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Mini Type 10 dev board supports extended mini-PCIe I/O modules

Nov 18, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 314 views

Acromag’s rugged “ACEX4041” Mini-ITX carrier is equipped with a Linux-friendly, Apollo Lake based COM Express Mini Type 10 module plus 4x mini-PCIe based “AcroPack” slots that support 25+ I/O modules.

Acromag announced a Mini-ITX form-factor carrier board for COM Express Mini Type 10 modules sold in three configurations: barebones (ACEX4041); equipped with an Intel Apollo Lake Mini Type 10 module (ACEX4041-2000); or a Development Lab System sold with the Apollo Lake module and 1TB storage (DLS4041-2110). The ACEX4041 is equipped with 4x AcroPack I/O slots that support third-party mini-PCIe cards but are designed primarily to load one of Acromag’s 25+ AcroPack modules.



ACEX4041 barebones model (left) and full Development Lab System with Mini Type 10 and storage and illustration showing AcroPack modules
(click images to enlarge)

The AcroPack spec adds to the mini-PCIe interface a down-facing 100-pin connector “that securely routes the I/O through a carrier card to its integrated external connectors,” says Michigan-based Acromag. Four 68-pin VHDCI connectors securely route the field I/O to the AcroPack modules. The design is said to eliminate internal cables and “metalwork modifications.”

The rugged AcroPack mezzanine modules include A/D, D/A, discrete I/O, RS232/485, CAN-Bus, Gigabit Ethernet, Artix-7 FPGA, and MIL-STD-1553 (serial-bus avionics I/O) for applications including data acquisition, signal processing, test and measurement, command/control, and network communication. Software tools are available that support embedded applications running on Linux, Windows, or VxWorks.

The ACEX4041, which we saw on CNXSoft, is currently available with only one unnamed 84 x 55mm Mini Type 10 (or Type 10 Mini) module equipped with a quad-core, 1.6GHz/2.0GHz Atom x5-E3940 with 12W TDP from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation. Acromag says the board is capable of hosting third-party Mini Type 10 modules that offer 4x PCIe lanes configured as an x4 port, including Intel Core i7 based modules.

The only other COM Express module sold by Acromag is the Intel 4th Gen “Haswell” Core based XCOM-6400 Type 6 module. Since our report on the XCOM-6400 back in 2013, Acromag has added an ACEX-4600 Type 6 carrier, which provides standard mini-PCIe and XMC/PMC expansion instead of the AcroPack slots. Acromag also sells PCIe, CompactPCI, VPX, and XMC carrier boards that do support AcroPack.



ACEX4041 block diagram (left) and AP408 digital I/O AcroPack module
(click images to enlarge)

The 170 x 170mm ACEX4041-2000 configuration is equipped with 4GB RAM supplied by the Apollo Lake module. The board is equipped with a 9-port, 12-lane PCIe Gen 2 switch that “expands the single host PCIe x4 port to 6 independent x1 ports,” says Acromag.

The ACEX4041 provides coastline ports including 2x GbE (Intel i210), 2x USB 3.0, 2x RS-232, and a mini-DisplayPort. You also get Realtek HD Audio I/O and a JTAG header. Two of the four AcroPack slots are isolated.

The ACEX4041 is equipped with a SATA connector and an M.2 B/M-key 2242/2260/2280 slot. On the Development Lab System, which also ships with panel mounting, these interfaces are pre-loaded with two 500GB SSDs for 1TB storage total.

The ACEX4041 is designed for rugged field deployment with -40 to 85°C support, 30G (11ms) shock resistance (per IEC 60068-2-27), and 5G vibration resistance (IEC 60068-2-64). There’s also 5-95% non-condensing humidity tolerance and conformal coating available on request.

The system provides a redundant auto-switch power capability for the 24-pin ATX and 10-36V DC power supplies and offers a variety of DC fuses. Heatsinks and cables are optional.




AcroPack overview video

 
Further information

The barebones ACEX4041 sells for $1,595. The ACEX4041-2000 with the Mini Type 10 Apollo Lake module goes for $2,695. The DLS4041-2110 Development Lab System with the Mini Type 10 module, 1TB storage, and more is available for $3,495. More information may be found in Acromag’s announcement, as well as the ACEX4041 product and shopping page.

 

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