome) worked without issue:

 

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I also tried playing a [email protected] video which played fine in Edge:

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but resulted in dropped frames in Chrome:

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although the number of dropped frames was lower than when the same video was played on the N4200 Intel Compute Card which has HDMI 1.4b:

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Under Ubuntu the previously seen issue of playing 4K videos in Chrome was again encountered and playing the video at 1080p resolved stuttering and frame loss:

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And it was a similar situation with [email protected] videos in Chrome although playing at 1080p now results in dropped frames:

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Running Kodi on Windows with a VP9 codec encoded video uses software for decoding resulting in high CPU usage and a slightly jerky playback:

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compared with a H.264 codec encoded video which uses hardware to decode and plays smoothly:

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as do videos encoded with H.265 or HEVC:

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Kodi on Ubuntu uses hardware to decode all three codecs:

 

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with no issues with the playback of the videos. However some H.265 videos resulted in a blank (black) screen just with audio whereas others played without issue:

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The ‘elephant in the room’ with this device is the noise from the internal fan. Maybe as a result of running a desktop processor rather than a mobile one means a larger more powerful fan is required or maybe it is just the type of fan used. However it can be loud. Under Windows the fan’s running speed (and therefore loudness) is dependent on internal temperatures i.e. workload. Under Ubuntu the fan runs continuously. The fact that Windows required specific drivers for the ‘Intel ® Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework’ including a ‘Fan Participant’ driver might indicate a fan driver issue with Ubuntu. Even trying the latest Ubuntu by running the daily ‘Bionic Beaver’ ISO updated with the latest v4.15.1 kernel did not fix this issue.

I’ve tried to make a video to demonstrate the fan’s noise by including a battery-powered clock next to the device to act as a reference in comparing how audible the fan actually is. In the video initially the device is in the BIOS boot menu and the fan is running at low speed and is just audible. As the device boots into Ubuntu initially the fan stops and then after loading the kernel the fan comes back on at high speed and is noticeably audible in a normal operating environment:

Albeit noisy the fan was able to prevent any thermal throttling:

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and kept the external temperature below 30°C.

which is not surprising given the fan is quite a large component in the device:

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Another two typical ‘pain’ points with Ubuntu on mini PCs are the micro SD card reader and headphone audio. However with this device, both worked without issue:

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Just for reference the headphones work under Windows:

Network connectivity throughput was measured using ‘iperf’:

with the wifi performance being similar to comparable mini PC devices.

Power consumption was measured as:

  • Powered off – 0.4 Watts
  • Standby* – 0.9 Watts
  • Boot menu – 5.7 Watts (no fan running) 6.4 Watts (fan running quietly)
  • Idle – 4.7 Watts (Windows) and 4.9 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • CPU stressed** – 14.3 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • Video playback*** – 8.1 Watts (4K in Windows) and 9.2 Watts (HD in Ubuntu)

* Standby is after Windows has been halted.
** Initially there is a high power demand before reducing to a constant rate.
*** The power figures fluctuate so the value is the average of the median high and median low power readings.

The results show a slightly higher power consumption than comparable mini PC devices which is in line with expectations from using a ‘Desktop’ processor.

The BIOS seems to be unrestricted:

Finally I installed an SSD using the supplied mounting kit:

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The SSD SATA port is accessed by removing the single screw on the base plate underneath the device and after fixing the bracket to the SSD it is then secured in place with a screw at the top of the SSD as the base plate will also secure the SSD by using the hole on the right:

I then successfully installed and booted Intel’s Clear Linux OS by selecting the SSD from the ‘F7’ boot menu:

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Overall the device performs well with the exception of the noisy fan and for some including Ubuntu users this may not be acceptable. It is a rather large mini PC and this needs to be considered before purchasing. Performance is comparable with an Intel Pentium N4200 mini PC although it will cost more to run due to increased power consumption. If you’re interested in Vorke V1 Plus , you can purchase it on GeekBuying for $159.99 including shipping [Update: using GKBPC1 coupon should bring the price down to $149.99].

Intel Gemini Lake NUC7CJY/NUC7PJY Kits and Mini PC Specifications Released

January 31st, 2018 12 comments

Based on Intel NUC 2018/2019 roadmap published, we expected the first Intel Gemini Lake NUC mini PC to launch right at the end of 2017, but there’s been some delays. Since then we’ve learned Gemini Lake mini PC from third parties should launch around the end of March / beginning of April, and the official Intel GLK NUCs might launch around that time frame, or maybe a little earlier, because today, I’ve been informed the specifications for NUC7CJY/NUC7PJY kits and mini PC had been released on Intel website.

