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MinnowBoard Turbo Dual-E packs quad-core Atom, M.2, dual GbE

Jun 25, 2016 — by Eric Brown 6,491 views

[Updated: July 7] — ADI’s “completely open source” MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E offers a quad-core Atom E3845 option, dual GbE, and an M.2/micro-SIM combo for WiFi, LTE, or SSD.

ADI Engineering, which built the latest MinnowBoard Turbot version of the open source, Linux- and Android-ready MinnowBoard SBC for the Intel-backed community, has revealed a major update. Pricing and a few other details are missing from the announcement tweet, but there are photos and a full spec list. The board will ship in the third quarter.

MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E
(click image to enlarge)

The addition of a second GbE port is significant, especially for networking applications. None of the new x86 contenders noted above or the 81, mostly ARM-based boards in our hacker board survey, offered a second GbE port, and many are limited to 10/100 “Fast” Ethernet or no Ethernet at all.

Yet, ADI and Intel could easily have called the MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E the Turbot Quad or Turbot M.2, as both additions are major. Last year’s MinnowBoard Turbot, which came in 16th out of 81 boards in our open SBC survey, offered only the dual-core Intel Atom E3826, but the Dual-E model adds an optional quad-core Atom E3846. This comes from the same 22nm Bay Trial generation, but in addition to offering twice the number of cores it clocks them faster, at up to 1.91GHz.

MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E top and bottom views
(click images to enlarge)

By comparison, some of the latest maker-oriented x86-based boards to arrive this year, such as Aaeon’s pseudo open source Up, DFRobot’s Windows-only LattePanda, and Seco’s upcoming, fully open source Udoo X86 all use various quad-core Atom or Celeron models from Intel’s newer, faster, 14nm generation.


Still, this is the first quad-core offering among the several open-spec hacker boards officially backed by either Intel or AMD. We assume the board is officially backed by Intel, although there is no mention of Intel aside from the fact that the board will be supported at the community site.

The M.2 slot is a faster replacement for the earlier SATA 3Gb/sec port. The only new x86 SBC with an M.2 slot is the upcoming Udoo X86, and the only boards in our hacker SBC survey to feature them are the i.MX6-based HummingBoard-Edge and HummingBoard-Gate. The MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E supports SSD storage, and also offers a micro-SIM slot to enable support for WiFi or LTE.

You’re likely to get better wireless throughput via M.2 or mini-PCIe than you would using a USB port. You’ll also likely get larger storage capacity than what’s available via flash options. No capacity was listed for the M.2 SSD modules support, which can be found in capacities up to 512GB.

As illustrated in the two sets of photos below, the MinnowBoard Dual-E is larger than the original Turbot, at 103 x 99mm instead of 74 x 99mm, but its low- and high-speed interface connectors and four of its mounting holes are compatible with the earlier model.

MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E and original Turbot top sides compared
(click images to enlarge)

Like the original Turbot, the Dual-E offers 2GB of locked-down DDR3L RAM and a microSD slot, as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. It now offers a full-sized HDMI port rather than the earlier micro port. However, it lacks the multimedia firepower of the Udoo X86, which also offers dual DP ports and several audio interfaces.

MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E and original Turbot bottom sides compared
(click images to enlarge)

The Dual-E continues to provide a “MinnowBoard Max” compatible Lure interface with low- and high-speed connectors, which means it is almost certainly compatible with the first Turbot in addition to the earlier, CircuitCo-built MinnowBoard Max. The number of pins and specific interfaces were not listed, but we’re assuming they’re the same 26-pin and 60-pin connectors.

MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E top and bottom details
(click images to enlarge)

In the spec table below, we’ve duplicated the interfaces provides by those headers listed for the original Turbot, but there may be differences. The Dual-E has the same 5V power supply as the original Turbot. Meanwhile, the temperature range has shrunk from a generous 0 to 70°C to a more typical 0 to 40°C, which is somewhat disappointing.

No OS support was listed, although the board previously supported Debian GNU/Linux, Yocto Project Linux, Ubuntu, Android 4.4, and Windows 10. As with the original Turbot, the Turbot Duel-E will be open sourced via Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 licensing. How open? “The new Dual-E board is completely open source,” replied ADI Founder and CEO Steve Yates in an email. Additionally, the MinnowBoard Turbot boards are long-life products, “which is not typically a feature of open source community boards,” wrote Yates. The Intel E3800 series SoCs are on Intel’s embedded roadmap, which assures 7-year minimum production lifetime, according to Yates.

Preliminary specifications for the MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E include:

  • Processor — Atom E3826 or E3845 (Bay Trail-I) with (2x or 4x cores, @ 1.46GHz or 1.91GHz, respectively; Intel HD Graphics; 7W (E3826) or 10W (E3845) TDP
  • RAM — 2GB DDR3L 1067MT/s, soldered; boot flash for TianoCore UEFI, Coreboot, SeaBIOS
  • Storage/wireless:
    • MicroSD slot
    • M.2 slot with micro-SIM (SATA/USB; supports SSD, WiFi, LTE)
  • Display — HDMI port
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel i211)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Serial console via FTDI cable
    • GPIO header
  • Expansion connectors (Lure compatible):
    • 26-pin low-speed connector (LSE) — SPI, I2C, I2S audio, 2x UART (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (2x supporting PWM), +5V, GND
    • 60-pin high-speed connector (HSE) — 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 lane, 1x SATA 3Gb/sec, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, GND
  • Other — reset button; RTC battery
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 40°C
  • Power — 5VDC input via coaxial jack (threaded locking connector)
  • Dimensions — 103 x 99mm
  • Regulatory compliance — FCC Part 15 Class B, CE Class B, IEC-60950, RoHS/WEEE

Further information

The MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E will be available in the third quarter at an unstated price. More information may be found on this fairly bare-bones MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E product page at ADI Engineering. More should eventually appear at

(advertise here)

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