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Embedded controller powers up with Apollo Lake

Dec 22, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 748 views

Aaeon’s rugged, Linux-ready “Boxer-6616” embedded controller ships with “Apollo Lake” Celeron or Pentium SoCs, and offers 6x serial and 4x USB 3.0 ports.

Aaeon’s Boxer-6616 follows in the steps of the Intel “Bay Trail” Celeron based Boxer-6614. This time, Aaeon moves up to either a dual-core Intel Celeron N3550 or a quad-core Pentium N4200 of the latest 14nm Apollo Lake line of Atom, Celeron, and Pentium processors. Linux is supported, along with Windows.

Although we’ve seen plenty of Apollo Lake based COMs and SBCs, including Aaeon’s Pico-ITX PICO-APL1 board, we’ve only seen a few embedded computers, such as Advantech’s somewhat less feature rich ARK-1124C.

(click image to enlarge)

The Boxer-6616 feature set is fairly similar to that of the Boxer-6614, but it’s a somewhat smaller (197 x 110 x 55mm) design with ports split more equally on both sides of the box. In place of CFast, you get mSATA via a mini-PCIe card that can be redirected to other duties. As before, there’s also a SATA bay and full-size mini-PCIe, with optional wireless modules.

Boxer-6616 rear view
(click image to enlarge)

The Boxer-6616’s four USB ports are all USB 3.0 instead of only one. You get two more RS-232 ports for four, as well as dual RS232/422/485 ports for a total of six serial connections. There’s also a new option for 8-bit DIO.

Continued features include dual GbE, HDMI, VGA, audio I/O, and a wide-range, terminal block protected power supply. Ruggedization features are about the same except for the lack of claimed shock resistance.

Specifications listed for the Boxer-6616 include:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake Celeron N3550 or Pentium N4200 (2x or 4x cores @ 1.1GHz — 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz burst); Intel Intel Gen9 graphics
  • Memory — up to 8GB DDR3L 1866MHz via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage:
    • 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD bay
    • Optional mSATA (via mini-PCIe)
  • Display — HDMI port; VGA port; simultaneous displays
  • Wireless — Optional 802.11n/Bluetooth 3.0 or 4G/GPS modules via mini-PCIe; antenna hole
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 ports
    • 4x RS232 ports
    • 2x RS232/422/485 ports
    • Audio line-out, mic-in jacks
    • Optional 8-bit DIO
  • Expansion — Full-size mini-PCIe slot; half-size mini-PCIe slot (optionally mSATA)
  • Other features — LEDs; 2x wallmount brackets; optional DIN rail or VESA mounts
  • Power:
    • 9-24 V DC with 3-pin terminal block
    • AT/ATX switch; remote power on/off switch; reset button
  • Ruggedization:
    • Operating temperature (with 0.5 m/s airflow) — -20 to 60°C with W.T. SSD/HDD/mSATA per IEC68-2-14
    • Vibration resistance — 3Grms, 5-500Hz with mSATA or SSD; 1Grms, 5-500Hz with HDD
  • Weight — 2 k (4.4 lb)
  • Dimensions — 197 x 110 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 10; Windows 10 IoT

Further information

The Boxer-6616 is said to be “coming soon.” More information may be found at Aaeon’s Boxer-6616 product page.


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