Compulab Launches the Fitlet2 Passive SFF PC with Apollo Lake SoCsby Anton Shilov on November 9, 2017 9:15 AM EST
Compulab has announced its new fitlet2 ultra-compact PC designed for a broad range of applications, including office, IoT and industrial. The Compulab fitlet2 is a small unit, cooled passively using its own chassis made of die-cast metal. The system supports Compulab’s function and connectivity extension T-cards (FACET cards) that add functionality, such as extra GbE or USB ports, or even a 4G modem.
The Compulab fitlet2 measures 112 mm by 84 mm, meaning that it is smaller than Intel’s NUCs and other UCFF-class PCs. Depending on exact model, the Compulab fitlet2 can be based on Intel’s Atom x7-E3950, Atom x5-E3930 or a Celeron J3455, all based on Intel's Apollo Lake cores. The motherboard of the system features one SO-DIMM slot for up to 16 GB og DDR3L-1866 memory. As for storage options, the mainboard supports M.2-2260/2242 SSDs, modular M.2 eMMC drives as well as 2.5” SATA storage solutions. One M.2 module and one 2.5" drive can be installed at the same time.
By default, the Compulab fitlet2 system comes with two GbE ports, two USB 3.0 connectors, two USB 2.0 headers, a COM port, audio jacks, a microSD slot, an HDMI 1.4, and an mDP 1.2 output. Users can install one of Compulab’s FACET cards to get other connectivity features, including (but not limited to) a 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 module, a 4G modem, two extra GbE ports, four additional USB headers, or an M.2 E-key slot. Compulab keeps the FACET spec open so interested parties can develop their own cards to extend I/O capabilities and address certain needs, such as FPGAs perhaps. One thing that should be kept in mind is that Apollo Lake SoCs only support PCIe 2.0, so the fitlet2 will not be able to take advantage of fast I/O or modern SSDs.
As mentioned above, the fitlet2 can be adapted for various applications and for this reason different versions of the PC will use slightly different enclosures. The low power models use 112 mm by 84 mm housing that is 25mm thick, while a higher performance SKU is 34 mm thick (to dissipate more heat), and industrial designs come in a 112x112x25 mm chassis because of mounting mechanisms.
All versions of the fitlet2 are rated to operate in rather extreme environments with temperatures between -40°C and 85°C and humidity between 5% and 95% (non-condensing).
|Brief Specifications of Compulab's fitlet2|
|Atom x7||Atom x5||Celeron|
1.6 GHz / 2.0 GHz
2 MB L2
1.3 GHz / 1.8 GHz
2 MB L2
1.5 GHz / 2.3 GHz
2 MB L2
|Graphics||HD Graphics 505
|Intel HD Graphics 500
|Memory||One SO-DIMM slot, up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1866|
|Storage||eMCC||A modular eMMC storage device|
|M.2||A SATA SSD in M.2-2260/M.2-2242 form-factor|
|2.5"||A SATA 2.5" SSD or HDD|
|Wi-Fi||Intel 802.11ac + BT 4.2 (optional, comes on a FACET module)|
|Ethernet||Two Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connectors (Intel i211)
Two additional GbE connectors may be installed using a FACET module
|Display Outputs||1 × HDMI 1.4
1 × mDP 1.2
|Audio||3.5 mm audio in and audio out (Realtek ALC886)|
|USB||2 × USB 3.0 Type-A
2 × USB 2.0 Type-A
Four additional USB 2.0 connectors may be installed using a FACET module
|Dimensions||Low-power: 112 mm × 84 mm × 25 mm
High-performance: 112 mm × 84 mm × 34 mm
Industrial: 112 mm × 112 mm × 25 mm
|PSU||External, 9V to 36V|
|VESA Mounts||75 mm/100 mm|
|OS||Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB
Compatible with other operating systems
Because the fitlet2 enables to build systems featuring different specifications, Compulab does not announce exact MSRPs for all the units, possibly because 99% of such PCs will be built-to-order (the manufacturer even offers color customization for large customers). The cheapest fitlet2 is available for $153, but once it is equipped according to requirements, its price will be considerably higher (keep in mind that industrial DIMMs and SSDs rated for extended temperatures cost more than consumer-class components). All fitlet2 computers are covered by a five-year warranty and are guaranteed to be available for 15 years.
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Beaver M. - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - linkThese always have too few USB ports.
Now we have small USB-C ports and they still dont use them to be able to put more of them into devices.
Also, why dont we have a small version of RJ45 yet?
DanNeely - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - linkIf you need a ton of ports connected you can use a hub. These sort of devices are intended for embedded use where they're running one or a very small number of things at a time; a few ports is all they need. If for some reason you needed more direct ports presumably you could commission an expansion board that replaced 1 or both of the RJ45 ports with USB instead (assuming it isn't already present).
As for there not being a mini RJ-45; because port size reduction is driven by mobile customers and wifi has a port size of 0.
Compulab - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - linkThere is a FACET card (fitlet2 extension) with extra 4 USB ports.
Beaver M. - Thursday, November 16, 2017 - linkYeah, too bad USB hubs always make lots of problems, especially with standby. Remember the vast amount of hubs that actually have a feedback loop and destroy your mainboards USB ports over time?
Do you even know what USB-C is? Do you even know that there are still laptops out there (and that some manufacturers actually tried to make the RJ-45 smaller)?
I also wonder why we still have cable networks, if WiFi is so great...
Yeah, next time just think before you post....
Elstar - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - linkIf I still had the time and patience to maintain a custom router, I'd so buy this.
jomo32 - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - linkIt seems Compulab PCs have intentional security flaws. See
Compulab - Friday, November 10, 2017 - linkTransitional security vulnerabilities are almost inevitable for one who is in the market long enough like Compulab.
"Intentional" is nonesense. Read the CVEs and you will see these past vulnerabilities make poor intentional ones.
Both vulnerabilities do not apply to fitlet2.
-8083 was from the need to allow changing FACE Modules in the field for Intense PC series which in turn requires firmware descriptors change.
-9457 is an implementation problem in Phoenix BIOS. It's more of a bricking risk than security vulnerability. That's one of the reasons all Compulab products since 2015 use AMI.
fitlet2 could have vulnerabilities and I would be surprised if none is discovered during its life cycle. We will do our best to address them.
hmartin - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - linkHi, I'm the author of those CVEs! It's my opinion that these vulnerabilities are not intentional. I have no relation to CompuLab other than being an occasional pain in their ass when I dig into their products. I'm pretty sure they hate me by now ;-)
The FDT issue (CVE-2017-8083) was at the time of discovery, seeming like CompuLab just forgot to run CloseMnf before shipping. From their description below, it was a design choice to support FACE module swapping (though I don't entirely understand the logic there).
The signature issue (CVE-2017-9457) was clarified to me in email by CompuLab. Phoenix shipped their EDK2 source code with signature checking disabled. I'm sure if CompuLab had the time/money/motivation they could have enable signature checking, but having been involved in product development, I can't fault them for their choice. Since they're a rather small vendor and I'm sure BIOS development is a complicated and expensive process meanwhile the product manager is screaming at you to ship it, I understand their reasons for excluding signed updates.
So, in the end I feel this is a case of Hanlon's razor.
Shameless self plug: if you want a libre firmware for the Intense PC, I have ported coreboot to the Intense PC