Both variants have basically the same specifications expect NUC7CJY comes with a Celeron processor, and NUC7PJY with a Pentium Silver processor:

  • SoC
    • Intel NUC Kit NUC7CJYH / Intel NUC Mini PC NUC7CJYS –  Dual core Intel Celeron J4005 processor @ 2.0 GHz / 2.70 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cache, Intel HD Graphics 600; up to 10 TDP
    • Intel NUC NUC7PJYH –  Quad core Intel Pentium Silver J5005 processor @ 1.5 GHz / 2.80 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cahce, Intel HD Graphics 605; up to 10W TDP
  • System Memory
    • 2x SO-DIMM slots supporting DDR4 2133/2400 MHz SO-DIMMs, up to 8GB total.
    • NUC7CJYS only – 4 GB DDR4 2400 MHz SO-DIMM pre-installed
  • Storage
    • 1x SATA 6.0 Gbps port supporting 2.5″ SSD or HDD up to 9.5 mm thick
    • 1x full-sized SDCX slot
    • SPI flash device for Intel BIOS
    • NUC7CJYS only – 32 GB embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) onboard storage module
  • Video Output – 2x HDMI 2.0a interfaces up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR support; Integrated HDMI CEC in “HDMI 1” port
  • Audio
    • Intel High Definition (Intel HD) Audio via the HDMI v2.0 interfaces supporting compressed 7.1digital audio
    • Realtek ALC233 HD Audio via a stereo microphone/headphone 3.5 mm jack on the front panel
    • Compressed 5.1digital audio through a mini-TOSLINK jack on the back panel
    • Digital microphone (DMIC) array header for support of digital voice assistants, such as Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa (dual digital array microphones included with Intel NUC Kits and Mini PC, but not board-only SKUs)
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet port using Realtek RTL8111H-CG controller
    • 802.11 ac 1×1 WiFi up to 433 Mbps + Bluetooth 5 via Intel Wireless-AC 9462-D2W module (soldered down)
  • USB
    • 2x USB 3.0 on front panel including one charging capable amber port,  2x USB 3.0 port via external back panel connectors
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports via 2x internal 4-pin 1.25mm pitch headers
  • Misc
    • Consumer Infrared (CIR)
    • Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) header
    • Front panel header
    • Hardware monitor subsystem – Based on ITE IT8987VG embedded controller with voltage sense, thermal sense, processor fan header, fan sense input, and simple fan speed control.
    • Intel Platform Trust Technology (Intel PTT) Generation 3
  • Power Supply
    • 19V DC input
    • Auxiliary power (AUX_PWR) – provides 1A of 5 VSB and DC IN power
  • Dimensions – 4″ x 4″ (101.60 x 101.60 mm)

The NUC kits and mini PC officially support Windows 10 Home or Pro. The NUC7CJYH and NUC7PJYH are barebone kits without storage, memory, nor operating systems, while NUC7CJYS is a complete mini PC with 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC flash with Windows 10 Home pre-installed. The Gemini Lake NUC are also said to support UEFI capable operating systems, so Linux distributions should work, at least eventually.

Other diagrams also reveal the mini PC will come with fan, an RTC battery…

… and provide a layout of the board.

  • F – Auxiliary power connector (AUX_PWR) (1.25 mm pitch)
  • G – Digital microphone array (DMICS) connector (1.25 mm pitch)
  • H – Intel Wireless-AC 9462-D2W wireless LAN module
  • I – RGB LED header (RGB_LED) (1.25 mm pitch)
  • J – Front panel header (1.25 mm pitch)
  • K – BIOS security jumper
  • L – SATA power connector (1.25 mm pitch)
  • N & P – Front panel single-port USB 2.0 connector (1.25 mm pitch)
  • O – HDD LED
  • X – Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) connector

You’ll find the full details in Intel NUC Products NUC7CJY/NUC7PJY Technical Product Specification (PDF).

Intel Compute Cards Review – Windows 10 and Ubuntu 17.04 on CD1C64GK, CD1P64GK and CD1M3128MK

The Intel Compute Stick revolutionized the mini PC market through the introduction of x86 based processors making Windows available as an OS option. However, for Intel the biggest target market turned out to be business rather than consumer with digital signage being a key user. As a result Intel have responded with the introduction of the Intel Compute Card. So far they have released four versions of card:

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and they they differ from compute sticks by no longer being standalone mini PCs but dependent on a dock or host device.

