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Rugged Board Expands Upon Intel Apollo Lake

Written by Eric Brown

Versalogic announced a Linux-friendly SBC due in 1Q 2020 that continues its line of rugged, double-board Embedded Processing Unit (EPU) products built around Intel’s Apollo Lake Atom SoCs. The Owl will come out around the same time as the recently announced, avionics oriented Harrier, which followed a similar Osprey boardset from 2016.

The larger Owl has twice the number of serial ports than those boards and adds analog inputs. It also has a wider 8-30V DC input and offers dual full-size mini-PCIe slots instead of full- and half-size.

Owl and preliminary detail view
(click images to enlarge)

While the Harriet and Osprey measure 95 x 55 x 27mm, the Owl expands to 95 x 95 x 27mm. Like these earlier models, there are no fully configured ports, helping to reduce weight (200 grams) and vertical profile, which is already considerable due to the double-board design. This makes it easier to use the boards for deployment in constrained applications including “unmanned vehicles on land, underwater, or in the air,” says Versalogic. A wide variety of optional cables and adapters help to ease prototyping.

Power consumption for the dual-core, 1.3GHz Atom E3930 model ranges from 5.2W idle to 6.8W max while the quad-core, 1.6GHz Atom E3950 SKU goes from 7.9W to 10.8W. The E3930 model ships with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC while the E3950 version has 8GB/32GB. The RAM, which is soldered onto the compute module board in the boardset, is error-correcting (ECC) DDR3L (1866 MT/s) to keep your drone from flipping a bit from cosmic radiation and taking a nosedive.

The Owl has 10-year lifecycle support and is designed and tested for -40 to 85ºC operation. It meets MIL-STD-202H specifications for shock (20g half-sine) and vibration (5.35 grms, random). A heat plate is standard, and accessories include a heatsink, fan, and heat pipe.
The 8-30V Owl offers ACPI 3.0 power management and voltage protections. There’s also an RTC with battery support, a TPM 2.0 security chip, and system reset and HW monitoring.

The Owl is equipped with a microSD slot plus SATA, USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 2x GbE, and 4x RS-232/422/485 interfaces. You also get 8x DIO, I2C, 3x counter/timers, and 8-channel, 12-bit analog inputs. Media interfaces include a mini-DisplayPort++ with support for 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz and a single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interface for HD displays.

The dual full-size mini-PCIe slots include one with mSATA, PCIe, and USB support and another with PCIe and USB. Vesalogic offers a dozen mini-PCIe modules to choose from, including Ethernet, fiber, FireWire, GPIO, analog input, GPS, display, and mSATA.
The Owl supports Linux, Windows, Windows Embedded, and VxWorks. Versalogic provides its VersaAPI library for reading and controlling onboard devices with Visual Studio and C/C++ support
Further information
The Owl will be available in production volumes in Q1 2020 at an undisclosed price. You may be able to nab a limited supply of evaluation units before that. More information may be found in Versalogic’s Owl announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on on December 5, 2019.

Versalogic |

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Rugged Board Expands Upon Intel Apollo Lake

by Eric Brown time to read: 2 min