Ultra96-V2 SBC adds Certified Wi-Fi and Industrial Temp Support

By Eric Brown

Avnet has unveiled a minor upgrade to its open-spec, 96Boards CE form-factor Ultra96 SBC. The Ultra96-V2 retains the $249 price and core features of the Ultra96, including the Arm/FPGA hybrid Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, but it also makes a few key additions.

The biggest touted improvement is a new Microchip wireless module with the same 802.11n Wi-Fi capability, but with Bluetooth improving to 5.0 BLE. The major advantage here is that the module is said to be pre-certified in 75 countries.


 
Ultra96-V2 (left) and Ultra96-V1
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Avnet has also “updated all components on the Ultra96-V2 to allow industrial temperature grade options so that the board can operate in harsh industrial applications.” We saw no details, however, on the specifics of the standard and industrial options. The term “industrial temperature” usually refers to -40 to 85°C.

Other new features include an Infineon power management IC (PMIC) and dedicated headers for UART and JTAG. The product page suggests that the previous I2C header has been removed, with I2C now being available only on the 40-pin low-speed header, but the block diagram indicates otherwise. There also appear to be four new LEDs.

Like the original, the Ultra96-V2 runs PetaLinux on the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC with a 1.5GHz quad-core, Cortex-A53 CPU block, a Mali-400 MP2 GPU, and a ZU3EG A484 FPGA — one of the lower-end UltraScale+ FPGA options. The SoC also features 2x 600MHz Cortex-R5 MCUs with vector FPUs and memory protection units for improved real-time processing. Avnet recently released a MSC SM2S-ZUSP module billed as the world’s first Zynq UltraScale+ based SMARC module.


Ultra96-V2 block diagram
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As before, the SBC provides 2GB of Micron LPDDR4, and boots from a 16GB Delkin microSD card pre-loaded with Xilinx’s PetaLinux. Major ports include mini-DP, 2x USB 3.0, and single USB 2.0 host and micro-USB 3.0 ports.

Specifications listed for the Ultra96-V2 include:

  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZU3EG A484 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); FPGA with 154K logic cells, 141K flip-flops, and 70K LUTs; Mali-400 MP2 GPU; 2x Cortex-R5 MCUs
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB LPDDR4 RAM (“512M x 32” Micron).
    • MicroSD slot with 16GB Delkin card pre-loaded with PetaLinux
  • Wireless — Microchip 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 5 BLE (certified in 75 countries)
  • Other I/O:
    • Mini-DisplayPort
    • 2x USB 3.0 host ports
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Micro-USB 3.0 “upstream” port
    • I2C, UART, and JTAG headers
    • 40-pin low-speed connector
    • 60-pin high-speed connector
  • Other features — 4x LEDs; optional USB-to-JTAG/UART pod
  • Operating temperature — industrial temp version available
  • Power — 12V input; Infineon PMIC
  • Dimensions — 85 x 54mm; 96Boards CE
  • Operating system — PetaLinux; voucher for Xilinx SDSoC license

Further information

The Ultra96-V2 is available for pre-order at $249, with shipments due by May, according to the announcement and June 4 per the shopping page. More information may be found on Avnet’s Ultra96-V2 product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on March 27.

Avent | www.avnet.com

Intel Core Based Thin Mini-ITX Board Supports Extended Temps

Avalue announced a thin Mini-ITX board for signage, PoS, kiosk, AiO PCs, and industrial applications. Like the company’s EMX-SKLUP thin Mini-ITX board, the new EMX-KBLU2P supports Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake Core and Celeron processors, and it can also load 7th Gen Kaby Lake models. Windows 10 and Linux are on tap — the Kaby Lake configurations require higher than Linux kernel 4.7.

 
EMX-KBLU2P, front and back
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The 170 x 170mm EMX-KBLU2P is equipped with a heatsink and can work without a fan, assuming 0.5 m/s air flow. The system supports a -20 to 70°C range and 0-90% relative humidity, and ships with a wide-range, 12-24V DC input.

The EMX-KBLU2P supports up to 32GB DDR4 RAM via dual sockets and offers 2x SATA III with 2x SATA power interfaces for storage. There’s also an M.2 Key-B 3042/2242/2260/2280 socket with 2x PCIe x1 or 1x PCIe x2 support for various USB 2.0, SATA, or wireless options. An M.2 Key-A socket supports WiFi, and there’s also a SIM card slot and a standalone PCIe interface.


EMX-KBLU2P portside view
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Triple simultaneous displays are available with 4K-ready HDMI 1.4b and 2x DisplayPort 1.2a connections — one with HDMI support and the other with DP++. You also get dual-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS with HD resolution, which can be swapped out for an eDP port. Dual audio jacks are supported with a Realtek ALC892 codec, and you also get dual 6W amplifiers and an S/PDIF audio interface.

 
EMX-KBLU2P block diagram and detail view
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The EMX-KBLU2P is equipped with 2x GbE (Intel I219LM and I211AT) and 4x USB 3.0 ports. Internal I/O includes 4x USB 2.0, 4 x RS232, 2 x RS232/422/485, and 16-bit GPIO. The board ships with a watchdog timer, hardware monitoring, and optional TPM 2.0.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EMX-KBLU2P. More information may be found in Avalue’s EMX-KBLU2P announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on April 15.

