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Short SMARC COM runs Linux on Bay Trail over wide temps

Oct 28, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 301 views

Aaeon’s first SMARC module features quad- or dual-core Bay Trail SoCs, soldered RAM, eMMC, dual display outputs, PCIe expansion, and -40 to 80°C operation.

The “μCOM-BT” marks Aaeon’s first venture into SMARC territory. Interestingly, Aaeon chose to use SMARC’s “short” (80 x 52mm) option, rather than SMARC’s larger 82 x 80mm size that’s closer to that of company’s existing line of 70 x 70mm Qseven COMs. SMARC also supports ARM-based module designs, so it remains to be seen whether Aaeon intends to travel down that path as well.

Aaeon’s μCOM-BT is the company’s first SMARC form-factor COM

Another Baytrail-based short SMARC COM we’ve encountered is Kontron’s SMARC-sXBTi, which has a slightly different mix of features.

Aaeon’s μCOM-BT (left) compared to Kontron’s SMARC-sXBTi
(click image to enlarge)

The μCOM-BT is functionally very similar to Aaeon’s previously announced AQ7-BT Qseven module. Like the AQ7-BT, the μCOM-BT is offered with a choice of Intel Bay Trail SoCs: the 1.5GHz dual-core Celeron N2807, the 1.3GHz dual-core Atom E3825, or the 1.9GHz quad-core Atom E3845. The μCOM-BT also similarly comes with 2GB of soldered-on RAM, plus an option of on-board eMMC flash storage. Two SATA II storage interfaces are provided, but only one routes to the SMARC bus when on-board eMMC is present.

μCOM-BT block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The μCOM-BT’s HDMI and 18/24-bit single-channel LVDS display outputs support simultaneous, independent operation, with FHD or greater resolution on both. Other features include HD Audio, a gigabit Ethernet controller with Wake on LAN support, three USB ports (one supports USB 3.0), a pair of UARTs, and three PCIe lanes for high-speed external expansion.

Aaeon expects the μCOM-BT to be popular in applications where small size and mobility are critical.

The following specifications are listed for the μCOM-BT:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Bay Trail SoCs:
    • E3845 (Quad Core @ 1.91 GHz; 10W TDP)
    • E3825 (Dual Core @ 1.33 GHz; 6W TDP)
    • N2807 (Dual Core @ 1.58 GHz; 4.3W TDP)
  • Memory/storage:
    • RAM — 2GB DDR3L (onboard)
    • 2x SATA II interfaces (via SMARC edgecard connector)
    • eMMC flash storage (onboard option; consumes one SATA port when present)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet (via SMARC edgecard connector)
  • Display (via SMARC edgecard connector):
    • Simultaneous dual simultaneous displays
    • HDMI 1.4a interface (up to 1920×1200)
    • 18/24-bit single channel LVDS (up to 1920×1080)
  • Other I/O (via SMARC edgecard connector):
    • 2x I2C; SMBus; SPI
    • 2x UART (1x 4-wire; 1x 2-wire)
    • 3x USB ports (2x 2.0; 1x 3.0)
    • High Definition Audio
    • 12-bit GPIO
    • 3x PCIe x1 lanes
  • Other features — watchdog timer; wake-on-LAN; H/W status monitoring
  • Power — 5V DC (consumption TBD)
  • Dimensions — 82 x 50mm; SMARC v1.0 “short” form-factor
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C (standard); -40 to 80°C (optional)
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows

To speed up evaluation and development based on the μCOM-BT, Aaeon has also introduced an ECB-960-A10 carrier board that’s compatible with SMARC v1.0 COMs.

ECB-960-A10 carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

The Mini-ITX form-factor (170 x 170mm) board brings out most of the μCOM-BT’s interfaces to real-world connectors. It also adds a PCI Express slot and a micro-SD socket, as well as a variety other features that are useful for system development and debug.

Further information

The Aaeon μCOM-BT appears to be available now, although pricing is unlisted. More details may be found at Aaeon’s μCOM-BT product page.

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