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Ubuntu-driven Coffee Lake AI system features Myriad X, FPGA, and PoE add-ons

Jul 30, 2020 — by Eric Brown 435 views

IEI’s “FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit” runs Ubuntu on a 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake with 2x GbE, 2x HDMI, 4x SATA, 3x M.2, PCIe x4, and 2x PCIe x8 slots with optional Mustang cards with Myriad X VPUs and more.

IEI Integration has launched high-end edge AI computer that runs a “pre-validated” Ubuntu 18.04 stack on Intel’s 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit has much in common with its earlier, 8th Gen Coffee Lake FLEX-BX200-Q370 system.

FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit
(click image to enlarge)

The key difference between the FLEXAIoT Dev. Kit and the FLEX-BX200-Q370 is that instead of offering 2x PCIe Gen 3.0 x16 and 2x PCIe 3.0 x4 slots for AI acceleration and graphics cards, the new system provides 2x PCIe 3.0 x8 and a single PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. FLEXAIoT adds an M.2 B-key 2242 with SIM card slot in addition to the earlier M.2 M-key 2280 socket with support for NVMe SSDs.

The PCIe and M.2 slots support a variety of Intel-based IEI Mustang cards and modules that perform AI acceleration. The PCIe x8 cards include a Mustang F100 x8 equipped with an Intel Arria 10 FPGA. Other x8 options include motion controller cards and a IPCIE-4POE card for connecting IP cameras via 4x GbE ports with Power-over-Ethernet.


The PCIe x4 cards include the Mustang-V100-MX8, which is equipped with 8x Intel Movidius Myriad X VPUs and a Mustang-V100-MX4 that offers 4x Myriad X VPUs. An M.2 B/M Mustang-MPCIE-MX2 module, which is also available on IEI’s Ubuntu-driven Apollo Lake based ITG-100AI, supplies 2x VPUs.


The AI add-ons are supported by Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit, which optimize pre-trained deep learning models such as Caffe, MXNET, and ONNX Tensorflow. Applications are said to include traffic monitoring and analysis, illegal parking and helmet detection, license plate analysis, and age, gender and face identification. Such AI applications can improve the efficiency of smart cities and law enforcement, but also pose potential threats to privacy and freedom.

The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit supports 8th or 9th Gen, up to octa-core Core/Xeon processors that use an LGA1151 socket and provide Intel Q370 or C246 chipsets. You can load up to 64GB, 2666/2400MHz DDR4 via dual sockets and store gobs of data on 4x hot-swap HDD/SSD SATA III bays with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. The default configuration includes a single 1TB HDD.

The PCI 3.0-enabled M.2 M-key 2280 socket that supports the Myriad X card also supports an SSD, including NVMe storage. The M.2 B-Key 2242 socket ships with a SIM slot for 3G/LTE and supports PCIe 3.0 and USB 3.2 Gen1 signals.

FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit detail views
(click images to enlarge)

An M.2 2230 slot is preloaded with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.1, and there is also an optional M.2 3042 with LTE, which possibly replaces the M.2 2230. The system has 4x SMA antenna mounts.

The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit is equipped with 2x GbE ports via an Intel I210 controller and an I219 with vPro support. Other features include 6 x USB 3.2 Gen1 and a pair of RS-232 ports. Media I/O includes 2x HDMI outputs with independent display support and dual audio jacks.

The system has the same 357 x 230 x 88mm dimensions as the FLEX-BX200-Q370 and is powered by a 350W ATX power supply with 90VAC~264VAC, 50/60Hz input and outputs ranging from 3.3V to 12V. You also get an AT/ATX switch, power and reset buttons, a watchdog, and TPM 2.0.

The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit is equipped with 3x fans and a CPU cooler and has a -10 to 50°C operating range with 5% ~95%, non-condensing humidity tolerance. Other ruggedization features include 10G shock and 1.5G vibration resistance. Wall and rack mounting are available and options include the Mustang cards plus storage and 4G/GNSS modules.

Further information

The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit is available starting at $1,380 with an 8th Gen Core i5-8500, 8GB DDR4, 1TB SATA, and other standard features, ranging up to $2,650 for an octa-core, 16-thread Xeon E-2278GEL (2.0/3.9GHz) with 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and a Mustang-V100-MX8. More information may be found in IEI’s announcement and product page.

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