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Mini-ITX mobo taps 2GHz AMD quad-core G-Series SoC

Mar 11, 2014 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 2452 views

Aaeon announced a Linux-ready Mini-ITX motherboard based on AMD’s 2GHz G-Series APU SoC, and sporting multiple display, GbE, SATA, USB, and PCIe interfaces.

It has now been nearly a year since AMD introduced its G-Series system-on-chip, which merged the company’s CPU, GPU, and I/O hub technologies into a single chip. In that time, we’ve seen the G-Series SoC appear on 3.5-inch SBCs from Habey and Win Enterprises, on a tiny Pico-ITX SBC from SECO, and on COMs from Congatec, SECO, and MSC.

Surprisingly, despite AMD’s own G-Series SoC reference design [PDF] being implemented in Mini-ITX format, Aaeon’s “EMB-KB1” SBC is the first production-ready Mini-ITX board using the AMD G-Series SoC that we’ve seen make it into production. (DFI’s website shows KB160 and KB161 Mini-ITX boards based on G-Series SoCs, but both are currently designated “coming soon.”)

Aaeon’s EMB-KB1 Mini-ITX SBC

The 6.7 x 6.7-inch Aaeon EMB-KB1 targets applications such as industrial control, automation, medical equipment, and transportation, says the company. The board is offered with a choice of two G-Series SoCs: the 25W TDP GX-420CA part, which integrates four 2.0GHz AMD “Jaguar” CPU cores plus a 600MHz AMD Radeon HD 8400E GPU; and the 15W TDP GX-217GA, containing two 1.65GHz CPU cores along with a 450MHz HD 8280E GPU.

1st-generation AMD G-Series APU SoC block diagram

Both board versions also benefit from the G-Series SoC’s integrated I/O controller hub, which provides three PCIe channels (two x1’s and a x4) and two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, plus high-speed SATA, HD audio, and USB 2.0/3.0 ports, among other interface functions. The SBC’s pair of SODIMM sockets can be populated with up to 16GB of DDR3/DDR3L RAM.

EMB-KB1 specifications

Aaeon lists these specifications for the EMB-KB1 Mini-ITX SBC:

  • Processor — AMD Embedded G-Series APU SoC:
    • GX-420CA (25W TDP) — quad-core CPU @2.0GHz; AMD Radeon HD 8400E GPU @600MHz)
    • GX-217GA (15W TDP) — dual-core CPU @1.65GHz; AMD Radeon HD 8280E GPU @450MHz)
  • Memory — 2x 204-pin SODIMM sockets; up to 16GB total DDR3/DDR3L RAM
  • Storage — 2x SATA (6.0Gb/s)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Display:
    • LVDS, VGA, and DVI output interfaces
    • Supports dual-independent displays
    • Resolutions — up to 1920 x 1200 @60 Hz
  • Audio — mic-in, line-out
  • USB ports:
    • 6x USB 2.0 ports — 4x coastline; 2x on headers and available at mini-PCIe slots
    • 2x USB 3.0 coastline ports
  • Other I/O:
    • Serial — 5x RS-232; 1x RS-232/422/485
    • 1x PS/2
    • 8x GPIO lines — 4x in, 4x out
    • Fan power connectors
  • Other features — WDT, status monitors
  • Expansion interfaces:
    • Standard PCIe x4 slot
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot with PCIe, USB, and mSATA; SIM Card socket
    • Half-size mini-PCIe slot, with PCIe and USB
  • Operating temperature — 0 – 60°C
  • Power — ATX
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches (170 x 170mm); Mini-ITX form-factor
  • Operating system support — Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7

Further information

Aaeon did not provide pricing or delivery information. Further details are available at the company’s EMB-KB1 Mini-ITX SBC product page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “Mini-ITX mobo taps 2GHz AMD quad-core G-Series SoC”

  1. Praxis says:

    Poor AMD. I really want to love them and have run mostly AMD hardware since the old K-5 CPUs in the 90s, but Intel is really eating their lunch. The one area where they could still compete was the low power mini-ITX desktops like the E450, etc., which were better then the old Intel Atom, which Intel seemed to go out of its way not to update significantly for several years. Now they are being crushed in that segment too, since Intel has released the Bay Trail j1800 chipset. Almost twice the CPU power at 2/3rds of the energy usage, it seems to me. And this board only has 2 SATA ports, so it won’t even score over the j1800 in the light-weight home server market. And you would have to deal with the execrable FGLRX driver or the radeon, no thanks, Intel is generally way more open source friendly.

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