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Qseven module runs Linux on Bay Trail, targets industrial apps

Oct 14, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 405 views

Aaeon’s “AQ7-BT” COM runs Linux on dual- or quad-core Bay Trail SoCs, and offers onboard RAM and SSD, rich I/O, PCIe expansion, and -40 to 85°C operation.

Last year, Aaeon delivered its first ARM-based Qseven computer-on-module with the AQ7-IMX6. Now, the company is returning to more familiar x86 territory with its Bay Trail based AQ7-BT, which follows up on earlier Atom-based Qseven modules such as the Intel Atom N450 based AQ7-LN.. This may be the module Aaeon has in mind with its claim that the new AQ7-BT is four times as fast and 30 percent more power efficient than its predecessor.

Aaeon AQ7-BT
(click image to enlarge)

The Linux-ready AQ7-BT supports the quad-core Atom E3845, dual-core Atom E3825, and for the lowest power consumption, the 4.3W dual-core Celeron N2807. Like the Atom E3800-based MSC Q7-BT Qseven COM from MSC, Aaeon’s 70 x 70mm module is available in a -40 to 85°C resistant option.

AQ7-BT block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The AQ7-BT provides a DDI interface that supports HDMI or DisplayPort, as well as 18/24 bit, single-channel LVDS. Other features include a gigabit Ethernet controller with Wake on LAN support, and up to seven USB ports, one of them 3.0. Three PCIe lanes support high-speed external expansion.

The inclusion of 8-bit GPIO, along with the module’s support for an option of up to 64GB of on-board SATA SSD, supports Aaeon’s claim that the AQ7-BT is a good fit for robotics along with other embedded applications. The AQ7-BT is also available in models that lack on-board SSD, but instead supply two SATA interfaces on their Qseven edgecard connectors.

Specifications listed for the Aaeon AQ7-BT module include:

  • Processor — quad-core Intel Atom E3845 (1.91GHz, 10W TDP), dual-core E3825 (1.33GHz, 6W), and dual-core Celeron N2807 (1.58GHz, 4.3W); Intel HD Graphics Gen. 7
  • Memory — up to 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage:
    • 1st SATA port — for on-board 4GB to 64GB SATA SSD, or for external expansion via Qseven bus (depends on model)
    • 2nd SATA port — for external expansion (via Qseven bus)
  • Display (via Qseven bus):
    • DDI (HDMI or DisplayPort) up to 1920 x 1200
    • LVDS 18/24 bit, single-channel, up to 1366 x 768
    • Dual independent displays
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet with Wake on LAN (via Qseven bus)
  • Other I/O (via Qseven bus):
    • USB 3.0 host
    • 6x USB 2.0 host
    • I2C, SPI, SDIO
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • HD audio
    • 4-wire UART x1
  • Expansion — 3x PCIe x1; LPC Bus; SMBus (via Qseven bus)
  • Other features — Watchdog; H/W status monitoring; optional heatspreader or heatsink; optional ECB-970 carrier board (see below)
  • Power — +5V; consumption [email protected] with E3845, full load
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C (commercial) or -40 to 85°C (industrial)
  • Dimensions — 70 x 70mm; Qseven
  • Weight — 0.2 k
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows

ECB-970 carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

Aaeon’s Micro-ATX form-factor ECB-970 carrier board is available to extend the AQ7-BT with real-world ports. The ECB-970 is offered in various configurations supporting different combinations of features and storage, but is typically deployed with dual SATA ports and one SDIO port. Standard features include eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and 8-bit programmable digital I/O.

Further information

The Aaeon AQ7-BT is now in mass production. More information may be found at the Aaeon AQ7-BT product page.

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