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Latest LattePanda SBC runs Linux or Win 10 on Kaby Lake or Gemini Lake

Dec 8, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 2,072 views
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Two second-gen LattePanda hacker SBCs support Ubuntu as well as Win 10, and are available in models that support Kaby Lake and an upcoming “Gemini Lake.”

When DFRobot — now called LattePanda — launched its Intel Atom x5-Z8300 (“Cherry Trail”) based LattePanda SBC in 2015, it was something of an anomaly: a maker-oriented, community-backed SBC that ran only the proprietary Windows 10. Now Shanghai-based LattePanda has returned to Kickstarter with two SBCs that support Ubuntu, as well as Windows 10: the LattePanda Alpha, based on a 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” Core m3-7Y30 with dual 1.6GHz/2.6GHz cores, and a lower-cost LattePanda Delta model with a Celeron N4100 SoC from the upcoming “Gemini Lake” follow-on to Intel’s Apollo Lake family. This quad-core, quad-threaded SoC runs at 1.2GHz/2.4GHz. (See below for new details on Gemini Lake.)



LattePanda Alpha (or Delta) from front and side
(click images to enlarge)

LattePanda is already well on its way to meeting its $97K Kickstarter goal, which runs through Feb. 5, 2018. Shipments are due in May for the SBCs alone, or June for packages that bundle a 7-inch touchscreen, a case, and a “streaming cable.“

When the LattePanda is configured with Windows, the streaming cable 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.

The major LattePanda funding packages are as follows. (The KS page lists them in Canadian dollars, but here we show them with the supplied US dollar conversions.):

  • LattePanda Delta — with Celeron N4100, 4GB LPDDR4-2400, 32GB eMMC 5.01 — $129 (early bird) or $139 (standard)
  • LattePanda Delta — as above, with activated Windows 10 Pro — $169
  • LattePanda Delta — as above, with activated Windows 10 Pro, streaming cable, 7-inch touchscreen, Titan case — $229
  • LattePanda Alpha — with 8GB LPDDR3-1866 — $269
  • LattePanda Alpha — with 8GB LPDDR3-1866, 64GB eMMC 5.01 — $289 (early bird) or $299 (standard)
  • LattePanda Alpha — as above, with activated Windows 10 Pro — $359
  • LattePanda Alpha — as above, with activated Windows 10 Pro, streaming cable, 7-inch touchscreen, Titan case — $419



LattePanda Alpha/Delta streaming cable view (left) and simplified detail view
(click images to enlarge)

 
Intel’s Gemini Lake

The LattePanda Delta is the first product we’ve seen that promises to run one of Intel’s upcoming “Gemini Lake” SoCs, which will launch next year as a follow-on to Apollo Lake. Leaked details about Gemini Lake first appeared in August on CNXSoft, which included the widely reproduced preliminary block diagram shown below.



Intel Gemini Lake preliminary block diagram
(click image to enlarge; source: CNXSoft)

On Nov. 3, AnandTech provided more preliminary, unconfirmed details on Gemini Lake based on this and other reports, most notably a leaked chart (PDF) from Russia-based Quarta Technologies (see below).


Intel Gemini Lake SKUs
(click image to enlarge; source: Quarta Technologies)

According to AnandTech, there are three desktop models and three mobile parts. Desktop versions include the Celeron J4005, Celeron J4105, and the Pentium Silver J5005. The mobile parts are the Celeron N4000, the LattePanda’s Celeron N4100, and the Pentium Silver N5000.

All the Gemini Lake models use Goldmont Plus cores with the same 14nm fabrication as the Goldmont cores provided in the Apollo Lake (Atom E3900). However, the Goldmont Plus cores are faster because they offer a 4-wide issue design, compared to 3-wide for Apollo Lake, and 2-wide for Airmont cores in the 14nm Cherry Trail and Braswell families. Gemini Lake is also notable for providing 4MB of L2 cache compared to 1MB or 2MB for Apollo Lake. Gemini Lake is expected to provide up to a 128-bit memory controller that supports DDR4 and LPDDR3/4, says AnandTech.

TDPs are expected to be similar to Apollo Lake, and the processors will likely supply the same 18-EU Intel Gen9 LP graphics core as Apollo Lake. However, they will feature an improved multimedia encoding/decoding engine that supports 10-bit VP9, and move up to a Gen10 display controller supporting HDMI 2.0 output. Finally, “Intel has reportedly updated speed acceleration engine of the Gemini Lake to support dynamic neural networks algorithms,” says AnandTech.