The card itself is relatively small with a footprint slightly larger than a standard credit card:

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and is distinguished by the back being printed with details about the card including the model:

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The lack of emphasis on the consumer market is also evident in the rather unobtrusive plain packaging:

On the end that inserts into the dock or host device is a connector which is separated into two sections: a Type C-compliant portion and an extended portion. The Type C portion supports Type C-compliant connections including video with audio and USB. The extended portion supports video with audio, USB, and PCIe. Power is supplied to the card from the device the Compute Card is plugged into using the Type C portion of the connector.

The card uses bidirectional authentication to authenticate a compatible device and card. The authentication uses digital keys which are provisioned by default during manufacturing ensuring only correctly provisioned card and devices work together.

As the card can get hot during heavy workloads it totally relies on the dock or host device for cooling. It is designed so that direct conductive contact with the card surfaces provide heat dissipation. This means the card is capable of operating within all critical component temperature specifications and will produce surface skin temperatures that may violate typical safety guidelines or requirements. To stop the user being burnt when handling the card immediately after use requires the dock or host device to delay the card being ejected if additional cooling is needed to reduce the skin temperature to below 55 °C.

Although the cards now targets OEMs, manufacturers, distributors and channel partners Intel have also released an Intel Compute Card Dock allowing consumers to use a card as a mini PC.

The key specifications of the dock include:

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and it comes with a small power brick with international plug adapters together with a two meter/six foot long power cable and the dock can be used with any of the cards.

Intel kindly provided a dock and three cards (CD1C64GK, CD1P64GK and CD1M3128MK) for review.

After connecting the power cable, a monitor using the HDMI port, a wireless keyboard and mouse that connects through a USB dongle and an ethernet cable, the basic operation requires sliding the card into the dock followed by firmly pushing it in to ensure connectivity.  The card can be removed by pressing the eject button which only works while power is connected. Then depending on the BIOS setting the card will either boot immediately or after the power button is pressed.

As the cards do not come with an OS I first installed Microsoft’s Windows 10 Enterprise product evaluation ISO in order to run my standard set of benchmarking tools to look at performance under Windows:

  • CD1C64GK Compute Card
  • CD1P64GK Compute Card
  • CD1M3128MK Compute Card

The results show the improvement the newer SoCs have given the cards over the sticks:

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and shows comparable performance with devices using similar SoCs:

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The results for the Core m3 card are significantly better due to the internal storage being an NVME device rather than eMMC however the fan was noticeably audible when running some benchmarks. Interestingly the eMMC performance of the Celeron card was better than the Pentium card and this is attributed to a tolerance in manufacturing of the eMMC rather than a device characteristic and this difference is reflected in some of the benchmark scores.

Next for each device I shrunk the Windows partition and created new a 10 GB partition so I could install and dual boot Ubuntu. I used a standard Ubuntu desktop ISO however whilst the installation completed successfully the Ubuntu NVRAM entry failed to be created correctly on the Core m3 card and needed to be fixed by manually using the ‘efibootmgr’ command.

For each card I ran some basic commands to look at the hardware in more detail:

  • CD1C64GK compute card

  • CD1P64GK compute card

  • CD1M3128MK compute card

Running my usual suite of Phoronix tests shows a similar performance improvement of the cards over the sticks in Ubuntu:

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with Ubuntu’s Octane result being slightly better than in Windows.

Looking at the individual performance of the Intel Apollo Lake cards against similar devices:

shows the cards performed the best:

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Playing videos under Windows using either a browser (Edge or Chrome) or KODI worked without issue on each device:

  • CD1C64GK Compute Card
  • CD1P64GK Compute Card
  • CD1M3128MK Compute Card

Under Ubuntu the previously seen issue of playing 4K videos in Chrome was encountered even on the Core m3 card and playing the videos at 1080p resolved stuttering and frame loss:

    • CD1C64GK Compute Card
    • CD1P64GK Compute Card
  • CD1M3128MK Compute Card

And again some HECV videos played properly under Ubuntu while some videos resulted in a blank (black) screen just with audio. I also noticed for the first time that one of the working HECV video was actually very slightly jerky in parts on the Apollo Lake cards but played perfectly on the Core m3 card. The drawback however was that the fan is also noticeably audible when playing the video on the Core m3 card.

