Congatec Doubles RAM Support for Server-on-Modules

Congatec has announced that its Intel Atom C3000 processor-based conga-B7AC Server-on-Modules now support up to 96 GB DDR4 SO-DIMM memory on 3 sockets. This is twice the previously supported capacity. The company is touting this as a new milestone for COM Express Type 7 based designs, because memory is one of the most important performance levers for embedded edge server technologies. This increase was possible because the Intel Atom C3000 family supports the newly available 32 GB SO-DIMMs. The new Server-on-Modules with a high-speed memory bandwidth of 2400 MT/s are available now and can be ordered with and without ECC support.

High memory capacity is essential for server applications, because the fastest way to read and write values from a database is to fully load them into memory, according to Congatec. The larger the databases, the more memory capacity is needed. There are many database applications in the field of embedded edge computing, such as network appliances for content delivery in video surveillance applications, IoT gateways or OPC UA servers in automation.

A large RAM is also a good intermediate buffer for Big Data analytics on the fly so that only smaller results need to be stored. Servers that host many virtual machines also benefit immensely from the doubled memory capacity. With 96 GB RAM, 12 virtual machines now have 8 GB RAM available on each partition, making them well-suited for standard Linux or Windows installations.

The conga-B7AC Server-on-Modules with up to 96 GB RAM can be ordered in the following configurations and include personal integration support for OEMs off the shelf:

Processor Cores Cache [MB] Clock [GHz] TDP [W]  Temperature range
Intel Atom C3958 16 16 2.0 31 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3858 12 12 2.0 25 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3758 8 16 2.2 25 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3558 4 8 2.2 16 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3538 4 8 2.1 15 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3808 12 12 2.0 25 -40 to +85 °C
Intel Atom C3708 8 16 1.7 17 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3508 4 8 1.6 11.5 -40 to +85 °C
Intel Atom C3308 2 4 1.6 2.1 0 to +60 °C

Congatec | www.congatec.com

3.5-inch SBC Features Intel Coffee Lake Chips

By Eric Brown

In August, Commell launched the LV-67X, one of the first industrial Mini-ITX boards with Intel’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” CPUs. Now, it has followed up with a Coffee Lake based 3.5-inch LS-37L board. The SBC has the same FCLGA1151 socket, supporting up to 6-core, 65W TDP Coffee Lake S-series processors such as the 3.1GHz/4.3GHz Core i5-8600.

Commell lists only Windows drivers on the product page, but the user manual notes support for Linux. The company also recently announced a Coffee Lake based, PICMG 1.3 form factor FS-A79 board.

 
LS-37L and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The only other 3.5-inch (146 x 101mm) Coffee Lake board we’ve seen is Avalue’s ECM-CFS. Like that board, the LS-37L has a 0 to 60°C range and supports up to 16GB DDR4 (2666MHz). Other features are very close, with the main difference being the LS-37L’s wide-range 9-25V supply in place of a standard 12V input. The LS-37L also offers more USB and serial headers and adds a PS/2 interface, an RTC with battery, an LCD inverter, and a SIM slot. However, it lacks the Avalue board’s ACPI power management and optional TPM.

Like the ECM-CFS, Commell’s board features triple display support, but instead of dual HDMI ports plus LVDS you get a choice of two configurations. The standard LS-37L model supplies an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and internal DVI, VGA, and LVDS interfaces. The LS-37LT SKU replaces the DisplayPort with a second VGA or LVDS header.


 
LS-37L detail views
(click images to enlarge)
The LS-37L is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x SATA III, 4x USB 3.1, and a single RS-232 COM port. Internal I/O includes 3x RS232/422/485, 2x RS-232, and GPIO. Like the Avalue SBC, Commell’s board provides a mini-PCIe slot with mSATA support. Yet, the slot also supports other mini-PCIe cards, and there’s a SIM slot for wireless.

Specifications listed for the LS-37L include:

  • Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” Core, Celeron, and Pentium CPUs up to 65W (FCLGA1151 socket); Intel HD Graphics Gen9 and Intel Q370 chipset
  • Memory — Up to 16GB DDR4 (2666MHz) via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage — 2x SATA 3.0; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display/media:
    • HDMI port
    • DisplayPort (LS-37L) or second VGA or LVDS header (LS-37LT)
    • LVDS, VGA, and DVI headers
    • LCD inverter
    • Triple-display support
    • Audio mic-in/line-in and line-out jacks (Realtek ALC262)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel I211AT and 1219LM); LM port supports iAMT 12.0
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.1 ports Gen 2
    • 4x USB 2.0 headers
    • 4x RS-232 (includes 1x COM port)
    • 2x RS232/422/485 headers
    • GPIO
    • SMBus, PS/2
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot (mSATA/PCIe); SIM slot
  • Other features — Watchdog; RTC with battery
  • Power — 9-25V DC input
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system — Windows 10 drivers; supports Linux

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the LS-37L SBC. More information may be found in Commell’s LS-37L announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on December 6.

Commell | www.commell.com.tw

Catalog of 122 Open-Spec Linux Hacker Boards

Circuit Cellar’s sister website Linuxgizmos,com has posted its 2019 New Year’s edition catalog of hacker-friendly, open-spec SBCs that run Linux or Android. The catalog provides recently updated descriptions, specs, pricing, and links to details for all 122 SBCs.

