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Pico-ITX SBC taps 6W G-Series SoC, adds modular I/O

May 16, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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Axiomtek has spun an AMD G-Series SoC into a Pico-ITX SBC with optional I/O, PCIe and mini-PCIe, and extended temperature and remote management support.

Like Axiomtek’s Atom E3800-based PICO822 single board computer, the new PICO121 SBC uses the 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX form-factor and features optional I/O. This time, however, you can choose between two I/O expansion board options. For further customization, you can call upon a PCI Express (PCIe) slot, and both full- and half-sized mini-PCIe slots, with the full-size slot supporting mSATA.



PICO121 in barebones standard configuration, front (left) and back
(click images to enlarge)

The PICO121 incorporates the dual-core, 1GHz GX-210JA system-on-chip. This late entry into AMD’s Embedded G-Series SoC family features a low 6W TDP, and a 3W “expected average power,” according to AMD’s calculations. The SoC’s built-in AMD Radeon HD8180 graphics supports DirectX 11, Open GL4.2, and Open CL1.2. No OS support was mentioned by Axiometek, but all the G-Series SoCs ship with Linux and Windows support.


PICO121 with standard I/O (left) and top view with optional heatsink
(click images to enlarge)

The PICO121 is designed for in-vehicle PCs, in-flight entertainment systems, industrial automation systems, and “even ultra-portable devices,” according to Axiomtek. The board can handle temperatures ranging from -20 to 70°C, says the company.

You can load board’s the SODIMM socket with up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, clocked at 1066/1333MHz. Other standard features include VGA and LVDS ports, with dual display capability, plus a gigabit Ethernet port. A SATA 3.0 interface is also available.



PICO121 with default AX93277 I/O card (left) and with AX93278 option
(click images to enlarge)

From there you can add one of two I/O daughter cards. The default choice appears to be the AX93277, which adds four USB 2.0 ports, RS-232/422/485 and RS-232 serial ports, and audio I/O, all available as real-world coastline ports.

The AX93278 option instead provides two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, plus the same two serial ports. You also get a second gigabit Ethernet port and an HDMI port, but no coastline audio connections.



PICO121 standard port detail, front (left), and back
(click images to enlarge)

 
The PICO121 is available with Axiomtek’s DASH (desktop and mobile architecture for system hardware) remote management software. DASH enables configuration as a remotely managed client device via gigabit Ethernet, says Axiomtek.


PICO121 optional port detail with AX93278 (left) and AX93277
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed by Axiomtek for the PICO121 with the AX93277 I/O board include:
  • Processor — AMD G-Series Embedded SoC GX-210JA (2x Jaguar cores @ 1GHz); Radeon HD8180 graphics
  • RAM — up to 8GB DDR3 1066/1333 via 1x SODIMM
  • Display:
    • Single/dual channel 18/24-bit LVDS
    • VGA port
    • DisplayPort interface
    • HDMI port (AX93278 option only)
    • Dual-display support (VGA/LVDS)
  • Networking — 10/100/1000Mbps port with wake-on-LAN, RPL/PXE boot; second gigabit port available with AX93278 option
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 (or 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 with AX93278 option)
    • RS-232/422/485 port
    • RS-232 port
    • HD audio; mic-in and line-in/out (Realtek ALC662)
    • SATA 3.0 interface, up to 6GB/s
  • Expansion buses:
    • PCIe x1
    • Full-size mini-PCIe with mSATA support
    • Half-size mini-PCIe
    • SMBus
  • Other features — watchdog timer; temperature and voltage monitoring; reset; LEDs; DASH remote management software
  • Power — 12V DC @ 0.8A max.
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70°C; optional heatspreader or heatsink
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72 mm (3.9 x 2.8 in.)

 
Further information

The PICO121 will be available in June. More information may be found at Axiomtek’s PICO121 product page.
 

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