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Thin mini-ITX SBC aims Braswell SoCs at embedded apps

Apr 5, 2016 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 952 views

Adlink announced the “AmITX-BW-I” SBC, featuring Intel’s Braswell SoCs, a slim, embeddable “thin Mini-ITX” profile, dual GbE, and 4K triple-display video.

Adlink’s “Thin Mini-ITX” form-factor AmITX-BW-1 SBC features a low profile design, consumption in the range of 4 to 6 Watts, and is offered with a range of dual- and quad-core, 14nm Intel Pentium, Atom, and Celeron SoCs. The board joins other Adlink Mini-ITX boards we’ve covered, including the Skylake-equipped AmITX-SL-G and Bay Trail-based AmITX-BT-I. Additional Braswell-based Mini-ITX SBCs we’ve seen include Aaeon’s relatively thin EMB-BSW-1, as well as a dozen standard profile boards introduced last June.

AmITX-BW-I angled views
(click images to enlarge)

Adlink offers the AmITX-BW-I in five standard models, equipped these 14nm “Braswell” SoCs:
  • Pentium N3710 — 4x cores @ 1.6GHz (2.56GHz burst); 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3160 — 4x cores @ 1.6GHz (2.24GHz burst); 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3060 — 4x cores @ 1.6GHz (2.48 burst); 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3010 — 2x cores @ 1.04GHz (2.24 burst); 4W TDP (3W SDP)
  • Atom x5-E8000 — 4x cores @ 1.04GHz (2.00 burst); 5W TDP (4W SDP)

A pair of stacked SODIMM sockets accommodates up to 8GB of dual channel (non-ECC) 1600/1333MHz DDR3L memory.

AmITX-BW-I top view and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Braswell processors’ integrated Intel Gen 8 LP HD Graphics 2SS/16EU DX11.1 subsystem provides hardware decode for H.264, MPEG2, VC1, VP8, H.265, MPEG4, plus media acceleration for AVC L5.1, SVC 4K, VP8 4K, and JPEG formats. The SBC can drive up to three simultaneous independent displays, including HDMI, Dual Display Port, dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS, and optional Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) output, with resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 pixels. Rounding out the board’s rich multimedia resources are five HD audio jacks and an SPDIF port.

AmITX-BW-I details
(click image to enlarge)

Other I/O includes dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, four coastline USB 3.0 ports, two internal USB 2.0 ports (on headers), dual SATA (6Gb/s) ports, six multiprotocol serial ports (2x RS-232/422/485 and 4x RS-232), and a few other assorted interfaces (see the block diagram farther above). The SBC also offers three types of modular: a standard PCIe slot, a Mini-PCIe/USB socket, and an mSATA/USB socket. Additional features of particular interest to embedded developers include a socketed SPI BIOS chip, headers for optional SPI and TPM modules, and latchable I/O header connectors.

The AmITX-BW-I’s coastline I/O (upper) and 20mm profile (lower)
(click images to enlarge)

Although Adlink doesn’t list the 170 x 170mm AmITX-BW-I SBC’s Z-dimension on its datasheet or product page, we reckon the board’s Z-height to be 20mm, based on a mechanical drawing in the user manual. The SBC’s combination of high performance processing and graphics along with low power consumption and a low profile are likely to make it popular for use in truly embedded applications requiring rich multimedia along with high-speed connectivity. However, we’re disappointed at the listed 0 to 60°C operating temperature range, in contrast to the -40 to 85°C option available with the company’s “Extreme Rugged” branded SBCs and COMs.

Standard operating system support for the AmITX-BW-I includes 32- and 64-bit versions of both Linux and Windows (7/8.1/10), and a Windows Embedded 7 (WES7) BSP is available on request.

Another noteworthy software feature is the presence of built-in “SEMA Cloud” support, which targets M2M and IoT applications. According to Adlink, this support lets the SBC “connect legacy industrial devices and other IoT systems to the cloud, extract raw data from these devices, [and] determine which data to save locally, and which to send to the cloud for further analysis.”

Further information

The AmITX-BW-I appears to be available now, at unstated prices. More information may be found at Adlink’s AmITX-BW-I product page.

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