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Compact EPIC SBC runs Linux on Bay Trail, has legacy appeal

Jan 4, 2016 — by Tom Williams — 747 views

Aaeon’s “EPIC-BT07” SBC runs Linux on Bay Trail CPUs and offers multiple display, GbE, USB, and COM ports, plus mini-PCIe and stackable PCI-104 expansion.

The Aaeon EPIC-BT07 appears to be aimed at bringing updated features to the PC/104 Consortium’s well worn EPIC SBC form factor. Its I/O includes six COM and six USB ports (including one that’s USB 3.0), plus dual simultaneous display graphics operation, two SATA interfaces, and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports. The product looks to be a drop-in alternative to Aaeon’s previously announced EPIC-BDU7 in most respects, but substituting Intel’s 22nm “Bay Trail” Atoms and Celerons for the EPIC-BDU7’s 14nm “Broadwell” processors. Additionally, like the BDU7, the BT07 positions its processor on the bottom of the board for efficient heat dissipation.



Aaeon EPIC-BT07 front (left) and back views
(click images to enlarge)

While the 165 x 115mm EPIC form factor appears to be the underdog in a battle with the slightly smaller (106 x 102mm) 3.5-inch SBC format, EPIC does not appear to be going away. It’s telling, however, that Aaeon’s announcement emphasizes the EPIC-BT07’s ability to upgrade existing systems, and also that the company currently offers fifteen 3.5-inch SBCs but just six EPIC models. The board’s inclusion of optional stackable PCI-104 expansion speaks to the durability of that technology, which offers numerous interfaces that would need to be duplicated with mini-PCIe or proprietary expansion cards on 3.5-inch or other SBC form factors.


Aaeon EPIC-BT07 details and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The EPIC-BT07 is available with a choice of three Intel Bay Trail processors:
  • Quad-core Atom E3845, clocked at 1.91GHz, 10W TDP
  • Quad-core Celeron J1900, clocked at 2GHz (2.42GHz burst), 10W TDP
  • Dual-core Celeron N2807, clocked at 1.58GHz, 4.3W TDP

The board’s three video outputs — VGA, LVDS, and HDMI — are usable for dual simultaneous display operation in any combination, and support resolutions up to 2048 x 1152 at 60Hz.

A single 204-pin SODIMM socket can be populated with up to 8GB of 1DDR3L RAM. Other I/O ports includes a pair each of 3.0Gb/s SATA and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. In addition to the previously mentioned optional stackable PCI-104 expansion socket, there’s a pair of mini-PCIe sockets, one with both SATA and PCIe, and the other offering PCIe with SIM card support. The board also provides 16 bits of digital I/O (usable as an LPT port), plus options for SMB and I2C interfaces, a touchscreen controller, an SD card slot, and a TPM module.

 
Further information

The EPIC-BT07 is available now, although pricing is unlisted. More information may be found at Aaeon’s EPIC-BT07 product page.
 

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