 
Inside the LattePanda Alpha and Delta

Like the original LattePanda, the Alpha and Delta models are supported by a community website with a forum and extensive documentation, including pinout details and tutorials. It falls short, however, of being fully open source since full schematics have not been posted. It does appear, however, that the site will maintain an Ubuntu image for download.



LattePanda Alpha/Delta front and back detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The LattePanda Alpha’s Intel Core m3-7Y30 Kaby Lake processor has appeared on the Intel Compute Card, and an almost identical model drives Apple’s latest MacBooks. The configurable TDP on this dual-core, quad-threaded SoC ranges from 3.75W to 7W.

Aside from the processors and memory allotments, the LattePanda Alpha and Delta SBCs appear to be identical. The only exception we can see is that the Alpha offers an M.2 M Key interface that supports PCIe, SATA SSD, and NVMe SSD expansion while the Delta has an M.2 B Key limited to SATA SSD support. The LattePanda Alpha and Delta also include a microSD slot and standard (Delta) or optional (Alpha) eMMC

Dual simultaneous 4K display support is available via the three display connections. There’s an HDMI port (type unstated), an eDP port with touch support, as well as a DisplayPort, which shares a USB Type-C connection that also support USB 3.0 services and power input. An audio jack is also available.



LattePanda Alpha/Delta next to iPhone Plus (left) and optional Tian case
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to the Type-C port, there are three USB 3.0 host ports, a GbE port with Wake-on-LAN, and onboard WiFi-AC and Bluetooth 4.2. Dual 50-pin GPIO connectors include one with an Arduino pinout. As with the original LattePanda, there’s an Arduino-compatible co-processor. Other features include a 12V input, a PMIC, an RTC, and a cooling fan. The optional “Tian” case has its own built-in fan vent.

The somewhat incomplete specifications for the LattePanda Alpha and LattePanda Delta include:

  • Processor — Intel processor with Arduino Leonardo compatible co-processor
    • Alpha — Core m3-7Y30 (4x Kaby Lake cores @ 1.6GHz/2.6GHz); Intel HD Graphics 615 (300-900MHz)
    • Delta — Celeron N4100 (2x Gemini Lake cores @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz); Intel UHD Graphics 600 (200-700MHz)
  • Memory:
    • Alpha — 8GB LPDDR3-1866; up to 64GB eMMC 5.01
    • Delta — 4GB LPDDR4-2400; 32GB eMMC 5.01
  • Storage expansion:
    • MicroSD slot
    • Alpha — M.2 M Key (SATA, NVMe SSD, PCIe x4)
    • Delta — M.2M B Key — SATA SSD
  • Display:
    • HDMI port
    • DisplayPort (Type-C) shared with USB 3.0
    • eDP with touch support
    • Dual 4K display support
  • Wireless — 802.11ac 2.4GHz/5GHz; Bluetooth 4.2
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port with remote wake-up
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 3.0 host ports
    • USB 3.0 Type-C port with DP, USB, and power-in support
    • 3.5mm audio jack with line-in, mic
  • Expansion:
    • 50-pin GPIO connector with Arduino and EC (BIOS) pinouts
    • 50-pin GPIO connector (I2C, I2S, USB, RS232, UART, etc.)
    • M.2 E-Key — PCIe x2, USB 2.0, I2C, UART
    • Alpha’s M.2 M Key includes PCIe x4
  • Other features — RTC with battery, adjustable cooling fan; optional streaming cable; optional Tian case with integrated fan vent
  • Power — 12V DC input; supports USB Type-C input; power button; PMIC
  • Dimensions — 70 percent smaller than iPhone Plus; 13.5mm profile
  • Operating system — supports Ubuntu Linux and Windows; Optional activated Windows 10 Pro

 
Further information

The LattePanda Alpha and LattePanda Delta are available on Kickstarter through Feb. 5, 2018 at pricing that begins at $129 and $269, respectively. Shipments are due in May or June 2018. Volume shipment packages offer further discounts. More information may be found on the LattePanda Alpha and Delta Kickstarter page, and more will eventually appear on the LattePanda website.
 

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