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First Apollo Lake Nano-ITX SBC emerges

Nov 3, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,694 views

Portwell unveiled a Nano-ITX SBC and COM Express Compact module with dual or quad-core Atom E3900 SoCs, -40 to 85°C support, and up to 32GB on the COM.

Portwell has announced both a Nano-6062 Nano-ITX single board computer and a PCOM-B641VG COM Express Compact Type 6 module built around Intel’s new Atom E3900 “Apollo Lake” SoCs. Both products offer standard -40 to 85°C industrial temperature support. No OS is listed, but other Apollo Lake based products have all supported Linux, Windows, and usually VxWorks.



Nano-6062
(click image to enlarge)

The Nano-6062 is the first Apollo Lake Nano-ITX SBC we’ve seen. Adlink announced an AmITX-AL-I Mini-ITX board, and Aaeon Europe launched an Apollo Lake update to the Up SBC on Kickstarter called the Up Squared.

There have been announcements for at least two other Apollo Lake COM Express Compact modules so far, including Adlink’s cExpress-AL and the Congatec Conga-TCA5. The PCOM-B641VG is the first to support up to 32GB RAM instead of 8GB for the Conga-TCA5 and 16GB for the cExpress-AL.

The Portwell products are the first Apollo Lake products that are limited to the three formally announced Atom E3900 chips as opposed to also offering related Celeron and Pentium models. The 14nm-fabricated SoCs are especially notable for their much faster Intel Gen9 graphics with up to 18 EUs (Execution Units) and 4K triple display support. For more details, see our Atom E3900 coverage.

The three supported Apollo Lake models for both Portwell products are the:

  • Intel Atom x7-E3950 — 4x cores @ 1.6GHz/2.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 12W TDP
  • Intel Atom x5-E3940 — 4x cores @ 1.6GHz/1.8GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 9W TDP
  • Intel Atom x5-E3930 — 2x cores @ 1.3GHz/1.8GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 6.5W TDP

 
Nano-6062 details

The Nano-6062 uses the 120 x 120mm Nano-ITX form-factor, and features a flat/low-profile design measuring 16.4mm in height. Applications are said to include medical, networking, panel PC, kiosk, and digital signage. Earlier Portwell Nano-ITX boards have included the Atom E3800 based Nano-6060.



Nano-6062 coastline ports
(click image to enlarge)

Portwell backs up the dual- or quad-core Atom E3900 SoCs with up to 8GB of DDR3L 1866/1600 RAM. Storage features include SATA III, mSATA, and microSD connections. There are also two coastline USB 3.0 ports, and two more USB 3.0 interfaces onboard. A mini-PCIe slot and M/2 Type E expansion interface are also available.

You get one or two GbE ports, depending on whether you have the dual- or quad-core models. Portwell supports triple simultaneous displays with a dual channel, 24-bit LVDS connection, as well as coastline VGA (1920 x 1200) and DisplayPorts (4096 x 2160).

Other features include an audio jack, an RS-232/422/485 interface, 8-bit GPIO, TPM 2.0, HW monitoring, and a watchdog. There’s also a wide-range 12-24V power input and a passive heat spreader.

 
PCOM-B641VG

Portwell’s 95 x 95mm COM Express Compact Type 6 module supports a whopping 32GB of DDR3L 1600/1866 RAM via dual sockets. The PCOM-B641VG is designed for automation, healthcare, and thin client systems, and follows its earlier Intel Atom E3800 based PCOM-B632VG Compact Type 6 module.



PCOM-B641VG (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The PCOM-B641VG supports up to 64GB of on-board eMMC flash, and there’s also a Gigabit Ethernet controller. Interfaces include 2x SATA 3.0, 4x PCIe x1, and a single PCIe x4. You also get 3x USB 3.0 and 8x USB 2.0, with one of the latter available as OTG.

For displays, the module provides VGA, DisplayPort, and either LVDS or eDP. Other features include HD audio, SMBus, LPC, 2x serial, fan, and TPM. Options include GPIO or SDIO, as well as I2C. The PCOM-B641VG has a wide 6V to 18V DC power range and smart battery support.



PCOM-C605 Mini-ITX carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

The PCOM-B641VG is supported with Portwell’s Mini-ITX form-factor PCOM-C605 carrier board, which supports all of the company’s COM Express Type 6 modules. Interfaces are said to include PCIe, PEG, VGA/LVDS, USB, SATA, and “CFEX with SATA and SPI interface, among others.

 
Further information

The Nano-6062 Nano-ITX SBC was said to be “released,” but no availability information was provided for the PCOM-B641VG module. (Note: Intel said the first Apollo Lake based products would not ship until 2Q 2017, but perhaps it meant end-user products instead of embedded boards.) More information may be found on the Nano-6062 and COM-B641VG product pages.
 

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