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Rugged, “economical” box-PC runs Linux on Broadwell

Mar 23, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,059 views

Aaeon’s rugged “Boxer-6638U” industrial PC runs Linux on a 5th Gen Core i3, and offers four COM ports, 9-24V input, and -20 to 60°C operation.

Despite the different branding schemes, the “economical” Boxer-6638U is said to be the follow-on to Aaeon’s similarly stripped down, 4th Generation “Haswell” based AEC-6638 box-PC. Not only does the new system run Fedora Linux or Windows on a faster, 14nm 5th Generation Intel Core “Broadwell” chip, but it’s 30 percent smaller (197 x 143 x 55mm), offers a wider -20 to 60°C temperature range, and supports a wider power range of 9-24V.

Boxer-6638U, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The passively cooled Boxer-6638U defaults to a 2.1GHz, dual-core Core i3-5010U of the Broadwell generation. Other Broadwell-based embedded PCs include the Portwell WEBS-21A0 and CompuLab Airtop.

Aaeon’s Boxer-6638U can be loaded with up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, while storage is handled via a single SATA bay. There are also two mini-PCIe slots, one of which can be reconfigured from wireless duty (a SIM card and antenna holes are included) to mSATA. Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are also available.

Boxer-6638U details: front (left) and rear
(click images to enlarge)

The system integrates a DisplayPort and VGA port, as well as an audio jack. There are only two USB ports, but both are USB 3.0. The computer stands out, however, with its four serial ports, two of which are RS232/422/485.

In addition to providing the -20 to 60°C support noted in the datasheet and press release — ignore the -20 to 70°C mention on the product page — shock and vibration resistance is provided.

Inside the Boxer-6638U
(click image to enlarge)

Aaeon touts the computer for the ability to easily get at its innards by removing screws at the base of the device.

Specifications listed for the Boxer-6638U include:

  • Processor — Intel 5th Gen Core “Broadwell” ULT with default to Core i3-5010U (2x 14nm Broadwell cores @ 2.1GHz (no turbo), 3MB Cache, Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Memory — up to 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage — 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD bay
  • Display — DisplayPort; VGA port
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x RS232 ports
    • 2x RS232/422/485 ports
    • Audio line-out jack
  • Expansion — Full-size mini-PCIe slot with SIM card slot (or optionally, mSATA); half-size mini-PCIe slot
  • Other features — Wallmounting; antenna holes; LEDs
  • Power — 9-24 V DC
  • Ruggedization:
    • Operating temperature (with 0.5m/s airflow) — -20 to 60°C
    • Vibration resistance — 5Grms, 5-500Hz with mSATA/SSD; 1Grms, 5-500Hz with HDD
    • Shock resistance — 50G (11ms) with mSATA/SSD; 20G (11ms) with HDD
  • Dimensions — 197 x 143 x 55mm (7.76 x 5.63 x 2.17 in.)
  • Operating system — Linux (Fedora); Windows 7/8/8.1/10; WES7/8

Further information

No pricing was available for the Boxer-6638U, which appears to be available. More information may be found at Aaeon’s Boxer-6638U product page.

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