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PC Engines APU 2

APU system boards are designed and manufacturered by PC Engines. Boards are based on AMD Embedded G series GX-412TC low consumption CPUs.

APU boards and associated accessories are readily available from resellers across Europe and North America.


The APU board exists in four revisions

  • APU 2C2: 3 Gigabit Ethernet / 2GB DRAM / AMD Embedded G series GX-412TC, 1 GHz, 64 bit with AES-NI
  • APU 2C4, 3 Gigabit Ethernet / 4GB DRAM / AMD Embedded G series GX-412TC, 1 GHz, 64 bit with AES-NI
  • APU 3A2, 3 i211AT LAN / AMD GX-412TC CPU / 2 GB DRAM
  • APU 3A4, 3 i210AT LAN / AMD GX-412TC CPU / 4 GB DRAM (special order)

Kernel modules

The following kernel modules are needed:

  • sdhci - SD card
  • igb - Intel network card
  • k10temp - CPU temperature

Board schematics

For transparency, board schematics are available. This is a very nice initiative from PC Engines, which makes it a very good and long support board for OpenWrt:

Various information collected under OpenWrt


The APU runs coreboot as it's bootloader.

Warning! The Coreboot serial console runs at 115200 Baud 8N1. OpenWrt then switches to 38400 Baud 8N1.

Ethernet assignation apu2

Since the board can be put in the same box as the PCEngines Alix 2d13-Board it might be useful to know that the ethernet device order has changed. The interfaces are now ordered as shown in the following image:

(Note: this is exactly the same order as in the APU1 boards)

eth0 is labelled LAN1 on the PCB silk screen, (eth1 is LAN2 and so on).

OpenWrt support

  • Standard Chaos Chalmer 15.05.1 won't boot from SD cards!


Generic image

Custom OpenWrt image

We are trying to compile with all optimization. This includes:

  • X86-64 architecture,
  • AMD APU gcc optimization (this can boost performance around 50% on some applications),
  • SMP support (dual core),
  • GIOP header support,
  • LED support, and more.

Compile with X86_64 with APU ggc btver1 optimization.

Here is our current .config file: <WRAP bootlog> <nowiki>#

At present, we include the following feeds:

./scripts/feeds install luci


WARNING: this is the generic X86 image, not the optimized image.

To install the image on a USB key or SD card, simply copy it after gunzipping:

zcat openwrt-x86-generic-combined-ext4.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdX bs=16k

Of course, make sure to select the right `/dev/sdX`, so that you don't overwrite your own hard disk…

You should then be able to boot off the USB key or SD card. If it doesn't work, see "troubleshooting" below.


With the generic image, only the first port (eth0, the one close to the serial port) is active. You should configure the other ports as appropriate.


This benchmark is done with the generic x86 BB image (no SMP, i686). One laptop is attached to eth0, and runs iperf towards a second laptop attached to eth1.



toh/pcengines/apu2.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/02 10:21 by faucheur