The internal temperature when playing videos using KODI on the Apollo Lake cards is very similar whereas it is much higher on the Core m3 card although the dock’s fan was able to prevent any thermal throttling:

and the external temperature did not exceed 33/35°C.

Interestingly the ‘temperature cost’ of KODI is very significant on the Core m3 and was obvious after exiting the application:

Network connectivity throughput measured using ‘iperf’ was similar across the cards:

with the wifi performance measuring much better than comparable mini PC devices.

Power consumption for the dock (DK132EPJ) alone was measured as:

  • Powered off – 0.3 Watts

Power consumption for the Celeron card (CD1C64GK) in the dock was measured as:

  • Powered off – 0.8 Watts
  • *Standby – 1.0 Watts
  • BIOS menu – 5.4 Watts
  • Boot menu – 4.8 Watts
  • Idle – 3.9 Watts (Ubuntu) and 5.2 Watts (Windows)
  • **CPU stressed – 8.3 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • ***Video – 7.4 Watts (HD in Ubuntu) and 7.7 Watts (4K in Windows)

Power consumption for the Pentium card (CD1P64GK) in the dock was measured as:

  • Powered off – 0.8 Watts
  • *Standby – 1.0 Watts
  • BIOS menu – 5.1 Watts
  • Boot menu – 4.5 Watts
  • Idle – 3.8 Watts (Ubuntu) and 5.0 Watts (Windows)
  • **CPU stressed – 8.2 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • ***Video – 7.8 Watts (HD in Ubuntu) and 7.5 Watts (4K in Windows)

Power consumption for the Core m3 card (CD1M128MK) in the dock was measured as:

  • Powered off – 0.8 Watts
  • *Standby – 1.0 Watts
  • BIOS menu – 9.7 Watts
  • Boot menu – 7.8 Watts
  • Idle – 4.8 Watts (Ubuntu) and 5.0 Watts (Windows)
  • **CPU stressed – 13.0 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • ***Video – 7.7 Watts (HD in Ubuntu) and 7.9 Watts (4K in Windows)

*Standby is after the OS has been halted and card is available for removal.

**The dock’s fan initially creates a high power demand and before reducing to a constant rate.

***The dock’s fan speed changes due to the temperature and consequently the power figures fluctuate. The value is the average of the average high and low power readings.

Finally the BIOS for each card only has a few key settings available:

One issue I encountered when removing a Sandisk Ultra Fit USB from the front port on the dock is that it is very easy to accidentally press ‘eject’ or catch the ‘power’ button resulting in the card shutting down.

The lack of a USB Type-C port on the dock is also a noticeable omission given a DisplayPort is provided. Neither is there an SD or micro SD card slot.

Overall the card and dock combination works well and the performance is as good or better than equivalent mini PCs. The design is well executed and an the card is a great innovation for computing.

The cards come with a three (3) year warranty and the dock comes with a one (1) year warranty no doubt limited because of the internal fan. The support that Intel offers is very good with regular BIOS updates and drivers available from their support website and RMA for defective devices under warranty in the country of purchase.

However for consumers who are less risk-averse they are expensive especially when compared to other mini PCs using the same Apollo Lake SOCs and when the cost of support is not factored into the purchase price.

The price also reflects the premium of the form-factor. Whilst the card and dock fulfill the functions of a mini PC the cost of ‘portability’ is hard for consumers to justify given the alternatives to the dock such as a card based laptops or a card based all-in-ones have so far failed to materialize. Equally the Core m cards and dock are competing both on price and better configurability with Intel’s own NUC range. From a consumer perspective the Intel Core m3 Compute Stick with pre-installed and fully licensed Windows 10 is actually a better option purely because it is cheaper than the overall cost of the cheapest card (Celeron), dock plus the cost of the Windows 10 software and would then offer a far superior performance than the compute card package.

With Gemini SOC mini PCs already announced it seems unlikely the card and dock will be popular with consumers unless manufacturers can offer products which use the cards at price competitive points. Which is a shame as they are very good products with very good support.

Logic Supply Introduces ML350 Customizable Fanless Industrial Computer Based on Intel Apollo Lake Processor

January 25th, 2018 2 comments

Logic Supply has just unveiled their latest industrial grade computer with ML350 model that features an Intel Celeron or Pentium Apollo Lake processor, with up to 8GB RAM, two DisplayPorts, up to two Gigabit Ethernet ports, mPCIe and mSATA expansion slots and more.

