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3.5-inch Apollo Lake SBC has dual mini-PCIe slots and triple displays

Nov 21, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,475 views

Avalue’s Linux-friendly, 3.5-inch “ECM-APL2” SBC features Apollo Lake SoCs, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, 2x mini-PCIe, triple displays, and optional -40 to 85°C.

Avalue’s 3.5-inch, Apollo Lake based ECM-APL single-board computer was announced a year ago, shortly after Intel unveiled its Apollo Lake generation. Now it has followed up with an ECM-APL2 3.5-incher with a slightly different, and reduced, feature set.

(click images to enlarge)

Like the original, the new model supports up to 8GB of 1866MHz DDR3L, and features a wide range 12-26V power input and optional -40 to 85°C operation. It similarly runs Linux or Windows 10 on Atom, Celeron, and Pentium Apollo Lake SoCs. The specific Atom models were not listed, but the earlier ECM-APL supported the quad-core Atom x7-E3950 and Atom x5-E3940, and the dual-core Atom x5-E3930.

Compared to the ECM-APL, the ECM-APL2 eliminates the M.2 and micro-SIM slots in favor of a half-size mini-PCIe slot. As before, there’s a full-size mini-PCIe with mSATA support.

ECM-APL2 coastline view
(click image to enlarge)

Like the ECM-APL, the new model supports triple displays, and offers 2x HDMI ports. However, instead of the LVDS interface you get a VGA header. Previously there were 5x RS-232 and one RS-232/422/485, but the new model’s serial interfaces are limited to 2x RS-232/422/485, one of which is on the coastline. On the plus side, you get dual USB 2.0 headers instead of one.


Other features appear to be identical, including 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x GbE ports, 8-bit GPIO, audio I/O, and SATA III, LPC, and SPI interfaces. A watchdog, hardware monitoring, and optional TPM 2.0 are also available.

Specifications listed for the ECM-APL2 include:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake Atom, Celeron, and Pentium
  • Memory — Up to 8GB DDR3L-1867 via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage — SATA 3.0; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display:
    • 2x HDMI ports at up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz
    • VGA header
    • Triple-display support
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • 2x RS-232/422/485 (port and header)
    • Audio line-in, line-out, mic-in (Realtek ALC892)
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • LPC, SPI
  • Expansion — 2x mini-PCIe slots (1x full with mSATA, 1x half-size)
  • Other features – Watchdog; HW monitoring; optional TPM 2.0
  • Power — 12-26V DC AT/ATX
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C; optional -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 10

Further information

The ECM-APL2 is “coming soon” at an unstated price. More information may be found on Avalue’s ECM-APL2 product page.

(advertise here)

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