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COM Express modules build on Kaby Lake and Xeon E3

Sep 12, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 287 views
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Aaeon announced a “NanoCOM-KBU” COM Express Type 10 Mini module with Intel 7th Gen U-Series chips and a “COM-KBHB6” Type 6 Basic module with a Xeon E3.

Aaeon announced a pair of computer-on-modules that expand upon Intel’s 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” U-Series and 6th Gen “Skylake” Xeon E3. Aaeon’s NanoCOM-KBU is not only its first first Kaby Lake module, but the first Kaby Lake COM we’ve seen to adopt the 84 x 55mm COM Express Type 10 Mini form factor. The COM-KBHB6 joins several other COM Express Type 6 Basic modules to support the server-class Xeon E3, including Axiomtek’s CEM500, Congatec’s Conga-TS170, and MSC’s MSC C6B-KLH.



NanoCOM-KBU (left) and COM-KBHB6
(click images to enlarge)

No OS support was listed in the preliminary datasheets, but we’re confident both modules will run Linux and Windows at the very least. Both are supported with an optional ATX form factor ECB-920A-A10-0001 carrier board. The 304 x 244mm board, which supports Type 1, 6, and 10 modules, is also available with Aaeon’s Apollo Lake based NanoCOM-BT Type 10 Mini module.


ECB-920A-A10-0001 carrier
(click image to enlarge)

The ECB-920A carrier is equipped with a GbE port, 4x SATA ports, 4x coastline USB 3.0 ports, and 6x USB 2.0 interfaces, two of which are available on the side panel. For displays, the carrier provides 4x DDI interfaces, including 2x coastline DisplayPorts, as well as a DB15 VGA port and an LVDS connector.

Other features include I2C, debug, and dual serial interfaces. For expansion, you get mini-PCIe, PCIe x4, PCIe x16, and 4x PCIe x1 connections. Three audio jacks and an RTC battery socket are also available.

 
NanoCOM-KBU

Early last year, Aaeon claimed that its Linux-friendly NanoCOM-SKU was the first Type 10 Mini module to run 6th Gen “Skylake” CPUs. There are no such claims for the NanoCOM-KBU regarding Kaby Lake, but it’s the first one we’ve seen. The board looks familiar, however, considering it is almost identical in layout and features to the NanoCOM-SKU.



NanoCOM-KBU block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Aside from the processor, the only major difference we can see between the two modules is that Aaeon has removed the I2C interface and added a third SATA III port. Also, while both modules ship with a modest 4GB of DDR4, there’s no mention of the NanoCOM-SKU’s optional expansion to 8GB. Like the NanoCOM-SKU, the NanoCOM-KBU is initially shipping only in a standard 0 to 60°C model. A -40 to 80°C SKU is in the works.

Otherwise, the two modules appear to be identical. They both offer dual-core, 15W U-Series Core i7/i5/i3 parts, albeit with slightly faster Kaby Lake performance. Other features include DDI and LVDS interfaces, a GbE controller, and 10x USB ports, including dual USB 3.0 ports. You also get HD audio, serial, and PCIe, among other I/O. (For more details, please see our NanoCOM-SKU coverage.)

 
COM-KBHB6

The 125 x 96mm COM-KBHB6 Type 6 Basic module lists only the 6th Gen Xeon E3 in the spec list, but the fine print also indicates support for several quad-core Skylake Core EQ parts, as well as two dual-core Core E models. Like the featured 3.0/4.0GHz Xeon E3-1505M v6 (45W/35W) and 2.2/3.0GHz Xeon E3-1505L v6 (25W) parts, the EQ and E models have TDPs ranging from 25W to 45W. The processors are accompanied by an Intel PCH CM238 chipset.



COM-KBHB6 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

You can load up to 32GB DDR4 RAM with ECC via dual slots, and can drive displays with 2x DDI interfaces, with a third DDI optional. There’s also a standard VGA/LCD controller and a dual-channel LVDS interface that can be swapped out for eDP.

The COM-KBHB6 is further equipped with a GbE (I219LM) controller with WoL, as well as support for 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.0, and 8x USB 2.0 ports. Other I/O includes dual serial interfaces, HD audio, LPC, SMBus, and 8-bit GPIO.

For expansion, you get a single PCIe x16 and 8x PCIe x1 connections. A watchdog is standard, and options include TPM 2.0, a heat spreader, and CPU cooler.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the “preliminary” NanoCOM-KBU COM Express Type 10 Mini and COM-KBHB6 Type 6 Basic modules. More information should soon be revealed on the Aaeon website.
 

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