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UP Core Plus and UP Xtreme SBCs gain add-on with triple GbE and 5G

Jul 1, 2021 — by Eric Brown 2,107 views

Aaeon has launched an $84-and-up “UP Connect Plus” carrier board that plugs into the UP Core Plus and UP Xtreme SBCs and adds 3x GbE ports with optional TSN plus an M.2 3042/3052 with 5G support.

Aaeon Technology Europe’s UP community, which goes by the brand UP! Bridge the Gap, has added a new add-on board that plugs into the dual 100-pin connectors of the Intel Apollo Lake based UP Core Plus and Intel Whiskey Lake based UP Xtreme SBCs. The UP Connect Plus adds 3x GbE ports plus a M.2 B-key 3042/3052 slot with micro-SIM slot that supports a “coming soon” 5G modem module.

UP Connect Plus (left) and plugged into the UP Core Plus and at right, the UP Xtreme
(click images to enlarge)

The $84 UP Connect Plus – i211 model uses standard Intel i211-IT GbE controllers while the $104 UP Connect Plus – i210 uses i210 controllers with Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) support for synchronization and precision timing. The announcement makes note of a “wide temperature range” for the i210 model, but the documentation indicates an extended 0 to 60°C range for both.

The 90 x 56mm UP Connect Plus is further equipped with a PCIe x2 slot and a USB 3.0 host port, which works only when connected to the UP Core Plus. The image suggests there is also a microSD slot.


The board draws 12VDC power from the SBC and adds 13.5W to the power load, for a total of 36-40W when running on an UP Core Plus. The kit also includes adapter boards that mediate between the 100-pin connectors and the SBC, as well as standoffs.

The UP Core Plus lacks an Ethernet port, although there is a GbE port on the optional $49 high-speed I/O carrier board option. The UP Xtreme ships with 2x GbE with TSN, so the UP Connect Plus could give you 5x total GbE ports with TSN.

The UP Connect Plus follows two earlier add-on boards for the UP Core Plus and UP Xtreme that use the boards’ dual 100-pin connectors. The UP Connect Plus is much like the UP Net Plus, which offers 4x GbE ports, once again with a separate SKU with TSN. The UP Net Plus also furnishes a mini-PCIe slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a SATA interface.

There is also an UP Vision Plus X board that packs in 3x Intel Movidius Myriad X VPUs along with 512MB RAM, a GbE port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and a mini-PCIe slot. The M.2- and mini-PCIe-equipped Up Xtreme also supports other Aaeon UP AI Edge modules, including the Myriad X based UP AI Core X module, available in mini-PCIe and M.2 form factors.

UP Squared Pro

Also this week, Aaeon published an application story about using its new, Apollo Lake based, triple M.2 equipped UP Squared Pro SBC with an AI Core XM2280 M.2 module, which offers dual Myriad X VPUs. The application is for a social distancing monitoring solution for mitigating the spread of Covid-19 or seasonal flu.

The Linux- and Windows-ready UP line of x86-based SBCs are supported with UP community resources and offer extensive documentation but do not offer full open source support. Most of the UP boards can be compared in our 2021 catalog of Linux hacker boards. However, the UP Xtreme is not included as it is over our $200 limit and the $169-and-up Up Squared Pro was announced in March, several months after the catalog posted.

Further information

The UP Connect Plus – i211 is available for $84 and the TSN-ready UP Connect Plus – i210 sells for $104. More information may be found in Aaeon Technology Europe’s announcement and UP Shop shopping page. More details are available in the Quick Start Guide.

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