This tiny x86 board can run four 4K monitors - but you can't buy it

(Image credit: Advantech)

Advantech, a provider of embedded systems and single-board computers (SBCs), has unveiled its new highly-integrated platform for gaming, amusement, and kiosk applications. The DPX-E145 combines performance and versatility of Intel’s embedded Tiger Lake SoC platform with rich connectivity required for commercial systems. 

Intel’s 11th Generation Core i-series embedded ‘Tiger Lake’ UP3 processors have several unique advantages for embedded systems: up to four high-performance general-purpose cores, the Intel Xe-LP graphics with up to 96 EUs and decent performance for 1080p gaming, support for up to four displays, top-notch connectivity and a TDP of up to 28W.  

Tiger Lake UP3’s performance and feature set does not beat those of PlayStation or Xbox consoles, but it is ideal for various arcade, casino, and casual gaming applications. It is hard to imagine a kiosk with four displays today, but companies tend to be creative and they might take advantage of this feature too.

All features in a compact package

The Advantech DPX-E145 takes advantage of everything Intel’s embedded Tiger Lake UP3 platform has to offer. The SBC has two memory slots for up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory, one M.2-2280 slot for a high-performance SSD with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, two SATA headers for 2.5-inch storage devices, and two C-Fast sockets. 

Among other things, the board also has four DisplayPort 1.2++ connectors, nine USB 3.0 ports, four RS232 headers (to connect common gaming controllers), one RS485 port, one TTL port, 5.1 audio connectors (up to 20W per channel), and a GPIO header. The SBC uses a 12V DC single input or ATX power.

(Image credit: Advantech)

Operating temperature of the board is between 0°C and 50°C. The SoC is cooled down using a relatively big passive cooling system that will not require its own service unlike active coolers. 

Being designed for commercial embedded systems, the DPX-E145 has top-notch security, including a TPM 2.0 module on board, eight intrusion switches, and a real time clock device. 

At 200mm x 270mm, the Advantech DPX-E145 is not exactly as small as Raspberry Pi, but it actually does not have to be that small. Firstly, the single-board computer needs to feature plenty of connectors to address a wide array of applications, which means added board space. Secondly, a passive cooler for a 28W SoC should be rather big and gaming, amusement, and kiosk applications have plenty of space inside to house an SBC with a massive cooler. 

On the software side of matters, Advantech’s DPX-E145 is supported by everything the company has to offer, including proprietary edge-to-edge drivers and software API/SDK, code portability with other Advantech-Innocore boards, and a variety of Advantech-Innocore software products for gaming. The SBC is supported by Microsoft’s Windows Embedded as well as Linux operating systems. In short, the SBC can be deployed quickly. 

Advantech is yet to disclose pricing and the availability date for its DPX-E145. Since we are talking about an embedded SBC for commercial applications, it will naturally cost more than a typical PC board.

(Image credit: Advantech)

Source: Advantech

Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.