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Pico-ITX and Mini-ITX boards take off with Tiger Lake

Feb 12, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 5716 views

Commell unveiled “LP-179” Pico-ITX and “LV-6712” Mini-ITX boards with Intel 11th Gen CPUs plus 2.5GbE ports and up to quad displays. Meanwhile, Aaeon has revealed some more details on its Tiger Lake based “PICO-TGU4” SBC.

Commell announced two SBCs built around Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake ULP3 processors. The LP-179 is the first Pico-ITX form-factor Tiger Lake SBC that we have seen, although Aaeon has just posted some preliminary specs and images for a PICO-TGU4 Pico-ITX board that we summarize farther below. The LV-6712 joins 11th Gen Mini-ITX boards previously announced by ASRock and IEI.



Commell’s LP-179 (left) and LV-6712
(click images to enlarge)

The Commell boards both support applications with demanding multi-tasking requirements, including gaming, surveillance, medical, defense, transportation, and industrial automation. No OS support was listed for the Commell or Aaeon boards, but Linux and Windows should feel right at home.

The Commell SBCs will be available with any 11th Gen part, but the initial SKUs offer two options from the embedded “E” Tiger Lake variants. The “E” variants offer extended support availability and slightly lower base and Turbo frequencies than their similarly named standard ULP3 siblings. The LV-6712 product page includes a footnote saying that industrial “GRE” parts with Intel TCC and functional safety features are available for special orders.

On the high end, you can order Intel’s quad-core Core i7-1185G7E, which runs at 1.2GHz (12W), 1.8GHz (15W), 2.8GHz (28W) and 4.4GHz Turbo and offers the top-of-the-line 96EU Iris Xe Graphics. On the low end, you get the dual-core, 1.8GHz Celeron 6305E with Intel UHD Graphics and a 15W TDP. The Celeron 6305E shipped a bit later than other Tiger Lake chips in Q4, and Intel finally posted an Ark page.

The 10nm fabricated 11th Gen processors offer a significant CPU boost over 10th Gen Comet Lake and a huge graphics improvement. The Iris Xe graphics support 4x simultaneous 4K displays and offer improved neural network inferencing with Intel DL Boost. Tiger Lake also adds support for PCIe Gen 4, which is supported by the Commell and Aaeon boards, and the up to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4.0), which is not.

 
LP-179

The LP-179 follows other Commell Pico-ITX boards such as the 8th Gen Whiskey Lake based LP-178. The SBC joins other Tiger Lake based SBCs including Aaeon’s community-backed UP Xtreme i11 and ASRock’s 4×4 NUC 1100 and Mini-STX form-factor STX-1500.

The LP-179 supports twice the RAM as the LP-178 with 32GB, and it offers both SATA 3.0 plus SATA or NVMe storage on its PCIe Gen4-ready M.2 M-key slot. Like the LP-178, there is also an M.2 E-key for WiFi and Bluetooth.

Like most Tiger Lake boards, the SBC provides a 2.5GbE port in addition to GbE. Other features include a pair of up to 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and internal USB 2.0, serial, and audio I/O.

Specifications listed for the LP-179 include:

  • Processor — Intel 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” ULP3, including Celeron 6305E and Core i7-1185G7E (2x or 4x 10nm cores at up to 2.84GHz/4.4GHz); Intel UHD (Celeron) or Iris Xe Graphics; configurable TDP of 12W to 28W; FCBGA1449 package
  • Memory/storage:
    • Up to 32GB DDR4-3200 via single socket
    • SATA 3.0
    • SATA/NVMe available via M.2 M-key (see expansion)
  • Networking:
    • 1GbE port (Intel 1219LM)
    • 2.5GbE port (Intel i225-LM)
    • WiFi/BT available via M.2 E-key (see expansion
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI port with 4K
    • DisplayPort with 4K
    • Optional LVDS (18/24-bit, single/dual channel) or VGA via DP converter module
    • Audio interface (Realtek ALC262 HD audio)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 host ports
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • 2x RS232
    • SMBus, LAN LED header
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 M-key 2280 with PCIe Gen4, SATA, or NVMe
    • M.2 E-key 2230 slot for WiFi/Bluetooth
  • Other features — Watchdog; RTC with battery; cooling fan
  • Power — 12V DC
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C with 10%~90%, non-condensing relative humidity
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm (Pico-ITX form factor)

 
LV-6712

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Unlike the Tiger Lake equipped IEI tKINO-UL6 and ASRock IMB-1224 thin Mini-ITX boards, but like Commell’s Coffee Lake based LV-67X, the LV-6712 is a full-height Mini-ITX board. Like the IEI and ASRock boards, the SBC provides up to 64GB DDR4-3200, quad 4K display support, and PCIe Gen4 expansion. Like ASRock’s IMB-1224, there are GbE and 2.5GbE ports. (IEI’s board has dual 2.5GbE.)

The LV-6712 is equipped with 2x DP, 2x HDMI ports, LVDS with LCD inverter connector, and 3x audio jacks (Realtek ALC262). Other coastline ports include 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x USB 2.0, and 2x RS232/422/485 (DB9). Internal headers supply 2x SATA III, 4x RS232, 2x USB 2.0, and single PS/2, SMBus, and GPIO.

Expansion features include an M.2 M-key 2280 slot with PCIe Gen4 plus a PCIe x1 slot and dual mini-PCIe slots. One of mini-PCIe slots support mSATA, but it cannot be implemented if both SATA III interfaces are in use.

The 170 x 170mm board has a watchdog, RTC with battery, and a 24-pin ATX or 4-pin 9-35VDC input. There is a 0 to 60°C range with 10%~90%, non-condensing relative humidity tolerance.

 
PICO-TGU4

In early October, Aaeon announced that it was prepping a Tiger Lake based PICO-TGU4 Pico-ITX board, and now CNXSoft has spotted a product page for the board, which has yet to be officially announced.



PICO-TGU4, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Specs are still preliminary, but most of the features are listed. Like Commell’s LP-179, the PICO-TGU4 supports up to 32GB RAM, in this case LPDDR4 clocked at up to 4267MHz. Other similar features include GbE and 2.5GbE ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, M.2 M-key 2280 with PCIe Gen4 and SATA, and SATA III (in this case with SATA power).


PICO-TGU4 coastline view
(click image to enlarge)

The PICO-TGU4 has a HDMI 2.0b port at up to [email protected] and an internal eDP with up to HBR3 and up to [email protected] Internal headers include 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0, 2x RS232/422/485, audio I/O, and single 8-bit DIO, SMBUS, I2C, and eSPI.

In addition to the M.2 M-key slot, you get a choice of a mini-PCIe slot with PCIe and mSATA support or a coastline USB 2.0 host port. Other features include a watchdog, a lockable 12V Phoenix connector, 0 to 60°C support, and optional heatspreader, heatsink, and cooler.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for Commell’s LP-179 and LV-6712 or Aaeon’s “preliminary” PICO-TGU4. More information may be found in Commell’s announcement, as well as the LP-179 and LV-6712 product pages. More on the PICO-TGU4 may be found on Aaeon’s preliminary product page.
 

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