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Rugged PC/104 SBC Sports Dual Core Bay Trail SoC

Versalogic has announced “SandCat”, a low-cost rugged new PC/104-Plus SBC. Based on Intel’s dual-core Bay Trail SoC, SandCat is an entry level PC/104-Plus SBC that provides a cost optimized performance level and I/O capability. The SandCat is designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation and meets MIL-STD-202G specifications to withstand high impact and vibration. Latching connectors and fanless operation provide additional benefits in harsh environments.

SandCat’s I/O connectivity includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, four USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports (RS-232/422/485), I2C, and eight digital I/O lines. A SATA 3 Gbit/s interface supports high-capacity rotating or solid-state drives. A Mini PCIe socket with mSATA capability provides flexible solid-state drive (SSD) options.

The board’s SandCat’s Mini PCIe socket allows easy on-board expansion with plug-in Wi-Fi modems, GPS receivers, and other mini cards such as MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet and analog. For stacking expansion using industry-standard add-on boards, the SandCat supports PC/104-Plus expansion, including ISA and PCI based modules. The on-board expansion site provides plug-in access to a wide variety of expansion modules from numerous vendors, all with bolt-down ruggedness.

Like other Versalogic products, the SandCat is designed for long-term availability (10+ year typical production lifecycle). Customization services to help customers create unique solutions are available for the SandCat, even in low OEM quantities. Customization options include conformal coating, revision locks, custom labeling, customized testing and screening.

The SandCat single board computer, part number VL-EPM-39EBK, is in stock at both Versa;ogic and Digi-Key. OEM quantity pricing starts at $370.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com

SBC Showcases Qualcomm’s 10 nm, Octa-core QCS605 IoT SoC

By Eric Brown

In April, Qualcomm announced its QCS605 SoC, calling it “the first 10nm FinFET fabricated SoC purpose built for the Internet of Things.” The octa-core Arm SoC is available in an Intrinsyc Open-Q 605 SBC with full development kit with a 12V power supply is open for pre-orders at $429. The products will ship in early December.

 
Open-Q 605, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
The fact that Qualcomm is billing the high-end QCS605 as an IoT SoC reveals how demand for vision and AI processing on the edge is broadening the IoT definition to encompass a much higher range of embedded technology. The IoT focus is also reinforced by the lack of the usual Snapdragon branding. The QCS605 is accompanied by the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform, a set of mostly software components that includes the Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK and camera processing software, as well as the company’s 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and security technologies.

The QCS605 can run Linux or Android, but Intrinsyc supports its Open-Q 605 board only with Android 8.1.

Intrinsyc also recently launched an Open-Q 624A Development Kit based on a new Open-Q 624A SOM (see farther below).

Qualcomm QCS605 and Vision Intelligence Platform

The QCS605 SoC features 8x Kryo 300 CPU cores, two of which are 2.5GHz “gold” cores that are equivalent to Cortex-A75. The other six are 1.7GHz “silver” cores like the Cortex-A55 — Arm’s more powerful follow-on to Cortex-A53.

The QCS605 also integrates an Adreno 615 GPU, a Hexagon 685 DSP with Hexagon vector extensions (“HVX”), and a Spectra 270 ISP that supports dual 16-megapixel image sensors. Qualcomm also sells a QCS603 model that is identical except that it offers only 2x of the 1.7GHz “Silver” cores instead of six.

Qualcomm sells the QCS605 as part of a Vision Intelligence Platform — a combination of software and hardware starting with a Qualcomm AI Engine built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) software framework. The NPE provides analysis, optimization, and debugging tools for developing with Tensorflow, Caffe, and Caffe2 frameworks. The AI Engine also includes the Open Neural Network Exchange interchange format, the Android Neural Networks API, and the Qualcomm Hexagon Neural Network library, which together enable the porting of trained networks.

The Vision Intelligence Platform running on the QCS605 delivers up to 2.1 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of compute performance for deep neural network inferences, claims Qualcomm. The platform also supports up to 4K60 resolution or 5.7K at 30fps and supports multiple concurrent video streams at lower resolutions.

Other features include “staggered” HDR to prevent ghost effects in high-dynamic range video. You also get advanced electronic image stabilization, de-warp, de-noise, chromatic aberration correction, and motion compensated temporal filters in hardware.

Inside the Open-Q 605 SBC

Along with the Snapdragon 600 based Open-Q 600, the Open-Q 605 is the only Open-Q development board that Intrinsyc refers to as an SBC. Most Open-Q kits are compute modules or sandwich-style carrier board starter kits based on Intrinsyc modules equipped with Snapdragon SoCs, such as the recent, Snapdragon 670 based Open-Q 670 HDK.


Open-Q 605 
(click image to enlarge)
The 68 x 50mm Open-Q 605 ships with an eMCP package with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM and 32GB eMMC flash, and additional storage is available via a microSD slot. Networking depends on the 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and Bluetooth 5.x radios. There’s also a Qualcomm GNSS receiver for location and 3x U.FL connectors.

The only real-world coastline port is a USB Type-C that supports DisplayPort 1.4 with 4K@30fps support. If you’d rather use the Type-C port for USB or charging a user-supplied Li-Ion battery, you can turn to an HD-ready MIPI DSI interface with touch support. You also get 2x MIPI-CSI for dual cameras, as well as 2x analog audio.

