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Rugged module features dual-core Haswell CPU

Nov 12, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 683 views

Arbor Technology announced a computer-on-module based on Intel’s dual-core 4th generation Core i5-4402E (“Haswell”) processor, and built to COM Express Type 6 Basic specs. The Linux-friendly EmETXe-i87M0 COM offers up to 16GB of on-board RAM, provides high-speed interfaces for networking, display, storage, USB, and expansion, and supports -20 to 70°C extended temperature operation.

Arbor says the EmETXe-i87M0 is well suited to applications in medical electronics, digital surveillance, gaming, digital signage, communications, and defense, all of which can benefit from the 4th generation Intel Core processor’s high-end graphics and processor performance.

Arbor EmETXe-i87M0 COM Express module
(click image to enlarge)


The EmETXe-i87M0 is designed around Intel’s 4th generation Core i5-4402E (“Haswell”) processor and mobile Intel QM87 Express chipset. The processor is nominally clocked at 1.6GHz, but supports up to 2.7GHz in turbo mode. A pair of SODIMM sockets support up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3L SDRAM. Physically, the 125 x 95mm module complies with PICMG COM Express Type 6 Basic form-factor specifications, adds Arbor.

EmETXe-i87M0 COM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)


Intel’s Haswell processor family is currently popular among makers of COM Express COMs. Other recently introduced COM Express modules using the Intel parts include Adlink’s Express-HL, MSC’s MSC C6B-8S, and Acromag’s XCOM-6400.

Like most of these modules, Arbor’s EmETXe-i87M0 COM can drive three independent displays through its analog RGB, dual-channel 24-bit LVDS, and DDI video outputs. Its other I/O interfaces include twelve USB ports, four SATA ports, and Gigabit Ethernet, and high-speed PCI Express expansion is facilitated by a PCIe x16 channel along with eight additional PCIe x1 lanes.

For evaluation and development purposes, Arbor offers the ATX form factor PBE-1702 baseboard (shown below), which provides connectors and mounting holes compatible with COM Express Type 6 COMs. The baseboard also offers convenient real-world ports for peripheral connection.

PBE-1702 evaluation baseboard for COM Express Type 6 modules
(click image to enlarge)


Specifications listed by Arbor for the EmETXe-i87M0 include:

  • Processor — dual-core Intel 4th Generation Core i5-4402E @ 1.6GHz / 2.7GHz Turbo
  • Chipset — Mobile Intel PCH QM87, with Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • Memory — 2x DDR3L SODIMM sockets, supporting up to 16GB
  • Storage — 4x SATA (2x @ 600MB/s; 2x @ 300MB/s); supports SATA RAID
  • LAN — Gigabit Ethernet (Intel i217 via PCIe)
  • Display — supports three independent displays:
    • Analog RGB, up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
    • Dual-channel 24-bit LVDS, up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
    • 3x DDI ports
  • Other I/O:
    • Audio — HD Audio link
    • 12x USB — 8x USB 2.0; 4x USB 3.0
    • 8x GPIO
  • Expansion buses:
    • PCI Express — 1x PCIe x16 Gen3; 8x PCIe x1 Gen2
    • Other — LPC, SPI, SMbus
  • Other features — watchdog timer
  • Dimensions — 125 x 95mm (COM Express Type 6 Basic)
  • Power — +12V @ 3A
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70°C

Although not explicitly stated, Arbor typically backs its board-level products with Linux support. In this case, the module seems to be built with standard, Linux-friendly components.

The EmETXe-i87M0 and various optional heat dissipation components appear to be available now, at an unlisted price. Further details are available at Arbor’s EmETXe-i87M0 product page.

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