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Thin Mini-ITX SBC runs Linux on Skylake, offers long lifecycle

Mar 8, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 2,004 views

Congatec’s “Conga-IC170” is a Linux-ready thin Mini-ITX board with 6th Gen dual-core Intel Core CPUs, up to 32GB DDR4-2133, and a wide-range power supply.

Congatec, which was early to announce COM Express modules based on Intel’s 14nm, 6th Generation Core (“Skylake”) processors, has now rolled out a thin Mini-ITX Skylake board. The 170 x 170 x 20mm Conga-IC170 follows other Congatec Mini-ITX boards such as the thin Conga-IC97 board, featuring Intel 5th Gen Core “Broadwell” SoCs, as well as the not-so-thin, but industrial-focused Conga-IGX, built around the AMD G-Series SoC.



Conga-IC170
(click image to enlarge)

Other 6th Gen Core based Mini-ITX boards we’ve covered have all been standard height industrial models. These include Aaeon’s EMB-Q170A, EMB-Q170B, and EMB-H110B, as well as Portwell’s WADE-8017 and the Advantech AIMB-275 and Arbor ITX-i89H0.

 
Inside the Conga-IC170

The Congatec supports U-series Core processors — the same power-efficient, dual-core 6th Gen models available in most of the Mini-ITX boards listed above. All current Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems are supported, says Congatec.

Specifically, the Conga-IC170 provides the Intel Core i3 6100U (2.3GHz) and Core i5 6300U (2.4GHz, 3GHz turbo), There’s also the Core i7 6600, which Congatec says offers a maximum turbo clock rate of 3.4GHz. (Intel originally announced this as having a 3.4GHz base with 4.0GHz Turbo.) All three of these chips have configurable TDPs ranging from the 15W standard setting down to 7.5W.

Congatec has also added an entry level, Skylake-based Celeron chip that is new to these pages. The 2.0GHz Celeron 3995U, which began shipping in Q4 2015, is equipped with 2MB cache, and has a 15W TDP with a 10W configurable TDP, according to Intel. All four Skylake chips offer Intel Gen9 Graphics with support for DirectX 12 and Open GL 4.4.



Conga-IC170 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Conga-IC170 offers long-term availability of 7+ years and a wide-range 12-24V power supply, and supports 0 to 60°C temperatures. The board is suited for industrial applications including fanless HMIs, control and SCADA systems, high-end kiosk or retail systems, plus slot machines and digital signage, and its thin, 20mm height adds “extremely slim panel and industrial all-in-one PC designs” to the list, says Congatec.

Optional Smart Battery support extends applicability to portable devices such as mobile ultrasound equipment. The board’s support for Intel vPro technology with Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) “increase the reliability of distributed IoT system installations and in many cases make on-site maintenance unnecessary,” says the company.

Dual SODIMM sockets can handle up to 32GB DDR4-2133 RAM, and a microSD is available for onboard storage. Up to three independent 4k, 60Hz (3840 x 2160) displays are available via dual coastline DisplayPort++ 1.2 ports, supporting HDMI 1.4 and DVI. Onboard display interfaces include an eDP x4 interface with optional dual channel, 24-bit LVDS. Hardware-accelerated encode and decode of HEVC, VP8, VP9, and VDENC video is also supported.



Conga-IC170 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Other coastline ports include audio in and out jacks, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and four USB ports that support both USB 3.0 and 2.0. There are four more USB 2.0 interfaces onboard, as well as I/O including dual serial ports, MIPI CSI-2, HD Audio, SPDIF digital mic, speaker, 8-bit GPIO, an integrated sensor hub, and fan an intrusion I/O.

The Conga-IC170 is further equipped with three 6Gbps SATA 3.0 ports along with a fourth SATA power connector. There’s also an M.2 connector that can be used for expansion or SSD storage, as well as a PCIe x4 slot and a full/half-size mini-PCIe that can be optionally fitted with a Mini-SIM Card.

A Congatec board controller is standard, and a TPM security module is optional. Add-ons include cooling solutions, I/O panels, storage systems, cable sets, and much more.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Conga-IC170 thin Mini-ITX board. More information may be found at Congatec’s Conga-IC170 product page
 

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