The Open-Q 605 has a 76-pin expansion header for other interfaces, including an I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface. The board runs on a 5-15V DC input and offers an extended -25 to 60°C operating range.

Specifications listed for the Open-Q 605 SBC include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm QCS605 with Vision Intelligence Platform (2x up to 2.5GHz and 6x up to 1.7GHz Krait 300 cores); Adreno 615 GPU; Hexagon 685 DSP; Spectra 270 ISP; Qualcomm AI Engine and other VIP components
  • Memory/storage — 4GB LPDDR4X and 32GB eMMC flash in combo eMCP package; microSD slot.
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2×2 dual-band WiFi (Qualcomm WCN3990) with planned FCC/IC/CE certification
    • Bluetooth 5.x
    • Qualcomm GNSS (SDR660G) receiver with Qualcomm Location Suite Gen9 VT
    • U.FL antenna connectors for WiFi, BT, GNSS
  • Media I/O:
    • DisplayPort 1.4 via USB Type-C up to 4K@30 with USB data concurrency (USB and power)
    • MIPI DSI (4-lane) with I2C touch interface on flex cable connector for up to 1080p30
    • 2x MIPI-CSI (4-lane) with micro-camera module connectors
    • 2x analog mic I/Ps, speaker O/P, headset I/O
    • I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface with 2x DMIC ports (via 76-pin expansion header)
  • Expansion — 76-pin header (multiple SPI, I2C, UART, GPIO, and sensor I/O; digital and analog audio I/O, LED flash O/P, haptic O/P, power output rails
  • Other features — 3x LEDs; 4x mounting holes; optional dev kit with quick start guide, docs, SW updates
  • Operating temperature — -25 to 60°C
  • Power — 5-15V DC jack and support for user-supplied Li-Ion battery with USB Type-C charging; PM670 + PM670L PMIC; 12V supply with dev kit
  • Dimensions — 68 x 50 x 13mm
  • Operating system — Android 8.1 Oreo

Open-Q 624A
Development Kit

Open-Q 624A Development Kit

Back in May, Google preannounced the Open-Q 624A Development Kit as an official Android Things 1.0 development board along with Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 212 based Open-Q 212A, Innocomm’s i.MX8M based WB10-AT, and a MediaTek MT8516 development platform. Now, Intrinsyc is pitching the Open-Q 624A Development Kit, as well as the Open-Q 624A SOM module it’s based on, as an Android 8.0 platform aimed at the home hub market. There is no longer any mention of Android Things.

The Open-Q 624A SOM offers 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, and an octa-core -A53 Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 SoC based on the Snapdragon 625. The kit is equipped with a USB 3.0 Type-C port, 2x USB host ports, micro-USB client and debug ports, MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, sensor expansion and haptic output, and an optional GPS receiver. You also get extensive audio features, including I2S/SLIMBUS headers.

Available for $595, the sandwich style kit will ship in mid-December. For more details, see our earlier Android Things development board report.

Further information

The Open-Q 605 SBC is available for pre-order in the full Development Kit version, which costs $429 and ships in early December. The SBC will also be sold on its own at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 605 announcement, as well as the product page and shopping page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on November 14.

Intrinsyc | www.intrinsyc.com

Signage-Oriented Mini-STX SBC Taps Ryzen V1000

By Eric Brown

Sapphire, which makes AMD-based graphics cards and motherboards, offers a 147.3 mm x 139.7 mm Mini-STX (5×5-inch) form factor SBC that runs Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows on AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. AMD’s Ryzen V1000 is highly competitive on CPU performance with the latest Intel Core chips, and the Radeon Vega graphics are superior, enabling four 4K displays to run at once.


FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
The only other Ryzen V1000 based SBC we’ve seen is Seco’s open-spec, 120 x 120mm Udoo Bolt, which ships to Kickstarter backers in December. Sapphire’s commercial FS-FP5V is available for sale now with shipments beginning later this month, according to the Tom’s Hardware post that alerted us to the product.

The FS-FP5V starts at $325 for a model equipped with the dual-core, quad-thread V1202B version of the Ryzen V1000 with lower-end Vega 3 graphics. The three models with the quad-core, octa-threaded versions of the SoC go for $340, $390, and $450, with ascending clock rates and graphics ranging from Vega 8 to 11.



AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 models, all of which are available with the FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
Pricing, which does not include RAM or storage, seems to be a bit higher than the Udoo Bolt. The Bolt also adds an Atmega32U4 MCU for Arduino and Grove compatibility but is limited to the two lower-end V1000 SoC models. The Bolt seems more like a general purpose embedded board while the FS-FP5V, which has up to 4x DisplayPorts, is more directly aimed at digital signage and other media-centric applications including electronic gaming, medical imaging, thin clients, and POS terminals.

Unlike the Udoo Bolt, there’s no microSD slot or eMMC. There is however, a SATA III slot with power headers, as well as an M.2 M-key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe. A separate M.2 E-key 2242 connection supports PCIe devices including WiFi modules.

 
FS-FP5V portside views
(click images to enlarge)
It’s unclear if the cited prices include all four DP++ ports, which are listed as “up to 4x.” The board is further equipped with an audio jack, 2x GbE ports, serial and GPIO headers, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports. There’s also a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which does not appear to be used for DP. It’s unclear if it’s used for power.

