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Linux-friendly COM offers a choice of Bay Trail SoCs

Nov 20, 2014 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 945 views

Thirteen months after Intel debuted its “Bay Trail” SoCs, we’re still seeing new boards based on it emerge, as in the case of this Aaeon COM Express module.

Although Taiwan-based Aaeon pre-announced the “COM-BT” computer-on-module last October, as part of Intel’s big Bay Trail sytem-on-chip rollout, the module is just now becoming available for production shipments. It conforms to PICMG’s COM Express Type 6 “compact” form-factor specs, measuring 95 x 95mm, and offers a choice of 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C temperature operation.

Aaeon COM-BT top (left) and bottom views

Aaeon’s board joins a number of similar-sized, Bay Trail-based COM Express Type 6 offerings from embedded-oriented board makers. Four others we’ve covered include Adlink’s cExpress-BT, Congatec’s Conga-TCA3, Portwell’s PCOM-B632VG, and Kontron’s COMe-cBT6 and COMe-cBTi6R.

Left to right: Adlink cExpress-BT, Congatec Conga-TCA3, Kontron COMe-cBTi6R, Portwell PCOM-B632VG
(click images to enlarge)

The COM-BT supports a variety of Intel’s single-, dual-, and quad-core Bay Trail SoCs, including Atom and Celeron parts with clock rates up to 2.0GHz, and TDPs from 4.3 to 10 Watts. The module integrates the typical complement of functions offered by COM Express Type 6 modules, including graphics, audio, networking, USB, and serial I/O, plus PCI Express expansion — all available through a pair of high-density board-to-board connectors on the board’s underside.

Like most E3800-class COMs, the COM-BT’s system RAM comes in the form of a socketed SODIMM, which can implement up to 8GB of DDR3L memory. A notable exception to this approach is Kontron’s “rugged” COMe-cBTi6R module, pictured above, which uses soldered-on RAM for higher reliability.

The COM-BT’s graphics controller supports resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, and offers simultaneous dual-display operation. Signals for HDMI, VGA, and single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS video outputs are provided on the board’s bottom-side COM Express Type 6 bus connectors. Additionally, a pair of top-side connectors offers easy access to eDP (Embedded DisplayPort) video output, along with signals for eDP backlight control.

Aaeon says it expects the COM-BT to be used in applications including industrial automation, health care, security, ticket machine, transportation, gaming, kiosks, point-of-sale systems, and test equipment.

Summary of COM-BT specs

Specifications listed for the COM-BT include:

  • Processor — Intel E3800 (“Bay Trail”) SoCs, including:
    • Atom models — quad-core E3845 @ 1.91 GHz (10W TDP); dual-core E3827 @ 1.75 GHz (8W TDP); dual-core E3826 @ 1.46 GHz (7W TDP); dual-core E3825 @ 1.33 GHz (6W TDP); single-core E3815 @ 1.46 GHz (5W TDP)
    • Celeron models — dual-core N2807 @ 1.58GHz (4.3W TDP); quad-core N2930 @ 1.83GHz (7.5W TDP); quad-core J1900@ @ 2.0GHz (10W TDP)
  • RAM — 1x SODIMM, for up to 8GB DR3L 1066/1333MHz
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet (Intel I211)
  • Storage — 2x SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Display subsystem:
    • Supports simultaneous dual-display operation
    • Resolutions up to 2560 x 1600
    • Interfaces — HDMI, VGA, LVDS (single-channel 18/24-bit), and optional eDP
    • On-board LCD backlight controller
  • Other I/O:
    • HD audio
    • 2x serial port (TX/RX only)
    • USB — 7x USB 2.0; 1x USB 3.0
    • 8x GPIOs (4x in, 4x out)
    • Serial buses — LPC and SMbus
  • Expansion — 4x PCIe x1 channels (one shared with GbE LAN)
  • Other features — watchdog, status monitoring,
  • Power — +12VDC (AT/ATX style)
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm; COM Express Type 6
  • Operating temperature:
    • Standard — 0 to 60°C
    • Extended — -40 to 85°C (available Q4)
  • OS support — Linux 3.0.x+; Windows 7 and 8.1

Further information

The COM-BT appears to be immediately available in the standard temperature range (0 to 60°C) version, with the extended temperature option following by the end of the year. Pricing is not listed, but other technical details may be found at Aaeon’s COM-BT product page.

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