Avalue Technology | www.avalue.com.tw

i.MX6-Based SBC Offers Global Cellular Expansion

VersaLogic has announced the Swordtail SBC that features models with either the NXP i.MX6 Quad (quad core), or the i.MX6 DualLite (dual core) processors. The SBC includes on-board Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a cellular plug-in socket. At home in hostile environments the compact 95 mm x 95 mm computer board is rated for operation at full industrial temperature range (-40° to +85°C). Unlike many Arm-based “modules”, VersaLogic’s new Arm-based products are complete board-level computers. They do not require additional carrier cards, companion boards, connector break-out boards, or other add-ons to function.

Swordtail boards have been designed to enable transmission of maintenance or diagnostic information without the need for a wired connection. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios are included on board, and a NimbleLink Skywire socket supports a wide range of optional cellular and other wireless plug-ins. The Swordtail embedded computer board is suited for deployment into demanding industrial, smart city and transportation applications requiring rugged, long-life, power efficient and industrial temperature rated solutions.

Both Swordtail models feature soldered-on memory, and a variety of I/O connections. In addition to wireless capability, the on-board I/O includes a Gbit Ethernet port with network boot capability, two USB 2.0 Ports, serial I/O (RS-232), CAN Bus, microSD socket, and I2C interface. The boards can accommodate up to 32 GB of on-board flash storage.

Designed for COTS and MCOTS users, Swordtail can be modified for specific applications in quantities as low as 100 pieces. Many applications that require lower power or lower heat dissipation also need very high levels of reliability. Designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation, VersaLogic’s Swordtail also meets MIL-STD-202H specifications to withstand high impact and vibration. Carefully engineered and validated, Swordtail excels in unforgiving environments.

Like other VersaLogic products, the Swordtail is designed for long-term availability (10+ year typical production lifecycle). The Swordtail single board computers (EPC-2702), will be available Q2 2019 from both VersaLogic and Digi-Key. OEM pricing starts at $236.

VersaLogic | www.versalogic.com

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.

Features:

  • 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 | www.menmicro.com

Mini PCIe Expansion Module Delivers Dual Gbit Ethernet

Versalogic has extended its line of industrial temperature, rugged Mini PCIe expansion products with the “E5”. This new Dual Gbit Ethernet expansion board provides an easy and economical way to add additional Ethernet ports to high-stress embedded computer systems. Unlike similar Mini PCIe boards, the E5 is completely self-contained with on-board magnetic isolation. There is no need for off-board magnetics or special cabling.

The E5’s extremely small form factor format allows it to be added to systems with very little impact to the overall size of the solution. It’s well suited for size and weight optimized applications.

Many applications required extreme temperature operation. Fully tested thermal management assures reliable operation over the full industrial temperature range (-40° to +85°C). Latching connectors and Mil Standard 202 shock and vibration testing ensure performance in demanding environments. The E5E is engineered and validated to excel in unforgiving environments. Bundle it with a rugged embedded computer board from VersaLogic for a one-stop solution to your industrial application needs.

The E5 is customizable, even in low OEM quantities. Customization options include conformal coating, revision locks, custom labeling, customized testing and screening and so on. The E5 is compatible with a variety of popular operating systems such as Linux and Windows.

The E5, part number VL-MPEe-E5E, is in stock at both Versalogic and Digi-Key. OEM quantity pricing starts at $137.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com

NXP i.MX6-Based Boards Boast Extended Temp Operation

Versalogic has announced the Zebra, its latest in their new line of production-ready ARM-based embedded computers. Featuring models with either the NXP i.MX6 Solo (single core), or the i.MX6 DualLite (dual core) processors, the Zebra is rated for full industrial temperature operation (-40°C to +85°C). The compact 95 mm x 95 mm computer board typically consumes less than 3 W of power when operating.

Unlike many ARM-based “modules,” Versalogic’s new ARM-based products are complete board-level computers. They do not require additional carrier cards, companion boards, connector break-out boards or other add-ons to function. For ease of mounting and future upgrades, the Zebra product conforms to the size and mounting points of the industry standard COM Compact format. Unlike proprietary-format ARM products, Versalogic ARM boards provide a standardized mounting pattern for simplified upgrading in the future.
The Zebra embedded computer board is ready for off-the-shelf deployment into demanding industrial, defense and aerospace applications requiring rugged, long-life, power efficient, industrial temperature rated (-40°C to +85°C) solutions.

Both Zebra models include soldered-on memory, and a variety of I/O. The on-board I/O includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, two USB 2.0 Ports, serial I/O (RS-232), CAN Bus, I2C, and SPI. An on-board 6-axis e-compass is optional.

Many applications that require lower power or lower heat dissipation still need very high levels of reliability. Designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation, VersaLogic’s Zebra also meets MIL-STD-202G specifications to withstand high impact and vibration.

ARM-based Zebra products, part numbers VL-EPC-2701, are in stock at both Versalogic and Digi-Key. with OEM pricing starting at $168.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com