 
Bleujour Kubb enclosure for FS-FP5V (left) and upcoming FS-FP5V-based 2×2 display wall from Seneca Data
(click images to enlarge)
This is Sapphire’s first Mini-STX SBC. Its other AMD-based motherboards include AMD R-Series based Mini-ITX boards and some 4×4-inch eNUC form factor boards such as the G-Series based LX 210.

In the YouTube video farther below, a Sapphire rep says his company can make custom boards based on the Ryzen V1000. The video also shows a Kubb enclosure for the FS-FP5V from Bleujour, as well as an upcoming 2×2 digital signage display wall from Seneca Data that taps the FS-FP5V to generate 4x 4K displays.

Specifications listed for the FS-FP5V include:

  • Processor — AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 (see chart above)
  • Memory — 0GB to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM up to 3200MHz with ECC support via 2x sockets
  • Storage:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe x4)
    • SATA III connector with 5V SATA power
  • Wireless — M.2 E-Key 2242 for WiFi and other PCIe x1
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8111G)
  • Display/media:
    • Up to 4x DisplayPort++ available via 2x dual-role USB 3.0 Type-C ports
    • 4x simultaneous 4K@60 displays
    • Radeon Vega 3, 8, or 11 graphics with DirectX 12, EGL 1.4, IOMMU 2.0, OpenCL 2.1, OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.x, and 3.x (Halti), OpenGL Next (Vulkan), OpenGL 4.6, 10-bit HEVC decoder (H.265), VP9 decoder, up to 10-bit, limited profile 2, Eyefinity
    • 3.5mm audio jack (ALC262 HD 4CH)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.1 Type-C port
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • RS232/422/485 header
    • GPIO headers
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions — 147.3 x 139.7mm
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.9 or 4.14.14; Windows 7/8.1/10 etc.


 

AMD’s promo video for FS-FP5V
Further information

The FS-FP5V is available now starting at $325, with shipments due later this month. More information may be found at Sapphire’s FS-FP5V product page, which links to an order form.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on July 9.

Sapphire | www.sapphiretech.com

Quad Core i3-Based Type 6 COM Express Board

ADLINK has announced the addition of the quad-core Intel Core i3-8100H processor to its recently released Express-CF COM Express Basic size Type 6 module based on the 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 and Xeon processors (formerly Coffee Lake). The Express-CF/CFE is the first COM Express COM.0 R3.0 Basic Size Type 6 module supporting the Hexa-core (6 cores) 64-bit 8th Generation Intel Core and Xeon processor (codename “Coffeelake-H”) with Mobile Intel QM370, HM370, CM246 chipset.

Whereas previous generations Intel Core i3 processors supported only dual cores with 3 MB cache, the Intel Core i3-8100H is the first in its class to support 4 CPU cores with 6 MB of cache. This major upgrade results in a more than 80% performance boost in MIPS (million instructions per second), and an almost doubling of memory/caching bandwidth, all at no significant cost increase compared to earlier generations. Intel Core i3 processors are widely recognized as the best valued processor and are therefore preferred in high-volume, cost-sensitive applications. They are popular choices in gaming, medical and industrial control.

These Hexa-core processors support up to 12 threads (Intel Hyper-Threading Technology) as well as an impressive turbo boost of up to 4.4 GHz. These combined features make the Express- CF/CFE well suited to customers who need uncompromising system performance and responsiveness in a long product life solution. The Express-CF/CFE has up to three SODIMM sockets supporting up to 48 GB of DDR4 memory (two on top by default, one on bottom by build option) while still fully complying with PICMG COM.0 mechanical specifications. Modules equipped with the Xeon processor and CM246 Chipset support both ECC and non-ECC SODIMMs.

Integrated Intel Generation 9 Graphics includes features such as OpenGL 4.5, DirectX 12/11, OpenCL 2.1/2.0/1.2, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, Advanced Scheduler 2.0, 1.0, XPDM support, and DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) support for full H.265/HEVC 10-bit, MPEG2 hardware codec. In addition, High Dynamic Range is supported for enhanced picture color and quality and digital content protection has been upgraded to HDCP 2.2.

Graphics outputs include LVDS and three DDI ports supporting HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort and eDP/VGA as a build option. The Express-CF/CFE is specifically designed for customers with high-performance processing graphics requirements who want to outsource the custom core logic of their systems for reduced development time. In addition to the onboard integrated graphics, a multiplexed PCIe x16 graphics bus is available for discrete graphics expansion.

Input/output features include eight PCIe Gen3 lanes that can be used for NVMe SSD and Intel Optane memory, allowing applications access to the highest speed storage solutions and include a single onboard Gbit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 ports and USB 2.0 ports, and SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Support is provided for SMBus and I2C. The module is equipped with SPI AMI EFI BIOS with CMOS backup, supporting embedded features such as remote console, hardware monitor and watchdog timer.

ADLINK Technology | www.adlinktech.com

Variscite’s Latest DART Module Taps Headless i.MX6 ULZ

By Eric Brown

Variscite is spinning out yet another pin-compatible version of its 50 mm x 25 mm DART-6UL computer-on-module, this time loaded with NXP’s headless new i.MX6 ULZ variant of the single Cortex-A7 core i.MX6 UL. Due for a Q4 launch, the unnamed module lacks display or LAN support. It’s billed as “a native solution for headless Linux-based embedded products such as IoT devices and smart home sensors requiring low power, low size and rich connectivity options.”


DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ 
(click image to enlarge)
The lack of display and LAN features mirrors the limitations of the i.MX6 ULZ, which NXP refers to as a “cost-effective Linux processor.” The headless, up to 900  MHz Cortex-A7 ULZ SoC offers most of the I/O of the of the i.MX6 UL/ULL, including ESAI, S/PDIF, and 3x I2S audio interfaces, but it lacks features such as the 2D Pixel acceleration engine and Ethernet controllers.


NXP i.MX6 ULZ block diagram
(click image to enlarge)
Last year, Variscite spun the Linux-ready DART-6UL into a faster, 696MHz v1.2 upgrade, which added the option of NXP’s power-efficient i.MX6 ULL SoC in addition to the i.MX6 UL. A few months later, it followed up with a DART-6UL-5G model that boasts an on-board, “certified” WiFi/Bluetooth module with dual-band, 2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz 802.11ac/a/b/g/n.


DART-6UL-5G (left) and DART-6UL v1.2
(click images to enlarge)
The upcoming i.MX6 ULZ based version, which we imagine Variscite will dub the DART-6ULZ, has the same Wi-Fi-ac module with Bluetooth 4.2 BLE. Like the latest versions of the other DART-6UL modules, the module can be clocked to 900 MHz.

The “cost effective” ULZ version differs in that it lacks the other models’ touch-enabled, 24-bit parallel RGB interface and dual 10/100 Ethernet controllers. Other subtracted features compared to earlier models include dual CAN, parallel camera, and “extra security features.”

The new module is also limited to a 0 to 85°C range instead of being available in 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C versions. The i.MX6 ULZ SoC itself has a slightly wider range of 0 to 95°C.

The pin compatible DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ will offer the i.MX6 ULZ SoC with “optional security features,” which include TRNG, AES crypto engine, and secure boot. The 50 mm x 25mm module will ship with 512MB DDR3L, which was the previous maximum of the now up to 1 GB RAM DART-6UL. The storage range is similar, with a choice 512 MB NAND and up to 64 GB eMMC.

The DART-6UL with i.MX6 ULZ will support 2x USB 2.0 OTG host/device ports, audio in and out, and UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, and ADC interfaces. OS support is listed as “Linux Yocto, Linux Debian, Boot2QT.”

The ULZ version of the DART-6UL will support existing development kits, which are based on the VAR-6ULCustomBoard. This 100 mm x 70 mm x 20 mm carrier board offers a microSD slot, a USB host port, and micro-USB OTG and debug ports, as well as features that are inaccessible to the ULZ, including dual GbE, RGB, LVDS, CAN and camera interfaces.

This week Variscite announced another DART module based on another new NXP SoC. The DART-MX8M-Mini module taps a 14nm-fabricated i.MX8M Mini SoC variant of the i.MX8M with one to four 2GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a 400 MHz Cortex-M4, plus scaled down 1080p video via MIPI-DSI.

Further information

The DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ will be available in the fourth quarter. The DART-6UL/ULL/ULZ product page notes that the lowest, volume-discounted price is $24, which likely pertains to the ULZ part. More information may be found in Variscite’s announcement.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on September 19.

Variscite | www.variscite.com

Rugged, Sandwich-Style SBC is Based on Sitara AM5718 MCU

By Eric Brown

Forlinx Embedded Technology, the Chinese company behind Linux-friendly SBCs such as the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3354 based OK335xS-II and the Forlinx i.MX6 SBC, has posted details on a new OK5718-C SBC. Like the OK335xS-II, it’s a Sitara based board, in this case tapping TI’s single-core, Cortex-A15 based Sitara AM5718. Like the i.MX6 SBC, it’s a sandwich-style offering, with the separately available FET5718-C module hosting the up to 1.5GHz AM5718.


OK5718-C
The OK5718-C was announced (translated) in China back in May, and the product page was recently spotted by CNXSoft. The FET5718-C module and OK5718-C SBC both support -40 to 85℃ temperatures and feature an optimized Linux distro with Linux 4.9.41, Qt 5.6, and Wayland. The BSP includes PCIe host and slave mode optimizations, a simplified file system for faster boot and flashing, and an image system to allow Weston virtual keyboards and easy Qt image stacking, says Forlinx.

FET5718-C module

The FET5718-C module’s Sitara AM5718 SoC may have a somewhat old-school CPU, but it provides plenty of extras. You get both a PowerVR SGX544 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU, as well as a 750MHz TI DSP-C66X digital signal processor and video accelerator. There’s also the same, 200MHz programmable PRU subsystem found on the BeagleBone, as well as dual, 213MHz Cortex-M4 microcontrollers.



FET5718-C 

The combination of the DSP with the real-time MCUs enables robotics, machine vision, medical imaging, automotive, and facial recognition applications. Industrial automation and building automation applications are also supported.

The FET5718-C module adds 1GB DDR3L, 8GB eMMC, a TPS659162RGZR power management unit, and a 3-port Gigabit Ethernet switch subsystem. The 12-layer, 70 x 50mm COM runs on 5V power and has a 320-pin board-to-board connector.

