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3.5-inch Apollo Lake SBC features upside down design

Nov 4, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,743 views

Nexcom’s revised, 3.5-inch “EBC 357X” SBC runs Linux or Windows on an Apollo Lake SoC located on the bottom of the “upside down” board. The SBC offers triple displays, 2x GbE, 4x USB, 2x M.2 slots, and -20 to 60°C support.

Nexcom has released a revised version of its 3.5-inch form-factor EBC 357X SBC that we missed when it was originally announced in Mar. 2017. The new model has moved all I/O components to the top side of the board while placing the Apollo Lake SoC on the bottom. This upside-down design reduces the thickness of the board and “avoids the need for cooling fans,” says Nexcom. The board is said to be “perfect for HMI panels and battery-powered portable devices.”

EBC 357X, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Not much else appears to have except that the mini-PCIe slot switched to M.2 and the extended temperature range has narrowed to -20 to 60°C from the earlier -40 to 85°C support on the quad-core, 1.8GHz 1.6/2.0GHz Atom x7-E3950 and dual-core Atom x5-E3930. The range narrows further to 0 to 60°C for the quad-core Celeron J3455.

The EBC 357X offers up to 8GB RAM plus 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. There’s also a SATA 3.0 connector. (The product page bullet points instead mention 4x USB 2.0 and 4x SATA 2.0, and a summary paragraph mentions up to 16GB RAM, but these may be in error.) There’s also an M.2 slot devoted to mSATA and a second slot that offers PCIe or SATA support.

EBC 357X
(click image to enlarge)

Other features include triple display support with an almost 4K-ready, 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz HDMI port plus a VGA port and onboard LVDS. Four serial headers, audio I/O, GPIO, SMBus, and optional TPM are also available.


The parade of Apollo Lake based 3.5-inch SBCs has begun to slow, but we did see a new Axiomtek CAPA310 board announced in July.

Specifications for the EBC 357X include:

  • Processor — Intel “Apollo Lake” with Intel Gen9 (18 EU) graphics:
    • Atom x7-E3950 (4x cores @ 1.8/2.0GHz. 12W TDP)
    • Atom x5-E3930 (4x cores @ 1.3/1.8GHz. 6.5W TDP)
    • Celeron J3455E (4x cores @ 1.5/2.3GHz, 10W TDP)
  • Memory — Up to 8GB DDR3L via 2x SODIMMs
  • Storage — SATA III (6Gbps); M.2 B-key 2242 slot for mSATA; optional mSATA on M.2 M-key slot
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (I210IT)
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI port at up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz
    • VGA port at up to 1920 x 1200
    • Dual-channel 18/24 bit LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200
    • Triple display support
    • Realtek ALC888 based mic-in, line-out, speaker-out headers
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
    • 3x RS232
    • 1x RS232/422/485
    • 4-in, 4-out GPIO, SMBus, PWM fan connector
  • Expansion — M.2 M-key (default PCIe with optional SATA 3.0); M.2 B-key 2242 slot dedicated to mSATA (see storage)
  • Other features — Optional TPM; optional heatspreader; optional cables
  • Power — 12V DC input via 4-pin connector
  • Operating temperatures — -20 to 60°C for Atoms; 0 to 60°C for Celeron; 10%~90%, non-condensing humidity support
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102 (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 7/8.1/10

Further information

The revised EBC 357X appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Nexcom’s announcement and product page.

Nexcom also announced a NISE105-CNC Gateway based on a dual-core Atom E3826 from the older Bay Trail generation, but it’s supported only with Windows 7 Pro.


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