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Intel Bay Trail-I SoC rides rugged on PCIe/104 bus

Feb 27, 2014  |  Rick Lehrbaum
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ADL debuted what may be the first PC/104-style SBC based on Intel’s Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) SoC, featuring PCIe expansion, ruggedness, and lots of I/O.

ADL Embedded Solutions is demonstrating the highly compact “ADLE3800PC” single-board computer at Embedded World in Nuremberg this week. The 90 x 96mm module is designed in accordance with the PC/104 Consortium’s PCIe/104 specification, but without resorting to the optional “wings” extensions, thanks to the E3800 SoC’s high level of integration. This new PC/104-style module follows the company’s earlier ADLQM87PC SBC, based on Intel’s higher-end, higher-power 4th Generation Core i7 (“Haswell”) CPU. While both modules implement down-stacking expansion buses, the ADLE3800PC omits the beefier module’s bottom-side Gen3 PEG x16 connector.



ADLE3800PC (left) compared to ADLQM87PC
(click images to enlarge)

Although ADL appears to the first to demonstrate a PC/104-style SBC using Bay Trail-I, Taiwan-based Adlink’s website shows several product listings for E3800-based PC/104-style boards, including the CM1-BT1, CM2-BT2, CM3-BT1, and CM3-BT4. Unlike the ADL module’s self-stacking PCI Express bus, however, Adlink’s modules use the lower bandwidth — but currently more common — stackable-ISA and -PCI bus options offered by the PC/104 Consortium’s specifications.


Intel Atom E3800 (“Bay Trail-I”) SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Intel debuted the E3800 “Bay Trail-I” SoC last October. It features TDPs ranging from 5 to 10 Watts, and is based on the same 22nm Silvermont architecture as the earlier Atom Z3000 (Bay Trail-T) SoC, but targets the general embedded market rather than tablets. Among other enhancements compared to earlier embedded Atoms, the E3800 offers faster performance and lower power consumption, and integrates Intel’s Gen 7 3D graphics engine, said to deliver up to twice the 3D performance of the earlier parts. According to ADL, the SoC’s enhanced power management functions can result in “standby power measured in milliwatts, with days of standby time.”

The ADLE3800PC’s E3800 processor options are currently unstated. However, Intel’s E3800 SoCs include a quad-core, 1.91GHz E3845 that runs at 10 Watts; three dual-core parts ranging from 1.33GHz to 1.75GHz and 6W to 8W TDP; and a single-core E3815 with 1.46GHz performance and 5W TDP.

The E3800′s integrated graphics engine can simultaneously decode 10+ streams of 1080p video, according to ADL. Supported formats are said to include H.264, MVC, VPG8, VC1/WMV9, DirectX 11, and OpenGL 4.0. The board’s video interfaces can provide full HD video playback, dual display support, at resolutions of up to 2560×1600@60fps.

Preliminary specifications of the ADLE3800PC PCIe/104 SBC are listed below.

  • Processor — various Intel Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) dual- and quad-core options
  • Memory — up to 8 GB DDR3L-1333; 1.35V SoDIMM204 Socket
  • Coastline I/O:
    • Storage — 2x SATA 3 Gb/s; Shared with mSATA socket
    • USB — 1x USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 backward compatible); 4x USB 2.0
    • LAN — 2x gigabit Ethernet
    • Serial — 2x RS232
    • Display — VGA/DVI; DisplayPort/HDMI
    • Audio — 7.1 HD with SPDIF I/O
    • 16-bit GPIO (no interrupt)
  • Expansion bus:
    • PCIe/104 Type 1 v2.01, downward-stacking, dual connectors
    • Includes 2x Gen2 PCIe x1 Lanes; LPC, SMBus, 2x USB 2.0
  • Express Mini Card 1.2 socket; supports Mini-PCIe or mSATA modules
  • Dimensions — 3.5 x 3.8 inches (90 x 96mm), PCIe/104 Form Factor
  • Power — +5V for on-board circuitry; +12VDC for PCIe/104 expansion use
  • Operating temperature (with appropriate heatsink) — -20 to +70°C (standard); -40 to +85°C (extended)
  • Operating system support — (tbd)

Operating system support for the ADLE3800 is currently unspecified. However, the company makes a habit of supporting Ubuntu Linux and Windows on all of its single-board computers, and this module appears to be pieced together from components that are well-supported by Linux.

In its announcement, ADL says the E3800 is “particularly suited for extreme environments such as industrial control and automation, in-vehicle communication, and infotainment systems for commercial transportation fleets.” Additionally, the company suggests that the module’s “superior graphics and low power also make it ideal for rugged mobile computing, portable medical devices, and mobile autonomous systems for civil, commercial and defense applications.”

 
Further details

Additional details on the ADLE3800PC PC/104-Express SBC will eventually become available at the company’s ADLE3800PC product page.
 

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