Already passing its €10,000 goal on Kickstarter and still with 59 days to go, the UP² (UP Squared) will be available in a couple of versions but based on two Apollo Lake chips, dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 or a quad-core Intel Pentium N4200.
Measuring 85.6x90mm, the UP² (UP Squared) is slightly larger than the original UP Board (85.6x56.5mm), which was based on Intel's Atom X5-Z8350 CPU, but comes with plenty more connectivity options and features. For starters, the UP² (UP Squared) packs much more processing power with Apollo Lake chips which also come with beefier Intel HD Graphics 500/505 graphics that pack 18/12 Execution Units (EUs) and can allocate up to 8GB of RAM. It also supports up to 8GB of much faster LPDDR4 memory and a maximum of 128GB on-board flash storage.
The rest of the connectivity options on the UP² (UP Squared) include two USB 2.0, four USB 3.0 ports, mini-PCIe slot, M.2 2230 and 60-pin EXHAT, single SATA 6Gbps two HDMI outputs and dual Gigabit Ethernet. It also has one 2-lane and one 4-lane MIPI-CSI port, support up to three displays and uses Altera Max 10 (2K) CPLD FPGA embedded controller. The 40-pin GP bus with Raspberry pin layout is also included on the board.
According to the specification list, the UP² (UP Squared) supports Windows 10, Windows IoT Core, Linux and Android operating systems and AAEON, a company behind the UP² (UP Squared), which is also an ASUS company, says that it already cooperates with some big names like Intel RealSense (robotics), Lora (IoT gateway), HMS (Industrial Automation), EnOcean (Home Automation) and TP Link (WiFi functionality).
With such footprint and form-factor as well as decent performance thanks to Intel's Apollo Lake chips, the UP² (UP Squared) could have a bright future in markets that it targets, like media and entertainment (KODI), intelligent vending (UP Brainy Solution), robotics and drone (Intel RealSense), digital signage, Internet of Things (LoRA), home and industrial automation and more.
Currently, the UP² (UP Squared) already passed its first engineering sample phase back in October with the Kickstarter launch today and expected Kickstarter samples delivery in April 2017 and mass production in May 2017.