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Intel’s Elkhart Lake powers three new thin Mini-ITX boards

Aug 12, 2021 — by Eric Brown 417 views

MiTac’s “PD10EHI,” DFI’s “EHL171/EHL173,” and ASRock’s ”IMB-1004” thin Mini-ITX boards extend Intel’s 10nm Atom x6000 with triple displays, USB 3.1 Gen2, SATA, M.2, and PCIe. DFI and ASRock also offer 2.5GbE.

Earlier this week, ICP Germany announced a thin Mini-ITX PD10EHI board with Elkhart lake (Atom x6000, etc.) from its manufacturing partner MiTac, but the press release accidentally linked to a recently introduced, Comet Lake based PH12CMI thin Mini-ITX, which we covered. Now we are returning to the PD10EHI along with DFI’s EHL171/EHL173, which we similarly spotted on a preliminary holding page back in February when we reported on Advantech’s similarly Elkhart Lake based AIMB-218 thin Mini-ITX board. We have also uncovered an ASRock Industrial IMB-1004 board with the same combination, which we cover here.



DFI EHL171/EHL173 (left) and MiTac PD10EHI
(click images to enlarge)

As far as we can see, these are all the current, low-profile Mini-ITX boards featuring the Atom x6000 except for BCM’s “coming soon” MX6412J. The MX6412J stands out with its 2x 2.5GbE ports and 2x 1GbE ports, but it is supported only with Windows 10. DFI’s EHL171/EHL173 supports both Linux and Win 10 IoT Enterprise while MiTac’s PD10EHI supports Win 10 or Linux “by request.” ASRock Industrial does not mention an OS, but unlike ASRock’s Windows-oriented commercial unit, ASRock Industrial almost always supports Linux, as well.


BCM MX6412J

We saw no prices listed for any of these boards, but based on features alone, the ASRock and DFI models are fairly close, with the MiTac/ICP trailing slightly behind. Advantech’s AIMB-218 falls somewhere in between.

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DFIs EHL171/EHL173 is the only model to offer one of the “FE” models of the 10nm-fabricated Elkhart Lake, thereby providing Intel Safety Island technology with functional safety (FuSa). We have seen FE parts on only a few Elkhart Lake SBCs, including NexCobot’s SCB 100 Mini-ITX board for robotics. In addition to the quad-core, up to 1.9GHz Atom x6427FE, there is a quad-core, 2.0GHz/3.0GHz Atom x6425E and a quad-core Pentium J6413.



ASRock IMB-1004 (left) and a detail view of the previously covered Advantech AIMB-218
(click images to enlarge)

MiTac’s PD10EHI gives you a choice of the quad-core, 1.5GHz/3.0GHz Atom x6413E and several dual- and quad-core Celeron and Pentium models. ASRock lacks any of the Atom models and offers dual- and quad-core Celeron and Pentium parts.

All three boards support up to 32GB DDR4-3200 via dual slots. DFI’s EHL171/EHL173 furnishes 2x 2.5GbE ports while ASRock’s IMB-1004 supplies 2.5GbE and 1GbE. Like the Advantech model, MiTac’s PD10EHI has dual 1GbE ports.



DFI EHL173 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

ASRock offers 3x M.2 slots (M-, B-, and E-key) plus a SIM slot and PCIe x1 interface while DFI gives you 2x M.2 (B- and E-key), a nano-SIM slot, and PCIe x4 (PCIe x2 signal). MiTac provides 2x M.2 (B- and E-key), mini-PCIe, and PCIe x1. They all supply dual SATA III interfaces, with one of them multiplexed with M.2 or mini-PCIe. DFI and MiTac give you a SATA power connector.


EHL171/EHL173 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

All three models support up to 4K resolution and enable triple independent displays. DFI gives you eDP/LVDS plus what appears to be optional, “MOQ required” HDMI and DP++ ports. (On the Pentium J6413 SKU this is instead listed as HDMI and VGA.) You also get an audio I/O jack and an S/PDIF header.

MiTac supplies standard HDMI and DP 1.4 ports plus LVDS or optional eDP and dual audio jacks. ASRock provides HDMI and VGA ports plus eDP/LVDS and a speaker header.



MiTac PD10EHI detail view (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The DFI and MiTac boards both supply 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 coastline ports. DFI also gives you 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports plus 6x USB 2.0 headers while MiTac adds 2x USB 2.0 ports. ASRock has 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 and 2x USB 2.0 ports plus internal headers including 2x Gen1 and 6x USB 2.0. Advantech’s AIMB-218 has them all beat by supplying 3x Gen2 ports plus a USB 2.0 port.

MiTac’s PD10EHI is the only model with coastline serial ports (2x RS232) although they all have internal serial interfaces. All the boards supply GPIO or DIO, a watchdog, and optional TPM. DFI offers an LCD inverter connector while MiTac gives you a backlight connector. MiTac also provides a CAN-FD header and a MIAPI interface for an optional parallel port.



ASRock IMB-1004, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

DFI is the only board to provide -40 to 85°C support. This comes standard on all but the Pentium J6413 SKU, which supports -5 to 65°C. The other boards have a 0 to 60°C range, and Advantech’s model offers an optional -20 to 60°C range for the Atom SKU.

DFI’s EHL173 stands apart from the EHL171 by offering a 9-36V input compared to 12V, which is the only differentiating feature. The 9-36V input is only available on two of the three EHL173 models: Atom x6425E and J6413. MiTac gives you an 8-24V input while ASRock offers 12-28V.

 
Further information

MiTac’s PD10EHI is available from ICP Germany, which does not list pricing. However, ChirpLabs sells it for $300 with a Pentium N6415. No pricing or availability information was provided for DFI’s EHL171/EHL173, and ASRock Industrial’s IMB-1004. More information on the PD10EHI may be found in ICP Germany’s announcement of the PD10EHI, as well as ICP’s product page and MiTac’s product page.

More on DFI’s EHL171/EHL173 may be found on the EHL171/EHL173 product page and more on ASRock Industrial’s IMB-1004 may be found on the IMB-1004 product page.

 

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