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Community backed Kaby Lake SBC ships with downloadable Ubuntu image

Oct 11, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 1876 views


DFRobot has fulfilled KS orders for its Kaby Lake based LattePanda Alpha SBC, and is shipping a model with 8GB RAM and 64GB eMMC without OS that supports Windows 10 or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

DFRobot’s LattePanda project has fulfilled its Kickstarter orders for its community-backed, Intel 7th Gen Core based LattePanda Alpha after several months of delays, and public sales have switched from pre-order to in-stock fulfillment for at least one model. Like the earlier, Intel Cherry Trail based LattePanda, the LattePanda Alpha is notable for being a community backed (but not fully open source) hacker board loaded with Windows 10. Yet with the LattePanda Alpha, you can also choose a more affordable barebones version without a Windows 10 key that supports an optimized, downloadable Ubuntu 16.04 LTS image.



LattePanda Alpha
(click image to enlarge)

The almost identical LattePanda Delta board that was promoted in the same Dec. 2017 Kickstarter campaign is still not ready, although like the Alpha it’s been available for pre-order since June. The Delta delay may well be due to shortages of the Intel’s 8th Gen Gemini Lake follow-on to its lower-power Apollo Lake SoCs. Yet, Gemini Lake has shipped on a few computers such as the Windows-equipped Alldocube KNote 5 2-in-1 tablet PC and Beelink S2 mini-PC.


LattePanda Alpha

It appears that the only LattePanda Alpha model currently in stock — and only at DFRobot — is the $358 barebones version with 8GB LPDDR3 and 64GB eMMC. A $298 barebones model without the 64GB eMMC and a $398 model with 64GB eMMC and Windows Pro 10 are both listed as pre-order, without a promised ship date. The $358 price for the shipping, Linux-ready model is $60 to $70 more than the original Kickstarter packages.

The LattePanda Alpha’s 7th Gen Kaby Lake Core m3-7Y30 is a dual quad-thread 1.6GHz/2.6GHz processor with 900MHz Intel HD Graphics 615. The processor has a configurable TDP of 3.75W to 7W, and like the original LattePanda, is accompanied by an Arduino-compatible co-processor.

In addition to the 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and optional 64GB eMMC 5.0, there’s a microSD slot and an M.2 M Key interface that supports PCIe x4, SATA SSD, and NVMe SSD expansion. (The upcoming Delta model instead has an M.2 B-Key without NVMe support, which was the only major difference from the Alpha aside from its Gemini Lake SoC.)



LattePanda Alpha front detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The Alpha is also equipped with an M.2 E-Key slot with PCIe x2, USB 2.0, I2C, and UART support. This offers additional wireless possibilities in addition to the standard dual-band 802.11ac (now called WiFi 5), which is accompanied by Bluetooth 4.2. A GbE port is also onboard.


LattePanda Alpha back detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The LattePanda Alpha provides 3x USB 3.0 host ports and a USB Type-C port with support for USB 3.0, power input, and DisplayPort. Dual simultaneous 4K display support is available via the Type-C DisplayPort, as well as an HDMI port and eDP interface that supports optional 7- and 10.1-inch touchscreens.

Dual 50-pin GPIO connectors include one with an Arduino pinout. Other features include a 12V input, an audio jack, a PMIC, an RTC, and a cooling fan. We’re still not seeing dimensions for the SBC except for the slim 13mm height except to say it’s 70 percent smaller than iPhone Plus. For more details, see the spec list and other background in our original LattePanda Alpha and Delta story.

One novel feature is a streaming cable that enables Linux, Mac, or Windows desktop users to plug the LattePanda into a USB port to provide easy access to a Windows device without requiring partitioning or dual booting. The streaming configuration, which enables a PiP (Picture in Picture) view for “seamless interaction,” is intended primarily for Linux and Mac developers who want to develop Windows 10-based IoT devices. As noted, however, you can also buy the barebones version loaded with Ubuntu.

LattePanda has a thriving community site with a forum and extensive documentation, including GPIO pinouts, but so far, only for the original LattePanda. No schematics are provided.

 
Further information

The LattePanda Alpha is now available in a barebones package with 8GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, with shipments due Oct. 20. Other models are available on pre-order, as linked to farther above. More information may be found at the DFRobot LattePanda shopping page.

 

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