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UP Xtreme i11 SBC runs pre-installed Ubuntu on Tiger Lake

Nov 17, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 2652 views

Aaeon unveiled a Linux-ready “UP Xtreme i11” SBC with 11th Gen Tiger Lake with up to 64GB DDR4, 3x M.2, 1GbE and 2.5GbE, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, and a USB 4.0 Type-C port. There is also an embedded PC model.

Last month, Aaeon posted a teaser announcement about some upcoming products based on Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core CPUs, including a COM-TGUC6 Compact Type 6 module, a 3.5-inch GENE-TGU6 SBC, a PICO-TGU4 Pico-ITX SBC, and an UP Xtreme i11 SBC. Aaeon Technology Europe has now fully detailed the UP Xtreme i11 along with an embedded UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit system based on it. Pre-orders will open in 1Q 2021 with pricing undisclosed.



UP Xtreme i11 (left) and reverse view showing optional UP AI Core XM 2280 M.2 module
(click images to enlarge)

In other news, Aaeon announced Yocto 3.1 “Dunfell” support along with software customization services from Koan Software on its Nvidia Jetson powered Boxer-8200 series, including its recent Jetson Xavier NX based Boxer-8250AI. The systems are already supported with the Ubuntu 18.04-based ACLinux 4.9.

 
UP Xtreme i11

The UP Xtreme i11 SBC has the same 122 x 120mm footprint as the 8th Gen Whiskey Lake based UP Xtreme, but with a different layout and much more advanced features. The UP Xtreme was re-released in Dec. 2019 with a slightly different, quad-core Core i7-8665U processor selling for $799 with 16GB RAM. The relaunch coincided with Aaeon Europe’s launch of an UP Xtreme Edge Compute Enabling Kit (UPX Edge) system based on the board, which has been updated as the new UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit (see farther below). There is still no word on the release of the slightly scaled down UP Xtreme Lite variant of the SBC announced in July.



UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake, the 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core processors use a 10nm design, but updated with SuperFin technology and Intel’s Willow Cove microarchitecture. In addition to providing a significant CPU boost, Tiger Lake offers a huge graphics improvement with its Intel Gen12 Iris Xe graphics. Intel Xe, which is available on most Tiger Lake models, has up to 96 EUs compared to 64 on Ice Lake’s Intel Gen11. Iris Xe supports 4x simultaneous 4K displays and offers improved neural network inferencing with Intel DL Boost. Tiger Lake also adds support for PCIe Gen 4 and the up to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4.0).

The UP Xtreme i11 uses the embedded focused Tiger Lake “E” models that were announced after the initial Tiger Lake launch:

  • Core i7-1185G7E — quad-core with 1.2GHz (12W), 1.8GHz (15W), 2.8GHz (28W) and 4.4GHz Turbo; 96EU Iris Xe Graphics
  • Core i5-1145G7E — quad-core with 1.1GHz (12W), 1.5GHz (15W), 2.6GHz (28W) and 4.1GHz Turbo; 80EU Iris Xe
  • Core i3-1115G4E — dual-core with 1.7GHz (12W), 2.2GHz (15W), 3.0GHz (28W) and 3.9GHz Turbo; 48EU Iris Xe
  • Celeron 6305E — dual-core – other specs TBA

The Tiger Lake “E” models offer extended purchase availability and have slightly lower base and Turbo frequencies than the similarly named ULP3 siblings without the “E” suffix. Although there is no listing of the similar GRE models that add Intel Time Coordinated Computing (Intel TCC) and functional safety features, the product page notes support for functional safety and TCC, so it’s possible that GRE models are available on special order.

The UP Xtreme i11 supports up to 64GB DDR4-3200 via dual slots instead of the earlier, up to 16GB of soldered RAM. The STM32 MCU has been removed, but the Altera V FPGA remains to control the 40-pin GPIO header.

One of the two GbE ports is now capable of 2.5GbE speeds, once again with support for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). This is the first product we have seen that exploits Tiger Lake’s support for USB 4.0 (Thunderbolt 4) aside from Eurotech’s CPU-180 COM Express modules. USB 4.0 is available on a Type-C port that also supports DP functionality. Other media features including HDMI, DP, MIPI-DSI/eDP, and audio connections.