OK5718-C board

The 4-layer, 190 x 130mm OK5718-C baseboard expands upon the FET5718-C features with ports popping out on all sides. The board provides 2x GbE ports, onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, and a mini-PCIe slot with optional 3G/4G. There are single USB 3.0 host and micro-USB 2.0 device ports and a pair of USB 2.0 host ports.

The OK5718-C is further equipped with an HDMI port, an SD slot, a CAN port, and dual audio jacks. Onboard I/O includes SATA 2.0 with power, DVP and 2x MIPI-CSI camera interfaces, and other I/O as detailed below.



OK5718-C detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the OK5718-C SBC include:

  • Processor (via FET5718-C module) — TI Sitara AM5718 (1x Cortex-A15 core @ up to 1.5GHz; PowerVR SGX544 3D GPU; Vivante GC320 2D GPU; 750MHz TI DSP-C66X; IVA-HD image/video accelerator; 200MHz PRU-ICSS; 2x 213MHz Cortex-M4
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR3L (via FET5718-C)
    • 8GB eMMC (via FET5718-C)
    • QSPI flash (via FET5718-C)
    • SD slot (SD, SDHC, SDXC support)
    • SDIO interface
    • SATA 2.0 interface with SATA power
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth
  • Networking — 2x GbE ports
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 1.4a port for up to 1080P@60Hz
    • RGB 888 LCD interface
    • Dual display support
    • 2x MIPI-CSI
    • DVP 8-bit 5MP camera interface
    • Mic and headphone jacks; speaker headers
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 device port
    • 3x UART
    • 2x I2C
    • Serial debug port
    • CAN 2.0, SPI, GPMC, HDQ, JTAG
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot with optional Huawei 3G/4G card
  • Other features — 2x LED; 3x user keys; RTC with coin-cell battery; boot config switch
  • Power — 12V DC input; power and reset switches
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 190 x 130mm
  • Operating system — Custom Linux with Kernel 4.9.41, Qt 5.6, and Wayland

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the OK5718-C SBC or FET5718-C module. More information may be found on the Forlinx OK5718-C and FET5718-C product pages. There’s also a product page at Faststream Technologies.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on August 20.

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

Apollo Lake Pico-ITX SBC Sports Dual GbE Ports

AAEON has released the PICO-APL4, a compact SBC that features onboard memory and storage along with dual Gbit Ethernet support. The board is well suited for factory automation and IoT gateway systems. AAEON’s latest PICO form factor board is powered by an Intel Atom, Pentium N4200 or Celeron N3350 processor. By fitting the controller with up to 4 GB of onboard DDR3L memory and up to 64 GB of onboard eMMC storage, AAEON has made the board more resistant to the shocks and vibrations regularly experienced in industrial settings. This also cuts application development times because system developers don’t need to test the compatibility of external memory and storage.

The flexible PICO-APL4 houses USB ports and connectors, COM ports, a HDMI port and optional eDP. There’s also a 4-bit DIO to manage peripherals and an optional four-lane MIPI-CSI. Expansion is easily achieved with M.2 B and E keys enabling the connection of additional storage and WiFi/Bluetooth modules. Through an optional board-to-board interface, customers can also extend the IO interface and add a larger DIO.

Features:

  • Intel Atom/ Pentium N4200/ Celeron N3350 Processor SoC
  • Onboard DDR3L 2 GB (Optional to 4 GB)
  • Onboard Storage eMMC 16 GB (Optional to 32 GB / 64 GB)
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet Support
  • HDMI 1.4b, eDP (Optional) for Display
  • BIO Reserved (Optional)
  • USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, SATA 6.0 Gb/s x 1
  • 2 B Key (2280) x 1, M.2 E Key (2230) x 1

AAEON | www.aaeon.com

Industrial Mini-ITX Board Pumps up with Coffee Lake

By Eric Brown

Commell’s “LV-67X” Mini-ITX board runs on 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” processors, with up to 32GB DDR4, 3x SATA, triple 4K displays, USB 3.1, and PCIe x16 and mini-PCIe expansion. The LV-67X, which shares some of the layout and feature set of its Intel Apollo Lake based LV-67U board, is the first industrial Mini-ITX board we’ve seen with Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. (Going forward, we’ll likely use the caffeinated nickname rather than “8th Gen” because Intel also applies the 8th Gen tag to the transitional and similarly 14nm Kaby Lake-G chips as well as the new, 10nm Cannon Lake processors.)


LV-67X
(click image to enlarge)
The LV-67X is called an industrial board, and it provides a relatively wide 0 to 60°C range and a smattering of industrial I/O. However, it has a full-height profile and bridges the gap to consumer applications. The board supports video gaming, virtual reality, medical devices, imaging, machine vision, and digital signage. The product page lists only Windows drivers, but the manual notes that the board also supports Linux.

The 170 x 170mm SBC supports Coffee Lake Core, Celeron, and Pentium CPUs that work with the FCLGA1151 socket (the full name for LGA1151). The board ships with Intel Q370 chipset, one of Intel’s 300-series I/O chips announced with Coffee Lake that supports USB 3.1 Gen2 and extensive PCIe lanes.

