About this project
UP Core, the smallest quad-core x86 single board computer in the world, aims to bridge the gap between single board computers and computer-on-modules. It is half the size of your smartphone and it can be expanded or stacked to extend many more functionalities. At a limited size of 56.5x 66mm, be prepared to experience the unlimited possibilities of UP Core.
Specification and Block diagram
Powered by Intel® Atom™ x5-Z8350 QuadCore 1.44/1.92Ghz 64 bit CPU, UP Core comes with with 2/4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB eMMC 5.0, 2 x USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, DSI/eDP, 2 x MIPI-CSI supporting 2M Pixel camera and 8M Pixel camera, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 with Ampak AP6214 on board. The board works standalone with a set of HDMI monitor, keyboard, mouse and power supply. With this, you are ready to surf on the internet or work through your tasks on the Windows 10 full version, Linux and Android - just like a personal computer! Thanks to its miniature size, you can simply put it into your pocket and take it with you every day.
Uncertain about which version of UP is best for you? Then let's check out the comparison of product life, SoC, I/O and operating system support among all the boards.
On the underside of UP Core, there is a 100 pin I/O high-speed expansion connector with UART, SPI, 2 x USB HSIC, PCI-Express, GPIO, Intel Sensors Hub, SDIO and 5V Power. This permits users to expand the features, easily developing custom expansion boards.
Stackable expansion boards
The UP team introduced two expansion boards: Expansion board A [BRKH01] and Expansion board B [BRKL01] .
Expansion board A carries high-speed signals such as PCI-express, GbLAN and USB3.0 whereas expansion board B exposes low-speed signals such as RS-232/422/484, I2C, I2S, and GPIO. You may choose either one of the two boards or stack both of them beneath UP Core. The high speed signal expansion board shall always be the first layer beneath UP Core if you intend to use up to 3 expansion boards.
The great news is that we will also release schematics of the expansion boards to the public. All our users can take advantage of those existing designs to make your own expansion boards.
Get rewarded by designing an UP Core carrier board
In addition to this, the UP team would like to present rewards to people who design carrier boards for UP Community. If your design is selected by UP Community, you will be entitled to royalties in accordance with the amount of the carrier boards which are sold.
Boards or system - it's your choice
You can have UP Core and/or its carrier boards in your rewards without any chassis. Alternatively we have also designed a very sleek chassis for UP Core and its carrier boards. With the chassis, UP Core and its carrier boards turn into lego-like blocks. You can stack them when you want to make use of any expandable features. It becomes easy to move around so you can just take the whole UP Core block with you wherever you go.
Taking advantage of UP board software, simply because it is the same SoC and architecture, UP Core is compatible with software such as: Windows 10 full version, ubilinux (Debian), Ubuntu, Yocto, and Android. The only difference between UP board and UP Core is that we use 100-pin I/O instead of 40-pin GPIO with added WiFi+bluetooth. If UP Core fits your project better then the good news is that the software migration from UP board to UP Core will not take too much time to complete!
Buy at UP shop, learn with UP Community and sell your solution at UP Shop. Today we have more than 4000 users at UP Community, where the UP team technical experts and geeks are helping users tackle their problems. At UP shop, we have more than 20,000 visitors every month who are buying UP family products from boards to peripherals.
Would you like to showcase and sell your solution based on the UP family? We have created a marketplace at UP shop for solutions made from UP. Whether it is a software package or a complete system, we will gladly assist you to sell the solution at UP shop and promote it at UP events. With our extensive marketing network, your product will be shown off at various websites and trade shows all over the world.
Connected to our eco-system
UP Core enables you to utilize the entire eco-system which we have built around the UP Board and UP Squared. Whether you are working in the fields of industrial automation, vending, digital signage, IoT, home automation or robotics; there are options for you within our ecosystem. Many talented people have been working hard to lay down the foundation for your current and future projects. Great examples of these include UP Core with RealSense camera and SLAM library for robotics. With embedded vision, you can choose Basler camera with pylon SDK and together with this, there are many more partners in home automation, industrial automation and IoT.
Embedded, rugged computer with longevity
Don’t be surprised that UP Core is an embedded as well as rugged computer, as it is made by AAEON Technology, an embedded company in the Asus group. The entire process, starting from components qualification, design verification, and environment testing follows a standard industrial computer board design flow. UP Core will be launched certified with CE, FCC and in addition to this, the product will be available to buy till the end of 2020. Needless to say, UP Core is a perfect platform for you to use from prototype to mass production.
If you need more than a standard product, AAEON’s customization service is at your disposal. Our technical team is ready to discuss and make modifications with you, dependent on product feasibilities. We can also begin from a sketch.
Where are we with the project currently?
In February, we received our first UP Core engineering samples and we were very excited as it worked straight out of the box. We even loaded the UP board Windows embedded image without any modification, and there was no problem with compatibility at all. As the board is too simple to have any trouble, the main focus now is the carrier boards design. We have defined the electronic and mechanical design guide on the carrier board, and are planning to have the board available in June.
Performance per dollar
We ran a meta performance dollar test in the first generation of the UP board, which had the same SoC as UP Core and it showed satisfying results. Get the full advantage of this great result plus pay 10% less than the UP board with the latest UP Core Kickstarter campaign. Would you like to see more benchmarks? Find them at the link: https://up-community.org/blog/45-up-board-benchmark-comparison-with-phoronix-test-suite
Risks and challenges
UP Core is based on the first generation UP board; therefore all the software verification is 70% complete. We do face some challenges which we have to overcome.
UP Core has a modular design. We have decided to use common expansion connectors that HW designer can easily find on the market, but this posed a challenge for signal integrity through multiple layers.
Since the beginning of the project - we have incubated it for 6 months - we thought to create a hardware community and engage hardware engineers to adopt UP Core as core unit in their projects. To make it happen we have to prepared detailed documentation and be sure that all the features are fully functional.
The BIOS poses a big challenge since we have to create BIOS for different carrier boards making the BIOS flexible and quickly adaptable to the board implementing ACPI table for easy driver migration.
We also want to create a stackable cost-effective system with seamless integration of the multiple parts and this poses challenges in power dissipation, vibration and shock resistance.
We are working on each task now and look forward to bringing an innovative product to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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