The ASRock IMB-1216: Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U Goes Mini-ITX

ASRock has introduced a new Mini-ITX motherboard based on Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U SoCs, which is aimed at embedded applications. The IMB-1216 mainboard is designed for applications like panel PCs, point-of-sales systems, kiosks, and digital signage, but can be used for regular low-power PCs in a Mini-ITX form-factor.

The ASRock IMB-1216 motherboard falls under quite a rare product category, as it brings together a mobile SoC and a desktop form-factor. Such a combination is not completely surprising though. Requirements of modern embedded applications are quite diverse and there are devices that can take advantage of Intel’s dual-core or quad-core Whiskey Lake processors with UHD Graphics 620 and a 15 W TDP as well as flexibility/expandability that Mini-ITX can provide. The motherboard can support up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, an M.2-2280 SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA), and up to two SATA 2.5-inch storage devices. Furthermore, it carries an M.2-2230 slot for a CNVi-based 802.11 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module, and a slot for a 4G/LTE modem.

The IMB-1216 motherboard supports a full set of internal headers that one comes to expect from an embedded system, including eDP, LVDS, VGA, Serial ports, Parallel ports, GPIO, USB 2.0, and so on. It is also equipped with two GbE controllers (Intel I219LM, Realtek RTL8111G), five USB 3.0 ports (one internal), external display outputs (DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, can support up to three displays sumultaneously), two 3.5-mm audio jacks, etc.

When it comes to security and reliability, ASRock says that the motherboard has a header for a TPM module, supports a watchdog time, and can work within a temperature range between 0°C and 60°C. As for compatibility, the motherboard will be able to run various versions of Windows and Linux.

ASRock does not publish pricing of its IMB-1216 motherboard, presumably because pricing of Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U SoCs vary. Intel charges its customers from $107 to $409 per processor when it sells in quantities of 1000 units, so prices of the IMB-1216 will vary greatly depending on the processor it’s ordered with.

Brief Specifications of ASRock’s Mini-ITX Motherboard
CPU Intel’s 8th Gen Core (Whiskey Lake-U) SoC
PCH integrated
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory Two SO-DIMM slots, up to 32 GB of DDR4
Storage M.2 1 × M.2-2280 SSD with SATA or PCIe 3.0 x4 interface
2.5″ 2 × SATA HDDs or SSDs
Wi-Fi 1 × M.2-2230 CNVi, or USB 2.0 Wi-Fi 802.11 + Bluetooth adapter
WWAN 1 × M.2-3042 USB 2.0 slot for 4G modem/SIM
Ethernet Two Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connectors (Intel I219LM, Realtek RTL8111G)
Display Outputs Internal 1 × eDP
1 × LVDS
1 × VGA
External 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
1 × HDMI 2.0
Total 3 display outputs can work simultaneously
Audio 3.5 mm audio in and audio out (Realtek ALC886?)
USB Internal 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
3 × USB 2.0 Type-A
External 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A
Additional I/O 1 × TPM header
2 × COM(RS232/422/485)
4 × COM(RS-232)
1 × LPT
8×GPI, 8×GPO connector (shared with LPT) controlled by the Fintek F1866AD-I
Power 12V DC-in (DC Jack/ 4-pin ATX PWR Con) (Option: +19V~28V)
Temperatures Operating  0ºC – 60ºC
Storing -40ºC – 85°C
OS Windows 10, Linux
Compatible with other operating systems

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Source: ASRock (via Hermitage Akihabara)

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