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The UP Xtreme i11 is further equipped with 4x 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, up from 4x 5Gbps USB 3.0 ports on the Xtreme. The 100-pin docking connector has been removed, and there are now 3x M.2 slots and a PCIe x4 connector instead of the previous 2x M.2 plus a mini-PCIe.



UP Xtreme i11 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The M.2 M-key slot supports NVMe as well as an optional UP AI Core XM 2280 module with 2x Myriad-X VPUs (see image at top). The slot will also support an AI Core module with the upcoming, 3rd Gen Keem Bay version of Movidius AI technology with 10 times the AI performance and 4.7 times the power efficiency as Myriad X.

The operating range has risen slightly to 0 to 60°C, and there is a 12V DC jack instead of the wide-range 12-60V input. Aaeon has also added a watchdog timer.



UP Xtreme i11 block diagram (left) and pre-installed software components
(click images to enlarge)

The UP Xtreme i11 appears to be the first UP board that offers pre-installed Ubuntu Linux, although it also supports Windows 10 and Yocto 3.0/3.1 (Linux Kernel 5.4). The pre-installed software includes Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with Linux Kernel 5.8, OpenVINO, Kubernetes, AWS Greengrass, and more, as shown in the chart above. Android support is no longer listed. No details were announced on open source support, but the Xtreme i11 presumably follows the path of earlier UP board models, which offer community support and extensive documentation that falls short of including full schematics.

Specifications listed for the UP Xtreme i11 SBC include:

  • Processor — Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake ULP “E” Core and Celeron (see chart farther above); Intel Altera MAX 5 FPGA for 40-pin GPIO
  • Memory — Up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 via dual sockets with In-Band ECC support
  • Storage:
    • SATA III with SATA power
    • NVMe available via M.2 M-key
  • Networking — 1GbE and 2.5GbE ports (Intel 1219 and Intel i225) with TSN, WoL, and PXE (vPRO with i5 and i7); WiFi/BT and up to 5G available via M.2 slots
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0b port with 4K and audio
    • DisplayPort with 4K and audio
    • Second DP available via USB Type-C
    • MIPI-DSI/eDP with 4K
    • Audio I/O jack with Soundwire codec
    • I2S audio interface
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.2 Gen2 host ports
    • USB 4.0 Type-C port with DP support
    • 2x RS232/422/485 (10-pin connectors)
    • HSUART header
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin “HAT” GPIO header
    • M.2 B/M-key 2280 with 2x PCIe and NVMe; optional UP AI Core XM 2280 (2x Myriad-X VPUs)
    • M.2 E-key 2230 with optional WiFi-5/6 with BT (via optional Intel AC9260 with antennas)
    • M.2 B-key 3052 with LTE/4G/ 5G support
    • SIM card slot
    • PCIe x4 interface (requires optional adapter board)
  • Other features — RTC with battery; watchdog; active heatsink; TPM 2.0; 4x LEDs
  • Power — Lockable 12V DC input (AT/ATX modes); power and reset buttons; power header; power mode jumper; typical 32W consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C; 0-90% non-condensing relative humidity
  • Dimensions — 122 x 120mm
  • Operating system — Pre-installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with Linux 5.8, OpenVINO, etc.; also supports Yocto 3.0/3.1 (Linux 5.4) and Windows 10 “full”

 
UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit

The fanless chassis version of the UP Xtreme i11 has a similar look and feel as the UP Xtreme-based UPX Edge and more recent UPX-Edge BrainFrame Dev Kit, which adds Myriad X and AOTU.AI’s Linux-based BrainFrame smart vision software. The fanless 152 x 124 x 66.5mm system exposes all the major ports of the UP Xtreme i11 and expresses the dual serial headers as DB9 ports.



UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Like the earlier model, the UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit expresses the 40-pin GPIO via a Phoenix connector. All the options listed for the SBC are available, including a 5G module. Customization services are also available.

 
Further information

The UP Xtreme i11 SBC and UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit will be available for pre-order in Q1 2021 with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found in Aaeon’s announcement of the kit, as well as the product page for the SBC and kit and a Up shop shopping page for the kit.
 

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