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Ubuntu certified system runs on AMD R1000 as low as 6W

Apr 29, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 2952 views

DFI unveiled an “EC90A-GH” industrial mini-PC built around its Ryzen R1000 based GHF51 SBC. These are among the first products to support the 6W R1102G and the first industrial systems to offer certified Ubuntu Core OTA updates.

DFI has announced a fanless, 110 x 80 x 60mm embedded system called the EC90A-GH built around its GHF51 SBC. Both the EC90A-GH and GHF51 SBC run Ubuntu, Ubuntu Core, or Win 10 IoT Enterprise on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded R1000 and are part of DFI’s compact “Industrial Pi” family of embedded products. They are also among the first products to support the two low-power R1000 parts with TDPs as low as 6W.



EC90A-GH (left) and GHF51
(click images to enlarge)

DFI notes that the EC90A-GH and the GHF51 are among of the first industrial embedded computers to receive certification for offering Ubuntu Core OTA updates (see farther below). DFI also announced a “free sample event” where you can sign up for a free EC90A-GH, GHF51, or two Apollo Lake based DFI Industrial Pi products: the Pi-sized ALF51 and Pico-ITX AL05P SBCs (see farther below).

 
EC90A-GH

The EC90A-GH is not simply an enclosure version of the Raspberry Pi sized, 84 x 55mm GHF51. There are some new ports and several optional configurations. Like the GHF51, the EC90A-GH supports all four Ryzen Embedded R1000 models. These include the original dual-core, 2.6GHz/3.5GHz R1606G and 2.4GHz/ 3.3GHz R1505G, both with 12-25W TDPs (DFI refers to them as 12W).

The EC90A-GH and GHF51 are also the first products we have seen aside from Simply NUC’s Red Oak (NP-FP5) and Post Oak (BP-FP5) mini-PCs that support one of the two new low-TDP R1000 models. Like the SimplyNUC systems, the DFI computers can load the dual-core, 1.5GHz/2.8GHz R1305G with 8-10W. They can also be fitted with the dual-core, 1.2GHz/2.6GHz R1102G with a 6W TDP. Unlike the GHF51, the EC90A-GH lacks support for the higher end, quad-core V1605B.



EC90A-GH, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the GHF51, the EC90A-GH is equipped with 2GB to 8GB soldered, 3200MHz DDR4 plus 16GB to 64GB eMMC. The GbE port offers a choice of Intel I211AT or I211IT controllers. There is a speedy USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port and 2x micro-HDMI 1.4 ports for up to 4096 x 2160 @ 24Hz.

The full-size mini-PCIe slot (PCIe Gen2, USB 2.0) can optionally be fitted with an LTE or WiFi/BT module with dual antennas. No SIM card slot was listed, but the system is said to be “user friendly of installing SIM card design.”

There is also a rear-panel option with a combo port with dual 2x RS-232 ports, which is mutually exclusive of the wireless option. A third option gives you a combo port with 8-bit DIO and SMBus, which appears to be compatible with the wireless option.

The EC90A-GH provides a watchdog and TPM 2.0 chip, but there is no mention of the SBC’s RTC. The system is powered with a lockable 12VDC jack. The 700-gram, metal and aluminum clad system ships with wall and VESA mounting.

The EC90A-GH features a heatsink cooling structure in addition to the heatspreader available with the SBC. It has a narrower, 0 to 45°C range than the SBC and provides relative humidity tolerance of 5 to 90% RH (non-condensing). The computer adds 5G shock and 1.5G vibration resistance, but only when non-operational.

 
Ubuntu certification and DFI RemoGuard

On Feb. 25, Canonical announced that the GHF51 SBC and the upcoming EC90A-GH, along with DFI’s 7th Gen Kaby Lake based EC70A-KU embedded computer, had been certified under the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program. DFI is the first industrial system vendor to join the program.



Kaby Lake-based EC70A-KU (left) and architecture diagram for RemoGuard integrated with Ubuntu Core
(click images to enlarge)

On the DFI products, Ubuntu Core, with its over-the-air (OTA), app store, and transactional rollback capabilities, is integrated with DFI’s own RemoGuard Out-of-Band (OOB) remote management solution. Announced last August, RemoGuard “can timely predict equipment status before its shutdown and efficiently activate OS auto-backup and recovery despite host crashes,” says DFI.

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RemoGuard is integrated with Innodisk’s InnoAge 2.5-inch SSDs, which ship with OOB software based on Microsoft’s security-focused, Linux-based Azure Sphere technology. We have previously seen InnoAge mentioned as an M.2 SSD option on Aetina’s AN810-XNX carrier board for Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX.

With RemoGuard and its InnoAge storage, device health status is collected automatically to the cloud. Users can monitor connected devices via a customizable UX dashboard. With RemoGuard and Ubuntu Core’s snap packaging mechanism, the SSD’s OS partition “can be repaired an unlimited number of times remotely,” says DFI. “The SSD life cycle can be actively predicted to determine accurate replacement timing to avoid time-consuming, on-site maintenance, and dramatically reduce application services’ downtime.”

 
Free sample signup for Industrial Pi

DFI announced a free sample program for the GHF51 SBC, EC90A-GH, and two other Industrial Pi products. Enter your preferred product as well as a description of a project you plan to build with it. If you then “submit for an interview with our sales,” you can then earn a chance at winning a free sample. The program runs from May 1 to July 31.



ALF51 (left) and ALF51-based EC90A-AL
(click images to enlarge)

The two other Industrial Pi products in the program are DFI’s Apollo Lake based AL05P Pico-ITX board (100 x 72mm), which we covered in January, and another Linux-friendly Apollo Lake SBC called the ALF51. The 84 x 55mm ALF51 ships with 2GB to 4GB of soldered LPDDR4-2400 plus 16GB to 64GB eMMC.


AL05P

The ALF51 SBC is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1, and a Mini DP++ port. Internal features include a mini-PCIe slot and single serial, USB 2.0, DIO, and SMBus headers. The 12V terminal block powered SBC also has a watchdog, RTC with coin-cell, and TPM 2.0, as well as industrial temperature options.

The ALF51 also powers an EC90A-AL embedded mini-PC. However, this does not appear to be part of the sample program.

 
Further information

The R1000-based EC90A-GH system is expected to ship in August at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on DFI’s product page.

 

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