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UP Squared Pro SBC features triple M.2 slots

Mar 16, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,413 views

Aaeon has launched a $169-and-up, community-backed “UP Squared Pro” SBC based on Apollo Lake. Compared to the UP Squared, it adds two more M.2 slots for SSDs, 5G, or Myriad X AI, plus wide-range power and TPM 2.0.

In October, Aaeon teased an Intel Elkhart Lake based UP Squared Pro 2 board that has yet to arrive. In the meantime, it has introduced an UP Squared Pro with the same Intel Apollo Lake support found on the UP Squared SBC. The UP Squared Pro is larger, more expandable, and slightly more industrial focused than the original and costs $20 more.

UP Squared Pro, front and back, with standard heatsink
(click images to enlarge)

The UP Squared Pro adds an M.2 M-key 2280 for SSDs and an M.2 B-key 3042/3052, which supports both SSDs and cellular modules. The block diagram shows the B-key slot with its own micro-SIM and the detail view shows a separate SIM card slot. Aaeon notes that the two new M.2 sockets support its AI Core XM 2280 module with dual Myriad X VPUs for AI acceleration.

UP Squared

As with the UP Squared, there is an M.2 E-key socket for WiFi/Bluetooth, as well as a 40-pin GPIO connector. Gone, however, are the mini-PCIe and high-speed 60-pin GPIO interfaces. The Altera Max 10 FPGA linked to the 60-pin GPIO has been removed along with the JTAG interface it was connected to.


In other changes, the dual HDMI 1.4 ports have been replaced with HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2, once again joined by eDP. There is now an audio jack backed by a Realtek codec, but the MIPI-CSI and I2S interfaces have disappeared.

The USB connectors are the same, although they now bear the newer USB 3.2 Gen1 nomenclature, and there are two coastline RS422/RS232/RS485 connectors in place of the earlier dual UART headers. The detail view also shows an additional UART header, and the block diagram mentions a serial debug header, which may be one and the same.

UP Squared Pro detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The UP Squared Pro is finally truly squared — it has expanded from 90 x 86mm to 101.6 x 101.6mm. The SBC runs on a 12-24VDC input instead of 5V and integrates a TPM 2.0 security chip.

The UP Squared Pro is available with Ubuntu and Windows, but there is no longer mention of Android support. Like the other UP boards, including the most recent, 11th Gen Tiger Lake based UP Xtreme i11, this is a community-backed board with extensive documentation but no open schematics.

UP Squared Pro and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Up Squared Pro SBC include:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake Celeron N3350 (2x @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz), Pentium N4200 (4x @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz), or Atom x7-E3950 (4x @ 1.1GHz/2.0GHz) with Intel Gen9 HD 500/505 graphics
  • Memory/storage:
    • RAM — 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4
    • Flash — 32GB or 64GB eMMC
    • SATA 3 interface
    • SSDs supported via M.2 M- and B-key slots (see expansion)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (also see M.2 expansion below for wireless)
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • DP 1.2 port
    • eDP interface with 12V and 24V power
    • Triple display support
    • 3.5mm audio jack (Realtek ALC892)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports
    • Micro-USB 3.2 Gen OTG port
    • 2x USB 2.0 interfaces
    • 2x RS422/RS232/RS485 connectors
    • UART header (possibly debug)
    • Fan interface
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin, RPi-like GPIO connector
    • M.2 E-key 2230 slot
    • M.2 M-key 2280 slot
    • M.2 B-key 3042/3052 slot with micro-SIM slot
    • SIM card slot
  • Other features – RTC header; TPM 2.0; heatsink
  • Power – 12-24VDC lockable jack or optional Phoenix connector; power button connector
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C with fan, 0 to 50°C with standard heatsink
  • Dimensions – 101.6 x 101.6mm
  • Operating systems — Ubuntu 18.04.5 or 20.04.1; Windows 10 or Windows 10 IoT Core

Further information

The UP Squared Pro is available for $169 (Celeron with 2GB/32GB), $199 (Celeron with 4GB/32GB), $259 (Pentium with 4GB/32GB), $259 (Atom x7-E3950 with 4GB/64GB), or $319 (Pentium with 8GB/64GB). Shipments will start later this month. More information may be found in Aaeon’s announcement and product page.

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