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Compact fanless SBC runs Linux on Skylake, features 4K video

Sep 11, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 4,165 views

Advantech’s new 3.5-inch SBC based on Intel U-series 6th Gen Core CPUs will feature 4K video, three display outputs, dual GbE, SATA, and modular expansion.

Following Intel’s launch of its 6th Gen Core (“Skylake”) processors last week, there was a wave of third-party announcements of computer-on-module (COM) and single-board computer (SBC) products that integrate the Skylake chips. Our subsequent coverage of half a dozen Skylake COMs briefly mentioned a pair of Skylake-based SBCs from Advantech: an AIMB-275 Mini-ITX SBC for which few details are currently revealed, and a 3.5-inch form-factor SBC called the “MIO-5272,” which is the subject of this post.

Skylake basics

Intel bills the 14nm-process, 6th Gen Intel Core as its “most scalable processor family ever.” The initial release spans 48 processors, with TDPs ranging from 4.5 to 91 Watts.

Intel’s 6th Gen Core family spans 48 processors, with TDPs ranging from 4.5 to 91 Watts
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At the low end are the mobile-oriented “Y-series” system-on-chips, starting with the dual-core, 2.2GHz-clocked Core m3-6Y30 that have 4.5 Watt TDPs and include internal platform controller hub (PCH) functionality for reduced silicon footprint and cost. At the other extreme are the “S-series” processors, which top out with the gaming/overclocking-oriented, power-thirsty, 91 Watt TDP, 4.2GHz Core i7-6700K.

Comparison among Intel’s Y-series, U-series, and H-series Skylake “chipsets”
(click image to enlarge)

In between are the single-package 15 Watt TDP “U-series,” as well as the 45 Watt TDP “H-series” processors that, like the S-series, require dedicated external PCH “chipsets.” Advantech’s MIO-5272 single-board computer uses the U-series parts.


The 3.5-inch form-factor, fanless, MIO-5272 SBC taps Intel’s 15 Watt TDP U-series Core i and Celeron (Skylake) processors, clocked at up to 2.6GHz base and 3.4GHz turbo frequencies. A pair of SODIMM sockets supports up to 16GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, and the board’s Intel HD Graphics 520 (on Core i models) or HD Graphics 510 (on Celeron models) is said to deliver up to 4K display resolutions, and is capable of simultaneously driving three independent displays (though not at 4K).

Advantech MIO-5272
(click image to enlarge)

The MIO-5272’s coastline ports include a pair of Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, two each of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, and both VGA and HDMI display outputs. Additional interfaces provided on headers or other internal connectors include a pair of SATA interfaces with up to 6Gb/s transfer rates, two more USB 2.0 channels, a pair of RS-232/422/485 serial ports, an 8-bit GPIO port, and both LVDS and eDP display interfaces.

Advantech MIO-5272 board details and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The compact, 142 x 106mm MIO-5272 is big on expandability, offering a pair of full-size Mini-PCIe sockets, as well as a receptacle for adding one of Advantech’s MIOe I/O modules. As indicated in the board’s block diagram, both of the mini-PCIe sockets are equipped with a combination of PCIe and USB signals, while one is associated with a SIM card socket and the other supports mSATA.

The MIO-5272 SBC runs from a single 12V DC power source, and is rated for operation between 0 and 60° C. Advantech’s preliminary data sheet lists Linux, Windows Embedded 7 and 8 (Standard), and VxWorks as its supported OSes.

Further information

According to Advantech’s Skylake support announcement, which did not state budgetary pricing, the MIO-5272 is expected to ship “in Q4 2015 to Q1 2016.” Additional details and a preliminary data sheet are available at Advantech’s MIO-5272 product page.

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