UP Core, the smallest x86 single board computer with expansions just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign which ended two weeks ago. After thorough considerations of the expansion boards’ compatibility, we have shifted the original delivery schedule from August to September.
After the UP Core DVT (design verification test) revision validation, the UP team has brought UP Core to PVT (production verification test) PCB fabrication this week. At the same time, the expansion boards first geber has just been released to the PCB supplier. Therefore, it remains theoretically possible to retain the release date of UP Core for August, that is if we ignore the boards compatibility with its expansion boards. However, we take full responsibility in providing a fully functioning end product and we know some users will add on expansions afterwards. Due to this, we have decided to verify and validate UP Core together with the expansion boards prior to its first release. The validation of expansion boards is where we foresee a possible delay.
If you are wondering what the challenge may be with the expansion board validation, we can answer that it lies with BIOS. The hardware design of expansion boards is straightforward, however, to make one BIOS work on an UP Core board that has different expansion boards attached to it is questionable at this stage.
How can UP Core identify the functionality of various expansion boards and load a correct setting?
The answer to that question is EEPROM. We would like to add an EEPROM chip on every expansion board so that the BIOS on UP Core can load the correct setting by reading the information it gets from EEPROM.
We will receive the first batch of expansion boards early in August. At that point, we can provide you with more updates on our progress.
In the mean time, keep those fingers crossed!