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Mini-ITX board supports mobile Sandy Bridge CPUs

Jan 11, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Ibase announced a Mini-ITX motherboard that supports Intel's “second-generation” Core i7 and i5 processors, as well as Celeron QC/DC models. The MI956F accepts up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, has Mini PCI Express and PCI Express x16 expansion slots, offers four SATA II ports and two SATA III ports, and sports eight USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, according to the company.

The MI956F is the latest in Ibase's line of 6.7 by 6.7-inch Mini-ITX motherboards. Like the MI957 announced last August, it's said to be aimed at digital signage, gaming, POS, kiosk, and multimedia applications.

Ibase's MI956F
(Click to enlarge)

However, the MI956F (above) moves from the MI957's QM57 Express chipset to the QM67 Express chipset Intel introduced last week. As we've previously reported, this is just one chipset supporting Intel's bevy of "second generation" Core i7 and i5 processors — 15 new mobile offerings, 14 new desktop offerings, and two new embedded-specific CPUs.

Ibase doesn't say which of these new "Sandy Bridge" CPUs the MI956F works with, citing only "Core i7/i5 and Celeron QC/DC processors up to 2.7GHz." However, the motherboard employs an rPGA988B socket, which our research suggests is specific to Intel's mobile offerings (the "desktop" CPUs, in contrast, use a new Socket 1155 design).

In any case, the MI956F has two DDR3 sockets which Ibase says can accept up to 8GB of RAM. Fixed storage, meanwhile, is catered for by four SATA II ports and two SATA III ports (we assume there's RAID support, though Ibase didn't specify it).

The board's coastline, pictured at right, offers two serial ports as well as DVI-I, DVI-D, and HDMI video outputs. It also includes two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, and audio I/O, according to Ibase.

The top of the Ibase MI956F

The top of the board, seen above and earlier in this story, has the SATA ports that have already been mentioned, plus headers for LVDS, four additional USB 2.0 ports, and two additional serial ports. Also provided are digital I/Os (four in, four out), plus both PCI Express x16 and Mini PCI Express expansion slots, Ibase adds.

According to Ibase, its Mini-ITX board is also available as the MI956AF. This model is mostly identical to the above but adds Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT 7.0), the company says.

Features and specifications listed for the Ibase MI956F include:

  • Processor — rPGA988B-socketed processors up to 2.7GHz, including Core i5, i7, and Celeron QC/DC
  • Chipset — Intel QM67 Express
  • Memory — up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x Mini PCI Express
    • 1 x PCI Express Graphics x16
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB 2.0 (4 external, 4 internal)
    • 2 x USB 3.0
    • video:
      • HDMI
      • DVI-I
      • DVI-D
      • LVDS (internal)
    • serial — 3 x RS232 (2 external) and 1 x RS232/422/485
    • audio — 3 x 3.5mm jacks (assignments n/s)
    • digital I/O (4 in, 4 out)
  • Power — ATX connector; max. requirement n/s
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches (170 x 170mm)

Further information

Ibase did not cite operating system support, pricing, or availability for the MI956F or MI956AF, nor does it appear to have posted a product page. However, we located further details and a data sheet at German distributor Rosch GmbH.

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