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3.5-inch SBC features Comet Lake-S

Apr 9, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,532 views

Aaeon’s 3.5-inch Linux-ready “GENE-CML5” SBC supplies an up to octa-core 10th Gen Core CPU plus up to 64GB DDR4, 2x SATA, 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, DP, VGA, M.2 M-key, and PCIe x4.

Aaeon has posted a preliminary product page for what appears to be the first 3.5-inch SBC built around Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake-S. In fact, this is one of the first Comet Lake SBCs of any kind, following a few early entries like Portwell’s WADE-8212 Mini-ITX board.

GENE-CML5, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

We often spend a lot of time searching for story ideas that do not otherwise show up in announcements, tips, or filters. Yet, we easily found the GENE-CML5 hiding in plain site on our advertising column. We pride ourselves in our strict separation between edit and advertising at LinuxGizmos, but we should probably spend a little more time checking out those colorful little boxes on the side of the page.

Intel’s Comet Lake-S, which is related to more power-efficient, 15W TDP Comet Lake-U CPUs, falls between 8th and 9th Gen Coffee Lake-S and the new 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S, which is likely the last of the fully 14nm-fabricated Intel Core platforms. Comet Lake-S offers incremental improvements to power efficiency, thermal packaging, cache, and performance, including overclocking enhancements. It is the first Core platform to offer hyperthreading on all the parts.


Aaeon is not supporting the 10-core models, but it offers five 35W TDP selections: an octa-core Core i7-10700TE (2.0GHz/4.4GHz), a hexa-core i5-10500TE (2.3GHz/3.7GHz), and a quad-core i3-10100TE (2.3GHz/3.6GHz). There are also two dual-core options: the 3.2GHz Pentium Gold G6400TE and the 3.0GHz Celeron G5900TE. Linux and Windows are mentioned in passing in the manual.

GENE-CML5 block diagram and coastline view
(click images to enlarge)

The GENE-CML5, which is not to be confused with the CML5 gene, follows earlier Aaeon 3.5-inchers such as its Whiskey Lake based GENE-WHU6. The SBC ships with up to 64GB DDR4 and offers dual GbE ports. Storage is available via dual SATA III interfaces and the M.2 M-key slot. There is also a PCIe x4 header.

GENE-CML5 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

For displays you get DP++ and VGA ports plus an LVDS interface with backlight support. Audio I/O is also available. Other features include 2x USB 3.2 host ports plus 4x USB 2.0, 2x serial, 8-bit GPIO, and other headers as shown in the spec list below. The 12V board ships with a TPM 2.0 chip.

Preliminary specifications listed for the GENE-CML5 include:

  • Processor — Intel 10th Gen “Coffee Lake-S” Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron with 35W TDP (see list farther above); Intel® Q470E, H420E, or Q470 chipsets
  • Memory — Up to 64GB DDR4 via 2x sockets at 2933/2666/2400MHz
  • Storage:
    • 2x SATA III (with 1x SATA power)
    • SATA available on M.2 M-key (see expansion below)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel i210/i211 and I219) with WoL; vPro available on I219 with i5/i7 + Q470/Q470E
  • Display/media:
    • DP++ port
    • VGA port
    • LVDS interface
    • Chrontel CH7517A controller for VGA and LVDS
    • 12V/2A backlight inverter for LVDS
    • HD audio header with Line-in, Line-out, mic
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.2 host ports (10Gbps Gen2 only with Q470/Q470E chipsets)
    • 4x USB 2.0 headers
    • 2x RS232/422/485 connectors
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • SMBus, I2C
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280 (PCIe x4, SATA)
    • PCIe x4 via FPC interface (Q470/Q470E only)
  • Other features — Watchdog; HW monitoring; TPM 2.0; CPU cooler; optional thermal option and cables
  • Power — 12V DC header; AT/ATX support; 4.47A@+12V consumption with i7-10700TE and 32GB RAM
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C with 0-90% @ 40°C, non-condensing humidity tolerance
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101.7mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the “preliminary” GENE-CML5. More information may be found on Aaeon’s product page.

(advertise here)

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