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Rugged, Linux-friendly SBCs tap Atoms of today and yesterday

Nov 16, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,325 views

WinSystems unveiled the first PC/104 SBC to use Apollo Lake SoCs, featuring PCIe/104 OneBank and dual GbE, and launched an EBX SBC based on Bay Trail Atoms.

WinSystems announced the PC/104 form factor PX1-C415 and EBX-style EBC-C413 — two SBCs featuring Intel Atoms from the current, 14nm “Apollo Lake” Atom-E3900 generation and the 22nm “Bay Trail” Atom E3800 generation, respectively. Both systems use Atom-branded models only, rather than related Pentium and Celeron SoCs. They both support -40 to 85°C temperatures, and run x86 friendly OSes including Linux and Windows, supported by drivers. Earlier Atom-based SBCs from WinSystems include the 3.5-inch SBC35-CC405.


Atom E3900

The Apollo Lake Atom E3900 is faster than previous Braswell and Bay Trail generations while offering much better Intel Gen9 graphics that can easily achieve 4K resolution or triple displays. In the case of the PX1-C415, however, only dual displays are supported and no resolutions are listed.

The 6-12W TDP Atom E3900 SoCs also offer security enhancements, as well as new peripheral time sync “TCC” technology, among other new features. Other recent Apollo Lake SBCs include models from Aaeon, Adlink, Avalue, Advantech, and Congatec.

 
PX1-C415

The PX1-C415 is the first Apollo Lake SBC we’ve seen to adopt the venerable PC/104 form factor. However, it uses PC/104’s relatively new PCIe/104 OneBank expansion scheme. The OneBank stackable bus spec, which first appeared on the PC/104 form factor Diamond Systems Atlas SBC, is also used by SBCs like Sundance’s Zynq-based EMC2-Z7015 and Versalogic’s Atom E3800 based Bengal. A subset of the PC/104 Consortium’s stackable PCIe/104 bus, the single-bank “PCIe/104 OneBank” option is more compact, and offers only 52-pins instead of 156.



PX1-C415, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Aside from offering the OneBank scheme, the 116 x 109mm SBC is also notable for providing M.2 B-Key expansion and a USB 3.0 Type C port. The SBC supports the dual-core, 1.8GHz Atom E3930, quad-core, 1.8GHz Atom E3940, and quad-core, 2.0GHz E3950. You can load up to 8GB of DDR3LV RAM, and configure onboard storage of up to 64GB eMMC. The board also provides a SATA 3.0 connector and dual GbE ports with WoL.


PX1-C415 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The PX1-C415 provides 8x USB 2.0 interfaces, all featuring overcurrent protection. Four of these are on headers, and two available via PCIe/104 OneBank. One apiece are accessible from the M.2 and USB 3.0 Type C ports. The OneBank expansion connector also provide 4x PCIe channels, and the M.2 also supports SATA and PCIe channels.


PX1-C415 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The PX1-C415 can drive dual displays via a mini-DisplayPort and an LVDS interface. Audio features include stereo audio output and a speaker output for beep tones. You also get 2x RS-232, 2x RS-232/422/485, 24x GPIO, a watchdog, and an RTC with optional battery backup. The board provides a 10-30V power supply.

 
EBC-C413

This month, WinSystems also announced an EBC-C413 SBC that features the older Atom E3800 Bay Trail SoCs in the EBX form factor, which we most recently saw in an Advantech Apollo Lake design called the PCM-9563. Designed for rugged, highly embedded applications, EBX has few real-world port connectors.



EBC-C413, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The EBC-C413 is available in two versions: a headless model with a dual-core, 1.33GHz Atom E3825 or a display-oriented SBC with quad-core, 1.91GHz Atom E3845 that offers dual simultaneously active displays via VGA, Mini-DisplayPort, and LVDS. The datasheet also mentions a single-core Atom E3815 SKU, which is presumably headless. All the options are backed up with up to 8GB of socketed DDR3.

Like the PX1-C415, the 203 x 146mm EBC-C413 supports an industrial -40 to 85°C range, as well as PC/104 expansion. You can also expand with PC/104-Plus cards and dual full-size mini-PCIe slots, one of which supports mSATA. Other storage features include SATA 2.0 and CFast interfaces with up to 16GB optional SSDs.



EBC-C413 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The EBC-C413 is further equipped with 2x GbE controllers, plus 4x RS-232/422/485, 48x bidirectional GPIO, 8x USB 2.0, PS/2, LPT, and HD audio interfaces. Other features include a watchdog and RTC with optional battery backup. The low-profile thermal heat plate design reduces the height of the board by 47 percent compared to EBX predecessors like the EBC-384 and EBC-855, dropping from 1.15 inches to 0.6 inches, says WinSystems.

 
Further information

Engineering units of the PX1-C415 SBC with Apollo Lake will be available in early 2017, with full production targeted for Q2 2017. No availability information was provided for the Bay Trail EBC-C413 EBX SBC, which will likely arrive sooner. More information may be found in the PX1-C415 product page and announcement, as well as in the EBC-C413 product page and announcement.
 

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