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Pico-ITX SBC duo spins Kaby Lake with different expansion paths

Apr 12, 2017 — by Eric Brown 2,165 views

Axiomtek’s “PICO512” SBC offers 7th Gen Core CPUs plus mini-PCIe and homegrown expansion. A “PICO511” model skips the HDMI port but adds a second mini-PCIe.

The PICO512 and PICO511 boards are slight tweaks of last year’s PICO500 PICO-ITX SBC, but with one arguably major difference: a switch from Intel’s 6th Gen “Skylake” Core and Celeron CPUs to 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” chips. I say “arguably,” because most benchmarks have shown scant performance differences between the 6th and 7th Gen Cores. Still, there are some slightly more significant power efficiency and video decoding improvements, among other changes such as Intel Optane memory support, so who are we to stand in the way of progress?

PICO512 front and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

We can see only a few minor differences between Axiomtek’s PICO512 and the earlier PICO500, such as the removal of audio I/O, and the addition of an I2C interface. The separate SMBus interface has switched to the board’s low-speed connector. As with the PICO500, there’s also a high-speed connector with USB 3.0, DDI, and PCIe signals.

PICO511 front and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

Axiomtek declined to mention the PICO511 in its PICO512 announcement, and we only noticed it by clicking on the “related products” link at the bottom of the product page. The PICO511 makes most of the changes of the PICO512, but restores the SMBus interface, and adds a second mini-PCIe slot, in this case a half-height model. It also removes the PICO500’s HDMI port and 8-bit DIO.

The PICO511 also replaces the PICO500’s GbE RJ45 port and 12V input jack with internal connections, leaving it without any real-world coastline ports. Nevertheless, the “assembly view” image with the heatspreader below suggests the board can be fitted with a VGA port and standard 12V jack.

PICO511 (left) PICO512 with their heatspreaders
(click images to enlarge)

Unlike the earlier PICO500, which offers several optional I/O adapters for the homegrown expansion connectors, the PICO511 mentions only one — an AX93A07 I/O board — while the PICO512 lists no specific expansion accessories. Presumably, similar options will be forthcoming once they’re tweaked for Kaby Lake.


The PICO512 and PICO511 support Intel’s 7th Gen, dual-core Core i3-7100U, Core i5-7300U, and Core i7- 7600U CPUs, with the latter supporting 2.8GHz performance or 3.9GHz in turbo mode. There’s also a similarly 7th Gen, 2.2GHz, dual-core Celeron 3965U.

PICO512 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Like the PICO500, the PICO512 and PICO511 feature a 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX footprint and -20 to 70°C support. They can load up to 16GB DDR4-2133 via a single SODIMM. In addition to the interfaces mentioned farther above, they offer a full-size mini-PCIe slot with mSATA, as well as SATA 3.0, USB 2.0, and dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS.

PICO511 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The PICO512 and PICO511 each supports TPM 1.2, and they offer a watchdog, hardware monitoring, Lithium battery, and support for AMT 11 for remote management. A heatspreader and various cables are optional.

As with the PICO500, no OS support was listed, but Linux should run fine. A web-based Axiomtek Technical Portal support service supplies downloadable technical design guides, mechanical 2D/3D drawings, and software utilities.

Further information

The PICO512 will ship at the end of May. No ship date was provided for the PICO511. More information may be found at Axiomtek’s PICO512 and PICO511 product pages.

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