Taiwan’s AAEON Touts New Micro PC For “Low-Cost” Applications Like Digital Signage

June 19, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The Taiwan-based single-board computer maker AAEON has announced a teeny new micro PC it says is aimed at low-cost applications like digital signage, but the PICO-EHL1 isn’t all that low-cost.

The unit cost for this new PICO-ITX form factor is listed as $250 USD on the AAEON site, while the price for a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is $45 USD. I know, specs will differ, etc, but both are being touted for low-cost applications like digital signage and there are companies who have learned how to get a LOT out of the Pi’s graphics.

Nerd-level details from PR:

Equipped with Intel Atom x6000E Series, and Intel Pentium and Celeron N and J Series Processors, the PICO-EHL1 is a lightweight, power-efficient board which the company has earmarked for low-cost applications that require flexible function, such as digital signage, smart lockers, and ATMs.

The PICO-EHL1’s display interface is particularly suitable to the aforementioned markets, with dual-channel LVDS and eDP via colay design being joined by full audio functionality thanks to its line-in, line-out, and microphone connectors. Supporting both Windows and Linux operating systems, the board has discrete TPM 2.0 compatibility for data security, making it suitable for deployment in ATMs.

Internal pin-headers, along with a BIO (Board to Board I/O) connector that grants access to additional PCIe, GPIO, and serial port functions give users a selection of interfaces to build with while avoiding unnecessary physical ports taking up board space. Consequently, the PICO-EHL1 maintains a small 3.94″ x 2.84″ (100mm x 72mm) form factor, despite being equipped with such a range of functions. Meanwhile, GbE LAN, HDMI 1.4b, and dual USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports make up the PICO-EHL1’s external I/O, providing a solid base from which to integrate peripheral devices.

The PICO-EHL1’s expansion options show a vast improvement on its predecessor, hosting an M.2 2242 B-Key and full size mPCIe/mSATA slot for storage modules. One major change when compared to its predecessor is that the PICO-EHL1 supports 32GB of DDR4 system memory via a SODIMM slot, compared to system memory being onboard, as has previously been the case. The reason for this is to provide greater flexibility to users, allowing them to install memory modules to suit their application’s needs and budget.

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