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Apollo Lake maker board with dual GbE and dual SATA starts at $70

Jan 14, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 9431 views

Icewhale has Kickstartered a $70-and-up “ZimaBoard” micro-server SBC that runs pre-installed Linux on Apollo Lake with up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC, 2x SATA III, 2x GbE, 2x USB, mini-DP, PCIe x4, and a case.

Icewhale Technology has blasted past its Kickstarter goal for its Intel Apollo Lake based ZimaBoard “Single Board Server for Creators” to earn over $75K. The project runs through Feb. 27, and shipments are due in June or July. The dual-GbE and dual-SATA SBC, which is enclosed in a case that doubles as a heatsink, is designed for media server, personal cloud, network-attached storage (NAS), software router, and other storage and networking applications including VPN and firewall.



ZimaBoard (left) and PCB-only view showing SATA connections
(click images to enlarge)

At publication time there were over 40 units left of the $70 Super Early Bird package for the ZimaBoard 216, which has a dual-core, 1.1GHz/2.4GHz Celeron N3350 plus 2GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC 5.1. This package ships in June, unlike the $80 Early Bird and the other packages, which ship in July.

The Super Early Bird ZimaBoard 832 is sold out, but the Early Bird goes for $140. The 832 gives you the quad-core, 1.1GHz/2.2GHz Celeron N3450 with 8GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC 5.1.



ZimaBoard PCIe interface (left) and with available PCIe cards in DEVKIT model
(click images to enlarge)

There is also a $300 DEVKIT package that gives you both the 216 and 832 boards along with a power adapter and adapter boards for the PCIe x4 slot. These include 4-channel USB, NVMe SSD, 2.5GbE, 5-channel SATA, and WiFi 6.

The ZimaBoard was revealed a month ago on Hackster.io. The story did not mention Icewhale Technology, but described the board as originating from LattePanda, the x86 hacker board project behind maker-oriented SBCs such as the Linux-ready, Gemini Lake based LattePanda Delta. Indeed, Icewhale launched the LattePanda five years ago in collaboration with distributor DFRobot.

When enclosed in its heatsink case, the fanless ZimaBoard measures 120 x 74.5 x 25mm. The board incorporates dual SATA III slots for up to 4TB local storage, with additional storage available via 2x USB 3.0 ports and the PCIe based storage modules.



ZimaBoard portside view (left) and with router
(click images to enlarge)

The ZimaBoard is further equipped with dual GbE ports, which as we discussed in our introduction to our 2021 catalog of 150 Linux hacker boards, is a growing trend on not only x86 but Arm-based maker SBCs. A mini-DP 1.2 port supports [email protected] video.

In addition to server duty, the ZimaBoard is said to be suitable for smart home and other embedded hacking jobs. Yet, the board appears to lack any GPIO expansion or other interfaces aside from what you can add via the PCIe interface, and there is no built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

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Although light on extras, the board is competitively priced with other Intel-based maker boards, as can be seen from the above SBC catalog link. The only other under-$200 maker board with standard dual SATA and at least dual GbE is the new, quad-GbE, MediaTek MT7622 based Banana Pi BPI-R64. There are also two dual-GbE boards that enable dual SATA via SATA and M.2 or mini-PCIe slots that use Intel’s faster Gemini Lake: Hardkernel’s dual 2.5GbE Odroid-H2+ and Seeed’s Gemini Lake based Odyssey – X86J41058x. Several other single-GbE boards enable dual SATA connections with the help of M.2.

The SBC is pre-installed with “Linux” and supports OpenWrt, LibreELEC, Android, Windows, and the open source pfSense firewall software. The project aspires to be “open,” but it is unclear if that means open source hardware or community support features.

 
Further information

The ZimaBoard is available on Kickstarter through Feb. 27 for $70 or $80 for the dual-core, 2GB/16GB ZimaBoard 216 and $140 for the quad-core, 8GB/32GB ZimaBoard 832. Shipping fees are expected to to $15 to $20. There is also the $300 DEVKIT model, and volume discounts are available. Retail prices will be $99 and $179 for the ZimaBoard 216 and 832, respectively.

More information may be found on the ZimaBoard Kickstarter site and Icewhale Technology’s ZimaBoard website.
 

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One response to “Apollo Lake maker board with dual GbE and dual SATA starts at $70”

  1. KZBFF ELF says:

    When are these boards gonna enter 10nm era, c’mon Intel…

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