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Thread: UP Board

  1. #1
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    UP Board

    I was already thinking about starting a thread about this board, then KurtEck mentioned it another thread, so I figured I'd go ahead and do it.

    My finger had been hovering over the Preorder button for a few days before I backed off the ledge. I may still get this board, but it would be my 2nd SBC. I've decided to start with a RPi3 as my first.

    This is a hot little board. It has the new Atom x5-Z8350. Check out the specs. I think when it comes out it will easily have the best performance to power consumption ratio on the market. It outperforms the current Celerons and draws less power. And as is typical for Atoms, it runs fanless.

    In terms of cons ... it doesn't have built-in WiFi or Bluetooth, which seems kind of ridiculous to me. There is supposedly a shield board coming out that adds both, but it's still a disappointment to me.

    If I decide to do a ROS board next, I will strongly consider this board. Actually, it may be a good idea to pick one up during their run because I heard that Intel is canceling the Atoms after this generation.

    Let me know what you all think about this board.

  2. #2

    Re: UP Board

    You can do ROS on the RPi3, too. And the RPi has the benefit of a directly-connected camera, which improves performance and reduces space/weight compared to USB cameras.
    I think you'll go far with the RPi. Once you're actually at the limit of that, there's probably going to be an even nicer board out somewhere :-)

  3. #3
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    Re: UP Board

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    You can do ROS on the RPi3, too. And the RPi has the benefit of a directly-connected camera, which improves performance and reduces space/weight compared to USB cameras.
    I think you'll go far with the RPi. Once you're actually at the limit of that, there's probably going to be an even nicer board out somewhere :-)
    The UP has an x86-64 processor which is better supported by ROS (more packages already compiled by the farm). The UP also has a CSI port like the RPi's, although it looks like it may be limited to no better than 4MP cameras. Plus six USB2.0 ports, one USB3.0 OTG port, and a proper gigabit ethernet via PCIe.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

  4. #4

    Re: UP Board

    I agree with both Jwatte and Tician here,

    As Jwatte mentioned you can do a lot with the RPI3 and there will always be new better shiny boards out there

    I ordered one of these as I am interested in trying one out and I am hoping that it will help me to continue to learn ROS as again hopefully I will be able to install standard x86-64 ROS packages including full desktop and be able to do things like RVIZ directly on it. I have had my eye out for something like a NUC, but smaller, less power needed, simple to power...

    Per posting today, I believe they should start shipping next Friday

    I became interested in them when I read that Intel will be selling them soon from their own store as part of a package which includes a Real Sense camera. I then found their site and decided to give one a try.

    I agree with you _ADAM_ that it would be nice if it included Wifi/BT directly on the board. I have heard arguments both ways. For example on the Odroid forums, where some argued that they want to be able to choose which wifi they want and maybe what type and where to install the antennae. Others argued that they did not want these on their board as they will connect by wire... For me, I wish it was built in.

    Recently I also looked at some other similar boards including:

    The DFRobot LattePanda - which is currently shipping, again quad core atom, they added an AtMega32U4 processor to add IO pins, you use Arduino to program this chip but not shield compatible... Looked interesting but I have typically avoided DFRobot.

    UDOO has a kickstarter - for new board again Intel Quad core, plus Arduino 101. Looks like it will be Arduino shield compatible... But also looks pretty big.

  5. #5

    Re: UP Board

    If they're there, but you don't use them (or use some alternative that's USB connected,) they don't get in the way.
    If they're not there, and you NEED to use the USB, then it takes up space (both port count and physical space.)
    I think it's unconditionally better to have them on the board and have the option to use them, unless there's some terrible bug that causes them to gulp battery even when not in use or crash the kernel or something.

    Also: I agree UP specs look good. The question for me is "are they better enough compared to RPi3 that it makes sense to recommend that to a learner, even though it's 4x the price?"
    If you want real performance out of a SBC, I hear the new Jetsons are where it's at. (for another 4x increment in price :-)

  6. #6

    Re: UP Board

    Jwatte,

    I totally agree about the wifi/BT. The only other reason I heard people mention was something like in a secure environment, can not have wifi on it as it can be a point for hackers to gain access... But not sure why in those cases you can not simply turn that part of the board off...

    I also agree that RPI3's are great thing to use for the price. As for 4x the price, probably closer to 2x the price:

    I believe RPI3 is $40, plus you need a SD card for maybe $10 probably more: so about $50.

    You can get a 2GB memory 16gb emmc version of up for: $99
    I just happened to order the more expensive 4gb/64gb version, so I can potentially try multiple things like maybe dual boot...

  7. #7
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    Re: UP Board

    These 14nm Cherry Trail Atom chips are legit tech. It's going to be viable for many years to come. The x5 CPU Mark score is 1708. The Braswell N3050 is 6W with a CPU Mark of only 925. Twice as fast, half the power, no fan.

    And like Tician said, it's x86, which is a nice for non-Pi linux ecosystems.

    Maybe they will make a another version of the UP with the somewhat faster x7 Atom and onboard WiFi and BT...

  8. #8
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    Re: UP Board

    Kurt, did you ever get your UP? I thought they were supposed to ship in May, but it's mid-June and still available for pre-order.

    LattePanda looks interesting too, and it's also 5V, which is nice. Why do you avoid DFRobot?

    UP is a bit smaller and lighter, and has a faster Atom. LP has more memory and storage, plus the onboard ATmega if needed. LP has WiFi and Bluetooth, which is great, but adding dongles to the UP isn't a big deal.

    I'm working on two robots, will probably go x86 on the second...

  9. #9

    Re: UP Board

    Not yet, they have said there was an issue with the first batch of the mass produced boards and they rejected them. Sounds like should have all of the Kickstarter boards out probably in the next few days and the all of the preorders in the next few weeks...
    Post from two days ago:
    UP is in mass production from last two weeks and this production wil continue. We expect to fulfill all the orders in coming 3 weeks; afterwards the board will be on stock with 5 days of delivery time worldwide.
    thanks again for your patience and for supporting UP
    A post by them earlier today about some other boards who have already shipped, they have said:
    We are aware that other projects already delivered their products (which may seems similar but they are very different on many aspects).
    Most of them include the X5-Z8300 while the UP board as been upgraded in January with the latest X5-Z8350 and the I/O has been enhanced with an Altera CPLD to give you better performance and more flexibility for your embedded projects.
    Why I have avoided DFRobot in the past. Several years ago, it felt like they were directly cloning products by a company (Lynxmotion), that I liked and supported. Example SSC-32. ... I don't have as strong a feeling anymore as Lynxmotion was sold and the new owner (Robotshop) also sells DFRobot...

  10. #10

    Re: UP Board

    Quick updates:

    My up board arrived today. Actually late yesterday to my mailbox in town.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The picture is the Upboard on the right, with an Odroid C2 on the left. As you see they are pretty much the same size. The Up is now thicker as they have another heat sink below the main body.

    Right now have hooked up to my tV and now have it dual booting Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04.

    Will probably next install ROS Kinetic, while I play around with breakout board design for T3.6 board.

    And follow up on DFRobot... Looks like Trossen is now selling their stuff...

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