Rugged COM Express Type 10 Module Sports Intel Apollo Lake-I

MEN Micro has announced the CM50C, a low-power, compact, Rugged COM Express module that was developed around the Intel Atom E3900 series of processors. Due to the low power consumption, the virtualization support of the processor and the safe board management controller, the module is a multifaceted solution for individual designs in harsh environments and safety-critical applications.

The CM50C is a COM Express Mini module for rolling stock, public transportation and industry applications. It is compatible to COM Express Type 10 Pin-Out and conforms to the VITA 59 standard which specifies the mechanics to ensure reliable operation in harsh environmental conditions. In accordance with the Rugged COM Express standard, the CM50C is embedded in a solid aluminum frame that protects the electronics from environmental influences such as humidity, dust, vibrations or EMC radiation and also enables operation in the extended temperature range from -40 to +85°C via conduction cooling.

Based on the Intel E3900 CPU series with a low power dissipation of 7 W to 16 W, the CM50C provides a scalable performance up to 4 cores and integrated quality graphics. It also offers Intel VT-x virtualization support. This allows to run multiple applications on a single hardware platform, saving physical hardware and costs.

The board management controller provides enhanced reliability, reduced downtime and is certifiable up to SIL 2. With the Trusted Platform Module and the secure/ measured booting features fast cryptographic execution is supported. The CM50C comes with a large variety of interfaces, including, for example, Digital Display Interfaces, HD Audio, PCI Express and Gigabit Ethernet. This enables implementing many functions on a very small form factor.

The processor’s 15 years long-term availability ensures an extended product life and future-safety for a wide range of applications. For less demanding applications, a standard COM Express variant without frame is also available.


  • Intel Atom E3900 series
  • Up to 8 GB DDR3 RAM with ECC
  • Intel VT-x virtualization support
  • Rugged COM Express Mini (VITA 59 RCE) type 10
  • Trusted Platform Module
  • Board Management Controller (SIL 2 certifiable)
  • Conduction cooling
  • -40°C to +85°C

MEN Micro |

Tiny Apollo Lake Module Targets Factory Automation

By Eric Brown

The NanoCOM-APL is an Apollo Lake upgrade for customers of Aaeon’s similarly COM Express Type 10 Mini form-factor NanoCOM-BT module, which runs on a Bay Trail Atom E3800 SoC. No OS support was listed for the factory automation targeted NanoCOM-APL, but we assume that like the NanoCOM-BT, it runs Linux, as well as Windows.

NanoCOM-APL, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Three Intel Apollo Lake SoCs are available: the quad-core Pentium N4200 and Atom E3950 and the dual-core Celeron N3350. The Pentium and Atom SKUs ship standard with 4 GB LPDDR4, and the Celeron model has 2 GB. Yet, Aaeon also lists a maximum capacity of 8 GB LPDDR4. The only other difference between the SKUs is that the Atom-based model is the only one with 32 GB eMMC 5.0 storage, with an option for up to 64 GB.

The relatively low TDPs of the Atom SoCs compared to other x86 processors enables power consumption of as little as 7 W for the Celeron module, says Aaeon. (The Atom E3950 model runs at up to 12 W.)

The low power consumption enables “hand-held, battery powered devices and fully enclosed IP67 applications,” says Aaeon, One early customer is already using the module combined with an FPGA and an AI chip for a machine vision system that can scan products to “create 3D images that can be checked for faults,” says the company. The vision system be integrated within a production line or a robotic arm.

NanoCOM-APL and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The NanoCOM-APL module is equipped with an Intel I210IT GbE controller with WoL, and offers dual SATA II interfaces. The Intel HD Graphics Gen9 drives an 18/24-bit single-channel LVDS interface (or optional eDP) plus a DDI connector that supports DDI, LCD/eDP, or LVDS. In the press release, Aaeon promotes the module’s dual MIPI-CSI interfaces. However, there’s no evidence for this on the product page, datasheet, or block diagram.

The NanoCOM-APL supports 2x USB 3.0, 8x USB 2.0, 2x TX/RX serial, and an HD audio interface. You also get 8-bit GPIO, I2C, LPC Bus, SMBus, and PCIe, which can be configured as PCIe x4 or 3x PCIe x1.