The mini PC is customizable, so when you order you can configure it match your exact requirements, for example you can select the amount of RAM (4GB or 8GB), storage up to 2TB mSATA SSDs, wireless connectivity (WiFI, Bluetooth, 4G), mounting options, and other hardware options. The company can also change the color of the front and back panels and add your own logo though their Rapid Branding program.Logic Supply ML350 (ML350G-10) specifications:

  • SoC (one of the other)
    • Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor @ 1.10 / 2.40 GHz with Intel HD graphics 500
    • Intel Pentium N4200 quad core processor @ 1.10 / 2.50 GHz with Intel HD graphics 505
  • System Memory – 1x DDR3L DIMM (non-ECC) up to 8 GB @ 1600 MHz
  • Storage – 2x mSATA (1 shared with full/half size mPCIe)
  • Rear I/O
    • 2x DisplayPort outputs
    • 1 GbE LAN port (N3350) or  2 GbE LAN ports (N4200) via Realtek RTL8111G
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • Optional openings for 4x antennas
  • Front I/O
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 1x USB Type C port
    • Up to 2x RS-232/485 COM ports (Optional)
    • 1x Audio jack (mic in, line out)
    • Power button
  • Expansion
    • 1x Full size mPCIe socket
    • 1x Full/half size mPCIe socket (shared with mSATA)
  • Misc – Watchdog Timer
  • Power Supply – 9~24 VDC input via DC jack; 12V/3A or 12V/5A power supplies are offered by the company
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) – 196 x 36.2 x 121.3 mm (Aluminum & steel case )
  • Temperature Range – 0 ~ 50°C
  • Certfications – CE standards applied (EN 55022 / EN 55024 / EN 55032 / EN 60950-1); FCC – Assembled using FCC certified components; RoHS

Mounting options include DIN, VESA, or wall-mounts. The mini PC can be purchased without operating system, but the company can also install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Windows 10 IoT, Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro at extra cost.
Typical applications for this type of system include digital signage & kiosk, industrial workstation, and industrial automation hub.

The basic configuration with Intel Celeron N3350 motherboard with a single Gigabit Ethernet port, 4GB RAM, 32 GB mSATA SSD, no wireless module nor COM ports, and a 12V/3A goes for $558.95 and up, while the Pentium N4200 model with dual Gigabit Ethernet starts at $639.95. You can try to build your own configuration to see what the options are, and what the total price would be. Discount are available for volume orders.

Via FanlessTech

CCC Air Stick 4K TV Stick Runs Android TV, Supports HDR10, aptX HD Bluetooth Audio (Japan)

January 19th, 2018 11 comments

It’s been a while since I have seen an Amlogic S912 TV stick, and so far none of them would run Android TV operating system. But CCC Air Stick 4K does, meaning it supports Google Cast like a ChromeCast, as well as Voice Commands through a remote control.

The company also claims support for aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth audio, as well as online services such as Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, and some Japanese specific services, since the TV stick only targets the Japanese market.

Air Stick 4K specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S912J 64-bit octa core Arm Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5GHz with Arm Mali GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB
  • Storage – 16 GB flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10, CEC support
  • Audio – HDMI audio output, aptX / aptX audio over Bluetooth
  • Connectivity
    • Dual band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.1
    • Ethernet via power adapter
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port via power adapter
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 70.0 mm × 30.0 mm × 11.0 mm
  • Weight – 30g

The dongle runs Android TV 7.1.2 Nougat, and should be upgrade to Android 8.x Oreo in the future. It ships with a remote control with a microphone for voice commands, a short HDMI male to female adapter, and an interesting power adapter with Ethernet (RJ45), and a USB type A port. The Ethernet port allows the TV stick to be used as a WiFi hotspot for up to 8 devices.

I had never heard about S912J, and web searches all point to the stick discussed in this post, so either it somehow got inserted by mistake, or there’s somehow a special version of Amlogic S912 processor for Japan, or TV sticks.

CCC Air Stick 4K is sold for 9,800 Yen(or 10,584 Yen with VAT), or the equivalent of $88.6 US on shops such as Rakuten or Yahoo Shopping Japan. More details can be found in the product page (in Japanese)

Via Android Police and thanks to Dave for the tip.