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Whiskey Lake-U based UP Xtreme SBC starts at $282

Jun 10, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,291 views

On Kickstarter: Aaeon has launched its $282 and up, Whiskey Lake-U based “UP Xtreme” SBC With up to 16GB RAM, 2x GbE with TSN, 4x USB 3.1, SATA, HDMI, DP, and expansion via M.2, mini-PCIe, and 40- and 100-pin connectors.

Aaeon has gone to Kickstarter to launch the world’s fastest community-backed hacker board. Running Ubuntu or Yocto Linux, Android, or Windows 10 on Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake U-series Core processors, the UP Xtreme is very close to the prototype detailed back in March. Additions include new USB 3.1 and TSN support and a new Celeron 4305U equipped model that enables a lower than expected entry price of $282 (249 Euros) with 4GB RAM.

UP Xtreme and updated block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The dual-core, dual-threaded Celeron 4305U tops out at a still formidable 2.2GHz and like all the Whiskey Lake-U chips, has a relatively low 15W TDP. There’s also a dual-core, quad-threaded Core i3-8145UE (2.1GHz/3.9GHz), a quad-core, octa-threaded i5-8365U (1.6GHz/4.1GHz), and a 1.8GHz (4.6GHz Turbo), quad-core, octa-threaded i7-8665U.

All but the i3-8145UE are new Whiskey Lake-U models that shipped in the current second quarter. They all integrate Intel Gen9 UHD Graphics 620 with 24 EUs.


The top-of-the-line i7-8665U configuration with 16GB RAM and a 19V power supply will set you back $770 (679 Euros). Aaeon has posted benchmarks that show this model to be about twice as fast as the Pentium N4200 (Apollo Lake) model of the UP Squared.

As with the other CPU configurations, the i7 SKU is available with two types of kits: Pro or AI Pro. The standard packages ship in September, while the kit versions ship in October.

UP Xtreme chassis from two angles
(click images to enlarge)

For about $150 more, the Pro kit adds a 128GB SSD and an M.2-deployed WiFi-ac/BT 4.2 module, as well as a fanless chassis with VESA and DIN-rail mounting. The chassis takes all the serial, GPIO, and other industrial interfaces available via the 40-pin and dual 100-pin connectors and expresses them via dual Phoenix connectors.

There are also AI Pro kits that add roughly $150 — or about $300 over the base prices. These give you the Pro kit contents plus an M.2-connected UP AI Core XM 2280 module with its own thermal block.

This latest 1TOPs version of the AI Core adds the new Intel Movidius Myriad X AI accelerator with up to 8x better performance compared to the Myriad 2. The module is supported with Intel’s OpenVINO computer vision toolkit.

At 122 x 120mm, the UP Xtreme is the largest UP board yet. The SBC supports up to 16GB DDR4, but the previously mentioned eMMC appears to have disappeared. It’s unclear where the optional 128GB SSD comes from, but there are plenty of possibilities: the powered SATA interface, the mSATA-ready mini-PCIe slot with SIM slot, or the M.2 “B/M” key slot, which also supports the UP AI Core X. For additional wireless and I/O expansion, you can turn to the M.2 2230 E-Key slot.

UP Xtreme detail views
(click images to enlarge)

There is also a 40-pin connector that is said to support Raspberry Pi HATs, as well as add-on boards that run on the Intel Cherry Trail based UP board and UP Squared. In addition, you get 2x PCIe-equipped 100-pin connectors that give you access to all the AI, I/O, and networking infused “UP AI Edge” add-ons available via the similar UP Core Plus 100-pin connectors. The dual 100-pin pinouts are slightly different between the UP Xtreme and the UP Core Plus so some functions will be disabled (see compatibility chart below).

Aaeon claims you can load up to 6x of the AI Core XM 2280 modules on a single UP Xtreme. This would appear to require populating the dual 100-pin connectors with the triple Myriad enabled Vision Plus X, as well as loading the mini-PCIe slot and dual M.2 slots with AI Core XM 2280 modules.

UP Xtreme 100-pin compatibility chart (left) and video/graphics features
(click images to enlarge)

The stacked HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPorts and the eDP header support 4K video and other goodies (see chart above), and there’s a separate audio interface. The UP Xtreme is further equipped with 2x GbE ports, which Aaeon now says support the Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)standard for real-time networking. The KS spec list indicates the 4x USB 3.0 ports are now faster USB 3.1 ports, but elsewhere they’re still listed as 3.0.

UP Xtreme loaded with 6x Myriad X modules
(click image to enlarge)

The UP Xtreme offers several USB, RS-232, and RS232/422/485 headers, as well as a pair of STM32 I/O headers for GPIO related to the onboard STM32 MCU. The Lockable wide-range DC input is variably listed as 12-60V and 12-65V, and the operating range is listed as both 0 to 50°C and 0 to 60°C. When enclosed in the chassis, the board can operate at -20 to 60°C.

Updated specifications listed for the UP Xtreme include:

  • Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” U-series — 2x or 4x Whiskey Lake @ 1.8GHz (up to 3.9GHz or 4.6GHz Turbo) with Intel Gen9 UHD Graphics 620 (24 EU) at 300MHz base and 1GHz max dynamic; Intel 300 series chipset; STM32 MCU; Intel Altera MAX 5 FPGA for 40-pin GPIO
  • Memory – 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of DDR4-2400 (soldered) via dual sockets
  • Storage:
    • Optional 128GB SSD (source not listed)
    • SATA with SATA power
    • mSATA (via mini-PCIe)
    • M.2 Key B/M 2242/2280 slot with support for 2x SATA and PCIe
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel i210/i211 and 1219LM) with TSN support
  • Media I/O:
    • DisplayPort with 4K
    • HDMI 2.0 port with 4K
    • eDP with backlight header
    • Audio out/mic in from ALC887 codec
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.1 host ports
    • USB 2.0 header
    • 2x RS232/422/485 (10-pin Fintech F81801 connectors)
    • RS-232 header
    • 2x STM32 I/O headers
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin “HAT” header — MAX5: 28x GPIO, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, ADC, I2S, 2x PWM, UART, 3V3, 5V, GND
    • 2x 100-pin docking connectors for 1) 12V, GND; 2) 3x PCIe x1; 3) 2x PCIe x1 or USB 3.0; 5) 2x USB 2.0
    • M.2 Key B/M (2242/2280) with 2x PCIe/2x SATA
    • M.2 Key E (2230) with PCIe/USB 2.0)
    • Mini-PCIe slot for mSATA/USB 2.0 with SIM slot
  • Other features — RTC with battery; heatsink
  • Power — Lockable 12-60V DC input; power button
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 50°C (-20 to 60°C for chassis models); undefined humidity, shock, vibration resistance
  • Dimensions — 122 x 120mm; 190 x 132 x 76.6mm for chassis
  • Operating system — Linux (Ubuntu, Yocto); Android; Windows 10

Further information

The UP Xtreme is available through July 9 starting at $282 (249 Euros) with board shipments due in September and kit shipments in October. More information may be found on Aaeon’s UP Xtreme Kickstarter page and product page, and more should eventually be found on the UP community’s wiki.

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