6 SBCs to kick off 2016

Up
UpBoard
The Up is a similar board to the LattePanda, however it aims to support the GPIO header block that has now become the Raspberry Pi industry standard. It was posted to kickstarter mid October 2015 and was successfully funded early December 2015. Pre-orders are currently running. This is one board that I backed, so I will be able to provide a full review of it once delivered.

It sports an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 quad core CPU running at 1.44GHz comparable to the LattePanda. Initially it was to be released with only 1G RAM, but backer pressure saw this up to 4GB. So now there are two models available; 2GB and 4GB.

The usual roundup of HDMI, ethernet and USB are there, except this supports Gigabit ethernet, and has in total 6 USB ports. Other connection options supported are; HMDI, DSI, and MIPI. Since this board supports all Raspberry Pi hats/shields it becomes a direct competitor to Raspberry Pi 2. The Raspberry Pi has issues with being locked into on older design, and does struggle with high I/O due to a shared bus. The architecture of the Up allows much higher I/O data transfer rates to be achieved consequently bringing USB 3.0 and gigabit ethernet to the table. Therefore the Up is essentially a Raspberry Pi on steroids. Expect all Raspberry Pi hats/shields supported as well as cases!

One other nice feature is that it has onboard RTC, (Real Time CLock). This is essential in some embedded applications.

The UP has also added Intel security features supporting the AES, (Advanced Encryption Standard), and the IIPT, (Intel Identity Protection Technology), standards which add an important security baseline for IoT applications.

The Up supports Windows 10, Linux and Android, (with the usual caveat on Linux graphics support).

– CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8300 – Quad core 1.44GHz CPU / 500MHz GPU.
– GPU: Intel Gen8 – 500MHz, (supports up to 1080p 60Hz).
– RAM: 1G to 2G DDRL3L RAM.
– Storage: 16G to 32G eMMC and microSD.
– Video: HDMI.
– Voltage: 5v @ 2A.
– Power: Micro USB.
– Network: Wifi, Bluetooth 4 and Gigabit Ethernet.
– USB: 4x 2.0, 1x USB header and 1x 3.0 OTG / 2.0.
– GPIO: 40 GPIOs same as Raspberry Pi 2.
– OS: Windows 10, Linux and Android.
– Size: 85.60mm x 56.5mm.
– 1 serial port.
– RTC.
– Headers for DSI touch screen, I2C, MIPI camera, HMDI.

Pros: Raspberry Pi 2 on steroids.
Cons: Lacks the same connectivity options as the LattePanda.
Summary: Will be ideal as a drop-in replacement for the Raspberry Pi 2 where higher I/O performance is required – storage server, IoT gateway/hub, video server.

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