UP Squared Pro: A SBC that supports Windows 10 with Raspberry Pi GPIOs

UP, the AAEON company’s sub-brand, recently launched the UP Squared Pro, which is the latest version of its series. This board’s main highlights is the support for the Windows system and compatibility with the Raspberry Pi GPIOs ecosystem. UP Squared Pro is an x86-based single-board computer (SBC) that features Intel’s most popular processors among SBCs- Apollo Lake processor. With the support of 5G modules and AI accelerators, the board takes AI edge computing to the Pro level.

What makes UP Squared Pro special?

UP Squared Pro (UPN-APL) is configurable with three processors: Intel Celeron N3350, Pentium N4200, and Atom E3950 processors (formerly known as Apollo Lake processors). All the models come with LPDDR4 RAM, although the size varies from 2 GB to 8 GB, depending on what processor you choose. Similarly, it also comes with eMMC flash storage of 32 GB or 64 GB, depending on the variant. UP Squared Pro board maintains the same ecosystem as its predecessor, allowing developers to quickly replace them with the latest one in UP Squared platform-based projects. This board also features onboard physical TPM 2.0 to enhance data security. Altogether, the board offers the performance and efficiency to power a range of edge applications, including drones and autonomous robots.

Previously, we saw many SBCs aimed at AI computing, like the Arducam Pico4ML Board and the high-performance RISC-V-based BeagleV development board. The UP Squared Pro comes up as a good alternative for the Linux-based BeagleV board for someone who needs to work in a Windows system. The number of GPIOs of these two boards is also precisely the same, i.e., 40, and other peripherals are also similar to quite an extent. These boards’ performance is also comparable as UP Squared Pro uses the x86 architecture compared to the RISC-V architecture on the BeagleV board. Ultimately it’s upon the developer to select the board based on the operating system they prefer working on.

A look at UP Squared Pro’s specifications

UP Squared Pro_block_diagram

UP Square Pro is built for industrial use with many expandability options thanks to the three M.2 slots. These slots include an M.2 2230 E-Key, an M.2 2280 M-Key, and an M.2 3042/3052 B-Key. Developers can easily add external functionalities such as Wi-Fi and AI hardware accelerators like the UP AI Core XM 2280 (featuring two Intel Movidius Myriad X VPUs) using one of these M.2 slots. Apart from this, the board also provides three USB 3.0 Type-A, one USB 3.0 OTG, two GbLAN (Intel i210 AT) ethernet ports, and one SIM slot. For data storage, it has a SATA 3.0 HDD interface.

Talking about the graphics processor, the board comes with Intel HD Graphics 500 if configured with Celeron N3350. You’ll get Intel HD Graphics 505 if configured with Pentium N4200 / Intel Atom x7-E3950 processor. It also includes an Intel FPGA Altera MAX 10, which delivers advanced processing capabilities in a low-cost, single-chip small-form-factor programmable logic device. The UP Squared Pro supports 5G cellular cards, allowing developers to take advantage of lower latency and higher speeds for wireless network deployment.

UP Squared Pro’s hardware and software aspects

UP Squared Pro_specifications

As mentioned earlier, Windows 10 is completely supported by UP Squared Pro but is not limited to it. The board also supports Operating systems based on Linux such as Ubuntu or Yocto. The board incorporates a plethora of other software supports, including Intel Computer Vision SDK, DirectX 12, and OpenGL 4.3. Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit 2020.3.1 LTS, Intel Distribution for Python, and sensor libraries for C++, Python, Java, and JavaScript.

For powering the UP Squared Pro, the user can apply any voltage between 12-24 Volts on the lockable connector. This board’s typical power consumption is around 20 watts, out of which the processor takes about 6-12 watts. It has dimensions of 101.16 x 101.6 mm and weighs around 219 grams.

UP Squared Pro starts from $189, which is the base variant, and goes up to $339. More information can be found on its official product page.

The product page is the source of all the information and images used.

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