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3.5-inch SBC runs Linux on Braswell and 6 Watts

Jul 27, 2015 — by Eric Brown 2,451 views

Aaeon’s Linux-ready, 3.5-inch “GENE-BSW5” SBC offers Intel Braswell CPUs, dual GbE ports, six serial ports, and mini-PCIe, SATA, and mSATA expansion.

The Linux-ready GENE-BSW5 is the successor to Aaeon’s earlier, Atom E3800 based GENE-BT05 SBC, and shares the same 3.5-inch form factor. This is Aaeon’s first product to run Intel’s new 14nm Pentium and Celeron N3000 (“Braswell”) processors, which offer similar, power-sipping CPUs and advanced GPUs to those of Intel’s Cherry Trail Atoms, but with desktop-like features such as SATA support.

(click image to enlarge)

The Braswell chips have appeared on COM Express modules, including models from Adlink, MSC, Nexcom, and Portwell, and on a Qseven COM from Congatec. The only other 3.5-inch SBC we’ve seen also comes from Nexcom.

Aaeon did not say which Braswell models were offered, so presumably it supports all of the following:


  • Pentium N3700 — 4x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.4GHz burst); 2MB L2 cache; 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3150 — 4x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.08GHz burst); 2MB L2 cache; 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3050 — 2x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.16GHz burst); 2MB L2 cache; 6W TDP (4W SDP)
  • Celeron N3000 1x Braswell core @ 1.04GHz (2.08GHz burst) with 2MB cache and a 4W TDP (3W SDP)

Whereas the GENE-BT05 could handle only two displays at once, Braswell enables the GENE-BSW5 to drive three displays via the SBC’s HDMI, VGA, and LVDS ports. The module supports 8GB of RAM, and has SATA, optional mSATA, dual mini-PCIe slots, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports.

The module stands out with its six serial ports, and features four USB 3.0 ports. The announcement mentions a USB 2.0 interface that doesn’t appear in the spec list. Power consumption on this fanless, commercial temperature board is said to be 6 Watts, the same as the Braswell TDPs.

Preliminary specifications listed for the GENE-BSW5 include:

  • Processor — Intel “Braswell” Pentium and Celeron N3000 family with Intel HD Graphics Gen 8
  • RAM — Up to 8GB DDR3L-1600/1066 RAM
  • Storage — SATA 3.0 port; optional half-size mSATA slot shared with mini-PCIe
  • Display — HDMI port; VGA port; dual-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS; 3x independent displays; optional touchscreen
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 ports
    • 4x RS232 interfaces
    • 2x RS-232/422/485 interfaces
    • AC97 2.3 dual-channel audio with mic-in, line-in, line-out
    • 8-bit DIO
    • PS/2
  • Expansion:
    • 1x mini-PCIe full-size socket
    • 1x mini-PCIe half-size socket, shared with mSATA
  • Power — 12V DC input; AT/ATX; 6W consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101.6mm; 3.5-inch form factor
  • Operating system — Yocto Project-based Linux; Windows 7/8.1/10; VxWorks

Further information

The GENE-BSW5 will ship in Q4, at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at the Aaeon GENE-BSW5 product page.

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