New Raspberry Pi-like Odroid-H2 board packs Intel Gemini Lake quad-core CPU

The new Odroid-H2 board could suit modders who want to build a Linux media and gaming system.

Hardkernel, a maker of single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi, has announced its Intel-based Odroid-H2 computer.

Though less well known than Raspberry Pi, Odroid boards have been available for just as long, offering an alternative for developers looking for something more powerful, such as the Odroid-U2 and the cancelled Odroid-N1.

Many of its boards have employed Samsung's Exynos Arm-based chips, but the newly announced Odroid-H2 runs on an x86 architecture Intel Gemini Lake processor.

Hardkernel is planning to begin mass production in the next few weeks and should be ready to ship the H2 boards by late November. The board is expected to cost more than $100.

Odroid-H2 is the third iteration of Hardkernel's efforts to deliver an x86 single-board computer, which it's been pursuing because of better Linux support. The board comes with Ubuntu's new 18.10 release with the latest 4.18 Linux kernel.

The first x86 attempt was a board with Intel's Cherry Trail x5-Z8500 2.2GHz CPU, but the cost of building a printed-circuit board was prohibitive.

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In 2016, it started another x86 board with an Intel Braswell N3160 CPU, but by then better Apollo Lake CPUs were already available.

In 2017, Hardkernel was considering an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 3.5GHz mobile processor, which had impressive price and performance, but the company settled on one of Intel's then just-announced Gemini Lake Celeron processors.

Specifically, it opted for the J4105, a Celeron quad-core 2.3GHz processor.

As noted by ZDNet sister site TechRepublic, features that distinguish the Odroid-H2 from most other boards include its 4 x PCIe 2.0 NMVe interface to add SDD storage and SATA 3.0 ports, as well as support for up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM.

There are also two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2 ports for dual 4K display output at 60Hz.

The H2 appears to be aimed at developers who'd like to build a media and gaming system, with the demo showing off the H2 running multi-player Wii games. It's also designed several enclosures to house such a system discretely in the home.

The board measures 110x110x43mm and weighs about 320gm once the large heatsink is attached, with two DRAM modules, and M.2 NVMe SSD added.

odroid-h2.jpg

Hardkernel should be ready to ship the H2 boards by late November.

Image: Hardkernel

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