When Raspberry Pi first appeared on the market, the fact that it was the size of a credit card was a significant selling point, apart from its low price. Since then, we have seen a multitude of single-board computers at similar dimensions, give or take. Now, the Kickstarter campaign for UP Core promises a full x86 PC with a Quad core CPU and a surface size less than a single post-it note.
The campaign will end on Saturday, July 1st, 2017, 8:08 AM CEST
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UP Core: A true pocket-sized PC
It's not every day that you can see a picture of a computer that is larger than the real thing (if viewed on a desktop browser). And yet, here we are.
The UP Core single board PC has a size of 56.5 x 66mm, which makes it half as big as a modern smartphone.
On this confined PCB real estate, the creators have crammed a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU, up to 4GB of DDR3L RAM, and a multitude of interfaces.
With the Intel CPU, UP Core is compatible with the full version of Windows 10, practically every version of Linux, and it can even run Android Marshmallow, probably through Androix-x86.
If you find the Atom inadequate as a CPU, the company has already available the UP Squared version, which we can get with up to Celeron N3350 or Pentium N4200.
These editions, however, are beyond the scope of the Kickstarter campaign, which is only for the Up Core model.
Stackable expansion boards
What is particularly exciting about the UP Core is that it is easy to expand it with new ports and capabilities, just by adding an expansion board.
These boards snap beneath the main UP Core board, to retain the small surface size and give it a cubical appearance.
The expansion board A supports high-speed signals such as PCI-express, GbLAN, and USB3.0. The expansion board B is for low-speed signals such as RS-232/422/484, I2C, I2S, and GPIO.
An already up and running company
It is important to know that UP Core isn't the company's first product. They already ran a successful Kickstarter in 2015 for the original UP board...
...and a 2016 Kickstarter for the UP Squared.
It's apparent that it isn't their first time around the block, and they are in it for the long run. This minimizes the danger that they would get the Kickstarter pledges and just disappear without ever delivering the product.
The UP Core Kickstarter campaign
With 12 days to go as of this writing, the UP Core Kickstarter campaign has already nearly quintupled their modest €10,000 (about $11,200) funding goal.
The cheapest early bird reward for pledging €69 ($77) has about half of the available slots left, for the 1GB RAM / 16GB eMMC model.
For us looking for a little more "Oomph", we can get the early-bird versions with 2GB RAM / 32GB eMMC or 4GB RAM / 64GB eMMC.
You should note that only the starter pack pledges and above mention an AC adapter. So, it's entirely possible that you will have to buy an AC adapter separately with the early bird pledges.
The most expensive pledge is €479 ($536) for the robotic development kit.
Check out the campaign on Kickstarter.
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