No specific models were mentioned, but the SBC is said to support Coffee Lake chips with up to six cores running at up to 4.7GHz Turbo, with Intel 9th-gen graphics and up to 12MB cache. That would be the profile for the top-of-the-line Core i7-8700K, a hexa-core chip with 12 threads and a 95W TDP.

The LV-67X can load up to 32GB of speedy, 2666MHz DDR4 RAM via dual sockets. It provides 2x GbE ports, 3x SATA III interfaces, a full-size mini-PCIe slot with mSATA support, and another half-size mini-PCIe slot accompanied by a SIM card slot. There’s also a PCIe x16 interface.


 
LV-67X block diagram (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The description of the USB feature set varies depending on the citation, but Commell has clarified matters for us in an email. There are 6x USB 3.1 interfaces, 4x of which are coastline ports. There are also 4x USB 2.0 internal interfaces.

One key difference between earlier Core-based boards is that the LV-67X taps Coffee Lake’s ability to power three independent 4K displays. The board accomplishes this hat trick with coastline HDMI and DVI-I ports and an optional DisplayPort, as well as onboard VGA and 18/24-bit, dual-channel LVDS interfaces. If you don’t want the DisplayPort, you can instead get additional VGA and LVDS connections.

The LV-67X is further equipped with 4x RS232/422/485 or RS-232 interfaces, depending on conflicting citations, with an option to add two RS232/422/485 DB9 ports. Other features include 3x audio jacks (Realtek ALC262), 8-bit DIO, and LPC, SMBus, and PS/2 interfaces. You also get a watchdog, RTC with battery, and 24-pin ATX and 4-pin, 12V inputs.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the LV-67X. More information may be found on Commell’s announcement and product pages.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on August 17..

Commell | www.commell.com.tw

Raspberry Pi’s PoE HAT Ships for $20, Tosses in a Free Fan

By Eric Brown

Raspberry Pi Trading has launched a $20 Power-over-Ethernet HAT board for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ that delivers up to 15W and ships with a small fan. The Power-over-Ethernet HAT that was promised with the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ SBC has arrived. The $20, 802.3af-compliant “Raspberry Pi PoE HAT” allows delivery of up to 15W over the RPi 3 B+’s USB-based GbE port without reducing the port’s up to 300Mbps bandwidth.


 
Raspberry Pi PoE HAT alone (left) and fitted on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
(click images to enlarge)

We’ve seen an increase in the use of PoE in embedded equipment over the last year, perhaps due to the growth in IoT applications in which embedded gear must be placed in remote locations. It’s cheaper and easier to run Ethernet cable to a remote device than to extend electrical lines.

With the help of the RPi 3 B+’s improved PXE boot function, which enables network booting, “you can now dispense with not only the power supply but also the SD Card, making deployment even cheaper for a Raspberry Pi based system in your factory or workplace,” writes Roger Thornton in the Raspberry Pi blog announcement.

The Raspberry Pi PoE HAT features a fully isolated switched-mode power supply with 37-57V DC, Class 2 input and 5V/2.5A DC output. The HAT connects to both the 40-pin header and a new PoE-specific 4-pin header introduced with the B+ located near the USB ports. To enable PoE, you need power sourcing equipment, which is either “provided by your network switch or with power injectors on an Ethernet cable,” writes Thornton.


 
Raspberry Pi PoE HAT with RPi 3 B+ (left) and close-up of 4-pin header on B+ between the USB ports and the 40-pin GPIO header
(click images to enlarge)

The PoE HAT ships with a 25 x 25mm brushless fan for cooling the Broadcom SoC. This does not appear to be due to any additional heat generated by PoE. Instead: “We see the product as a useful component for people building systems that may be in tougher environments,” writes Thornton.

The fan is connected via I2C and controlled with an Atmel MCU chip. This setup turns on the fan automatically when the SBC hits a certain temperature threshold, a trick that requires the latest sudo rpi-update firmware.

You can add another HAT board on top of the fan with the help of some pass-through headers for the 40-pin GPIO and the 4-way header to expose the pins on the other side of the PoE HAT. Raspberry Pi Trading recommends the 2×20 pin header from Pimoroni and 4-way risers from RS and element14.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ won LinuxGizmos’ reader survey of 116 Linux/Android hacker boards. The community-backed SBC builds upon the RPi 3 Model B design with a faster, up to 1.4GHz quad-core Broadcom SoC, as well as faster Ethernet (GbE). You also get various power management improvements and faster dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2, which comes in a pre-certified, shielded module.

Further information

The Raspberry Pi PoE HAT is available now for $20 at a variety of resellers. The blog announcement may be found here. The product page with links to resellers is here.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on August 25.

Raspberry Pi Foundation | www.raspberrypi.org

Signage-Oriented Mini-STX SBC Taps Ryzen V1000

By Eric Brown

Sapphire has launched a Linux-friendly “FS-FP5V” SBC starting at $325 that features an AMD Ryzen V1000 SoC, as well as SATA III, 2x M.2, 4x DP++, 2x GbE, and 4x USB ports including a USB 3.1 Type-C.

Sapphire, which makes AMD-based graphics cards and motherboards, has launched a 147.3 mm x 139.7 mm Mini-STX (5×5-inch) form factor SBC that runs Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows on AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. AMD’s Ryzen V1000 is highly competitive on CPU performance with the latest Intel Core chips, and the Radeon Vega graphics are superior, enabling four 4K displays to run at once.


FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)

The only other Ryzen V1000 based SBC we’ve seen is Seco’s open-spec, 120 x 120mm Udoo Bolt, which ships to Kickstarter backers in December. Sapphire’s commercial FS-FP5V is available for sale now with shipments beginning later this month, according to the Tom’s Hardware post that alerted us to the product.

The FS-FP5V starts at $325 for a model equipped with the dual-core, quad-thread V1202B version of the Ryzen V1000 with lower-end Vega 3 graphics. The three models with the quad-core, octa-threaded versions of the SoC go for $340, $390 and $450, with ascending clock rates and graphics ranging from Vega 8 to 11.


AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 models, all of which are available with the FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
Pricing, which does not include RAM or storage, seems to be a bit higher than the Udoo Bolt. The Bolt also adds an Atmega32U4 MCU for Arduino and Grove compatibility but is limited to the two lower-end V1000 SoC models. The Bolt seems more like a general purpose embedded board while the FS-FP5V, which has up to 4x DisplayPorts, is more directly aimed at digital signage and other media-centric applications including electronic gaming, medical imaging, thin clients and POS terminals.

Unlike the Udoo Bolt, there’s no microSD slot or eMMC. There is however, a SATA III slot with power headers, as well as an M.2 M-key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe. A separate M.2 E-key 2242 connection supports PCIe devices including Wi-Fi modules.


 
FS-FP5V portside views
(click images to enlarge)
It’s unclear if the cited prices include all four DP++ ports, which are listed as “up to 4x.” The board is further equipped with an audio jack, 2x GbE ports, serial and GPIO headers, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports. There’s also a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which does not appear to be used for DP. It’s unclear if it’s used for power.


 
Bleujour Kubb enclosure for FS-FP5V (left) and upcoming FS-FP5V-based 2×2 display wall from Seneca Data
(click images to enlarge)
This is Sapphire’s first Mini-STX SBC. Its other AMD-based motherboards include AMD R-Series based Mini-ITX boards and some 4×4-inch eNUC form factor boards such as the G-Series based LX 210.

In the YouTube video farther below, a Sapphire rep says his company can make custom boards based on the Ryzen V1000. The video also shows a Kubb enclosure for the FS-FP5V from Bleujour, as well as an upcoming 2×2 digital signage display wall from Seneca Data that taps the FS-FP5V to generate 4x 4K displays.

Specifications listed for the FS-FP5V include:

  • Processor — AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 (see chart above)
  • Memory — 0 GB to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM up to 3200 MHz with ECC support via 2x sockets
  • Storage:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe x4)
    • SATA III connector with 5 V SATA power
  • Wireless — M.2 E-Key 2242 for Wi-Fi and other PCIe x1
  • Networking — 2x Gbit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8111G)
  • Display/media:
    • Up to 4x DisplayPort++ available via 2x dual-role USB 3.0 Type-C ports
    • 4x simultaneous 4K@60 displays
    • Radeon Vega 3, 8, or 11 graphics with DirectX 12, EGL 1.4, IOMMU 2.0, OpenCL 2.1, OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.x, and 3.x (Halti), OpenGL Next (Vulkan), OpenGL 4.6, 10-bit HEVC decoder (H.265), VP9 decoder, up to 10-bit, limited profile 2, Eyefinity
    • 3.5mm audio jack (ALC262 HD 4CH)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.1 Type-C port
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • RS232/422/485 header
    • GPIO headers
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions — 147.3 x 139.7mm
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.9 or 4.14.14; Windows 7/8.1/10 etc.


AMD’s promo video for FS-FP5V

Further information

The FS-FP5V is available now starting at $325, with shipments due later this month. More information may be found at Sapphire’s FS-FP5V product page, which links to an order form.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on July 9.

Sapphire | www.sapphiretech.com

The Voting Results are in. We Have a Winner!

Circuit Cellar’s sister website LinuxGizmos.com has completed its 2018 hacker board survey, which ran on SurveyMonkey in partnership with Linux.com. Survey participants chose the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, as the favorite board from among 116 community-backed SBCs that run Linux or Android and sell for under $200.
All 116 SBCs are summarized in LinuxGizmos’ recently updated hacker board catalog and feature comparison spreadsheet.

GO HERE TO READ THE SURVEY RESULTS WITH ANALYSIS

Deadline Extended to June 22 — Vote Now!

UPDATE: We’ve extended our 2018 reader survey on open-spec Linux/Android hacker boards through this Friday, June 22.   Vote now!

Circuit Cellar’s sister website LinuxGizmos.com has launched its fourth annual reader survey of open-spec, Linux- or Android-ready single board computers priced under $200. In coordination with Linux.com, LinuxGizmos has identified 116 SBCs that fit its requirements, up from 98 boards in its June 2017 survey.

Vote for your favorites from LG’s freshly updated catalog of 116 sub-$200, hacker-friendly SBCs that run Linux or Android, and you could win one of 15 prizes.

Check out LinuxGizmos’ freshly updated summaries of 116 SBCs, as well as its spreadsheet that compares key features of all the boards.

Explore this great collection of Linux SBC information. To find out how to participate in the survey–and be entered to win a free board–click here:

GO HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY AND VOTE