PICO-ITX Single Board Computer with Tiger Lake performance

News13 Jul 2021PICO-TGU4
Author: Anthony Barham
PICO-ITX Single Board Computer with Tiger Lake performance
  • One of the first PICO-ITX Single Board Computers to feature Intel's 11th Gen. Tiger Lake Processor
  • Tiger Lake offers up to 23% more performance over previous gen.
  • 4K HDMI display output at 60 fps making it ideal for innovative multimedia applications
The PICO-TGU4 is one of the first PICO-ITX Single Board Computers (SBC) to feature the Intel 11th Generation "Tiger Lake" U processor, and now in mass-production it is set to revolutionise the world of Edge AI and machine vision by delivering superior CPU processing and GPU power in a tiny form factor.

Small footprint, big performance

The PICO-ITX form factor is becoming the de-facto SBC choice among OEMs and System Integrators due to its combination of small footprint alongside impressive feature count, and the PICO-TGU4 takes this one step further by offering 11th Gen. Tiger Lake processing, which delivers up to 23% improvement in single-threaded and up to 19% in multi-threaded performance over its 8th Gen. “Whiskey Lake” predecessor.

With the evolution of modern software and UX design reducing the need for larger screens, the PICO-ITX format is becoming more prevalent in industries where space and weight is at a premium, such as Aerospace, the ever-expanding mobile market, and drones, as Machine Builders, OEMs and System Integrators look for smaller board solutions to match this reduction in panel size.

This combination of small form factor and high performance, along with the option of fanless operation via a heat spreader, makes the PICO-TGU4 one of the most exciting Single Board Computers on the market today.

Perfect for Edge AI Applications

OEMs and System Integrators working with AI inference and computer vision applications will benefit from the combination of processing power, GPU performance, and I/O that the PICO-TGU4 features out of the box. The PICO-TGU4 leverages the power of 11th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 and Celeron processors that achieve clock speeds of up to 4.8GHz, and, combined with up to 32GB LPDDR4x onboard memory, can deliver exceptional computing performance. On-board Intel Iris Xe graphics provide up to 96 execution units, while Intel 10nm “Tiger Lake” processors deliver up to 2.95 times the graphics performance of previous 8th Gen Intel Core processors. With up to 96 execution units on the GPU able to run 8-bit integer algorithms, single board computers featuring Intel 10nm “Tiger Lake” processors are perfectly geared up for accelerated AI inference and computer vision applications.

Perhaps more importantly for Edge AI applications, the PICO-TGU4 has an M.2 2280 PCIE4.0 [x4] slot, which can not only be used for super-fast storage but can provide additional AI acceleration from AI co-processors like Intel Movidius Myriad X, Google TPU and Kneron KL520. These AI Accelerators free up the main CPU from having to process complex and resource-hungry AI algorithms and calculations, while speeding up processes such as artificial neural network (ANN) tasks, machine learning (ML) and machine vision. Combined with 2.5Gigabit Ethernet and two 10Gbps USB3.2 Gen2 ports (ideal for connecting cameras), the PICO-TGU4 is perfect for the most complex and challenging Edge AI and machine vision applications.

Powerful video support

As well as the obvious benefits for Edge AI applications, the PICO-TGU4 is also geared up for innovative multimedia and complex digital signage applications. A single HDMI port supports 4K resolution video at 60 fps, bringing powerful video streaming to the PICO-ITX form factor. Combined with the onboard eDP port, used to pair single board computers with LCD panels to create one Integrated Display Solution, the PICO-TGU4’s powerful video support, flexible I/O and tiny footprint makes it perfect for multimedia applications of any size.

Extensive I/O

The PICO-TGU4’s extensive selection of I/O features don’t end there — on the rear it has two super-speed+ USB3.2 Gen 2 ports that offer 10Gbps, and on the board itself there are additional headers for two USB3.2 Gen 1 ports and four USB2.0 ports. Additionally, there is a SATAIII port with a 5V SATA power, two COM ports supporting RS-232/422/485, 8-bit DIO and an I2C/SMBUS for connection to a wide range of devices.

One of the most powerful and flexible features of the PICO-TGU4’s I/O offering is the onboard full-size MiniPCI Express slot. Users can provide cellular connectivity via LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth for local communications. They can expand the number of USB or LAN ports or provide RAID functionality with the simple integration of a MiniPCIe RAID controller module.
Robert Plant, Sales Director at Impulse Embedded, comments, “As with all our embedded board range, Impulse can fully configure the PICO-TGU4 single board computer to our customer’s exact specifications in our UK based engineering facility, including preferred choice of processor, memory, storage, peripherals and embedded operating system. We also have a capability to design custom enclosures, pair boards with LCD touchscreens and offer software integration as a service.”
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Sep 2021
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