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Linux-on-Skylake special: two SBCs and a COM Express

Feb 2, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,140 views

Avalue unveiled 5.25- and 3.5-inch SBCs, plus a COM Express Type 6 Basic module, based on Intel’s 6th Generation “Skylake” Core processors.

Avalue’s 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU SBC, 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH SBC, and ESM-SKLH COM Express Type 6 Basic module continue the gradual shift among embedded vendors to Intel’s latest 14nm Skylake platform. So far we’ve mostly seen COM Express modules, which is typical for new Intel chip releases, but there have also been a smattering of Mini-ITX SBCs, and even an Advantech 3.5-inch SBC called the MIO-5272. The EBM-SKLU, however, is the first 6th Generation Core SBC we’ve seen with the legacy 5.25-inch format.

Left to right (shown to scale): 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU SBC, 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH SBC, ESM-SKLH COM Express module
(click images to enlarge)

All three Avalue products run Linux or Windows on 6th Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 BGA processors. However, each board has a slightly different set of processor-specific options.

The 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU offers a choice of three dual-core options: the 2.6GHz i7-6600U, 2.4GHz i5-6300U, and 2.3GHz i3-6100U. These are all from Intel’s most power-efficient (15W TDP) U-series line up of Skylake processors, which were supported in the late December release of Adlink’s cExpress-SL (Compact) and Express-SL/SLE (Basic) modules.

The 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH SBC supports the i7-6820EQm as well as the quad-core Core i5-6440EQ, with a 2.7GHz (3.4GHz turbo) clock rate, 6MB L2 cache, and a 45W TDP. The ECM-SKLH also supports the dual-core, 2.7GHz (no turbo) Core i3-6100E, which has a 3MB L2 cache and a 35W TDP.

The ESM-SKLH COM Express Type 6 Basic module is limited to a single processor, the quad-core, 2.8GHz (3.5GHz turbo) Core i7-6820EQ, which has an 8MB L2 cache and a 45W TDP. This newer quad-core CPU is also available on Adlink modules noted above.

The 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH ships with a QM170 Express chipset, while the ESM-SKLH module is available with a QM170 or newer CM236 chipset. No system chipset is listed for the 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU.


The 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU, which actually measures 203 x 146mm, is aimed at kiosk, interactive signage, automation heavy industry, ticketing self service, and public information digital signage. The board supports up to 32GB, 2133MHz DDR4 RAM via dual 260-pin sockets. Storage is limited to a SATA II interface and an mSATA slot shared with one of the two mini-PCIe interfaces. The other supports a SIM card.

(click images to enlarge)

Dual displays are available via the HDMI port (3840×2160 @ 24Hz) and 24-bit, dual-channel LVDS interface. An eDP port is also available, along with an optional touchscreen interface. The EBM-SKLU is further equipped with dual GbE ports, eight USB ports, with four of them 3.0, and six serial ports, two of which support RS-232/422/485 signals. Other features include 16-bit GPIO, LPC, SPI, and Realtek ALC233 audio I/O.

The EBM-SKLU features a wide-range 12V to 26V power supply, and supports 0 to 60°C temperatures. A watchdog and HW monitoring are also included, and TPM is optional.


The 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH SBC is designed for portable equipment, industrial HMIs, security and surveillance, digital signage, retail, medical, and in-vehicle infotainment applications, says Avalue. The 146 x 101mm board supports up to 16GB DDR4 RAM clocked to 2133MHz via its single 260-pin SODIMM socket, and offers mSATA, M.2, and dual SATA III storage. The mSATA interface can also be used as a mini-PCIe expansion slot.

(click images to enlarge)

Triple displays are supported via two HDMI ports (for up to 3840 x 2160 pixels @ 24Hz) and a dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS connection. A VGA port is provided as well.

The ECM-SKLH is further equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with six USB ports, four of them 3.0. You also get a pair of serial ports, 8-bit GPIO, LPC, SPI, and a Realtek ALC233 audio interface.

The 12V ECM-SKLH supports commercial 0 to 60°C temperatures. The board has a watchdog, hardware monitoring, iAMT 11 support, and optional TPM.


Avalue’s Skylake-powered COM Express Type 6 Basic module targets applications including digital signage, thin client, ATM, smart kiosk, SMB storage appliances, surveillance, and gaming. The 125 x 95mm computer-on-module supports up to 32GB, 2133MHz DDR4 via dual 260-pin sockets. Storage and expansion are covered via four SATA III, eight PCIe x1 interfaces, and a PCIe x16 interface.

(click image to enlarge)

The ESM-SKLH supports triple displays using combinations of the VGA, dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS, and DVI (HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort) interfaces. eDP is optional. With a single display, the HDMI port can achieve 4096 x 2034 @ 60Hz resolution.

The module is equipped with a single GbE controller, four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, and a couple of UARTs that can be spun into real-world serial ports on a carrier. Also included are 8-bit GPIO, SMBus, LPC, I2C, and Intel HD audio. TPM is optional. The module supports a wide-range 9V to 19V power supply, and offers a commercial temperature range.

Further information

Avalue’s 3.5-inch ECM-SKLH SBC, 5.25-inch EBM-SKLU SBC, and ESM-SKLH COM Express Type 6 Basic module are all available with unstated pricing. More information may be found at the ECM-SKLH, EBM-SKLU, and ESM-SKLH product pages.

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