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15.6-inch Apollo Lake panel PC supports Fedora, Ubuntu, and Yocto Linux

Jun 14, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,004 views

DFI’s “KS-156AL” industrial touch-panel PC runs Linux or Windows on Apollo Lake and features a 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 touchscreen with IP65 protection and shock and vibration resistance.

DFI’s Linux-friendly, 15.6-inch KS-156AL panel PC is based on its AL171 mini-ITX board, which was announced a year ago along with the similar AL173 which is otherwise identical except for the addition of wide-range power. The KS-156AL was recently announced along with a similarly Intel Apollo Lake based, 7-inch KS070-AL panel PC. The 7-inch KS070-AL is supported only with Windows, although it’s based on a 3.5-inch, “coming soon” AL551 SBC that also supports Ubuntu. The two systems are designed for factory automation, transportation, and other embedded applications.

KS-156AL, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

We’ll focus here on the 15.6-inch KS-156AL, which runs Windows 10, Fedora 24, and Ubuntu 16.04, with Intel Graphics Driver, as well as a Yocto Project based Linux stack. Two quad-core Apollo Lake SoCs are available: Intel’s 1.6GHGz/1.8GHz Atom x5-E3940 with 9.5W TDP and the 1.1GHz/2.5GHz Pentium N4200 with 6W TDP. The system supports up to 16GB DDR3L-1867 via dual SODIMM slots.

The 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 screen is available with either capacitive or 5-wire resistive touch, although the latter runs only on the Pentium model. It’s unclear if the resistive version is required for the touted “customized form of gloved-friendly multiple touch technology.” The IP65 protected screens provide 40 nits brightness, 500:1 contrast, and 50,000 hours of backlight lifetime.

AL173 (left) and AL171/AL173 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The KS-156AL is further equipped with an HDMI port for up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz resolution and a VGA port for up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz, with dual simultaneous display support. The system also offers an audio line-out jack based on a Realtek ALC888 5.1-channel codec.


Dual Intel I210AT based GbE ports are onboard along with 4x USB 3.0 host ports and 2x RS-232/422/485 DB9 ports. Optional WiFi and cellular modules are available along with dual antenna connectors and a SIM card socket. These presumably run on the full-size mini-PCIe (PCIe/USB) slot and possibly on the M.2 socket.

KS-156AL portside detail view
(click image to enlarge)

There’s also a full-size PCIe x1 Gen2 slot, which is likely designed to support add-ons such as discrete graphics or video capture cards. There’s a 2.5-inch SATA 2.0 bay, and 16GB or 32GB MLC mSATA cards are listed as options.

The 409.6 x 259.9 x 54mm system has a slightly extended 0 to 50°C range, and offers shock resistance spec’d out at half-sine, 3G @ 11ms and vibration resistance listed as random, 1Grms @ 5~500Hz, 30 min. You get both 12V and 15-36V DC inputs along with a power button, a watchdog with system reset, and dual LEDs. Both panel and VESA mounting are available.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the KS-156AL, whose specs are listed as “preliminary.” More information may be found on DFI’s KS-156AL product page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “15.6-inch Apollo Lake panel PC supports Fedora, Ubuntu, and Yocto Linux”

  1. darknase says:

    Little hint: Yocto is _not_ a Linux. Straight from the horses mouth – @ – first sentence on the page:

    “The Yocto Project. It’s Not An Embedded Linux Distribution,
    It Creates A Custom One For You.”

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