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Linux-friendly COM Express triplets embed Intel Bay Trail SoCs

Apr 20, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 440 views

[Updated Apr. 21] — Axiomtek launched a Bay Trail Celeron-based “CEM841” COM Express Type 2 Basic module and tipped two similar Type 6 COMs with Celeron and Atom E3845 SoCs.

When we saw the announcement for the CEM841 COM Express Type 2, we noticed that Axiomtek had already listed two other very similar new COM Express modules — the CEM842 and CEM843 — as “coming soon.” The CEM841 and CEM842 each offers a choice of dual- or quad-core Intel Celeron system-on-chip from the same 22nm Bay Trail generation as the Atom E3845 used by the CEM843. The CEM841 uses the 125 x 95mm COM Express Type 2 Basic format, while the other two modules adopt the 95 x 95mm COM Express Type 6 form factor. The modules specifically support Linux Ubuntu and CentOS, but other mainstream Linux variants should work fine.

CEM841, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

All three modules are covered in the group spec table we’ve compiled below, but here are the basic differences:
  • CEM841 — Type 2 Basic, Intel Celeron J1900 (4x cores @ 2GHz, 10W TDP); 4x PCIe, IDE, 1x SATA
  • CEM842 — Type 6 Compact, Intel Celeron N2807 (2x cores @ 1.58GHz, 5W TDP); similar to the 841, except 6x PCIe, SPI instead of IDE, adds USB 3.0 port, adds second SATA port, adds TPM
  • CEM843 — Type 6 Compact, Intel Atom E3845 (4x cores @ 1.91GHz, 10W TDP); similar to the 842 but adds -40 to 85°C support

All three COM Express modules are equipped with double-deck DDR3L SODIMM sockets supporting up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM. Additionally, they all offer gigabit Ethernet controllers, as well as interfaces including HD audio, eight USB 2.0 ports, GPIO, LPC, and SMBus.

CEM842, front and back (Note: CEM843 datasheet shows CEM842 images)
(click images to enlarge)

All three modules provide VGA and LVDS with dual display support, and the CEM842 and CEM843 each add a DDI port. These two Type 6 modules provide up to six PCIe lanes while the CEM841 gives you 4x PCIe lanes plus a single PCIe x4 interface. As noted, the Type 6 modules swap out the legacy IDE interface for SPI, and also add a USB 3.0 and second SATA-300 port. From the photos above, it appears that all three module variations share a common PCB layout design, with the CEM841 having a large board footprint and additional mounting holes to match COM Express Type 2 requirements.

Specifications listed for the Axiomtek CEM841, CEM842, and CEM843, with differences noted, include:

  • Processor — Intel Celeron or Atom E3800 Bay Trail SoCs (Celeron J1900 or N2807 for CEM841 and CEM842, Atom E3845 for CEM843); Intel Gen 7 HD graphics
  • Memory — Up to 8GB DDR3L-1066/1333 RAM via 2x SODIMMs
  • Display:
    • VGA
    • LVDS 18/24-bit dual-channel
    • DDI (DP, HDMI, DVI) on CEM842 and CEM843 only
    • Dual display support
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet controller (Intel I210AT on CEM841, I219IT on others) with Wake-on-LAN, PXE boot
  • Other I/O:
    • 8x USB 2.0
    • 1x USB 3.0 (CEM842 and CEM843 only)
    • SATA-300 (2x on CEM842 and CEM843)
    • 8x GPIO
    • LPC, SMBus
    • SPI (CEM842 and CEM843 only)
    • IDE (CEM841 only)
    • HD audio
  • Expansion:
    • Up to 6x PCIe (CEM842 and CEM843)
    • 4x PCIe (3x when LAN is on) and 1x PCIe x4 (CEM841)
  • Other features — Watchdog; hardware monitoring; TPM (CEM842 and CEM843); optional heatspreader, heatsink, ATX baseboard
  • Power — 12V/5V ATX or 12V AT input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C (commercial); -40 to 85°C on CEM843 only
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm COM Express Type 6 Compact (CEM842 and CEM843); 125 x 95 Type 2 Basic (CEM841)

Carrier boards

The CEM841 is offered with a CEB94000 Type 2 carrier board. The other two modules are supported by a somewhat similar CEB94006 Type 6 carrier board.

CEB94000 carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

The 305 x 244mm CEB94000 is equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port, LVDS and VGA ports, six USB 2.0 ports, and dual COM ports. You also get four SATA ports, as well as IDE and PATA interfaces for spinning the golden oldies. Other I/O includes PS/2 and audio jacks, plus a variety of mini-PCIe, PCIe, and PCI interfaces for expansion.

CEB94006 carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

Further information

The Axiomtek CEM841 is available this month, and the CEM842 and CEM843 are both listed as coming soon. More information may be found at the CEM841, CEM842, CEM843, CEB94000, and CEB94006 product pages, respectively.

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