By Eric Brown
Commell’s Linux-friendly “LP-178” Pico-ITX board features Intel’s Whiskey Lake-UE CPUs at up to 4.4 GHz turbo and offers up to 16 GB DDR4, triple displays, SATA III, 2x GbE and 2x 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports.
Commell announced the first Pico-ITX board we’ve seen based on Intel’s 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” U- or 10-year available UE-series processors. Commell has previously tapped Whiskey Lake on its larger, 3.5-inch LE-37N, which similarly uses UE chips. Other Whiskey Lake-UE SBCs include Vecow’s 3.5-inch EMBC-3000 and Congatec’s Conga-JC370 and thin Mini-ITX Conga-IC370. Whiskey Lake-U SBCs include Aaeon’s maker-focused UP Xtreme and ASRock’s 3.5-inch SBC-350 and thin Mini-ITX IMB-1216.
LP-178 and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The LP-178 is designed for gaming, surveillance, medical, defense, transportation, and industrial automation applications. The SBC offers a choice of Linux and Windows 10 running on either the quad-core, 8-thread, 1.7GHz/4.4GHz Core i7-8665UE or the 2.0GHz dual-core, dual-threaded Celeron 4305UE. Both offer low 15W TDPs.
Due to the compact, 100 mm x 72 mm Pico-ITX footprint, the LP-178 has sacrificed a few features compared to the 146 mm x 101 mm LE-37N, starting with a halving of maximum DDR4 to 16 GB. It offers only one SATA III interface instead of two, and there’s no mSATA. The SBC supplies half the 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 host ports with two coastline ports.
LP-178 portside detail view
(click image to enlarge)
Triple displays are supported via coastline HDMI and DisplayPorts and an LVDS interface enabled via a DP-fed ADP-3460 converter module. An M.2 E-Key 2230 slot supports a WiFi/Bluetooth module. Other I/O includes 2x RS232, 2x USB 2.0, HD audio, and PS/2. There’s a 12V DC input and 0 to 60°C support.
Specifications listed for the LP-178 include:
- Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” UE-series (FCBGA1528 package) with Intel Gen 9.5 HD Graphics (24 EU) and 15W TDP (configurable TDP of 12.5W to 25W); defaults to:
- Core i7-8665UE — 4x octa-threaded cores @ 1.7GHz (4.4GHz Turbo); 8MB cache; Graphics 620
- Celeron 4305UE — 2x cores @ 2.0GHz; 2MB cache; Graphics 610
- Memory — up to 16GB of DDR4 via single socket (2400MHz on i7-8665UE, 2133MHz on 4305UE)
- Storage — SATA 3.0
- Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel I210-AT and 1219LM with AMT 12.0)
- HDMI port
- LVDS (18/24-bit, single/dual channel) via converter module or optional DP-to-VGA
- Triple display support
- Realtek ALC262 HD audio mic-in, line-out interfaces
- Other I/O:
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 host ports
- 2x USB 2.0
- 2x RS232
- PS/2, LPC, SPI, SMBus, fan
- Expansion — M.2 E-key 2230 slot for WiFi/Bluetooth
- Other features — Watchdog; RTC with battery
- Power — 12V DC
- Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C
- Dimensions — 100 x 72mm (Pico-ITX form factor)
- Operating system — Linux or Windows 10
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