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IoT SBC runs Linux on Quark

May 21, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,451 views

[Updated May 26] — Aaeon’s AIOT-X1000 SBC runs Wind River Linux on an Intel Quark chip, and offers dual Ethernet, dual mini-PCIe, and optional WiFi, BT, ZigBee, and 3G.

Last year, Taiwan based Aaeon debuted the AIOT-X1000 SBC as the guts of its AIOT-X1000 IoT Gateway. Now the 3.5-inch board is available on its own for a wide range of IoT applications. The name combines the prefix “Aaeon Internet of Things” with the board’s single-threaded Intel Quark X1000 system-on-chip, which here runs the Yocto-based Wind River Linux. The low power, Pentium ISA-compatible SoC can be clocked at up to 400MHz, and has no GPU.

AIOT-X1000 SBC, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

At 146 x 101.6mm, the AIOT-X1000 SBC is larger than one would expect for an SBC built around the tiny Quark chip. However, the device is directed as much at IoT gateways as endpoints. Applications are said to include industrial automation, vending machines, fleet management, and more.

Aaeon AIOT-X1000 IoT Gateway system
(click image to enlarge)

Like Aaeon’s AIOT-X1000 IoT Gateway, the AIOT-X1000 SBC supports Intel’s Gateway Solutions for IoT architecture (“Moon Island”), which includes Wind River Linux and McAfee Security, among other IoT middleware. The AIOT-X1000 also supports an unnamed, cloud-based Asus IoT package for data aggregation, processing, analysis, and storage. The application is available with an SDK to help you “get your raw data from the sensor or input to a customizable dashboard application,” says Aaeon.

AIOT-X1000 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

You can load up to 1GB of DDR3 on the AIOT-X1000 SBC and store data on the microSD slot. There’s no display port, but you’ll find dual 10/100 Ethernet ports and optional WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and 3G.

The AIOT-X1000 has four USB host ports plus a micro-USB client and a RS-232/422/485 COM port. Internal I/O includes additional USB and serial connections, as well as DIO, ADC, SPI, and I2C.

AIOT-X1000 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The board supports 5V input, but can also handle wide-range 9-24V power. Both commercial (0 to 60°C) and industrial (-40 to 85°C) options are listed in the datasheet. Yet in the announcement, Aaeon touts its Wide Temperature (WiTAS) Technology, which is said to support -20 to 70°C temperatures. Four different enclosure designs will soon to be available for various vertical market requirements: desktop or wall-mountable, DIN rail-mountable, IP67-certified, and CAN Bus-enabled.

AIOT-X1000 coastline view

Specifications listed for the AIOT-X1000 SBC include:
  • Processor — Intel Quark X1000 (1x 32-bit Pentium ISA @ up to 400MHz)
  • Memory:
    • Up to 1GB DDR3-800 with ECC (un-buffered)
    • 8MB SPI boot flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless — Optional WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, 3G
  • Networking — 2x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • Mini-USB client port
    • COM port (RS-232/422/485)
    • 16-bit DIO
    • ADC (supports 8-pin, 12-bit) with 0-2.5V input range
    • Other internal I/O — RS-422/485; 2x SPI; ZigBee/SPI; I2C; USB; micro-SIM; LEDs
  • Expansion — Full-size mini-PCIe with USB host support; half-size mini-PCIe
  • Other features — TPM; EEPROM; reset button
  • Power — 5V or 9-24V DC input; lockable DC connector
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Weight — 0.4 k
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101.6mm
  • Operating system — Wind River Linux (Yocto) with McAfee and Moon Island support

Quark gets activated on Intel Edison

Intel’s Quark is also available on a few other devices. It runs Linux on the Intel’s Galileo 2 SBC, as well as on a SMARC computer-on-module from Kontron called the SMARC-sXQU.

Intel Quark

The Quark is implemented as a coprocessor to the Intel Atom on the Intel Edison module, but it has remained deactivated until earlier this month. A reader has alerted us to the fact that Intel activated the Edison’s Quark on May 7 in release 2.1 of the Edison’s firmware. Version 2.1 also improves audio and Flash Tool Lite support.

As we reported in our initial coverage, the Quark uses a small-footprint, open source Viper RTOS derived from the proprietary VxWorks real-time operating system from Intel’s Wind River subisidiary. Viper RTOS “adds deterministic behavior to Linux applications as a service,” says Intel. The RTOS also offers an SDK with support for UART, I2C, and device GPIOs for connecting to sensors and other extended interfaces. The SDK’s IPC uses the Quark MCU to filter sensor data, and then wakes up the Edison’s Intel Atom CPU for further analytics.

A new Quark SE version will run Viper RTOS on Intel’s tiny, button-shaped Curie module for wearables, due later this year. The Curie also provides Bluetooth Low Energy, sensors, and battery charging technologies.

AIOT-X1000 SBC on YouTube

Further information

The AIOT-X1000 SBC is available now at an unstated price. More information may be found on the AIOT-X1000 SBC product page.

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One response to “IoT SBC runs Linux on Quark”

  1. notreally says:

    MCU is already activated in Edison, since Releae 2.1:

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