when too much is never enough —
Somewhere, Christopher Walken is deliriously chanting “I gotta have more USB!”
Industrial PC company Portwell is offering an unusual server motherboard. The PEB-9783G2AR is a FlexATX board designed for use in low-profile chassis, supporting Intel Comet Lake-S CPUs and up to 128GiB of DDR4 ECC RAM. This, and the rest of the board’s specs, are pretty normal—but then there’s the 20 USB 3.2 type-A ports.
Yes, that’s right, 20 USB ports, and box headers for an additional four straight serial ports. Tom’s Hardware covered this board and speculated that the massive array of USB ports would be useful to cryptocurrency miners for use with external GPUs (though some commenters disagreed).
The cryptocurrency angle is interesting, but it’s probably a bit off the mark—Portwell’s own press release pushes automation and robotics as applications for the new board. Portwell marketing engineer Maria Yang says that the ports “[allow] customers to connect to many peripheral devices such as cameras that can be used for robot and vehicle navigation.”
Full specs (including a datasheet) for the new board are available at portwell.com. Portwell does not appear to sell to the general public, so you’ll need to request a quote (and probably be ready to buy a large quantity) if you want a 20x USB board of your very own—to the great dismay of our own Jonathan Gitlin, who was hoping to convince me to make some kind of crazy RAID array from all the USB flash drives he’s collected at press conferences in his time at Ars.
Listing image by Portwell