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Board-set aims Bay Trail Pico-ITX SBC at robotics apps

Sep 8, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 492 views

Advantech’s 3.5-inch form-factor “MIO-6300” board-set aims the company’s Celeron N2930-based Pico-ITX SBC at robotics and other real-time control apps.

When Advantech’s Bay Trail-based MIO-3260 Pico-ITX single board computer appeared a year ago, we highlighted the ability to use its unique MIOe expansion bus to add application-specific I/O and real-world coastline ports by means of MIOe-interfaced carrier boards. At the time, we showed an example (below left) that combined the MIO-3260 with Advantech’s EPIC SBC form-factor, MIOe-interfaced MIO-EDB2100 carrier board.

Advantech has now announced the “MIO-6300” board-set, formed by combining the MIO-3260 Mini-ITX SBC with an unidentified, MIOe-interfaced, 3.5-inch SBC form-factor carrier board.

Expanding a Pico-ITX SBC with an MIOe-interfaced carrier (left), and the MIO-3260 board-set
(click images to enlarge)

The MIO-6300’s carrier board expands its piggybacked Mini-ITX SBC with a variety of additional I/O interfaces and a set of coastline real-world ports. For example, the MIO-6300 provides two full sized mini-PCIe slots, one from each of the two stacked boards, and the board-set’s three Intel I210-based GbE interfaces include one from the piggybacked Pico-ITX SBC plus two from the carrier board.

The MIO-6300 is also notable for offering an EtherCAT Master Controller on one of its GbE ports, for deterministic synchronized control of I/O required by robotics or other time-critical control applications. According to Advantech, EtherCAT is a good fit for robotics that require flexibility, adaptability, highly synchronized I/O, and time-deterministic control.

Although the board-set’s MIO-3260 Pico-ITX SBC can be ordered with the dual-core, 1.33GHz Atom E3825, as well as the quad-core Celeron N2930, only the latter appears to be offered on the MIO-6300, although other processor options might be available by special order.

MIO-6300 board-set details
(click image to enlarge)

The board-set’s MIO-3260 Mini-ITX SBC can be loaded with up to 8GB of DDR3L SODIMM RAM. For graphics, it provides single-channel, 24-bit LVDS and VGA with dual display support, plus a DisplayPort/HDMI interface. The MIO-3260s’s MIOe connector also provides signals for SMBus, LPC, USB 3.0, and two PCI Express x1 channels.

MIO-6300 board-set aggregate block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to its MIOe expansion connector, the tiny MIO-3260 Mini-ITX SBC is further equipped with a pair of 64-pin expansion headers that carries even more I/O ports. One includes VGA, dual USB 2.0, and a single GbE interface, and the other offers SMBus, I2C, two more USB 2.0 ports, 8-bit GPIO, HD audio in/out, and a pair of RS-232/422/485 serial ports. It’s unclear whether all these I/O signals are actually used in the MIO-6300 board-set, however.

Rear view of the MIO-6300 carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

The MIO-6300 board-set’s carrier board adds a variety of additional interfaces aimed at robotics applications. Instead of offering SATA, mSATA, and mini-PCIe, you get dual mSATA and mini-PCIe. As mentioned earlier, there are two additional GbE ports, including EtherCAT support. The MIO-6300 also stands out with its separate 12V and 24V inputs.

Aggregate specifications listed by Advantech for the MIO-6300 board-set include:

  • Processor — Intel Celeron N2930 (4x Bay Trail cores @ 1.83GHz/2.16GHz); 2MB cache 7.5W TDP) ); Intel Gen 7 Graphics
  • Memory — up to 8GB DDR3L-1333 RAM via 204-pin SODIMM
  • Storage – 2x mSATA (also supports USB or full-size mini-PCIe)
  • Display:
    • Single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS at up to 1440 x 900 pixels
    • VGA port at up to 2560 x 1600
    • Dual display
    • Backlight and brightness support via APIs
  • Networking – 3x Gigabit Ethernet port (Intel I210) with 1x supporting EtherCAT Master
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 port
    • 3x USB 2.0
    • 2x RS-232/422/485 with IEC Electro Static Discharge protection with 15kV air gap and 8kV contact protection
    • HD audio line-out, line-in, mic-in (Realtek ALC888S)
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • SMBus and I2C
    • Optional CANBus module via USB
  • Expansion:
    • 2x Mini-PCIe slot (full size) with 1x shared with mSATA
    • MIOe expansion – see above
    • SMBus
  • Other features — watchdog; hardware monitoring; reset switch; SUSIAccess monitoring; supports WISE-PaaS/RMM and embedded software API; optional heatspreader
  • Power:
    • 12V and 24V DC-in with +/-10%, hot plug protection design, ACPI
    • [email protected] peripheral power output; [email protected] for MIOe module
    • Typical consumption – 4.4W or 7.0W
    • Lithium 3V/210mAh battery
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C optional heatspreader
  • Vibration resistance — MIL-STD-202G/MIL-STD-810G
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102 x 26.9mm (top side including heatsink) and 6.8mm (bottom side); 3.5-inch form-factor
  • Weight — 0.35kg
  • Operating system — Linux (Ubuntu 13.10); WES 7/8, WEC7; VxWorks 6.9

Further information

The MIO-6300 3.5-inch board-set and the MIO-3260 Pico-ITX SBC that it integrates are both available, with pricing unstated. More information may be found on Advantech’s MIO-6300 and MIO-3260 product pages. Our previous detailed coverage of Advantech’s MIO-3260 Pico-ITX board is here.

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