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Configurable IoT gateway runs Linux on Intel Quark

Jun 2, 2014  |  Rick Lehrbaum
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[Updated Jun 9] — Aaeon announced a compact, wireless IoT gateway that runs Linux on an Intel Quark X1000 Series SoC, and works in conjunction with an Asus Cloud service.

The Aaeon “AIOT-X1000″ IoT gateway supports the Gateway Solutions for IoT architecture (aka “Moon Island”) unveiled by Intel in April. Aaeon’s product joins other “Moon Island capable” gateway systems previously announced by ADI, Adlink, Advantech, Eurotech, and Portwell, not to mention Intel’s own Gateway Solutions for IoT reference design. Although Intel’s reference design supports a choice of either Atom or Quark processors, Aaeon’s device, introduced this week at Computex in Taipei, casts its lot squarely with Quark.



Aaeon AIOT-X1000 IoT Gateway system
(click image to enlarge)

Claimed to be “the world’s first Intel Quark SoC gateway,” the compact AIOT-X1000 box-PC is built around a 3.5-inch form-factor AIOT-X1000 single board computer (shown below), which is not currently being offered as a board-level product outside of the system. Aaeon is aiming its IoT Gateway platform at manufacturing, transportation, and energy applications.


Aaeon’s AIOT-X1000 IoT Gateway’s internal SBC
(click image to enlarge)

The core of the AIOT-X1000 SBC is an Intel Quark X1000 SoC, which integrates a 32-bit, single-core, single-thread, Intel Pentium ISA CPU, clockable at up to 400 MHz. The SoC also contains a memory controller for DDR3 SDRAM, a PCI Express expansion bus, and I/O controllers for dual-Ethernet, USB2 (device and host), SD, UART, I2C, PIO, SPI, JTAG, and IDE.


AIOT-X1000 SBC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

To support the connectivity requirements of its targeted applications, the AIOT-X1000 SBC adds a pair of mini-PCIe sockets that can accommodate options such as Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, CAN bus, ZigBee, RFID, and 2G/3G/LTE cellular.

 
IoT Cloud Services

An important component of Aaeon AIOT-X1000 platform — whether system or SBC — is an associated cloud service from parent company, Asus. As shown below (left image), the Asus Cloud platform provides services including file transfer, server push, heartbeats, IoT message transfer, sensor data access, and web-based administration. Additional features offered by the Asus Cloud Platform are said to include connectivity management, data storage and processing, data searching and indexing, and cloud management functions (see image below-right).



Asus Cloud platform services and capabilities
(click images to enlarge)

 
Summary of AIOT-X1000 specifications

Key functional specifications listed by Aaeon for the AIOT-X1000 system and SBC appear below. Details regarding the packaged system’s mechanical and environmental characteristics are not available at this point.

  • Processor — supports Intel Quark X1000-series SoCs:
    • 32-bit x86 Pentium ISA CPU
    • Up to 400MHz CPU clock rate
  • Memory — onboard 1GB DDR3 800/1066 SODIMM
  • Storage — IDE port; MicroSD slot
  • 2x 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • 4x USB2.0 ports
  • 2x COM ports — 1x RS-232/422/485; 1x RS-422/485 (header)
  • Other I/O — I2C, GPIO, JTAG
  • Mini-PCIe card expansion:
    • 1x full-size; 1x half-size
    • Options — CAN bus, WiFi, ZigBee, RFID, 2G/3G/LTE cellular, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions:
    • SBC — 146 x 102mm (5.75 x 4.0 in.); 3.5-inch SBC form-factor
    • Packaged system — (unspecified)
  • Power — 5V or 9-24V DC input (power consumption not specified)
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C (SBC only)
  • Software — Wind River Linux 5.0.1, Yocto Linux v3.8; McAfee Security

Development of applications for operation on Aaeon’s AIOT-X1000 platform is supported by the Intel Gateway Solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) Development Kit (model DK100) and associated Production Kit (model PK100), says Aaeon.

 
Further information

Aaeon has not disclosed shipment dates or pricing for the AIOT-X1000 IoT gateway device, which will primarily be shipped in conjunction with various connectivity options (LTE, WiFi, ZigBee, etc.), real-world devices (fans, NFC, thermal meters, etc.), and the Asus Cloud service. More details should eventually appear on Aaeon’s website. “Live demos” of the AIOT-X1000 in a factory automation scenario take place in Aaeon’s and Intel’s booths at Computex 2014 from June 3 to June 7.
 

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