Like the NanoCOM-BT, the 84 x 55mm module is available in 0 to 60˚C and -40 to 85˚C models. A watchdog is standard, and a heatspreader and CPU cooler are optional. There’s a 12V power input with optional 5V, with both supporting AT and ATX.

ECB-920A carrier board detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The NanoCOM-APL supports the same Aaeon ECB-920A carrier board as the earlier NanoCOM-BT. Coastline ports include dual USB 3.0, dual USB 2.0, dual DisplayPort, and VGA, GbE, and audio. The ECB-920A also provides 5x PCIe x1 slots, as well as PCIe x4, PCIe x16, and mini-PCIe slots. Four SATA ports, dual serial ports, an I2C interface, and a debug port are also on board.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the NanoCOM-APL module. More information may be found at Aaeon’s NanoCOM-APL product page.

This article originally appeared on on June 12.

Aaeon |

COM-Based SBCs Offer High I/O Density

Diamond Systems has released its ultra-small COM-based ZETA single board computer family. Highlights include interchangeable COM Express COMs for scalability and long product life, ultra- compact size and an rich amount of I/O, including a complete high-quality analog and digital data acquisition subsystem.

Designed in the COM Express Mini Type 10 form factor (84 mm x 55 mm / 3.3 in. x 2.2in.), the Zeta family offers performance scalability due to its use of COM Express CPU modules. Three processor options are currently available: Intel “Bay Trail” E3825 dual-core 1.33 GHz CPU with soldered 2 GB RAM; Intel “Apollo Lake” E3940 quad core 1.60 GHz CPU with soldered 4 GB RAM; and Intel “Apollo Lake” N4200 quad core 1.1 GHz (burstable to 2.5 GHz) CPU with soldered 8 GB RAM.

zeta-enlargedThe use of interchangeable CPU modules in the increasingly popular COM Express Mini Type 10 format enables Zeta to serve applications across a wide spectrum of price and performance needs. It also offers customers the longest possible product lifetime by vastly simplifying migration to a new CPU when the current one reaches its end of life. Zeta is an excellent choice for applications with expected lifetimes of 10 or more years, including military, medical, and transportation.

Zeta’s two-board COM + baseboard construction yields the highest feature density possible in a given footprint. The COM provides the core CPU functions, while the baseboard provides the “final inch” for all the system I/O plus the data acquisition subsystem, power supplies, and expansion sockets. Zeta provides as much as a 60% reduction in size compared to boards in larger form factors offering the same level of I/O.

Zeta’s impressive I/O list includes the following:

  • VGA display and Single-Channel LVDS port
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • 4 USB 2.0 Ports + 1 USB 3.0 port
  • 4 RS-232/422/485 ports with software-programmable protocol and termination
  • 16 digital IlO lines
  • Optional complete analog and digital data acquisition system
  • Integrated wide-range 6 V to 36 V power input circuit

Zeta is available in two I/O configurations, digital I/O only or digital + analog I/O. The DIO only circuit offers 16 DIO lines with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels. The full circuit includes 16 channels of 16-bit A/D, 4 channels of 16-bit D/A, 27 digital I/O lines with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels, and 8 32-bit counter/timers, all supported by Diamond’s free, industry-leading Universal Driver data acquisition programming library. An interactive graphical control panel for Windows and Linux is also provided to control all data acquisition features.

Zeta offers multiple options for system expansion and mass storage. It includes a PCIe Minicard / mSATA socket and a micro-SD socket. A unique expansion connector enables the installation of a daughterboard that contains an M.2 SATA SSD socket, a second PCIe Minicard socket, HD audio and 16 additional GPIO lines.

A built-in heat spreader efficiently removes heat from the SBC to keep the processor and all internal electronics cooler for improved reliability. The bottom-side mounting configuration of the heat spreader provides a secure and convenient mounting system for the board. It also simplifies the installation of I/O expansion modules by eliminating interference or airflow problems that can occur with traditional heat sinks. All three models of Zeta are tested for operation over the full industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C, making Zeta well suited for vehicle applications.

Diamond Systems |