Taiwanese compact and industrial computer systems maker Aaeon, an Asus associated company, has launched a new Pico-ITX single board computer (SBC) featuring a choice of 8th Generation Intel Core U processor. The Aaeon Pico-WHU4 can be configured with various Whiskey Lake processors, supports up to 16GB of RAM, and is a good choice for a range of AI and Edge Computing applications from Smart Retail to Smart City, and is capable of operation between 0°C-60°C, says Aaeon.
The Pico-ITX form factor is 100 x 72mm. While these boards will be sold with a variety of 8th gen Whiskey Lake processors, as mentioned in the intro, there appears to be only the i5 version listed in the Aaeon eShop at the time of writing. Below are the key tech specs of the Pico-WHU4 for you to digest:
- Form factor: Pico-ITX
- CPU: i5-8365UE (4C, 1.6GHz, up to 4.1GHz)
- Memory type: DDR4 2400MHz SODIMM x 1
- Max. memory capacity: Up to 16GB
- Power requirement: +12V AT/ATX (default)
- System cooling: Heat-spreader, cooler are optional purchases
- Dimension: 3.94" x 2.84" (100mm x 72mm)
- Video output: HDMI 1.4b up to 3840 x 2160 pixels x2 ports
- Storage/SSD: mini-PCIe(Full) x 1 ( PCIe[x1]x1, USB 3.2 Gen 1/2.0,SATA), SATA 6.0Gb/s x 1, (5V Power)
- Ethernet: Realtek 8111G*2 10/100/1000Mbps
- USB ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2 (Rear), USB 2.0 x 2 Pin header
- Serial ports: RS-232/422/485 x 2
- Expansion slot: M.2 2230 E key x 1 (For WIFI/BT, PCIe/USB signal only), SMBUS/I2C/LPC/eSPI x 1
Alternative CPU choices that will become available are; Intel Core i7-8665UE (4C, 1.7GHz, up to 4.4GHz), Core i5-8365UE (4C, 1.6GHz, up to 4.1GHz), Core i3-8145UE (2C, 2.2GHz, up to 3.9GHz), Celeron 4305UE (2C, 2GHz).
While many a media outlet has been comparing this Aaeon device to the iconic Raspberry Pi, one of the headlining qualities of this product is that the price for the Core i5 packing Pico-WHU4 SBC alone is US$783. Meanwhile, the RasPi is built to a price, and it is a low price. Nevertheless the RasPi has grown impressively in prowess over the years as more powerful components become available at the same entry level pricing - faster processors with more cores, more memory, faster and more modern connectivity options.
Last month we featured another RasPi 'competitor' in the news, the AMD Ryzen R1000 powered 84 x 55mm '1.8-inch' SBC from DFI. We don't have pricing of availability info about the DFI GHF51 SBC but it is a closer competitor to the Aaeon Pico-WHU4 than the RasPi, and will have its own strengths due to its choice of AMD APU.
WHU4's bigger brother
If you fancy something a bit bigger, Aaeon has today introduced the GENE-WHU6 subcompact board (3.5-inch form factor), again powered by an 8th gen Intel Core processor of your choice, but this time up to 32GB DDR4 via twin SO-DIMM slots.